Methods and Solutions


Problem: How to find fonts that are being replaced

Solution: Select By Attributes will not select elements by font when the text or text node is within a cell. Make a copy of the file to use for locating fonts. In the copy, drop status on all cells, then use Select By Attributes to locate the text. Once the text is located, make changes in original file. You do not have to drop status on cells to make changes to text or text attributes within a cell.

You can remap one font to another using a CSV file. See CSV Format in the MicroStation Help index.

Problem: Opened an older file, but fence lines and guardrails are all solid lines

Solution: Likely the file was converted from v7 to v8. The only correct answer to the question below is [Cancel].


After canceling, open Transmuter and use it to transmute the file, which will upgrade both the v7 line styles and fonts to version 8 format so that line styles are displayed correctly and fonts are not replaced.

Problem: Transmuted reference files don't display everything required for printing

Solution: The files were transmuted with the option to transmute Levels checked on. Some of the elements were moved from numbered levels to named levels. Named levels are considered to be "new" to the reference attachment settings. In this version of MicroStation (, levels that are new after the attachment was made, are not displayed. When you transmute contract plans, i.e. as a starting point for as-constructed drawings, it may be better to not transmute the levels - uncheck the Levels box. In this way, the transmuted files are print-ready.

Problem: Using label line, the direction of the tangent line does not match what I'd expect or the tangent direction shown in InRoads

Solution: MicroStation's Conventional mode for angle measurement is to measure counter clockwise from the X-axis (East). Azimuthal mode measures angles clockwise from North. Bearing mode measures angles within each of the 4 quadrants, beginning at either North or South and measuring either counter or clockwise.

Design File Settings for coordinate readout in MicroStation has Mode set to Conventional by default. This is what is causing the measurements in MicroStation to be 90 degrees different from the InRoads tangent.

Set Design File Settings for Coordinate readout mode to Bearing. Save settings. Then go into element > Dimension Styles, select Unit Format and set the Angle Format Display to DD^MM'SS" and Accuracy to 0.1. Label Line is found on Tools > Dimension Tools > Miscellaneous palette and will produce bearings displayed in degrees, minutes, and second which now match the InRoads alignment.

Problem: Lines in reference files aren't showing

Solution: Check if the levels are turned on for display in the reference file. Additionally, you can delete a clip boundary to see if it was set too constrictively and check whether live nesting is turned on or not and if the depth is sufficiently deep.

Problem: Problems editing curved text in PE Stamp cell

Solution: With V8 you can edit text in a cell without dropping status, which is nice. However, you still encounter problems if you try to edit text that was originally placed with the "Along Element" method. Editing it causes the text to lose its association with the curved guide line and the text becomes straight. Use Match Text Attributes on the existing text, place new text using the "Along Element" method, and then delete the old text.

Problem: MicroStation Tool Setting bar won't stay open

Solution: This is normal operation when PopSet is enabled. Turn PopSet off by clicking on the green ball icon on the Primary Tools toolbar.

Problem: When pasting text from Internet Explorer address field into Text Editor, I get strange characters

Solution: MicroStation's text editor was interpreting the combination of backslash and numbers as a keyboard code for special characters. A workaround is to bypass the MicroStation text editor by using the Edit> Paste Special menu option selecting "Text to Design File" as the data type to paste.

MicroStation Rasters

Problem: Rasters are grayed out in the Raster Manager - why?

Solution: The rasters are actually attached to another DGN file which is referenced in with Display Raster References checked on. To manipulate those transparencies, you will need to open the DGN file to which they are attached and adjust the transparencies there.

Problem: Can't see a .JPG that I attached to a .DGN as a raster, I just see a dashed outline

Solution: This can happen to .TIF files as well. When the .JPG is greater in size than 100 MB, there may be display problems associated with creating a cache file. Contact Engineering Support and we will fix this for you.

Problem: Attached a .jpg, but when I reopen the DGN the jpg is not attached.

Solution: Temporary Attachment was checked on in the Attachment Settings, so the .jpg was being detached when the DGN file was closed, just like it was told to.

InRoads XM

Problem: End-area volume of material doesn’t show up in the volume report (volumes.xsl).

Solution: Material volumes will only appear in the report for closed shape components. Verify that the component in the template is a closed shape by right-clicking on the component and choosing Edit Component..., then check the box marked "Close Shape" on the Component Properties dialog. Re-create the surface(s) and update the display of the components in the cross section set before generating the XML data by selecting Evaluation > Volumes > End-area Volumes...

