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VisualAnalysis Tutorials: Clipboard Exchange


The Clipboard Exchange feature allows you to import and export basic model and load information in text format. This allows data transfer to or from other programs or allows you to perform advanced editing (say of nodal coordinates) in a spreadsheet. One advantage of this feature is that you can add or modify objects in an existing project. This tutorial walks you through the basic features of this tool.

We want a 12'-0"x12'-0" frame, so enter in the coordinates for the 4 nodes in the dialogue that appears: (0,0), (12,0), (12,12), (0,12).

Next, draw members in using click + drag. In the Modify Tab, make the columns-W14x43's, and the beam a W16x26.

Apply a -500 lb/ft live load in the Live loads case using the Create Member Loads button on the Tool Bar.

Export with the Tool

Choose the menu item Edit | Clipboard Exchange. Select "Export to Clipboard" and Click "Next". We will want to export all of the objects. Select the live loads load case from the drop down menu. Click "Next" and "Finish" to complete the export process.

Next open a text editor such as Notepad or Excel and choose Edit | Paste. The information from your model is pasted into the sheet. Note the tab-delimited format of the text file. It is important that you maintain this format when editing the file before importing back into VA. Also note that the information is converted into inches and kips. An example of a screen shot of the pasted data in Notepad and another in Excel is shown below.

Screen shot of pasted data in Notepad

Screen shot of pasted data in Excel

Change the Y value of Node N001 to 24 to correspond to 2 feet. Change the Mag 1 & Mag 2 values of the uniform load to -0.2 & |0.2 corresponding to |2.4 kips/ft. Also, change the End At value for the load to 72 to correspond to 6 ft.

Screen shot of edited data in Notepad


Highlight the information in the file, including headers such as "[NODES]" and select Edit | Copy to place it on the clipboard. Start a new VA project and select the Edit | Clipboard Exchange menu item. This time choose Import from Clipboard and click "Next". Choose "Next" and "finish" in the next two dialogs and the edited model will be imported.