To facilitate the use of the program, WinTess3 presents a set of buttons on the main screen to perform various actions.

These buttons are grouped into three stripes:

  1. Top buttons
  2. Buttons on the left
  3. Buttons on the right


Top buttons

When the mouse is hovered over any of these buttons, an explanatory text of the function of that button appears.
Likewise, if the button is ON/OFF type (that is to say, it is enabled or disabled), the background of the button acquires a pink color when it is activated.
This button is equivalent to the menu Files | Open
This button is equivalent to the menu Files | New
This button is equivalent to the menu Files | Save
These two buttons correspond to the actions of:

Undo: The program cancels the last change that has been done. This button can be pressed several times in a run annulling the modifications you have made, in reverse order.

Redo: The program recovers the modifications made and canceled by the Undo button. This button can also be pressed multiple times to recover the changes canceled previously.

It must be kept in mind that when the file is saved (using the menu File | Save or through the matching button), the log of changes is deleted, so that the buttons to Undo or Redo is unusable until other adjustments will be made later.
The drop-down of state determines in which state is the program.
It has already been mentioned that in reality WinTess3 has three programs in one. To move from one to another we use this drop-down. Likewise when the data is saved to a file, the status of the program is also saved to the file, so that when you reopen the file, WinTess automatically gets into the corresponding state.
To move from one state to another, WinTess3 tends to show a message box where comments are made about the differences between a state and the other.

These buttons can be used for numbering the objects on the screen:

Serves for numbering the nodes of the structure. In addition to the number, we also appreciate the color since it informs us of the mobility of the node: the black color indicates a free node that can move in any direction, the red color is used for the fixed nodes, and the nodes that can be moved only with respect to the axes X or Y or Z or XY or XZ or YZ, using different colors.

Serves for numbering the bars of the structure. Color coding of bars depends on the type of bar: black for the bars that represent the membrane, dark blue for the cables, purple for the guyropes, dark green for the tubes and light blue for the rigid bars.

Serves for numbering the elements (triangles) that form the membrane.

Serves for numbering the patterns.

Serves for numbering the geodesic lines.

Serves for numbering the auxiliary lines.

Serves for numbering the cables.

The first button is used to make a zoom in the window. In the usual way, we mark a point on the screen, then drag the mouse until another point, and the created window fills the entire screen. Many zooms can be chained as desired in order to appreciate something very small.
The second button returns to the original position. It does not return to the previous zoom (in the case where we have chained several zooms) but it puts the whole structure again in the center of the screen.
These two buttons define the manner in which the OpenGL library, used by WinTess3, displays the 3D in the window. The button on the left shows a isometric representation of the structure, while the button on the right shows a perspective of the structure. Activating one of these buttons will automatically turn off the other.
This button has different functions depending on the state of the program:

Form finding
In this state, the button starts the process of form finding. It is equivalent to the menu Calculate | Form finding (global)

In this state, the button opens the window of the iterative process of calculation. It is equivalent to the menu Calculate | iterative process

In this state, the button opens the drawing window of the patterns. It is equivalent to the menu Patterns | Draw patterns.
This button opens the browser and connects with the help of the WinTess3 program via the Internet.
It has the same effect as the menu Help.
These two windows tell us the position of the structure with respect to the global axis XYZ. The first is the angle of rotation in plan (Z axis) while the other is the tilting angle relative to the axis X. Through the little arrows on each side, we can rotate the figure in steps of 15° to the right or left, or tilt up or down in the same way.
With this button, a picture of the structure is sent to the printer as seen on the screen. It’s an impression of the work where the user can make calculations, details, etc. rather than trying to get a quality image. For this, there is the possibility of and print from any CAD program.
This button opens the Calculator application of the operating system. It is, therefore, an external application to WinTess3.

The buttons presented below serve to draw certain objects. In principle, WinTess3 does not draw all the information on the screen in order to clarify the vision. At any time, the user can decide what to draw and what to hide on the screen image.

