Sometimes I write about code & tech in the AEC industry.
Co-founder of Speckle.
Formerly Arup, Foster+Partners, WeWork, CASE Inc.

Comment Tool and how Tekla Structures uses BCF files

Tekla Corporation has been pioneer in the development and adoption of the BIM Collaboration Format:

Tekla Corporation and Solibri, Inc. have introduced to the buildingSMART organization an idea of using an open standard to enable workflow communication between different BIM (Building Information Modeling) authoring tools. This initiative was very warmly received by the buildingSMART community. The standard has been named ‘OpenBIM Collaboration Format’.

From Tekla Structures version 18.0 onwards the Comment Tool is available as an extension to greatly improve the use of BCF files:

The comment tool allows users to communicate project issues, changes, questions, and even work assignments through the Tekla Structures Model. The comments can include model snapshots, a camera view location, documents, websites and either Tekla Structures Native or IFC Reference model objects linked to them.


The most interesting features of this tool are the new sharing options: comments can be copied to clipboard, sent by email or saved to a Shared Folder. The Shared Folder consists in a great improvement to the BCF sharing workflow, comments are automatically synchronized across the web or a local network:

You can share comments to any folder on your system or in your network. If other Comment Tool users have access to the folder you pick they can then set up their tool to use the same folder, and everyone will automatically receive your comments when you share them. A very convenient way to share comments is to use a file sharing/synchronizing service such as Dropbox. Just point your comment tool to a folder that is set up to automatically synchronize across computers and companies (see the specific sharing service documentation on how to share/synchronize a folder with others).


New comments will be highlighted in color coded green and modified comments will be color coded blue, so that the user will promptly see the new feedback. The shared folder allows for an instant and straightforward collaboration between professionals working on the same model without having to exchange the project file.

Check also the full documentation about the Comment Tool.

Thanks to David and Sebastian for their support and for getting in touch.

If you want to know more about Tekla Structures mind to check Tekla Campus an online academy for engineering and construction students to learn Tekla BIM tools.

If you want to use a free professional tool to check models for clashes, and share information using the same easy-to-use BIM environment, download Tekla BIMsight.

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