Tips & Tricks — Don’t make a new reference file clipping boundary.

Just change the one that’s there.

Rick Sewell, MicroStation Customer Service

Rick Sewell, beloved CAD ace, helps CAD users every day. Give him a call and find out how you can save time on your projects.

By Rick Sewell, Axiom’s Resident Service Genius

So you have your clip set up all nice and neat. Then you’re told that you must also include that little section of the reference that is just outside the boundary. Ah! What a pain to have to re-clip the whole thing. My solution is to not do it! Instead, just adjust the existing clip boundary. Here’s how:

  1. Go to File | References.
  2. Select the reference that has a clipping boundary you’d like to edit.

    microstation-tips-clipping-boundary-1

    Figure 1. The “Hilite Mode” in the References dialog box provides options for controlling the way references are identified.

  3. Set the “Hilite Mode:” to “Boundaries”. This will highlight the clipping boundary for the selected reference.

    microstation-tips-clipping-boundary-2

    Figure 2. Notice the pink edge. That is the reference file clipping boundary being highlighted.

  4. You’ll now be able to see the file clipping boundary. If you were to now left-click the clip boundary and drag, you could move the reference and the boundary.

  5. Pick the “Element Selection” tool.

    microstation-tips-clipping-boundary-3

    Figure 3. Most people don’t realize how much control the “Element Selection” tool has over reference file clipping boundaries.

  6. In the “Element Selection” dialog box, you’ll see a little button off to the right by itself with a “No” symbol (red circle with a line through it) on it. Hover your mouse over it and a fly-over text will display “Disable Handles”. This button defines whether or not you are controlling just the reference file boundary or the reference file and boundary together. (If you were to now left-click the clip boundary and drag while the “Disable Handles” button is active, you would move both the reference and the boundary together.)

  7. Disable the “Disable Handles” feature so that you can modify just the boundary, not the boundary and the reference.
  8. Left-click on your clipping boundary and you’ll see handles show up at the vertices.

    microstation-tips-clipping-boundary-4

    Figure 4. The dashed line on the outside represents where the clipping boundary will end up when you stop dragging.

  9. Now, left-click on any of the vertices and drag it to change the location of the point. Doing this modifies the shape and size of your clipping boundary.

So, don’t just delete your clipping boundary. Change it!

Want More MicroStation Tips? Call Now!
For more information on cool tips and tricks, check out our LearningBay courses by visiting learningbay.com/microstation. You can also schedule a free demonstration about training solutions or talk with one of our MicroStation Consultants by calling 727-442-7774 extension 3530.

Send Us Your MicroStation Tips!
Send your favorite MicroStation tip or trick to Support@AxiomInt.com. We will give you full credit for the tip and your peers will look at you with reverence.

MicroStation Tips & Tricks: Plotting a 3D Reference as a 3D PDF

By Rick Sewell, Axiom Director of Customer Services

microstation-customer-service-rick-sewell-2

Rick Sewell, beloved CAD ace, lives to help CAD users get their projects done on time. He really lives for this stuff. Give him a call and put him to the test.

If you want to impress your co-workers and superiors, then provide them with a 3D PDF that really shows your handiwork. (As a note, you will need a PDF viewer that can handle 3D PDFs such as Adobe PDF Viewer or BlueBeam’s Revu.) Here’s how:

  1. Start by opening your sheet model and ensure you have your 3D reference attached.
  2. microstation-today-3d-pdf-1

    Figure 1. It’s easy to create 3D PDFs from 3D references. This figure shows two 3D reference models that were attached before plotting.

  3. Go to File | References to load your “References” dialog box.
  4. Highlight the reference that you want plotted in 3D.
  5. microstation-today-3d-pdf-2

    Figure 2. Use the “References” dialog box to select the 3D reference or references you want to plot in your 3D PDF file.

  6. Click the little “Plot as 3D (PDF)” icon that sits at the bottom, middle of the “References” dialog box.
  7. Now go to File | Print…
  8. From the “Print” dialog box click on the “Printer” icon.
  9. You’ll be prompted to name and save your PDF. Name it what you’d like, set the location you want it saved and then press the {Save} button to begin creation of your PDF.
  10. Next, go to the location where the file was saved and double-click to open it.
  11. microstation-today-3d-pdf-3

    Figure 3. Hovering your mouse over the image of the reference that was plotted activates a toolbar with icons that have functions that allow you to navigate your 3D file.

  12. Use the items on the toolbar to navigate around your 3D file.

Want More MicroStation Know-how? Call Now!
For more information on cool tips and tricks, check out our LearningBay courses by visiting www.AxiomInt.com. You can also schedule a free demonstration about training solutions or talk with one of our MicroStation Consultants by calling 727-442-7774 extension 3530.

Send Us Your MicroStation Tips!
Send your favorite MicroStation tip or trick to WebRequest@AxiomInt.com. We will give you full credit for the tip and your peers will look at you with reverence.

10 Tricks with MicroStation Reference Attachments

These video tutorials will save you time.

