Display settings in Quick tools

In order to speed up modification of  the visible content of our model and provide a possibility of real-time effect, a Display settings tool has been added to Quick tools.  Any change in Quick tools’ Display settings will cause an immediate change in the current model space or the Graphical-window-type images of our documentation. There are two sets of options available in the Display settings tool: Macro and Detailed settings.


The options under the Macro tab allow for quick turn on / off (or show / hide) of the most popular display elements for the entire (visible) model at once (e.g. turn on Structural ID label for all elements visible in the model screen).


Detailed settings

The Display options from the Settings dialog are from now, also available in the Quick tools panel, under the Detailed settings. Selecting options under Detailed settings allows for a more detailed selection of the display options (e.g. turn on Structural ID label only for bar elements visible in the model screen).

Quick tool-Display Settings.png

Hint: By clicking Save as default, the Detailed settings of the current FEM-Design model, will be applied as default settings for the new project.

Improved display of labels and results

There are two significant improvements in the display of text in model space and documentation:

The labels of structural elements are now visible in any display mode, and not only in Wireframe. But in Hidden line or shading modes (Shading, Shading with edges), only the labels of elements that are not hidden by other objects are visible.

Labels 1000.gif

The result values were already visible in all display modes in previous versions of FEM-Design, but from now on, only the unhidden ones are displayed in rendered modes (Hidden lines. Shading, Shading with edges).

Numeric_Values 1000.gif

Improved display of Storeys and Axes

In FEM-Design 21, the labels of storeys and axes are clearly visible in all views and all graphical windows in the documentation.

3D model view:

Story-axis in 3D view 1000.png

Elevation and section view:

Story-axis in planar view 1000.png

Documentation, graphical window:


Bar end point information

The bar start and end points are important data, used for example, to define different end connections or variable cross sections. Although the x-axis direction of the local coordinate system of the bars specifies the start and end points, in FEM-Design 21, that information is also available in the tooltip that is displayed when one approaches a bar end with the cursor.


It is necessary that the Display tooltip option is checked  (Settings > Environment > General > Highlight). 


Note: This function does not work in Physical view (Alt+D) mode.  

Show all function

For the sake of clarity of complex models, we often temporarily hide items during modeling, result display, and documentation. From now on, we can display all hidden elements at once, using the Show all function available in the command list that appears by right-clicking anywhere in the model space or in a Graphical window of the Documentation. In previous versions, the Show all option in the local menu popped-up only when the right-click was made on an object.

Show-all-RC 800.gif

Note: This function applies only to elements with an Active or Protected layer, not to those hidden with their layer. 

Integrated calculator

Using this new, but actually once existing feature in older FEM-Design versions, one can calculate and enter numeric values calculated with both simple or complex mathematical operations.

If we press “c” key while defining numeric values in any numeric field (thickness, size parameter, design property, load/stiffness value, etc.), a calculator pops out and that field value is automatically loaded. Once we perform the desired calculations and close the calculator, the calculated value overwrites the field’s numeric value.



If the following warning message appears, it means that a calculator suitable for the operation is not available by default on your computer. In this case, install the calculator by clicking on the link in the message.


The installation of the Integrated calculator is enabled by default when installing FEM-Design.


New renaming and renumbering policy

In FEM-Design 21 modification of structural objects' ID or position number does not invalidate the results. It means that if we change the Identifiers (ID) of structural objects or their position number, they will be automatically updated in the opened Windows and Documentation where they are displayed or referenced (e.g., in Documentation, in a Detailed result table or figure of an affected bar element), while the results of previous calculation remain valid. Following modifications will not invalidate the results:

ID: can be modified in the Properties dialog of objects

Position number: can be changed with the Numbering command (Tools menu)

Identifier-PositionNumber 1000.png

Improved layer manager

FEM-Design 21 introduces improvements in the layer management that makes possible to filter and work with the right layers easily and quickly. The following paragraph describes the new features that are available for each layer type: layers of drawing elements (Drawing layers), layers of analysis model components (Object layers) and Load case layers. 

Search and filter by layer name (or partial name)

While typing characters in the Filter field, the layer list is immediately filtered only to those layers that contain, at least partially, the typed text. We can quickly clear the search field by pressing the X button next to it.


The filtering criteria is automatically saved for our project when we finish typing with the Enter key. The name of the criterion will be the searched text. We can use the saved criteria at any time by selecting it from the drop-down menu. The criteria can be deleted with the X button next to its name. 


Sort the layers by layer properties

From now on, layers can be sorted by the following parameters:

  • Status
  • Snap
  • Colour
  • Pen
  • Name 

Sorting works on both full and filtered lists.


Hint: The default layer order can be restored by clicking the Name header button until a non-ABC order is displayed.

Filter improvements

Material type in Filter

Grouping different materials and cross-sections by their major type (Concrete, Steel, Timber, Brick, General, etc.) facilitates and speeds up criteria-based model element filtering and selection. From now on it is possible to select all concrete / steel / etc. materials, or all cross sections made of concrete / steel / etc. with one click.


Design groups in Filter

In FEM-Design, analysis members having certain common properties can be assigned to a design group, and the members in this group will be designed in the same way. From now on, Design groups are listed as selection criteria in Filter. That means we can search/ filter/ select the analysis members of our structural model by design groups set for a design type (RC, steel, timber, masonry or composite design, basic or for fire, etc.).


Save filter selection

The filters, specified by a set of criteria, can be now saved in a project. This way, we can reuse the previously defined filter selection, for future actions. The saved filter will also take into consideration all the new objects that were created after it's definition, but meet its criteria.

Example: Save the filter selection of all columns placed in the plane of Axis 1


Example: Use the saved filter selection for performing actions on a model


Managing saved filters: 

  • A saved filter can be renamed by clicking twice on its name or by right-clicking on it and selecting Rename
  • A selected saved filter can be deleted by pressing the Delete key or by right-clicking on it and selecting Delete

Improved Statistics dialog

The enhanced Statistics tool offers the following new features:

  1. Highlight object types occurring in the model (if the number of items of that type is greater than 0)
  2. Possibility to sort objects by name (default logical, ascending, descending order) 
  3. Possibility to sort objects by number of items (default logical, ascending, descending order) 



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