## Using datasheets

All datasheets have the same format, appearing in a grid format like a spreadsheet. The members datasheet is shown below.

Common datasheet operations

Datasheet lookups

Some datasheet cells contain a lookup button that allows you to select from a list of items. These are available for easy selection of load cases, section properties, material properties and load categories.

Generation

The above node generation form allows you to generate items along two axes at once. It can also be used to generate extra series at different levels (ie. the 2nd order).

Consider the following 20 node grid in the XY plane. It could have been created by inputting the coordinates for node 1 then generating four 1st order nodes (5,9,13 & 17) along a line with a node increment of 4 and X increment of 2.4, followed by three 2nd order rows of nodes with a node increment of 1 and a Y increment of 1.5.

Grid of generated nodes

If only 1st order generation is required, you should specify zero for the number of 2nd order items to be generated.

The node generation form also has the unique ability to generate nodes along a line, arc or helix.

The axis of rotation, which only applies to an arc or helix, defines the point about which the nodes will be generated. The angle increment causes the nodes to be generated at some regular angle increment.

The helix length increment defines a regular increment along a parametric path at which the nodes will be generated.

2nd order generation is also employed in the member and member concentrated load datasheets.

Renumbering data

Any data can be renumbered by simply changing its number in a datasheet. However, be careful, because other related data in the model will not be automatically renumbered to match. A better way to renumber nodes, members or plates is to use the graphics renumber tool. It not only lets you renumber large groups of nodes, members and plates effortlessly, it also adjusts all of the restraints, constraints, loads, and design data automatically to allow for the new numbering sequence (see also Renumber).

A convenient way to quickly move around and edit numeric cells in a datasheet is to use the keyboard arrow keys to move to the desired cell, type the new data, then use the keyboard arrow keys to move to the next cell. You do not have to press ENTER to accept the new data.

! IMPORTANT NOTE !

When you use a datasheet to renumber items, none of the other data which may reference the renumbered items is adjusted. You must do this yourself or use the renumber tool instead (as explained above).