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Display methods

Display methods are the methods by which the various element types are displayed. For example, beam elements can be drawn as lines or solid sections, spring elements can be lines or coils, 2D elements can be outlines, filled, with or without thickness.

The display methods include various options that affect the colour in which elements are displayed. The colour may be according to the element type, element property, element group, element material, or by the initial analysis stage in which the element is represented. Colouring by type helps distinguish between, say, beam and bar elements. When colouring by property, each property number used by the model is automatically assigned a unique colour and the elements are coloured on that basis. Note that in models referring to a large number of properties the colours of closely numbered properties become less distinct. Colouring by element group or material is handled similarly.

The display methods also offer the option to set whether the various type of unattached nodes are drawn.

Display methods are set using the Graphics > Display > Labels and display methods menu command. Labels and display methods is also available on the Graphic display toolbar. Giving this command opens the Labels and display methods dialog box.

A common use of display methods is to display elements as solid entities. Switching on the Section display button on the Graphic display toolbar has the effect of setting the display method for beams and bars to Outlined & filled and the display method for 2D elements to Filled & thickness. Switching this off reverts to Line and Outline, respectively.

Note that resetting the display resets all display methods to the default view settings.

Refer to the Labels and display methods dialog box documentation for a full list of available options.