Revit® Architecture 2012
Architecture • AutoCAD® • CADD • Revit® Architecture
The Aubin Academy Master Series
Revit® Architecture 2012
• This thorough guide provides a detailed introduction to the Revit® Architecture process, exploring the rationale and practical applications of the
software and its component tools to help you appreciate both why and how to use them to complete building design projects successfully.
• The author combines extensive experience as an educator and architectural professional with a straightforward, engaging writing style, making
even complex material easier to master and apply.
• Practical, project-focused exercises encourage you to “learn-by-doing,” giving you a deeper understanding of the building design process and
the tools and techniques used to complete it.
• “Power User/BIM Manager” tips offer practical insights on what is required to manage Building Information Modeling (BIM) in a modern
architectural setting.
• Online Quick Start Videos, featuring instruction and tips from the author, reinforce learning by allowing you to progress at your own pace
and devote extra time to topics that especially interest or challenge you.
The Aubin Academy Master Series
THE AUBIN ACADEMY MASTER SERIES: REVIT® ARCHITECTURE 2012 combines a straightforward, reader-friendly style with project-focused exercises
that encourage learning by doing. Gain practical, firsthand experience with the powerful, popular Revit Building Information Modeling (BIM)
software, which leading architects and engineers are using to move beyond traditional Computer-Assisted Design (CAD) to manage complex projects,
foster collaboration, and boost productivity. This practical guide takes you through the process of building design development models and creating
a complete set of construction documents for architectural production. By focusing on the rationale and practicality of the Revit Architecture process,
the book helps you learn faster and get a clear sense of the software’s capabilities and each tool’s potential. Author Paul F. Aubin, an architecture
professional for over 20 years and a respected Autodesk® expert, also draws on his real-world experience to provide detailed instruction and practical
tips, both within the book and in Online Quick Start Videos designed to reinforce learning.
About the Author
Also Available from Autodesk Press
Accessing AutoCAD® Architecture 2012
William G. Wyatt • Order # 978-1-111-64831-2
The Illustrated AutoCAD® 2012 Quick Reference
Ralph Grabowski • Order # 978-1-111-64849-7
Residential Design, Drafting and Detailing
Alan Jefferis • Order # 978-1-4180-1275-5
Revit® Architecture 2012
Paul F. Aubin is the author of many highly acclaimed texts in Computer-Assisted Design and Building Information Modeling (BIM).
Aubin is an independent architectural consultant who travels internationally lecturing and providing Revit® Architecture and
AutoCAD® Architecture implementation, training, and support services. His 20-year career as an architectural professional has
included experience in design, production, CAD management, mentoring, coaching, and training. He regularly teaches both
architectural professionals and students and has been an adjunct faculty member for the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago and
Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Heights, IL. In addition to serving as moderator for Cadalyst magazine’s online CAD
Questions forum, Aubin is an active member of the Autodesk® user community, and has been a top-rated speaker at the annual
Autodesk University user convention for many years. His diverse experience as a professional and educator is reflected in his writing
and classroom instruction. He has a bachelor’s degree in Architecture and a bachelor of science degree in Architecture, and is an
associate member of the American Institute of Architects.
To learn more about Delmar, visit or
To learn more about Cengage Learning, visit
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The Aubin Academy Master Series
Architecture 2012
The Aubin Academy
Master Series: Revit ®
Architecture 2012
Australia • Brazil • Japan • Korea • Mexico • Singapore • Spain • United Kingdom • United States
48480_00_fm_pi-xiv.indd i
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The Aubin Academy Master Series: Revit®
Architecture 2012
Paul F. Aubin
Vice President, Editorial: Dave Garza
Director of Learning Solutions: Sandy Clark
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Used under license from
© 2012 Delmar, Cengage Learning
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this work covered by the copyright herein
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Publisher does not warrant or guarantee any of the products described herein or perform any independent
analysis in connection with any of the product information contained herein. Publisher does not assume, and
expressly disclaims, any obligation to obtain and include information other than that provided to it by the
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Printed in the United States of America
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 12 11 10
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Preface vii
Introduction 3 • Objectives 3 • Create a Small Building 3 •
Working in Other Views 12 • Edit in Any View 15 • Round Out
the Project 19 • Preparing Output 31 • Add Dimensions 34 •
Output 35 • Solar Studies 35 • Summary 38
Introduction 39 • Objectives 39 • Building Information
Modeling 40 • Defining BIM 44 • Revit Key Concepts 45 • One
Project File—Everything Relates 45 • Revit Elements 45 • Model
Elements 47 • Families & Types 51 • Explore an Existing Project
56 • Getting Acquainted with the Project 57 • Summary 68
Introduction 69 • Objectives 69 • Unit Conventions 69 •
Understanding the User Interface 70 • Right-Clicking 91 •
Navigating in Views 94 • Selection Methods 95 • The Almighty
TAB key 97 • Settings 99 • Summary 104
Introduction 109 • Objectives 110 • Working with Walls 110 •
Working with Phasing 132 • Working with Doors and Windows 136 •
Viewing the Model in 3D 153 • Adding Plumbing Fixtures 159 •
Create an In-Place Family 162 • Summary 171
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C o nten t s
Introduction 173 • Objectives 173 • Understanding Project
Templates 174 • Other Templates 184 • Setting Up a
Commercial Project 185 • Working with Levels 186 • Create a
Simple Site 193 • Rough Out the Building Form 195 • Working
with Elevation Views 203 • Creating Section Views 211 •
Schedule Views 212 • Sheet Views and the Cartoon Set 216 •
Drafting Views 233 • Printing a Digital Cartoon Set 233 •
Summary 235
Introduction 236 • Objectives 236 • Working with Grids 236 •
Working with Columns 251 • Adding Core Walls 259 • Adding
Floors 264 • Creating Structural Framing 268 • Summary 279
Introduction 281 • Objectives 281 • Creating Groups 281 •
Editing Groups 287 • Editing Group Instances 291 • Additional
Group Design Techniques 295 • Maintaining Groups 300 •
Nesting Groups 303 • Groups and Revit Links 306 • Linked
Projects 311 • Summary 332
Introduction 334 • Objectives 334 • Stairs and Railings 334 •
Commercial Core Layout 362 • Landings and Shafts 371 • Ramps,
Custom Stairs, and Elevators 377 • Summary 385
Introduction 387 • Objectives 387 • Creating Roofs 387 •
Editing Roofs 401 • Creating Floors 413 • Commercial Project
Roof 417 • Summary 428
Introduction 429 • Objectives 429 • Creating the Masonry Shell
429 • Working with Curtain Walls 435 • Creating Hosted Curtain
Walls 449 • Create a Custom Curtain Wall/System Type 455 •
Working with Stacked Walls 477 • Summary 483
Introduction 485 • Objectives 485 • Kinds of Families 485 •
Family Libraries 487 • Family Strategies 492 • Accessing
Families in a Project 492 • Accessing Libraries 497 • Edit
and Create Family Types 500 • Customizing Families 503 •
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Conte nts
Building Custom Families 511 • Load the Custom Family into
the Project 534 • Building Parametric Families 535 • Create a
Curtain Panel Family 555 • Enhance Families with Advanced
Parameters 560 • Families from Manufacturer’s Content 571 •
Summary 574
Introduction 579 • Objectives 579 • Modify Wall Types 580 •
Detailing in Revit Architecture 587 • Annotation 605 • Drafted
Details (Not Linked to the Model) 623 • Working with Legacy
Details 626 • Additional Detailing Techniques 630 • Summary 636
Introduction 637 • Objectives 637 • Create and Modify Schedule
Views 637 • Editing the Model 654 • Working with Tags 660 •
Rooms and Room Tags 667 • Querying Data 674 • Add a Color
Scheme 678 • Working with Area Plans 683 • Summary 686
Introduction 688 • Objectives 688 • Creating Ceiling
Elements 688 • Adding Ceiling Fixtures 702 • Creating Interior
Elevations 707 • Summary 711
Introduction 712 • Objectives 712 • Dataset 712 • The Application
Menu 712 • Print Setup 713 • Print 715 • Printer Driver
Configuration 717 • Trouble Shooting Printing 718 • Publish to
Buzzsaw 718 • Publish to Autodesk Seek 719 • Export to CAD 719
• Export a DWF File 721 • Publishing Tools 722 • Summary 724
Introduction 726 • Objectives 726 • Ways to Share Work 726 •
Linking and Importing 727 • Coordination Monitor and
Interference Check 728 • Worksets 729 • Understanding
Worksets 730 • Creating Additional Worksets 735 • Workset
Tips 749 • Going Further 750 • Summary 751
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C o nten t s
Introduction 755 • Objectives 756 • In-Place vs. Loadable Families
756 • Accessing the Conceptual Massing Environment 756 •
The Massing Environment Interface 758 • Creating Forms in the
Conceptual Mass Environment 759 • Project Vasari 760 •
Model-based and Reference-based Forms 776 • Create a New
Conceptual Mass Loadable Family 780 • Divided Surfaces, Patterns,
Components, Points 788 • Summary 803
Introduction 804 • Objectives 804 • Revit Rendering
Workflow 804 • Model Preparation 806 • 3D Views and
Cameras 808 • Materials 809 • Lighting 812 • Render 815 •
Output 819 • Walkthroughs 820 • Summary 820
Introduction 823 • Objectives 823 • Residential Project 823 •
Residential Project—Chapter 10 824 • Residential Project—
Chapter 12 828 • Commercial Site Project Refinements 828 •
Commercial Project—Chapter 8 831 • Commercial Project—
Chapter 9 831 • Chapter 10—Build a Family with Angular
Parameters 833 • Add a Swing Parameter 835
Web Sites Related to the Content of This Book 838 • Autodesk
Sites 838 • User Community 839 • Misc Online Resources 839
Index 841
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Within the pages of this book you will find a comprehensive introduction to the
methods, philosophy, and procedures of the Revit Architecture software. Revit is an
advanced and powerful architectural design and documentation software package.
By following the detailed tutorials contained in this book, you will become immersed
in its workings and functionality.
The primary audience for this book is users new to Revit Architecture. However, it
is also appropriate for existing Revit users who wish to expand their knowledge. You
need not be an experienced computer operator to use this book. Only basic knowledge of the Windows operating system and basic use of a mouse and keyboard are
assumed. No prior computer-aided design software knowledge is required. If part
of your job requires that you design buildings and produce architectural construction documentation or design drawings, facilities layouts, or interior design studies
and documentation, then this book is intended for you. Architects, interior designers,
design build professionals, facilities planners, and building industry CAD professionals will benefit from the information contained within. Prior knowledge and familiarity with architectural practice, procedures, and terminology are assumed.
Aubin Academy Master Series: Revit Architecture 2012 is a concise manual focused
squarely on the rationale and practicality of the Revit process. The book emphasizes the process of creating projects in Revit rather than a series of independent
commands and tools. The goal of each lesson is to help readers complete building
design projects successfully. Tools are introduced together in a focused process with
a strong emphasis on “why” as well as on “how.” The text and exercises seek to give
the reader a clear sense of the value of the tools, and a clear indication of each tool’s
potential. The Aubin Academy Master Series provides resources designed to shorten
your learning curve, raise your comfort level, and, most importantly, give you reallife, tested, and practical advice on the usage of the software to create architectural
Building Information Models.
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What You Will Find Inside
Section I of this book focuses on the underlying theory and user interface of Revit
Architecture. This section is intended to get you acquainted with the software and
put you in the proper mindset. Section II relies heavily on tutorial-based exercises
to present the process of creating a building model in Revit, relying on the software’s powerful Building Information Modeling (BIM) functionality. Two projects
are developed concurrently throughout the tutorial section: one residential and one
commercial. Detailed explanations are included throughout the tutorials to identify
clearly why each step is employed. Annotation and other features specific to construction documentation are covered in Section III. Section IV includes coverage
of the conceptual modeling features and rendering. Section V contains appendices
with many additional resources useful to the book’s content.
What You Won’t Find Inside
This book is not a command reference. This book approaches the subject of learning
Revit by both exposing conceptual aspects of the software and extensive tutorial coverage. No attempt is made to give a comprehensive explanation of every command
or every method available to execute commands. Instead, explanations cover broad
topics of how to perform various tasks in Revit, with specific examples coming from
architectural practice. References are made within the text wherever appropriate to
the extensive online help and reference materials available on the Web. The focus
of this book is the design development and construction documentation phases of
architectural design. Chapter 16 briefly covers conceptual design tools, and rendering is explored in Chapter 17.
Style Conventions used in this text are as follows:
Revit Architecture
Step-by-step tutorials
I. Perform these steps.
Menu picks
SaveAs . Project
On screen input
For the length type 10'-0" [3000].
Ribbon Tabs
On the Home Tab, on the Build panel, click the Wall tool
File and Directory names
C:\MasterRAC 2012\Chapter10\Sample File.rvt
This book references both imperial and metric units. Symbol names, scales, references, and measurements are given first in imperial units, and are then followed by
the metric equivalent in square brackets[ ]. For example, when there are two versions
of the same file, they will appear like this within the text:
Curtain Wall Dbl Glass.rfa [M_Curtain Wall Dbl Glass.rfa].
When the scale varies, a note like this will appear: 1/8" 5 1'-0" [1:100].
If a measurement must be input, the values will appear like this: 10'-0" [3000].
Please note that in many cases, the closest logical corresponding metric value has
been chosen, rather than a “direct” mathematical translation. For instance, 10'-0" in
imperial drawings translates to 3048 millimeters; however, a value of 3000 will be
used in most cases as a more logical value.
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Every attempt has been made to make these decisions in an informed manner. However, it is hoped
that readers in countries where metric units are the standard will forgive the American author for
any poor choices or translations made in this regard.
All project files are included in both imperial and metric units on the book’s online
companion unless noted otherwise. See the “Files Included with the Student
Companion” topic below for information on how to install the dataset in your preferred choice of units.
The order of chapters has been carefully thought out with the intention of following
a logical flow and architectural process. If you are relatively new to Revit, it is recommended that you complete the entire book in order. However, if there are certain
chapters that do not pertain to the type of work performed by you or your firm, feel
free to skip those topics. But bear in mind that not every procedure will be repeated
in every chapter. For the best experience, it is recommended that you read the entire
book, cover to cover. For example, the early chapters cover the detailed procedures for
drawing Walls, step-by-step with each click. Later chapters may simply say, “Draw
a Wall from this point to this,” without detailing exactly how to draw a Wall. Most
importantly, even after you have completed your initial pass of the tutorials in this
book, keep your copy of Aubin Academy Master Series: Revit Architecture 2012 handy,
as it will remain a valuable resource in the weeks and months to come.
If Revit is your primary production application, you may want to consider maximizing your hardware and operating system to boost performance. Two important considerations are your processor and the amount of random access memory
(RAM). Most systems today have multi-core processors. This essentially means
the system has two, four (or more) processors working in tandem on the same
chip. In order to take advantage of such a configuration, an application must be
“multi-threaded,” which means that it can actually make use of all processor cores.
An application that is not multi-threaded will only make use of a single core.
With each release, more functions in Revit become multi-threaded. This currently
includes the Mental Ray rendering engine, loading lements into memory, silhouette edge graphics, and other graphical view display items. Despite the fact that
this list does not include all Revit functions, multi-core machines are often still the
best choice because most people run several applications simultaneously and many
other programs can utilize all cores simultaneously, or the load of several applications can be spread among the various cores.
