Drawings in Tekla Structures

Added May 4, 2021 by Tekla User Assistance tekla.documentation@trimble.com

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Drawings in Tekla Structures

Drawings in Tekla Structures

Tekla Structures drawings contain a large variety of features and tools that help you to create and manage your drawings efficiently.

Main drawing features

  • The model is the single source of information for drawings. The drawing is just another view to the model, usually a 2D viewview that displays objects two-dimensionally


  • Creating drawings is fast, efficient and controlled thanks to one centralized location, Master drawing catalog.

  • Automatic workshop single-part and assembly drawings, and cast unit drawings of selected parts with predefined settings for layout, views, dimensions, marks, and building objects. View properties are defined separately for each view before a drawing is created.

  • Automatic general arrangement drawings and anchor bolt plans of selected views.

  • Drawing objects are associated with model objects, and updated when the model changes.

  • Changing some of the properties requires the recreation of the drawings.

  • If there are several identical parts, cast units or assemblies in the model, Tekla Structures creates only one drawing.

  • You can modify drawing properties on three levels; drawing, view and object level, depending on the drawing type and the desired results.

  • The drawings consist of three main types of elements: drawing layoutplan of a drawing that includes the table layout and definitions of the sheet size

    Tekla Structures includes several predefined drawing layouts, which are drawing-type specific. The user can also create new drawing layouts.

    , drawing views, and drawing objects. You can select what to include in the drawing before you create it, and also add, modify and delete objects in an existing drawing.

  • You can check previews of the drawings, and print your drawings to pdf, printer or plot files.

  • You can control drawing revisions, and issue, lockto prevent unwanted action in a model or a drawing

    It is possible to lock model objects, reference models, and drawings, for example.

    , and freezeto prevent Tekla Structures from updating annotation objects and certain drawing view properties in a drawing when it updates the drawing as the model changes

    When a drawing is frozen, only part geometry is updated when the model changes.


  • You can use interactive editing tools for adding dimensions, various sketch objects, marks, notes, texts, symbols, images and links in the drawings.

Drawings are integrated with models

Tekla Structures integrates the drawings with the model. A drawing is a window to the model presenting 3D structures in 2D. The building objects shown in the drawing are model objects you create in the model. You can change their representationthe way that the information included in a model is represented visually

in the drawing but you cannot change the geometry or the location of the building objectobject that represents something that will exist in the real building or will be closely related to it

A building object is always created in a model, but it is also represented as a drawing object in a drawing in which its properties can be modified.

, or delete building objects; all changes to building objects are made in the model. That is why the drawings are always up to date, and dimensions and marks in drawings are always correct, for example. You can filter out parts and bolts in drawings using the filtering tools, or make them invisible by hiding them.

You can create drawings at any stage of the project. Creating single-part, assembly and cast unit drawings requires that the model is numbered, so you need to plan and perform the numberingprocess of assigning position numbers to parts, cast units, assemblies, or reinforcement

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

before creating drawings. For more information about numbering, see Number the model.

If the model changes, Tekla Structures notifies in Document manager that you need to update the related drawings. You cannot open a drawing that is not up to date. For more information about updating the model, see Update drawings when the model changes.

Drawings are associative

Tekla Structures drawings are associative. The objects in the drawing are linked to model objects, which means that most objects in the drawing are automatically updated when the corresponding model objects change. For example, if a model objectobject that is represented in a model

A model object is either created in a model or imported into it.

is resized, the dimension points move with the corresponding object in the drawing, and the dimensions are recalculated. Still you do not lose any manual changes that you have made in the drawing. This applies to all drawing types.

Tekla Structures updates the following drawing objects to reflect the changes in the model:

  • Parts

  • Marks

  • Dimensions

  • Welds

  • Views

  • Section marks

  • Detail marks

  • Associative notes

  • Lines and other shapes

  • Tables

Tekla Structures retains the following manual changes made to drawings:

  • Base points of objects; for example, if you drag an object to a new location

  • Object propertiesproperties associated with an object type

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

    ; for example, color, font, and line type

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.

related to associativitydrawing property that represents the linking of drawing objects to model objects so that the former are updated according to changes made to the latter in the modeling mode

In Tekla Structures, associativity only relates to one type of drawing objects, namely associative objects. These can be building objects and associative annotation objects.

In Tekla Structures, the term associativity has traditionally been used when referring to the linking of drawing objects to model objects. In other modeling contexts, however, the term associativity may refer to any kind of linking between model objects or parts of a model by using dependencies.




Associativity symbolgraphic that Tekla Structures creates in a drawing and that indicates that an associativity point of a drawing object is associative

The associativity symbol changes if the associativity point is not associative.

In drawings, the associativity symbol indicates which drawing objects are associative and automatically updated. Associativity symbols are shown only when you select a drawing objectobject that is represented in a drawing

, for example, a dimension.

Objects that do not have valid association get a ghost associativity symbol and a question mark. These symbols are shown constantly, even though the drawing object is not selected. This makes it easier to find objects that need attention.

The associativity symbols are not shown in printed drawings.


To hide associativity symbols in drawing views, on the File menu, click Settings and select the Associativity symbol check box, or press Shift+A on the keyboard.

Find out more about drawings

To Click the links below to find out more
Check the controls available in drawing mode

Drawing mode in Tekla Structures

Find out what happens when a drawing needs to be updated

How to keep your drawings up to date?

Learn where you can change the drawing properties and in which order

Different levels of setting up and modifying drawing properties

Find out the cases when a drawing needs to be updated

Recreation of drawings

Find out what the drawing consists of

Drawing objects, views and layouts

Check the different drawing types available and learn how to create them using different methods

Create drawings in Tekla Structures

Create drawings by cloning, and find out the situations when cloning is the best choice

Clone drawings

Find the drawings that you need using searching and filtering in Document manager, select drawings, and open drawings

Document manager

Edit your drawings manually: add objects, modify properties, etc.

Edit drawings

Update drawings when the model changes, lock drawings, freeze drawings, issue drawings, revise drawings, and delete drawings

Manage drawings

Print drawings as PDF files, save them as plot files (.plt) for printing with printer/plotter, or print them on a selected printer

Print drawings

Set up and modify automatic drawing settings

Define automatic drawing settings

Check the available drawing properties and setting

Drawing settings reference

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