Problem: End-area volume fill area goes right through the subgrade surface as if it weren't even there, making all the volumes incorrect.

Solution: See the section on End-Area Volume (pg 23) in ODOT InRoadsXM Guide.pdf. It is most likely that the surface type property is set to "Ignore". If the type is set to "Ignore", the surface will not be used in end-area volume calculations. Go to Surface > Surface Properties for your subgrade surface and change the type to "Design". Then refresh the surface in your cross sections before rerunning the end-area volume command. Another solution is to not use the subgrade surface at all, but to display your components in the cross sections and allow InRoads to determine the subgrade line.

Problem: In the Template Editor, when I opened the Point Name List, the dialog expanded vertically beyond the bottom of the screen, then it vanished and I couldn't get out of InRoads XM.

Solution: The dialog box for Point Name List sometimes misbehaves. Often, you can close it even if you can't see it, by pressing the escape key <ESC> on your keyboard. The Template Editor will still be running and you can then double-click on the Point Name List to open the dialog again. When the dialog is reopened, it usually behaves normally.

Problem: Many of my template points do not appear in the Transition Editor, so I cannot completely define the transitions.

Solution: Points in the template cannot lie directly on top of one another. The Transition Editor will only allow you to work with the first point that is placed in any one location. Points should be horizontally separated by about 0.005 feet.

Problem: Sometimes when I place profiles, the station label along the bottom axis is placed with a larger offset.

Solution: That is a bug and a trouble report has been filed with Bentley. The cause appears to be choosing a direction of "Right to Left" and then placing more than one profile window. The offset for the station label will be too larger until you reload the preference set or choose a direction "Left to Right" and place two profile windows. Yep, that's weird!

Problem: I'm having difficulty annotating points in my cross sections. I'd like to see the point names.

Solution: When you annotate points in the cross sections, you are just annotating the vertices of the surface line. The surface line does not have point names to annotate. You can, however, annotate the name of a feature - which works well with surfaces created by the modeler. You can also annotate the style of a feature - which works wells with existing ground surface features. You cannot annotate what you don't display, though. So the steps for annotating features include 1) display cross sections, 2) update cross sections to display specific features from specific surfaces (this puts the '+' symbol in the sections), and then 3) use Annotate Cross Section command: Select the surface on the General dialog, uncheck Include Points, uncheck Include Segments, go to the Features leaf and check Include Features and which objects you wish to annotate on that General dialog, select the features to annotate on the Annotate dialog.

Problem: How does the targeting button for Start and Stop Stations in the End Conditions Exceptions dialog work?

Solution: Clicking on the Locator button [+] minimizes the End Conditions Exceptions dialog and allows you to hover your cursor over your alignment in either the plan view or the profile view of the Roadway Designer window and see a rubber band and a dynamic display of the current station. A left mouse click in either view will reopen the dialog and enter that station in the field. If you press the control key on your keyboard at the same time as you click on the Locator button, <CTRL> + [+], the entire Roadway Designer window will minimize and you will see a rubber band in the view window of your design file to the corridor alignment and a dynamic station readout will appear in the status bars for both InRoads and MicroStation. Again, a data point or left mouse click will enter the station into the field.

Problem: View Horizontal Annotation gives me individual characters instead of an editable text block for curve data.

Solution: See the sections on Curve Set Annotation and Horizontal Annotation (pg 19) in ODOT InRoadsXM Guide.pdf. It may be easier for you to use Review Horizontal Alignment to display the curve sets and then use the macro CrvDatEd to produce the text nodes that contain the curve data for each curve.

Problem: I am trying to edit a template and MicroStation keeps crashing.

Solution: We have found that the hardware acceleration on some graphics cards of some computers will cause MicroStation to crash when the Template Editor is open. If this is happening to you, contact computer support at 503-986-3800 and ask for engineering support for MicroStation and an engineering support analyst will contact you and remedy the situation.

Problem: Is there a way to see how the finish surface looks in the Roadway Designer?

Solution: Yes, in the Roadway Designer select Tools > Options and check on "Triangulated Surface" in the Display section. The triangulated surface will be displayed as a red dashed line in the cross section view of the Roadway Designer.

Triangulated Surface

Problem: I applied superelevation “From the Inside of Curve” using the AASHTO Superelevation Wizard and wound up with a cross section that looks like a Capital M. Too many control lines were created and a bunch of them conflict with each other.