The amount of memory your system has will have a more direct impact on Revit
performance. 32bit hardware and operating systems (OS) can only address a limited
amount of RAM. Depending on your current configuration, this will be between
3 and 4 gigabytes maximum. However, 64bit hardware and operating systems are
becoming much more popular in recent years, and this hardware is available from
many manufacturers. Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7 all come in
64bit editions. The 64bit version of Revit is functionally the same as the 32bit version. Users will notice no difference in the interface or function of the product. The
primary benefit of the 64bit version is its ability to access significantly more memory than 32bit versions. Many users of 64bit OS have machines with 8 or 16 gigs of
RAM, but it can go much higher (128 GB in Vista and 192 GB in Windows 7). If
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you frequently work on large projects, it will not be unusual for your Revit models
to exceed 200 MB in file size. At some firms, models of 500 MB and larger are not
unheard of. (The author has even seen models of nearly 1 gig in size!) If you work on
projects with file sizes in this range, the 64bit version with as much RAM as you can
justify economically is a must.
Using 64bit and having more RAM in your system will give you the following
• You are able to open and work in larger models
• You can print more Sheets at a Time (this is useful even in small Projects)
• Speed increases of approximately 20% have been reported with very big Models
(some reported higher gains)
• Even if you don’t realize these speed gains you will not crash large projects due to limited RAM.
• Large files and renderings will not fail on save.
• More physical RAM reduces the amount of hard disk swapping required.
• You can export more views to AutoCAD at a time.
• Intense operations such as updating Groups will process faster.
Please note that in some cases, not all of your existing software will run properly on
64bit OS. This may be the case for older programs or custom database applications.
Check with the program’s manufacturer to see if 64bit is supported. While most
firms report good compatibility with 64bit systems, be sure that all of your hardware
supports it and that printer drivers are available. Also, it is not recommended that
you mix Revit 32bit and Revit 64bit on the same project. This can cause problems, as
the 32bit system runs out of memory and is unable to save the project.
Files used in the tutorials throughout this book are available for download from the
accompanying Student Companion site online at Most chapters include files required to begin the lesson and in many cases a completed version
is provided as well that you can use to check your work. This means that you will be
able to load the files for a given chapter and begin working. When you install the
files from the student companion, the files for all chapters are installed automatically. The files will install into a folder on your C: drive named MasterRAC 2012 by
default, but you can install the files to a different location (such as My Documents)
if you prefer. Inside this folder will be a folder for each chapter. Please note that in
some cases a particular chapter or subfolder will not have any Revit files. This is usually indicated by a text file (TXT) within this folder. For example, the Chapter01
folder contains no Revit files, but instead contains a text document named, There is
no Complete version of Chapter 1.txt. This text file simply explains that this folder was
left empty intentionally.
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Please note that the Student Companion contains only Revit (RVT, RTE, RFA) and other related
resource files necessary to complete the tutorial lessons in this book. The Student Companion
does not contain the Revit Architecture software. Please contact your local reseller if you need to
purchase a copy of Revit.
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Accessing the Student Companion site from CengageBrain
You must have your own copy of Revit Architecture to follow along with the lessons in this book. However, several dataset files (mostly RVT and RFA files) are
required if you wish to follow along. Dataset files are available for download from
CengageBrain free of charge. To download the files, do the following:
1. In your web browser, visit:
2. Type author, title, or ISBN in the Search window. (see the back cover)
3. Locate the desired product (i.e. Aubin Academy Master Series: Revit Architecture 2012)
and click on the title.
4. When you arrive at the Product Page, in the access to free study tools area, click the
Access Now button.
5. Use the “Click Here” link to access the Companion site.
You will only see the Click Here link if there is a companion product available.
6. Click on the “Student Resources” link in the left navigation pane to access the
7. Download and unzip the files to your C Drive.
The default unzip folder is named C:\MasterRAC 2012 on your hard drive. You can
move this folder to another location if you wish.
If you wish to install both the imperial and metric datasets, return to the student
companion and repeat the steps above for the other units. Installation requires
approximately 450 MB of disk space per unit type (approximately 850 MB if you
install both). If you install both datasets, some files will be the same. Click OK if
Also available at:
WinZip asks to overwrite any files.
It is important to keep your software current. Be sure to check online at www. on a regular basis for the latest updates and service packs to the Revit
Architecture software. Having the latest version installed will ensure that you benefit
from the latest features and enhancements. If you are on the Autodesk Subscription
program, you will be entitled to new releases as they become available. You will also
have access to extensions as they are released. Extensions add powerful functionality to the Revit software. Visit the Autodesk web site or talk to your local reseller for
more information.
We welcome your comments and suggestions regarding Aubin Academy Master
Series: Revit Architecture 2012. Please forward your comments and questions to:
The CADD Team
Cengage Learning
Executive Woods
5 Maxwell Drive
Clifton Park, NY 12065-8007
Web site:
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Pr ef a ce
Paul F. Aubin is the author of many CAD and BIM book titles including the widely
acclaimed: The Aubin Academy Master Series: Revit Architecture, AutoCAD Architecture,
AutoCAD MEP, and Revit MEP. Paul has also authored video training in Revit for ( Paul is an independent architectural consultant who travels worldwide providing Revit® Architecture and AutoCAD®
Architecture implementation, training, and support services. Paul’s involvement in
the architectural profession spans over 20 years, with experience that includes design,
production, CAD management, mentoring, coaching, and training. He currently
serves as Moderator for Cadalyst magazine’s online CAD Questions forum, is an
active member of the Autodesk user community, and has been a top-rated speaker
at Autodesk University (Autodesk’s annual user convention) for many years. This
year Paul speaks at the Revit Technology Conference in both the United States and
Australia. His diverse experience in architectural firms, as a CAD manager and as an
educator, gives his writing and his classroom instruction a fresh and credible focus.
Paul is an associate member of the American Institute of Architects. He lives in
Chicago with his wife and three children.
Contact Paul directly at: (click the Contact link).
Visit Paul’s Blog:
This book is dedicated to my son Marcus. I am so proud of you. Good luck in your
first year in High School!
The author would like to thank several people for their assistance and support
throughout the writing of this book.
Thanks to Stacy Masucci, John Fisher, and all of the Delmar/Cengage team. It continues to be a pleasure to work with so dedicated a group of professionals.
Thanks to Robert Guarcello Mencarini, Architect, who was the technical editor for
this and all previous editions.
Technical contributors to portions of this text include Matt Dillon, Zach Kron,
Heather Lech, AIA, David Baldacchino, James Smell, Velina Mirincheva, Robert
Guarcello Mencarini, Architect, AIA, and Mark Schmieding. A special thanks to
each of you. Additional contributions and quotations have been noted within the
text. Thank you to those contributors as well.
A very special thank you for significant contributions to the following chapters in the
previous edition. These contributions continue to prove invaluable in this updated
edition. I could not have completed them without your invaluable assistance:
Thank you to contribtors for content to the following chapters: For Chapter 15,
Revit Server information: David Baldacchino. Chapter 16, Conceptual Massing:
Heather Lech, AIA, LEED AP and Zach Kron. For Chapter 17, Rendering: James
Smell and Jeff Hanson, Subject Matter Expert, Autodesk.
Thanks to the following members of the Autodesk User Group International forums
for their input on the 64bit version of Revit and 64bit machines: need4mospd,
whgeiger1, Michael Ruehr, clog boy, Scott Womack, josh.made4worship, Steve
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Stafford, swalton.161301, brenehan, Jamie Spartz, Cliff B. Collins, Scott Davis, Eric
Vieleand, and Jaroslaw Janiszewski.
A special acknowledgment is due the following instructors who reviewed the chapters in detail:
Matt Dillon–DC CADD Company
Mel Persin, Coordinator—Chicago Autodesk Revit Users Group
Stephen K. Stafford II—Stafford Consulting Services (thanks for the Workset/
Library analogy)
For taking the time to discuss this project personally and offer suggestions and feedback, thanks to Jeff Millett, AIA—Vice President and Director of Information
Technology; Eddie Barnett—LEED, Interior Designer; Sarah Vekasy—LEED,
Architect; Marc Gabriel—LEED, Architect; John Jackson—LEED, Architect; and
Marwan Bakri—Stubbins Associates, Boston, MA, and also to Mark Dietrick—
CIO and Senior Associate and Michael DeOrsey—Graduate Architect of Burt Hill
Kosar Rittlemann Associates, Boston, MA.
There are far too many folks at Autodesk to mention (my apologies in advance for
any omissions). Thanks to all of them, but in particular, Christie Landry, David Mills,
Kelcy Lemon, Lillian Smith, Jason Winstanley, Tatjana Dzambazova, David Conant,
Matthew Jezyk, Steve Crotty, Erik Egbertson, Greg Demchak, Chico Membreno,
Trey Klein, Tobias Hathorn, Cindy Xingchen Wang, Scott Blouin, Andy Parrella,
Joe Charpentier, Ken Marsh, Zach Kron, Michael Juros, Brian Fitzpatrick, and all
of the folks at Autodesk Tech Support.
I am ever grateful for blessings I have received from my many friends and family.
Finally, I am most grateful for the constant love and support of my wife, Martha, and
our three wonderful children.
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Groups and Links
In the previous chapter, we briefly covered the use of Groups. In this chapter, we will
make a more detailed exploration of this feature. Groups provide a mechanism to standardize typical design elements throughout the project. A Group consists of a collection
of elements that can be placed into the model as a single unit. You can edit any single
instance of the Group and the changes will propagate to all instances throughout the
model. Groups have many other features as well including the ability to have overrides
applied to individual instances.
In this chapter, we will work with both Model and Detail Groups. We will explore how to
create Groups, modify them and strategies for using them effectively in your projects.
After completing this chapter, you will know how to:
• Create Groups
• Modify Groups
• Override elements in Group instances
• Create Attached Detail Groups
• Swap Groups with one another
The dataset for this chapter will deviate from our Commercial and Residential projects to explore Groups in a dataset that will be more suitable to conveying the critical
concepts. Toward the end of the chapter, we will return to the Commercial project to
put into practice what we have learned about Groups and also explore Links. Groups
can be created in any project. Creating them is as simple as making a selection of elements in your project and then clicking the Create Group button. Groups appear on
the Project Browser beneath the Families branch.
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Install the Dataset Files and Open a Project
The lessons that follow require the dataset included on the Aubin Academy Master
Series student companion. If you have already installed all of the files from this site,
skip to step 3 to begin. If you need to install the files, start at step 1.
1. If you have not already done so, download the dataset files located on the
CengageBrain website.
Refer to “Accessing the Student Companion site from CengageBrain” in the Preface
for information on installing the dataset files included in the Student Companion.
2. Launch Autodesk Revit Architecture from the icon on your desktop or from the
Autodesk > Revit Architecture 2012 group in All Programs on the Windows Start menu.
You can click the Start button, and then begin typing Revit in the Search field. After a couple letters, Revit Architecture should appear near the top of the list. Click it to launch to program.
3. On the Recent Files screen, click the Open link beneath Projects.
The keyboard shortcut for Open is CTRL + O. You can also click the Open icon on the Quick Access
Toolbar (QAT).
• In the “Open” dialog box, browse to the location where you installed the MasterRAC
2012 folder, and then double-click the Chapter06 folder.
4. Double-click Understanding Groups.rvt.
You can also select it and then click the Open button.
Please note that for this chapter, units are immaterial to the lessons covered and as
such only one dataset has been provided rather than the customary separate Imperial
and Metric datasets of other chapters.
Explore the Dataset
Groups are appropriate for nearly any repetitive (typical) design condition. Hotels,
dormitories, apartment complexes, and condominiums give us plenty of opportunities to utilize Groups in very effective ways. In this example, we will work with a very
simple hotel room layout.
5. On the Project Browser, double-click to open the Architecture floor plan.
This view shows the basic floor plan of a hotel guest room. Walls, Doors, Windows,
and some basic fixtures are included.
6. Double-click to open the Section 1 section view.
Here you will notice in addition to the items we can see in plan, there is also a
multi-height ceiling plane in this model and some furniture items.
• Open other views to explore the dataset further if you wish before continuing (see
Figure 6.1).
7. On the Project Browser, double-click to return to the Architecture floor plan.
• Maximize the view (if it is not already maximized).
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FIGURE 6.1 The dataset represents a simple hotel guest room layout
• On the View tab of the ribbon, on the Window panel, click the Close Hidden button.
Create a New Group
The first step to understanding Groups is to create one.
Continue in the Architecture floor plan.
8. Using a window selection, select all elements on screen. (Click above and to the left
of the model and drag down to the right surrounding all elements).
The Modify | Multi-Select tab will appear on the ribbon.
• On the Create panel, click the Create Group button.
An error dialog will appear. When you made your selection window, the elevation
view tag and possibly the section view tag were included in the selection. View tags
cannot be included in a Group. Simply clicking OK in this warning will automatically exclude them from the selection set.
• Click OK in the warning dialog to dismiss it.
The “Create Model Group and Attached Detail Group” dialog will appear.
• In the Model Group Name field, type Guest Room A.
• Leave the Attached Detail Group name as Group 1 and then click OK (see Figure 6.2).
Since we have selected both model and detail elements, Revit will actually create
two groups. One will be a Model Group containing the Walls, Doors, Windows,
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FIGURE 6.2 Create a new Group and give it a name
and fixtures. The other will be a Detail Group that contains the door and window
Tags. It is not possible for detail elements and model elements to be in the same
group. The Detail Group will actually be an “Attached Detail Group.” This means
that this Detail Group is associated to its parent Model Group. Later, we can have
instances of the Attached Detail Group automatically applied to instances of the
Model Group. To see each Group, simply move your mouse over them on screen.
• Move your mouse near the edge of one of the Walls.
You will see a dashed box appear around the Model Group with a screen tip
indicating its name.
• Move your mouse over one of the Tags.
• You will see a dashed box appear around the Detail Group with a screen tip
indicating its name (see Figure 6.3).
Groups that you create will also appear in the Project Browser.
FIGURE 6.3 Two Groups were created—A Model Group and an Attached Detail Group
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9. On the Project Browser, expand the Groups branch.
This reveals the Detail and Model branch.
• Expand the Model branch.
You will see the Guest Room A Group indented beneath the Model branch.
• Expand the Guest Room A entry to reveal the Attached Detail Group named Group 1
(see Figure 6.4).
FIGURE 6.4 Groups appear hierarchically on the Project Browser
Each Model Group you create will appear beneath the Groups . Model branch in
the Project Browser. Attached Detail Groups will always appear beneath the Group
to which they are attached. (If you create a Group from detail elements by themselves, without associated model geometry, they will appear beneath the Groups .
Detail branch).
Create a Group Instance
Now that we have created a Group, we can easily add additional instances of the
Group in our project. You can do this from the Model Group button on the Home
tab or the Groups branch of the Project Browser.
10. On the Project Browser, expand Groups, then Model, and then right-click Guest Room A.
• Choose Create Instance.
A dashed rectangle will appear on screen with the mouse pointer in the center.
• Click on screen to place the new Group instance to the left side of the original.
• On the Modify | Model Groups tab of the ribbon, click the Finish button.
Another guest room will appear. (It does not include any annotation because as we
saw above, the annotation is included in a separate Detail Group). When you create
a Group, the geometric center of the Group becomes the insertion point by default.
This is why when we added this instance; our mouse pointer was positioned in the
center of the Group. You can move the origin to a more useful location simply by
dragging it.
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11. Select the Group instance that you just created.
In the center of the Group, a blue Group Origin icon will appear.
• Click and drag the round handle at the intersection of the two axes.
• Drop the icon on the Wall endpoint at the top left corner of the hotel room (see
Figure 6.5).
