Productivity Corner: The Place Note Tool, Part 2

14 Sep, 2005 By: Bill Wandersleben,Frank Conforti Cadalyst

More options for the Place Note tool in MicroStation V8 2004 Edition

Last month we discussed updates to the Place Note tool in MicroStation V8 2004. This month we'll look at some more of options for this useful tool.

Horizontal Attachment is a nice feature. For the most part this will be set to auto but you can force this to the left or right (figure 1).

Figure 1. If the leader is forced to the right of the text, it allows you to point under the text portion of the note.

The Edit About tool may be a bit confusing at first glance. It determines where the Text Node is placed on a multi-line note. The text will edit about the location of the Text Node (figures 2 and 3).

Figure 2. The Text Node (35) is at the top.

Figure 3. When you add a line, then the Leader line stays at the Text Node and the third line is added.

In the next example the Edit About is set to bottom (figure 4). Notice that the Text Node (36) is at the bottom. When the third line is added, the Leader is extended and the note moves up.

Figure 4. Note how the leader line moves up when a third line of text is added to the note.

The Place Note Tool Settings Let's review the options that you can find in the Tool Settings window (figure 5).

Figure 5. Even with dimension styles dedicated to the Place Note tool, you still have a lot of control over its behavior via the traditional Tool Settings window.

For long term users of MicroStation, the fundamental placement behavior of the Place Note tool changed dramatically with the introduction of MicroStation V8. Now, the Tool settings window contains an option revert the placement behavior to that of pre-V8 (allow the placement of the text first, then the terminator location). Another convenience added to the tool settings is the Location Automatic or Manual option. Automatic will just place leader with a no joints. The manual location will allow multiple joints in the leader with additional data for each joint (figure 6).

Figure 6. An example of what happens when Location is set to manual. In this mode you will need to use Reset to finish the command. Watch your screen prompts!

Don't forget, you can add or delete additional joints by using the Insert Vertex or Delete Vertex tools located in the Modify tool box.

You can still associate notes to graphics the same way that dimensions are. If, for some reason, you lose the association, the leader line and terminator of the note will become dashed and bold as you would expect. Don't panic. You can simply use the Modify Element tool to re-associate the terminator back to the element. Even in the case where the note has not lost its association but you want to move this to a new element, you can change the association target with the Modify Element tool.

If you need to place the same note or similar note at a different location, a nice trick is to copy the text from one note (or for that matter just text) by using the Edit command first to populate the Word Processor then change commands to the Place Note or Text to restart the command with the populated text.

Working with dimension styles and text styles may be a challenge and can be a bit confusing to some. One hint for working with dimension and text styles is to use a common text style as part of a dimension style definition (figure 7). That way, the appearance of all your notes and the dimensions will be consistent in text appearance.



Figure 7. Note how the Text Style is set to Engineering in both the Place Note tool settings and in the Dimension Style Text tab.

One final nicety added to MicroStation V8 2005 edition is the use of graphic groups in the place note definition. In the past, when you deleted a note placed with the Place Note tool, it required at least two deletions (one for the text, one for the leader line). In the new version of MicroStation, the Place Note tool automatically assigns the same graphic group number to all of the elements associated with the current placed note. So to delete it (or move it), you simply turn on the Graphic Group lock, and select the note.

As you can see, this fundamental tool works much more efficiently and provides a greater detail of control over its appearance and behavior. See you next time as we cover another part of the MicroStation world.

About the Author: Bill Wandersleben

About the Author: Frank Conforti

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