Tekla Structures hints and tips working in drawings & reports.


To copy line thicknesses (V21.1) to all future jobs go to Attributes folder copy   User_PdfPrintOptions.XML  Paste in current Firm folder. Nick says this should have ‘my’ user name in it but I don’t know how to set this. Dimple Mason Tekla has just supplied the following line thicknesses starting at the top 7,1,2,1,1,2,4,4,5,1,3,2,1,4  14 in total note the actual thickness is the above divided by 10  ie  4 would be 0.4


Mark nos. & profile

I’ve just discovered that you can put mark number of part plus the profile in a GA drawing. Will save some time in the future.


QUANTITY IN Each phase ON DRAWING see below

The job I had to use this on was Arc steel. the job no was Arc.01 Sriram gave me 2 new templates which I put in my model folder. These worked to an extent in that it gave me listed quantities for phase 1 and an overall quantity for phase 1 and 2. The templates are kept at the following address “C”/ Tekla Structures / V17 / Environments / UK / Template. These appear to be editable with the Template Editor. In the drawing F1 the top right hand box is STYLE2-SINGLE-IN-ASSEMBLY.tpl and the total quantity box is STYLE2-SINGLE-CALL-OFF.tpl These should be able to be adjusted to suit exact requirements. The only difference I can see is that Phase 1 has been added to the top box template ie Total Phase 1. GetValue(“Name”) is description.  GetValue(“Model_Total”) Is the quantity.  GetValue(“Part_Pos”) is the mark no. Sum(“ValueField_2”) Is the qty. at the bottom of the top table. STYLE3-SINGLE-ATTRIBUTES.tpl Is supposed to be a phase qty. table but I couldn’t get it to work. At last I’ve come across a simple phase Table  Phase  PH      Qty  QT Phase & Qty are Text  PH = GetValue(“Phase”), don’t sum values, Ascending. NU =  GetValue(“Number”), Sum values within row, Ascending. The name of the table template is PART-PHASE.tpl and I inserted it in Style2-Sing – A4 Sheet With a ‘y’ size of -70

The above image is .jpeg although It’s in colour it is the best one to work with.

adding a table to drawing

drawings and reports>drawing settings>drawing layout>table layout>pick paper size>tables>in centre box pick Style2-Phase.tlp using arrow add to drawing layout, update etc

Line Weights — Pen Numbers

Go to File>Print>printer>printer catalogue , black and white, highlight printer, colour table, black 1, no colour 1, blue 2, red 1, green 1, yellow 3, mauve 5, magenta 1, dark blue  1, brown 1, mid green 1, orange 6, grey 4, dark green 1. This was supplied by Sriram. I would have thought the ‘black’ should have been a higher number that 1 as this is the colour of the part on the drawing.



How does one copy The drawing templates with Logos from V17 to V18.1

This is not an easy question to answer. It all depends on how your Tekla has been set up previously.

By default, the drawing borders reside in the C:\TeklaStructures\18.1\environments\uk\role\Steel_Detailer

The logo resides in the C:\TeklaStructures\18.1\nt\TplEd\bitmaps

However, if you are using a Firm folder, then these files might be in this location, and you should invoke the Firm folder in your V18.1.

If your Tekla has not been installed into the C:\TeklaStructures folder, then you could have some fun trying to find these files.

They may be in your C:\Program Files\Tekla

Or C:\ProgramData\Tekla

Kit Emery

Support Technician

I found it very easy to change the drawing template by clicking on title box in the drawing and editing company logo. Copy and paste the logo to give other lines.

Material list

The one I normally use is grouped by profile. On the last one I did some of the lengths were to a decimal point. Went to advanced options, Profiles, XS_DECIMALS_IN_PROFILE_NAME  inserted VALUE = 0  And this solved it

To show exact shape of section say PFC in drawing

Right click on part, properties, click on show exact then modify.