FIGURE 6.5 Move the Group Origin by dragging
12. On the Project Browser, right-click Guest Room A again and choose Create Instance.
Notice the location of the mouse pointer relative to the Group outline this time.
• Click a point to the right of the original to place the new Group instance.
• On the Modify | Model Groups tab of the ribbon, click the Finish button.
If you select the original Group instance, you will notice that the insertion point for
it is also at the upper left corner. Edits you make to one instance of a Group apply
automatically to all instances.
Working with Attached Detail Groups
Take a look at the original guest room (the one that has Tags). Notice that there are
three Doors, each with its own unique number. On the other hand, the Windows
share the same designation of “A.” The default Revit Door Tags show the instance
“Mark” parameter of Doors, which is unique for each Door while window Tags show
the “Type Mark” for Windows which is the same for all instances of a given Type.
Keep these observations in mind as we perform the next several steps.
To add tags to the other Group instances, we could manually tag each item in the
Group. A faster method is to use an Attached Detail Group. An Attached Detail
Group can automatically be applied to any instance of its parent Model Group.
13. Select one of the Groups on the left or right (without annotation).
• On the Modify Model Groups tab of the ribbon, on the Group panel, click the
Attached Detail Groups button.
• In the dialog that appears, place a checkmark in the box next to Floor Plan:Group 1
and then click OK (see Figure 6.6).
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FIGURE 6.6 Add an Attached Detail Group to the selected Model Group
An instance of the Attached Detail Group will appear. Notice that each of the door
Tags will have incremented sequentially to show unique numbers. The window Tags
however will show the same designation that the originals did.
14. Repeat the process to add an Attached Detail Group to the other Model Group as
You can edit a Group at any time. When you do, changes you make to the Group
will be applied to all instances when the edit is complete. This is one of the most
powerful benefits of using Groups. Furthermore, edits to a Model Group can also
have an automatic impact on Attached Detail Groups.
Edit a Group
To understand the value and potential of editing a Group, we can start with a very
simple modification.
15. Select one instance of the Guest Room A Group onscreen.
• On the Modify | Model Groups tab of the ribbon, on the Group panel, click the Edit
Group button.
This enables the Group Edit mode. The background of the canvas area is tinted yellow and the Edit Group panel appears at the upper left corner of the view. The elements that are members of the Group remain bold, and all of the other elements on
screen become grayed out and cannot be selected or edited, but they can be added
to the group as we will see below. For this example, we will make a very simple edit.
16. Select one of the Windows (one of the bold ones).
• On the Type Selector, choose Slider with Trim:36" 3 48".
In the Group editor, the selected Window will immediately reduce in size and the
associated Tag will change from A to E—even though this Tag resides in a separate
Detail Group!
• On the Edit Group panel, click the Finish button (see Figure 6.7).
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FIGURE 6.7 Make a change in the Group Editor
When you have finished, the edit will be applied to all instances of the Group.
Notice that the Attached Detail Groups update as well. Let’s try another edit.
17. Select one instance of the Guest Room A Group.
• On the Modify | Model Groups tab of the ribbon, on the Group panel, click the Edit
Group button.
• Repeat the Window edit made above to the other Window.
• Create a new Window in the space between the two existing Windows. (Try a
Fixed:36" 3 48").
Notice that the window Tag is also created, but it comes in grayed out. This is because
it is annotation and is therefore automatically excluded from the Model Group that
we are currently editing.
• On the Edit Group panel, click the Finish button.
18. Select the window Tag.
Notice that the Tag selects independently as a freestanding element in the project. It
is not automatically added to the Attached Detail Group as you can see by examining the other two instances in this project (see the top half of Figure 6.8).
FIGURE 6.8 Tags for newly added Group elements must be added manually to the Attached Detail Group
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19. Select the Group 1 Attached Detail Group (the instance with the stray Window tag).
• On the Modify | Attached Detail Groups tab of the ribbon, on the Group panel,
click the Edit Group button.
• On the Edit Attached Group panel, click the Add to Group button.
• Select the window Tag (Tag H) and then click the Finish button (see the bottom half
of Figure 6.8).
The Tag for Window Type H should now appear in all three instances of the Attached
Detail Group. Again, since this Tag references a Type parameter (the Type Mark),
the letter displays the same value in all instances of the Attached Detail Group. For
adding a Tag, we had to manually edit the Attached Detail Group; however, if you
were to edit the Model Group again and delete one of the tagged elements (a Door
or Window) then the tag in the Attached Detail Group would also be deleted automatically even though it is in a different Group—you would not have to separately
edit the Detail Group. Hosted elements like tags cannot exist without a host.
Duplicate and Edit a Group
Making a variation of a Group is simple to do. Once you have two or more variations,
you can easily swap them out with one another.
20. Select the instance of the Guest Room A Model Group on the left.
• On the Properties palette, click the Edit Type button.
• In the “Type Properties” dialog, click the Duplicate button.
• In the “Name” dialog, type Guest Room B and then click OK (see the left side of
Figure 6.9).
FIGURE 6.9 Create a duplicate of the Model Group
Notice the appearance of Guest Room B on the Project Browser. If you expand it, you
will see that a copy of the Group 1 Attached Detail Group has also been created and
associated to the new Model Group.
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21. Select the same instance onscreen (now Guest Room B).
• On the ribbon, click the Edit Group button.
• Delete the middle Window and make some other obvious change (such as enlarging
the bathroom or flipping a Door).
• Finish the Group (see Figure 6.10).
FIGURE 6.10 Modify Model Group Guest Room B
Not surprisingly, the change only affects the currently selected Group. This is because
it is currently the only instance of Guest Room B in the project. At this point however,
we can experiment with swapping Group instances and see the ease at which we
can switch from one Group to another and also see another one of the benefits of
the Attached Detail Group functionality. Take notice of the names of the Attached
Detail Groups on the Project Browser. For both Model Groups, the Attached Detail
Groups have the same name—Group 1. This is important for the next experiment. If
you use the same name for the Attached Detail Groups, they will automatically swap
when the parent Model Groups swap. Let’s take a look.
22. Select one instance of the Guest Room A Group.
• From the Type Selector, choose Guest Room B.
Since we tried to make the difference between the A and B Guest Rooms obvious,
you should be able to spot the changes to the model right away. The most interesting
change however is that the Attached Detail Group has changed automatically as
well. Since the Attached Detail Groups for each Model Groups have the same
name, Revit is able to swap them appropriately as well. This behavior works as long
as the name of the Attached Detail Group is the same for each Model Group. In this
example, we left the name “Group 1” but this name is not required. You can choose
a more descriptive name if you wish.
23. On the Project Browser, right-click the Attached Detail Group (Floor Plan: Group 1) for
Guest Room A and choose Rename.
• Change the name to Tags and then click OK.
• Repeat for the Attached Detail Group of Guest Room B and rename it to Tags as
• Repeat the process above to swap one of the Guest Room B instances in the project
back to Guest Room A.
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Notice that the Attached Detail Group continues to swap as well. With this in
mind, you should try to pick useful and descriptive names for both your Model
Groups and your Attached Detail Groups in your own projects. Careful naming
often helps reduce errors and limits the complexity of projects.
Situations will often arise in the course of a project where one instance of a Group
needs to be slightly different from the other instances in the project. In this case, we
could certainly repeat the process covered in the previous sequence and duplicate
and edit another Group. However, doing so could begin to dilute the usefulness of
Groups and make management of the multiple potential variations cumbersome
and time consuming. In scenarios such as this, Revit offers us the ability to create
overrides to individual Group instances. To illustrate the point, a simple example is
Excluding Group Members
Continue from the previous Exercise.
1. Delete the two Groups copied above leaving only the original one (in the middle) and
its Attached Detail Group.
Notice that the Attached Detail Groups are deleted automatically when their hosts
are deleted. Make sure the Group in the middle is Guest Room A. If it is not, select
it and change it on the Type Selector.
2. Select the remaining Model Group instance on screen.
• On the Modify panel, click the Mirror - Pick Axis button.
• Click on the centerline of the vertical Wall on the right side of the Group as the
mirror edge (see Figure 6.11).
FIGURE 6.11 Mirror a copy of the Guest Room Group
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When you complete the mirror command, a copy of the Group will appear, and a
Warning dialog will also appear at the bottom right corner of the screen. This warning is not serious and can be ignored. All such “ignorable” warnings will appear in
this location on screen and will have a yellow tint to the dialog in which they appear.
It is still a good idea to read the warning message as there is some useful information conveyed in them. In this case, Revit is alerting us that we now have two Walls
overlapping in the same spot. While we can ignore this situation, the message further explains that Room boundaries may be affected:
“Highlighted walls overlap. One of them may be ignored when Revit finds room
boundaries. Use Cut Geometry to embed one wall within the other. Or tab-select
one of the grouped overlapping walls and exclude it from the group instance.”
The right side of Figure 6.11 shows the warning message. If you wish, you can
expand the warning dialog to get more detailed information. Do this with the
small icon on the right side of the warning dialog. If the warning has closed already,
you can click the Warnings button on the Inquiry panel of the Manage tab of
the ribbon to access it. When you fully expand the error, you can click on each of
the overlapping Walls to highlight them on screen (see Figure 6.12).
FIGURE 6.12 Click the Expand icon to see a more detailed error dialog
If you wish to see the element highlighted in other views, click the Show button.
Each time you click Show, it will open another view window and highlight the element in question. When you are done reviewing the warning, click the Close button
to dismiss it. If you did click show, make sure you return to the Architecture floor plan
view and then close hidden windows.
In addition to potentially having an adverse effect on Rooms, you can also see that
the overlapping Walls do not cleanup very nicely. The solution to both problems is
simple: any element in any Group can be excluded from an individual instance of the
Group. In this situation, we can exclude the duplicate Wall from one of the Groups.
3. Place your mouse over the double Wall.
Notice that the Group pre-highlights.
• Press the TAB key.
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Notice that the other Group pre-highlights.
• Press the TAB key again.
This time, the Wall within one of the Groups pre-highlights.
• Click to select this Wall.
Notice that on the Modify | Walls tab, there is a “Show Related Warnings” icon. This gives you a
shortcut to the Review Warnings dialog discussed above, letting you know that there are warnings
associated with the selected element.
• Click the Group Member icon in the canvas area to exclude this Wall from the
Group (see Figure 6.13).
• Deselect the Group.
FIGURE 6.13 Tab into the Group, select the Wall and then click the icon to exclude it
Notice that the extra Wall has been removed and the cleanup is now correct. It is
important to realize that this change is not simply graphical override—Revit has
actually removed one instance of one of the Walls. For example, were we to have
counted the Walls before we started and then re-count them now, there would be
one Wall fewer in our model. Rather than count the Walls, which might prove tricky,
let’s do a similar experiment using furniture, which is easier to count.
4. On the Project Browser, double-click to open the Furniture floor plan view.
Furniture elements will appear in the original guest room.
5. Select all of the furniture elements.
Use a window selection to select all the furniture and then click the Filter button on the ribbon to
remove any unwanted element categories.
• On the ribbon, click the Create Group button.
• In the Create Model Group Name field, type King-01.
• Using the technique covered in the “Create a Group Instance” topic above, move
the origin point to the same location as the Guest Room Group.
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6. Mirror the furniture Group to the other guest room (see Figure 6.14).
FIGURE 6.14 Group the furniture, move the origin point, and then mirror a copy
7. On the Project Browser, beneath Schedules/Quantities, double-click to open the
Furniture Schedule view.
Study the table and take note of the totals in the “Count” column. In particular,
notice that we currently have 4 Side Chairs (Chair-Viper: Chair). This is impressive; Revit gives us an accurate count even when the items it is counting are inside
Groups! Let’s exclude one and see the impact on the Schedule.
8. Return to the Furniture floor plan.
On the View tab, choose Cascade or Tile Windows to see both plan and schedule side by side. The
shortcut for Tile Windows is WT.
• Using the TAB key, select one of the Side Chairs (near the Windows).
• Click the Group Member icon to exclude this chair from the Group (see Figure 6.15).
• Deselect the chair after excluding it to see it disappear.
FIGURE 6.15 Excluding an item from a Group removes it from the schedule as well
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Now that is even more impressive; the schedule accurately reflects the quantity shown
in the model. This example illustrates that you can use the exclude from Groups feature with confidence, as Revit will accurately reflect the exclusions throughout the
You should try a few more experiments to become comfortable with the full behavior of this feature. For example, move your mouse over the missing chair and it
will pre-highlight as if it were there. In this way, you can TAB back into the Group
and bring the element back (include it). Be careful when editing a Group that has
overrides applied. You can edit either instance of the furniture Group on screen.
However, if you edit the one with the excluded chair, you will not be able to edit the
chair at all. If you instead edit the one without exclusions, you will have the ability to
edit all its elements including both chairs. You can even move or otherwise edit the
chair that is excluded in one of the other Groups. The change will be visible in the
Group (or Groups) that shows the chair and not visible in any that exclude it. Try
some of these experiments now before continuing if you like.
9. Save the project.
As you refine your design using Groups, you will find some of the additional techniques covered here useful.
Creating Attached Detail Groups for Existing Model Groups
The Attached Detail Groups that we made earlier were created at the same time as
the host Model Groups. You can also create them later even after the Model Group
has been created.
1. Return to the Furniture floor plan.
2. On the ribbon, click the Annotate tab.
• On the Tag panel, click the Tag by Category button.
• Tag each piece of furniture in only the guest room showing both chairs.
All of the furniture numbers have already been input in this dataset. To learn more
about tagging and editing tag parameters, see Chapter 12. You can move the tags
around after placement and adjust the leaders with the handles as required.
• Select all of the furniture Tags, and then on the Modify | Furniture Tags tab, click
the Create Group button.
Remember you can use a window selection and the Filter button to get just Furniture Tags.
• In the Attached Detail Group Name field, type Tags (see Figure 6.16).
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FIGURE 6.16 Revit will automatically create an Attached Detail Group from Tags attached to a Model Group
As you can see, Revit will automatically recognize that the items being grouped are
Tags associated with model elements contained in a Model Group. As a result, an
Attached Detail Group is created automatically. Now that we have an Attached
Detail Group for our furniture, we could add it to the other instance of our furniture Model Group. However, we will do something a little different with it below.
Adding Detail Groups to Mirrored Groups
Attached Detail Groups can be very useful as we have seen. They do have limitations
as well as we will see. If we return to the Architecture floor plan, we will notice that
the mirrored Group has no Tags.
3. From the Project Browser, re-open the Architecture floor plan.
• Select the mirrored Group (on the right side).
• On the ribbon, click the Attached Detail Groups button.
• In the “Attached Detail Group Placement” dialog, place a check in the box next to
the Floor Plan:Tags Detail Group and then click OK.
Notice that despite the Model Group’s being mirrored, the Detail Group remains
“right-reading.” This is true if you mirror in any direction. Furthermore, you can mirror a selection of both Model and Detail Groups together in the same operation and
the Detail Groups will remain right-reading as the Model Group mirrors.
4. Select both Model Groups and both Detail Groups.
Be careful not to select the Section or Elevation tags.
• On the Modify | Multi-Select ribbon tab, click the Mirror - Draw Axis button.
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This allows you to sketch the mirror line rather than pick an object. In this case, we
will mirror the selection up at a distance above the selection to allow room for a corridor between the rooms.
• Using the temporary dimension as a guide, click the first point about 5'-0" above
the top Walls to indicate the middle of the corridor.
• Drag the mouse horizontally and then click again to complete the mirror (see
Figure 6.17).
FIGURE 6.17 Tags in mirrored Detail Groups remain right reading
If you zoom in on the new rooms and study the tags, you will see that they are rightreading, yet they each display a unique door number sequentially incremented from
where the previous door numbering left off.
