AreaAnnotator™ CONNECT Edition is an AddIn or App that adds functionality to Bentley Systems MicroStation® CONNECT. It's a tool for architects, engineers, planners and technicians.
MicroStation®, created by Bentley Systems, helps you to design, analyse, and present 3D models and 2D designs. MicroStation stores your models and designs in a DGN file.
We often want to create reports about DGN graphic elements. For example, suppose your job is to design an office floor layout or parking lot. You want to know information about the way you've divided the space. You might ask questions similar to the following …
This is where you will discover AreaAnnotator™ CONNECT Edition to be indispensible.
Here's a small DGN model for you to examine. It contains a single area feature that represents an office plan view. We've used AreaAnnotator to label the office …
Open the example DGN model with MicroStation CONNECT. Try using MicroStation's built-in tools to modify the shape. Note how the labels update automatically when you change the shape.
AreaAnnotator™ CONNECT Edition works with MicroStation CONNECT to help annotate, measure and report areas in your DGN models.
AreaAnnotator™ is the answer to common questions posed by MicroStation CONNECT users …
AreaAnnotator™ CONNECT Edition works with technology introduced with MicroStation CONNECT to annotate and update object measurements.
AreaAnnotator CONNECT Edition is a development of an annotation tool for a previous generation of MicroStation (MicroStation V8i). It lets you annotate an area feature, such as a shape or complex shape element. More exactly, AreaAnnotatorn works with planar closed shapes in a 2D or 3D DGN model. AreaAnnotator uses MicroStation Text Fields to create smart labels. MicroStation observes changes to the area and updates the shape's annotation label automatically.
In the example above, you can see the following labels created by AreaAnnotator …
AreaAnnotator has a search tool …
See the Search page for more information.
AreaAnnotator has an align tool. When you attach area properties to an element you can place the label manually wherever you want. Subsequently you may want to realign the labels for neatness. The align tool lets you place multiple labels, each relative to its host, in a uniform manner.
See the Alignment page for more information.
By 'Alternative Metrics' we mean the ability to label an area using both the DGN model master units (e.g. feet²) and an alternative unit (e.g. metres²). AreaAnnotator lets you choose to use an alternative metric in addition to the default DGN model master unit. Here's an example …
AreaAnnotator uses a MicroStation Item Type schema definition named Area Feature. AreaAnnotator uses several user-supplied properties from its MicroStation Area Feature schema to annotate an object …
AreaAnnotator also uses several non-editable properties from its MicroStation Area Feature schema to format alternative measurements, if enabled …
Non-editable property values are calculated automatically by AreaAnnotator. If you have chosen to use them, you will see alternative measurement in the labels & reports created by AreaAnnotator.
AreaAnnotator helps 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
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 105, …,
The ID is invaluable when creating a report or table. The ID provides a visual reference to the tagged object.
AreaAnnotator will auto-increment the ID as you annotate areas. In the Settings dialog, you control (a) whether you want to enable auto-increment and (b) the amount by which the ID is incremented (the delta value).
You can designate an area to represent an Enclosure or a Void.
For example, a conference hall might be tagged as an Enclosure. Pillars within that hall might be tagged as Void. A report or calculation could evaluate the net area of the hall as its area less the area of all voids.
AreaAnnotator helps you to explain the purpose of an object. If you are annotating rooms you may want to describe rooms as office space, circulation, meeting etc.. AreaAnnotator's Purpose tag lets you assign a purpose to an object.
The Purpose is invaluable when creating a report or table. The Purpose property provides a way to classify similar types of object, and filter and sort reports.
The screenshot above shows AreaAnnotator's Tool Settings for Labelling. The text fields show the values assigned to the target area. The toggle buttons on the right let you choose to include or omit data from the labels you create. For example, you might choose to show just the ID, or perhaps the ID and the Area.
With AreaAnnotator a label is just a label. It reflects the underlying Item Data attached to a DGN element.
If you delete a label, the Item Data remains attached to the DGN element. If you use AreaAnnotator's tag command, the Item Data is once more visible in the new label.
If you want to remove the Item data that underpins an AreaAnnotator label, then use the AREA TAG REMOVE command.
When you remove the Item data, AreaAnnotator automatically deletes its label,
The annotation labels you create with AreaAnnotator update themselves when you modify the host shape. That is, when you use one of MicroStation's built-in tools to edit or modify a labelled shape, you see the new measurement displayed automatically in the label.
AreaAnnotator creates one or two Report definitions when you install it. You can modify those Reports and add more Reports that match your requirements. You can read more about AreaAnnotator reports and tables. From a Report, you can create a table for placement as a DGN graphic element. To create a table from a Report, use the tools that MicroStation provides.
AreaAnnotator™ CONNECT Edition includes a tool to tag multiple objects with the AreaAnnotator Item Types. The bulk tagging tool searches a DGN model for shapes on a named level. When it tags a shape, AreaAnnotator creates a label to provide a visual clue that the element is annotated.
The AreaAnnotator ID, which is visible in the label, is auto-incremented for each shape. For example, if your ID takes the form Room 101, then subsequent labels will be Room 102, Room 103, Room 104 …etc.
It you've used AreaAnnotator for MicroStation V8i you'll appreciate that bulk tagging was implemented in a separate VBA project ShapeTagger. ShapeTagger is not required for AreaAnnotator CONNECT Edition.
The MicroStation key-in to start AreaAnnotator is
mdl load AreaAnnotator
Once loaded, AreaAnnotator provides a number of key-ins that are detailed here.
AreaAnnotator settings are described here.
Visit the download page to register your interest in AreaAnnotator CONNECT Edition and download the installer.
LA Solutions' AreaAnnotator™ CONNECT Edition is licensed software. When you first install AreaAnnotator™ CONNECT Edition we grant you automatically a 30-day evaluation license. To continue using AreaAnnotator™ CONNECT Edition you must purchase a license. You may purchase one license, multiple licenses or a site license. Discounts are available for multiple license purchases.
Many of you have asked for aggregation tools. That is, if you have annotated a floor plan, for example, you want to how many offices are on that plan and their total area. AreaAnnotator's Aggregation tools will let you obtain exactly that information. Here's a preview of technology that continues to evolve …