Panels contains pre-processing and post-processing tools.

The panel area, located below the modeling window, can be turned on or off from the menu bar by clicking View > Panels. A check mark indicates the panel area is currently displayed.

Tip: Display a brief description of the function of a panel in the status bar by holding the mouse button down while the cursor is over the panel name. Release the mouse button to access the panel.

Each panel contains input controls that allow you to enter necessary information for the procedures you wish to perform. If you press a function button and the data is incorrect or required information is missing, a message is displayed in the status bar stating the error. You can press the Esc key or click return to exit a panel. Returning out of a panel means accepting what was performed on the model while using the panel. This cannot be rejected once the panel is exited.


Subpanel names are listed on the left side of the panel. Only one subpanel may be selected at a time. For example, on the Distance panel there are four subpanels: two nodes, three nodes, two points and three points.

Figure 1. Distance Panel, Two Nodes Subpanel

Figure 2. Distance Panel, Three Nodes Subpanel

To select a subpanel, click the radio button next to the subpanel name on the left side of the panel.

Secondary Menus

The secondary menu is a list of panels that can be accessed by using the function keys F1 through F12, or in combination with the Shift or Ctrl keys. Use the secondary menu to add information necessary to complete the currently active panel.

When you use the secondary menu, it interrupts the active panel and allows you to perform a function in the secondary panel, and upon completion, to continue using the initial panel. Entities selected while in the secondary panel are still selected when you return to the initial panel.

The default secondary panels are as follows:
Table 1.
Key Function key only plus Shift key plus Ctrl key
F1 online help color print slide
F2 delete temp nodes slide file
F3 replace edges print to default printer
F4 distance translate create eps file
F5 mask find print to default printer
F6 element edit split create JPEG file
F7 align node project Full Screen mode
F8 create node node edit
F9 line edit surf edit
F10 check element normals
F11 geometry quick edit organize
F12 automesh smooth
Tip: Reassign function keys to different panels using the Build Menu panel.


Panels that are used to perform related functions are sometimes grouped together in modules. For example, the module, xy plots located on the Post page, contains panels that help you read curves, edit curves, perform simple math on curves, and scale the axis of plots.

A module may contain panels that are also found on the main pages, and are grouped to provide easy panel access without unnecessary navigational clicks.

To select a module, locate and click the module button on one of the main menu pages.
Note: There is not any special distinction between modules and panels. The main difference between the module and a panel is the additional menu layer.

Rapid Menu

Rapid menu is a feature that uses the middle mouse button (a single click for each step) to move through a panel along a predetermined path. For example, you can advance through the entity selector (yellow) or entry fields and then proceed to a function (green) or return (red). Using the middle mouse button allows you to make the required selections in the graphics region, advance to the next selection, and continue selecting or complete the operation, thus reducing mouse movement. The function button that is assigned to rapid menu is outlined in black.

Figure 3. Mask Panel. The mask action is performed when you click the middle mouse button.

The rapid menu function is predetermined and varies between panels. In panels that contain multiple function buttons, rapid menu is assigned to the most commonly used function. The rapid menu function can also vary within a panel. For example, when you enter the Lines panel, return is assigned to the rapid menu. But once you pick a node to create the line, create becomes the rapid menu function. In most panels, the middle mouse button returns you out of the panel if the active entity selector (yellow collector with a blue outline) is empty.

In panels where there is a defined sequence of selections (entity selector), rapid menu advances to the next collector. For example in the Ruled panel, select a few nodes for your first node list or line list, and then click the middle mouse button to advance to the second node list so that you can begin picking more nodes. In panels where there is no clear sequence of selections, the middle mouse button may activate a function for which there is insufficient data, resulting in an error message. For example, when you try to move nodes using the N1, N2, N3 vector option in the Translate panel, if you click the middle mouse button after you select the required nodes, an attempt to perform translate + is executed. Since you do not have N1, N2 and N3 selected or may not have a magnitude value entered, an error message results.

Some panels do not have function buttons and are repetitive. In such cases, using the middle mouse button returns you out of the panel. For example, in the Replace panel, if you pick two nodes, it replaces one with the other and proceeds to repeat the operation with the new selection.

In some panels, the entities in the entity selector are not cleared, allowing you to use the same entities to repeat the operation. In these panels, the middle mouse button repeats the chosen function as long as the entity collector is not reset to empty. For example, in the Translate or Rotate panels once you selected some elements/nodes/comps and direction and distance of translation, clicking the middle mouse button a second time repeats the translate + or rotate + function, thus translating/rotating the same nodes again.

In panels that have pre-filled defaults, a middle mouse click performs the operation with the defaults. For example, collectors/create panels with a preset collector name creates a collector when you click the middle mouse button.

Pull-Down Selections

Pull-down selections resemble toggles and appear on many panels.

Figure 4. Pull-Down

Figure 5. Toggle
However, unlike a toggle, which only switches between two possible options, clicking a pull-down, a list of options is displayed. In some cases, the list of options presented by a pull-down can be very long.

Figure 6.
In these cases, HyperWorks Desktop breaks the options up into multiple "pages" within the pull-down’s pop-up menu. The green arrow buttons on the right-hand edge of the pop-up menu advance or back-track through the list of options:
Go directly to the first page of the list.
Step backward one page toward the beginning of the list.
Advance one page toward the end of the list.
Go directly to the last page of the list.

Context Sensitive Help

Once a panel is active, press the H or F1 key to display the help topic for the current panel. A description of the panel as well as instructions on how to use it displays.