5. Select all Groups on screen (4 Model and 4 Attached Detail Groups).
• Mirror the selection around the centerline of the right most vertical Wall.
As before, a warning will appear indicating that you have duplicate Walls again.
Ignore this warning for now.
There are now eight total guest rooms each with its own Tags.
6. Select the four guest rooms in the middle. (Clicking with the CTRL key is the easiest
method of selection in this case).
• From the Type Selector, choose Guest Room B.
As we saw earlier in the chapter, not only does the guest room geometry change, but
the Attached Detail Group updates as well. Remember, the Attached Detail Groups
swap out as well because they have the same names. If you do not keep the names
the same (“Tags” in this case), they will not swap out. The duplicate Walls warning
will appear again.
• Use the process covered in the “Excluding Group Members” topic above to exclude
the extra Walls. (You may need to do this for six Walls total).
• Save the project.
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Duplicate Groups on Project Browser
Returning to the Furniture view will reveal that while the Walls, Doors, and Windows
contained in the duplicated Model Groups were copied to form additional guest
rooms, the furniture was not. This is simply because the furniture is contained in a
separate Model group. Let’s duplicate our furniture Group and make an alternate
for the other guest room type.
7. On the Project Browser, beneath Model Groups, right-click the King-01 Group and
choose Duplicate.
• Right-click the new copy and choose Rename. Call it: Queen-01 (see Figure 6.18).
FIGURE 6.18 Duplicate and rename a Group on the Project Browser
Notice that the Queen-01 Group also has its own attached Detail Group named
There are several commands on the right-click menu. Here is a brief description of
• Duplicate—Creates a copy of the Group and assigns it a default name.
• Make Element Editable—This command is only active in a project using
Worksharing. Worksharing is a process enabling a team of people to work in the
same Revit project. See Chapter 15 for more information.
• Copy to Clipboard—This copies the Group to the clipboard so you can paste it in
other projects. This is a fast way to use the same Group in another project. If you
paste it in the same project, it behaves like Duplicate.
• Delete—This deletes the Group definition from the project. You can only use this
command if no instances of the Group are inserted in the project. Use with caution.
• Rename—Use to assign a new name to a Group definition.
• Select All Instances . Visible In View—Use this command to select all instances
of the Group in the current view only.
• Select All Instances . In Entire Project—Use this command to select all instances
of the Group throughout the entire project. Be careful as this command selects all
instances on all levels, even the ones that may not show in the current view.
• Create Instance—This adds an instance of the Group.
• Match—Use this command to swap one Group with another on screen. You will be
prompted to select the Group to use as the source and then the Groups to which
to apply the source definition.
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• Edit—This command will export the Group to a new Revit project and open it for
editing. In this way, you can edit a Group independently of the current project and
save it as its own file outside of the project. To use the Group saved this way in a
project, click the Insert tab and then on the Load from Library panel, click the Load
as Group button and follow the prompts.
• Save Group—This command will also export the Group to a new Revit project but
it will not automatically open it. You will simply be prompted for the file name and
location in which to save it.
• Reload—This is a shortcut to the Load as Group button on the Load from Library
panel of the Insert tab. Use it to load an external file and replace the internal Group
• Type Properties—Opens the Type Properties dialog for the selected Group.
A similar list of commands appears when you right-click a Detail Group.
Return to the Furniture floor plan.
8. Select the furniture Group with the excluded chair.
Notice that the excluded chair appears when the Group is selected.
• On the ribbon, click the Restore All Excluded button.
The previously excluded chair will be restored.
• With the Group still selected, choose Queen-01 from the Type Selector.
If you skip the “Restore All Excluded” step, the excluded chair will still reappear when swapping
Groups. Instance-level overrides are not retained when changing types.
9. On the Group panel, click the Edit Group button.
• Select the bed and from the Type Selector, choose Bed-Standard : Queen 60" 3 79".
• Delete one of the lounge chairs and move the bed and nightstands down to fit the
room better (see Figure 6.19).
FIGURE 6.19 Swap in the Queen-01 Group and then modify it
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10. On the Edit Group panel, click the Finish button to complete the edit.
11. Select the Queen-01 Group on screen.
• On the Group panel, click the Attached Detail Groups button.
• In the Attached Detail Group Placement dialog, place a check in the box next to the
Floor Plan:Tags Detail Group and then click OK.
Notice that the Tags have automatically adjusted to the new furniture layout of the
12. Using any of the techniques covered so far; add furniture and Model and Detail
Groups to the remaining guest rooms (see Figure 6.20).
FIGURE 6.20 Add furniture groups to the remaining rooms
As you can see, working with Groups so far has made it easier to compose our overall plan layout and quickly replicate a series of similarly configured spaces. After this
initial design work, you may be tempted to ungroup your Groups to gain more direct
access to the elements they contain. While it is certainly possible for you to do this,
you may want to consider keeping your Groups active well into design development
or even CDs. The reason for this is simply because despite our best efforts to minimize them, design changes continue to occur well into the construction document
phase and even beyond. Groups can help you make such changes more efficiently.
Add missing elements to Groups
While design changes occur for any number of reasons, in this next example, we will
consider a change resulting from an oversight during the design phase.
1. On the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT), click the Default 3D View icon.
Compare the original room that we started with to all of the copied versions and
notice that the copies do not include the ceiling elements. Since we have been working exclusively in plan views, we did not notice that the ceilings were not included
in the original selection set from which the Groups were created (see Figure 6.21).
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FIGURE 6.21 Switching to 3D view reveals elements missing from the Groups
The fix for Guest Room A is simple. For Guest Room B there is an extra step. In the
original Guest Room A Group (shown in the figure) the ceiling elements are positioned
in the proper location. All we have to do is add those stray ceiling elements to the Group
and they will appear in all instances of Guest Room A. For Guest Room B, we first need
to copy the ceiling elements into position relative to one of our Guest Room B Groups
and then add them to the Group. While the 3D view was useful to identify the problem,
a ceiling plan view is the best choice for making the required edits.
2. On the Project Browser, double-click to open the Level 1 Ceiling Plan.
Zoom in on the original Guest Room A; in this case, it has an interior elevation tag
within it, making it easy to locate. If you compare the elements in the original Guest
Room A to the others, you will notice that there is a small Wall separating the main
guest room from the entry foyer. We’ll need to mirror this Wall from Guest Room
A to Guest Room B to form the boundaries for the Ceiling elements.
3. Place your mouse over the Wall between the foyer space and the main room and then
look at the Status Bar (at the bottom of the Revit screen).
Press tab if necessary to highlight the Wall.
A message will appear reading “Walls : Basic Wall : Generic 5".” The format of this
message is: Category : Family : Type. All Revit objects appear in this format when
pre-highlighted on screen. (See the “Status Bar” heading in Chapter 2 for more
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Depending on your settings, the same information may appear in a tooltip on screen
(see Figure 6.22).
FIGURE 6.22 The Status Bar reports the Category, Family, and Type of pre-highlighted elements
• When the Wall between the foyer space and the main room highlights, click it to
select it.
If your Wall is not in the same location, you may have inadvertently moved it during
the previous exercises. Use the Align button on the Modify tab to position it back
where it was shown in the figure before proceeding.
4. On the ribbon, click the Mirror - Pick Axis button.
• Using the center of the Wall between the two guest rooms, mirror the elements to
the neighboring room (see Figure 6.23).
FIGURE 6.23 Mirror the Wall required to enclose Ceilings
While it would be possible to select and mirror the existing Ceiling objects to the
other space as well, in this case it will be better to recreate them since the shapes of
the rooms do not match.
5. Select the original instance of the Guest Room A Group.
• On the Group panel, click the Edit Group button.
The shortcut for Edit Group is EG.
• On the Edit Group panel, click the Add button.
The shortcut for Add to Group is AP.
This tool allows us to add items from the main model into the Group. When we are
finished editing, these elements will appear in all instances of the Group.
6. Move your mouse near the edge of the toilet room in Guest Room A.
The Ceiling object will pre-highlight.
• Click the Ceiling to add it to the Group (see Figure 6.24).
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FIGURE 6.24 Add Ceilings and the Wall to the Group
Repeat for the foyer Ceiling, the closet Ceiling, and the small Wall.
7. Finally, add the Ceiling in the main guest room space to the group.
Press the tab key if necessary to assist in adding any of the elements.
• Once you have added four Ceilings and the Wall to the Group, click the Finish button on the Edit Group panel.
If you return to the {3D} view, you should notice that the four Guest Room A
Groups now have Ceilings. To add ceilings to the Guest Room B Groups, we will
simply create new ones.
8. In the Ceiling Plan Level 1, select the instance of Guest Room B to which we mirrored
the small Wall above.
• Click the Edit Group button.
• Add the small Wall to the Group.
9. Click the Home tab of the ribbon.
• Click the Ceiling button.
• From the Type Selector, choose Compound Ceiling : GWB on Mtl. Stud.
• Click inside each enclosed space to add Ceilings.
If you wish to make the Ceiling in the main part of the guest room taller, select it
and on the Properties palette, change the Height Offset From Level to 9’-0”.
• Click the Finish button on the Edit Group panel when done.
If you return to the {3D} view, you should now have Ceilings in all rooms.
As we have seen, most model elements can be added to Model Groups. We can
also make a Group that contains other Groups. So-called “Nested Groups” can be
useful, but can also present certain challenges. For example, in the dataset we have
open, it might be useful to group all of the various guest rooms and their furniture
into a single Group named something like “Typical Floor Layout.” This approach
may certainly prove valuable at the early stages of design where you stand to gain an
advantage from the ease of being able to edit a Group instance and have the changes
apply across the entire project. However, there are limitations. The most notable is
that Attached Detail Groups only work one level deep. This means that you cannot make a Group containing both Model and Detail Groups as members. You will
still be able to apply Attached Detail Groups to the nested instances of the Model
Groups, but you will have to use the TAB key to select each instance before placement. With careful planning, you can certainly make a workable solution; the only
caution is to plan your strategy carefully before execution.
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To create a nested Group, you simply select objects (including other Groups) and
then click the Create Group button as we have done already.
Creating a Nested Group
Let’s do a quick example of a nested Group in the project we have open. Suppose
we wanted to explore adding some more Levels to this project and reusing the layout we have devised here on those Levels. We can certainly use Copy and Paste in
that scenario, but creating a Group of the entire layout affords us the opportunity to
make edits to the Group later and have those edits apply automatically to all Levels.
1. On the Project Browser, double-click to open the Section 1 Building Section view.
2. On the Home tab, on the Datum panel, click the Level button.
• Using the Pick Lines draw icon, create a Level 12'-6" above the existing Level 1.
• Rename it Level 2 (see Figure 6.25).
FIGURE 6.25 Add and rename a new Level
3. Return to the Architecture Floor Plan view.
4. Select all eight Model Groups on screen.
• On the Modify Model Groups tab, on the Create panel, click the Create Group
• Name the Group: Typical Floor Layout and then click OK.
Take notice of the Project Browser after you complete the Group. Typical Floor
Layout will show Guest Room A and B indented beneath it. This indicates that
these two Groups are nested within it (see Figure 6.26).
FIGURE 6.26 Add and rename a new Level (continued)
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5. On the Project Browser, double-click to open the Level 2 Floor Plan.
6. On the Project Browser, right-click Typical Floor Layout and choose Create Instance.
• Snap to the Group Origin of the Group on the level below and then click the Modify
tool (see Figure 6.27).
FIGURE 6.27 Create a new instance of the Group at the Group Origin
Adding Attached Detail Groups to Nested Groups
If you want to add the Tags Groups, you have to use the TAB key.
7. Place your mouse over one of the Groups.
Notice that the entire floor layout Group pre-highlights.
• Press the TAB key.
• Click to select the nested Group instance.
• Click the Attached Detail Groups button, choose the Floor Plan:Tags Group and
then click OK (see Figure 6.28).
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FIGURE 6.28 Add an Attached Detail Group to the nested Model Group (using TAB to select)
You can repeat the process on the other Groups if you like. Following any of the
procedures covered so far, you can also edit either the nested Groups or the overall
Group and see the results throughout the model and in the Attached Detail Groups.
Feel free to experiment further before continuing.
We have explored many techniques and advantages of working with Groups so far in
this chapter. You can begin to see the many advantages of including Groups in your
workflow. While working with Groups directly in a project can prove a useful strategy for managing typical and repetitive design conditions, it is sometimes even more
advantageous to export a Group to its own separate file. This can be achieved by saving the Group or converting it to a Linked file.
Saving a Group to a File
A Group can be saved to a separate Revit file. This enables you to work on the Group
independently of the project. This can be useful if the project is particularly large
and/or if you want to have another colleague working on the Group at the same
time as you or someone else is in the project file. It also allows you to use the Group
in other projects.
1. On the Project Browser, right-click the King-01 Group and choose Save Group.
• In the Save Group dialog, browse to the Chapter06 folder, verify that the “Include
attached detail groups as views” checkbox is selected, and then click Save (see
Figure 6.29).
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FIGURE 6.29 Save a Group to a separate file
The file name defaults to the same name as the Group: King-01 in this case. Once
the save is complete, you can open the file to study the result.
2. From the Chapter06 folder, open the King-01 file.
• On Project Browser, expand Views.
You should have two floor plan views: Level 1 and Tags. Tags contains the annotation contained in the Attached Detail Group of the same name in the main project. The Level 1 view contains the model geometry. You can make any edits here that
you like. Upon saving those changes, we can reload them back into the main project.
3. In the Level 1 floor plan view, make a change to the furniture layout.
• Save and close the King-01 file.
• Back in the main project, right-click the King-01 Group on Project Browser again
and choose Reload.
• In the dialog that appears, browse to the Chapter06 folder and select the King-01
file to reload.
• Accept the defaults and click OK in any warnings.
If you are not in a view that shows the furniture, switch to one now to see the
Convert a Group to a Linked file
Revit also provides the ability to embed other Revit files in your project as Revit
links. A linked file provides many of the same advantages as Groups but remains
a separate project file on your hard drive or server maintaining a live link for easy
reloading. In this way, another individual can work in the linked file simultaneously.
When the linked file is saved, you can capture the latest changes by reloading the
linked file. The process is similar to the one just outlined, but the path to the link file
is saved with the project so that we do not have to browse to each time we reload.
4. On the Project Browser, double-click to open the Level 2 floor plan.
5. Select the Typical Floor Layout Group on screen.
• On the Group panel, click the Link button.
• If a warning appears, click OK.
• In the “Convert to Link” dialog, click the “Replace with a new project file” option
(see Figure 6.30).
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FIGURE 6.30 Convert the Group to a separate linked file
In the “Save Group” dialog, browse again to the Chapter06 folder and then click Save.
The first dialog was a warning about elements being deleted. This is because we had
previously applied tags (via an Attached Detail Group) to the original model Group.
When you convert a Group to a Link, the annotation cannot remain applied. The
second message allows us to create a new file from the Group we are replacing, or
to point to an existing file already on our hard drive or server to swap in its place. In
this case, creating a new project file was our obvious choice.
When the conversion is complete, you will see that the newly created file automatically appears beneath the Revit Links node of the Project Browser (see Figure 6.31).
Here you can access features of the linked file via the right-click menu.
FIGURE 6.31 Linked Revit files appear beneath Groups on the Project Browser
Feel free to open the linked file, make a few edits,and then re-save and reload the file.
When you try to open the linked file, Revit will warn you that it must be unloaded
in the current project, and the unload can’t be undone. This is normal. Click Yes to
proceed. Once edits are complete in the Typical Floor Layout.rvt file and saved, you
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can close it and back in the Understanding Groups.rvt file, right-click the linked file
on the Project Browser and choose Reload. You will not need to browse to it again.
