Create, Edit, and Assign Custom Legends

Use the Legend entity to create, edit and assign custom legends to any contour, vector and tensor or marker plot. Legends can be numeric, or category based. It can be copied or saved to an external file and imported for re-use.

  • To create a legend:
    1. Right-click in open space in the Results Browser.
    2. Select the desired configuration from Create Legend > Contour, Vector, or Tensor.
    3. For Contour/Vector/Tensor, select the desired type: numeric or category.
      For vectors and tensors, a category legend is used to display the plot by direction.
      For contour, two types of category legend are supported.
      • Category: this type of category legend is automatically created and displayed for the following contour plots as these results are discrete values.
        • MaxLayer or MinLayer plot
        • Contour plot of Envelope Trace datatype
        • Contour plot of Contact Status datatype output by OptiStruct or Abaqus
        Note: This type of category legend cannot be directly created from the Results Browser. However, once it is displayed in the modeling window, it can be saved from the right-click context menu and an entry will be listed in the Results Browser under the Legends folder.
      • Custom_Category: this is a special type of legend you can use to define a table of value ranges and corresponding category labels and assign it to any numeric result. For example, if you have a stress contour with values from 0-100 MPa and group them into categories ranging from critical to low, you can create a table as follows.
        • 80-100: Critical
        • 50-80: High
        • 20-50: Medium
        • 0-20: Low
        Once this legend is assigned to the plot control, the stress contour is automatically updated to color based on categories.
        • Custom category legend can also be created by right-clicking on the numeric legend in the modeling window and selecting Make Category Legend. A 4-level legend with default labels is created based on the numeric range of the result. This action also automatically links it to the displayed plot.
        • The default labels are Critical, High, Medium, Low. Additional levels are created with labels as Category-n.
        • Care should be taken when specifying ranges. Make sure the max value of a category matches the min value of the next category, and the table covers the entire range of the result data.
        • The initial numeric range of the result is not remembered. This means that any reset operation will not restore the range to original values.
        • To revert to the original numeric contour, unlink the legend from the plot control.
    4. For Marker plot, the legend cannot be directly created from the Results Browser. However, once it is displayed in the modeling window, it can be saved from the right-click context menu and an entry will be listed in the Results Browser under the Legends folder.
    Alternate methods to create a legend
    • Right-click on a legend in the modeling window and select Save Legend to create a new legend. This legend is automatically linked to the displayed plot.
    • Right-click on the Legend folder to import an .xml file containing a legend definition. If a legend with the same name already exists, the imported legend is renamed with the prefix importedlegend_.
  • To edit a legend:
    1. Use the Entity Editor to edit the legend properties such as format, precision, range, color scheme, and position.
    2. Alternatively, use the graphics legend context menu to change some of the legend properties.
      This automatically updates the linked legend entity.
    • Format and Precision are supported only for numeric legends.
    • Range can be set to automatic, or user-defined.
      • If automatic, the values of the legend are not editable and are directly obtained from the linked plot definition. If user-defined, values can be changed using the values table or by clicking directly on a value in the graphics legend.
      • Due to current graphics legend limitations, certain value inputs may not be accepted. It is thus recommended to enter values in a strictly descending or ascending order.
      • If custom values are entered and then the number of levels are changed, values get reset. It is thus recommended to first set the number of levels and then input values.
    • Color Scheme can be Divergent, Rainbow, or User-defined. If User-defined, change the color of any level by clicking directly on the color in the graphics legend.
    • Existing plots can also be displayed or cleared using the plot icons in the Results Browser.
    • Editing the definition for a displayed plot automatically updates the graphics. For large models, editing the plot definition may be faster if the plot is not displayed.
  • To assign a legend:
    1. Click on a plot definition in the Results Browser to access the Entity Editor, or, open the Contour/Vector/Tensor tool, pick a plot definition from the drop-down menu on the guide bar, then click .
    2. Select Custom Legend.
    3. Click Legends and select from existing legends using IntelliSearch or the Advanced Selection dialog.

      The list shows only legends of the same config.

    4. To remove a legend and revert to default legend, clear Custom Legend.