Tips & Tricks — Help! I need to turn off reference file display.

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By Rick Sewell
Almost everyone is doing it, upgrading their MicroStation V7 (95, SE and J) formatted files to V8. Whether project by project or all at once, the transition to V8 is on.

Every so often, a customer calls and asks whether Axiom has a tool to help automatically convert their V7 files to V8. Fortunately for customers, I can simply show the built-in Batch Converter already provided with MicroStation V8. The Batch Converter is really easy to use. Its purpose is nothing more than to convert one file format to another. You have the option to change to or from: V8, V7, DWG or DXF (Drawing Exchange Format).

Converting from V7 file format to V8 file format
The majority of the people asking about converting from V7 to V8 are new to MicroStation V8. I will run through a quick example of converting a group of V7 files to V8 using the MicroStation V8 Batch Converter.

  1. Load MicroStation V8 and open a design file.
  2. Select Utilities|Batch Converter…
  3. The Batch Converter can change your files to or from several different formats.

  4. Ensure the “Default Output Format” is set to “V8”. This should be the default.
  5. You can place your converted design files on any drive and in any folder you choose.

  6. Define the folder where all of the converted files will be placed. Notice the field labeled “Default Destination”. The factory default is always set to a folder nested a few folders deep, under the Bentley folder. Press the magnifying glass to the right of the specified folder in order to bring up the dialog box that allows you to navigate to the folder where you want to place your converted files.
  7. Select Edit|Add Files.. This will open the dialog box for navigating to and selecting the files that you want to convert.
  8. Once you’ve navigated to the files that you want to process, highlight them and then press the button. Press to accept the selected files and close the dialog box.
  9. At this point, you could just convert straight away, but I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention one other thing: Remapping. Remapping is reassigning element attributes during conversion. An example of remapping would be during conversion from V7 to V8 to change all elements on level “1” to level “Existing Centerlines”. This step is strictly optional.
    • From the Batch Convert dialog select Edit|V8 Save Options., which will load the “Save As V8 Options” dialog box.
    • Select files from multiple directories and process them at once.

    • Press the button on the far right of the dialog box that has fly-over text stating “Create CSV remapping file”. CSV stands for “comma-separated values”.
    • In the “Create mapping CSV file” dialog box, choose a name and folder for your file.
    • Press and a specially formatted Excel file will be created and opened immediately. I always select . The macro will populate columns in the Excel files and automatically save a CSV file for you.
    • Enter the remapping values in the proper columns of the Excel spreadsheet.
    • There are tabs, each appropriately labeled, for remapping fonts, levels, colors, weights and more.
  10. Here is how to set this up:
    The way to use this file to do your remapping is fully described in the Excel file under the tab labeled “Instructions”. Once you’ve completed any remapping you are going to do, save and exit the Excel file.
    Now, back to the conversion.

  11. Select File|Process. to bring up the “Files to Convert” dialog box. This dialog box nicely lays out all of the files you are changing and allows you to back out with the button, in case there are any mistakes. Press to process your files!

Review your file changes before processing.

Don’t forget to prepare your V7 files before conversion.
V7 files should always be cleaned with FileFixer before converting them to V8. This prevents elements from being unknowingly omitted from the output V8 file and a host of other hard-to-diagnose problems. Axiom has lots of other programs that speed up and otherwise help the V7 to V8 conversion process.

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