Website Name - an official New Hampshire Government website
Smaller text size Reset text size Larger text size
link to website translation page
CAD/D HomeMicroStationMXOpenRoadsDownloadsSearchNHDOT Homelink to website translation page

Working with Shape Files

Shape files actually consist of 4 files, .shx, .dbf, .prj, and the .shp. All four files must be present for a successful attachment. Save any shape files to the originating Bureau's/Section's directory.

save file location

Shape files are attached to a DGN file as a reference file.

  • Open MicroStation in the correct project and select the appropriate dgn for the import.
  • Open the Reference Files Dialog box and shut off the display of all reference file except the ali.dgn.
  • Use Tools > Attach > and browse to the directory you saved the files and select the .shp file.
  • Set the attachment method to Coincident World and hit Open.

Creating the MicroStation Elements

  • change attributes dialog boxFirst ensure that the shape file came into the correct location. You can turn on additional detail to confirm the location. Turn off all other reference files and all levels in the in the current dgn so that only the shapes are displayed. Note that point elements in shape files are nearly invisible in MicroStation. Cells can be placed at the points so they can be seen more clearly. A basic macro pnt2cel can be run to replace selected points with a selected cell.
  • Hit fit view, and then use Element Selector to select all the shape elements.
  • Use Copy Element and hit on the same point for the first point and the distance and direction point so the shapes are copied into the drawing at the same location.
  • Use the task list to select the Task for the appropriate type of feature the shapes represent. (i.e. Invasive Species). This sets all element attributes appropriately.
  • Next select the Change Element Attributes tool and change the shape elements Level, Color, Style and Weight to the active attributes.
  • Detach the .shp reference file and delete the unneeded level from the drawing. When the shapes were copied in, MS placed them in a level named the same as the shape file (i.e. KW).

New Hampshire Department of Transportation
PO Box 483  |  7 Hazen Drive  |  
Concord, NH  |  03302-0483
Tel: 603.271.3734  |  Fax: 603.271.3914