The Loads Tab

Use the icons located in the Loads grid to enter the loads being placed on the member being designed.

Loads in the Member Graphic

To view the member graphic, select the Show icon at the top left of the tab. The graphic will now display on all tabs and remain open until you click on the icon again.


Each load that is created in the Loads grid will be represented in the member graphic located at the top of the tab. Loads will display above the member as arrows for Point loads and polygons for Uniform and Tapered loads. The load will be placed either above or below the "zero" line (plus/minus line) depending on the direction of the load (i.e., above for positive loads and below for negative loads). The size of the load arrow or polygon will change to represent the relative magnitude of that load. The magnitude used to determine the size of the load in the graphic is typically determined using the total load value. In cases of Linked Loads, the graphic may represent only the magnitude of the load group that controls for the member condition (see Load Terms Used in the Member Report page for more information about load groups). The location and size of the loads are only a graphical representation and should not be used to scale. When the location or magnitude of the load is invalid, the load will display in yellow on the member graphic.


This button is only available for Hip and Valley member types.  Selecting this will remove the Roof Geometry tab and allow you to edit the information displayed on the Spans and Supports and Loads tabs.


Add Load

Clicking creates a new load display for additional gravity loads.  For definitions of load types, load locations, and other entries in the Load Display, see Entering Loads: Horizontal Members or Entering Loads: Vertical Members.

Add Lateral Load

Creates a new load display for a lateral wind load applied perpendicular to the side face of a stud, wall column, or wall header (single span only, single ply member only) along the full length of the member.

For headers the loading will not be displayed by default and you will need to add the column.  For studs and wall columns you will see the column by default and loading will be shown as "See Report" unless you have chosen to define your own loads.

For more information see the Understanding Load Type Input Options topic.


Dropdowns are provided in the column header for the title column and the load columns. The dropdown in the title column shows you options for:

  • Link Reaction: Generates a window that enables you to select a previously designed horizontal or vertical member and apply one of its (gravity) support reactions to the member currently under analysis. Loads that are linked will display a link icon in the header. Link Reaction is available for all members, however, vertical members cannot transfer to other vertical members. For more information see the Link Reactions (Linked Loads) topic.
  • Quick Loads: Displays a list of previously defined quick loads that can be added to your member. Loads can be adjusted in the Loads Grid, or through the Quick Loads dialog.
  • Loading Assistant (displays for wall headers only): Generates a window that enables you to easily apply hip-end roof loads to a wall header. The load assumptions are shown below.

The dropdown in the load header shows you options for :

  • Copy Load: Copies the load shown in the column and creates an identical load.
  • Save as Quick Load: Allows you to save your defined load as a Quick Load for future use. Saved Quick Loads will be displayed in the list in the Quick Loads dialog.

Delete Load

Deletes the load column selected or resets the load value to 0.


Drag & Drop Loads

The load columns in the Loads Grid can be moved to the left or right using drag and drop. To move loads, click and hold on the symbol above the Load label and drag it left or right. When you are ready to place your load, simply release your mouse button.

Reordering loads in the loads grid will not change the location of the load along the member or any other load information, it will simply reorder the way in which they are listed in the Loads Grid and on the Member Report.

Combine Load (Commercial Levels only)

The Combine Load checkbox is used to determine whether the floor live load should be combined with the concentrated live load as the load moves along the member length. It is up to the user to determine if the existing floor live loads based on occupancy or partition loads, should be combined with the concentrated live load. More information on Concentrated Live Loads can be found in the Building Class topic or the Concentrated Live Load topic.


As you make changes in the grid, you will notice the graphic does not update immediately. This is intentional and was done to allow you to navigate through the fields in the grid faster. Once you have stopped making changes for a few seconds, the graphic will update. You do NOT need to wait for the graphic to update before switching to another tab.


Save As Default
In the top right corner of the tab is the Save as Default button.  This will save any user created and quick loads, and the loading information for each as default settings for future use. Please note that if the member has a Linked Reaction on it, the Save as Default button will be disabled.  Linked Reactions are not available as a default load.

Defaults are saved per member type and are available for:

  • Floor: Flush Beam
  • Floor: Drop Beam
  • Floor: Joist
  • Roof: Joist
  • Roof: Flush Beam
  • Roof: Drop Beam
  • Roof: Hip/ Valley Beam
  • Ceiling: Attic Joist
  • Wall: Header
  • Wall: Stud
  • Wall: Column
  • Free Standing Post

You can return to your original settings by going to User>Settings and clicking on the Reset All Job Defaults button. This will reset all your saved defaults for each Member Type as well as your Job and Level Settings. This command will NOT affect any settings shown in the Settings dialog.