MicroStation PowerDraft CONNECT Edition Help

Defining Print Definition and Output File Name Expressions

Print Organizer uses MicroStation PowerDraft expressions to generate print definition and output file names and to rename print definitions. Print definitions are created when you add files to Print Organizer and output file names are created when you print files to disk.

When assigning print definition and output file names, you can select one of the predefined expressions built into Print Organizer, a named expression, or a custom expression stored in the print set file.

  • Predefined expressions — Predefined expressions are built into Print Organizer and offer many of the commonly-used patterns for both print definition names and output file names.
  • Custom expressions — Custom expressions are created from combinations of other expressions, symbols, and operators.
  • Named expressions — Named expressions are created using the product's Named Expressions dialog and are stored in the configured DGN libraries defined by the following configuration variables (MS_GUIDGNLIBLIST and MS_DGNLIBLIST_PRINTING).

Print Organizer stores a default print definition name expression and a default output file name expression in each new print set file. You can change these two default expressions using the Default Print Definition Name Expression and Output File Name Expression dialogs. The expressions defined in these two dialogs only affect newly created print definitions and output file names; however, you can use the Update print definition name button on the Advanced properties dialogs to update existing print definition names using a new expression.

You can also define configuration variables to override the software's default print definition name and output file name expressions. These configuration variables may contain either the name of an expression in a DGN library or an explicit expression string. It is important to note that these configuration variables do not override the print definition name expression and output file name expression in an existing print set file, they only affect new print set files.

  • MS_PLT_DEFAULT_PRINTDEF_NAME_EXPRESSION — overrides the software's default print definition name expression.
  • MS_PLT_DEFAULT_OUTPUT_FILENAME_EXPRESSION — overrides the software's default output file name expression.

Expression Components

An expression is composed of a series of components, where a component may be a symbol, a number, a string, or an operator. The symbols available for use in expressions are published by various symbol providers, and are grouped by symbol sets such as System.String, System.Path, PrintSet, and PrintDefinition. You can generate an HTML report showing all available symbol sets and the symbols available in each by selecting Utilities > Report Symbols from the Named Expressions dialog.

Note: In order for the PrintSet and PrintDefinition symbol sets to show in the report, you must have Print Organizer open.

The following table displays the different types of components and an example of each. For a complete list of components, see Named Expression Components.

Component Example
Symbols "PrintDefinition.SheetNumber"


Operators <, >, =, +, –, *, /
Numbers 0,1,2
Strings "Date", "-"

An example output file name expression is shown in the following table. The result of the output file name expression is 001–plans.pdf, assuming the print set name is "plans.pset" and the printer driver configuration file is pdf.pltcfg.

Expression Result
System.String.Format (“{0:D3}”, PrintDefinition.SetPrintDefNumber) & “-” & PrintSet.Name 001–plans.pdf