What is AreaAnnotator?

AreaAnnotator™ CONNECT Edition is an AddIn or App that adds functionality to Bentley Systems MicroStation® CONNECT. It's a tool for Architects, Engineers and Planners.

MicroStation®, created by Bentley Systems, is a tool for designing, analysing, and presenting 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 might find AreaAnnotator™ CONNECT Edition useful.

AreaAnnotator CONNECT Edition: a tool for Architects, Engineers and Planners

AreaAnnotator facilitates annotatation of areas

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 Tool Settings for Query

AreaAnnotator™ CONNECT Edition works with technology introduced by MicroStation CONNECT to annotate and update object measurements.

Area Measurements

AreaAnnotator CONNECT Edition is a development of an earlier annotation tool for MicroStation V8i. It lets you annotate an area feature, such as a shape or complex shape element. AreaAnnotor uses MicroStation Text Fields to create smart labels. MicroStation observes changes to the area and updates the shape's annotation label automatically.

Annotated Shape

In the example above, you can see the following labels created by AreaAnnotator …

AreaAnnotator Item Data

AreaAnnotator uses two classes from its Item Types schema to annotate an object …

Object IDs

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 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.


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 let's you assign a purpose to an object.

AreaAnnotator Tool Settings for Labelling

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.

Area Reports

AreaAnnotator CONNECT Edition does a very specific job, which is to monitor shapes and record their areas. It makes it easy to create Reports from those same data. When you want a report, AreaAnnotator sends a request to MicroStation's Reports dialog to display a report. The report is composed with a combination of AreaAnnotator's ID and Purpose Items and each area element's area property.

You can report both the measured area and a converted area. That is, if your DGN model master units are metres, then the reported area is square metres. If choose in addition to show an alternative area measurement, such as square feet, then those values can also be added to your report.

Area Tables (Schedules)

AreaAnnotator CONNECT Edition makes it easy to create Tables from those same data. When you request a table, AreaAnnotator first sends a request to MicroStation's Reports dialog to create a report. Next, it requests the Reports dialog to create a MicroStation table. The table is created and you then place the table in the usual way as a DGN element.

Annotating Multiple Objects

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.

AreaAnnotator Tool Settings for Tagging Multiple Objects

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.

ShapeTagger for MicroStation V8i

If you're familiar with AreaAnnotator for MicroStation V8i, then you may have come across ShapeTagger.

The functions of ShapeTagger are incorporated in AreaAnnotator™ CONNECT Edition. ShapeTagger is not provided for MicroStation CONNECT, nor it is necessary.

License Terms

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 or more licenses. Discounts are available for multiple license purchases.

How to Obtain AreaAnnotator CONNECT Edition

AreaAnnotator CONNECT Edition is a new (2017), evolving, technology. We don't want to release it into the wild just yet. We're looking for beta-testers right now.


Who can beta-test? Anyone can beta-test, as long as you're prepared to adapt to the idiosyncracies of new software and explore its capabilities. AreaAnnotator CONNECT Edition relies on Item Types, Text Fields and other features of MicroStation CONNECT. It will help your understanding of AreaAnnotator if you have already explored those new features of MicroStation CONNECT.