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Transferring MX Cross-Sections to MicroStation v8

Before you begin...

If this is the first time an MX drawing has been transferred in this project, check the project directory for a file with the project name followed by a .MSS extension.  If this file does not exist, see a member of the CAD/D support staff before continuing this procedure. If it does exist, open the file with PFE or Notepad to make sure it is correct. It should look something like this:
Imperial Metric

Any references to mx_seed_m.dgn or mx_seed_ft.dgn need to be corrected.

Drawing the cross-sections in MX

  • Set the style and feature sets for the cross section model.  From the Tools menu, select Model Defaults...  Select the cross section model form the list of Model Names.  Click Edit.  Leave the Lock Style and Feature Set checked ON.  Use either browser button to select the XSU style or feature set, both style and feature sets should be set to XSU.  Click OK twice to navigate out of Model Defaults.
  • In MX, create a new DPF file with the project number followed by "XS" (i.e. 12345XS_MCxx.DPF). 
    Note:  This is a DPF file, not DPW.  MCxx is the 4-character MX string label of the master alignment used to generate the sections.
  • If you want the section to show details such as trees, poles, & hydrants, read Adding Details to Cross Sections before continuing.
  • If you want to include Right-of-Way information on the sections, read Transferring MicroStation Right-of-Way Lines to MX before continuing.
  • If you want to include wetland information on the sections, read Transferring MicroStation Wetland Lines to MX before continuing.
  • Create a drawing input file using the XS-MS macro to draw the sections.  This is essentially the same as the PRELSECT macro with slight modifications for MicroStation. See a sample XS-MS macro input file.  The sheet size defaults to 1000 x 85cm (1000 x 34").  The large size minimizes the number of sheets generated.
  • Note: If your DPF contains multiple pages, make sure page 1 is displayed before continuing. It has been discovered that when the data is transferred to MicroStation, the transfer begins at the currently displayed page and goes forward. So, if you are displaying page 2, sections on page 1 will not transfer.
  • Exit MX.

Create the MicroStation drawing

Rename or delete any previously created DGN file that has the same name as the MX drawing you are planning to transfer.  Enter MicroStation and select the appropriate project.

To start MfM, for NHDOT users hit the F3 function key, or for non-NHDOT users, load two MDL Applications ( &  If you are not a regular MX in MicroStation user, please read this caution statement.  Expect to be prompted to save and/or compress the drawing, possibly more than once.  It may also be necessary to Fit View.  If no graphics appear, see the information in the MX FAQ. 

After the drawing is imported, levels need to be attached from the appropriate level library.  From the Level Manager dialog box, select Levels > Attach... to obtain the Attach Level Library panel.  Choose the xsu.csv file.

Next, click on the Update Levels button (the rightmost of the 3 buttons), this will set the correct default values for each level in the drawing.

Once this process is complete, Exit MicroStation.

Cross Section Scales

In 2004 an ACEC committee recommended that cross sections be at 10-scale (or 1:100 for metric) for all projects. The XSEdit program described below, assumes that is the case with your project. You can override it in your project's PCF file by setting the NH_XSSCALE variable to the desired scale. Typically, this would be NH_XSSCALE=5 a 5-scale Imperial cross sections or NH_XSSCALE=50 for metric 1:50 scale sections.

The XSedit program

Run the XS_EDIT macro.  (Utilities > Macro > Macros > modEdG.XSEdit). If modEdG.XSEdit is not on the list of available programs, then the nhdot.mvba file is not loaded. Open the VBA Project Manager (Utilities > Macro > Project Manager) and load nhdot.mvba. NHDOT users can use the XS Edit option on the NHDOT menu.

This will make some graphical edits and correct some incorrect levels and line weights.  This macro will also replace MX detail string labels on the section drawings with the appropriate text.  For example EP01 will become E.P. and WL1R will be Woods and so on.  It also creates graphic groups for each section, adds tag data to selected elements, and corrects the level of detail symbols.

If you receive an error message that includes "Error: 2002", there may be a problem with the seed file used to create the drawing.  It usually means the tag sets are not defined in the file.  See an application engineer.

At this point the drawing is ready to be worked on in MicroStation.


For information about working on the cross-section drawings, see Working With MicroStation Cross-Sections.

Related Pages

Transferring MX Plans to MicroStation

Transferring MX Profiles to MicroStation

Summary of CAD/D Cross-section Procedures

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