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Tips & Tricks 2019

 New part attribute: Item index (March 2019)

Not only item numbers but also itemisation texts which consist of free text and attributes from different HiCAD/HELiOS sources. As of HiCAD 2018 SP2 the new HiCAD part attribute Item index %PIDX can be used in order to create own incrementation in itemisation texts. If the itemisation text contains this attribute, each part with equal item number will be incremented on its own. This means that all n parts with common itemisation number will be numbered consecutively with an index from 1 to n. In practice, this is often used to allocate assemblies or parts with equal item number clearly to each information of the item number flag or BOM. 

Click here for an example 


 New Part Structure Representation in the ICN (March 2019)

In HiCAD 2019 the Part structure representation in the 3-D ICN has been redesigned:

  • Improved performance, notably with complex drawings
  • Tabular, multicolumn representation
  • Sorting by click on the column header
  • Individual configuration of the representation
  • Fast switching of the representation of HiCAD and HELiOS attributes

Click here for further information.


 Discontinuation of Windows 7 ® (February 2019)
Microsoft will cease the support for Windows by January 2020. Due to compability matters HiCAD 2022 SP2 and HELiOS 2022 SP2 will thus be the final versions of our CAD and PDM systems which support Windows ® 7.  The corresponding server operating systems (Windows Server 2008 R2 or older) will then no longer be supported either.
 Discontinuation of “old“ HiCAD itemisation (February 2019)
As of HiCAD 2019 the “old” itemisation, i.e. the itemisation that was used up to HiCAD 2017, will only be available for model drawings that were already itemized with these functions. From HiCAD 2020 onwards, only the “new” itemization will be supported. The itemisation by assemblies (the Within assembly, ... options in the old Itemisation dialogue) will only be supported by the new Standard Itemisation as of HiCAD 2019 SP1. If you want to use these options, you should update to SP1 first.  
 Increase the performance by changing of text fonts (February 2019)

Normally, model drawings contain many texts. These can be “normal” texts, dimensions, annotations and BOMs. Here, too, changing the text font can lead to a significantly increased performance. For instance, changing TrueType Fonts to a HiCAD font during zooming or moving in Sheet areas can increase the performance by a factor of up to 10.

 Collision Check (February 2019)

This Collision Check (Information > 3-D, Further > Coll.)  enables you to check whether the sub-parts of the active part collide. If the active, superordinate part is a solid, HioCAD will also check whether the active part itself collides with one of its sub-parts. Self-intersections of the active part will not be indicated here.


2 parts Indicates the collision of two arbitrary parts. After choosing the function, select the two parts. Collisions of a sub-part of the first identified part and a sub-part of the second identified part will be shown. Collisions of two sub-parts which are both located beneath one of the selected parts will not be indicated.    

 All parts Indicates collisions of all parts of a drawing.  
 Selected parts Indicates collisions of all parts of the current part list, i.e. all currently marked parts. Before calling this function, select the required parts, either in the drawing or in the ICN. In contrast to the 2 parts option, the collisions of all sub-parts of the superordinate parts contained in the part list will be indicated individually here.  

If a collision is detected, it will be highlighted if desired, and you can decide whether you want to continue the check.


For each collision, a collision part called Collision is generated, containing two dummy parts with the names of the parts causing the collision. This is used for faster clarification of the cause of the collision, as the collision body can be very small and optically barely visible. All collision bodies are again summarised beneath a structure item called Collision group.

 Handling of collinear edges (Februar 2019)

As of HiCAD 2019 Collinear sheet edges can no longer be shown in the HiddenLine representation. Therefore, the following setting options have been removed:

  • in HiCAD at Views > Properties > Show/Hide elements > Show collinear sheet edges and
  • in the Configuration Editor at Drawing >Views > Hiding and overlapping of edges > Hide collinear sheet edges.

For model drawings from 2018 and older you can no longer show collinear sheet edges in the HiddenLine representation. For these legacy drawings, the settings valid at the time of their saving apply. However, you have still the option to update the handling of collinear sheet edges in these legacy drawings to the new mechanism. To do this, use the Update sheet edges function. After applying the function you can hide collinear-tangential sheet edges in the HiddenLine representation if desired. Collinear bent edges will always be shown, while collinear mergeable edges will be hidden. 

