How to use the contextual toolbar

Last updated September 10, 2019 by Tekla User Assistance

Software version: 

How to use the contextual toolbar

How to use the contextual toolbar

When you click an object in a model or drawing, a contextual toolbarfloating toolbar that contains commands for modifying the most common object properties

The user can customize the contextual toolbar.

symbolappears next to the mouse pointer. Click the symbol to open the contextual toolbar. Use the contextual toolbar to quickly view and change some basic properties of an object, view, gridmodeling aid that represents a three-dimensional complex of intersecting grid planes or intersecting grid planes and curved grid surfaces

The grid is defined by coordinates in 3D space. It is shown two-dimensionally on the view plane by dash-and-dot lines. A grid can be rectangular or radial.

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.

It is also possible to show grids and grid line labels in drawings, and to modify how they are shown in the drawings.

, and so on.

If multiple objects are being selected, the contextual toolbar displays the text Varies for any properties that differ.

How to change object properties using contextual toolbar

The changes that you make on the contextual toolbar are immediately applied to the model or drawing.

  1. Click an object in a model or drawing.

    A contextual toolbar appears next to the mouse pointer.

  2. Change the object propertiesproperties associated with an object type

    Usually a single object property includes a default value that the user can modify.

    on the contextual toolbar.

    The changes are applied immediately.


Press the Tab key to move between the properties and command buttons on the contextual toolbar.

Show or hide contextual toolbar

You can define whether the contextual toolbar is visible in Tekla Structures.

  1. On the File menu, click Settings.
  2. Under Toolbars , select or clear the Contextual toolbar check box.

    Alternatively, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+K to show or hide the contextual toolbar.

Define contextual toolbar's position

You can define the position of the contextual toolbar, relative to an object's reference pointpoint that Tekla Structures creates when the user creates a model object, the point being visualized as a handle

The reference points follow the model object if it is moved. They are only deleted if the related model object is deleted.

Reference points can be selected as snap points in a snap switch.


  1. Select an object.
  2. Hold down the Ctrl key and click the contextual toolbar with the left mouse button.

    A dashed line appears between the contextual toolbar and the object.

  3. Drag the contextual toolbar to a new position. For example, you can position the contextual toolbar on the left side of the selected object.
  4. Release the left mouse button. The contextual toolbar now appears in the position you defined, for example on the left side of any object you select.

Pin contextual toolbar in place

You can pin the contextual toolbar to a specific location on the screen, so that the position is locked. For example, you could have it appear at the upper left corner of the screen. In the locked state, the position of the contextual toolbar is independent of the individual part’s location.

  1. Drag the contextual toolbar to a new location.
  2. Clickto pin the contextual toolbar to the new location.

    The pin icon changes when the position is locked.

  3. To unlock the position, click.

Minimize contextual toolbar

You can minimize the contextual toolbar so that it takes less space on your screen.

  1. On the contextual toolbar, click. The contextual toolbar now has the symbol.
  2. To restore the contextual toolbar to its original size, clickagain.

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