MicroStation CONNECT Edition Help

Tool Properties

For each tool that you add to the open DGN file, you must decide which properties it will have and you must set those properties. You can add as many properties as needed to a tool. Once properties are added to a tool they appear in the Properties pane when the tool is selected. When you add a new tool it has the following default properties:

  • Key–in — Set to "null"
  • Balloon Text — Set to "New Tool"
  • Associate Template — Set to "Use Current Setting"
  • Template Path — Set to "None"
  • Icon — Set to the New Tool icon
  • Tool Presentation — Set to "Icon + Label"
  • Tool Type — Set to "Standard"
  • Dimension — Set to "Both"

If you copy an existing tool to add a new one, the new tool uses the properties of the copied tool. You can add, modify, and delete properties from the open DGN file's tool. When adding properties to a tool you can choose them from the following categories:

  • Design File Settings — Includes tool settings for snaps, angles, grid locks, stream line strings and curves, and others.
  • Lock Settings — Includes tool settings that turn on or off different types of locks.
  • General Settings — Includes icon, tool presentation, tool type, and dimension settings.
  • Command Data — Includes key-in, balloon text, and template settings.
  • Dialog Item Settings — You can use these properties to define tool settings.
Note: You cannot change the properties of a few tools that you can copy from the Application Tools to the open DGN file. These tools activate processing in an MDL application; therefore, they do not have a Key-in property and their other properties cannot be changed when you copy them to the open DGN file. Some examples are the View Attributes tool and most of the tools in the Primary ribbon group.

The following is a list of properties that can be added to a custom tool. The properties that are required to be set for a custom tool have an asterisk before their name. Not all properties are displayed by default.

Tool Properties
Design File Settings Key Point Snap Divisor  
  Axis Increment  
  Axis Start Angle The Axis Lock's start angle.
  Active Angle  
  Snap Override  
  Snap Mode  
  Grid Unit  
  Grid Reference  
  Unit Lock Roundoff Distance field related to unit locks.
  Tag Increment  
  Tab Size for INCLUDE command  
  Stream Delta  
  Stream Tolerance  
  Stream Angle  
  Stream Area  
  Grid Configuration Choices are Orthogonal or Offset. If you want the grid points aligned isometrically, choose Offset and set Grid Aspect to 0.2886751346.
  Grid Aspect  
  Grid Angle The grid rotation angle; a value between 0 and 360 degrees.
  Grid Orientation  
  Surface Cap Mode The type specified when placing slabs, spheres, cylinders, cones, tori, and wedges. If set to “Cap,” they are considered solids. If set to “Uncapped, “ they are considered surfaces.
  Cell Library  
  Unit Lock Roundoff Ratio Sets the Unit Lock Roundoff by multiplying this value times the Unit Lock Roundoff value. If this value is zero and Unit Lock is on, the Grid Aspect is used.
  IGDS Compatible Dimension  
  IGDS Compatible Multi-line  
  Isometric Plane  
Locks Association  
  Text Node  
  Graphic Group  
  Fence Overlap  
  Fence Clip  
  Fence Void  
  Stretch Cells  
  ACS Plane  
  Annotation Scale  
  Show Shared and Parametric Cell Definitions  
  True Scale Cells  
General Settings * Icon When you add a new tool it uses the New Tool icon by default. You can change that icon to a file in the open DGN file, an imported bitmap file (BMP file), an imported icon file (ICO file), or a MicroStation icon. You can use the Import BMP dialog to import bitmap files in multiple sizes. Imported ICO files change size automatically so you need to import only one ICO file.

If you import an icon from the Import Selected Icons or Import Selected Bitmaps lists, it is copied into the open DGN file. Icons in the open DGN file can be selected in the Define Icon for Tool dialog. Icons chosen from the other lists are not copied into the open DGN file because they are already included in the software. If an icon is imported from the Application Tools, the name of its toolbox is appended to the beginning of its name so that it is unique from the Application Tool.

  Tool Presentation Determines what is presented for the tool in the custom toolbox: Icon and Label (the default), Icon Only, or Label Only.
  Tool Type Determines the behavior of the tool. "Standard" (the default) makes the tool active until you select another tool. "Push Button" is used to adjust settings. For example, the key-in "co=3;lv=default;wt=2;as=1" would set the active color, level, line weight, and line style.
  Dimension Specifies whether the tool will be active in 2D DGN models, 3D DGN models, or both (the default).

If you try to use a tool whose dimension is not the same as the active model's dimension, you will see an error message in the status bar and the tool will not become active.

  Show/Hide Test Determines whether the tool is displayed in the toolbox based on the test selected in this drop-down menu. The tests are based on named expressions.
  Help ID Used in internal implementations to link a custom tool to a help topic. The syntax for MicroStation is ustnhelp:MicroStation HelpStringName.

If a help ID is assigned, you can right-click a custom tool in the Tasks dialog and select Display Help.

Command Data * Key-in Enter a key-in for the tool to run. You also can set this to NULL.

If a key-in is defined by an MDL application, it is preceded by the MDL application's task ID within brackets. When copying a tool to a DGN library, if you want to use the original key-in be sure to include the task ID within brackets and the key-in. If you want to activate a different key-in, replace the entire string.

You can use the following syntax to make a customized tool run multiple MDL applications and key-ins: [taskID_1;taskID_2;] key-in_1;key-in_2;key-in_3. The number of MDL applications does not have to match the number of key-ins. First, each MDL application is loaded if it is not already loaded; second, each key-in is processed.

This syntax applies only to DGN library-based tools.

  * Balloon Text Tooltip that appears when you pass the pointer over the icon.
  * Associate Template Sets the status of the Active Element Template icon when the tool is used. "Always" turns on the icon. "Never" turns off the icon. "Use Current Setting" does not change the status of the icon when the tool is used. If the icon is turned on and the Template Path is defined, elements that you place with the tool will be associated with the template.
  Template Path Specifies the template with which the tool is associated and the template group in which the template is located. You can change the template and path or change it to "None." If Associate Template is set to "Never" but a template and path are specified, the elements that you place will use the template's properties but will not be associated with the template.
  Default Template You can assign a default template to a tool. If it is assigned, when you use the tool the default template's properties are activated. Then if Associate Template and Template Path are set, the associated template's properties are applied to the element. If a property is specified in the associated and default templates, the associated template's property takes precedence. If a property is specified only in the default template, it is applied to the element. Then if a key-in is specified it runs, and if dialog item settings are specified they are applied to the element.
Dialog Item Settings Dialog Item Name You can add tool settings to custom tools. For example, you could create a customized tool that places lines that are constrained to a certain length.

The Dialog Item Name is the technical name of the tool setting in the tool settings dialog. The first part of the dialog item name is always "ToolSettings," no matter which tool is currently selected. The dialog and item names are case-insensitive.

  Type Type for the Dialog Item Name above. The supported types are Literal, Distance, Area, and Volume. These values are converted from the open DGN file's working units to meters and are stored in meters.
  Value Value for the Type above. For example, if your custom tool places a line that is constrained, one of the dialog items would be the line's length, which is a distance. The value is the pre-set length of the line.