 Converting "old" itemisations (Februar 2019)

For converting Itemisations to the Standard Itemisation as of HiCAD 2018, the function  Convert to standard itemisation is available (as of HiCAD 2019).

With this function the itemisation of drawings using the mode Itemisation up to HiCAD 2017 can be converted into the mode Standard Itemisation (as of HiCAD 2018).This is possible for drawings created with a version before HiCAD 2019 and which have been -at least partially- itemised with the old mode. Otherwise, this function is greyed out.

After calling the function the conversion starts immediately. This will proceed as follows:

  • HiCAD tries to obtain the existing item numbers including the settings of the itemisation as far as possible.
  • Invalid item numbers remain invalid.
  • Not existing item numbers are not generated automatically. 

If settings or item numbers cannot be taken over unmodified, an according notification will be displayed.

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Tips & Tricks 2018  

 Track catalogue changes (December 2018)

Normally, the data managed in the Standard Part catalogues will be loaded in HiCAD only once upon program start. After this, it will be no longer checked whether there are any newer data. In the Configuration Editor, however, you can determine that HiCAD regularly checks during operation whether newer catalogues are available. This check for up-to-dateness can be activated or deactivated via the Track catalogue changes function. You can find this switch at System settings > Catalogue. The default setting is Do not track.

The current status (On/Off) will be entered into the Windows Registry.


Please note that the tracking of catalogue changes may lead to a significant performance decrease in certain situations.

 Extend coating (December 2018)

When processing a coated Sheet Metal part, the coating will not be automatically applied to the respective processing (e.g. to new flanges, bores or corner processings). As of HiCAD 2018 SP2 you can use the Extend coating  function to apply the coating to the new or processed elements. To change the coating colour, simply call the Coating feature. 


(1) Front surface of bore (front surface like outer side), (2) Front surface of flange, bend zone (front surface like outer side), (3) Outer side of flange 

Extensive information can be found in the Online Help.

 HiCAD - Remote Maintenance (November 2018)

When you install HiCAD 2018 (as of SP2 Patch 1), the Support tool TeamViewerQS.exe will now automatically be installed (in the sub-directory Remotesupport of your HiCAD Installation).In case of problems that require support by the ISD Group, you have the option to call the TeamViewer tool from HiCAD.

For a quick start of the tool, choose the Remote Maintenance function in the Help menu. Please note however that you should only use this tool if you have been requested to do so over the phone by staff members of our Helpdesk.

After calling the function, you need to confirm the Windows security prompt, asking you whether you want to allow changes to your system by the tool.The TeamViewer will then automatically generate an ID and a Password, which may take some seconds.Let the support team member of the ISD Group have the ID and the Password to allow the remote access to your computer.



Important notes on using the Remote Maintenance tool and on protection of your data:

  • To be able to use Remote Maintenance you require an active online connection.
  • During the Remote Maintenance you can see what we do on your computer.
  • With the ID and the Password that you give to our Helpdesk, remote access to your computer will only be possible once.
  • All data, information or other knowledge that our Helpdesk obtains during the Remote Maintenance session, will neither be disclosed on third parties, nor used in any different way by us.
  • The TeamViewer is a product of the TeamViewer GmbH, Jahnstr. 30, 73037 Göppingen, Germany, Phone: +49 (0)7161 60692 50, E-mail: Further information on the TeamViewer can be found on the website of the manufacturer of TeamViewer. There you can also find all required information on the topic of data security. 
  • Please also read the Notes on Data Protection by the ISD.
  • By contacting our Helpdesk via the Remote Maintenance you confirm that you have read and understood the above notes.
 Colour Editor – Change assignment of special colour (November 2018)

Many of the HiCAD functions use the HiCAD Special colours to highlight objects in particular situations. Examples include:  

If desired, the colour assignments used can be changed with the HiCAD Colour Editor on the Special colours tab.