Solution: Checked the template point constraints to discover that outer points, outside the range point TL on the roadbed, were all constrained to CL. In general, it may be best to assign as a parent for horizontal or slope constraints, the inner adjacent point – don’t skip over the intended range point and constrain EP to the CL; constrain EP to the adjacent point, TL. Recreating the superelevation and applying the rollover locks produced a nice looking superelevated section (see below).


Problem: When creating a surface, if I check “Display Features in Plan View”, it displays all of the features in the design file. How can I display only the cut and fill lines?

Solution: Leave “Display Features in Plan View” unchecked in the Create Surfaces dialog. After the surface is created, use Surface > View Surface > Features… to select only the SSC_ and SSF_ features from the design surface. You can also use the Surface > Update 3-D/Plan Surface Display… dialog.

Problem: How do I limit the stations that the modeler creates a surface for?

Solution: In previous versions, you had to enter station limits in the Roadway Modeler dialog; with InRoads XM, the station limits are stored in the definition of the corridor. Select the corridor first, then modify the station limits and click the [Change] button.

Problem: I create striping plans by copying the CL alignment parallel and then changing the color. When the CL is redisplayed, all of my striping gets redisplayed back to the CL style.

Solution: This was an issue in v8.5 also. InRoads graphics are tagged. The copies of the alignment also have the InRoads tags and that is what causes them to be redisplayed when you redisplay the CL. You can use the InRoads tool “Remove User Data” and select the striping lines to remove those tags. InRoads will no longer recognize those copies and the striping lines will no longer be redisplayed when the CL is viewed.

Problem: InRoads doesn’t recognize a transition when I drop the same template at two adjacent stations and then edit the 2nd template drop in the IRD and add a point. There’s no transition to edit, to define how I want the new point to transition between the two template drops.

Solution: InRoads uses different template names to recognize transitions. The situation described above isn’t seen as a transition and I don’t see how you can force InRoads to see it as one. I recommend using parametric constraints to taper or transition the same template point from one station to another. If you want to add a point or feature, do that in your template library and in a template with a different name. You can use the Template Drops dialog to change to the new template name.

Problem: What are the transverse red bands in the plan view of the Roadway Designer that I see toward the outside of my design surface?

Solution: Those red bands indicate where there is a change in the number of points used in the end conditions. If you are using the ODOT Standard Cut & Fill end condition, the red bands show where you go from cut to fill. You can double-click on the red band to open the End Condition Exceptions dialog, where you can add a left or right transition to tell InRoads how to “connect the dots”. Just adding a transition will change the color from red to dark blue. Actually editing the transition doesn’t make any further color change.

Problem: I am widening on both sides of an existing roadway. When I view the triangles for the subgrade surface, the triangles extend clear across the roadway.

Solution: When the SG surface is triangulated in the Create Surfaces process, no maximum triangle length is applied. So the surface triangulates across the existing roadway to features on the other side. If the separation of the widenings is greater than the template interval, you could retriangulate afterwards and apply a maximum triangle length that is just slightly larger than your template interval. For example, if the widenings are 48 feet apart (50’ wide roadway and you cut back a foot on each side), and your template interval is 25 feet, then in InRoads, choose Surface > Triangulate Surface… and set a maximum length of around 30 feet. You could also import and interior boundary and retriangulate, or just not use the SG surface at all, but use the components instead.

Problem: I superelevated my roadway and I have some really weird looking, broken segments in the cross section view. InRoads did tell me that I had overlaps in the superelevation, but I just closed the warning without doing anything.

Solution: This situation was a reversing curve (SCS right to SCS Lt) that did not have enough tangent between them to get back to a normal crown before supering the other direction. To create a planar rotation between the two curves, right-click in the Superelevation Display and choose “Delete Points”. Then draw a box around all of the super points on all of the lines between the full super of the first curve and the full super of the second. You will be left with control lines that draw an “X” (planar rotation about CL).


Problem: Elements disappear when attaching plans.tbl

Solution: Plans.tbl does not print Construction class elements. Class is now an attribute that can easily be changed in the Modify Element Attributes dialog - change it to Primary if you want them to print with that pen table.


Problem: ODOT User Configuration not found - Refer to Support for Assistance

Solution: If the F:\ODOT_DATA folder is deleted or moved, MicroStation will not operate. Contact Engineering Support for assistance as moving the ODOT_DATA folder will change the permissions on it. If your F:\ drive is taken over by a USB device (camera, card reader, USB drive, etc.), your ODOT_DATA folder will not be found. Have an administrator or technician assign a drive to the USB device, then log on again.

