How to use the Applications & components catalog

Tekla Structures
Tekla Structures

How to use the Applications & components catalog

Components are stored in the Applications & components catalog and organized into two different types of groups: default groups are automatically available and predefined groups depend on your environment.

Click the Applications & components button in the side pane to open the Applications & components catalog. You can also press Ctrl + F.

To use a component, select it in the catalog and follow the instructions on the status bar to add the component to the model. Double-click the component in the catalog to open the component properties dialog box.

Groups in the catalog

Default groups and predefined groups are shown against different background color in the catalog.

Default groups are automatically available:

  • Recent contains the 12 components and applications that you have most recently used in the model.
  • Ungrouped items contains the components and applications that are not in any predefined group.

    Ungrouped items can be, for example, imported components that have not been moved to any other group yet.

  • Applications contains applications, macros and drawing plugins.

    If you create your own macros, you can add them to this group.

  • Connections contains connections and seams.
  • Detailing contains detailing components.
  • Details contains details.
  • Parts contains custom parts.
  • Legacy catalog shows the folder structure of the Component Catalog used in previous Tekla Structures versions if the catalog definition files are found in the standard folder search paths.

Depending on your environment, the catalog may also contain predefined groups for specific usage, such as Steel > Beam to beam connections. You can create your own groups according to your needs, for example, for your own favorite connections. This way you can find these connections quickly and easily. You can also hide the groups that you are not using so that only the groups you use are visible in the catalog.

Model-specific components are shown in the modeling mode and drawing-specific components are shown in the drawing mode.

Search for a component in the catalog

To search for a component in the catalog, enter the search term in the search box. The search is case-insensitive.

Note that the search does not find catalog content that has been hidden. Select the Show hidden items check box to show the hidden content.

The search uses the following rules:

  • Non-numeric search terms find partial matches, for example, bolt shows both bolt and bolted in the search result.

    If you have more than one word in the search term, for example bolt plate, the words are automatically combined so that the search result shows the components that contain both bolt and plate in their name, description, or tags.

  • Numeric (integer) search terms find the exact match, for example, 121 shows component number 121 in the search result.

    You can use the *, ? and [ ] wildcards to search for partial numeric matches. For example, 10* finds components number 10, 110, 104, 1040, and so on.

  • You can restrict the search to specific tags, groups and types of components by using the keywords tag, group, or type. For example, 10 tag:advanced finds the number 10 components that have advanced in the tag, and type:custom finds all custom components.

Change the view in the catalog

  • Click to show the thumbnail view.
  • Click to show the list view.
  • Click to show the compact view.

    The compact view shows the thumbnail images of the group that you select from the list above the search box. You can use the compact view to have more space on the screen.

  • Click to show the normal view.

Show selected components in the catalog

Click Show selected to show a Selected components group that contains the components that are selected in the model or in the drawing.

Click Show selected again to hide the Selected components group.

The Show selected button is not available when you are using the search in the catalog.


You can use the property pane to list the components that you have selected in the model. If you select one component, the property pane shows the name and number of the component. If you select several different components, the property pane shows lists that have the text Varies. Open the lists to show the names and numbers of the selected components.

If you select components and other model objects, click the Object type list button in the property pane to open a list of the selected object types, and select Component to list the components.

View and modify component information in the catalog

Each component has an information box that shows the type of the component and the groups the component belongs to. You can add a description for the component and tags that can be used in the search.

  1. Select a component in the catalog and click the small arrow on the right to open the component information box.
  2. Type a description in the Description box.
  3. Click to add a tag and enter a tag in the box.
  4. If needed, click again to add more tags.
    You can also remove tags.
  5. Click outside the information box to close it.

The descriptions and tags that you add are by default saved in the ComponentCatalog.xml file in the model folder.

Add a thumbnail image for a component in the catalog

Components have a default thumbnail image that shows a typical situation where the component can be used. You can add several thumbnails for a component and select which thumbnail is shown in the thumbnail view in the Applications & components catalog.

  1. Select a component in the catalog.
  2. Right-click and selectThumbnails.
  3. Click Add thumbnail.
  4. Select an image and click Open.
    You can use any standard image format, for example, .png, .jpeg, .gif, .tiff, and .bmp.
  5. Select the check boxes of the thumbnails that you want to show in the component information box.
    You can also remove thumbnails, except for the default thumbnail.
  6. Click Close.