 Internal/external Referencing (November 2018)

Referencing parts is undoubtedly the most efficient method for re-using parts, with a distinction needing to be made between external referencing and internal referencing.

  • External Referencing
    Externally referenced parts are characterised by their ability to be used across projects and across enterprises. The 3-D body that represents this part is not closely integrated into the model, but only added when the model is created in the current state.
  • Internal Referencing
    In addition to external referencing, you can also reference 3-D parts internally, i.e. without saving the part. Internal referencing allows you to manage identical parts within a drawing without saving referenced parts.


Please note:

Please do not insert referenced parts as sub-parts of externally referenced parts, as this may lead to errors!
 Import / export part variables (November 2018)

In the dialogue window for part variables new functions are available that allow you to export part variables as CSV file and to import them from a CSV file. (as of 2018 SP2 Patch 1)


 P&ID - Document Master Data in Title Blocks (November 2018)

If a P+ID is managed via the HELiOS database, you can display the contents of document attributes of the corresponding document master (and the superordinate database project, if any) in the title block of the drawing frame. Furthermore, attribute contents of article masters which are linked to the document master of the P+ID can be displayed in the drawing frame.

In addition to the default assignments of the input fields belonging to the master data mask and dialogue types to data masks for title block symbols, you can allocate up to 20 optional input fields for dialogue types Reserve 1 to Reserve 20. The title block symbols in the title block library (e.g. ISDFRAMES_ENG) have been expanded by these dialogue types.

The assignment is made with the FLZVTXNR.DAT file (in \HICAD\SYS).

Extensive information can be found in the Online Help.

 ISD Update Service (October 2018)

The ISD Update Service supports the automatic search for and installation of HiCAD updates (Hotfixes). For this you require the program ISDUpdateSvc.exe, that you can either activate during installation of HiCAD or install via the Windows Control Panel afterwards. Via this program you can activate the ISD Update Service.

If the ISD Update Service is active, HiCAD checks upon its start whether a Hotfix is available. If this is the case, the following message appears at the bottom right of your screen:


Further information can be found in the Automatic Installation chapter of the Installation Notes Manual.

The update service will be further expanded with upcoming releases. 

 BIM - Requirements + Pre-planning of the Construction Process (October 2018)

To ensure a smooth and trouble-free management of your model drawings with the Management+ BIM module, the working environment needs to be set up properly, and certain rules need to be observed.

It is therefore very important that you read the relevant information given in the help topics

When planning construction processes you should distinguish between small and large model drawings, i.e. 

  • creating of assemblies and deriving of drawings in original model drawing or
  • simultaneous working with referenced detail drawings.

Please read the information given in the Pre-planning of the construction process topic.

 Isometry / Pipe spool drawing - Drawing for pipeline sets (October 2018)

The functions Isometry and Pipe spool drawing create workshop drawings for pipelines. Both functions are operated in a similar way. In older versions, both functions could create a drawing for only one pipeline, though.

As of SP2, HiCAD 2018 offers the option to combine several pipelines into a set of pipelines, which will then be regarded as "one" pipeline when generating the isometry or the pipe spool drawing.


Since you can freely define such pipeline sets, you are enabled to separate you model drawing into pipelines in a more flexible way and without having to have the drawing generation already in the back of your mind.

Detailed information can be found here.


 Representation types for staircases and railings (September 2018)

For staircases and railings created with the Staircase and Railing Configurator the representation type that has been pre-set in the model drawing will be used. The ISD default setting is Simplified.

If a drawing contains parts with different representation types, e.g. simplified staircases/railings that were inserted via the Configurators and, at the same time, Steel Engineering objects with exact representation, the representation type will be converted accordingly, on the basis of the identical search, when the drawing is itemized.  HiCAD will display the following message:

In some cases, the conversion may fail after clicking Yes:


There are two possibilities how to solve this problem:

  • Adjust the representation of the Steel Engineering objects to the representation of the staircases/railings.
  • Change the representation type for the model drawing via Steel Engineering > Further functions > Settings and then update the staircases and railings that were inserted with the Configurators via Steel Engineering > Variants > Update . In this case please note that an element of the staircase or the railing needs to be active when you call the function!


Please note

These solution possibilities will only be successful if the staircases/railings are still functional, that is, no parts of the staircase/the railing must have been deleted or broken up. Otherwise, all profiles of the staircase/the railing must be broken up until they appear as individual features in the ICN.




 Element installation (September 2018)

The Element installation is an efficient tool for placing identical parts from the HiCAD catalogue onto areas such as

  • facades,
  • walls,
  •  floors etc.

Such parts can be sheet metal trays, glass panes, gratings or other catalogue parts.

An example of a grating in the Online Help demonstrates how to use, e.g., HiCAD catalogue elements for Element Installation.

 Isolated points in sheet developments (September 2018)

In sheet developments you can now define whether isolated points of the Sheet Metal part are to be hidden or shown.

 The positions of the points (in the development) refer to the flange or the bend zone that was active during creation. If the main part is active, no points will be developed.


Please note

 The setting affects only the Isolated 3-D points supplied by the Sheet Metal part.  Isolated points in the development that have been created subsequently are always visible. (as of HiCAD 2018)


(1) Isolated point, (1a), active sheet flange, (2) Isolated point, (2a), active sheet flange, (3) Isolated point (3a), base sheet active

 Overview of welded connections in BOMs (September 2018)

You have now the option to display an overview of welded connections in BOMs. For this to happen, go to Plant Engineering > Bills of Materials in the Configuration Editor and activate the checkbox of the parameter Supplement BOMs with an overview of welded connections. (as of HiCAD 2018)

Click here to view an Example.


Please note:

The display of this overview is only possible in BOMs that have been created with the BOM functions of the Plant Engineering > Evaluation function group; it is not possible for BOMs in isometries and pipe spool drawings.

 Avoid multiple sectional views in workshop drawings (June 2018)

In the Configuration Editor at Automatic drawing derivation > Production drawing > Avoid multiple sectional views you determine that sectional views with the same content will only be created once in the workshop drawing.

Sectional views are considered equal if

  • the parts visible (displayed) in the sectional views have the same valid item number and
  • the sectional views contain the same geometries.

Sectional views for plates outside of the plate end (front plates, top plates, base plates mean the same) are generally unequal.

If you have chosen the Steel/Metal Engineering template in the HiCAD Parameter configuration dialogue window (double-click ParKonfigComp.exe in the exe directory of your HiCAD installation to open this window), the Avoid multiple sectional views checkbox will be active by default (as of HiCAD 2018). .

 Suppress temporary preview for part placement (June 2018)

When selecting certain functions, a shaded polyhedron model preview will be attached to the cursor. For instance, this is the case when inserting or transforming parts, inserting new parts in the preview mode, or inserting standard parts. This preview can be hidden temporarily by pressing and holding down the SHIFT key (as of HiCAD 2018). This may be useful when working with complex models due to performance reasons. When the key is released, the preview is visible again.

This behaviour can also be inverted by a corresponding setting in the Configuration Editor at System settings > Visualisation > Temporary preview for part placement

Possible setting options are:

  • Hide with SHIFT key 
    When a preview for part placement is shown it can be hidden by pressing the SHIFT key. This is the default Setting.
  • Show with SHIFT key
    No preview for part placement will be shown. By pressing and holding down the SHIFT key, however, it can be shown temporarily.
 Element Installation - Check sketch position (May 2018)

If you have not achieved the desired result with regard to the position of the installed elements, you should check the position of the sketch that was used. If the sketch position has been incorrectly defined with regard to the coordinate system, the position of the installed elements will also be wrong.

Rotating the part with the sketch will not solve the problem, since the coordinate system would be rotated together with the part.


In such situations you first need to rotate the sketch elements into the required position with the  Sketch > Transform > Rotate  function. After this, the sketch can be rotated back into the original position with the 3-D Standard > Transform > Rotate  function.

An example:

Let's take a look at the sketch below. The installing the elements (e.g. with ALUCOBOND® tray panels SZ-20) did not lead to the intended result.

Therefore, first rotate the sketch elements with the Sketch > Transform > Rotate  function. Press and hold down the CTRL key and the left mouse button and draw a rectangle around all sketch elements. Choose a rotation angle of 90° and the bottom left corner of the sketch as rotation point. Confirm with OK to carry out the rotation.



Now, rotate the sketch back to the desired position: Select 3-D Standard > Transform > Rotate > Z-axis through point , choose the bottom right corner point of the sketch as rotation point and a rotation angle of -90° .



The sketch will be rotated. The installing of elements will now produce the desired result:

 Important note on virus scan (April 2018)

We recommend to exclude the HiCAD TEMP folder (e.g. C:\HiCAD\TEMP) and the HiCAD.EXE file in the HiCAD EXE directory from the active virus scan. By defining such exclusions, issues and delays caused by concurrent accesses of the antivirus program to the HiCAD data will be prevented, thus increasing reliability and speed of referenced part and feature data processing. We recommend to specifically define the aforementioned exclusions and not, for instance, one exclusion for the entire HiCAD folder.

 Thread representation / Panorama mirroring (March 2018)

Threads in shaded views can be represented either with thread texture or transparently. The representation can be predefined via the configuration management under Visualisation > Views with the parameter Thread representation in shaded views.

  • With thread texture This setting - the ISD-side default setting - depicts pitch and chirality of threads realistically. However, this only concerns the shaded view and not representations such as glass model, hidden line or quick hidden line representation.
  • Transparent The threads will be depicted transparently as usual.

Flanged shaft - (1) Transparent view, (2) With thread texture

Irrespective of the default setting in the Configuration Editor, the thread representation in shaded views can be determined separately for each view. For this, use the function Shaded representation via Representation > Views > Shaded repr...

Please note

Only one thread will be equipped with texture in case of multiple insertion via grid.


You can also use the Shaded representation function for panorama mirroring.

 Representation of beams (March 2018)

So far, it has not been possible to manage the display type of beams (exactly or simplified) via parameter configuration options for steel engineering. From HiCAD 2018 and higher this is not the case anymore.

The default settings have to be defined via the configuration editor under Steel engineering > Representation. The default settings are Simplified.

 Management+BIM - Important notes (March 2018)
  • When using the Management+BIM module for the management of your CAD data, please always use only the PDM functions on the Management+BIM Ribbon tab! For a changing of the Workflow status of documents and articles managed with BIM, too, only the functions of the Management+BIM Ribbon tab may be used! The HELiOS functions should only be used for a viewing of the corresponding documents and articles, but not for their editing (e.g. item numbers, article masters, Workflow status etc.)! In contrast, external data, such as Word documents, E-mails, documents by architects etc. can be managed freely.
  • A document or component may not be assigned to more than one project.
 Customizing ribbon tabs and keyboard (February 2018)

HiCAD offers the option to derive your own, user-specific Ribbons tabs from the Ribbons tabs that have been predefined by the ISD. For instance, you can arrange frequently used functions on separate Ribbons tabs, and use the Import and Export functions to distribute these tabs among other users.


The definition of Ribbons tabs takes place, like the editing of the QuickAccess Toolbar, by means of the UserInterfaceEditor.exe tool that you can start directly from HiCAD:

  • Select Settings  > Customize UI


  • select Customize QuickAccess Toolbar function

A keyboard shortcut can be assigned to each command of the Ribbon, enabling you to access the Ribbon functions via the keyboard if desired.

Click here for further information.

 OpenGL and Graphics card (February 2018)

By default, the capacity for OpenGL display lists is unlimited, i.e. HiCAD uses the full OpenGL capability of your graphics card.

The setting can be specified in the Configuration Editor at System settings > Visualisation > Capacity of OpenGL display lists. The default setting is 1.

If you do not want to use the full OpenGL capacity of your graphics card, e.g. because you do not use a 64Bit processor or have a memory of < 4 GB, you can change the value accordingly, e.g. to 1000000 (default setting of older versions).

 Did you know? - Shorten beams (February 2018)

Did you know that…?

You can not only lengthen, but also shorten beams and profiles with the Change length (3-D SE) function! To do this, simply enter a negative value.




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