STAAD.Pro Help

Options dialog

Used to control display items such as fonts, colors and styles for different labels, units, etc. The tabs of the dialog are explained in the following pages.

Opens when Display options is selected on the Settings tab in the Backstage view.

View Highlight tab

Controls the simultaneous display of several view windows on screen. STAAD allows us to create multiple "child" view windows from the default "Whole Structure" ("parent") view. Typically, the "parent" view would display the entire structure, while the "child" windows would display selected portions of the structure in various orientations.

When one or more "child" windows are displayed on screen along with the "parent" window, the parent window highlights the portion of the structure contained in a "child" window, whenever that child window is active (gets focus). The next figure shows that the View 1 window is active and the portion of the structure contained in the View 1 window is highlighted in the Whole Structure window.

The View Highlight tab controls how the Whole Structure window highlights the portion of the structure contained in a "child" window. In the above figure, the Highlight View in Whole Structure Window group is related to saved views, while the Show Zoomed Area in Parent View group is related to the view window created using the Zoom Dynamic option. 

Highlight When checked, the 'Parent" or Whole Structure window highlights the portion of the structure contained in the "child" window.
Width Controls the width of the highlighted portion of the structure. The associated color button allows selection of the highlight color.

Tolerance tab


Controls the minimum allowable spacing between two adjacent nodes so that the program does not generate errors of duplicate or overlapping joints. Type a Tolerance in the associated edit box.

Split member if new node is added on the member

Among the various methods available for adding a beam in the Modeling mode, two of the methods are using

  1. The Beam sub-page of the Geometry page from the left side of the screen, and,
  2. Snap/Grid Node - Beam option of the Geometry menu from the top of the screen.

In these methods, if the start or end point of a member being drawn (let us call this member B) happens to fall within the span point of an existing member (let us call this member A) , the setting chosen for this option will determine what happens to member A.

If the above option is switched on, the member A will be split into 2 members, and there will now be a total of 3 members incident from this common point.

If it is switched off, the member A will not be split, and the structure will be created as though the 2 members are NOT connected at the point in question.

One may test this by doing the following. Let us say that member A goes from (0,0,0) to (0,10,0), and that member B goes from (0,5,0) to (7,5,0).

If one were to use one of the methods (a) or (b) described above, it will be evident that leaving the option on will cause 3 members to be created, 5,5 and 6 units long. These 3 members will be connected at the common point (0,5,0).

Leaving the option off will cause only 2 members to be created, 10 and 7 units long respectively.

Here is another example of the relevance of this setting. Let us assume that a building is being assembled in two steps. First, the beam-column skeleton is created. Following that, the slabs and walls are created using the meshing capabilities of the Geometry | Structure Wizard option. If any of the nodes of the element mesh fall within the span lengths of the beams and columns, those beams and columns will either be split, or left unchanged, depending upon the settings here.

Tolerance for Warped Plate Element Detection

Used to so specify a tolerance for the plate warping check. By default, plate warping is reported when there is a 30 degree angle (or larger) between the normal to two triangles which are formed by splitting a quad element. This splitting can be done two ways so there are four triangles. If any have more than the tolerance angle (in degrees) between them, then an error is reported. See "To check for warped plates" for how this value is used in the interface.

Set the Save As Default option to make this the default tolerance for warped plate checks.

Tip: Alternatively, warped plates can be checked by the STAAD engine using the SET PLATE FLATNESS TOLERANCE command. See . However, checking for warped plates in the User Interface allows you to quickly correct any plates prior to running an analysis.

Tables tab

Used to choose the font used in various tables.

Sample Displays the current typeface settings used for Tables.
Font… Opens the Font dialog, which is used to select font type, size, style, etc. used in tables.

Assign Dlgs tab

Used to control the display of labels for Property, Load, Support etc. while these are being assigned.

Show all labels when dialog is open Displays labels for all assigned properties, loads, etc. when the corresponding dialog is opened.
Only show labels for selected items in dialog Displays labels for only the selected items
Show all labels, with labels for selected items in the following color Displays labels for the selected items in the specified color. Displays all other labels in default color.

Beam Labels/Plate Labels/Solid Labels/Load Labels/Load Icons/Annotation/Dimension tabs

These tabs offer options for labeling beams, plates, solids, etc. The Beam Labels tab controls how the labels for the beams (including the dimension of the members) appear on the screen, and is explained below.

Style Select any of the pre-defined styles for displaying the beam numbers.
Separator, Reference These options control how the property number reference is displayed with the member numbers.
Horizontal Alignment, Vertical Alignment These items determine the relative position of the label with respect to the member.
Font… Opens the Font dialog, which is used to select font type, size, style etc. for the label.
Opaque When checked, the labels behave as opaque objects, i.e. everything behind them become hidden.
Angle Text When checked, displays the labels inclined along the members.

Structure Units/Section Units/Force Units tabs

The Structure Units, Section Units and Force Units tabs offer options for specifying units for the structure, sectional views, forces, etc. The Section Units tab is described below and is shown in the next figure. 


Used to set the length units in which dimension lines are drawn on the screen. This feature dictates the values that will be displayed for the Dimension Beams facility as well as the Display Node to Node Dimension facility of the Tools menu.

Note: Changing units on these tabs does not change the input units in the Input Command File, the units are changed in the graphical display only.  To change units in the Input Command File, see Tools | Set Current Input Unit…menu.

The Section Units tab allows you to specify the units to display different data items such as sectional Area, Moment of Inertia, etc. Select the appropriate units from the available drop down list and specify the number of digits to be displayed after the decimal point using the Show spin boxes.


Used to set the length units in which certain property values are displayed on the screen. If you choose the General page followed by the Property page along the left side of the screen, a button called Values will be present along the right side of the screen. If properties have already been assigned to any members, you can examine the property values by clicking on the Values button. The terms D, Bf, Tf and Tw use the length settings of this facility. The same table may also be displayed by going to View | Tables | Section Properties.

OK Applies all changes made and closes the dialog
Cancel Closes the dialog without applying any changes.
Apply Applies all changes made. Only active if changes have been made since the dialog was opened or the Apply button was last clicked.
Help Opens the STAAD.Pro help window.