Better performance and other drawing improvements

Last updated September 26, 2017 by Tekla User Assistance

Software version: 

Better performance and other drawing improvements

Better performance and other drawing improvements

Tekla Structures 2017 has several improvements and new features in drawings including improved drawing opening, better drawing performance, new option for marking drawings ready for issuing, new command for deleting marks for selected parts at one go, new gray line colors, fills for neighbor parts, more consistent logic in openings and recesses, colors in snapshot overlays, improvements in reinforcement dimensions, automatic hatches that can be defined separately for precast and cast in place, improvements in custom gridmodeling aid that represents a three-dimensional complex of horizontal and vertical planes

In Tekla Structures, grids are used as an aid in locating objects in a model. The grid is shown on the view plane by dash-and-dot lines. It is also possible to show grids and grid line labels in drawings, and to modify grid properties in the drawings.

It is possible to have more than one grid in a model. For example, a large-scale grid for the entire structure, and smaller grids for some detailed sections.

labels, and many more.

More informative opening of drawings

Now you get more information on what is going on while you open drawings :

  • You can now see a snapshot of a drawing, while that drawing is opening, if a snapshot has been created for the drawing.
  • A message box is displayed showing the progress and what is happening.
  • The Cancel button in the message box now works and you can cancel the opening of the drawing.

Improved drawing performance

Drawing performance has been improved in several operations:

  • Updating of part, reinforcement, and annotation marks
  • Reference modelmodel which the designer can use as an aid when building another model

    A reference model is created in Tekla Structures or in other software and can be inserted to Tekla Structures. The reference model appears together with the model but it is not modified by Tekla Structures. The user can snap to reference model points.

    For example, an architectural model, a plant design model, or a heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) model can be a reference model.

    renderingprocess of making the model object faces visible

    The rendered model object faces can be transparent or non-transparent

    . Now drawings open faster also when reference models use hidden lines.
  • Object level settingsdrawing settings that affect the representation of selected drawing objects

    Object level settings can be defined when creating a new drawing or when modifying an open drawing.

    Object level settings can be use in a drawing or in a drawing view in order to change the representation of the chosen drawing objects.

  • Filtering
  • Rebar rendering
  • Hatching of parts faces and sections
  • Cloning

Mark drawings ready for issuing

When a drawing is ready to be released for fabrication, you can now mark it ready for issuing by using the new option Ready for issuing On/Off in the Drawing list. You can also find this command in the pop-up menu.
  • When there are changes in the model, the geometry of the issued drawings is updated. The drawing can still be edited and updated, and works just like any other drawing.
  • When a drawing is marked ready for issuing, it is flagged with a green check markin the new Ready for issuing column in the Drawing list. You can check who marked the drawing from the Ready for issuing by column.
  • The Mark drawing ready for issuing option has replaced the Disable automatic updating (Freeze) option in the save confirmation message box, which appears when you close an unsaved drawing.

  • The Freeze option is still available in the Drawing list for those who need it.
  • Template Editortool in Tekla Structures that is used for creating and modifying templates to be used in drawings and reports

    contains new attributes IS_READY_FOR_ISSUE and READY_FOR_ISSUE_BY for this new functionality. You can include the attributes in reports, for example.

Both letters and numbers allowed in section view labels

There is a new option available in the Section view properties in all drawing types for adjusting the section view and section symbol labels : Start number or letter of section view and symbol label.
  • You can enter any number starting from 1, or any letter A - Z or a - z (also shown in uppercase in the label).
  • If you use a letter, and the entered string is longer than one letter, only the first letter is shown. If you use numbers, all entered numbers are shown.
  • The start numberfirst number of a numbering series

    in the label changes only when you change it in the drawing properties before creating a drawing, and when you change it in an existing drawing and recreate the drawing. When you change it in an existing drawing and recreate the drawing, the labels for all automatically included section views and all new section views will change.

Delete marks of selected parts at one go

With the new command Delete part mark you can easily delete the part marks of parts that you have selected. This command comes in very handy when you do not want to show marks for neighbor parts or neighbor reinforcement, for example.

  • To delete marks , activate the Select parts selection switchswitch used for controlling which object types can be selected

    , select the parts using a proper selection filterfilter used for defining which object types can be selected

    Selection filter chooses model objects according to object properties.

    Selection filters can be standard or user-defined.

    For example, selection filters can be used to select parts for drawings or analysis.

    , right-click and select Delete part mark.

    In the following example, you want to delete all marks except marks for cast units with a position numberidentifier that is assigned to all similar parts, assemblies, cast units, or reinforcement

    Position number consists of a prefix, separator, and running number. The prefix is part of the position number, identifying a numbering series. The running number is part of the position number, and is the assigned number in the numbering series, based on the start number. The separator is an optional character, such as a slash, that separates the prefix and the running number.

    In Tekla Structures, the position numbers assigned in the numbering are shown in marks and templates, for example.

    In the US, the term piece mark or ship mark is used to refer to a position number.

