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Template Editor improvements

Last updated February 5, 2018 by Tekla User Assistance tekla.documentation@trimble.com

Software version: 

Template Editor improvements

Template Editor improvements

We have made some improvements in Template Editortool in Tekla Structures that is used for creating and modifying templates to be used in drawings and reports

to make it more versatile and flexible.

Access external files in templates

  • You can now access external files in templates. You need to create a text file containing the required data, which you can then access from a template. Include a space at the end of each line, otherwise the file will not be read.

    You might want to use this featurepart of Tekla Structures functionality that is maintained and owned by Trimble Solutions and that is included in the Tekla Structures installation

    for company name changes, or to quickly add comments to items in a table, for example.

  • Value field rule allows you to define a file name and to pick a certain position inside a file. This feature can be used in row rules and in value field formulas.

  • You can use ASCII files for the needed data. Tekla Structures searches for the files in the following search order: model, project, firm, and system.

  • The format for reading files is the following: fvf ("<file_name>", "<key_value_of_row>", <column_number>)


The external file should be located in the same folder as the template that it is referring to, or in one of the folders defined by the following variables: XS_PROJECT , XS_FIRM , XS_SYSTEM , or XS_PROFDB. If the file is in 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.

, it will also be read.

Example of a valid data filefile that contains options for object properties

Data files contain information used by certain components, for example.

Data files have the extension .dat.



Use this function to find a value in the external file.

Parameters: file name, row, column number

The following function gets the profile P20(200x1200) from the third column (3) in the external filehollowcore_slab_dim.dat.


The CopyField command copies values from any location. This works only for single value rows, not for multiple row results.
For example, if you have the following rows:
Row 1    ASSEMBLY_POS = C1
Row 2    ASSEMBLY_POS = C2
Row 3    ASSEMBLY_POS = C3
CopyField only finds the first value and copies that to the wanted location.

You can copy a value from:

  • a row to another row
  • a sub-row to an upper row
  • an upper row to a sub-row
  • a row to a header
  • a row to a footer
  • a header to a row
  • a footer to a row
  • a Sum field

Value field formulas

  • Value field formulas now have similar options as row rule formulas.

Support for multiple lines of text

  • You can now enter multiple lines of text in the Text Properties dialog box.

Support for multiple lines of values

  • You can now enter multiple lines of values in the Name field in the Value Field Properties dialog box. You also need to enter the number of lines. The lines will be reserved even if you do not enter multiple lines.

    To get the end result to go to multiple lines press Enter at the end of the row.

    "Profile:" + "\n"

    + GetValue("PROFILE")

    If you do not press Enter , and if the value does not fit in one value field cell due to length limitations, the value continues to the next line if you have set the line count to more than 1 and the row height allows that.

Organize data in columns

You can now organize data in columns that start from top left, top right, bottom left or bottom right. These settings can be modified in the Row Properties dialog box. To use columns, select the Use columns check box, and then define the order:

Content browser improvements

  • You can now adjust the height of the Content browser pane located on the left side of the Template Editor main window.

  • The Content browser pane can now only be docked to left or right. Earlier you could also dock it to top and bottom, which made it difficult to use.

  • You can now change the width of the pane by undocking it, changing the width by dragging the borders, and then docking it again.

Refresh the work area

  • The usability of moving graphical objects front or back is improved: when items are moved in Content browser , the changes are visible immediately. Earlier, the work areacertain portion of the model that is currently active for working on in a view

    Tekla Structures indicates the work area using dashed lines. Since objects outside the work area exist but are not visible the user can set a certain sized work area so that the views of the model are simpler and quickly updated, for example.

    did not refresh properly.

Sample templates

  • You can now create a sample template, and save it for later use.

  • Global settings including the templates are located in nt/tpled/settings.

  • To create a template of a template:

    1. In Template Editor, select File > New , and select a graphical templatetemplate that may contain text, graphics, and bitmaps

      Graphical templates are primarily used in drawings but they can also be used in HTML reports. Graphical templates display project and company information, for example. In addition to text, they can contain graphics, such as table outlines, bitmaps or symbols.

      or a textual templatetemplate that may contain only text

      Textual templates are used for creating reports or listings of objects, for example, material lists of assemblies.


    2. Go to File > Template > Save , and give a name for your new sample template.

More characters allowed in formulas and rules

  • The character limitation in formulas and rules is now 4000 characters. Spaces are also counted as characters. Earlier the limitation was 2000 characters.

For more information about Template Editor, see Template Editor User's Guide.

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by David Lash

Hi, with fvf, the formula should be '=fvf" as this does not work.

It should be just "fvf"

by Mondp

Lots of awesome improvement.
Especially the introduction of the VF function "fVF(,,)".
Keep it improving and introducing developments.

by Tekla User Assistance

Thanks, we are happy to hear that.

Best regards,
Päivi from User Assistance


fvf(,,) instead of fVf(,,), please test and update
thank for improvement

by Päivi from Tekla User Assistance

Thank you for your feedback, I will check this.

Best regards,
Päivi from User Assistance

by Päivi from Tekla User Assistance

I have fixed the image, the text seems to be OK.

Best regards,
Päivi from User Assistance

by Kelvin Ng

Will "Organize data in columns" also be available in earlier version such as TS2017?

by Päivi from Tekla User Assistance

Template Editor is a separate application that is not included in Tekla Structures, it can only be used through Tekla Structures. It has its own versioning, and the current version in 3.6. I am afraid I do not know if this feature is going to be included in older Template Editor versions, we will have to see what happens.

Best regards,
Päivi from User Assistance