Organise and Filter SOFiSTiK Elements with Tags in SOFiPLUS

In this post, you will learn how to organise SOFiSTiK elements in your SOFiPLUS model using Tags.

Before jumping into Tags, let’s find out what options are available to organise your SOFiPLUS model.

The three apparent properties of SOFiSTiK Elements, used to organise projects in SOFiPLUS and later in the analysis and post-processing, are:

  • Element Numbers
  • Element Group numbers
  • Construction Stage Numbers

Element Numbers

The Element Number is a unique identifier of every element created in your model. SOFiPLUS assigns the number automatically but offers you to adjust the number if necessary. Element Numbers aren’t really used to organise the project in SOFiPLUS but are helpful in post-processing.

Element Number

Element Group Numbers

In addition to the element number, you can add Group Numbers. Group Numbers are essential for construction stages and allow you to organise your project in this regard. You can use the predefined Filter to visualise elements.

Group Filter

Read more about groups in the Designation of Groups in SOFiPLUS to Improve Post-Processing post.

Construction Stages

Since version 2022, it’s possible to assign Construction Stages directly in SOFiPLUS. The assignment works by group numbers, not element numbers.

Construction Stages

The visualisation of the Construction Stages can be done with the “Visualise Construction Stages” command in the “Tools” tab within the “View” section. More about it in the Visualise Construction Stages in SOFiSTiK SOFiPLUS post.

Group numbers and construction stages are used throughout the entire workflow and therefore the most commonly used properties to organise your SOFiSTiK project. You can find them

  • in the pre-processing by using the Filter to organise views and check construction sequences
  • in the processing within the Construction Stage Manager
  • in post-processing when creating graphics

Let’s learn about Tags

In addition to the above options, Tags can be assigned to SOFiSTiK elements to organise your SOFIPLUS model. Having said that, Tags are only valid within SOFiPLUS.

Although Tags are used in SOFiPLUS, they are actually an AutoCAD property. Hence you need to use the native AutoCAD Properties panel to create and add them.

Use “CTRL+1” on your keyboard or go to the AutoCAD Menu “View” to find the “Property” command in the section “Palettes”.

After selecting one or several SOFiSTiK elements, you can find the “General” section of the SOFiSTiK properties popping up.

Autocad Properties

By default, there are no Tags assigned to SOFiSTiK elements and the Tag input field is empty.

Autocad Properties Tags

To create a new or assign an existing Tag, click in the Tag input field, and a new icon shows up to the right. Click on it to open the “SOFiSTiK: Tags” dialogue box.

SOFiSTiK Tag Dialog

Enter the name and click on “Add” to create a new Tag in the list below. The new Tag shows up straight away. Tick the box, and confirm the selection with OK. The Tag gets assigned to the element, and the name appears in the Tag Property input field.

SOFiSTiK Tag Dialog

That’s all to know about creating and assigning Tags. Tags will be alive as long they are assigned to an element. Once a Tag is no longer assigned to any element in the model, it will automatically disappear from the list.

Now that you know how to assign Tags let’s find out how to view only elements with certain Tags.

Therefore, you can use the SOFiPLUS “Filter”. Unfortunately, there is no default filter out of the box, so you have to create a User-Defined Filter. But that’s no difficult thing at all.

Go to the “Filter” tab in the SOFiPLUS sidebar. In the “User-Defined Filters” section, click on “Add new filter.”

SOFiSTiK User Defined Filter

There are three filters you have to set.

  • In the “Element Type” drop-down, select “Tags”. It’s one of the first options.
  • In the second drop-down, select wheater the Tag name should be visualised (equal) or all other Tags except the selected one should be shown (not equal). It’s best to play around with the options.
  • And in the third drop-down, pick one or several Tags from the list by ticking the check box.

Only two general things left to do.

  • First, rename the Filter. Enter the name in the input field, which says “[Specify Filter Name]”. The Filter name should remind you what the Filter does.
  • And second, make the Filter active. Tick the box to the left of the Filter name.
SOFiSTiK User Defined Filter

If the created Filter isn’t working, check if one of the default Filters is switched on. If that is the case, deactivate them.

And that’s it. Have fun using Tags in SOFiPLUS.

Wrap Up

Although groups are mostly used to organise models in SOFiPLUS, with construction stages in mind, Tags can get quite helpful for more complex structures. They are simple to assign, and you can’t mess up the analytical information of the project.

Software version: SOFiSTiK 2022-03