4.3 The CONNECT Interface




ORD, OBM and OBD CONNECT Edition products all feature a modern ribbon interface, much like the one found in Microsoft Office® products. The ribbon is easy to pick up but difficult to master, offering several tools contained within its many tabs. The interface is organized into Workflows, Tabs and the Backstage.

 CONNECT Edition Ribbon - Interface

The ribbon interface is comprised of the following:

  1. File Tab - Opens the Backstage view where you can manage your file and its settings, import and export files, access help and so on.
  2. Quick Access Toolbar - Tools can be accessed a variety of ways, including though the Ribbon interface. Ribbons are arranged by Workflows, which are selected from a pull-down in the upper left corner of the software. To the right of the Workflow pull-down are a handful of frequently used commands.
  3. Other tabs - Contains one or more groups of tools organized by use case.
  4. Group - A labeled set of closely related commands or tools.
  5. Ribbon Search - Enter words or phrases to search for in the ribbon.
  6. Sign in glyph - Displays when you are signed in as a CONNECT user.
  7. Minimize - Collapses the ribbon when clicked.
  8. Help - Accesses MicroStation help from the ribbon.

Tip: To quickly return from the Backstage view to your view window, click the Home tab, or press <Esc>.


The Workflow is selected by a drop-down menu in the upper left corner of the interface. The Workflows rearrange the Ribbon interface to include relevant tools. A custom Workflow may contain tools which are not found in other standard configurations. For example:

  • The Drawing workflow contains commands that are used for typical drawing tasks.
  • The CTDOT workflow is customized to compliment the DDE. Notice the discipline tabs that appear only when the CTDOT workflow is active.

CONNECT Edition CTDOT Ribbon - Interface 

Application-specific Workflows will vary depending on the product being used.



The Ribbon contains commands that are used for drawing and design tasks. Tools that are not command related, such as Plotting, Design File Settings, User Preferences, etc. are in the “Backstage” area.

To access the Backstage, select File at the upper-left of the user interface.

 CONNECT Edition Home tab - Interface 

The Backstage has a list of commands at left, along with a list of recently opened design file(s), as shown below:

 Backstage Recent Files -CONNECT Edition Interface 

Two of the most commonly accessed functions are listed below.

  1. User Preferences - User Preferences are accessed from the Backstage by selecting Settings > User > Preferences.
  2. Design File Settings - Design File Settings are accessed from the Backstage by selecting Settings > File > Design File Settings.



User preferences are settings that control how the product operates.

Preferences are not design file-dependent and cannot be saved in the design file; however, they are saved in the user preferences file pointed to by the MS_USERPREF configuration variable when you click the OK button.

You can access this dialog by selecting Ribbon: File > Settings > User > Preferences.

CONNECT Edition User Preferences Reference Settings - Dialog Box 

User Preferences are stored on the user’s local drive; each application has its own path. The AppData folder is hidden by default, so users will not be able to see these folders unless they configure Windows Explorer to show all hidden files, folders and drives.

  • C:\Users\YourName\AppData\Local\Bentley\OpenRoadsDesigner
  • C:\Users\YourName\AppData\Local\Bentley\OpenBridgeModeler
  • C:\Users\YourName \AppData\Local\Bentley\OpenBuildingsDesigner

Take note of these locations, as deleting one’s user preferences is a common fix to configuration issues that may arise while using Bentley products.