Tips & Tricks

What MicroStation file am I in anyway?

By Rick Sewell, Axiom Director of Customer Services



Rick Sewell, Axiom Director of Customer Services, has been helping CAD users with their MicroStation problems for over a decade.

Ever have one of those super busy days where you’re being pulled in multiple directions by umpteen different people for one thing or another? This happens to me almost daily. Eventually you manage to handle their issues and finally get back to your desk to get some real work done. So you wiggle your mouse to ditch the screen-saver and find MicroStation loaded with a DGN file already open. And you think to your self something like “What file am I in anyway?”

Unfortunately, if you’re capable of solving other people’s problems, they are going to come for you. So, I can’t help you with the interruptions. What I can offer is a MicroStation tidbit that might help you regain your orientation, once you’re ready to get going on your own stuff.

By default, when MicroStation is open, you can see the name of the file you have open in the MicroStation title bar. For me, this isn’t particularly helpful. I work on a lot of files in a lot of different directories. From my experience, the names of some of the files in a typical project aren’t going to give you any clarity. However, knowing the location of the file that’s open can tell me everything I need to know. So, my tip is on how to display the full path and filename in the MicroStation title bar. Here’s how:

Figure 1. By default, MicroStation only shows you the filename of the opened file. Often, just having the filename isn’t a lot of help.

    1. Load MicroStation and open any file.

Figure 2. The Configuration dialog box gives you power over your MicroStation working environment.

  • Choose Workspace | Configuration…
  • Set the “Category” on the left to “All (Alphabetical)”. This makes it a little easier to locate the variable that you’re going to modify, since you can find it alphabetically.
  • In the section labeled “View/modify all configuration variables.” scroll down to the variable called “MS_FULLPATHINTITLEBAR”.
  • Press {Edit…} to load the “Edit Configuration Variable” dialog box.

Figure 3. The values you assign to MicroStation configuration variables go a long way toward customizing the way MicroStation looks and feels.

  • In the “New Value:” field, enter “1” (no quotes) and press {OK} to exit the dialog box.
  • Press {OK} on the “Configuration” dialog box and then {Yes} to accept the changes.
  • Re-start MicroStation, open a file and check out the MicroStation title bar now!

Figure 4. The full file path is so much more helpful than the lone filename!

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