MicroStation PowerDraft CONNECT Edition Help

Using Complex Chains and Complex Shapes

A complex chain (sometimes called a "complex string") is a series of connected open elements (lines, line strings, arcs, curves) grouped for manipulation as a single entity.

A complex shape, like a complex chain, is a series of connected open elements grouped for manipulation as a single object. The difference is that the first and last element in a complex shape are connected, thereby closing a shape.

Left: Complex shape created from arc and line string with Create Complex Shape tool. Center and right: Union and intersection of circle and block created with Create Region tool.

You can create complex chains and shapes, from existing elements, with the Groups tools. Also, you can use the Place SmartLine tool to create a complex shape or chain.

Note: Complex chains and complex shapes are complex elements. A complex element is a grouping of two or more elements that is manipulated as a single entity. Cells also are complex elements. (If you develop application software for Bentley products, you should know that a "complex header" element is stored in the DGN file for each grouping.) To reverse the grouping, you can use the Drop Element tool in the Groups toolbox to drop the status of a complex element. That is, to convert the complex element to its component elements so they can be manipulated individually.