This button makes the nodes visible (with the color indicating type of node, as discussed in the previous button nN).
In general, the nodes are ends of the bars, but there may be nodes that are not ends of a bar (external nodes, auxiliary nodes, geodesic nodes, etc. ). For example, when creating pattern with triangulation,it is of vital importance to know where the geodesic or auxiliary nodes are to generate a correct pattern.
This button hides only of the bars that represent the membrane. This is useful when it comes to better visualize the elements, the patterns, or in other situations.
This button shows real thickness of the bars which are tubes or rigid bars.
This button shows elements (triangles) that make up the membrane, if any. The top is painted blue, the bottom is yellow.
This button shows patterns of the membrane, if any.
This button shows geodesic lines on the membrane, if any.
This button shows auxiliary points and lines, if any.
This button shows boltropes in blue color, guyropes in megenta, if they exist.
This button shows footings of the foundation. In order to perform this operation, it is necessary that the footings have previously been calculated through the menu Foundations | Calculate.
This button shows contour curves of the membrane. Is equivalent to the menu Graphics | Contour lines.
At the top of the screen there is a checkbox “Colour”.
If this box is checked (it is by default), membrane is painted in colours according to each element’s slope. If there is any zone prone to ponding, it is painted in black.

To the right of the top buttons is a checkbox marked, that is only visible when displaying certain elements on the screen that require numerical data, such as reactions, wind loads, etc.
In this case, we can choose to show or hide these numerical data through this box.
To the right of the above box (Numbers) is another box (Color).
It is visible only when displaying certain loads on the elements, such as wind loads, snow, etc.
In this case, we can choose to show or hide these colors using this checkbox. This accelerates movement of the structure on the screen.

Buttons on the Left

To the left of the screen are a series of buttons with different uses:

Language button
This button allows you to change language of the program interface of on the fly, i.e. you do not need to exit program to change the language.
View buttons
These are mutually exclusive: selecting one cancels that was active.
Although we can change the view of the structure on the screen using the mouse by dragging the left mouse button which rotates the model on the screen, it is very common that at a given time you want to go to a particular view. The most commons are:

Plan: The screen is equivalent to the axes of horizontal X and vertical Y.
Plan flipped: The screen is equivalent to the axes of horizontal Y and vertical X.
Axonometry: X axis rises toward the right, and Y rises toward the left, and Z is vertical.
Front view: Axis X horizontal, Z vertical.
View at 45º: Axes X,Y horizontal, Z vertical.
Side view: Axis Y horizontal, Z vertical.
4 views button
ON/OFF button: Used to enable or disable the 4 views.
With this button, the screen is divided into 4 rectangles and in each one displays a different view: plan, front view, side view and axonometry.
Symmetry button
As the name indicates, it serves to display the double of the structure using plane of symmetry XZ or YZ
You can also display another symmetry (4 times of the original) using the planes of XZ and YZ simultaneously.
Typically what is displayed on the screen reflect the structure in their current position. If we have not begun to calculate, this position coincides with the initial one. If we have already done the calculation, although we have not reached the balance, what is shown on the screen is the final position.
On this final position, WinTess3 can display a series of graphs to help us:

It displays the diagram of moments of the rigid bars. If there is no rigid bar, then nothing is drawn. It is equivalent to the menu Graphics | Moments.

The bars are drawn with a color and thickness that is proportional to the value of the section of the bar. It is equivalent to the menu Graphics | Sections.

Total loads
The loads applied to the structure are drawn at the nodes. It shows all the loads: snow, wind, prestress, self weight, internal pressure, point loads. If we want to see only one type of load, we can use the buttons to the right.

The bars are drawn with a color and thickness that is proportional to the value of the axial force on the bar. It is equivalent to the menu Graphics | Axial forces.

It is to check graphically and quickly if the structure complies with the safety factors of all the components that compose it. The bars are displayed with a particular color that helps us to evaluate their compliance. It is equivalent to the menu Graphics | Ratio.

