Forms: Display Units, Consistent Units, Named Units Sets
Typically, the units would be specified when the model is initialized using the Display Units drop-down list on the Model Initialization form. Although any units may be used at any time while working with the model, e.g., inch units for beam sections and feet units for grid layout, it is important to select an appropriate unit set before starting the model to reduce the possibility of round-off error. In other words, if work is being completed primarily in US units, US default units should be selected as the initial units. In such a case, Metric defaults would not be a good choice for the units because a conversion would always be required when saving the model, which could result in numerical variations.
The Options menu > Display Units command or the Units button > Show Units Form option in the lower right-hand corner of the ETABS Window can be used to access the Display Units form after the model has been initialized; the form can be used to review and if necessary modify the database units. Note that allowing the mouse cursor to "hover" over the Units button on the status bar will display a list of those Items that have units and the Units applied to them.
Set the unit sets quickly button. Click this button in the upper left-hand corner of the Display Units form to reveal the following options.
Consistent Units option. Click this option to access the Consistent Units form. Use the drop-down lists to select units for Length, Force and Temperature that will then be applied across the entire Display Units form when the OK button is clicked to close the Consistent Units form. Click the Cancel button to close the Consistent Units form without making any changes to the Display Units form.
Use the U.S. Defaults, Metric SI Defaults , or Metric MKS Defaults option to quickly shift all items on the form from one default system to another.
Open,save and modify named unit sets button. Click this button in the upper left-hand corner of the Display Units form to access the Named Units Sets form. Use the form to (a) apply a previously named Units Set, (b) save/name a Units Set, (c) delete a previously named Units Set, (d) rename a selected previously named Units Set, (e) deselect the selected previously named Units sets. Hover text displays when the cursor is moved over the icons on the Named Units Sets form. The hover text explains the function of the icon when it is clicked and those explanations are not repeated here.
Display Units spreadsheet. The Items listed are standard parameters used in the program and are not affected by the code selection made on the New Model form or the Preferences form. Use the scroll bar on the right-hand side of the form to move through the various items in the spreadsheet. Cells with a darker background cannot be edited. To make changes to other cells in the spreadsheet, click to reveal a drop-down list for selection or type directly into a highlighted cell. Note the two bullets above with regard to quickly applying changes to the entire Display Units spreadsheet and saving the settings in Named Units Sets.
Expand Form check box. Check/uncheck this check box to toggle the size of the form from the default setting to the full height of the screen.
Use Architectural Dimensioning check box. Check/uncheck this check box to toggle the display of absolute dimensions using architectural units (e.g., 24'-0").
Click the OK button to close the form and apply the changes, or click the Cancel button to close the form without applying any changes.