This tool allows you to select multiple members that are connected end-to-end and then load them as if they were just one member. The members do not all have to be in a straight line. The loads that can be applied to a selection of contiguous members are concentrated loads, distributed forces or distributed torsion loads. It is an extremely handy tool for loading members that have been subdivided or for rafters in a portal frame building for example that are subjected to varying and/or stepped wind loads.
In the following example we want to apply a distributed wind load that varies from -2.3kN/m at one end of a rafter to -4.5kN/m at the other end.
We start by selecting the entire rafter.
Followed by right-clicking and selecting "Member Loads" => "Load Contiguous Members" => "Distributed Forces" from the popup menu. We can then define the load data in the distributed forces datasheet that appears.
After clicking Ok, the loads are generated and applied to the selected members as shown below.
See also Varying member distributed loads.