Ed Mendoza

Ed Mendoza, veteran CAD Professional and Axiom Learning Expert, provides tips from his storehouse of experience.

What if every time you had to work with MicroStation reference attachments you had a few tricks up your sleeve that made your work easier and could save you minutes or even hours of time? I’ve created ten free video tips that will show you time-saving tricks such as how to:

  • Gray out your reference attachments to make your active file stand out.
  • Apply 3D display styles to 2D reference views.
  • Use selection handles to adjust your clip boundary and relocate your reference attachments.
  • Correctly display both visible and hidden edges in 3D reference views.
  • And much more.

Want to learn more? Just click here to see more articles.

MicroStation Tips & Tricks: Load Your Favorite MicroStation V8i Command Fast with a Function Key

By Rick Sewell, Axiom Director of Customer Services

microstation-customer-service-rick-sewell-2

Rick Sewell, beloved CAD ace, lives to help CAD users get their projects done on time. He really lives for this stuff. Give him a call and put him to the test.

Busy MicroStation users are always on the lookout for faster ways to get work done. Covered here is a simple way to speed things up using your Function keys.

Have you ever noticed that the row of keys at the top of your keyboard that start with “F” never seem to get much use? Well, it just so happens you can make use of those F-keys (Function keys) to invoke dialog boxes or commands in MicroStation.

It’s really simple to assign commands to the Function keys. You can use Function keys by themselves or in combination with other keys. In this example, I’ll show you how to load AccuDraw using the key sequence {Shift+F12}.

  1. Go to Workspace | Function Keys…
  2. microstation-tips-tricks-function-key-01

    Figure 1. “Function Keys” is the dialog box that allows you to assign commands to your F-Keys.

  3. Toggle on the “Shift” key by checking it in the upper segment of the box.
  4. Select “F12” from the pull-down list.
  5. In the “Action:” window, enter the MicroStation keyin command “AccuDraw Activate”. (See Figure 2.)
  6. microstation-tips-tricks-function-key-02

    Figure 2. In addition to using the function key, you can also use any combination of {Ctrl}, {Alt} and {Shift} for a total of 96 different combinations.

  7. Press {OK} to close the “Function Keys:” dialog box.
  8. Now, try out your new trick by holding down the shift key and pressing “F12”.

Remember, you can enter any valid MicroStation keyin command you want. In case you’re wondering, MicroStation does publish their key-ins in “Help”. Go to Help | Contents.

microstation-tips-tricks-function-key-03

Figure 3. Assigning function keys to the MicroStation key-ins that you use on a regular basis can save you time when working on a project. You can find a full list of MicroStation’s key-in commands by going to Help | Help Topics while in MicroStation.

MicroStation is the powerful CAD system that it is, because it can be made to work for you. Use this tip and get your projects done faster.

Want More MicroStation Know-how? Call Now!
For more information on cool tips and tricks, check out our LearningBay courses by visiting www.AxiomInt.com/microstation-training. You can also schedule a free demonstration about training solutions or talk with one of our MicroStation Consultants by calling 727-442-7774 extension 3418.

Send Us Your MicroStation Tips!
Send your favorite MicroStation tip or trick to MsTips@AxiomInt.com. We will give you full credit for the tip and your peers will look at you with reverence.

Tips & Tricks — Create more MicroStation screen real estate.

By Rick Sewell
It seems that for every project that requires design work there are special menus that you have to use, certain palettes you need to keep open — not to mention the usual main menus you keep open all the time. Sometimes you cover more of your screen with menus than you do with your actual view window.

By default, MicroStation loads with the title bar at the top, a row of pull-down menus below that, then rows of docked menus (or at least one row) and finally your MicroStation View window. Did you ever notice that the row of pull-down menus usually spans across half or less than half of the MicroStation interface? You’ve got half a row of blank space after that! Seems like a bit of wasted real estate to me.

The typical user has at least one custom pull-down menu and a whole lot of space-eating menus and palettes.

  1. Here is a great tip to get that space into use and to free up a bit more real estate for your view window.
  2. From the main MicroStation menu, choose Workspace|Configuration. This opens the Configuration dialog box.
  3. Along the left side, set the “Category” to “All (Alphabetical)”.
  4. Scroll down the list of configuration variables until you find “MS_MAINMENUDOCKINGBESIDE”.
  5. Double-click on the variable or select the name with a single data point and press the <Edit…> button. This opens the “Edit Configuration Variable” dialog box.

Use the “Edit Configuration Variable” dialog box to change the value for the MS_MAINMENUDOCKINGBESIDE variable. Changing the value to “1” (as shown here) will allow you to dock toolboxes right next to the Main Menu.

  1. Type in the number “1” as the value.
  2. Press the <OK> button to close the Edit Configuration Variable dialog box.
  3. Using the secret “no mouse required” method, you can easily select all files with a “.dgn” or other extension in a folder and, optionally, all its subfolders and then add them to a list of files in one fell swoop. The list is now ready to process by many of Axiom’s software tools such as FileFixer.