The path for links is saved with the project. You can also right-click on the Revit
Links branch of the Project Browser and choose Manage Links to see a dialog listing paths and other information about linked files.
Binding Linked Files (to Groups)
The opposite of converting a Group to a linked file is “Bind,” which converts a linked
file into a Group.
1. Select the linked file.
On the Modify | RVT Links tab, on the Link panel, click the Bind Link button.
In the dialog that appears, choose Attached Details and then click OK.
Accept the default in the remaining dialog(s).
Remove the link when prompted.
The Revit link should now be removed and in its place the Group that we started
with should have been restored.
2. Save the project.
Working with Rooms in Groups
When the time comes to add Room objects to our project we can choose to add
them within the Groups or outside the Groups. If we add a Room to each Guest
Room Group, they will appear in all instances like other objects. We can then tag
them inside an Attached Detail Group or directly on the floor plan view.
Another approach is to simply add the Rooms outside of any Groups directly in the
project. Since the Room object will conform automatically to the shape defined by
the Walls, either approach is completely valid.
To compare methods, try both approaches in the current project.
3. In the Architecture floor plan view, select one of the Guest Room Groups (use the TAB
key to assist in selection).
• Click the Edit Group button on the ribbon.
• Using the Room button on the Room & Area panel of the Home tab, add a Room
in the main space.
You will see the Room object conform to the shape of the main room plus the entry
foyer. If you like you can repeat the process to add additional Rooms for the closet
and toilet room. However, in some cases, for a hotel room layout such as this, you
may not want to have separate Rooms for each of these spaces, but might instead
prefer a single Room that expands to include the closet and toilet rooms within it.
To do this, we can select the Walls between the toilet room and main guest room
area and make them “non room bounding.”
4. Click the Modify tool and then select the Walls that separate the toilet space and
closet from the main space (5 total).
• On the Properties palette, turn off “Room Bounding” (see Figure 6.32).
When you click Apply, the Room should now ignore the interior Walls and fill the
entire guest room layout.
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FIGURE 6.32 Adding Rooms to the Group and varying the Room Bounding behavior
When you finish the Group the Room will be added to all instances. Again, the
Room Tag will need to be attached separately as explained in “Edit a Group” above.
If you wish to try the alternative method, simply exit the edit Group mode and add
Rooms directly to the project. Tags can also be free-standing or grouped in Attached
Detail Groups.
There are certainly plenty of other equally useful applications of Groups including
typical toilet room layouts, typical stair tower, office furniture layouts, etc. For example, in the previous chapter we used a simple Group to create a typical floor framing
condition that was copied to multiple floors in the building. There are almost limitless applications for Groups.
For your further experimentation, a larger and more complete dataset similar to the
one utilized in this chapter has been provided. You will find two versions of “MRAC
Hotel” in the Chapter06 folder. One version named MRAC Hotel (With Rooms).rvt
has the Room objects embedded within the Guest Room Groups. The other version
MRAC Hotel (Without Rooms).rvt has the Rooms placed directly in the project (not
in the Groups). You are encouraged to open each of these files and experiment further with all of the techniques covered in this chapter (see Figure 6.33).
FIGURE 6.33 The MRAC Hotel.rvt file is provide for your further experimentation
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Throughout the course of this chapter, we have worked in a separate dataset and
not re-visited our commercial and residential projects. While theoretically any project can make use of Groups and Linked files, our residential project has no need
for either. However, our commercial project can make use of both. We have already
added a Group to our commercial project at the end of Chapter 5 (for the structural
framing) and we can also make use of Linked files for certain aspects of the project as well.
Many firms using Revit take advantage of Linked files as a way of splitting up larger
projects into more manageable pieces. It is common to see separations made along
various disciplines (such as architectural, structural and mechanical) and sometimes
between major functional areas of the project (like core, shell, and interiors). These
are of course suggestions and each firm and in fact each project can and often will
implement some variation of these. The one strategy that is common is to separate
a large project into smaller files so that different team members can readily work in
separate areas simultaneously.
Now that we have explored most of the concepts of Groups and Links in the dataset files accompanying Chapter 6, let’s return to our commercial project to see how
some of these concepts might apply and allow the project to progress.
Using Linked files is only one way in which Revit teams collaborate. The other method involves
a toolset called “Worksharing,” “Worksets,” and “Element Borrowing.” The Worksets function of
Worksharing provide a means to separate a single building model into discrete portions for purposes of facilitating multi-user access to the same model. The process involves the creation of a
“Central” model stored on a common network server and individual “Local” files on each team member’s workstation. Revit keeps track of changes that each user makes by enabling object locking at
the Workset level and the level of the individual element (referred to as “Element Borrowing”).
Worksets will be discussed more extensively in Chapter 15. If you are working in a team of Revit
users, then Worksharing is a must. Please set aside time to read the material included in Chapter 15
before participating in your first team project. Worksets are used within the office local area network (LAN) and Linked files are typically used to collaborate with external consultants such as
Civil, Structural, MEP and other design firms. Links are not limited to external consultants, and are
certainly used for internal workflow management as well.
Load the Commercial Project
Be sure that the MRAC Hotel.rvt and Understanding Groups.rvt Projects are saved
and closed.
1. On the QAT, click the Open icon.
The keyboard shortcut for Open is CTRL + O. Open is also located on the Application menu.
• In the “Open” dialog box, browse to the location where you installed the MasterRAC
2012 folder, and then open the Chapter06 folder.
2. Double-click 06 Commercial.rvt if you wish to work in Imperial units. Double-click 06
Commercial Metric.rvt if you wish to work in Metric units.
You can also select it and then click the Open button.
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The project is in much the same state as we left it at the end of the previous chapter.
However, some important changes have been made since we closed it there. For this
reason, be certain that you use the new dataset provided for Chapter 6 and do not
attempt to continue in your own files from the previous chapter. The building still
looks the same, but the toposurface is no longer in the file. The geometry for the site
was removed and we will now walk through the process of creating a separate Revit
project for the site data. Using techniques covered in this chapter, we will then link
the Site project we create back into the Commercial project.
Create and Link a Site Project
Frequently you will receive site plan data from outside firms in AutoCAD DWG
or Microstation DGN format. Revit Architecture readily imports files saved in
either format (and others as well). The linework in those files can be used to create
a Toposurface. (In order for this to work correctly, the linework in the file has to be
drawn at the correct z-height corresponding to the actual contour level you wish to
This means that if your Civil Engineer did not draw the contours at their actual elevations, you will
have to open the file in the original application (AutoCAD or Microstation) and move the contour
lines to their correct Z heights. If you do not own a copy of the application, you can ask your consultant to do this for you before they send the file.
Let’s import some contour lines from a DWG file and generate a new Toposurface.
We will create a new Revit project in which to do this. We could, of course, import
the CAD file directly into our Commercial project, but as noted above, it is common
“best-practice” for such data to be contained in a separate project and then linked
back into our project. This makes it easier to coordinate the sometimes different
needs and workflows of the different disciplines responsible.
If you prefer to skip this exercise, you can instead use the Commercial Site project file provided in
the Chapter06\Complete folder. To do so, skip to the “Link the Site Project” topic below.
Create a New Project
1. From the Application menu, choose New . Project. (Access the Application menu by
clicking on the big “R” button at the top left corner of the application frame).
• In the “Template File” area, be sure that default template file is selected: default.rte
[DefaultMetric.rte] (dialog shown in Figure 4.1 in Chapter 4).
If your version of Revit Architecture does not include the template files cited here, both have been
provided with the dataset files. Please browse to the Templates folder in the location where you
installed the dataset files to find them.
• In the “Create New” area, verify that Project is selected and then click OK.
2. Double-click to open the Site floor plan view.
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Link the Site Plan CAD File
3. On the Insert tab of the ribbon, click the Link CAD button.
This command creates a live link to a CAD file. If the original file should be changed
in its host application, Revit will be able to reload the changes.
4. In the “Link CAD Formats” dialog, browse to the Chapter06 folder.
• Select (do not double-click) the Commercial-Site.dwg [Commercial-Site-Metric.dwg]
file (don’t click Open yet).
Several options appear at the bottom of the dialog.
Current view only—this checkbox will import the file into the active Revit view only.
This means that the CAD file will not display in any other view. (This can be useful in some cases, but if you wish to use the imported file to generate a Toposurface,
as we do here, do not use this option. You will not be able to select the contours
of the imported file while using this option.) If you recall the “Revit Architecture
Elements” topic in Chapter 1, we learned there that Revit treats model elements differently than annotation elements. In particular, model elements appear in all views
while annotation elements appear only in the view in which they are created. This
checkbox basically tells Revit to treat the linked file like model elements when it is
unchecked, or annotation elements when it is checked.
Layers—most CAD files use layers (or levels in DGN files) to organize the geometry
they contain. These layers/levels can be interpreted in the incoming file. If you wish
to import only certain layers in the CAD file, you can choose either the “Specify” or
“Visible” options. Visible brings in only those Layers not turned off in the CAD file,
and the Specify option will display the list of all Layers and let you select the ones
you need. The default setting brings in all layers.
Colors—most DWG or DGN files are saved in multiple colors. The options here
allow you to control how this color data is handled on import. If the CAD data was
drawn in a black background, try the Invert option to make the colors read better.
Import units—Auto-Detect is usually the best option. However, in cases where
Revit misinterprets the units in the CAD file, you can designate the proper unit
Positioning—there are several options. “Auto - Center to Center” is the simplest
option. It simply matches the geometric center of the imported file to the geometric
center of your active Revit view ensuring that something will show up when you
finish. If the file is a one-time import and you are reasonably certain that you will
not need to import additional files, this can be the most convenient option. If the
imported file has a known and meaningful origin, the “Auto - Origin to Origin”
can be used. When you allow Revit to align the origin of the DWG or DGN file to
the Revit model origin, you can later import additional DWG or DGN files based
upon the same origin point and be certain that they will automatically align properly with the existing geometry. The only problem with the origin to origin option
is that your Revit project may not be built to match the origin in the incoming file,
or the origin might be far from the model geometry. In this case, you can use one of
the other options, make adjustments and then establish shared coordinates between
your project and the link. The benefit of this approach is that it does not force you
to adopt the origin of the incoming file at the expense of the host project. For the
CAD file we are importing here, we will use the origin option and see if that gives
us acceptable results.
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Several manual options are also available allowing you to use the mouse pointer to
place the imported file in any location you like. If you intend to move the linked file
into the proper position after import, the manual options can prove more convenient. The “Place at” option controls which level the link is imported to.
From the “Colors” list, choose Preserve.
Leave Layers set to All and Import Units at Auto-Detect.
Leave “Current View Only” checked off.
Leave “Orient to View” checked on.
For “Place at” leave “Level 1”
From the “Positioning” list, choose Auto – Origin to Origin, and then click Open
(see Figure 6.34).
FIGURE 6.34 Import the Site data from a DWG file
5. On the Navigation Bar, choose Zoom to Fit.
The shortcut for Zoom to Fit is ZF.
The CAD file has been inserted into the Revit project relative to its own origin
point, which occurs at the point where the Project Base Point and Survey Point
icons (the blue icons in the center of the elevation marks) appear.
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In this particular CAD file, the origin is not too far from the site of the building. However in many
real-life projects, the origin can actually be quite far from the building(s). If the origin of the CAD
file is greater than 20 miles [32.18km] away from the origin of the Revit project, Revit may not
be able to use the Origin to Origin option. In such a case, a warning will appear on screen during import and the Center to Center option will be substituted. If this occurs in your projects, use
Shared Coordinates to keep the relative origins in synch with one another. This allows linking of
data files (RVT, DWG, DGN, or other formats) where the origin point within the linked file may be
very far away from the fixed Revit Base Point (origin). Shared Coordinates is covered below.
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If you zoom in on the CAD file, you will notice labels on the contours and several
spot elevations. These labels are in feet[meters]. They tell us the actual height at
which each of the contour lines is placed in the CAD file.
6. On the Project Browser, double-click to open the South elevation view.
Notice that we have the two default Levels at 0'-0" and 10'-0" [4000] and that the
contour lines from the imported DWG file appear above these Levels at the distance indicated by the plan labels we just studied. Returning to the plan view, we
will note a blue rectangular shape in the file indicating the location of the building. Furthermore, interpolation of the contour labels puts the elevation at the front
façade at approximately 81'-0"[24300]. We will use this number in the elevation
view to adjust the height of Level 2. Then we will rename the two Levels to something more descriptive.
• In the South elevation view, change the height of Level 2 to 81'-0" [24300].
• Rename Level 1 to Datum and rename Level 2 to Street Level. When prompted
about renaming corresponding views, choose Yes.
7. Save the project as Commercial-Site.
• On the QAT, click the Default 3D View icon.
• On the View Control Bar, choose Shaded.
• Orbit the model.
Notice that the contours in the CAD file are just lines and do not have any surface.
Build a Toposurface from imported Data
Now that we have imported the 3D contour line data from the DWG file, we can
use it to create a more accurate Toposurface than the one created from manual
points in Chapter 4.
8. On the Project Browser, open the Site view.
9. On the ribbon, click the Massing & Site tab and then click the Toposurface button.
The Modify | Edit Surface tab will appear with the Place Point button active.
10. On the ribbon, click the Create from Import button.
From the pop-up that appears, choose Select Import Instance.
Click on any of the objects in the imported DWG to select it.
In the “Add Points from Selected Layers” dialog, click the “Check None” button.
Place a checkmark in only the “C-Site-Cntr” and the “C-Site-Cntr-Intm” checkboxes
to select only those two layers (see Figure 6.35).
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FIGURE 6.35 Choose the Layers from which to create the Toposurface
• Click OK to create the points.
Several points will be extracted from the geometry on the selected layers, and from
those points a Toposurface will be created.
• On the ribbon, click the Finish Surface button to exit sketch mode and complete
the Toposurface.
• On the QAT, click the Default 3D View icon.
• Orbit the model.
Notice that there is now a three-dimensional surface spread across the contours
from the CAD file.
11. On the Project Browser, double-click the East elevation view.
If you zoom in, you’ll see a sloping profile of the terrain similar to the manual surface we created in Chapter 4. This Toposurface has more points and does a better job
suggesting the roads that surround the building site. The manual method of placing
individual points that we used in Chapter 4 is effective when you do not have any
civil engineering files to import. If you receive a site plan file, it is usually easier to
use the linked file. Otherwise, you can quickly create a suitable site for your building
model with the point sketching method as well. Either method is appropriate for
creating Toposurfaces in your own projects.
Add a Building Pad
Let’s add a Building Pad. A Building Pad adds a simple slab surface that cuts into
the terrain model as appropriate to suggest the required excavation or other prepared
surface of construction. It will be easier to do this without having the model shaded.
12. On the Project Browser, double-click to open the Site view.
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The site plan data imported from the DWG file includes a rectangle that approximates
the rough footprint of the building. We can use this to assist us in sketching the
Building Pad. However, at the moment the Toposurface is concealing the linked file.
• On the View Control Bar, click the Model Graphics pop-up and choose Wireframe.
13. On the Massing & Site tab, click the Building Pad button.
• On the Modify | Create Pad Boundary tab of the ribbon (now in Sketch mode) click
the Pick Lines tool.
• In the view window, position the pointer over one line of the building footprint in
the middle of the site (the line should pre-highlight) and then press the TAB key.
• When all lines of the shape pre-highlight, click the mouse to create sketch lines
(see Figure 6.36).
