Define and update user-defined attributes (UDAs)

Tekla Structures
Tekla Structures

Define and update user-defined attributes (UDAs)

The property pane and many dialog boxes contain user-defined attributes (UDAs) for various objects, including beams, columns, bolts and drawings. Tekla Structures displays these fields when you click the More button in the property pane or the User-defined attributes button in a dialog box. For example, comment, locked, and erection status are user-defined attributes.

When you define new user-defined attributes

The user-defined attributes are managed in the objects.inp file. To define new user-defined attributes, create your own objects.inp file in the model, project or firm folder. After adding your own user-defined attributes, you need to run the Diagnose and change attribute definitions command to update the definitions in the model.

When you define new user-defined attribute, make the definition of the user-defined attribute unique. This is because a user-defined attribute cannot have different definitions for different object types, such as beams and columns.

The object.inp files are merged so that if there are user-defined attributes in any of the files, they are displayed in the user interface. Tekla Structures merges the files in a way that eliminates duplicate attributes. If Tekla Structures encounters the same attribute name in different objects.inp files, the attribute from the first read objects.inp file will be used.

If you need to have several objects.inp files in the same folder, you can use a suffix in the file name to use all the files. This enables having several objects_<suffix>.inp files in the same folder. The file name could be objects_precast.inp, for example.


Do not copy the objects.inp file in the ..\environments\common\inp\ folder. Copying the file creates unnecessary duplicates and later objects.inp updates by Tekla Structures can be lost.

Tekla Structures reads the objects.inp files from the following folders in the following order:

  1. model folder
  2. project folder
  3. firm folder
  4. system folder
  5. inp folder

Changing existing user-defined attribute definitions

Updating a user-defined attribute definition in a model does not convert any values that are already stored in the field. If you change the value type of a field that already contains values in the model, make sure that the values are valid for the new data type and verify the results.

The safest approach is to create a new attribute when the format of the values in the field changes. If you want to convert user-defined attribute values, you can create a report that lists the values, convert them using external tools and import the converted values.

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