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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.

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