FIGURE 6.36 Use the tab key to Chain Select and create Sketch Lines
On the Properties palette, change the Level to Street Level.
For the “Height Offset From Level” parameter, input -4'-0" [−1200] and then click
On the ribbon, click the Finish Edit Mode button (big green checkmark).
14. On the QAT, click the Default 3D View icon.
• Zoom as required to see the Pad and its relationship to the Toposurface.
15. Save the Project.
There is plenty more work that we can do to the Site project. However, for the purposes of preparing the file for linking into the Commercial project (which is the
primary goal for it in this chapter) we have completed enough work in the Site file
for now. If you wish to go further with the Site project, refer to Appendix A for
additional exercises on splitting the surfaces, applying materials and suggestions on
adding trees and parking.
16. From the Application menu, choose Close.
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Link the Site Project
Now that we have built a Site project, imported contours from the Civil Engineer
and created a Toposurface, we are ready to link this project into the Commercial
project. The process of creating a Revit link is nearly identical to the process used in
the “Link the Site Plan CAD File” topic above. The Commercial project file should
still be open. If you closed it, please reopen 06 Commercial.rvt [06 Commercial Metric.
rvt] now.
17. In the 06 Commercial.rvt [06 Commercial Metric.rvt] project file, on the Project
Browser, double-click to open the Site plan view.
18. On the Insert tab, on the Link panel, click the Link Revit button.
• In the “Import/Link RVT” dialog, choose Commercial-Site.rvt, accept the default
Center to Center positioning and then click Open.
If you decided to skip the previous exercise and did not create the Commercial-Site
file, you can instead link to the 06 Commercial-Site-Complete.rvt [06 CommercialSite Metric-Complete.rvt] file provided in the Chapter06\Complete folder.
When the site file is linked in, it does not align with the building properly. It is to
the upper left of the building (and if you looked in elevation, it is also at the wrong
height). The Site project was created from a CAD file using the CAD file’s origin. Our building was created in the center of our project template’s elevation view
markers where the Revit file’s Base Point (origin) is located (you can see this origin
in the current view as the blue icons in the center of the screen). Therefore it is not
surprising that things do not line up. While we could have started with the site plan
data and built our model to match the orientation of the imported file (True North),
it was more convenient to model our building relative to the project template setup
(Project North) with the footprint of the building orthogonal to the screen edges.
One of the advantages of using linked files is that each model file can maintain its
own coordinate system, called Project Coordinates, with its own Base Point (origin)
without imposing it on the other files in the project. There is a bit of setup required
to synchronize the different models’ coordinate systems, but once complete, each
model maintains its own internal coordinates (Project Coordinates) and also understands how it relates to the other files (Shared Coordinates).
The basic setup process for establishing shared coordinates is as follows:
• Gather all required project files and decide which one will be “primary.” (This is the file
with which the others will synchronize their coordinates).
• Link the files.
• Move and rotate linked files as required to establish the correct geographic relationships. (For example, move the site file link so that the site data is correctly oriented
and located under the building).
• Save Shared Coordinates for each pair of files.
The overall process is straightforward. Let’s walk through the process now with our
two project files. For step 1, we have two project files, the Commercial project and
the Commercial Site. The “Primary” file in this case will be the Site file. This just
means that we will “acquire” coordinates from the Site file. More detail on acquiring coordinates is found in the “Set up Shared Coordinates” topic below. We have
already accomplished step 2 by linking the Site file in the previous sequence. The
next task is to move and rotate the linked file (Site project) to match the orientation
and location of the host project (Commercial project). We can achieve this using the
Move and Rotate tools or the Align tool. Let’s look at both options.
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Using Rotate
19. Select the linked site file. (You can click on it anywhere and the entire file will highlight.)
• On the Modify | RVT Links tab, click the Rotate button.
The shortcut for Rotate is RO.
If you know how much you want to rotate, you can simply type in the angle in the
field on the Options Bar. Otherwise, you can rotate graphically on screen. A small
round “center of rotation” control will appear at the middle of the selection. Using
this control, you can change the center of the rotation to the desired position. New
in this release, this can be accomplished with two clicks rather than dragging. There
is also now a button on the Options Bar for this purpose. You can either click the
center of rotation onscreen and then click the new location, or simply click the Place
button on the Options Bar and then click where you would like the center to be.
• Click the small blue circle handle indicating the center of rotation or click the Place
button on the Options Bar (see panel 1 in Figure 6.37).
• Click at the lower right endpoint of the building footprint to place the center of rotation (see panel 2 in Figure 6.37).
• Move the mouse toward the opposite endpoint of the building edge and then click
along the line (see panel 3 in Figure 6.37).
• Finally, move the mouse to the right. It will snap vertically. When it does, click to finish
the rotation (see panel 4 in Figure 6.37).
The result should be that the building footprint is perfectly orthogonal to the screen
as shown in the far right side of the figure.
FIGURE 6.37 Rotate the linked site file to make the building footprint horizontal
Next we’ll move the file and snap it to our building model.
The Link should still be selected, if it is not, click to select the linked file again.
20. On the ribbon, click the Move button. (Make sure that Constrain on the Options Bar
is not checked.)
The shortcut for Move is MV.
• For the start point, use the same endpoint about which you rotated.
• For the move end point, snap to the corresponding endpoint on the building model
geometry. (You may need to pan or zoom. Use your wheel mouse for this.)
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If you are having trouble snapping to the precise point, move it close, then zoom in and repeat. You
can type the shortcut SE to force Revit to snap to the endpoint.
The linked file will remain selected (highlighted in light blue). The footprint of the
building should be shaded a little darker helping you determine if it is lined up properly. Repeat move or rotate if necessary to finetune the position or try the Align
command as outlined next.
Alternative Positioning Technique
The Rotate tool is an important tool and you should be sure you are comfortable
with the techniqe for changing the center of rotation. However, there is an easier
way to position the linked file with the building model—use the Align tool.
If you wish to follow the steps, undo the move and rotation. Otherwise, skip to the
next topic: “Position the Link Vertically.”
• On the Modify tab, click the Align button.
The shortcut for Align is AL.
• For the alignment reference, click the outside edge of the top horizontal Wall of
the building model.
• Click the top angled edge of the building footprint sketch in the linked file next
(see the top of Figure 6.38).
FIGURE 6.38 Align can be used to rotate and move simultaneously
• Repeat the Align process to align the vertical edge (see the bottom of Figure 6.38).
Select the linked file when you are finished and as before, it will highlight and turn
transparent so that you can visually verify that the alignment is correct. Both the
align and rotate/move methods achieve the same result. The align method is a bit
quicker, but there will be times when rotating and/or moving is preferred. Be sure
you are comfortable with both methods before continuing.
Position the Link Vertically
Finally, if we look at one of the elevation views, it will become clear that there is one
more adjustment required. Recall that in the “Link the Site Plan CAD File” topic
above, we noted that the contour lines near the center of the building are at 81'-0".
We adjusted one of the Levels to this height in the Site file in preparation for making the vertical adjustment here.
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21. Open the North elevation view.
Currently we do not see the linked file in this view at all. This is because the elevation view has the crop region enabled. We must temporarily turn it off to make the
required adjustment.
22. On the View Control Bar, click the Do Not Crop View icon.
You can see the View Control Bar in Figure 4.36 in Chapter 4.
Notice that once you disable the cropping, the linked file appears and the Toposurface
in that file covers the entire building. Zoom out as necessary.
23. On the Modify tab, click the Align button.
• For the alignment reference, click on the Street Level line of the building model (in
the current project).
• For the entity to align, click the Street Level line in the linked file. (You may have
to zoom to find it.)
• Do not click the lock icon.
• On the ribbon, click the Modify button.
The Toposurface should now appear at the base of the building model (see Figure 6.39).
FIGURE 6.39 Move the link file vertically in the elevation view using the Align tool
24. On the View Control Bar, click the Crop View icon.
Check all four elevations. If necessary, click the Show Crop Region icon in each elevation, adjust the Crop Region, hide the Crop Region, and finally make sure that the
Crop is turned on for each elevation.
25. Save the project.
Survey Points, Project Base Points and Shared Coordinates
The basic mechanics of linked files have already been discussed in the topics above.
As we have seen in the previous sequence, when files authored by different parties
are linked together, it is important to establish a common reference point for these
files. This will ensure that common physical features maintain their proper geometric relationship and position relative to one another.
To help us in maintaining these relationships, Revit projects have the following tools:
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Project Base Point—is the origin (0,0,0) of the project with respect to the project
coordinate system. This coordinate system relates to the project itself, and by default is
in the center of the default plan view.
Survey Point—represents a known point in the physical world. This might be some
benchmark indicated by the Civil Engineer. The Survey Point is useful to correctly
locate and orient your building project in another meaningful coordinate system
such as the coordinate system used by a civil engineering application.
Shared Coordinates—reconcile the differences between the current project’s coordinate system and the coordinate system used by a linked file. Setting up a Shared
Coordinate system keeps all linked files in the correct relative positions to one
another while allowing each to maintain its own internal coordinate systems.
Understanding Project Base and Survey Points
The default template from which we began our Commercial project has the Project
Base Point and the Survey Point icons displayed in the Site plan view. Other views
do not display them by default. If you wish to see these points, their visibility is easy
to turn on.
1. Open a plan view.
• On the View tab, click the Visibility/Graphics button.
The keyboard shortcut for Visibility/Graphics is VG.
The Project Base Point and the Survey Point icons are subcategories of the Site
• Expand the Site category.
• Place checkmarks in the boxes next to Project Base Point and Survey Point and
then click OK (see Figure 6.40).
FIGURE 6.40 Turn on Project Base Point and Survey Point
Like other display settings, this visibility change must be performed in each view
where you wish to have these points display. The Project Base Point is a round symbol with a cross through the middle. The Survey Point is triangular in shape with a
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small plus (+) sign in the center. Both points are displayed on the right side of Figure
6.40 as they appear when not selected and when selected. In our project, they are
currently directly on top of one another. This simply means that both coordinate systems currently share the same origin.
2. Select the Project Base Point. (Use the TAB key if necessary.)
The coordinates of the point are listed as editable dimensions next to the icon. You
can type new values into any of these dimensions to move the point. For now, do not
make any changes.
3. Deselect the Project Base Point and select the Survey Point. (Use the TAB key if
Notice that both points are currently located at the origin (0,0,0). Again, do not
change the location at this time.
Saving Shared Coordinates
If the linked file(s) were to later change and require reloading, we want to be sure
that they reload in the same relative location. More importantly, if we decide to also
link the architectural file to the site file, we would not want to have to move, rotate
or align the positions of the file again. Saving a shared location for the file basically
makes each file (the host and the link) aware of the other and what offsets and rotations are required for correct orientation in both files. When a Shared Location is
saved from the host file, Revit saves this information into the link file, even if the
link file is not open. This is also true of linked .dwg files.
4. Open the Site view.
5. Select the linked (site) file on screen.
• On the Properties palette, beneath Identity Data, change the Name to: Site.
• Beneath Other, next to Shared Site, click the <Not Shared> button.
The “Share Coordinates” dialog lists two ways that the coordinate systems can be
reconciled. The two methods are very similar and differ only in which file will be
recorded as the “primary” file. In each case, the Shared Coordinate information must
be saved to both the host file and the linked file. Publishing makes the host file predominant, while acquiring makes the linked file predominant. While there is no “correct” choice, making the file that contains the site data the primary file usually makes
sense and is a common practice. In this case, this means we will want to acquire the
coordinates from our site file. After we do so, Revit will save the Shared (Location)
Coordinates to both files the next time we save the current model. In other words,
on the next save of the current model, the host model, i.e., the 06 Commercial.rvt
[06 Commercial Metric.rvt] project file, the “Location Position Changed” dialog
will appear. In addition to saving the current model Revit also writes the Shared
Coordinates back to the Site model. This happens any time a linked file in a host file
with reconciled shared coordinates moves in any direction.
• Click the “Acquire the shared coordinate system of…” radio button.
• At the bottom of the dialog, click the Change button.
Revit projects can have one or more saved locations within them. This is useful when
the same building model must be repeated on a site, such as a multi-building campus
of condominium buildings. In our case, we have only one building model and could
simply accept the default location name. However, it is good practice to get in the
habit of renaming the default location so that later you can use this to verify that you
have, in fact, reconciled the coordinates.
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• In the “Location Weather and Site” dialog, click the Rename button and change the
name to MRAC Commercial Site (see Figure 6.41).
FIGURE 6.41 Acquire the Shared Coordinates system and rename the default location
• Click OK two times.
• In the “Select Site” dialog, click the Reconcile button.
Take notice of the new location of the Survey Point icon. You may need to Zoom.
When we acquired the coordinates of the site project, the Survey point moved to
the origin of that file.
6. Save the project.
• In the “Location Position Changed” dialog, choose the Save option (see Figure 6.42).
FIGURE 6.42 Save the shared location in the Commercial Site file
7. Select the Project Base Point (the round icon).
8. Deselect the Project Base Point and select the Survey Point (the triangular icon).
Notice that the Survey Point is still located at (0,0,0). However, this origin is now
reading the origin within the site file which we acquired. Furthermore, the Project
Base Point’s coordinates are now relative to this origin point. Note also the angles of
both points (see Figure 6.43).
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FIGURE 6.43 Now that coordinates are shared between the host file and the linked file,
the Project Base Point origin is relative to the Survey Point
Next to each icon is a paper clip icon. The Project Base Point icon is not clipped
and the Survey point is clipped. If you move the Survey Point while it is clipped,
the entire linked file will move with it. You are not really moving the Survey Point
but rather the location of the host project relative to the linked file. This would be
very similar to the move, rotate and/or align steps performed in the “Link the Site
Project” topic above. If you unclip the Survey Point and then move it, you will be
changing the position of the Survey Point only. You would do this if there were a
more meaningful benchmark rather than the linked file’s origin point. This might be
a location designated by your Civil Engineer such as some known site feature.
Similar behaviors are exhibited by the Project Base Point. If its paper clip icon is
clipped, moving it will relocate the entire project relative to the Survey Point and
shared coordinate system. Moving an unclipped Base Point simply changes the
reference point itself. You might wish to do this to make the Project Base Point
reference a more meaningful point, such as the corner of the building. Feel free to
experiment with moving these points both clipped and unclipped. However, be sure
to save the project before experimenting. In most cases you can undo, but in cases
where you cannot, you can close without saving and then reopen the saved file.
Be sure the Project Base Point is unclipped (shows a red line slash through the paper
clip icon).
9. Zoom in as necessary and drag the Project Base Point to the intersection of Grids 1
and A and then clip it again (see the right side of Figure 6.43).
10. Save the project.
Rotate a View to True North
Floor plan views can be oriented either to “Project North” or to “True North.” Every
plan view has this parameter. True North is the geographic direction of North given
to us by the Civil Engineer or Land Surveyor. Project North is typically parallel to the predominant geometry in the building and is oriented for convenience
when composing sheets. By default, floor plan views are oriented to Project North.
Changing a view to display True North is easy once shared coordinates are set up.
Continue in the Site view. Make sure that no objects are selected and that the
drop-down on the Properties palette reads: Floor Plan: Site.
• On the Properties palette, beneath Graphics, next to Orientation, choose True
North and then click Apply.
The view will rotate to make True North point straight up. If you click either the
Survey or Project Base Points, you will see the new orientation reflected in these
icons as well.
11. On the Project Browser, open any other floor plan view.
Notice that the orientation in the other plans is still Project North.