    B/1. When you apply this filter, activate theSelect parts selection switch, and use area select to select the parts, all other parts get selected.

    The image below shows the parts that have been selected and the marks that you want to delete.

    To delete the marks, right-click and select Delete part mark.

  • You can delete all other mark types, except weld marks.

New gray drawing line colors

  • Now lines in all drawing types, in all building objects, annotations, dimensions, and drawing sketch objects have four new gray colors available. The different gray shades are true colors in the way that they will keep their color regardless of the drawing color mode, all the way to printing.

    Below is an example of architectural linework drawn directly from an architectural IFCfile format commonly used in BIM that facilitates software interoperability

    IFC is an open specification developed by the IAI (International Alliance for Interoperability).

    Model can be exported into an IFC file.

    model. Light gray is used here.

Fill available for neighbor parts

  • The Fill tab has been added to the Neighbor part properties. For example, if your drawing shows a pour, you may want to show other parts with a different color than pours, and add a different fill.

Improved custom grid labels

  • The Advanced grid label properties dialog box now has a new user interface. Earlier there were problems with the dialog box size and buttons that were not working properly.

  • In custom grid labels , you can now select which symbol filefile that contains symbols

    The symbol file in use can be changed in the symbol files dialog box.

    to use, and select the symbol by double-clicking it in a separate window, which opens when you click the ... button.

  • The symbol height has three new options. If you select Enter height , you can enter the height in the Height box. If you select Autosize , the symbol height is adjusted automatically. Use the option Enter Autosize minimum height to set the minimum height for the symbol.

  • Now you can also enter the grid axis text and prefixes in the Advanced grid label properties dialog box. Earlier, these values could only be entered in the user-defined grid properties in the model.

  • The minimum allowed size in the Grid number and Grid text boxes in the Advanced grid label properties dialog box is 1.0.

  • Grid labels created in Tekla Structures version 2016i are not compatible with version 2017. You need to recreate the labels.

Add images from 2D Library

You can now insert images to drawings from the 2D Library.

  • Open the 2D Library and browse for the folder containing the desired image files. Alternatively, you can move your image files to the \Drawing Details folder under the current modelmodel that is active in Tekla Structures

    The current model can be a single-user model, a shared model or a working model.

    folder. To place the image, select the file and click the drawing viewview that includes selected model objects or an area in the model, that is represented in a drawing

    A drawing view is a container for model and drawing objects.

    A drawing can include several drawing views, which usually are two-dimensional views, plane views, to the model.

    Examples of drawing views in Tekla Structures include main views, section views, single-part views, and 3D views.

    or drawing.

  • If the file is inserted from outside the model folderfolder that is used for storing files associated with a model

    Tekla Structures stores all files associated with a model in a folder it creates with the same name as the model database (.db1).

    In multi-user mode all users access the same model folder.

    , Tekla Structures will copy the file to the model folder first, and the insertion path will be relative to that.

  • You cannot include images in new details.

Filtering improvements

  • Now the Selecting toolbar also contains a Selection filter button in the drawing modemode that is used for editing the appearance and content of drawings

    Tekla Structures switches to the drawing mode when the user opens any drawing.

    . When you click this button, the Selection filter dialog box is displayed allowing you to create and modify drawing selection filters.

  • You can also open the Selection filter dialog box by pressing Ctrl+G or entering Selection filter in the Quick Launch box.

  • You can now select Reference object as the Object type.
  • The option Id number has now been removed from drawing filtering properties. Use the filtering property GUID instead in assembly, reference assembly and reference object filtering.

Openings and recesses drawn correctly

  • The openings and recesses logic is now more consistent. If you use a polygon or a part cutcut that is defined by a cutting part

    for cutting, the resulting opening or recess is visible in drawings. If the cut is created by modifying part points, the opening/recess is not shown. Hollow profiles are now drawn correctly using the correct symbols. Complex cuts, like L, U or O shapes, are not supported.

  • Note that if you open a drawing from an older Tekla Structures version, the opening and recess symbols may change.

  • The following advanced optionssettings used to customize Tekla Structures for specific companies, standards, users, or user groups

    In Tekla Structures, advanced options are settings that are used, for example, in a specific project or geographical area, or by a specific company.

    In Tekla Structures, advanced options usually begin with the initials XS and are followed by the name of the function, for example XS_BACKGROUND_COLOR.

    define how the openings and recesses are shown:




Inch marks now shown after fractions of an inch

  • Now inch marks are also shown after fractions of an inch in dimension texts.

Rich text file improvements

  • Now you can also use underscore, hieroglyphs, superscript and subscript in the .rtf files added in drawings with the commandRich text. Nested lists are also supported.

Select all (Ctrl+A) in drawing texts

  • You can now select all text in the Text box in the Text properties dialog box by pressing Ctrl+A.

Improved snapshot overlay with color support

  • In model snapshot overlays , the plan views are now located on the correct plane.
  • The text "Snapshot" and the layout of the drawing are no longer displayed in the snapshot overlays in the model.
  • You can now change the snapshot overlaydrawing snapshot displayed on top of a drawing or a model

    Snapshot overlays can be used to view the contents of the drawings directly in a model view without opening the actual drawing. Drawing snapshots can also be shown against the latest version of a drawing, or against another drawing in the drawing mode.


