Customizable Data Files
VisualAnalysis is quite customizable and some of the customizations you make are stored in data files on a per-machine basis. When we install VisualAnalysis, we install the default data files into an "All Users" location, then when VisualAnalysis runs, it copies these files (or updates them as necessary) in your "Local" data files location. This mechanism allows each user (logon account) on a machine to have their own customized files. When you uninstall VisualAnalysis, these files are NOT touched because they might contain customizable data. Corrupted data files could cause problems, so if you have issues with weird behavior, you may need to manually remove data files before reinstalling the software. We refer to this as a "clean uninstall" in the IES FAQ Answers.
If you modify any of the customizable data files in the IES system you should "take charge" of them and create backup copies. Any changes to data files will not be 'seen' until you restart VisualAnalysis!
Data File Topics:
- Open the Data Files Folder
- Locating Your IES Data Files
- Data File Descriptions
- Sharing Your Data
- Restore Default Data Files
- See Also: Preference Settings (data stored on a machine, but not in data files)
Go to, under and click the hyperlink to open your data files folder in Windows Explorer. If this does not work on your machine for some reason, you can manually navigate to this folder using the information below.
On Windows XP:
C:\Documents and Settings\<your login>\Local Settings\Application Data\IES\Data
On Windows Vista, and Windows 7:
Note: Windows Explorer normally
hides folders from you, and you have to use the Tools |
Folder Options feature, in Windows Explorer, to enable the display
of these hidden folders to be able to browse to the file locations!
Customizable File Descriptions
|Data File||Description||How to Edit?|
|VA8Report.dat||This contains report styles. Styles are reports that you can re-use on multiple projects.||Binary File.
or Save Report As Style
|VASavedViews.dat||You can save 'global' view settings to use on future projects, these allow you to quickly adjust many different filter settings to get to a view you like.||Binary File.
View | Save View
The .dbm and .d2m database files in the Material sub-folder contain all of the available materials in VisualAnalysis. Materials range from various steel grades to general materials such as rubber and marble. Each .dbm file represents a unique material category.
Material Selection Dialog allows some customization.
The .dbs and .d2s database files in the Shapes sub-folder contain all available shapes in VisualAnalysis. Several general industry standard shapes from AISC, AISI, NDS, CISC, British Steel, and others are shipped with VisualAnalysis. Additional .dbs database files may be created to support user defined shapes.
Use IES ShapeBuilder
Cold-formed steel design requires third-party shape library files. These files are created using RSG Software's CFS product. If you create custom cold-formed design shapes in CFS you can import the .scl (shape library) using ShapeBuilder.
|CodeCombo10.txt||Building Code Load
This text file contains the information for your custom building code service load combinations. It comes with some common building code combinations already defined but you can easily add your own as well. Note: You may customize these through the . You may also edit this text file manually, using Notepad or similar.
|GenerateStandard6.txt||This text file contains the parametric structure definitions for most of the tab options. You may request that IES add some new or modified parametric structures.||Text File, Instructions in the file.|
|Spectrum.txt||This text file contains dynamic design spectrum or earthquake data. You may add your own spectra following the instructions included within the file. The normal approach for creating spectra is to use .||
Text File: Edit with Notepad.
Sharing Your Customized Data
If you customize a data file, you may share it with others (or yourself on a different machine!) by copying the file to the other machine, in the same folder. Depending on the file you may be replacing the existing file or merging the new contents.
Restore Default Data Files
You can reset the default views by deleting one or more of these files. You will then obtain the default file when you restart VisualAnalysis.