User’s Guide – FileFixer for V8

Chapter 4 — Quick Start

Quick Start Objectives

The purpose of this Quick Start is to introduce you to the basic features of FileFixer so that you can immediately use the program.

This Quick Start should take less than 30 minutes.


  1. MicroStation V8 version or later.
  2. FileFixer must be installed on your computer. You can verify this by selecting the “Axiom” menu from MicroStation’s main menu bar, then select “FileFixer”. If “FileFixer” does not appear in the “Axiom” menu, follow the instructions in the Installation chapter of this User Guide.

Note: You must have “write” permission so that you can modify your practice files.

Demonstration Version

When processing files which are greater than 100KB with a demonstration version of FileFixer, only about half of the problems found will be reported in detail, although the Report Summary will indicate the actual quantity of each type of problem found during processing.

Licensed versions of FileFixer do not have these restrictions.

Quick Start Step 1 — The Basics

When should I use FileFixer?

FileFixer is most commonly used to:

  • Automatically repair problem files.
  • Search for problems as preventative maintenance (to avoid future problems) or to confirm files are “healthy” and problem-free.

FileFixer has two modes of operation to accommodate these common uses:

When you select “Automatic Design File Repair” mode, FileFixer searches for problems and automatically fixes them.

When you select “Search for Problems” mode, FileFixer searches for problems and reports what is found.

This Quick Start will introduce you to these common uses of FileFixer.

Factory Defaults

FileFixer has many settings that you can change to fine-tune the way it processes your files. Factory Defaults will work in most cases, so we won’t cover FileFixer’s settings in detail in this Quick Start.

However, just in case someone experimented with FileFixer’s settings before you began this Quick Start, let’s reset FileFixer to Factory Defaults.

Here’s your first assignment:

  1. Select FileFixer’s “Settings” menu, then select “Restore Factory Defaults….”

A confirmation dialog box will display:

  1. Click the <Yes> button, this restores the Factory Defaults.
  2. Select FileFixer’s “Settings” menu and then select “Save Settings”:

Selecting this saves the Factory Defaults to fixer.ini.

Note: FileFixer saves your search and repair settings in .ini files (“ini” is short for “initialization”). They are in ASCII format and can be modified with a text editor.

  1. Next, we will exit FileFixer to prepare for the next Quick Start step, click the <Close> button on the lower right of FileFixer’s main dialog box.

The remainder of this Quick Start requires Factory Defaults.

As you learn more about FileFixer, you can tweak its various options and save them using the “File” menu as illustrated above.

Quick Start Step 2 — Automatic Design File Repair

Use FileFixer’s “Automatic Design File Repair” mode whenever you experience odd problems with your design file or cell library.

Let’s walk through the steps:

  1. Use MicroStation’s “File” menu to open the EmptyText.dgn design file that is delivered with FileFixer. The standard installation location for this design file is:


Even if FileFixer does not find any problems in the selected file, the following steps will nevertheless introduce you to the procedure for “Automatic Design File Repair”.

Note: Some of the sample files delivered with FileFixer are so corrupt that MicroStation cannot open them. If you happen to choose a file that MicroStation cannot open, just select another one to use for this step of the Quick Start.

Select FileFixer from the “Axiom” menu.

The active design file appears in the “Which Files?” field by default. For example:

Press the <Start> button:

Once the processing is completed you will see the following message box:

It’s that simple. But what just happened?

The file you selected was not modified — FileFixer created a copy. For example, if you selected EmptyText.dgn, FileFixer created a copy named EmptyText.fix.

FileFixer analyzed the copy (the “.fix” file) and performed the “Automatic Design File Repair” steps on it.

  1. Note: The file “EmptyText.dgn” contains errors that are not handled by FileFixer’s “Factory Default” settings. The reason for this is that some fixes are not turned “On” by default. This leads directly into the next Quick Start step, which covers how you use FileFixer’s report and its error codes to handle situations like this.FileFixer created a detailed report of its findings and repair actions (more about reports in the next Quick Start section).


  2. You can open the repaired .fix file with MicroStation and get back to work! Use MicroStation’s File | Save As... to rename the .fix copy (replacing the original file). 

    Congratulations — you have used FileFixer to perform automatic design file repair! 

