In this video, I’ve got some tips and tricks for Tekla Structures. Hello and welcome to CS Wilson Draws I’m CS Wilson. This is a video I’ve been wanting to make for a long time now and I’m finally getting around to actually making it. I’ve used Tekla Structures on several projects over the past few years and that’s given me a chance to put together a list of my favorite, and most used, techniques.
Most of these I’ve discovered out of necessity and use, but some I picked up from the web and from the Tekla forum. Almost all of these fall in the category of “This Is Just The Way Tekla Works”, but aren’t necessarily very obvious, or weren’t communicated very well in a features list. or just plain weren’t documented. I’ll let you decide which ones are tips and which ones are tricks. If you’re fairly new to Tekla Structures then you’ll probably find a lot of these interesting and, hopefully, useful. And if you’ve been using Tekla for a long time, you might still find something you didn’t know about. For me, personally, I started learning Tekla Structures in 2014, and since then I’ve worked on several projects. But a couple of these tips I’m about to show, I actually just learned about recently and they’ve already proven to be very useful.
Never stop learning! And now, without further ado, let’s get started. This first one involves a method for using multiple monitors. I think most of us work with at least two monitors, probably side-by-side. And a simple method to utilize those monitors would be to just stretch the Tekla program window so it occupies all of the screen real estate. But that’s not always practical, as in my monitor setup. Fortunately, there’s another way. By using the Advanced Options: XS_MDIBASICVIEWPARENT, XS_MDIVIEWPARENT, XS_MDIZOOMPARENT Setting these options to false, and then restarting Tekla, allows your view windows to float outside of the main program window to any place, on any screen. As you can see here, I normally use one monitor for a 3D view, one for working views, and one for dialog boxes and other working views.
Using this tip allows you to utilize any number of monitors in just about any number of configurations. If you want to see how I was able to set up my monitors the way they are, I’ll put a link to that up here and in the video description below. You might want to check that out. But watch this video first, and then go check that one out. The next tip is for version 2016 and up and involves the thumbnail. When you select a model to load, whether it’s from the Welcome Screen or if you select Open from the File Menu, you can now have a pictorial representation for your project appear. A thumbnail. An easy way to create this is: From the ribbon, go to the View Menu, click on Screenshot, and then select Project Thumbnail. You’ll then be asked to pick a view you want to use and a screenshot of that view will be created and saved in the model folder with the name thumbnail.
png. For a tip inside of a tip, you can get a cleaner picture by holding down the shift + ctrl, then right mouse click and select Redraw. Do that before you create the thumbnail. If you choose, you can create your own thumbnail which might also include things like, a multi view picture, or your logo, or just more information about the project. If you create your own, the preferred size is 120 x 74 (or proportion based on that) and it needs to be in PNG format. Also make sure to name it “thumbnail” and put it in the model folder. Moving on. Next up is a way to show profiles using exact lines, which I think might really just be intended for steel shapes. It basically shows a representation of the profile with all the radiuses and fillets and whatnot. And there’s two ways you can do this. One temporarily shows exact lines and the other will show exact lines all of the time. For the temporary method: select the members, right mouse click and then select “Show with Exact Lines” while holding down the shift key. These members will stay like this until you modify the member or close the view. To have the members always shown with exact lines, there’s a little more involved.
To have this only affect a specific model: go to the File Menu and select Open The Model Folder. From here, open the options.ini file in a text editor, such as Notepad, and add the line XS_SOLID_USE_HIGHER_ACCURACY = True And save it. Once you’ve done that, exit and then reload Tekla Structures for the setting to take effect. Since the options.ini file resides in the model folder, this setting will only apply to this model. I should also mention that Tekla has a warning about using the XS_SOLID_USE_HIGHER_ACCURACY option and I’ll put a link to that in the video description below. I recommend that you read and understand that before setting this option. Now I want to talk about construction lines. I’ve gotten into the habit of deleting them as soon as I’m done with them in an effort to keep the model tidy since they do tend to clutter things up pretty quick.
