Join Jeanne Aarhus for an in-depth discussion in this video Using Element Selection, part of Up and Running with Bentley MicroStation.
- The objective in this chapter is to take a look at how to use the Element Selection tool. The Element Selection tool is the large black arrow at the top of the Task Navigation dialogue. It is the first button in the main toolbox. When I use the Element Selection tool, one of the first things you need to check are a couple of the user preferences settings that specifically relate to element selection. Using the Workspace pull-down menu, select Preferences and select the Input category in the Preferences dialogue.
Verify that the Allow ESC key to stop the current command is turned on. Next, select the View Options category and verify that the Element Highlight Color and the Element Selection Set Color have been turned on and that the colors are different. Then pick OK to save these changes. Now we're ready to learn how to use the Element Selection tool. When you're in this tool, your Tool Settings dialogue gives you various icons to control how to select elements. The first row is your selection method.
You can select elements individually, with a block, with a multi-sided shape, a circle, or a line. The bottom row allows you to control whether you're creating a new selection set, adding to a set, subtracting from the set or selecting everything or clearing a set. If I go ahead and select an element, you'll see that my selection set color is magenta and if I hover on an element, my highlight color is cyan.
Remember, you need to be able to distinguish between a highlight and a selection. This is why the different colors is so important in the preferences. There is also a handle button in the Tool Settings dialogue that can be enabled or disabled. I want to enable the handles for this session. Now, when you select an element, you will have editable handles that you can select to modify the element. I usually do leave my handles enabled. If you select one element and then select another, by default, the first one will deselect automatically.
So initially it appears that you can only have one element selected at a time. That's not necessarily true. If you hold down the ctrl key, you can select as many elements as you'd like and if you still use the ctrl key, you can even select a selected element to deselect it. That's a quick and easy way to select and deselect elements without having to mess with any of those icons in the Tool Settings dialogue. Let's look at a couple more tricks. If you drag your cursor from left to right, you are in an Inside Selection Mode.
Everything inside this box will be selected. To deselect, I just click somewhere out in a blank area of my view window. If I drag the other direction from right to left, I get a dashed edge box and this box represents the Overlap mode in the selection which means everything that is inside the selection box and overlaps the selection box will be selected. Again, you can clear your selection by clicking anywhere in a blank area of the view window.
If you select using the box, you can always come in and use the ctrl key to deselect a single element. If you drag your box and you have an Inside Selection Mode and you wished you had drawn the box the other direction because you wanted the Overlap Mode, use the shift key as a toggle to toggle between Inside and Overlap. Now, let's practice selecting some different objects. If you select a text element, you will have different handles available than you did on other graphics.
The text handle provides a blue square handle and a green circle handle. In all honesty, there isn't much useful functionality connected to the blue square handles but the round green ones allow me to rewrap the paragraph element. If I select a complex-line type like this B-spline Curve, I can use those handles to modify the curve. I will hold down the ctrl key and drag a box around some of these handles. I can activate multiple handles and then when I drag them, the B-spline keeps those handles' relationship to each other consistent.
Pretty cool trick. If I select a shape or smartline and I grab one of the handles, by default, it will automatically adjust the vertex of using orthogonal or non-orthogonal. If I use the alt key, I can toggle that mode between orthogonal or non-orthogonal. Now, let's practice selecting some elements using some graphic puzzles that I created. There's more than one way to select elements but I like to practice and give you some ideas to make your selections quicker and more efficient.
For example, if I wanted you to select all of the circles, you could select each one individually but that wouldn't be the most efficient method. I would use the Inside Mode and drag a box around all of those circles. I tend not to want to use the buttons in the Tool Settings dialogue because I think there are easier on-the-fly methods for accomplishing the same thing. I want to drag from left to right because if I drag from right to left, that would be Overlap Mode and I would select the lines as well.
But remember, if you ever drag the wrong direction, just use the shift key to change the mode. Remember, a solid line is Inside and a dash line is Overlap. Now, the question is how would you select all of the linear elements? You could use the line icon in the Tool Settings dialogue, but what could I do on the fly? Just drag an overlap box across all four lines. If I wanted to select all of the rectangles but nothing else, I would probably do a couple of inside selections.
First, select the rectangles on top and then use the ctrl key and drag a box around the bottom rectangles. If I accidentally select something that I don't want, I can use a third box and the ctrl key to get rid of the excess selected elements. Remember, to clear a selection set, all you really have to do is left click anywhere in a blank area of the view window. You can also clear a selection set by using the Clear button in the Tool Settings dialogue. When you have elements selected, if you look at the status bar, the selection field tells you that you have an active selection set and how many elements are in it.
If you left click on that field, you also get some additional commands that allow you to select all and select none or clear.
Jeanne Aarhus begins with a tour of the interface and an introduction to the "language" of MicroStation. She then shows how to manipulate geometry, use the alignment and selection tools, work with levels and cells, and annotate and print drawings. The course features both architectural and civil examples, so you'll get a good understanding of MicroStation's many applications: in architecture, engineering, construction, utility systems, roads and rail, communications networks, water and wastewater networks, process plants, mining, and more.
- Navigating the interface efficiently
- Understanding MicroStation file management
- Generating basic 2D geometry
- Manipulating 2D geometry
- Drawing with AccuDraw and AccuSnap
- Using standard levels and cell symbols
- Setting up reference files
- Adding text and dimensions
- Printing the final drawing file