  • You can now snap to drawing snapshotimage of a drawing that shows the drawing as it was at a certain point in time

    Drawing snapshots make it possible to have a quick look at any drawing without opening the drawing. Snapshots are used, for example, for finding a certain drawing edition. Snapshots can be viewed in Tekla Structures but they cannot be edited.

    overlays with the Snap to geometry lines/points snap switchswitch used for controlling what kind of points Tekla Structures snaps to

    The user needs to activate snap switches to be able to pick different points, for example, line ends and intersections.

    Snap switches help the user to pick points in order to position model objects precisely without having to know the coordinates or create additional lines or points.


AutoDrawings available in Quick Launch

The AutoDrawings command is again available as a separate command. An AutoDrawings wizard is a file-based wizard consisting of several sets of drawing requests containing drawing, attribute and part settings to apply to selected objects, as well as a selection filter.

  • You can open the AutoDrawings dialog box by entering AutoDrawings in Quick Launch.

  • You can also create a keyboard shortcut for starting AutoDrawings through File > Settings > Keyboard shortcuts.

New option to define automatic hatches separately for Precast and CIP

You can now specify automatic hatches separately for cast-in-place and precast parts using the new option Cast unit type in the drawing hatch schema file ( .htc ). This can be useful in GA drawings for presenting different types of concrete structures, or in cast unit drawings for identifying different concrete layers in composite elements, such as double walls or half-slabs.

  • The allowed values are Precast and CIP.

  • There are separate .htc files for each drawing type.

  • To be able to specify hatches separately, you need to select the appropriate cast unit typeproperty of a concrete part in a cast unit that defines if the structure type of the part is precast or cast in place

    in the concrete part properties.

  • Automatic hatching also supports the new gray scale colors. New color numbers are 130 - 133 from darker to lighter.

Improvements in reinforcement dimensions

Tekla Structures 2017 contains plenty of improvements and fixes in rebar dimensioning :

  • You can add tapered skewed and tapered curved dimensions to both ends of the part, and the dimension lineline that visualizes the distance between the defined dimension points

    Separate dimensions can be combined into a longer dimension line.

    follows the shape of the edge that is closest to the location that you pick. The representationthe way that the information included in a model is represented visually

    of the tapered skewed and tapered curved dimensions is set in Drawing dimensions settings in the Options dialog box.

    Now you can also add middle tags in curved rebar dimensions on the Tags tab in the Dimension Properties dialog box. In the example below, dual dimensions are applied so that you can see metric above and imperial below in the middle tag:

  • There is one new optionin the Curved dimension tag type list on the Tags tab in the Dimension Properties dialog box. When you select this option, the dimension tagpart of a dimension that displays additional information about the building object

    follows the dimension curve:

  • When you select option, vertical rebar dimension tags are now placed correctly:

Rebars visible in reference models in drawings

  • Rebars are now shown in reference models in drawings.

New content type option in Rebar mesh view creator

  • RebarMeshViewCreator is a macrosaved series of actions that includes instructions for a program

    Macros are located in the applications and components catalog. They are recorded or created manually and stored as .cs file in a folder defined with the advanced option XS_MACRO_DIRECTORY.

    Macros can, for example, be used for creating drawings or reports.

    Macros are sometimes used to run an application.

    that you can use for creating a separate drawing view for a reinforcement meshreinforcement that represents a mesh of steel bars in two perpendicular directions

    In Tekla Structures, the reinforcement mesh bars in one direction are called main bars and reinforcement mesh bars perpendicular to them are called crossing bars.

    . A new option Unit of length in text has been added in the Rebar mesh view creator dialog box to control the unit of the wire length (L=…) text in the annotation text. When you select Auto , with imperial units the text will be using the current units, and otherwise the text will use m.

New location for loading drawing presentation and dimensioning plug-ins


Drawing presentation and dimensioning plug-ins are now loaded from the following pre-defined folders:



Earlier, custom properties were loaded from all folders and subfolders in ..common\extensions. This caused performance issues and loading failures when custom properties were used. Now the custom properties are loaded only from the extension folder ..common\extensions\custom\properties\.

This speeds up the loading process and solves loading problems caused by other software components in other extension folders. New functionality for loading custom properties can be switched off in startup .ini files by defining the following advanced option:


When you do this, the loading of custom properties works as in previous versions.

Quick feedback

The feedback you give here is not visible to other users. We use your comments to improve our content.
We use this to prevent automated spam submissions.
Content rating: 
Average page rating: 1 (1 vote)
Refresh page after voting to show updated result.


by Ayman Abu Alouf

why Trimble can't add Arabic font in the drawings

by Päivi from Tekla User Assistance

Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, I do not have an answer to this, so please contact Trimble Solutions Middle East, Tel: +971 4 391 5640

Best regards,
Documentation Specialist