Dimensioning improvements

Tekla Structures
Tekla Structures

Dimensioning improvements

Tekla Structures 2021 contains enhancements in dimension rule associativity, rebar dimension marks, rebar group dimensioning, and view level dimensioning.

Improved dimension rule associativity

Select dimension associativity rule during manual dimension creation

From Tekla Structures 2021 onwards, you can select an associativity rule for each dimension point during the manual dimensioning of the drawing objects. Now you can properly associate a dimension during its creation, and the dimension locations are preserved better during drawing updates and cloning.

  • To activate the new dimension creation associativity functionality, go to File > Settings in the drawing mode, and in the Switches section, select the Dimension creation associativity check box.

    Then start creating a dimension with any of the following dimensioning commands: Horizontal, Vertical, Orthogonal, Perpendicular, Parallel or Free. Pick the dimension point position, and the associativity rules list is displayed.

    You can select the desired associativity rule in one of the following three ways:

    • By scrolling the mouse wheel when the mouse pointer is on the associativity rule list.

    • By clicking the desired associativity rule in the rule list
    • By entering the Select next associativity option command in Quick Launch.
    • By using a keyboard shortcut that you have defined for Select next associativity option.

When you select a rule, the related object is highlighted in the drawing so that you can check if the selected rule refers to an appropriate object.

When you have selected the associativity rule, you can continue creating the dimension by picking the next dimension points. The associativity rule list is displayed each time when a point with available associativity rules is detected.

Note that the feature intelligently selects the rules based on the data collected on the previously selected rules in the range of the dimension that is being created. When you continue picking dimension points, the associativity rules similar to the rules selected earlier are selected automatically.

The associativity rule list is now located so that it avoids overlapping with the building objects and mouse pointer. The feature detects the current position of the mouse pointer and keeps the associativity rule list on the opposite side of the picked dimension point.

In the following image, the mouse pointer position is indicated by a blue circle and the picked dimension point by an orange circle.


  • Selecting a dimension associativity rule during manual dimensioning works only with straight dimensions, with the following commands only: Horizontal, Vertical, Orthogonal, Perpendicular, Parallel and Free .

  • Some rules can be missing from the associativity rule list. To increase the number of rules listed in the associativity rule list, change the value for the following advanced options:




Rules associated with reference points

Dimension associativity rules are now sorted and show more clearly if the rule is associated with a reference point.

Default associativity rule not always shown in the associativity rule list

  • Now the Default associativity rule is not always shown in the associativity rule list, unless it is the only rule available, or if it has been previously selected as the active rule for the chosen point.

Control dimension tag content with associativity rules

Dimension tag content can now be controlled using associativity rules. Selecting the right associativity rules helps you to easily select objects that need to be shown in the tags, and set up dimension tags easily without having to create complex exclusion filters, like earlier. Only attributes that correspond to the selected objects will be shown in the tags.

This is especially useful in conflict situations when dimension points might not be associated with the desired objects, because there are other objects in the same dimension point location.

To adjust dimension tag content:

  1. In an open drawing, right-click a dimension whose tags you want to modify.

    Properties that correspond to all dimensioned objects are shown in the tag.

    Note that if you are adding dimensions manually, you need to go to File > Settings, and select the Dimension creation associativity check box to be able to open the associativity rule list.

  2. In the context menu, select Show dimension associativity rules, and select the objects that you want to show in the dimension tag.

The objects that are not selected are immediately filtered out of the tag.

Rebar dimension mark improvements

More controlled rebar dimension mark placing

Previously the manual rebar dimension mark creation ignored the dimension placing settings and always used free placing, and automatically determined the location of the dimension. Now, the default value for the Placing setting in is fixed in all environments. When you create a rebar dimension mark, you will be asked to pick a location for the dimension line.

The improvements in the rebar dimension mark placing were introduced in Tekla Structures 2020 SP5. See 2020 SP5: New features and improvements for details.

New properties dialog box , separate command for rebar dimension mark properties and new settings files for rebar dimension marks

The new Rebar dimension mark properties dialog box, the new, separate command for Rebar dimension mark in the Properties menu, and the new *.rdim settings files were introduced in Tekla Structures 2020 SP2. See 2020 SP2: New features and improvements for details.

Improved application for creating rebar dimension marks for all rebars

The Create Dim Lines For All Rebars application in the Applications & components catalog has been renamed to Create dimension marks for all rebars. This application now creates any type of rebar dimension mark. We recommend that you first set the appropriate rebar dimension mark properties in the Rebar dimension mark properties dialog box (Drawing > Properties > Rebar dimension mark) in the drawing mode, and then run the application.

Dimensioning rule improvements

  • The Measure from section in the Dimensioning rule properties dialog box contains a new option And grid. This new option adds grid lines to the dimensions. This option is available for the Overall dimensions, Shape dimensions, Filter dimensions, Secondary parts dimensions, Hole dimensions, and Recess dimensions dimensioning types.

  • The performance of the drawing dimensioning type Filter dimensions has been improved. To implement the improvement, create the filter as a selection filter (file extension .SObjGrp). Normally, the dimensioning filters are created as drawing view filters (file extension .vf), and the drawing view filters are not affected by this improvement.

Rebar group dimensioning

Dimensioning of rebar groups now works also if the parent object is a concrete item.

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