Tips & Tricks

Two Ways to Make MicroStation Work a Bit Easier

How to Get MicroStation to Use Your Microsoft Word Dictionary
Don’t you hate it when you have to keep adding words to your MicroStation dictionary that you’ve already added to your Microsoft Word dictionary?

Rick Sewell, MicroStation Customer Service

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

Here is a way to make MicroStation look at the dictionary file used by Microsoft Word so you don’t have to add the same words to your MicroStation dictionary:

  1. Load Microsoft Word.
  2. You’re going to need to know the location of the dictionary file that Microsoft Word is using. This location will vary by your version of Microsoft Word. Here is how to find the exact path to your Microsoft Word dictionary, broken down by the most popular Word versions being used today:
    • For Microsoft Word 2003, go to Tools | Options…, select the “Spelling & Grammar” tab and then press the button labeled {Custom Dictionaries…}.
    • For Microsoft Word 2007, press the “Office Button”, press the button labeled {Word Options}, choose “Proofing”, and press the button labeled {Custom Dictionaries…}.
    • For Microsoft Word 2010, go to File | Options, choose “Proofing” and then press the button labeled {Custom Dictionaries…}.

    Each one of the above instructions will bring you to a dialog box that shows a full path to the Microsoft Word dictionary file. Note down this path.

  3. Figure 1. You can see where the custom dictionary is stored in any version of Microsoft Word. Here’s an example of what it would look like using Microsoft Word 2007.

  4. Load MicroStation and open any file.
  5. Go to Workspace | Configuration, then select “Spelling” from the “Category” list.
  6. microstation-tips-user-configuration

    Figure 2. Use the MicroStation “Configuration” dialog box to customize where MicroStation looks for your spelling dictionary.

  7. Under the section labeled “Spell check configuration”, select “Spelling User Dictionary” then press the {Select…} button.
  8. Navigate to the path that you noted down from Microsoft Word in step 2 above, highlight the file named “custom.dic” and press {OK}.
  9. At the “Configuration” dialog box, press {OK} and then press {Yes} on the alert box when prompted.

Now, restart MicroStation. Your previous MicroStation dictionary will no longer be read. It will still be there, but MicroStation will now use the Microsoft Word dictionary that you specified as your active dictionary.

Export Shared Cells to Form a New Cell Library
Ever have a need to create a new cell library from the shared cells that are already placed in your DGN file? This is really easy to do.

  • Go to Utilities | Key-in.
  • In the “Key-in dialog box”, enter:

    export cells shared (path and file name)

    as in Figure 3.

The command shown in Figure 3 will instantly create a DGN file named “library.cel” that contains a model for each shared cell that was in your active file. Now you have a cell library of your shared cells!


Figure 3. MicroStation’s key-in browser can be used to run a number of different, helpful and often little-known commands such as exporting shared cells.

Want More MicroStation Know-How? Call!
For more information on cool tips and tricks, check out our LearningBay courses by visiting You can also schedule a free demonstration about training solutions or talk with one of our MicroStation Consultants by calling 727-442-7774 extension 2495 or sending an e-mail.

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