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VisualAnalysis 12.0 Help

Finding Design Features

Requires: Design Level

Accessing Design Features

Most of the design commands are found in the Design Menu. We recommend that you do most of your design work with a "Design View" window open.  For convenience, frequently accessed commands are also located in the Design View's context menu, accessed by clicking the right mouse button. 

To see a list of your Design Groups and their Design Results, you can use the Find Tool window located at the bottom of the screen.  This documentation and more may be accessed directly on-line by clicking on any visible Help button, by choosing Help | Help Contents.  There are also examples and tutorials available to help you learn to use the design features.

Every dialog and window in VisualAnalysis supports "What's This?" help. Clicking the F1 key will provide help on the active (or selected) control in a dialog box.

Design View Windows

VisualAnalysis provides the framework to glue the various design components together. The focal point for design activity is the Design View. This window displays design information in much the same way as a Model View shows your model and loads, or a Result View shows analysis results.

The Design View will show you the names of your design groups, unity check values, final design shapes, and additional information regarding the status of the design process. The Project Manager Filter allows toggling the display of various items, including the Design Legend, unity checks, and span/deflection ratios.  If you do not see the unity check values or colors displayed, you may change the Filter settings.

The Design View provides a context menu (right-click menu) for accessing most design functions.  There are also "Fly by" tips available.  If you hold your mouse over an element, you should see a note with more information about the unity check for that element, including critical warnings or errors.

Click on a member to select that member and the design group it belongs to.  If you double-click on a member or plate in the Design View, you will get a Design Report for that item, assuming that one is available.  The Del key will delete selected design groups.

Design Legend

The Design Legend explains the colors and line styles used to display the model in a Design View.

Design Menu

The Design menu appears in the Main Menu of VisualAnalysis tucked between Analyze and Report. The menu lists most of the commands available for design groups and the design process. These commands are explained individually in the Status Bar when you highlight the command. If the command is disabled, the Status Bar provides at least one reason why it is disabled.

There are a number of design commands that are not found in the design menu. The Edit menu contains commands that operate on design groups: Undo, Edit Selected, and Delete, all pertain to design groups just as they do for other selectable objects in VisualAnalysis.

Design View Context Menu

The context menu, or right-click menu, for a Design View provides a concise custom-tailored menu for the current available options. You might consider this your first choice when searching for a relevant design command. The menu is dynamic, depending on what is selected, what is displayed, and what is in the model. All of the commands in this menu are also available in the main menu as well.

Design Reports

Design reports provide details of the design checks, including intermediate values, a summary of your design requirements, actual load or deflection values checked, code or specification references for each controlling check, and an explanation of design errors or warnings.  You can get a design report by double-clicking on an element in the Design View, or through the Report menu.

Design offers a variety of ways to report the results of design checks.  The Design View shows a graphical summary of the unity checks as colors and values on elements.  You can get the complete design report for an element by double-clicking on the element in the Design View.

There is a summary of unity check values available in the Find Tool, under members, if a Design View is active.  There is a concise report of member unity checks available through Design | Member Unity Summary.

You may also create design reports using the Report | Report Wizard menu, and including one of the following items in the report "Design Member Results", "Design Group Results", "Member Unity Checks".

The context menu in a Design View provides fast access to the common design reports.

Note: Design reports may look differently depending on whether the Design Group has been designed (all the members are the same size and pass unity checks) or whether the group has just been checked.

Design Preferences

There are a number of available preference settings for the various design modules and a few settings that apply in general to steel, wood, and cold-formed steel design.  These preference settings will help you work more efficiently by setting values typical of what you normally use.  To access the preference settings use the Edit | Preferences command.

Examples and Tutorials

VisualAnalysis ships with a number of aides to learning, including example project files to demonstrate how you might solve specific problems.  These are found under File | Open Examples, in the Design subfolder.

Associated with most example project files is some sort of help file or PDF (Adobe Acrobat format) document that you may to view or print.  These items are found under Help | Quick Start Tutorials, again in a Design subfolder.