The thumbnail information that you add is by default saved in the ComponentCatalog.xml file in the model folder.

Publish a component in the catalog

You may need to use the same component with different settings in different situations. To easily use the component, you can define the settings for each situation and publish the component in the catalog.

For example, you may need End plate (144) in three different situations. Add End plate (144) once to each situation in the model. Define the settings needed and then publish each End plate (144) in the catalog. You will then have End plate (144) saved in the catalog as three separate components, each with different settings. You can use these components from the catalog in the same way as other components.

  1. Add a component once to all needed situations in the model.
  2. Define the desired settings for each situation.
  3. Select one of the components you added in the model, right-click and select Publish in Catalog....
  4. Enter a descriptive name for the component and click OK.
  5. Repeat steps 3-4 for each component you added.

The components are first placed in the Ungrouped items group in the catalog. They have the name you entered and the thumbnail image of the original component.

You can move the components to a more appropriate group in the catalog and change the thumbnail image. For example, you can create a basic component view in each situation, and use an image of the view as the thumbnail.

Create and modify groups in the catalog

You can create groups and subgroups, and move groups to different locations in the predefined groups section in the catalog. You can add and remove components from the groups, rename the groups, and add descriptions for the groups.

To Do this

Create a group

Right-click in the catalog and select New group.... Drag the group to the desired location.

Create a subgroup

Right-click a group in the catalog and select New group....

Name a group

Right-click a group, select Rename... and type the name.

Add components to the group

  • Select components in the catalog and drag them to another group.
  • Select components in the catalog, right-click and select Add to group. Then select the group to which the components are added.
  • Right-click a group, select Add all to group and select the group to which all the components in the group are added.

    Note that the components are copied, not moved, to the other groups.

Remove a group

Remove a component from a group

Right-click a group or a component in a group, and select Remove from group.

The groups that you create are by default saved in the ComponentCatalog.xml file in the model folder.


You cannot add or remove groups in the default groups, and you cannot modify the content of the default groups. However, you can hide the default groups and the individual items in the groups.

Change the order of groups in the catalog

You can change the order of the predefined groups in the Applications & components catalog. Predefined groups depend on your environment, for example, Steel and Concrete can be such groups. Note that you cannot change the order of the default groups, for example, Applications, Connections, and Detailing.

You can control the order with a sort index. The Sort index option is available in the group information of each predefined group in the Applications & components catalog. Sort indexes are saved in the catalog definition files.

You can change the sort index by entering either a negative or a positive integer number, or 0, in the Sort index option box. A negative sort index moves a group towards the top and a positive sort index moves a group towards the bottom in the predefined groups section. Enter 0 or clear the value to revert to the default order. By default, the groups are in alphabetical order.

The sort index changes you make are model specific and they are saved in the ComponentCatalog.xml file in the \model folder. Administrators can define the order of groups for an environment or a project using the catalog definition files in the environment, firm and project folders. Do not edit these files if you are not an administrator.

Note that even if administrators have defined the order, you can still make model-specific changes to the order of the groups by entering a different sort index value for a group. If you need to revert to the default order, enter 0 as the sort index.

To change the order:

  1. Select a predefined group.
  2. Click the small arrow on the right to open the group information box.
  3. Enter a number in the Sort index box.

    The group is immediately moved.

  4. Save the model to keep the order.

Hide groups and components in the catalog

  1. Select a group or a component in the catalog.
  2. Right-click and select Hide / Unhide to hide the group or the component.
  3. To view the hidden group or component again, select the Show hidden items check box at the bottom of the catalog.
    The hidden group or component is shown as dimmed.
  4. To show the hidden group or component normally, right-click it and select Hide / Unhide.

Show the catalog message log

If there are errors or warnings, for example, in the catalog definition files, the Message Log button is shown in the lower right corner in the catalog. The button is not shown if there are no errors or warnings.

To view the error log, click the Message Log button.

Errors and warnings are also written to the ComponentCatalog_<user>.log file in the \logs folder under the model folder.

Catalog definitions

The commands in Access advanced features > Catalog management are used for modifying catalog definitions. Generally, there is no need to modify catalog definitions. Do not modify the definition files if you are not an administrator. For more information on administrator tasks, see Customize the Applications & components catalog.

Var det här användbart?