Introduction

MicroStation® created by Bentley Systems is a tool for designing, analysing, and presenting 3D models.

We often want to create reports about DGN graphic elements. For example: tell me the area of each room in my floor plan. What is the perimeter of each room?

AreaAnnotator measures and annotates areas and volumes

Dynamic Updating

AreaAnnotator™ updates its measurements when you edit a MicroStation element. When you change a shape, AreaAnnotator  notes the change and evaluates the element's new metrics. Then it updates the tags that store and display those metrics. All that happens automatically with AreaAnnotator  installed.

MicroStation CONNECT

MicroStation CONNECT introduces Item Types that store information about elements along with element properties. Using a combination of Item Types  and element properties, you can create reports and tables such as those mentioned above.

MicroStation CONNECT  also brings graphic tables and new reporting technology for MicroStation users. You can create a table of data sourced by element properties and Item Types, and you can report on those same data.

If you are using AreaAnnotator™ with MicroStation V8i, then consider migrating to the new technologies provided by MicroStation CONNECT.

MicroStation V8i

AreaAnnotator™ is the solution to common questions posed by MicroStation V8i users …

Q

AreaAnnotator measures and annotates areas and volumes

A While MicroStation provides tools for measuring linear, area and volumetric properties, there's nowhere to store measured values where they can be retrieved automatically. MicroStation's tags are a good way to annotate objects, because MicroStation has tag reporting tools built-in. But, although you can tag an object, there's no built-in way to have tags update automatically.

AreaAnnotator™ works with MicroStation tags to annotate and update object measurements.

Area Measurements

AreaAnnotator is an area annotation tool for MicroStation V8i and earlier. It lets you annotate an area feature, such as a shape or complex shape element, using a tag set. AreaAnnotator observes changes to the shape and updates the area tag in the tag set automatically.

Length and Volume Measurements

AreaAnnotator also measures length and volume (3D only, of course).

You can read about AreaAnnotator at Eat Your CAD.

Example Floor Plan with Area Annotation

Other Features

Perimeter Measurement

You can use AreaAnnotator to annotate the perimeter measurement of a shape. That is, you can measure and annotate both area and perimeter.

Number Formatting

If you want to see the annotation as something more informative than just a number, AreaAnnotator can format the measurement into human-readable text. For example, if an area measures 134.567890432, you are entitled to ask the question, "134.567890432 what? Miles, metres, square cubits? A number is meaningless without its units! And what's the use of nine decimal digits to anyone?"

In answer to your perfectly valid point, AreaAnnotator can render that area in a more digestible form, such as Area: 134.57 sq metres.

Lorys Lea, an AreaAnnotator enthusiast in Australia, and member of the Victorian BE Users Group Committee, provides this note about numeric annotation …

I edited the configuration file to have
ANNOTATOR_FORMAT_AREA = Area %.0lf m²
which works really well with a TrueType font.

Object IDs

AreaAnnotator can help you to annotate object IDs. If you are annotating rooms you may want a consistently-numbered room ID. For example, room numbering in your current model may start with room 100 and continue in increments of five. What's more, you can add explanatory text around the ID, so your sequence would look something like Room 100, Room 105, …, Room 125, Room 130.

Platforms

Bentley Systems flagship CAD platform is MicroStation. PowerDraft provides all the 2D and most of the 3D functionality of MicroStation, but at lower cost.

MicroStation V8

LA Solutions provides AreaAnnotator software for MicroStation V8i and earlier. It works with earlier version MicroStation XM. The version for MicroStation V8 2004 Edition is no longer available.

PowerDraft V8

We have not tested AreaAnnotator with PowerDraft, but believe that it should work correctly. Let us know!

Area Reports

AreaAnnotator is a silent utility. It does a very specific job, which is to monitor shapes and record their areas. It won't help you create schedules or reports. However, our product FlexiTable™ is a great tool for extracting information from tags. FlexiTable will help you create impeccable reports, tables, and even pie or bar charts.

There is more information about FlexiTable™.

ShapeTagger

Attach multiple tags in one hit

MicroStation's tag tools are interactive: they let a user choose an element, attach tags and edit the tag's value. There is no tool to attach multiple tags in one go. ShapeTagger is a freeware solution to that problem.

ShapeTagger

There is more information about ShapeTagger. It is a freeware utility. It attaches tags to multiple shape and complex shape elements automatically. It invokes AreaAnnotator to measure the areas and update the tag data.

ShapeTagger is implemented as a MicroStation VBA project. It is included with the AreaAnnotator download.

How much is AreaAnnotator?

Nothing! It's free; gratis; nichts; nada. Download it and start using it.

License Terms

LA Solutions provides AreaAnnotator software as is for MicroStation V8i and earlier. No warranty of fitness for purpose is provided. Use at your own risk.

LA Solutions Ltd grants you a zero-cost license to use AreaAnnotator on one or more computers. You will not sell loan or copy AreaAnnotator to any third-party. You will not purport AreaAnnotator to be the intellectual property of any entity other than LA Solutions Ltd.

How to Obtain AreaAnnotator

The simplest way is to use the form below. You will be forwarded to a page where you can download AreaAnnotator. Note that AreaAnnotator is bundled with ShapeTagger. AreaAnnotator and ShapeTagger are freeware.

Request AreaAnnotator

Click this request AreaAnnotator link, then complete the form. You can then download a ZIP file containing the AreaAnnotator MDL application for MicroStation.