FAQs Facts (Productivity Corner MicroStation Tutorial)

1 Feb, 2007 By: Cadalyst Staff

Find out more with Bentley's FAQs and TechNotes for MicroStation users.

If you ever run into any questions on how to do something in MicroStation, and you can't find it in your Help menu, be sure to check out Bentley's FAQ and TechNotes section for MicroStation V8 online. Here you'll find an array of answers to both everyday and out-of-the-ordinary questions. This month we highlight just a couple, so you can see what type of information is available. You can also find information on requirements for MicroStation XM, new variables, migrating customizations and more.

Extra Mouse and Puck Buttons
New functionality in MicroStation V8 XM Edition supports the use of extra buttons on a mouse or digitizer puck to activate any MicroStation keyin without the use of a Cursor Button (or CB) menu.

MicroStation users (especially digitizer users) have long been familiar with the CB menu, a menu cell that allows the extra buttons on a digitizer puck to directly activate MicroStation keyins. Now that many brands of mice also come with extra buttons, an easier way has been developed to use them. MicroStation V8 XM Edition supports up to twelve XButtons that you can assign to any MicroStation keyin. You can then map any mouse or puck button to the desired XButton function.

This two-step process begins by activating Workspace / Button assignments. A new Button Assignments dialog box appears.


Note that in addition to the standard Data, Tentative, Reset and Command functions, there are now twelve XButton functions that you can select from the drop-down menu. Once selected, you can assign the XButton to any MicroStation keyin by typing that keyin into the Action box.

This box allows the use of any combination of the CTRL, ALT and Shift keys in conjunction with the XButton, so that you can assign up to eight different commands to each XButton. These settings are stored in ?\Workspace\interfaces\Buttons\default.btnmenu

Once the XButtons are set, prepare for the second step by clicking Remap Buttons. This brings up the standard Button Mappings dialog.


To map buttons in this dialog, click the desired selection in the Buttons column, place the cursor in the Button Definition Area at the bottom of the dialog and click the mouse or puck button you wish to assign to that function. Button mappings are stored in your preference file.

Note: In testing this with a Microsoft Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer 2.0, the extra buttons were identified in the Invoked column as buttons 4 and 5.

When complete, the assignment logic goes as follows:

Mouse or puck button = XButton function = MicroStation keyin

Once setup is complete, the mapped buttons directly activate the desired MicroStation keyins.

Custom Linestyles
When using custom dash/gap linestyles with elements that contain corners, there is a chance that the corner of an element may not be apparent when a gap falls at the intersection of two segments. This TechNote will provide a method to ensure that all intersections of an element will contain a dash.

The figure below displays a custom linestyle with a stroke pattern that does not intersect at the corner.


In order to resolve this, the custom linestyle definition must be modified for the stroke pattern. Toggle the Single Segment option on for the stroke pattern. Choose File / Save to save the linestyle, and then update the view to see the updated linestyle.



The single segment places the starting segment of the stroke pattern at the beginning of the corner. The next step is to have the corner show the stroke component for both the end of the first segment and start of the next segment. In order to achieve this, the Distance field must be changed to Fraction with a value of 0.5. The Length option of the gap portion of the stroke component also must be changed from Fixed to Variable.



By changing these few options for the stroke component of the custom linestyle, the custom linestyle will have a partial dash appear at each vertex of an element.

Note that with the settings above, the point symbols may not appear if the distance between the vertices is too small to fit the point symbols. The result may be a continuous line.

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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Lynn Allen

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Which factor is most important in your selection of a mouse or other input device for CAD use?
Wireless connectivity
3D capability
Programmability/extra buttons
Size/portability/desktop footprint
I just use whatever came with my workstation/was provided by my employer
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