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Location Weather and Site
We touched briefly on project location in the previous sequence. Using the “Location
Weather and Site” dialog, we can configure two important pieces of information
for our projects: the actual geographical location in the World and the site-specific
information relative to the project and its links. In the previous sequence, we renamed
the default “Internal” Site for the linked topography file. Let’s take a look at this dialog again from the vantage point of our current project.
1. On the Manage tab, on the Project Location panel, click the Location button.
On the Location tab, you can input the address of the project in the “Project Address”
field and press enter. Revit will use an Internet mapping service to set your project’s
location. If you require more precision, you can drag the icon in the map or type in
an exact longitude and latitude for your project location. This is important to get
proper lighting and shadows. Refer to Chapter 17 for more information.
• Click on the Site tab (see Figure 6.42).
This is the dialog that we saw above. Notice that even though we renamed the Site
while saving Shared Coordinates, it is still listed as Internal here. Remember, there
are two files: the Site we renamed is in the Commercial Site.rvt file. We are currently
in the 06 Commercial.rvt [06 Commercial Metric.rvt] project file. As noted above, it
can be easier to verify the shared coordinates if you rename the Site to something
other than Internal. Also notice the angle from Project North to True North corresponds to the rotation that we have between the two files.
• Click on the Rename button and change the name to MRAC Commercial Arch and
then click OK twice (see Figure 6.44).
FIGURE 6.44 Filter the selection to just framing elements
Linking by Shared Coordinates
For each pair of files, you only need to establish the shared coordinates once. In other
words, if the owner of the Commercial Site project wishes to link the architectural file,
they can do so without repeating the steps in the “Saving Shared Coordinates” topic
above. If you wish to try this, you must first close the Commercial project. You cannot
have both a host file and a link file open at the same time in the same session of Revit.
First save the current project and then close it. Open the Commercial Site project.
Open the 3D view or Site plan. On the Insert tab, choose the Link Revit button.
Browse to the 06 Commercial.rvt [06 Commercial Metric.rvt] project file. Before
clicking Open, choose Auto – By Shared Coordinates from Positioning. Click
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Open to complete the linking. The Commercial project will appear in exactly the
correct spot on the site. If you edit the properties of the linked file, you will see that
the Shared Site was assigned to the location named “MRAC Commercial Arch”.
There are other important features of Shared Coordinates that are worth your time and
exploration. For example, the same linked file can be copied multiple times in a host
project and assigned to different named locations. This is useful in a campus situation
with multiple identical buildings on the same site. To do this, you reopen the Location
Weather & Site dialog, click the Site tab, and Duplicate one of the named locations
rather than rename it. Each named location can have its own saved coordinates.
If you opened the site project, save and close it now. Then reopen the commercial
project before continuing.
Create and Link a Structural Project
Now that we have completed setup of our site model, we will next isolate the structural elements and create a separate linked file from them. This will leave only architectural elements (Walls, Doors, Windows, Column enclosures (Architectural
Columns), Floors, and Roofs) in the 06 Commercial.rvt [06 Commercial Metric.rvt]
project file. You may recall that in the previous chapter, we created Columns, Beams,
Beam Systems, and Braces in our commercial project. These elements and the core
Walls are the ones that we will separate out to their own structural model. However,
some of these elements like the core Walls actually need to appear in both files. We’ll
look at a special way to achieve that as well.
Convert a Group to a Link
The task of separating the structural elements into their own file can be accomplished
in a few ways. We could create a separate file, and then select the required elements and
copy and paste them from our project to the new one. We can also use the techniques
already covered in this chapter and isolate the required objects using Groups. The process is as follows: select the desired objects, make a Group from them and then convert
that Group to a Link. (We could also save the Group without converting it to a Link
as well.) Once we have the Group saved as a separate file, we could open it directly, or
import into another project. If you prefer to use copy and paste in the next sequence,
feel free to do so. The steps that follow will highlight the approach using Groups to
reinforce the skills we learned at the start of the chapter.
2. In the 06 Commercial.rvt file, on the QAT, click the Default 3D View icon.
The view named {3D} will re-open.
3. Using a Window selection, select all elements on screen.
• Click the Filter button, deselect everything except Model Groups (similar to Figure
5.36 in Chapter 5).
If there are Structural elements shown, choose those as well, but do not include
Structural Columns.
At this point, we can go directly to the Group step; however, it is often good practice
to use the Temporary Hide/Isolate icon (on the View Control Bar) to isolate the
selected elements first to be sure you have the desired selection.
4. On the View Control Bar, click the Temporary Hide/Isolate icon and choose Isolate
Element from the pop-up.
You should only have Beams, Braces, and Joists selected on screen.
• On the ribbon, click the Create Group button.
• In the “Create Model Group” dialog, type: Structure for the Name and then click
OK (see Figure 6.45).
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FIGURE 6.45 Group all the Structural framing
At this point we have two options: we can simply save the Group to a file (as seen
in the “Saving a Group to a File” topic above) or we can convert it to a Link (using
the procedure covered in the “Convert a Group to a Linked file” topic above). Let’s
use the Link option.
5. With the Structure Group still selected, click the Link button on the Group panel of
the ribbon.
• In the dialog that appears, choose the “Replace with a new project file option”.
• In the “Save Group” dialog, browse to the Chapter06 folder and then click Save.
Using this method, we have quickly and efficiently gathered all of the structural framing and moved it to a separate linked Revit file. If you were to unload the Link now,
none of the Structure would remain in the 06 Commercial.rvt [06 Commercial Metric.
rvt] project file. At this point we could open the new Structure.rvt file and continue
the exercise in there. However, one limitation of either the Save to Group or convert
to Link method is that the resulting file is not based on the default Revit template.
This means the resulting file has no levels, few annotations, and only the bare minimum of views. As a result, it will prove better in practice to create a new file using
your preferred template first, and then insert the newly created file into it as a Group.
In this way, we can ensure that the Structural file (or any file created this way) benefits
from the office standards embedded in a template project. The process would be very
similar to the steps covered above in the “Binding Linked Files (to Groups)” topic.
Working with Copy/Monitor
To save a few steps, a file has already been created from the standard template and
included with the other Chapter 6 files. We’ll open this file, make a few preparations
and then insert our Group into it. The preparations that we need involve copying the
Levels and Grids from our main commercial project over to the structural file. While
it is possible to simply copy these items to the structural file using Groups or copy
and paste, a better approach is the Copy/Monitor tool which is specifically designed
for this purpose. The Copy/Monitor tool allows you to copy certain elements (Levels,
Grids, Walls, Floors and Columns) from a linked file and keep them associated back
to the originals. In this way, you can monitor changes as they occur and update the
copies to match. This provides a very practical way for project teams to collaborate on
shared elements even when they are not physically located in the same office.
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6. Save and Close the 06 Commercial.rvt [06 Commercial Metric.rvt] project file.
7. On the QAT, click the Open icon.
The keyboard shortcut for Open is CTRL + O. Open is also located on the Application menu.
• In the “Open” dialog box, browse to the Chapter06 folder.
8. Double-click 06 Commercial-Structure.rvt if you wish to work in Imperial units.
Double-click 06 Commercial-Structure Metric.rvt if you wish to work in Metric units.
The project will open with the South elevation view visible on screen. We had to close
the commercial project above because Revit will not allow you have both projects
(the host and the Link) open at the same time.
9. On the Project Browser, right-click the Revit Links node and choose New Link.
This is simply an alternative to the method covered above. If you prefer, you can continue to use the
Link Revit button on the Insert tab instead.
• In the Import/Link RVT dialog, choose 06 Commercial.rvt [06 Commercial Metric.
• For Positioning, choose Auto – Origin to Origin and then click Open. In the “Nested
Links Invisible” dialog that appears, click Close.
The warning simply informs us that the file has Links of its own that will not carry through to the
current host. If we wanted them to, we could edit the Link type in the commercial project to be
Attachment rather than Overlay. This is done in the Manage Links dialog. Overlaid reference file
are direct links. Attachments can nest several levels deep.
10. On the Collaborate tab, click the Copy/Monitor button and then choose the Select
Link option from the pop-up.
• Select the Commercial project onscreen.
The Copy/Monitor tab will appear on the ribbon.
11. On the Copy/Monitor tab of the ribbon, click the Copy button.
• On the Options Bar, click the Multiple checkbox.
• Select Levels 1 through 4 and “Roof” in the linked file. (Use the CTRL key or a crossing selection).
• On the Options Bar, click the Finish button (see Figure 6.46).
FIGURE 6.46 Use Copy/Monitor to copy the Levels
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Be sure to click the Finish button on the Options Bar, not the one on the ribbon.
This finishes selection. The one on the ribbon finishes the command.
A small monitor icon will appear next to each monitored item. If a Level is changed in
the main Commercial project, the structural engineer can re-enter the Copy/Monitor
mode and use the Coordination tool on the Ribbon to synchronize the changes.
12. Return to the Copy/Monitor tab of the ribbon and then click the Finish button.
This finishes the Copy/Monitor mode.
Create Structural Plans
13. On the View tab, click the Plan Views button.
• From the pop-up that appears, choose Floor Plan.
• In the dialog that appears, select all of the Levels and then click OK.
14. On the Project Browser, expand Floor Plans, select Level 1, hold down the SHIFT key
and then select Roof.
This will select all the plan views, not including the Site view.
• Right-click the selected plans and choose Apply View Template.
• Select Structural Framing Plan and then click OK.
Having assigned this view template we now see only structural components. This
will make selecting the remaining items for copy/monitor much easier.
Copy/Monitor Grids, Walls and Columns
Now that we have copied the Levels and set up framing plans we are ready to copy
and monitor the remaining structural items.
15. On the Project Browser, double-click to open the Level 2 plan view.
If necessary, zoom to fit (type ZF).
• Use the Copy/Monitor steps above (with the multiple option) to copy all of the
Grids, all of the structural (steel) columns and the four core Walls.
Make a crossing window selection, click the Filter icon on the Options Bar, deselect Columns and
Floors and then click OK.
• Click the Finish button on the Options Bar.
• On the Copy/Monitor tab of the ribbon click the Finish button.
Insert a Group
To complete our structural model, we’ll import the Group we created from the
framing members.
16. On the Project Browser, double-click to open the South elevation view.
• Use Temporary Hide/Isolate to hide the linked model.
17. On the Insert tab, click the Load as Group button.
• In the “Load File as Group” dialog, browse to the Chapter06 folder.
• Select the Structure.rvt file and then click Open. (If a message regarding duplicate
Types appears, click OK.)
After a short pause, you will note that the Structure Group is now available on the
Project Browser beneath the Model Groups branch.
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18. On the Project Browser, beneath the Model Groups branch, right-click Structure and
choose Create Instance.
• To insert it in the correct location, simply type 0 (zero) and then press ENTER.
• On the Edit Pasted panel of the ribbon, click the Finish button.
19. On the Project Browser, double-click to open the Longitudinal section view.
• Select the Group instance on screen, and then on the ribbon, click the Ungroup
button. We will leave the nested Typical Framing Groups alone. This way , we can
still benefit from their being grouped should we need to edit the framing later.
20. Save and close the Structural model.
Using Reload From to Swap a Link with another File
Now that we have completed the setup of our structural model, we are ready to load
it into our main Commercial project. Since we already have a link to the Structural
Group created above, the process will involve simply swapping the file referenced by
this Link. This is done in the Manage Links dialog.
21. Re-open the 06 Commercial.rvt [06 Commercial Metric.rvt] file.
22. On the Insert tab, click the Manage Links button.
• In the “Manage Links” dialog, be sure that the Revit tab is active.
• Click on the Structure entry at the left.
• Click the “Reload From” button at the bottom (see Figure 6.47).
FIGURE 6.47 The Manage Links dialog—Reload a Link from an alternate file and/or location
23. Select 06 Commercial-Structure.rvt [06 Commercial Metric-Structure.rvt] and then click
• Click OK to close the Manage Links dialog.
In this example, we used “Reload From” because we wanted to point the linked file to
a different project file than the one originally used. In normal circumstances, you will
want to use the Reload button that simply loads the latest saved changes from the
same RVT file. If you no longer want the Linked file, you can use the Remove button.
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If you try to open a project that is actively linked by the currently open project, Revit will display
a warning indicating that the Linked file must first be unloaded before it can be opened. In other
words, you cannot have both projects open at the same time in the same Revit session. This limitation does not prevent two different users from working simultaneously in each of the projects
since each team member will be working on a different system. However, if both users are actively
changing their respective models, you should save frequently and use the “Manage Links” dialog
periodically to reload the linked project(s).
The best place to see the results of the work we have done here is in one of the
section views. Open a section view and select the linked structural file. (Use the TAB
key if necessary.) You will see it highlight on screen and be able to see clearly the
elements that have been moved and copied to this linked file in comparison to those
that remain in the host commercial project.
If you should ever wish to “turn off ” a linked file, you can unload it. Do this with
the Manage Links tool. When a linked RVT file is unloaded it will not be visible in
any view. At a later point in time it can be reloaded and therefore visible. Unloading
it also has the benefit of removing the data from the computer’s memory, which
reduces the burden on the computer’s resources. If you wish to try it out, follow these
24. On the ribbon, click the Manage tab.
• On the Manage Projects panel click the Manage Links button.
The Manage Links button can also be found on the Insert tab.
• Click the Revit tab, select the 06 Commercial-Structure [06 Commercial MetricStructure] file, and then click the Unload button.
Revit will warn you that this cannot be undone. While this is true, all it really means is that the
undo command will not work with this action; you can always return to the Manage Links dialog
and reload it.
• When asked to confirm, click Yes and then click OK.
In the next chapter, we will continue to refine the Commercial project and its linked
files. For now however, our work with Groups and Links in this chapter is complete.
25. Save and close all project files.
• Groups offer a powerful means to create and manage typical design conditions
and keep all instances of them coordinated throughout the project.
• Any selection of objects can be grouped. Model element and Annotation elements however cannot occupy the same Group.
• When creating a Group from a selection of Model elements and attached
Annotation elements (such as Tags) the Annotation becomes a separate Attached
Detail Group.
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• Attached Detail Groups contain annotation that is linked to the model elements
in the corresponding Model Group.
• The insertion point of a Group can be adjusted by dragging the control on screen.
Subsequent instances of the Group will insert relative to this location.
• When you edit any instance of a Group, the changes are applied to all instances.
• Elements can be excluded from individual instances of Groups making a unique
condition. Changes to the Groups still apply to the other elements in the Group.
• Groups can contain other Groups creating so-called “nested” Groups.
• Groups can be saved to files thereby becoming independent Revit projects.
• Groups can be converted to linked Revit projects.
• A separate Revit project can be linked to your current project. If the external project changes, the link will update to reflect the changes.
• Linked projects can be converted to Groups.
• You can link AutoCAD or Microstation files to Revit projects.
• Contour lines in linked DWG files can be used to create points in a Revit
Toposurface element.
• Maintain proper positioning of linked projects using Shared Coordinates.
• Project Base Points and Survey Points give on-screen icons for easy understanding and manipulating of project coordinates.
• Use Copy/Monitor to copy certain kinds of elements from a linked file and keep
the copies synchronized with the original linked file.
• You can swap instances of Groups and Links with other Groups or Links
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Detailing and
In this chapter, we will explore the detailing process and tools available in Revit. As the
design development phase gives way to construction documentation, details are created
to clarify basic plan, section and elevation views of a project and assist in conveying overall design and construction intent. Before Revit, such details had been drafted independently of the overall drawings with perhaps some tracing to help minimize redundant
effort. In Revit, much of the detailing can begin within a fully coordinated model view. You
will then add detail information directly to this live Revit view.
