An introduction to templates, tasks and tools

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Original Article Date:  March 16, 2006

Authored by Bentley’s Tim Hickman this article will acquaint you with the customize dialog, templates, tasks, and tools in MicroStation V8 XM Edition.

Note: The following content is based upon version and assumes that MS_DGNLIBLIST is pointing to the open design file.

The Tools tab will list your design files current tools, tasks and menus that are available. There are user tools which are custom tools created by the user, and there are application tools that are delivered by the applications.

There are user tasks which are tasks created by the user, and there are application tasks which are delivered with the application.

Notice the User Tools and the User Tasks both have a sub-heading of the file that’s currently open. It is this file that will store the custom tools and tasks that are created.

Templates control settings like level, color, fill mode, text style, cell name, cell scale, dimension style, and so forth. There are two ways to use templates:

1. Select the template to control the active attributes only.

2. Select / activate the template icon to link it to the element being placed. This way, if the template changes so does the element that it’s linked to.

Tools are similar to the old tool boxes of pre-XM MicroStaiton. Instead of controlling settings, you simply supply the command string, description, associate a template (to control the settings), and give it an icon.

Tasks contain tools and represent specific actions that you may execute to complete your design.
For example a road designer might want to define the following tasks:

Place Right of Way
Place Roadaway
Place Curbing
Place Barrier
Place Drainage Grading

The following image illustrates tasks delivered with the building workspace.

Note that all tools, tasks and templates all reside in the open design file which is being pointed to by MS_DGNLIBLIST.

When doing customization in MicroStation V8 XM Edition, tools and templates are typically created first. Once these are done, you can then create the tasks and menu items.

Tim Hickman

Tim is a technical support analyst with Bentley and works out of the Exton office.

AskInga Article #290