Microstation V8i: Task Navigation

Microstation v8i what's new

Of the most novel thing that I have been able to see, like a bird's flight in Microstation V8i is the navigation bar known as Task Navigation that really gives a new face to the handling of commands and possibly send to recycling the key in.

Why a bar

CAD programs have the peculiarity of having thousands of commands, which romantically pleased those who combed some Gray hairs But that to the extent that the orientation to objects invaded the programming is no longer necessary to know them via text commands.

In the case of Microstation, the commands via key-in gradually disappeared with the buttons, but the difficulty is where to store so many bars without wasting the workspace. In the case of AutoCAD, it opted from the 2009 version on the Ribbon, which is a similarity to Microsoft Office, in that the commands are contextually grouped in an upper horizontal bar.

Microstation has decided to go from a vertical bar that seems to be a good solution because it is easier to control it in the form of a tree. It seems to us a quite successful idea and with little drastic changes, it has some similarity to the way it is structured in AutoCAD Civil 3D.

As seen

The bar is handy in terms of ordering the icons, collapsing, and even dragging anywhere on the screen. To activate the display easily, they have a letter associated with them, such that when you press it on the keyboard, they unfold to the right ... simply great, before you had to press the button and wait for it to enlarge.

Microstation v8i what's new

Then there are pre-established profiles as Civil 3D does, in which depending on Microstation v8i what's newinstalled applications you can choose their tools associated with common tasks. Note that having Geopack installed I can select a profile with the commands that interest me, such as:

  • Survey
  • Geometry
  • DTM tools
  • Site
  • Drainage
  • Water Sewer
  • Landscape
  • geotechnics
  • etc.

Actually with this they smoked marijuana in the Dutch style, because the practicality is very good, contrary to the old one that was necessary to be looking for toolbars or typing commands in the key in.


The taskbar can be configured in at least three options, these are defined in "workspaces / preferences / task navigation". You can also define icon sizes between small, medium or large; a good solution for our eyes or small monitor sizes.

Dialog.  With this, the old form is maintained, or at least as it was done in XM, from primary bars that can be deployed in associated tools. In the V8 style then, since I see that not many have seen XM yet.

Tool box. This is the style I have shown above.

In views. With this alternative, the bars are hung on the edge of the views, interesting because it saves space but I still can't find all the logic and it seems to me that it could get complicated.


It is a good solution for handling commands, as first impression seems good in terms of functionality.

I suggest that you try it, it is even possible on the right button to choose that a toolbar is displayed as a single bar, and of course it is very good that they can be displayed in the form of a panel, list or icons. These properties can be independent per bar, they can be customized and also see the option to apply the mode to all bars.

Microstation v8i what's new

In short, very good innovation although Bentley must market this product very strongly as we know, many users are hard to migrate, not because they do not want to take the new version but because they feel happy with what they already have (or what it cost them to pirate it). pitifully). 

At this point I have seen people using Microstation J, and even Microstation SE ... and they love it !!! So between V8, XM and V8i we could have a situation of customers resistant to change just because of interface innovations, if your program continues to handle the same V8 format that was implemented for more than 6 years and migrating without an ELS means cost. extra. 

Changes beyond the interface we will see later, for now I'm on tour again and the wireless connections are depressing. I tell you, I have installed V8i in the Acer netbook mini... surprisingly runs very well and solves my crazy Way to travel, You only have to define sizes of small icons because I do not have so much space.

Golgi Alvarez

Writer, researcher, specialist in Land Management Models. He has participated in the conceptualization and implementation of models such as: National Property Administration System SINAP in Honduras, Management Model of Joint Municipalities in Honduras, Integrated Cadastre-Registry Management Model in Nicaragua, Territory Administration System SAT in Colombia . Editor of the Geofumadas knowledge blog since 2007 and creator of the AulaGEO Academy that includes more than 100 courses on GIS - CAD - BIM - Digital Twins topics.

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One Comment

  1. Well, microstation is very slow. It really is not that there is resistance to change, what happens is that the form of the mstation in its commands is very little logical. The Autocad is very superior in many aspects. Even with the 2011 version. And they do not want to change because there are many tools missing in the Mstation. A lot of time is lost selecting the icons, with repetitive steps that in the autocad does not happen. Another disadvantage is the programming in VBA, AUTOLISP, DCL quite simple in the Autocad, but in the Mstation is a headache and does not have all the capacity. The 3D handling of the Autocad 2011 is infinitely superior in surfaces, 3D objects, views, etc.

    The Mstation is smaller in its format than the autocad, but does not save drawing configurations, such as multiline scale, justification etc. You have to always configure the data of the variables and in autocad that does not happen.

    There is no REFEDIT to edit blocks (cells in mstation) in real time. There are no Parametrics, dynamic blocks, table insertion, table export to excel, exce data collection, 3D navigation cube, GIZMO 3D and so on… .. to infinity. The Mstation is boring.

    With programming you can make drawings very fast, 20 times faster than in the Mstation and with only 2 or 3 keys. You can also share data quickly with EXCEL, such as line lengths, scale, thickness, labels, texts, almost all the data of the entities can be exported.

    The help is very little explicit in the Mstation. It has no practical examples. The autocad has an explanation for everything and shows all the related topics, video tutorials, variables, commands, examples, applications, web links, etc. I never have problems in understanding what a command is for even in its programming manual.

    The Mstation is a basophony. I only use it because a client asks for it, but when it is a lot of work I prefer Autocad.

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