But I will keep them when I want to use them for this next tip, which is the magnet. You can magnetize a construction line by either double-clicking on it and putting a check in the magnet box or, if you use the contextual toolbar, you can select the construction line (or lines) and click on the magnet icon. When a construction line is magnetized, any points that land on it will move or stretch with it. To illustrate this, I have two beams here that have been butted end-to-end. I’ll draw a construction line at the ends where they meet and I’ll magnetize it. Now, if I move the construction line, the points that fall along that line move with it, which, in effect, stretches the ends of these beams. It’s a pretty nice feature and I can see lots of uses for it. And, as a side note: When you’re done playing with that, the grid can also be magnetized as well. Just saying. So, if you’re like me and you never really took the time to actually learn how to position parts properly in the model, then this next tip might help both of us out a bit. Front.
Top. Back. Below. Right. Left. Yeah, I mean I read the documentation and, although I understand it, I still struggle with it. Well fortunately, the fine folks at Tekla also determined that this can be a hard one to wrap your head around and, in version 2016, added a position button to the contextual toolbar. When you click on it it opens: I don’t know what it’s actually called, but that’s the name that I’ve given it. With this you get a real-time visual representation as you swing the part around, change the position of the reference line, or adjust the offset and the depth. In my opinion, this makes it much easier to understand and manipulate parts rather than the standard inputs from the properties dialog box. I also find it handy to have the Swap Handles macro in the contextual toolbar as well. This really helps when dealing with asymmetrical shapes like angles and channels.
Those can be especially tough. If you are looking for a way to save all of your property dialog information from one Tekla session to the next, then look no further. By using the Save Defaults command in version 2016 and up and Save Attributes command in pre-2016 versions, you can store all of the current settings in all of your dialogs. This is really handy for things like bolt and weld settings, as well as numbering settings, and really just about anything that has an Apply and OK button. If you want to make it easier to access, add it to the User Menu in pre- 2016 versions and to the ribbon in versions 2016 and up. Here’s how to do it: In versions prior to 2016 you can add it to the User Menu by opening the Tools menu, then select Customize. Then select the Menu tab and type “Save Attributes” in the filter box. Select it and click on the arrow to add it. It will now appear in the user menu. For version 2016 only add it to the ribbon by: Opening the File Menu and select Settings, then Ribbon.
Click on add, then search for “Save Defaults”. Select it and click on Create. Click Save to add it and exit the ribbon editor. You can also add it to the ribbon for versions 2016i and up by: Opening the File Menu and select Settings, then Ribbon. Select the ribbon you want to modify, Primary:Modeling in my case, then hover over the ribbon and scroll to find a place you want to add the Save Defaults command. To scroll, use the mouse wheel or left mouse click and hold to drag it back and forth. Next search for “Save Defaults”. It’ll appear in the Tekla Structures list. Simply drag and drop it to your desired location in the ribbon. Click on the Save icon and then exit the ribbon editor. Answer Yes to reload the new ribbon. And it probably goes without saying, but you can use these same techniques to add any command to the User Menu or Ribbon. Well that’s it for this one, but I have more tips and tricks left over so be on the lookout for more videos like this in the future.
I hope you found this video informative and if you did please hit that thumbs up on your way out You can smash it if… smash… There’s no need… Don’t… Don’t smash the button. Leave comments and questions in the comment section below this video. Check out the rest of my channel for more videos like this. Please consider subscribing if you haven’t done so already. And hit that Bell icon to get notifications on future videos. And, as a bonus for all of you who have made it to the end of this video, (you know who you are) here’s a bonus tip just for fun. If you’re using a pre-2016 version of Tekla Structures, open the Help Menu and select About Tekla Structures while holding down the shift key. If you’re using version 2016 or higher, open the File Menu, select Help and click on Tekla User Assistance while holding down the shift key. Alright, that’s it for this one guys.
As always, thanks for watching and I’ll see you in the next one..