12 Days of CAD Manager Tips for the Holidays

Written by Bob Mecham and Rod Wing


With the holiday season upon us here are 12 Days of CAD Manager Tips. Performing these tasks will help keep your organization running smoothly into 2014.

Day 1
Review your Site, Project, and User variables pathing.
Verify the folders and files your variables are pointing to actually exist.  Consider creating your own custom variables so you do not have to hardcode so many file paths.

Day 2
Debug your workspace.
Review the keyword and boolean variables make sure they are defined and are working as you would anticipated.

Day 3
Download and install Bentley Configuration Explorer to help locate and correct problems with your workspace.
The Bentley Configuration Explorer is an administrative application to manage and diagnose Bentley applications by allowing users to easily explore and investigate configuration files and variables.

Day 4
Review your pentables by creating a test plot file that has your levels, fonts, linetypes, and color table displayed.
Make sure you have text substitutions setup.

Day 5
Review your plot config PLTCFG printer drivers.  Utilize the General Tab in the dialog to keep notes about what makes this PLTCFG unique.
Just to be clear it is a PLTCFG file you should be using not the old PLT file.

Day 6
Setup PrintStyles in a DGNLIB so they can be used for single plots and print organizer.
Using PrintStyles can help reduce errors in printing. With the enhancements in MicroStation V8i (SELECTseries 3)
Print Styles can be used to toggle off and on the display of Levels and References.

Day 7
Check your seed file Working Units setting.
Are your Master Units in Feet when you really should be using US Survey Feet?
Do the Resolution units in the Advanced  Settings match the master units?

Day 8
Set up and run Standards Checker.
This is the easiest way to validate that your project dgn files are following company standards.

Day 9
Learn VBA.  As a CAD manager you are looking for ways to increase productivity.
VBA is an easy way to automate commands and processes in MicroStation.

Day 10
Learn about Element Templates and how they can increase productivity and encourage users to follow standards.
When used in conjunction with Workspace Customization the users will have to go out of their way to not follow the standards in front of them.

Day 11
Review current workflows.
Look for new tools in the software that can help with old workflows or ways to automate using VBA macros and/or Batch Process.

Day 12
Cleanup your DGNLIBS.
If your Level dgnlib has textsytles in it delete them.

By the time you are done with these 12 items you have started your own CAD Audit.  As you find items that could be fixed or enhanced you can make an action item list to start working on in 2014.

If the idea of working on all of these items is overwhelming to you then consider our CAD Managed Services.  Through EnvisionCAD’s CAD Managed Services your organization can benefit from the knowledge of industry experts. We can fine tune your workspace and add productivity enhancements while your users focus on what they do best.


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Bob Mecham

Bob is a partner at EnvisionCAD and is an industry expert in the implementation, configuration, instruction, development, and customization of both MicroStation and InRoads.

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