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Table input tricks and tips

The table input toolbar is a user interface component that helps you create and maintain geometry and loads in a project.

Following tips and tricks can help you save a lot of time and effort:

  • rename several items (nodes, elements, supports, loads, …) at once;
  • round coordinates to a certain number of digits;
  • modify coordinates with simple mathematical formulas;
  • select objects based on certain properties;
  • quickly show or hide specific layers.

 

Renaming several items at once

Table input allows you to rename an item. You can apply this to all data (nodes, elements, supports, loads, …). When multiple names are selected in the table grid they are all renamed and also automatically renumbered (the name stays unique).

In the example below we want to rename some elements:

  • select a set of names in the table input (on the 1D member tab);
  • type the new name of the first entity in the multiple editbox. In our example we use as name ‘bbb_12’;
  • when you confirm with the button ‘apply edit’, all the selected entities are renamed. The first one is assigned name ‘bbb_12’, the second one ‘bbb_13’, …   
    Rename     Rename

 

Rounding values

After a structure has been imported to SCIA Engineer (from a third party program), it may sometimes contain little inaccuracies in coordinates. To be exact, the coordinate values contain too many digits after the decimal point (as in the picture below):
Rounding
This may cause problems or errors in subsequent work with the model.

Table input allows you to round values. You can apply this to all numerical data (coordinates, values of loads, …). When multiple cells are selected in the table grid they are all rounded.

In the example below we want to round some coordinates of nodes:

  • select a set of numbers in the table input (on the node tab);
  • type the accuracy of the rounding in the multiple editbox, after the ~ symbol. In our example we round on hundredths with ‘~0.01’;
  • when you confirm with the button ‘apply edit’, all the selected entities are rounded.
    Rounding    Rounding

 

Simple mathematical formulas

You can modify numerical data in the table input by using simple mathematical formulas. Numbers may be multiplied, divided, summed and subtracted. The editbox supports a simple syntax, for example +3 means to add 3 to the selected value.
This functionality might be used to move elements/nodes in one step, increase or decrease the load value on the structure in one step, …

Examples:

  • we change the coordinates of some nodes to a certain value (for example 0.5 m) with the command >0.5
    Coordinates    Move nodes
  • we add -10 kN to all line loads with the command -10
      Mathematical    Mathematical

 

Selecting (highlighting) members according to a certain property

All members with the same property (for example the same cross-section) can be selected using a single click. This functionality is similar to filtering the model by a property in the property window (the funnel icon with lightning bolt).

You can do this by opening the 1D members tab in the table input, selecting the cell with the required cross-section and using the button 'Select by property in cell' on the toolbar:

Select by property

 

Activity by layers

The layers tab (in the libraries group) is very useful when you want to apply activity by layers in the model. You can change the activity right here. The layer settings are visible all the time and you don’t have to open the layer manager or the layer activity when you need to change the active layers.
Layers  

Following link to our help-pages provided additional information concerning table input: https://help.scia.net/webhelplatest/en/#trx/modelling/tableinput_book.htm

Following document illustrates advanced table input possibilities with some practical user cases: table_input_-_user_cases.pdf