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Last modified by Akos Rechtorisz on 2023/03/21 18:08


Note tool

A brand new tool has been introduced to simplify communication between structural design parties, allowing objects and loads to be annotated within a FEM-Design project. Any note can be provided with an unique title and category, a color and font style, as well as a stamp recording the date and username. Notes are stored with the model.


The Category

The Category can refer to anything that is relevant for the specific project: the nature of the comment, the severity of the problem, the type of task, the person involved in the issue, etc. One can browse among a few predefined Categories (Settings >), but it is also possible to create and save (along with unique appearance style) a new category (Settings > Save).


Add stamp

Add stamp will add an entry with the user name and the time. The User name is defined at Settings > Environment > General.

Note position

A note can be:

  • related to a structural object or a load (Note > Linked to object), or
  • independent and freely placed in the model space (Note > Free).


Linked notes move together with their host object and their reference point is always in the center of the object. Free notes can be freely moved with their reference point (Edit > Move). One can also use the Move command to move the label of linked notes relative to the center of their host object.

Managing notes

The validity and the importance of a note expressing a problem can be modified during the life of a project, for example by changing its Category (with the Properties function), or simply using the Erase function of the Note tool, if it is no longer relevant and we do not want to store it any longer.


All notes can be managed and edited in a summary table that can be accessed with the Manage by table command. Here, the notes can be

  • sorted by Category or Title, and
  • edited or erased with multiple selection possible.


If a note is visible in the current window, (e.g. the host is not hidden in the “Linked” type), the note selected in the table is also highlighted in the model space. The list can be limited by displaying only the currently visible notes.

Hide / show note

Notes can be hidden (and displayed again) using the Display note checkbox that is found in the Quick tools > Detailed settings > Label, note, marker.


Filter notes

All notes of certain categories can be searched for and selected using the Filter tool (Quick Tools).


Version log

Using the new Version log tool (Tools menu), all parties involved in working on one FEM-Design model can add notes to the project. The Version log tool allows for unformatted text only, but external textual content can be transferred using copy/paste functions. The Add entry button inserts the User name and the Timestamp. Old entries can be modified or deleted as needed. Press Cancel in order not change the log, or write a new comment and add it by pressing OK.


The User name is defined at Settings > Environment > General.  Here, one can also activate the checkbox to open the Version log dialog every time the project is saved.


Compare files tool

The brand new Compare files tool (Edit menu), allows for discovering the differences between two FEM-Design files. The function compares a currently opened model with one of its selected versions (e.g. a newer one), and lists and displays the changes, that can be accepted or rejected. The tool is useful, when a member of the design team needs to check and verify others’ changes or compare design alternatives.



  • The comparison can be applied to both native FEM-Design formats: .str and StruXML.
  • The comparison is based on objects' global unique identifiers, which are automatically assigned to the objects when they are created and remain unchanged as long as the objects exist.
  • The comparison checks the changes of Structure Grid, Foundation, Bar, Shell, Support and Modeling tool objects without restrictions, as well as of Covers with smaller restrictions regarding their support structure.


While having a model opened in FEM-Design, start Compare files... (Edit menu). In the Open dialog, select the second model to compare with. The program will switch to the “Comparison” mode, where the result of the comparison is displayed.


The Changes dialog contains the list of all changes, which are also color-coded in the model space. The table contains:

  • the identifiers (ID) of the objects,
  • their Description (= object type) and  (= object type) and
  • the type of Change: Created / Modified / Deleted.

The last three columns indicate the type of change that happened to the particular object:

  • Object type (T): e.g. conversion of a Column into a Wall.
  • Properties (P): change of properties (those that are available in the Default settings dialog of objects).
  • Geometry (G): any dimension or position change.

Changes can be sorted by Description and by Change type.

In case of complex objects, such as Walls with Edge connections, the changes of individual sub-objects can be listed by expanding the details (by pressing the black triangle in the first column of the table). The Expand all button does this for all listed objects.


There are few useful tools available in Compare mode, such as the Query measure tool, the Quick tools, and the View menu. With the tools of the latter two, for example, one can hide (by turning off the Object layer or using the Hide/Show objects command) objects that are not important or make them transparent; so that one can only focus on certain changes. In this case, the list of changes can be filtered to only visible changes by selecting the Show only visible changes option.

One can quickly hide or display objects according to change types.



In the event of a property change, we can use the Query > Properties command to check in which property parameters the change occurred. We can retrieve the properties of the current or new version object of the changed pair separately, but with the Both option we can detect the changed properties themselves. In the following figure, we can clearly see that the thickness (thickness fields t1/t2/t3 are empty) and the material (there is no selected material) of the selected Plate object have changed.


Using the Current and New functions of Query, one can highlight the current or new status of a geometrically modified object.


The properties of Created or Deleted objects can also be checked using Query.

Accept or reject changes

One can accept or reject object changes using the Accept and Discard commands, either in the list table or in the model space. The following figure shows an example of when one accepts new objects. Pressing Exit (top, right corner of the main window)  image-20230125132106-2.pngcompletes the comparison and updates the current model with the accepted changes.



If not all listed changes has been either accepted or discarded on exit, a warning dialog will be displayed. Upon pressing the Yes button, all unspecified changes will be discarded. We can continue managing the remained difference with the No button.


Display options for Marker

FEM-Design Markers are useful information elements used by both Correct model and Adjust analytical model tools. From now on, Markers can be easily hidden / displayed using the Display marker checkbox that is found in the Quick tools > Detailed settings > Label, note, marker.