Define and update user-defined attributes (UDAs)

Tekla Structures
Tekla Structures

Define and update user-defined attributes (UDAs)

User-defined attributes (UDAs) are attributes that you can set for an object in a model or a drawing. You can use UDAs for many purposes, such as in filters, drawings, reports, export, import, fabrication, erection, and revision handling.

The property pane and many dialog boxes contain user-defined attributes (UDAs) for various objects, including beams, columns, bolts and drawings. Tekla Structures shows 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, run the Diagnose and change attribute definitions command to update the definitions in the model.

When you define a new user-defined attribute, do not use an attribute name longer than 19 characters. Tekla Structures only looks for the first 19 characters. For example, Tekla Structures does not consider TEST_ATTRIBUTE_OBJECT and TEST_ATTRIBUTE_OBJECX to be different.

Make the definition of the user-defined attribute unique. 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 shown 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

If you need to change existing user-defined attribute definitions

If you need to change the existing user-defined attributes, such as changing the value_type, create a new user-defined attribute instead of modifying the current one in the objects.inp file. For example, if you change the value_type from string to option, the value cannot be changed for parts that have the property specified with the old value type, and the value is shown incorrectly in reports or when you inquire objects.

When the advanced option XS_DIAGNOZE_AND_REPAIR_WRONG_UDA_TYPE is set to TRUE, you can use Diagnose & repair > Diagnose and change attribute definitions to detect and repair the incorrect UDA value types by reverting the value types to the default values. The command checks that the UDA value types, such as string or option, defined in the objects.inp file match their values defined in environment.db. A mismatch can happen if you change the value types after the UDA values have been assigned.

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