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Microstation: layout for printing

Doing this with AutoCAD has a different logic, and perhaps that is why some who try to do it with Microstation have difficulty. On one hand, because there is not much help about how to do it and in the other, that the way to do it is not just as AutoCAD does.

For this, let’s do an exercise, but I suggest that some Microstation’s basic principles should be deepened in case you have not ever used it.


The model map and the sheet

The model is the workspace, which is 1:1, where it’s drawn. The example I’m showing is a cadastral map and the view that is expanding, is an approach of a thematic indicator, all built on the model.

The sheet is what AutoCAD is called Layout, and is equivalent to a box that is associated with the paper size we hope to print. This is one that has a scale, because the model is always 1: 1

The intention is to create an output map, which has an outer box, the background map, the indicator on the far right and left approach in a quarter of circle, as shown in this example:


In the former, those who can not use this functionality make blocks (cells), copy, scale, cut, and do things to create everything from the model. The disadvantage is that if you are going to make a change to the original map nothing of what became serves.

How to build the layout

To build this, it’s used a functionality known as models dialog, or box models, which is next to the references command. If it is not visible, apply right click and is activated like the Raster Manager.


This box is much like the references one, because the logic that it has is just the same; call maps, the same or other external, set scale, creating a cut figure and locating them within a printing framework.

The first thing is to create the worksheet, this is done with the New button and are configure aspects such as: type of sheet, if it is 2 or 3 dimensions, name model, annotations scale, scale of the line style


How to build settlement

Here the tools work as if you were working on the model; rectangles, lines, shapes, texts. Everything is equal, in versions from 8.9 known as Microstation XM that supports transparency.

The construction is simple: A background rectangle, a quarter of a circle, two small rectangles. Then with the tool create regions we make holes by difference.

You can also give background color to objects, play with transparency and the priority to see which will be placed forward or backward.

Similarly, on this you can create shelters for project information, scale, sheet number, grid coordinates, logos, etc.

Embed maps into objects

Maps are loaded as references in the model frame, as often as you wait to call in the objects. Each of them has a logical name and a scale that is based on the print sheet. This allows you to call 2/3D approaches at different scales within the same sheet, and below provides some settings of style and texts features, visibility of the raster 3D properties for PDF.

This map falls somewhere, so we make a copy of the figure that we hope crop and it is located just above the map. In case we’re not in agreeing with the size, we give right click and adjust properties changing the scale. Then we use the scissors’ icon to make the cut, and we play the figure.


Then trimmed object with everything and figure can be moved to the map, as it is shown in the following image.


The rest is just try, try, make mistakes and keep practicing until you find the knack. Call reference, set scale, select the subject of trimming, cutting, and place on the map. The following output shows the example’s layout already built.

In the case of cadastral maps’ grid, it would not be need to be based on the final maps for printing but it would be built custom models on sheets with the respective name and quadrants containing interest area as background. In case of particular numbers for this map as a neighbor’s block number, it could be drawn on layout to keep the topology on the model.


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