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Tips and Tricks: Managing Multiple Activities

This blog post was written by Carl-Magnus Lancelot, Ph.D, when he worked as a Researcher and Database Developer at Thermo-Calc Software. He is currently working at Thermo-Calc Software as a Technical Support and Sales Engineer. We wanted to highlight this blog post again, as it includes useful tips and tricks for using the graphical user interface.

As a developer of the TCNI database, I worked with one of the most demanding thermodynamic databases in its raw, unoptimized form. This required me to find shortcuts to decrease computational time and memory use. In this blog post you will find useful tricks for working in the graphical user interface.

Performing Only Selected Activities

A common trick to avoid redoing everything in a workspace is to right-click an activity, such as a System Definer or Property Model Calculator, and select Perform Tree Now so that only that tree will be performed.

But what if you want to perform only a few select activities, for example a selection from two different trees. You can do this by holding shift and selecting the activities you want to perform, then right-clicking and selecting Perform Now. Only the selected activities will be performed, saving time and computational memory.


Figure 1: Hold shift and left click to select specific activities. You can then perform only these activities to save time and computational memory.

Another way to select specific activities is by dragging your mouse over the activities. This is a less precise, but often faster way of selecting the activities you want, and the two methods can be combined for speed and accuracy.

Selected activities can also be dragged as a group, so you can move entire trees or groups of trees while maintaining their layout.


Figure 2: You can select several activities at once by dragging your mouse over them. Activities can then be moved as a group.

Grouping Activities Together

If you work like me, your workspace can look like a real mess with trees of many activities. A nice trick is to shift-select several activities and make a group out of them. This makes it easier to overview your workspace and to perform selected groups only.


Figure 3: Shift-select multiple activities then right-click and select “Group” to create an activity group.

Grouped activities each receive a tab in the activity group’s configuration panel, so you can continue to work on your project without ungrouping the activities.


Figure 4: Grouped activities each receive a tab in the configuration window, so you can access all of the activities without ungrouping them.

If you have tips and tricks you’ve found particularly useful, share them with us and we may include them in a future post.


About the Author


Carl-Magnus Lancelot, Ph.D.

After graduating as a Master in Materials Science & Engineering at the Royal Institute of Technology KTH in Stockholm, Sweden, Carl-Magnus pursued a PhD in the thermodynamic modeling of Fission Product interaction with Stainless Steel in the fuel pins of Generation IV Nuclear Reactors in a joint project between KTH and CEA Saclay, France. After finishing his Ph.D., he started working as a Developer of Thermodynamic Databases at Thermo-Calc Software in 2019. Dr. Lancelot worked primarily on the maintenance and development of the Nickel-based superalloys database TCNI in close collaboration with the main developer Reza Naraghi. He is currently working at Thermo-Calc Software as a Technical Support and Sales Engineer.

This article is a part of a blog series of tips and tricks to help users get the most out of Thermo-Calc. Read the other blog posts in the series by clicking the button below.


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