MicroStation Tip: Working with Linestyles – Scale, Shift, Direction

Written by Bob Mecham


Here is a key-in I had to dig up for a project I was working on. All of my existing custom linestyles were placed in the design file at 60 scale. Now the sheet sizes were changing to a 50 scale. I used the key-in “change linestyle scale x” (x is the desired scale of the linestyle). Creating a selection set of all the elements prior to entering the key-in eliminates the need to select the elements individually.


If you use custom linestyles that incorporate symbols or text, you may have been frustrated with the placement of the symbol or text. For example, using a custom linestyle for an electric line may look like — E —, the “E” may land on existing graphics or at other undesirable locations.

1. From the Main Task go to the Change Attributes tool bar.

microstation change attributes linestyle shift

2. Click the Modify Line Style Attributes icon.
3. In the Tool Settings dialog choose [Shift].

microstation change attributes linestyle shift tool settings
4. Select the custom linestyle and then move your cursor to dynamically shift the linestyle to place the symbol or text at a better location.


microstation change attributes linestyle shift beforemicrostation change attributes linestyle shift after


Some custom linestyles have directional symbols such as arrows or text. If you need to change the direction of the linestyle you can use one of the two options.
Open the Modify Curves toolbar from the pulldown menu:
Tools > Curves > Modify Curves > Change Direction

microstation change direction line
From the key-in browser you can use the key-in “change direction

microstation change attributes linestyle direction before microstation change attributes linestyle direction after

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.


4 comments on “MicroStation Tip: Working with Linestyles – Scale, Shift, Direction

  1. Roderick Salter Reply

    How can I change a portion of a line from say a solid to dotted without deleting the solid portion in question and placing a dotted line in its place?

    • Bob Mecham Reply

      Hi Roderick,
      All I can think of is to overlay another line on top of the solid line or make a new linestyle that is a solid dash with a point symbol dot on top of the dash.

      Bob Mecham

  2. Gavin Graham Reply

    Is it possible to have the “shift mode” setting to a specific way by default? For instance to have it always default to “Centered” for a certain layer?

    • Bob Mecham Reply

      Gavin, the tool settings are stored in the DGN Seed file. If you set up the tool the way you want it start it will default to that. Otherwise you can create a new icon that defaults to that option.

      Bob Mecham

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *