How to Use Live Nesting to Control Level Display in MicroStation V8i


By Abraham Rodriguez, CAD Manager, Parsons Brinckerhoff

We recently upgraded to MicroStation V8i. As you know, with upgrades come lots of learning and troubleshooting. For the first month or so, we kept having to jump back and forth between MicroStation V8 2004 edition and V8i just to keep production moving until we figured out how to overcome the issues we were running into.

One issue we ran into that we had a difficult time finding a solution for had to do with live nesting. “Live nesting” refers to the action of displaying elements from the reference files attached to the reference files you directly attach to a design file.

When live nesting is turned on for a reference file attachment, you can see the elements in its reference files as well. In our office, we use live nesting when creating our sheets for ease of use and to help ensure consistency.

For those not aware of this method, I will give a quick summary.


Completing your project on time also saves you money.

Using MicroStation V8 2004 edition, we would have four main types of files for each project:

  1. “Master model files” to contain the work for the project — for example, an alignment file that defines the location, boundaries and path of a road or a topographical file which shows all the elevation contours for the terrain the road passes through.
  2. “Master container files” that have the appropriate master model files attached as references, with level display adjusted as needed for a particular aspect of the project such as drainage or grading.
  3. “Sheet files”, grouped into sets, for each part of the project. Each sheet in a set will have the corresponding master container file attached to it.
  4. “Border files” to define the plotted area of a sheet.

When sheet files for the project are created, two files are attached to each sheet:

  1. A master container file.
  2. A border file.

Without RefManager, we would spend hours opening each of the 138 sheets …

The idea behind the master container file is to allow someone to do things to a set of sheets — turn off a level, detach a referenced master model file, or clip something, for example — without having to open each sheet to make the same changes. Just change it in the master container file and all sheets that reference that master container file will be updated with the same change.

. . . RefManager has saved us many hours of work when setting up the various sheet sets.

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