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- MicroStation V8i SS4 FAQ

Your MicroStation V8i preferences may be corrupted.  Contact an Engineering Applications Support Analyst for help.
If it is after hours or help is not readily available, you may follow the steps below to rename your user configuration and reset to ODOT's default user configuration when you log on again.
Emergency Self-Help Steps
   1. Exit MicroStation
   2. Open File Explorer and navigate to C:\ODOT\V8i and rename the USERCFG folder to old_USERCFG.
   3. Sign Out of Windows - a restart is always good!
   4. Log On
   5. Launch MicroStation - now it will be using a new default user configuration.

That should get you working in MicroStation V8i again and you can open your tools and set up your new preferences.
For preferences settings of "Open Two Application Windows" and "Save Settings on Exit", go to Workspace > Preferences... in MicroStation and select the Operation category.
Contact an Engineering Applications Support Analyst ​if you need assistance.​​

If you haven’t restarted your computer recently, try that first.  Then, just because MicroStation won’t open one file, doesn’t mean it won’t open up in a nice, new, empty file!  Sometimes MicroStation has trouble loading a lot of data, especially raster images, at the same time that it is opening the interface.  Create a new file and try opening that.  Here's how: 

  1. Exit MicroStation.
  2. Launch MicroStation from the desktop shortcut.
  3. Create and open a new file at the File Open dialog.​
  4. Now, try using File>Open and open the other file, or you can attach that other file as a reference.
  5. Don’t forget to contact computer support or EAST if that file continues to give you grief when trying to open it directly.  Send us an email and we’ll respond on the next business day.

Restart your computer.  You don’t have to wait until something bad happens – restart your computer every morning to begin your day with your computer in optimal condition to perform the millions of tasks that you require of it.  If you still have problems after restarting, contact an EAST member or the ODOT Computer Support Desk to report the problem and get more help.​​

​The city and county PDFs that are often used to create vicinity maps on title sheets have been getting increasingly larger and contain more data than ever.  The MicroStation graphics take longer to refresh; turning PDF layers on/off is very slow; and printing PDFs from MicroStation takes up to 30 times longer with a displayed PDF.

For Windows 10, it is fastest to use the Snipping Tool in Rectangular mode to replace the PDF with a screenshot.

  1. Open the Snipping Tool to capture the image
  2. Arrange the image for capture (layers, displayed area) and click [New]
  3. Drag the cursor around the area you wish to capture
  4. Save the image, then attach the .jpg to MicroStation
  5. Turn off the display of the PDFs and print faster

Make a Screenshot (.jpg) to Replace an Attached PDF using Snipping Tool in the MicroStation V8i SS4 Tips has more details on these quick steps.

​Change Attributes seems to be the more versatile tool and allows you to interact with the active attributes also.  Change Attributes includes a matching section at the top of its dialog.  Read more about it in Change Attributes versus Match Element Attributes in the MicroStation V8i SS4 Tips.

​Some DGN photobases were created by attaching .tif images.  MicroStation is configured to cache the .tif images to .ctiff files in a folder on your computer for better performance during opening and changing the view.  If there a quite a number of .tif images attached, it may take 10 minutes or more to fully download and cache all of the files.  Once the images are cached locally, the file will open and display the backgrounds much more quickly.  If other image formats were used to create the DGN photobase, it will perform most quickly for you if the DGN and the images (.jpg, .sid) are stored all in the same folder on your c:\ drive, like in c:\work\aerials.​

​Log off and log back on and the ODOT items will likely appear the next time you launch MicroStation.  There are several situations that may require logging on twice before the location of the ODOT workspace is set: the first installation of MicroStation, getting a computer rebuilt, or logging onto a computer that has MicroStation that you’ve not logged onto before. The one thing that you can do to help ensure that MicroStation operates correctly is to restart your computer if you have left it on overnight for any reason.

​Sometimes the links “go bad” in a particular file and there’s no fixing them.  You won’t see anything wrong until you create a print or PDF and find a black-filled area.  The fastest workaround is to quit trying to make the link in the active file print correctly and just delete it.  Create a new file or a new model from seed and paste the link to the Excel spreadsheet in the new model (file).  Then, attach the new model (file) as a reference to the original file to assemble and print your sheet.

​The titleblock annotation cell in the Base model may have been dropped from an annotation cell to simple graphics and it no longer responds to the drawing scale. The fastest fix would be to open the Base model in the project title block reference file, delete the elements that were in the titleblock cell and place a new annotation cell from the ODOT tasks: General>Titleblocks>Digital Plan Titleblock.

It sounds like your print is rasterized.  If so, you’ll notice that the text in the resulting PDF is also not searchable.  One thing that can cause rasterization is a point cloud attachment.  When the print engine sees an attachment to a point cloud – in the active file or in any of the nested references – it will cause the printer driver to rasterize the print.  The print engine can sense a point cloud attachment even if the actual point cloud file (.pod) has been deleted or is not accessible by you.  Rasterization is out of your control until you find and remove the point cloud attachment.  Sometimes a point cloud is left attached to a basemap.  Start looking there.  To remove the point cloud attachment, open the Tools>Point Clouds dialog, right-click on the attachment and select Detach.

