How to Get the View Attributes Right the First Time in MicroStation Files Translated From AutoCAD

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One more translation problem simplified

By Rick DeWitt, Axiom Senior Product Manager

In practically every translation project between AutoCAD and MicroStation, there is always something that messes things up and needs to be changed to keep the customer happy and meet the CAD standards that they require.

Figure 1. Translation Manager’s main dialog box is the starting point for ensuring all your files are translated right the first time.

One complaint I hear all the time is that the “view attributes” of the translated MicroStation design files are not set the way the MicroStation user wants them.

View attributes control whether or not certain things like “Fill”, “Grid”, “Tags”, “Patterns”, “Line Styles” and “Line Weights” display. Each one of the eight MicroStation views can be set independently to display or not to display any of these items.

Making those changes and submitting files right the first time used to be both time-consuming and very difficult. But with Axiom’s Translation Manager, this is really simple. Here’s how to easily set the “view attributes”, in batch, after the files have been translated into MicroStation. This is done in Translation Manager’s post-process (things done after the files have been translated).

Updating View Attributes

Start Translation Manager and click the “Project” menu to open an existing project or create a new project and set the “Translation mode” (See Figure 1.) to translate to MicroStation V7 or V8.

Click the {Select…} button to the right of the “Which translated files do you want to process?” field and select the MicroStation files you want changed. You can pick one, hundreds or thousands of files from anywhere on your system. You can even drag and drop from Windows Explorer into the “Choose Files to Process” dialog box. (See Figure 3.)

Now click the {OK} button to complete the file selection step.

Click the {Post-process…} button on Translation Manager’s main dialog box and then select the “Modify” tab next to the “Repair” tab. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. Some things such as replacing special characters, replacing the MicroStation color table or updating the view attributes have to be done after the initial translation has occurred.

The Modify tab of the Post-processing dialog box is where this magic happens.

At the bottom of the “Modify” screen, turn on the checkbox labeled “Update the view attributes. (MicroStation files only)”. (See Figure 2.)

The next step is to select the MicroStation V8 seed file that has the view attributes set the way your customer wants them. You can click the {Select…} button to the right of the field to navigate to a different seed file.

With the appropriate design file selected (the seed file) click the {Get View Attributes} button. Translation Manager reads the view attributes from the selected seed file.

To save these view attribute settings to the current project file for easy reuse, select Project | Save from the menu bar of the dialog.

Translation Manager has many other tools such as repair, compress, purge and modification that can be utilized to get your translations done right the first time. Any of these other tools can be turned on before processing begins.

Now click the {Process} button and Translation Manager will update the view attributes in all the selected MicroStation design files to match the view attributes set in the selected seed file. When finished, Translation Manager displays a completion dialog telling you what was done.

BAMMMM! You’re done.

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For more information on Translation Manager or to receive a free trial version, contact an Axiom MicroStation Consultant today! Call 727-442-7774 extension 3220, e-mail or visit Axiom on the Web at now.