Interface components

Tekla Structural Designer
Tekla Structural Designer

Interface components

The main components of the Tekla Structural Designer user interface are labeled in the image below:

1. File menu

The File menu contains those commands that you can use to perform file-related operations.

Button Description


Creates a new blank project from scratch.


Opens an existing project.


Saves the currently open project.

Save As

Saves the currently open project with a new name, or as a template.

Save Model Only

Saves smaller model-only files without the analysis results. The model-only files can easily be shared amongst the project team.


Closes the currently open project.


Prints the currently open project.

Start Revision

Records changes to this revision of the project.

Send As Email

Creates a new email with the project attached.

Contact Support

Automatically uploads your model file and sends this, together with your issue description and key information (needed by Support to assist you) about your installation and system, to your Local Support Team as defined in your Tekla Online Profile.


Prompts you to save any open project, and then closes Tekla Structural Designer.

2. Quick access toolbar

The Quick Access toolbar displays commonly used commands, listed below:

3. Ribbon

The ribbon consists of a number of toolbars, placed on various tabs. Each toolbar contains related commands organized into logical groups.

  1. Toolbar tab

  2. Command

  3. Group

5. Structure tree

The Structure tree refers to the hierarchy of information displayed on the Structure tab in the Project Workspace . Similar 'trees' are displayed for the other tabs also.

6. Project Workspace

The Project Workspace is a central location of organizing the entire model into a hierarchical structure.

It provides access to a range of functions and is a key tool in creating and controlling your model.

For more information, see: How to use the project workspace

7. Properties window

The Properties window facilitates the input, review and editing of model properties.

The Properties window is used to:

  • input data when a command is run from a toolbar.

  • review or edit existing properties when individual or multiple items are selected in the active scene view.

  • review or edit properties when a branch of the Properties window is selected.

The properties displayed vary according to the selection. You can edit all of the properties, unless they are greyed out.

A key feature of the Properties window is that it enables the editing of multiple items at the same time. Existing properties of selected items are only displayed when if are identical for all selected items. If the properties differ, the property field is left empty.

By default, the Properties window is docked at the bottom left of the main window, but you can reposition it if required.

8. Show Process button

Click to display the Process Window, (described in the next section 9. Process Window below).

9. Process Window

Initially, the Process Window is closed. It can be displayed by clicking the Show Process button, located at the left end of the Status bar.

When you analyze or design the model, each step of the process (including any associated warnings or errors) is logged and displayed in the Process Window. When the Process Window is closed, the overall status of the last process performed is indicated on the Show Process button as below:
Such warnings and errors should always be fully investigated, as they may have an adverse affect the design.

10. Select Entity tooltip

The program is automatically in ‘select mode’ when no other commands are being performed. In this mode you can hover the cursor over an entity and its name will be displayed in the Select Entity tooltip.

When the correct entity is displayed, click the entity to select it. If several entities are displayed, you can select one by using the Tab key or Up/Down arrow keys.

11. Context menu

You can right-click anywhere within a 2D or 3D view to display a menu that is context-sensitive to the item that is currently highlighted.

12. Properties dialog

You can use the Properties dialog box for viewing and editing parameters associated with an individual model object.

The Properties dialog box is displayed by right-clicking an object in the graphical display and selecting the Edit option from the context menu that appears.

13. Ghost Unselected and Ghosted toggle buttons

  • Ghost Unselected button is displayed in all 2D and 3D Views. It is used to toggle the display of selected and unselected objects, making it easier to focus on a particular subset of objects within the model.

    See: Use Ghost Unselected to focus on the selection
  • Ghosted button is displayed in Sub Structure and Sub-model Views. It is also displayed in Level, Frame, and Slope Views when they have been toggled into 3D (via the 2D/3D toggle button). It is used to toggle the display of a ghosted view allowing you to see the current view in the context of the whole structure.

    See: Use Ghosted to see the view in the context of the whole model

Related video

Ghosted Structure view

14. 2D/3D toggle button

2D/3D button is displayed in 2D Scene Views only. It is used to toggle the view between 2D and a 3D isometric projection.

Example of a level view in 2D:

The same level view when toggled to 3D:

15. Global XYZ axes

The global XYZ axis system within which all other systems exist.

16. Building directions

The principle axes of the building can be rotated about global Z if required.

The building direction axes can be switched on/off (and their labelling contriolled) in Structure Properties.

17. Cutting planes

The Cutting Planes symbol is displayed in the bottom right corner of the scene view when any of the cutting planes are currently active.

18. Loading List

The Loading list is permanently docked at the bottom edge of the main window.

The Loading list has two main functions:

  • Selecting a specific loadcase to add loads into

  • Selecting a specific loadcase, combination, or envelope to view the results for.

When viewing results, first click the Loadcase, Combination, or Envelope button according to your needs. The, choose the specific loadcase, combination, or envelope name in the list.

19. Status bar

The Status bar is permanently docked at the bottom edge of the main window. The Status bar performs a number of different functions.

The Status bar provides feedback by indicating:

  1. The analysis and design validity

  2. The units system

  3. The design code

  4. The coordinates of the cursor relative to the global origin in 2D views

  5. The view regime buttons that allow you to switch the view regime applied to the active scene view, see View Regime buttons below.

  6. Coordinate display that allows you to set the display method for coordinate tooltips:

    • ABS (Absolute)

    • REL (Relative)

    • POL (Polar)

  7. 2D/3D toggle button

    • 2D: the content of the 2D view is displayed in plan.

    • 3D: the content of the 2D view is displayed in isometric.

20. View regime buttons

The view regime buttons allow you to switch the view regime applied to the active scene view:
  • Structural View shows the geometry and loading of the structure.

  • Solver View shows the analysis model.

  • Results View shows the analysis results.

  • Wind View shows the wind model.

  • Review View graphically examines the model properties or status.

  • Slab Deflections View shows the slab delection analysis results.

22. Scene Content

The Scene Content sidebar on the right side of the screen is used to control the displayed content in the 2D and 3D Scene Views.

The sidebar contains:

  1. Entity categories (with check boxes)

    Some categories have arrow symbols to their side, indicating sub categories. Click the arrow symbol in order to see the sub categories.

    The checkbox controls whether the entity category and its associated information is displayed. You can check the entities that you want to display and clear the ones that you do not.

  2. Entity information controls

    Entity information controls list the information in each category that will be displayed. When clicked, they expand to lists that allow you to select the information you want to display in the model view.

For more information, see: Manage scene content information

23. Tekla Online side pane

The Tekla Online side pane is used to access Tekla Online services provided for users of Tekla Structural Designer, for example Tekla User Assistance and Tekla Discussion Forum.

25. Sign in

Signing in to your Trimble Identity gives you access to a greater number of online resourses.

You can sign in to one service and then browse to another online service without a need to log in again. Find the services landing page here:

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