Saving Your Surfaces

In the last while, it has come to my attention that some people are losing their Modelling databases because of a misconception about whether or not they have been saved correctly.

If you manually pick the command to allow you to save the surfaces then you know that you in fact have done so (described in Step 4 below). If you forget to save the surfaces and you exit the program then we will remind you that you still have surfaces in memory and we ask if you wish to save them or discard them. This is where the confusion is normally found.

1) If you have one or more surfaces in memory that have not been saved, and you exit MSCAD, we will bring up the following dialog box;

NOTE: This dialog will only show up when you exit the entire program. If you stay in the program BUT you have exited the current drawing, then you need to know that the surfaces remain in memory and will be available in the next job you work in. Be sure to save the surfaces with the correct job name so as to not be confused when you return to the job at a later date. [You can clear the surfaces from the memory by deleting the surfaces. Step 2) below shows you how to save your surfaces but there is a Delete button that can be used if required.]

2) If you pick the NO button, the surfaces are not saved and we continue to exit the program. By not saving the surfaces you would need to extract the points and break lines again at a later date to recreate the surfaces again from scratch.

If you pick the YES button, you are then shown this dialog box;

When you get this box you need to pick the surface names, on the left side of the box, that you wish to save. In the above example I have picked the Ground and Design surfaces to save. They become highlighted to let you know they are selected. Now I have to pick the Write QSB button near the bottom right to actually save the surfaces to a file. Prior to picking the two surfaces on the left, the Write QSB button, along with most of the others, were all greyed out and not available to you.

Now here is the problem that some have run into: When they are shown the above screen, they are making the assumption that if they simply pick the OK button that the surfaces are automatically saved. In fact it may appear that this happens because as you are exiting the program, and you have chosen the option to save the surfaces (Step 1), and if you pick the OK button here (Step 2), we finish exiting the program without any further messages coming up. Unfortunately they are missing the following key step! And your surfaces are in fact NOT saved.

3) Once you pick the Write QSB button mentioned above, you will then be shown the following dialog box;

Go to the location on the hard drive that you wish to save the QSB file and give the file a name. Remember that this QSB file will have to be reloaded into the MSCAD Job at a later date if you need to work with it again. Also remember that a QSB file can be loaded into any MSCAD job, not just the one it was created in.

Once you have named the file and picked the Save button, the surfaces are now safe and can be retrieved at a later date. If you started at Step 1 above, then at this point, we exit the program as normal. If you started with Step 4 and then went to Step 2 and 3, at this point we return you to Step 2 and allow you to continue manually.

4) If you manually choose the Surface Operations command, while in the MSCAD program, it will bring up the same dialog box shown in step 2 and you will not see the box shown in Step 1. The Surface Operations command is found under this menu;

When you pick this command you are able to manually save the Modelling surface data. This brings up the dialog box shown in Step 2. You can do this as many times in the drawing as required. You can also save different surfaces to different QSB files if you wish. This would be the recommended method of controlling your Surface files. When you exit the Surface Operations command you will return to the MSCAD program to continue as you wish, knowing that your surfaces are safe.

I hope this explanation will save some of you the problem of finding that you did not save your surface files even though you were sure you said yes to the dialog shown in Step 1.

Glen W. Cameron, C.E.T.

Technical Support Manager