Batch produce .dwg files

Kindly supplied by Sriram

It’s best to use print rather than export 





When you open print drawing windows, select dwf or dwg format. on the right hand side, you can see print to file option is checked. Down below show the path to export the file and click print. When you use .\Plot it means, it will create a folder in the name of plot in model folder and export dwg files to this folder.  The above doesn’t appear to pick up the G in a GA drawing so as there’s normally just a few I do these with export.




Stru-cad users who have to swap to tekla may find this page useful I have therefore inserted the key words ‘swap from StruCad to Tekla’


To set assembly no. to same no. as main part.

go to Tools – options – advanced options – numbering – XS_ASSEMBLY_NUMBER_FOR set value to MAIN_PART and implement. If I have to use both drawings I save the assembly “A” as say B1 ASSY.pdf 

Last week a client asked me to remove the BOM from my assembly drawing and without thinking I opened the Bill Of Material in TplEd and deleted it.
So now the BOM is gone from all my assembly drawings and I want it back ! 


Assuming that the BOM you have is the same as the deleted one it should be no real problem. Make sure your BOM has the same name as the deleted one and put it in your template folder as defined in your advanced settings XS_TEMPLATE_DIRECTORY . If it doesn’t appear in your drawing it might be because your drawing layout no longer has the association to the BOM. If this is the case then you will need to add it to your UK-Assembly Layout. Drawings & Reports > Drawing Settings > Drawing Layouts and select your layout select the Table Layout button and then the table layout you use and the Tables button. If you don’t see your BOM listed on the left, you don’t have it saved in the correct folder. If you see it move it to the right side. Position it relative to another template or the drawing frame. You may need to tweak the position to get it to appear in the proper place on you drawing. Hint: don’t close any of the layout dialogues until the template shows up in it’s right place. Just hit Apply, Apply, Apply and open your drawing to see. Make corrections as needed and hit Apply, Apply, Apply and reopen your drawing to see the corrections. When you’re done close out the dialogues and copy the *.lay file to your firm folder.



System create section at both ends and middle. If any plate falls within the range, it will show the section view. Sometimes we need to create views if the system does not create. We create sections manually to missing fittings and it is not prone to errors.


To remove “Tekla” from bottom left hand side of drawing




Part position, orientation

Under Drawing Properties, Objects, Part, Additional Marks , you can select Orientation Marks “On”, and this ( an upside down triangle in a circle) indicates to the Fabricator which side of the beam to mark, and to the Erector on assembly drawing how the beam is then orientated.


Drawing template for hip beam

It’s best to use the first one in style 3


For weld sizes in drawings see below

With drawing open click on background to get “assembly drawing properties” click on unclick box, click on weld, change weld size limit, modify, modify. But how do you change all drawings ? I think the way to do this is drawings & reports / drawing settings / assembly drawings / in my case pick style 2 column or beam _exc. parts / click on untick box / weld / untick box / change weld size / apply / apply.


To  change size of part mark in a drawing

Click inside drawing, on drawing properties click on un-tick box on bottom right hand of screen, click on part mark. Change size of text. click on assembly position. click modify.


Snapping in drawings

One must be inside both boxes that make up the drawing for snap to work. It’s the fifth box from the right that should be un-ticked only.


When using the vertical G140 part use con11. picking order is G140, column then a point on the column face vertical against the main leg where you want the cleat which you can change say to a 70×5 flat. This connection must be done the long leg of the G140 on the centre of column. And then move the whole assembly over to as close to centre as poss. Std purlin macro for above is con 28




Click on screen of 3D view FILTER OPTION appears tick first box part, profile, Equals METL* MODIFY. DO MATERIAL LIST UNCLICK BOX MODIFY. 


How not to alter the main part?

