This Client Server article is republished in its entirety from 2003 for reference purposes. It was written for MicroStation V8.1 and may not apply to any other version.
By Daniel Eng, Technical Support Analyst, Bentley Corporate Office 12 May 2003
MicroStation V8 allows elements to be grouped together by name by using a set of tools called Named Groups. With the introduction of MicroStation v8.1, Named Groups allow you to define a name for a set of elements that can be manipulated as one single element, making a set of elements easily identifiable.
Figure 1: The Named Groups Dialog window A Named Group consists of elements or members that belong to a group, including other groups. Therefore, a hierarchical Named Group structure can exist, making it very easy to locate a sub-set of elements that may be included within a main or parent named group.
When a group is selected from the Named Group dialog window by double clicking or selecting the Select Elements in Named Group button, all of the elements that are included in the group are highlighted and can be manipulated as one entity. For example, Figure 2 shows that all of the members of the named group called Engine Assembly move as one entity, and all their elements will move as one, as long as the Graphic Group Lock is toggled on.
Figure 2: The Move Element tool shows how four separate items within one named group can move together. Here, the Engine Assembly named group moves as one, although it contains four different elements.
Figure 3: The Locks menu allows the Graphic Group toggle to be on and off.
Figure 4: The Named Groups tool can be located from the Utilities pull down menu.
In order to manipulate or move one particular element within a named group, the Graphic Group lock needs to be toggled off. Do this by going to the Lock icon at the bottom of the window of MicroStation and checking the Graphic Group, or by going to the Settings pull down menu and then selecting Locks
The Named Groups tools are located under the Utilities pull down menu (See Figure 4), or you can select the magnifying glass on the Add To Graphic Group tool. By selecting the magnifying glass, the Named Groups dialog window will open.
A Named Group is easily created by right clicking in the Named Groups dialog window and selecting New Group or by selecting the Create New Group icon. You can also go to the Add Elements to Graphic Group tool and select Create New Group.
Figure 5: The Add Elements icon. Once a Named Group is created, you can add elements by utilizing the Add To Graphic Group tool, located on the Named Groups tool window. It can also be found on the Groups toolbox located in the Main toolframe (Tools>Main>Groups).
When adding elements to a Named Group, you can select three different options for each included element: Active, Passive, and Custom.
Figure 6: The black element has been added to the Clutch Assembly named group with the member type set to Active. With the Graphic Group lock toggled on, selecting the black element for move propagates the changes to all of the members in the named group.
Figure 7: The black element has been added to the named group, called Clutch Assembly, with the member type set to Passive. With Graphic Group lock toggled on and the Move element command initiated on the black element, only the black element itself moves.
When the member type is set to Active, the element that has been added to a Named Group will propagate any changes to this element onto all of the members in the group. This will only take affect if the Graphic Group is toggled on (See Figure 6).
If the member type is set to Passive, the element included in the Named Group can be manipulated individually and will not propagate any of the changes to the rest of the members. This will only apply if the Graphic Group is toggled on (See Figure 7).
The Custom Member type allows you to use an element's properties to set how the element will be added to a Named Group. It allows you to control how you want the element to propagate any changes.
When you are using the Add to Graphic Group tool with the Member Type set to Custom, you have the ability to propagate changes from one group to other groups. When you have the settings for To other members, From other members, and To other groups, set to Always for all three options. One member from one named group can be manipulated with another named group if it includes a member from the second named group.
For clarification, let's assume that there are two unique sets of elements in the DGN. In addition, each unique set will be wholly added to a unique named group. Call them named group A and named group B. Once the two named groups exist, one member (or more) from each named group will be added to the other named group. That is, Named Group A will contain one or more elements from Named Group B and visa versa. If the Propagate Changes options are set as discussed above, moving an element in Named Group A will move the entire contents of Named Group A as well as Named Group B. The same applies when moving an element in Named Group B.
If you need to remove an element from a Named Group, you can use the Drop from Graphic Group tool.
Figure 8: The Remove Elements icon. The Drop from Graphic Group can be selected from the Named Groups tool, as well as from the Groups toolbox from the Main tool frame.
Keep in mind that if Graphic Group is toggled on under the locks settings, the entire Named Group will be dropped. Therefore, to drop one element out of a group, toggle off Graphic Group before performing this operation.
Figure 9: The Show Named Group icon.
Figure 10: The Select Elements in Named Group icon. The Show Named Group icon will open the Element Information window to allow you to see the details of each element in the Named Group. This tool is very useful since it shows all of the pertinent information regarding your elements.
The Select Elements in Named Group allows you to select all of the items in the group and highlights the elements to allow you to manipulate the elements. Using this tool gathers all of the elements efficiently so that multiple selections of elements are not needed.
Figure 11: The column tools Fly-out menu appears when a right click is performed while the cursor is placed over the column areas in the Named Groups window.
When viewing the Named Groups window, you will notice different columns displaying information about the named group, for example, the number of elements contained in the group and the group number. All of the columns can be toggled on and off easily by hovering the cursor over the column name and right clicking (Reset button by default), then toggling which column you want to display.
Figure 12: The Add to DisplaySet icon.
The Put Elements into Display Set tool is very useful, allowing you to add a Named Group into another display set. In order to see Display Sets, you have to make sure that Display Sets are toggled on under the View Attributes. You can access the View Attributes window from the Settings pulldown menu and selecting View Attributes.
The Delete Named Groups allows you to remove a particular named group from the list of named groups.
Figure 13: Named Groups dialog window with the Show Hierarchy toggled on.
Figure 14: Named Groups dialog window with the Show Hierarchy toggled off. The Show Hierarchy icon allows you to see the additional Named Groups that may be under a Parent Group. A plus sign indicates hierarchical groups under the Parent Group and lets you expand the Named Group tree. The Show Hierarchy icon toggles the Named Groups dialog window.
The Add Named Groups to Parent Icon will become available when the Show Hierarchy is displayed in the Named Groups window. The Add Named Groups to Parent tool allow you to add a Named Group to another Named Group, but will be referred to as a child named group since it will be stored below the main parent group.
Figure 15: The Clutch Assembly named group is below the Engine Assembly Group. When selected, only the two elements associated with the Clutch Assembly Group can be manipulated using the Move Element tool.
Figure 16: The Named Groups dialog window showing that the Clutch Assembly Named Group has been added as a child named group below the Engine Assembly named group.
This particular feature is especially useful when you want to combine two or more named groups together and still see what is in each individual Named Group. By using this hierarchical Named Group structure, large quantities of elements can be selected at once for a move or small number of groups can be selected as well making this feature very flexible when group elements together. In Figure 15, the Clutch Assembly is a child named group underneath the Parent Group called Engine Assembly. By selecting the Clutch Assembly, on the two elements associated with that named group can be manipulated.
In order to add a Named Group to a Parent Group, you need to select the Named Group from the Right hand window. Then you would need to select the Parent Group that you want to add the Named Group to from the Hierarchical section of the Named Groups window. Next, select the Add Named Groups to Parent tool and the Named Group that is select will be added underneath the group which can be selected by clicking on the Plus sign.
If there is a Named Group that already has a child group listed below it, when that Named Group is added to a different Parent Group, all of the child named groups will be placed under the main Parent Group as well.
Figure 17: The Named Groups dialog window showing the Clutch Assembly removed from the Parent Engine Assembly Named Group.
The Remove Group from Parent tool works in the opposite way that the Add Group to Parent tool works. The Remove Group from Parent tool allows you to remove a Named Group from a Parent Group. In order to utilize this tool, select the Named Child Group under the Parent Group from the tree. Next, select the Remove Group from Parent and the named group will be removed.
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