  4. Press the <OK> button to close the Configuration dialog box. You will be prompted to save the changes made. Press <Yes> to accept the changes.
  5. Finally, close and restart MicroStation for the change to take place.Once MicroStation has been restarted, toolboxes can be docked right next to the Main Menu.

Want More MicroStation Know-how? Call Now!
For more information on cool tips and tricks, check out our LearningBay courses by filling out the form on the right. You can also schedule a free demonstration about training solutions or talk with one of our Consultants by calling 727-442-7774.

Tips & Tricks: How to Create Multi-page PDFs Directly from MicroStation!

Rick Sewell, MicroStation Customer Service

Rick Sewell, beloved CAD ace, lives to help CAD users get their projects done on time. He really lives for this stuff. Give him a call and put him to the test.

By Rick Sewell, Axiom Director of Customer Services
Here in Axiom Support Land, people regularly ask us if we have a tool that will perform some specific task in MicroStation. Usually, the answer is “Yes” and we show them the tool and how it works to save them time. But sometimes we give a different answer. One question that comes up quite often is “Does Axiom have a tool that will allow you to print multiple MicroStation files to a single PDF file?” My answer, “Nope, no need. You can already do that in MicroStation V8i.”
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Top 10 Forgotten MicroStation Commands

Which ones do you know?

MicroStation has what, a gazillion commands? I’d place bets that no one actually knows all of them. I’d also place bets that no one really needs to know them either. (Might make for a good reality TV show of engineers, if the rest of the population were smart enough to understand the humor.) So there’s a lot of commands and you don’t need to know them all. But are there some that you were never told about (or have forgotten over the years) that would come in really handy on the project you’re working on now?

Mike Arroyo MicroStation Today

Mike Arroyo, Axiom’s Vice President of Learning and MicroStation Evangelist, has been helping CAD users for over 20 years.

Come and Get ‘Em!
Axiom’s MicroStation gurus were tasked with putting together the top ten forgotten (or never taught) commands that users should know and use but typically don’t. Whether you’ve forgotten about these tips, were never taught them in a classroom (Remember those?) or the local CAD manager (or Joe in the cubicle next to yours) never went over them, they’re available now — for free.

The commands are covered in a series of ten short, two-minute videos, one per video. Just go to Tips.AxiomInt.com and see how many you’re using (or missing).

Tips & Tricks: Change Your Element Information Display

By Rick Sewell, Axiom Director of Customer Services

Rick Sewell, MicroStation Customer Service

Rick Sewell, beloved CAD ace, lives to help CAD users get their projects done on time.

By Rick Sewell, Axiom Director of Customer Services
For years, you’ve been using the Element Information tool to see what kind of stuff your elements are made of. While you usually find the information you’re looking for, you also find a whole lot more information that you never want. This has changed in SELECTseries 3. Now there are settings that allow you more control over what information is displayed when you choose the Element Information tool.
Here’s a look (Figure 1) at the traditional results when using the Element Information tool:

Figure 1. The standard-issue, information-laden Element Information dialog box. In SELECTseries 3, this information can now be customized to display only what you want it to display.

Notice that at the very top it shows “Line” as the element type and then all the element details are beneath that. But what if you want to display something different than the default stuff that comes out of the box? For instance, what if you only want to display certain element details? In this example, I’ll show you how you can see elements sorted by color. Here’s how.

  1. Go to Settings | Element Information.
  2. Press “Type” next to “Organize By” and you’ll be provided with the following listed options: Type, Name, Level, Color, Style and Weight.

    Figure 2. With the new settings dialog box in SELECTseries 3, you can thin out the Element Information output to only the information you want!

  3. Choosing any one of the listed options will make it so that the item selected is now the one that will be reported at the top of your Element Information tool output.
  4. Now press “Show” next to the “Property Grid” and you’ll have the option to select “Hide”. Hide will make it so that no element properties other than the ones controlled by the “Organize By” feature will display the next time you use the Element Information tool.

Check out what you can do with colors in Figure 3.

Figure 3. So clean. The Element Information output now displays only what you tell it to.

For the example in Figure 3, I set “Organize By” to “Color” and “Property Grid” to “Hide”. Now all you can see is the element sorted by color. The number 2 indicates the color number and the number 1 in parentheses represents the number of elements that have that color. To make this more clear, here is what it would look like if you selected multiple elements with differing colors:

Figure 4. Now you can easily see how many elements use a specific color with the new Element Information settings.

When you have multiple elements selected, you can expand each listed color in the list to see exactly what element type is using that color. This works the same way for which ever element property you’re sorting by in the “Organize” By” list. Give it a whirl and try different settings to optimize this tool for you.

Want More MicroStation Know-how? Call Now!
For more information on cool tips and tricks, check out our LearningBay courses by visiting www.AxiomInt.com. You can also schedule a free demonstration about training solutions or talk with one of our MicroStation Consultants by calling 727-442-7774 extension 3222 or sending an e-mail.

Send Us Your MicroStation Tips!
Send your favorite MicroStation tip or trick to MsTips@AxiomInt.com. We will give you full credit for the tip and your peers will look at you with reverence.