Tips & Tricks: MicroStation V8i Shortcuts

Tuesday, 31 Aug 2010

By Ed Mendoza, Axiom Learning Expert
Want to speed up your design work in V8i or XM? Try using these keyboard shortcuts.

Ed Mendoza, veteran CAD Professional and Axiom Learning Expert, provides tips from his storehouse of experience.

Ed Mendoza, veteran CAD Professional and Axiom Learning Expert, provides tips from his storehouse of experience.

Since the introduction of V8 XM, you can easily interact with MicroStation’s Main Toolbox, Tasks Toolbox, View Toolbox  and Tool Settings dialog box using keyboard shortcuts. These shortcuts allow you to quickly call up a specific tool or tool option without moving the mouse cursor all over the screen. In order to take advantage of this new functionality, you simply need to enable it. You do this from the Workspace | Preferences menu. Once the dialog box is open, make sure “Position Mapping” is enabled as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. In order to get your Toolbox and Tool Settings keyboard shortcuts to work, simply turn on “Position Mapping” in your workspace preferences.

Figure 1. In order to get your Toolbox and Tool Settings keyboard shortcuts to work, simply turn on “Position Mapping” in your workspace preferences.

In order to get the shortcuts to also work predictably, we need to understand how MicroStation processes a keyboard shortcut.

When you press a key on the keyboard, MicroStation processes that key differently depending on which part of the interface is currently active and in focus. If you use AccuDraw, you already know that AccuDraw has its own set of keyboard shortcuts that are accessible only if AccuDraw is active and in focus. By enabling Position Mapping, we have now added another part of the MicroStation interface that can accept keyboard shortcuts. This new interface is called the “Home” interface. For this reason, there is a simple way of switching the focus between the “AccuDraw” and “Home” Interfaces. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. You can easily switch back and forth between the AccuDraw and Home interfaces. With the press of a button, all of your Toolbox and Tool Settings Options are just a few keystrokes away.

Figure 2. You can easily switch back and forth between the AccuDraw and Home interfaces. With the press of a button, all of your Toolbox and Tool Settings Options are just a few keystrokes away.

MicroStation XM and V8i are delivered by default with the F11 function key assigned to provide focus on “AccuDraw” and the F12 function key assigned to provide focus on “Home”. Press each of these function keys and note the new icons that display in the status bar.

Press the [F12] function key again and also note that the Tasks toolbar icons have text characters below them that will “wake up”, or become active. These are the shortcut keys associated with each tool set (as shown in Figure 3). As long as the “Home” icon is displayed in the status bar, you can press the corresponding highlighted shortcut key in order to activate the tool.

Figure 3. The Tasks toolbar is shown before and after pressing the [F12] function key. Note the highlighted letters represent the keys you can press to access a command.

Figure 3. The Tasks toolbar is shown before and after pressing the [F12] function key. Note the highlighted letters represent the keys you can press to access a command.

By pressing the shortcut key [Q], for example (as shown in Figure 4), the associated toolbar menu appears. Now, simply press the number key associated with the tool you want to load. (Note, if AccuDraw was active, the letter “Q” would cause AccuDraw to “Quit”.)

Figure 4. With the keyboard shortcuts, you can easily select a tool set using the designated letter (in this case [Q]) and then the number of the specific tool you want to use.

Figure 4. With the keyboard shortcuts, you can easily select a tool set using the designated letter (in this case [Q]) and then the number of the specific tool you want to use.

In addition, if you want to load the tool that is already showing in the toolbar (like the “Place SmartLine” tool in the example above), you just press [Shift] and the shortcut key and the tool is activated and ready to use.

Figure 5. You can easily select and activate any tool currently displayed in the toolbar by combining the Shift key with the highlighted shortcut key. This example shows how to immediately activate the “Place SmartLine” tool.

Figure 5. You can easily select and activate any tool currently displayed in the toolbar by combining the Shift key with the highlighted shortcut key. This example shows how to immediately activate the “Place SmartLine” tool.

Call Now!
For more information on cool tips and tricks, check out our LearningBay™ courses by visiting www.AxiomInt.com/microstation-training/. You can also schedule a free, demonstration about translation solutions or talk with one of our MicroStation Consultants by calling 727-442-7774 extension 2203 or sending an e-mail to 2203@AxiomInt.com.

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