Changes To Batch Print In MicroStation V8 2004 Edition [CS]

This Client Server article is republished in its entirety from 2004 for reference purposes.

By Ed Yepes, Technical Support Engineer, Bentley Corporate Office 09 November 2004

The Batch Print has undergone some changes in the MicroStation V8 2004 Edition. Some of these changes include: support for Models, Display Specification changes, Print Specification and Printing changes, Document Set Accounting variables, Single-Output-File Document Set support, Miscellaneous Batch Print changes, and new Print Boundary methods.

Model Support

The Batch Print is now controlled around a list box with multiple, resizeable columns instead of a single string. You can drag files/models within the list box to change the order. You can drag files from Windows Explorer to add them to the job set, or add them by dragging models from the Models dialog (within the same session of MicroStation or from another session).

The Batch Print now supports a description for each document within a set. This description can be used in a pen table text substitution.

Individual models may be added to the document set via key-in command. The syntax is:

Batchplt addmodel "design file" "model name" "description"

The "" symbols are literal.

By default, Batch Print now adds multiple entries to the print list when a design file is added. The model names are extracted from the input design file. There are two new configuration variables that can be used to control how models are automatically added to the Batch Print job set: MS_BATCHPRINT_ADD_ALL_MODELS and MS_BATCHPRINT_ADD_ONLY_SHEET_MODELS.

The recommended Batch Print workflow is one model per row, using Sheet as the print boundary method. Scanning for shape and cell print boundaries is still supported. It's also possible to use a regular expression for the model name. If a model name is specified, print area shape and cell are limited to that model. If a model name is not specified, the original MicroStation V8 behavior remains, where all models are scanned for matching shapes or cells. If no model name is specified, and no boundary scan is specified, the default model is plotted.

Display Specification Changes

The batch print display options specification now contains a color mode control. The choices are: as-is, monochrome, grayscale, and color.

The Fast Reference Clipping display option has been removed from Batch Print.

The default Display specification created the first time Batch Print is invoked has been renamed from WYSIWYG to As-is.

The broken association symbology print attribute may be specified in the Batch Print display specification. The choices are As-is, On, and Off.

Print Specification and Printing Changes

The Batch Print "print and boundary" sequence counter now begins at 1 rather than 0.

The Batch Print file format string may now contain variable references.

A new variable MS_BATCHPRINT_SETUPSYSPRT may be used to change the behavior of the Batch Print "Setup System Printer" button between invoking the Windows print selection and page setup dialog.

Batch Print now supports %m as an Output and Post Processing "Print to File" text replacement option. MicroStation allows the user to insert the model name in the output plot file name.

Document Set Accounting Variables

The Batch Print now publishes the following variables during the print process. These may be used in conjunction with pen table text substitution.


The number of documents (rows) in the Batch Print file list.  This number does not change depending on the number of items selected for printing.


The number of documents (rows) in the Batch Print file list that have been selected for printing.


The set document number currently being processed.  This number is relative to the start of the Batch Print file list, regardless of the first document selected.  For example, the current set document number for second row is 2, even if it is the first document being printed.  This number remains constant while multiple models and/or boundaries are processed for a single document.


The print document number currently being processed.  This number is relative to the first printed document.  For example, the current print document number for the second row is 1 if it is the first document being printed.  This number remains constant while multiple models and/or boundaries are processed for a single document.


The number of boundaries to be printed for the current document.


The current boundary number being processed for the current document.  This sequence begins at 1, and restarts with every document.


The current page number being processed.  This sequence begins at 1, and increases incrementally for each printed document, model, and boundary.  Given the design of Batch Print, it is not possible to determine the number of pages in advanced if multiple boundaries are used.


The model name of the current document being processed.


The Batch Print description of the current document being processed.


Single-Output-File Document Set Support

Batch print now supports a single-output-file document set checkbox in the printer specification, intended for use with the new PDF printer driver (PDF.PLT). The checkbox is disabled for all other drivers not containing the new document_set keyword. If the driver is document-capable, the checkbox allows the user to decide whether or not to group the pages in the document set.

Batch Print now supports a document set output filename edit field, intended for use with the new PDF printer driver (PDF.PLT), in both the printer specification (default value) and the print dialog (per-plot override). The edit field is enabled when the document set checkbox is checked. This control allows the user to specify a set filename that is different than the automatically generated filename of the first job in the set. This edit field is optional. If empty, the filename for the first job is used for the document set.

Miscellaneous Batch Print Changes

Batch Print now verifies if the key-in command it plans to send to the print dialog box is longer than the maximum allowable key-in length. If so, an error message is output and the command is not sent.

If MS_PLTR points to a directory instead of a plotter driver file (.plt), or is invalid, Batch Print is unable to create a new Printer specification. The error message should indicate which file could not be opened.

Note that you cannot exchange .psc files between different releases of MicroStation. If a MicroStation 8.1 user invokes Batch Print using an .spc file generated using MicroStation 8.5, he will receive warning messages regarding the new specification fields. The older Batch Print will strip the unknown data when it rewrites the .spc file, and therefore that data will no longer be present when the .spc is loaded by a MicroStation 8.5 user.

Print Boundary Methods

The Batch Print application now supports Sheet, Fit Master, and Fit All as print boundary methods in the area specification.

Please review the MicroStation product Help for more information and details of the Batch Print functionality.

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