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Import layout data to Layout manager

Last updated March 12, 2019 by Tekla User Assistance tekla.documentation@trimble.com

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Import layout data to Layout manager

Import layout data to Layout manager

You can use Layout manager to import layout data to your model from a layout device, such as Trimble® LM80, to verify the as-built conditions.

Import layout data

You have two options when importing:

  • Copy the file that contains the layout data from the layout device to your computer and import the file later to Layout manager.
  • Import the file directly to Layout manager. You can do this if you connect the layout device to your computer using a USB, or a Bluetooth connection.
  1. On the Manage tab, click Layout manager.
  2. In Layout manager , click Import.
  3. Select the appropriate import file option.
    • Import point file (.txt) to import layout points.

      Point files ( .txt ) are always imported to the Design Points tab, regardless of whether they have been measured on the site or not.

    • Import job file (.cnx) to import all layout data in a Trimble® LM80 job file.

      Job files ( .cnx ) are imported to the Measured Points tab.

    • Import Field Link file (.tfl) to import all layout data in a Trimble Field Link file.

      Trimble Field Link files ( .tfl ) import both design points that have been exported from Tekla Structures originally and measured points that have been measured on the site. In the import dialog box, a design point is flagged if the point name and therefore, the point already exists. We recommend that you do not import an existing design point. Clear the check box next to the flag to exclude an existing point from the import.

  4. Select the file to import.

    When you select a file, a new group that is named with the file name is created. You can have a maximum of 255 groups in Layout manager.

  5. Select the group to which the layout data is imported, or click New to create a new group.

    Job files ( .cnx ) and Trimble Field Link files ( .tfl ) may contain layout pointpoint that can be exported to a layout device

    Layout point can be a reference point.

    groups. If there are groups in these files, the groups are shown in the list of groups that you can select in the Group list.

  6. Check the group local coordinates.

    The Group local coordinate system shows the group coordinate option that you have selected. You can change the coordinates by selecting another option from the list.

    If you select the group that has the import file name, the default coordinate system for groups defined in Layout Manager Object Group is used.

  7. Click Show to show the contents of the import file.
  8. If needed, define the point file columns in the Text File Import - Column Headers Mapping dialog box.
  9. Click Import.

Design points are layout points that have been created in the Tekla Structures model. Measured points are layout points that have been measured on the construction site.

Define point file columns

You can import layout points to your model in a point file that lists the layout point names and the point coordinates. If the point file does not have a header, or if Layout manager does not recognize the header, the Text File Import - Column Headers Mapping dialog box is displayed when you click Show to show the file contents in the import dialog box.

Example of a point file without a header:

In the Text File Import - Column Headers Mapping dialog box, the content of the point file is shown at the bottom and the column headings are shown at the top.

  1. Check that the point file content is shown under the correct column headings:
    • Name Column shows the layout point name.
    • X Column shows the x coordinates.
    • Y Column shows the y coordinates.
    • Z Column shows the z coordinates.

  2. If needed, change the columns at the top of the dialog box by selecting the correct column from the list.
  3. Select a measuring unit.
  4. Select in the Process first line setting whether the first line in the point file is a header row or not.
    • Yes means that the first line has layout point data and that it is not a header line.

    • No means that the first line is a header line.

  5. Click OK.

Measured points in Layout manager

Measured points are points that are measured on the construction site using a layout device and imported to Tekla Structures. You can view the properties of measured points in Layout manager or in the Layout Point tool dialog box. In addition to the general point properties, such as name, diameter, and shape, the measured points have measured point properties that cannot be modified in Tekla Structures.

To view the measured point properties, select the point in Layout manager or double-click the point in the model.

The measured point properties are as follows:



Is Stakeout Point

You can label a measured point as staked in the Trimble® LM80 device if it deviates from the corresponding layout point created in the model.

The property is shown in the Layout Point tool dialog box.

Is Field Point

A field point has been measured on the construction site and imported to Tekla Structures.

Is Field Line is the corresponding property for layout lines.

The property is shown in the Layout Point tool dialog box.


Height of rod is the height of the prism on the pole. It is used to determine instrument height, and therefore the actual elevation of the measured point.


Horizontal angle is the angle that was measured from the back sight, or 0 angle.


Vertical angle is the difference in angle measurement from the horizontal position of the instrument scope.


Slope distance is the actual distance regardless of elevation change. Horizontal angle is the distance along a horizontal plane.


Parts per million is a factor used to determine measurements that take into account the air conditions and how they affect the ability of light to travel through the air. This property is important in the measurement calculation and accuracy.

Benchmark offset

Benchmark offset is a measurement that defines a benchmark that elevation measurements are calculated from.

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