Most of us should be familiar with templates. We use them every time we create a fax cover sheet in Word. A Word template is really just a regular Word document but with a different file extension, to avoid repeatedly setting up the same standard titles and styles and boxes.
GeoStudio 2007 ships with two templates, and lets you create your own as well. One of the templates it ships with is a blank document with imperial units already selected (feet, seconds, pounds, etc; under Set Units & Scale); the other is identical except with SI units (meters, seconds, kN, kPa, grams, etc).
In many cases you could benefit by creating your own templates:
- If you find yourself always going back into Set Units & Scale and making the same changes.
- If you use a different page size (under Set Page).
- If you often want to start with a SLOPE/W analysis already created.
- If you want everyone in your office to have a standard format with your company name / logo / etc at the bottom of the page.
- If you find yourself using the same boundary condition over and over.
- Any other repetitive changes you make.
A GeoStudio template is really just a plain old .gsz file saved in a special folder, so anything that normally gets saved in the .gsz can be saved in a template.
Let’s create a simple template today just to demonstrate how it’s done. Say I find myself often doing stability analyses, so I want to just open a template that already has a SLOPE/W analysis, but I always use the Entry and Exit slip surface option instead of Grid and Radius, and I always want to store 10 critical slip surfaces rather than the default of 1.
1. Create a New File
You start just the same as if you were creating a new file. In fact you may want to just take one of your existing files to use as a template.
2. Set Things Up
Remember a template is just another .gsz file, so you set things up just as if you were creating a normal analysis. In my case I’m going to:
- Use KeyIn Analyses to add a SLOPE/W Analysis.
- On the Slip Surface tab, change the Slip Surface Option to “Entry and Exit”.
- On the same tab, change the “No. of critical slip surfaces to store” to “10”.
If I wanted, I could create some common materials I always use, change my page size, problem extents, scale; I could create other analyses, draw a couple of regions, even assign materials to those regions.
3. Give It a Comment
In KeyIn Analyses, select the root item in the tree (labeled “(untitled)”), then describe the template in the Comments field. This description will show up later when you try to use the template (we’ll try that in a minute).
I’ll write “Entry and Exit slope analysis that stores 10 critical slip surface.”
4. Save As Template
This is the step that differentiates this from a normal file. Chose File – Save As Template, and give your template a name, such as “Entry and Exit Slope”
5. Use It
When you want to create a new file from this template, choose File – New, and your template will show up in the list. Notice that when you click on it, the comment you typed at step 3 is displayed to remind you what this template is about.
Next week I’ll describe some more concepts around templates. In the meantime, I’d really like to hear how you use templates. Is it something you’ve explored? Do you use them regularly? Did you not even know they were there? Leave your comments or questions and I’ll address them next week as well.