Tips & Tricks — Update your levels to match new V8 standards: Part I.

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By Rick Sewell, Customer Support
There are many things that can be done in V8 that you just couldn’t do in V7. Many of the old restrictions have gone out the window. The standards for jobs are changing to utilize these new and expanded features in V8. You just can’t get away with 63 levels anymore. The levels now need names — not just little names like “Wiring”, but big ugly names like “Electric Waypoint Parallel Street”.

Now don’t get me wrong, having unlimited levels is not a bad thing. And not only do you get more levels with MicroStation V8 — you get more information about the levels.

Level Managers — the old (left) and the new (right). The new one isn’t just pretty,- it’s feature-laden.

But here’s what I’ve seen happen in the field. There’s this project you started. You stopped halfway through to get onto a more urgent project. Years later — yes years, I have seen it — you get back to that old job, except now you have to upgrade that old project to meet the new V8 standards.

There are several things that come up as big, time-consuming issues when you’re tasked with upgrading design files to match new V8 standards. There is no way I can show you the whole process in one “How to” article. Nonetheless.

Part 1: Creating a CSV file of your levels
What is a “CSV” file anyway? CSV stands for “Comma Separated Values”. CSV indicates a file type that stores tabular data.

MicroStation V8’s Level Manager has the ability to create CSV files that contain all of the symbology of the levels in that file, all neatly laid out.

Step 0 is having a design file that contains the correct levels and symbology. There’s no way around it. You have to set your level symbology once so that you can create a CSV template out of it. Then:

  1. Load MicroStation and open the one design file that has correct level symbology.
  2. An easy way to open Level Manager is by clicking the Level Manager icon on the “Primary Tools” palette, as seen here.

  3. Choose Settings|Level|Manager or just press the Level Manager icon on your “Primary Tools” palette to load the Level Manager dialog box.
  4. From the Level Manager dialog box choose Levels|Export.
  5. At the bottom left of the “Export Levels” dialog box is an option labeled “List Files of Type:” Choose “Excel CSV Files [*.csv]”.
  6. From the “Export Levels” dialog box, navigate to a convenient folder and enter a file name. I recommend a file name that makes sense for this project. Where your project name is “ProWater-10507”, you might name your CSV file “ProWater” or “10507”. Press to save your CSV file.

The “Export Levels” dialog box gives you the ability to view just the CSV files in a directory.

Stay tuned for next month’s MicroStation Today to see how you can use your CSV file to automatically update all of your project DGN files with standard levels.

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