When I make a copy of a assembly they should be equal, but after the copy the main part changes automatically, causing my copied assembly receives different number.
Is there any setting to keep my main piece when I make copies?



by chuckles333 » Sat Jun 04, 2011 2:35 am

I’ve had this happen to me too. I find if you create a dummy just like the original and delete the original and copy the dummy into all of the locations (including the original location) you “should” get all of the same part marks




To alter view depth in a GA drawing

Click on actual view border and the view properties come up with up and down dimension of view. standard is  + & – 500 mm 

Changing part nos

From the forum

In our assembly marks we use an assembly prefix of X for everything. We then have tekla construct the part mark using the position number + the user defined attribute “USER_FIELD_1” + the number one. In the part user defined attribute “user field 1” we put B for beam, C for column, D for diagonal etc. The column marks will look something like 100C1, 101C1 etc. Beam marks will look like 102B1, 103B1. You get the picture. Using X for the assembly prefix for everything prevents tekla from having a column 100C1 and a beam 100B1, which is what would happen if you were to use B or C in the assembly prefix. This would not work for us because we use separate drawings for every piece and you would need two drawings 100, one for 100C1 and one for 100B1. There will only be one X100 and the UDA will decide if it’s to be 100B1 or 100C1. Many objects in Tekla have UDAs. You get to them like (UDAs) this. 

Upside down drawings

This really annoys me sometimes but thanks to the Tekla forum (link below) drawing properties / View / Attributes / Co-ordinate System Change from local to Model. Also, there are other variables to play about with.

Tekla told me this was to do with the way the beams are inserted and one should always beams from bottom left hand corner up and to the right. But what happens when one does mirroring? One wonders why Tekla couldn’t have told me about the above method of correcting the drawing. The dead giveaway is the mark symbol showing up under the assembly. Maybe you can set the co ordinate system from local to model for all your templates then save them to your customized files? Why isn’t it set that way in the first place?


To print a dia. symbol

press alt + 0216


Welded tread flights

I thought I could do these with each stringer as a sub-assembly assembly but no, it wouldn’t work so I had to do one stringer and all treads as the main assembly and and the other stringer as the sub assembly. Watch out for the explode not working because of welds.



Creating Drawings

When using phases ie existing parts not included in drawings. Click parts in phase one then create drawings not “create drawings from all


Importing a dwg. file

in model mode. set ucs origin to bottom left hand side of view


 Dimensions Types

Drawing properties / left hand side dimensions / general / straight  there are eight types to pick from.


Leader lines in mark nos.

Leader on mark no. goes to corner of part. try view properties / attributes 1 / click define as parts / modify. or Part mark properties / general / place / in placing / select fixed. Or TOOLS / advanced options  XS_CHANGED_DRAGGED_MARKS_TO_FIXED = TRUE


Re-number GA drawings

Tools/customize/re-number GA drawings.  ie GA (1) GA (2) GA  (4) Then GA (4) Becomes GA (3)


Cranked stringers drawings

Always use the long leg as the main part in the assembly. Tekla always automatically creates the main drawing view for the main part with the start handle (yellow) on the left with the end handle to the right. 


Hidden lines in drawings

Open drawing properties, objects / parts, put a click in the boxes against hidden lines and centre lines, modify. The modifies the whole drawing. If you select a part only that part only will change.



To insert profile name rather than part mark


click on open drawing / drawing properties/part mark in mid column have “elements in mark” and “profile” only inserted then click on apply and modify.


Tekla Structures Logo in drawing title box

To not to use this and put in customers name. Double click on it, ignore warning, add single line text(s), save as say company 1. When you want to use this again go project properties / advanced and pick company number. You can also use .jpeg and .giffs the should be put in the same folder as where metsecs  and steadmans are. 



Part mark size and leader

To change size of part marks in drawing. Go to drawing properties  de-click all boxes by clicking the ticked box on bottom right hand of the screen. Go to part marks click on assembly position change height on right hand side and click on modify. This also works if you want to remove leader line from all part marks and have the part mark run along the side of the part mark. For part mark insertion centre column should have Elements in Mark and <<assembly position>> only in it.


Arrows in drawings

Using line with arrows in drawing. Make sure all snaps are on except “snap to extension lines” this is the fifth from the right hand side. I think this this a general rule for working with drawings where as when working with models all should be on but the 3rd 4th & 5th from right hand side. Well this is what I’ve been told anyway. Also note that one can change the end which has the arrow via the arrow property box.