Problem: I am unable to get to or copy from another user's F:\ODOT_DATA\Projects folder

Solution: Permissions on the F:\projects\ODOT_DATA folder and its sub-folders can be damaged by people moving files and folders into the structure instead of copying and pasting. The copy + paste method and new creation is the only way to have the correct permissions be applied to the files and folders. Contact Engineering Support to have the permissions refreshed by the Information Security Unit.


Problem: Links with spaces are broken in emails

Solution: When working in Plain text or Rich Text format, precede the UNC with a less than symbol "<", and follow the UNC with a greater than symbol ">". An example is: This doesn't work in emails with HTML format.

Problem: USB drive can't be accessed

Solution: USB drive is taking over the F:\ drive, which sometimes makes the F:\ drive inaccessible. Have an administrator or technician assign a drive to the USB device, then log on again.

Problem: My computer does not appear in Serval with my name

Solution: Your computer's active directory account doesn't have your name associated with it. Contact Engineering Support and we can add your name and show you how to connect without Serval. A file of these names is generated once a day, so your name will be seen in Serval the next day.

Problem: What are the locations of the license files for check out?

Solution: MicroStation - C:\program files\bentley\program\licensing\msv8.lic
InRoads 8.5 - C:\program files\bentley\civil\licensing\bentleycivil.lic


Save the video to your hard drive (C:\Share)

Description Time File Name
InRoads XM: Shows how to station and annotate alignments for 1"-100' contract plans. 3:00 m CurveDataEditor.avi
InRoads XM: Explores using the BASEMAP TOPO filter for displaying surface fatures in InRoads XM. 3:49 m Filter for surface Features Display.avi
InRoads XM: Shows a method for modifying the alignment stationing on contract plans using Global Scale Factor in InRoads 2:25 m GlbSclFctr_AliSta.avi
InRoads XM: Shows annotating features in cross sections as a quick method of labeling certain points with Offset and Elevation. Also shows use of filters and Global Scale Factor. 3:36 m Annotate_xsec.wmv
InRoads Storm and Sanitary: Demonstrates displaying a drainage network inside a roadway profile window using InRoads XM Storm and Sanitary 1:48 m StormAndSanitaryNetworkInRoadwayProfile.avi
MicroStation: Shows process of attaching photos to a background DGN for referencing into a basemap or topography DGN. 5:15 m Photos_in Topo.avi
ODOT_DATA and Serval: Explains the F:\ODOT_DATA folder permissions and use of the Serval tool to locate data 3:50 m Serval_ODOT_Data.avi


Description File Name
InRoads XM: Describes the data formats specified in the 00305 Specification and how to produce them. 00305_Spec_data_formats.doc
InRoads XM: How to produce grade and volume reports InRoads XM Cross Sections - Grade and Volume Reports.pdf
InRoads XM: Manual surface Manipulations InRoads XM Manual Surface manipulations.pdf
InRoads XM: Intelligent DTMs for Design and Drafting Intelligent DTMs for Design and Drafting.doc
InRoads XM: Stationing Alignments for Drafting Stationing Alignments for Drafting.doc
InRoads XM: Create a Profile Station Elevation Report To create a Profile Station Elevation Report like this.doc
InRoads XM: Tracking preferences used for approaches and tapers Tracking Prefs for Approaches and Tapers.doc
InRoads XM: Modeling rock overhangs XYZ to XZY rotation for rock overhangs.doc
MicroStation: Patterning complex and simple shapes Complex to Simple Shape for Patterning.doc
MicroStation: How to create .dgn file that will display in ArcGIS 9.3 DGN-MicroStationV8-DisplayInArcGIS93.doc
MicroStation: How to create a .dgn file from GIS data using ArcGIS 9.3 SHP-OutputMicroStationv8FilesWithArcGIS93.doc
MicroStation: Attach references and raster files using full paths FullPathsForRastersAndReferences.pdf

Reference Guides

Description File Name
MicroStation: Two Letter Key-ins TwoLetterKeyIns.doc
MicroStation: Shortcut Keys MicroStationShortCutKeys.doc
MicroStation: AccuDraw Shortcut Keys AccuDrawShortcutKeys.doc

Oregon Department of Transportation

Please direct change requests to the EAST Web Team.

The Oregon Department of Transportation is committed to accessibility.
Materials on this web page that do not meet the accessibility standards defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0, Conformance Level "A" are available in alternate formats upon request.

This page was updated on 10/21/2010 at 10:23 AM.