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Annotating OpenRoads Alignments

Creating the annotation is a combination of generating two reports of the OpenRoads alignment and then running two Basic Macros which require these reports.

Annotation tools for OpenRoads alignments aren't ready yet. As a workaround, NHDOT has developed this procedure to be used until adequate tools are developed for OpenRoads.

Generating the Reports

horizontal geometry dialog box

Select the Horizontal Geometry Report button that is found on either the Analysis & Reporting or the Horizontal Geometry Task menus.

Follow the Heads-Up prompt and select one or more civil alignments from your drawing. Click the Right Mouse (Reset) button to complete the selection process.

If you only select one alignment, then you will be prompted for the Start Station, End Station and the Interval. If multiple alignments are selected, then these prompts are not displayed. In this case, confirm that the boxes on the Horizontal Geometry Reports panel for Lock to Start, Lock to End and Interval are all checked. In either case set the Interval value to 50.

The last prompt looks for Profile information. Neither report we generate requires vertical information, so any response for this prompt will suffice. If there is interest in other reports beyond the scope of this procedure, then specify Active Profile so that the vertical component is included.

OpenRoads will open the Bentley Civil Report Browser and display the default horizontal report. This browser offers many predefined report options on the left side of the panel. The right side of this panel displays the output of the selected report option.

From the left side of the report window, select the HorizontalAlignmentIntervalXYZ.xsl report. Check the format of the displayed report to make sure stations are displayed correctly and directions are bearings and not azimuth values. The output should appear similar to the example below.

sample alignment report format

Sample Alignment Report Format

If any formatting adjustments are necessary, select Format options from the Tools menu.

  • If stationing is not displayed in a 00+00 format, change the station setting to SS+SS.SS.
  • Confirm that the Northing/Easting Precision is set to 0.1234 so that the tick mark locations are more accurate.
  • Confirm that the Direction is set to Bearings and the format is ddd^mm'ss.s".
    alignment report settings

    Alignment Report Direction Settings

When the report is displayed, select Save As... from the File menu. From the Save As panel, change the Save as type to XLS File (*.xls) and provide a File name.

Going back to the Bentley Civil Report Browser, select the HorizontalAlignmentReviewASCII.xsl report on the left side of the panel.

When the report is displayed, select Save As... from the File menu. The Save as type should already be set to Text File (*.txt), so just provide a File name. This report will be used for adding Curve Data to the alignment.

Adding the Stations & Ticks

choose alignment type dialog box

From the MicroStation menu select; Utilities > Macro > Macros... On the Macros. panel, select OpenRoadsAddStations.main and click the Run button to start the program that adds stations and tick marks.

On the Choose Alignment Type panel, check the appropriate Alignment Type (determines the levels used). In the Alignment Data File box supply the new *.csv file created in the previous section.

Click the Apply button if there are additional reports to process or OK to run the program and end the macro.

Adding the Curve Data

The macro for adding curve data is very similar. Once again, from the MicroStation menu select Utilities > Macro > Macros... On the Macros panel, select OpenRoadsCurveData.main and click the Run button to start the program that adds curve data (this panel looks similar to the one for adding stations).

On the Add Curve Data panel, check the appropriate Alignment Type. In the Alignment Data File box supply the new *.txt file created in the previous section.

Click the Apply button if there are additional reports to process or OK to run the program and end the macro.

Adding Tag Data

If you want to use the Station Offset macro on your Horizontal Geometry in MX or MicroStation you need to add Tag data to it. In the Default model view, use the Attach Tags tool and select alignment in the Attach Tags box, then identify the element (select the alignment). The Attach Tags [alignment] box will open. Fill in the start station value. The MX label is not used with OpenRoads. Click OK.


Now that your alignments are annotated and tagged they can be sent to MicroStation. Suggest turning off the display of all reference files first. Use MX > File >Export > Native DGN. Change the directory to /PRJ and change the drawing name if desired to MCxx-ali.dgn, click Save. Open a MicroStation session and select the 12345ali.dgn. If needed delete any previous versions of your alignments. Open the Reference file dialog box, Tools > Attach the newly exported dgn's Default model. Use Level Display to shut off the MX Civil Annotations Level in the reference file. In the Reference File Dialog box Select the attached reference file and use Tools > Merge into Master, left click on the screen to accept the merge. Your alignment is now in MicroStation and the reference file is automatically detached. Change the alignment's Linestyle to 0.


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