This shows the unbalanced loads on each node of the structure. If the structure is in balance, these loads exist only at the supports. Other free nodes have a value less than the accuracy that is not taken into account. It is equivalent to the menu Graphics | Reactions and unbalanced forces.
These buttons are a quick way to access the following menus:

Nodes | Edit
Bars | Edit
Nodes | Add a new node
Bars | Create a new bar
Equivalent to the menu Calculate | Output.
Equivalent to the menu Others | Estimate.
Equivalent to the menu Graphics | Render.

Buttons on the Right

To the right of the screen are a series of buttons, each of which serves to:


These arrows are used to move the drawing on the screen.
It is equivalent to the movement that is achieved by dragging with the middle mouse button or by dragging with the left mouse button while holding down the CTRL key.
It’s usefulness lies in the times that the mouse is busy in other actions and cannot be used to do the movement (panning).

These buttons are used to increase or decrease the size of the image on the screen..
It is equivalent to the movement that is achieved with the mouse scroll wheel.
It’s usefulness lies in the cases in which the mouse has no mouse scroll wheel or at the time the mouse is busy in other actions and cannot be used to perform the zoom.
Distance between two nodes

Pressing this button puts the mouse in the mode of selection of a node. Then by means of a flexible red line, we select another node to obtain the distance between both nodes in meters.
Angle between two bars

Using this button, we can find out the angle between two bars having a common node. We can also evaluate this angle depending on the initial or end coordinates of the nodes.
First we chose this option and then select the two bars that make up the angle.
Cp manual (Wind pressure factors)

This button serves to display the wind coefficients Cp on the membrane.
As per the legend (upper left corner), we may decide to change any (or all) of these values. We do so through the menu Calculate | Cp manual wind.
Cn (Snow)

This button serves to display the snow coefficients Cn on the membrane.
As per the legend (upper left corner), we may decide to change any (or all) of these values. We do so through the menu Calculate | Cn (Snow).
Loads on the membrane

The loads that can be applied to a tensile structure are diverse. With the button on the left [Total loads], we graphically visualize all the loads applied.
But if we want to see them separately, we use these buttons:

W to display the loads due to the wind.
S to display the loads due to the snow.
Pr to display the loads due to the internal pressure (useful in pneumatic structures).
SW to display the loads due to the self weight.
X to view the actions due to actions applied directly on a specific node..

For surface loads, each element is painted with a color according to the value of the applied load.
In the top-left of the screen is the legend of these colors.

This button displays a small symbol in those nodes considered as support: that is to say, that have some (or all) movements are prevented. If this is a rigid bar, this support is also prevented against rotation.
The program uses a small orange triangle for nodes that cannot move and a small blue square if it, in addition, cannot rotate.
FE Tensions on finite elements

This button shows the principal stresses on the membrane considering it is produced with a set of finite elements, which coincide with the triangles of the elements. To better appreciate these stresses, the program automatically hide the bars of membrane as they are not taken into account when we consider the finite elements.
Sun shadow

This button displays the shadow produced by the structure on a horizontal plane in certain circumstances. For more information see Graphics | Sun shadow

With this button, the structure moves from the initial position to the final position, giving a sensation of movement or animation of the deformation. It is the best way to appreciate how the structure deforms.
Rain flow

With this button (this same graph can be obtained through the menu Graphics | Rain flow, we can simulate the path of the rain water on the membrane.
On the membrane appear a number of lines indicating the direction of water that flows through each element (Fig 1). The color of the element indicates the amount of water that passes over.
If we uncheck the box “Color” in top toolbar, we get (Fig 2) only the arrows with the direction and intensity of the drainage in blue color with more or less dark.
Finally, if we check the box “Numbers” in top toolbar, we get (Fig 3) values of drainage at the perimeter. These values have been shown, in advance, in a numeric window as seen in Fig.4. The red border indicates the water fall area for drainage in the perimeter.

If you then click on an element or we look at the menu Elements | Final data, we see a column of Rain which tells us in m2 the amount of surface that drains through each element.
For example, if an element is 15 m2, it corresponds to 1500 l/hr = 25 l/min with a rain intensity of 100 l/m2/hour.