​If you are trying the Bubble tool, take a look at the message center or status bar – it probably says “Unknown key-in or command”. The Bubble tool displays its error differently than the bent leader, but the same thing is preventing them from running. The ODOT mdl will not load when you have launched InRoads from a desktop shortcut on a computer that has ProjectWise installed on it. The ODOT mdl is required for many of the general drafting tools. It might be easiest to exit InRoads, then launch just MicroStation and if you need InRoads, launch it using ODOT>InRoads SS2 Lite. The tools requiring the ODOT mdl will function if you launch InRoads from the ODOT menu. The other workaround can be performed leaving InRoads running and can be assigned to a function key if you are really stuck on launching InRoads from the desktop shortcut. Key in:  mdl load odot .  Try the Bubble tool or arrow tools after the key-in and they will run without error.​

​Yes. When Google Earth Pro is running and MicroStation V8i is also open and has a geographic coordinate system attached to the DGN, the command Synchronize Google Earth View is supposed to position the view in Google Earth to the same location you are seeing in your view window in MicroStation.

You might need to have Google Earth Pro upgraded to work correctly with MicroStation V8i SS4. Contact ODOT Computer Support to have Google Earth Pro uninstalled by an administrator, and then you can install the current version of Google Earth Pro yourself. After Google Earth Pro has been uninstalled, open the ODOT Application Catalog from Start>Search programs and files; select Google Earth Pro and click [Install]. Follow the instructions to Import an Image from Google Earth into MicroStation.

​There is likely a mismatch in units of resolution between the pattern cell and the active DGN file.  This error has been seen with a reference to PlansV8.dgn and also if there is an associative region in the file that is patterned.

To work around this behavior: Start a new file from seed, then attach your previous work as a reference. Make a selection set of the referenced graphics and deselect associative regions. Copy the graphics into the new file, detach the reference (your previous work) and pattern in the new file without using associative patterning or associative regions.

​When running the General Arrows>Leader tools, you should toggle off AccuSnap, and place the arrowhead imprecisely, when the element you are pointing to is displayed from an external reference file.  If you find that your arrowhead is not being placed at the end of the arrow, use Undo until the leader is entirely removed. Re-run the Leader command and, press and hold <Ctrl>+<Shift> on the keyboard while you left-click to place the arrowhead close to the element.

​The modz macro (called by the Modify Elevation command) applies a scale factor to only 1/3 of the dimensionality and you end up with a custom linestyle scale of 0.66666667.  This is a known issue and the recommendation is to only use Modify Elevation on elements that do not use custom linestyles.  But - if you must, it is pretty easy to correct the linestyle scale.

Correct the linestyle scale: Select all elements with custom linestyles and execute the command Modify Line Style Attributes.  Use the Scale icon and check the box on the left, set the value=1.0, and check on Absolute.

Alternative 1: When working with a DTM basemap in InRoads – you could simply View Features… from InRoads in a 2D model in a DGN – that is probably the easiest.  This model could be named 2D Basemap.

Alternative 2: If you already have a 3D basemap, try File>Export>2D… - this is what I would use to “flatten” a 3D basemap into 2D graphics for drafting.  This literally flattens your existing file – all of the 3D models in the file are changed to 2D models, but the names are still the same.  You should edit the model properties and remove -3D from the model names if it is there.

Alternative 3: If you want to just set elevations on a few elements – or if the elements have vertices that are at different elevations – you could use the Set Element Elevation command on the CivTools mdl.  Load CivTool by typing into the key-in window:  mdl load civtools, wait for the Civil/Site Tools toolbox to open.

Alternative 4: You can change the elevation of element points using the Element Properties – but this is very difficult when you have linestrings with multiple elevations on many vertices.

There are two workflows for you to use - both PDFs because filling out the dialog boxes exactly as shown is really important.​

First, use the MicroStation workflow Import an Image from Google Earth into MicroStation and make sure you create the aerial.dgn on the C:\ drive. You will probably make a few mistakes, so work where you can delete your mistakes!

Then import your DGN and JPG into 0_Temp in ProjectWise and establish a raster reference relationship w/GUIDs, and then, finally, move and rename as required by ProjectWise Standards using ProjectWise tools.  Consider moving the background DGN to 3_Base_Files and the JPG to 4_Photos - that way anyone can reference attach the DGN background and see the aerial to assist with their work.

You can create a copy of a raster attachment, preserving the layers display, but it is not a Raster Manager command.  Use the regular MicroStation Copy Element command and select the border of the attached raster.  Place the copy next to the original and wait a few seconds for the raster to also display inside the copy of the border.  If you look in the Raster Manager, you will see an additional attachment and the layers are displayed the same as the original.  You can even change the name of the attached raster using the Raster Manager command Utilities>Filename… and if the new raster has the same layer names as the previous, the layers displayed will not change.​​