  3. Quick Start Step 3 — FileFixer’s Report 

    FileFixer’s “Automatic Design File Repair” mode automatically repairs your files most of the time, so you won’t always need to examine the report.However, if a design file continues to misbehave after using “Automatic Design File Repair”, the report will provide clues for fine-tuning FileFixer’s options so that “Automatic Design File Repair” eradicates the problems.

    Let’s highlight the primary “landmarks” in a FileFixer report file.

Display the report created in the previous Quick Start step by pressing the <Display Report> button:

The report will open in your browser.

Find the “Report Summary” near the top of your report file. The “Report Summary” will look something like the following:

Note: Depending on the sample files you selected, your “Report Summary” might just contain “No errors found”. The remainder of this Quick Start assumes that at least one problem is found in the selected practice file.

The number in the “Quantity” column of the “Report Summary” represents how many times the error was found. In this example, there are two instances of text, which doesn’t have any visible characters.

The “Description” column consists of a brief description of the error.

Finally, the “Error Number” column contains the specific FileFixer error code, which is also a hyper-link to FileFixer’s PDF documentation.

The higher the error code, the more severe the error (error “702” is more severe than “146”).

Note: If your file continues to misbehave after “Automatic Design File Repair”, it is an effective strategy to look more closely at the highest error codes first.

The format of the HTML report makes it easy to gain more information on the errors found. The error codes are links which, when clicked, will open the FileFixer PDF documentation, taking you to the section containing the error code. Place your cursor over the “146” and click your left mouse button.

Adobe® Acrobat® Reader will jump to the appropriate passage in FileFixer’s User Guide.

You can also use FileFixer’s on-line help (Help | Contents...) and locate the section for this exact error code “146”:

Click the “Index” tab and in the first field, type in the error code “146”. You will see the entry for error code listed as “146 – Text element doesn’t contain any visible characters”. Double click on the listing for “146” error code in the second field and the full help text for this error will display in a window. In FileFixer’s “Help” file, all error codes are formatted this same way.

That’s a brief introduction to FileFixer report files, the error code links to FileFixer’s PDF documentation and on-line help so you’re prepared to use them when the time comes to repair a file for real.

Quick Start Step 4 — Searching for Problems

Use FileFixer’s “Search for Problems” mode to detect hidden problems before they impact your projects or to confirm your files are “healthy” and problem-free.


  1. Other common uses for “Search for Problems” mode:
  2. Before submitting files to a client.
  3. Before accepting files from a sub-contractor.Before archiving a project.

    Let’s get started.

    Change FileFixer’s mode to “Search for Problems”:

  4. In the “Which Files” field, enter the name of any design file that you want to analyze. You can also specify a wildcard, as in the following example.

The <Select> button offers a flexible way to select multiple files for processing. We are not going to delve into <Select> in this Quick Start — for more information, see the section titled “Choose Files to Process”.

To search for problems, press the <Start> button:

When processing is complete, click the <Display Report> button:

By default, FileFixer adds a seal-of-approval to files processed in “Search forb Problems” mode:

Seal-of-approval was found:

License: Site license – Your Company.

Version: FileFixer 8.7f

Date: 19 May 2007

Time: 11:51:55 pm

1 -- Design file header is not on level 8. [911]
1 -- Class of element is illegal. [333]
  1. --  Range of arc or ellipse is incorrect. [724]

End of seal-of-approval information.

The seal-of-approval records any problems found as in the above example. Additionally, no errors would be recorded in the seal-of-approval if none were found the last time the file was processed by FileFixer with “Search for Problems” mode.

If FileFixer reports errors, you know what to do — just follow the steps you learned earlier in Quick Start Step 2.

That’s all it takes to search for problems in any design file!

Follow the above procedure:

  • Prior to submitting files to a client.
  • Before accepting files from a contractor or sub-contractor.
  • Periodically to perform preventative maintenance.
  • Before archiving a project.
  • Whenever a design file or cell library misbehaves.

Quick Start Step 5 — What’s Next?

Go ahead and try using FileFixer on your files. Remember, by default, FileFixer always backs up your original file, so you can experiment freely.

As you need to know more, use FileFixer’s help to learn more about the error messages reported.

Problem Element Viewer

FileFixer’s companion application, Problem Element Viewer, allows you to view the problem elements reported by FileFixer.

Problem Element Viewer also allows you to examine your files, element by element — even elements you cannot normally see using MicroStation alone.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have a question or need additional help.