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A Fast Guide to the Most Useful Tasks in Abaqus Visualization Module (PART A)

1. Changing Fonts (Texts in results plot)

From the main menu bar select Viewport > Viewport Annotations Options:

Go to the any of Legend, Title Block or State Block tabs. Now, click on the Set Font… button. In the Select Font form that appears you can set the size and type of font. The new size/type can be applied to the various categories:

1. Triad
2. Legend
3. Title Block
4. State Block

Tick the box you need.

You can also change the color of texts by selecting Color beneath the Set Font… button in Legend, Title Block or State Block tabs.

2. Showing items or not.

You can tell Abaqus weather to display different items in a plot or not. From the main menu bar, select Viewport > Viewport Annotations. Then in General tab, check/uncheck items as favorable:

3. Modifying legend display

In section 1 of the current article and more specifically, in Q&A:How can I change font size of the contour legend in an Abaqus plot?, we have learned about modifying the font and color of the legend text. You can also make these other modifications to legend:


i) The position of legend (by changing the upper left corner (x,y) with respect to Viewport)
ii) Whether showing legend outlining box or not
iii) Whether showing legend title or not
iv) Showing Min/Max value in every frame with corresponding element and node No.
v) Format of the numbers in legend. Look at the table as a guide:
Table. Numbers Format in Legend
vi) Legend background

4. Displaying the beam profile and shell thickness

If you use wire parts to model beams, you can view an idealized representation (i.e. the 3D-shape) of the beam profile for results data.
Rendering Beam Profile for Cargo Crane
In Visualization module, from main menu bar, select View > ODB Display Options… (you can find that in left toolbox, too):

In the window appeared, on the first tab (General) there is a section called Idealizations. Check the Render beam profiles box. You can also choose the scale factor to increase the section size as you need.
In addition, you can visualize thickness for shell elements by checking the Render shell thickness box.
Beam and shell thickness rendering are available in the Visualization module for undeformed and deformed plots only.

5. Displaying boundary conditions (B.C.)

From main menu bar select View > ODB Display Options…. In Entity Display tab, select Show boundary conditions:

You can also decrease the size of the symbols if they are large and unsuitable or increase if required from Options section at the top.
Note: The display of model entities can affect Abaqus/CAE performance significantly and slowing down your computer.

6. Showing nodes and element labels

Element/node labels are numeric labels that identify each element/node in FEA.
To visualize the nodes and element labels within the Visualization module, from main menu bar select Options > Common… (or also Common Options from toolbox):

Displaying Node and Element Label in VisualizationIn the window appeared, go to Labels tab and tick Show element labels and/or Show node labels as required.
In addition, you can choose the Color of the element/nodes labels.

7. Changing Background

When reporting your results, the appearance of pictures you capture from Abaqus/CAE plots is affected by the difference in contrast between the model colors and the colors in the viewport background. You can improve this contrast by changing the color or colors displayed in the viewport background. You can display a single color or you can create a gradient background.
To change the background, from the main menu bar, select View > Graphics Options. Look at this Q&A:
How do I change the background color of the viewport?
This is general and works in every module of Abaqus. Follow the instructions in Visualization module.
It is recommended to select a solid white color.

8. Capture an image

Abaqus/CAE allows you to take a snapshot of viewports to a file for later use; for example, to include in a presentation or embed in a printed report. To capture an image, from main menu bar, select File > Print:

You can also use CTRL+P shortcut on your keyboard.
Now, select an image format such as PNG or TIFF and assign a File name to be saved on your working directory (as default). You can change the save directory by choosing File Select Browser icon (look at the above picture).

If you want to have the most options when saving the image, you must select EPS format, which allows selecting image resolution besides its size.
As a simple trick, to get rid of these settings and Print window, just press CTRL+C on your keyboard to Capture an image. This will make a Copy of your current Viewport that can be Paste anywhere else (Word, Presentation, etc.). The function of this shortcut is exactly like Print Screen key (but is limited to the area of current Viewport in Abaqus/CAE).
If you prefer any of these customizations to be applied automatically for each time Abaqus opens, follow the instruction in:
Q&A 119: How can I save graphical settings I made in Abaqus/CAE? I do not want repeat these settings when opening Abaqus again.


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