Styles and Building Element Types

In the previous article, we familiarised with the concept of Style in a HighDesign project and learnt how to create a new style. Now, it is time to see the differences between a style and a type, and learn to manage styles.

Styles vs Types

A Style is a named, predefined set of properties and behaviours that you can re-use multiple times in a project or across different projects. Depending on the class of element it refers to, a style can include different kinds of attributes and settings. Here’s the classification of styles:

  • Graphic Style: a graphic style typically includes graphic attributes like line-type, colours, arrows and pen weight. It can be applied to all objects and elements.
  • Element Style: in addition to the graphic attributes, it includes the specific settings of its element class. For example, a Dimension Style includes arrow type and size, gaps, label attributes, etc. An element style can only be applied to the class of elements it belongs to.
  • Building Element Style: an element style that applies to building elements, like walls, columns, windows, etc. It can include graphic attributes, element-specific settings and information such as tag, description and Id. A building element style can load and include a graphic style.

If you are familiar with the IFC standard for BIM projects, you’ll recognise that this classification matches that of the IFC object styles and element types.

How to create a new Building Element Type

Manage Your Styles

Styles can be saved as project-specific or as resources. Project-specific styles are only available inside the project they were created in. Sometimes it makes sense to use a style that only applies to one project. More often, you’ll want to save the style as a global resource that you can use across different projects.

As with the other global resources, the place to manage a resource is the Resource Manager (Project > Resource Manager).

The Styles and Types panel is organised in two main sections: the library browser on the left (highlighted in green) and the style previews on the right (highlighted in blue).

Use the tabs on the top to switch between styles and building element types. The table lists resource libraries by location, HighDesign, User and Project libraries respectively, and the sub-folders organised by class. The Project library shows the styles and types that have been used in the current project. Select a folder to show its contents in the previews pane.

The Previews pane shows the styles contained in the selected folder. If you’re browsing a library, such as the internal HighDesign library or the custom User’s library, you can add it to the project by clicking the small “+” (plus) icon that appears on the top-right corner of each preview when you hover the mouse cursor.

If you select a style, the buttons below the previews pane allow you to perform several actions:

  • Create a new style
  • Duplicate a style and edit the duplicate
  • Edit the selected style, which is only available for custom styles
  • Delete the style, also available only for custom styles

As for the other resource types, the items in the default HighDesign library cannot be edited nor deleted. If you need to make your own modifications to a default style, you can duplicate the resource and edit that copy. Make sure you give it a name that matches your own naming standards or language.

In the next and final article, we’ll see how to edit a style and use style tags.

Read the introduction to styles in the first article on this series.

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