The process is simple—first create a callout or section view of the model at a large scale
and then add additional drafted components, text, dimensions and other embellishments
necessary to craft the detail and convey design intent. In most cases, such embellishments
are at minimum drawn relative to an underlying building model view and in many cases
remain automatically constrained or linked to model geometry in the view. It is important
to understand, however, that unlike the other Revit views, all drafting components appear
only in the view to which they are added.
In this chapter, we will create detail drawings using several techniques. Working first from
the Revit model, we add additional information to create a wall-floor-foundation section
detail. A variety of tools will be explored to assist in this process. We will also create a
detail in our project using a detail originally created in AutoCAD. This process allows you
to utilize detail libraries that you may already have directly within Revit. Our exploration
will include coverage of Detail Lines, Detail Components, Repeating Details, Filled and
Masking Regions, and various annotations. After completing this chapter you will know
how to:
• Modify Crop Regions and add View Breaks
• Add and modify Detail Lines
• Add and modify Detail Components and Repeating Details
• Add and modify Text and Leaders
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• Add and modify Filled Regions, Masking Regions, and Break Lines
• Work with Drafting views
• Import legacy details into a Revit Architecture Drafting view
To prepare us for the detailing tutorial that follows, we will modify the Wall Types
currently in use in the residential project for the exterior walls. We will unlock the
outer two components (called Layers) of the brick Wall and add a brick ledge to the
foundation Wall. Doing so will allow us to create a brick shelf on the concrete Wall
and extend the brick down to sit on it. These steps will make the model more accurately represent the construction, as well as making the detailing process a bit easier.
Install the Dataset Files and Open a Project
The lessons that follow require the dataset included on the Aubin Academy Master
Series student companion. If you have already installed all of the files from this site,
skip to step 3 to begin. If you need to install the files, start at step 1.
1. If you have not already done so, download the dataset files located on the CengageBrain
Refer to “Accessing the Student Companion site from CengageBrain” in the Preface
for information on installing the dataset files included in the Student Companion.
2. Launch Autodesk Revit Architecture from the icon on your desktop or from the
Autodesk . Revit Architecture 2012 group in All Programs on the Windows Start menu.
You can click the Start button, and then begin typing Revit in the Search field. After a couple letters, Revit Architecture should appear near the top of the list. Click it to launch to program.
3. On the QAT, click the Open icon.
The keyboard shortcut for Open is CTRL + O. Open is also located on the Application menu.
• In the “Open” dialog box, broswe to the location where you installed the MasterRAC
2012 folder, and then the Chapter11 folder.
4. Double-click 11 Residential.rvt if you wish to work in Imperial units. Double-click 11
Residential Metric.rvt if you wish to work in Metric units.
You can also select it and then click the Open button.
Add a Brick Shelf
Let’s start with the foundation Wall. By modifying the Wall Type, we can create a
brick shelf to receive the bricks from the exterior Wall above. This will be achieved
by adding a Reveal directly to the Wall Type.
5. On the Project Browser, double-click to open the Basement floor plan view.
There are four foundation Walls (in the new addition), three bounding the outside
perimeter and another framing the right side of the passageway to the existing basement. We do not want to apply a brick shelf to the Wall in the passageway. Since we
are going to edit the Wall type, the easiest way to prevent this is to create a new type
for the Walls needing the brick shelf.
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6. Using the CTRL key, select the three exterior foundation Walls (two vertical and one
horizontal) (see Figure 11.1).
FIGURE 11.1 Select the three exterior foundation Walls
• On the Properties palette, click the Edit Type button.
The “Type Properties” dialog will appear.
• Next to the Type list, click the Duplicate button.
A shortcut to this is to press ALT + D.
A new Name dialog will appear. By default “2” has been appended to the existing
• Change the name to: MRAC - Foundation - 12" Concrete (w Brick Shelf) [MRAC Foundation - 300mm Concrete (w Brick Shelf)] and then click OK.
• At the bottom of the dialog, click the ,, Preview button.
A viewer window will appear to the left attached to the “Type Properties” dialog.
• From the “View” list (bottom left), choose Section: Modify type attributes.
• In the viewer, Zoom in to the top of the wall. (You can use the mouse wheel, rightclick or the steering wheel icon in the lower-left corner.)
• On the right side of the dialog, at the top, click the Edit button next to Structure
(see Figure 11.2).
This will open the “Edit Assembly” dialog and show the Wall Layers included in this
Type. We can edit these Layers here as well as add other parameters such as Sweeps
and Reveals (below we will use the same process to “unlock” some of the Wall Layers
of another Type).
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FIGURE 11.2 Access the “Edit Assembly” dialog to edit the Wall Structure
7. In the bottom right corner of the dialog, within the “Modify Vertical Structure” area,
click the Reveals button.
The “Reveals” and other buttons in the “Modify Vertical Structure” area will not be available if you
have not enabled the Section Preview as noted in the previous steps.
A Reveal is a profile-based extrusion that cuts away from the mass of the Wall.
Profile Families were discussed in a few locations in the previous chapter, including
the “Build or load a Mullion Profile Family” topic. You can create and load Reveal
Profile Families in the same manner as discussed in those topics. In this case, we will
use a Profile that has been provided with the dataset files from the Aubin Academy
Master Series: Revit Architecture 2012 student companion.
8. In the “Reveals” dialog, click the Add button to add a Reveal.
Item “1” will appear using the default profile. None of the Profile Families currently
loaded in this project meet our needs for the brick shelf. Fortunately, we can load
one from an external file directly from this dialog. One has been provided in the
Chapter11 folder for this purpose.
• From the Reveals Dialog click the “Load Profile” button.
• Browse to the Chapter11 folder where you installed the datset files from the student companion.
• Select the file named: MRAC Brick Shelf Reveal.rfa [MRAC Brick Shelf Reveal-Metric.
rfa] and then click the Open button.
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This is a simple Reveal Family built using the Profile-Reveal.rft [Metric Profile-Reveal.rft] template.
Feel free to open the file directly and study it or try your hand at building it yourself.
The Load Profile button is just a shortcut to loading the profile. You still need to
assign it to the Reveal.
• Click in the Profile field and then click again on the down arrow to display the
Profile list.
• Choose MRAC Brick Shelf Reveal : 12" d 3 6" w[MRAC Brick Shelf Reveal-Metric :
300 d 3 140 w].
• For the “From” setting, choose Top and then click the Apply button (see Figure 11.3).
FIGURE 11.3 Add a new Profile, set it to Top, and then click Apply to see the result
In the “Edit Assembly” dialog in the background, you should see the Reveal Profile
appear at the top left edge of the Wall in the viewer. Move the Reveals dialog out of
the way if necessary.
• Click OK to return to the “Edit Assembly” dialog.
• Click OK two more times to return to the model view window.
9. On the Project Browser, double-click to open the Longitudinal section view.
• Zoom in on the left side to study the results (see Figure 11.4).
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FIGURE 11.4 Open the Longitudinal Section view to see the results
Unlock Wall Layers
Now that we have a brick shelf in the foundation Wall Type, we should put some
brick there. To do this, let’s edit the brick Wall Type to unlock the outer material
Layers (to allow their top and/or bottom offsets to move freely from the Wall’s top
and base offsets) and then project them down to sit on the foundation brick shelf.
10. In the section view, select the Left exterior brick Wall.
• On the Properties palette, click the Edit Type button.
The Preview window should already be open. If it is not, open it again.
• Click the Edit button next to Structure.
The preview window should be showing the section view. If it is not, choose Section:
Modify type attributes from the “View” list. You can use standard navigation techniques such as the wheel of your mouse or the right-click menu to zoom and scroll
the model in the viewer.
11. Right-click in the viewer window and choose Zoom In Region. Zoom in on the lower
portion of the Wall.
• In the “Modify Vertical Structure” area, click the Modify button (see Figure 11.5).
FIGURE 11.5 Zoom in on the lower portion of the Wall and then click the Modify button
12. Click the bottom edge of the Brick Layer.
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The edge will highlight light blue to indicate that it is selected. A small padlock icon
will appear on the edge. We can use this padlock icon to unlock the bottom edge
of the Layer, which will allow it to be moved independently from the Wall itself in
the model.
• Click the padlock (to open it) and unlock the bottom edge of the Layer.
• Repeat the process to unlock the bottom edge of the Thermal/Air Layer (next to
brick) (see Figure 11.6).
FIGURE 11.6 Unlock the Brick and Thermal/Air Layers
• Click OK twice to return to the model.
Upon returning to the model view window, you will note that the Wall now has two
Shape Handles at the bottom edge (see Figure 11.7). If you don’t see the shape handles, de-select the Wall, then select it again. You can use the second handle to modify the bottom edge of just the unlocked Layers. The other handle will continue to
modify the Base Constraint of the entire Wall.
FIGURE 11.7 Unlocking the Layers makes a second Shape Handle appear
While the Shape Handle provides an easy way to edit the brick and air Layers, the
Align tool provides a nice alternative too.
13. On the Modify | Walls tab, on the Modify panel, click the Align tool.
• For the Reference line, click the bottom edge of the brick shelf on the foundation
Wall (use the TAB key as necessary to make the proper selection).
• For the Entity to Align, click the bottom edge of the brick Layer in the Wall above
(see Figure 11.8).
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FIGURE 11.8 Align the brick and air Layers to the bottom of the brick shelf on the foundation Wall
• Click the small padlock icon that appears to lock the constraint and keep these elements aligned.
• On the ribbon, click the Modify tool or press the ESC key twice.
So now the brick and concrete have the proper relationship, but there is a bold line
between them. This is because there are still two separate Walls here. If you want the
graphics to merge together showing a thin line between all internal layers, use the
Join Geometry tool.
14. On the Modify tab, on the Edit Geometry panel, click the Join tool.
• Select the Brick exterior Wall first and then the foundation Wall.
• On the ribbon, click the Modify tool or press the ESC key twice (see Figure 11.9).
FIGURE 11.9 Join the two Walls to make them cleanup nicely
Be sure to click the Brick Wall first, and then join it to the Foundation Wall. Clicking in the opposite
order will remove the customized bottom alignment.
You can repeat the procedure on the other two exterior Walls if you like. However, it
is not necessary at this time.
• Save the project.
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Ch apter 11 • Detailin g and Annotation
Detailing in Revit Architecture is in many ways similar to detailing in traditional
drafting. This is true regardless of whether you compare it to drafting created by
hand on a drafting board or created in Computer Aided Design (CAD) software on
a computer. The major difference is that in Revit Architecture you rarely start from
scratch because you can base your detail on views that are automatically generated
from your Revit model.
The typical Revit model includes enough data to generate a majority of the drawings that will be required in an architectural document set at an appropriate level of
detail and accuracy. This is true for most plans, sections, and elevations. In the case
of details, however, while it is theoretically possible to model all of the bricks, fasteners, joints, hooks, and other items that will actually occur in the building, the
amount of effort (in man-hours) and the sheer size of the resultant model (in computer memory and hard drive requirements) would typically not yield a sufficient
return on investment.
To keep the size of our models reasonable and to avoid spending additional and
often unnecessary time modeling every bolt, screw, and piece of flashing, the strategy to detailing in Revit Architecture is instead a “hybrid” approach. In nearly all
details you may create in Revit, you will be able to start the process with a cut (callout) from the model. This live view of the model portrayed at the scale of the detail
will give you a starting point upon which to add detail components and other viewspecific two-dimensional elements and annotations. By separating a detail into both
live model elements and view-specific embellishments, we achieve the best of both
worlds: we have an underlay that remains live and changes automatically with the
overall building model and we have all of the additional data required to convey
design intent occurring only on the specific detail view, thus saving on overhead and
unnecessary modeling effort.
It is this process that will be discussed in detail in the following tutorial. In this exercise we will discuss the available tools and techniques using the wall and floor intersection from our residential project that we edited above.
Adding a Callout View
Continue from the previous exercise in the Longitudinal section view. If you closed
the project or this view, reopen them now. Details are typically presented at larger
scales than the drawings from which they are referenced. The Callout tools in Revit
Architecture will allow us to create a detailed view at a larger scale of any portion of
the building model.
In the Longitudinal section view, be sure you can see the left exterior Wall from the
first floor down to the footing. Zoom and Scroll as necessary.
1. On the View tab, on the Create panel, click the Callout tool.
• From the Type Selector on the Properties palette, choose Section: Wall Section.
• Click a point outside the exterior Wall on the left above the first floor and then drag
a callout around the Wall to beneath the foundation (see Figure 11.10).
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FIGURE 11.10 Using the Callout tool, click two opposite corners to create the Callout view
Revit Architecture will create a new branch on the Project Browser called Sections
(Wall Section) and a new view called Callout of Longitudinal.
Like section and elevation markers, a callout marker will appear. When you deselect
all elements, this callout will remain blue. As with the others, this indicates that you
can double-click it to jump to the referenced view. You can also open the view from
the Project Browser.
2. On the Project Browser, beneath Sections (Wall Section) right-click on Callout of
Longitudinal and choose Rename.
• Type: Typical Wall Section and then click OK.
3. Open up the callout view (you can double-click its name on Project Browser or its
Callout symbol) (see Figure 11.11).
FIGURE 11.11 Open the Callout view
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Notice that the boundaries of the crop region in the Typical Wall Section view match
the extents of the callout boundary that we sketched in the Longitudinal section
view. If this boundary is adjusted in either view, the boundaries in the other view
automatically adjust. If you wish to see this, try tiling the Longitudinal section view
and the Typical Wall Section view side by side and test it out. Remember to close hidden views or minimize other views first, so that when you tile, only the two sections
will appear (see Figure 11.12).
FIGURE 11.12 Drag the Control Handles in either view to edit the extent of the Crop Region
4. When you are finished experimenting, return the shape of the crop region to match
approximately as shown in Figure 11.11.
• Maximize the Typical Wall Section view and zoom to a comfortable size.
Adjust Scale and Annotation Visibility
Annotation is separate from the model geometry shown in a view. While the level of
detail and graphical display characteristics of the model may vary from view to view,
the model will display in all views unless you specifically override the display settings
to hide it. Annotation, on the other hand, is applied on top of the model and occurs
only in the specific view in which it is created. Model and annotation elements also
differ from one another with regard to scale. Annotation appears at a consistent
height relative to its desired plot size, while the model geometry adjusts its size relative to the assigned scale. All of this behavior occurs automatically.
5. On the View Control Bar (bottom of the window) change the scale to ¾" = 1' −0" [1:20]
(see Figure 11.13).
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FIGURE 11.13 Choose a larger scale for the detail view
6. Select the Site Level Line.
• On the Modify | Levels tab, on the View panel, click the Hide in View icon and
choose Hide Elements. (Or you can right-click and choose Hide in View .
Elements from the menu that appears.)
This operation does not have any effect on any other view. We have hidden this
Level line in only the current view. The Site Level is not really relevant in the current Callout view, so by hiding the Level line, we eliminate potential clutter and confusion. In a similar fashion, we can adjust the location of the Level Heads and the
length of the Level lines and again, the edits will be confined to only this view.
7. Click on any Level line.
• Using the Control Handle at the end, adjust the end points so the Level text is completely outside the Crop Region (see Figure 11.14).
• Click the Top of Footing Level line and then click the blue “squiggle” symbol near
the Level Head.
• Edit the blue grips to modify the Level line with an offset (see Figure 11.14).
FIGURE 11.14 Adjust the end points of the Level lines to move the text outside the Crop Region
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Notice that all Level lines move together when you drag one.
8. Save the project.
Detail Lines
Now that we have cut our detail callout and configured the Level lines and scale to
our liking, we are ready to begin adding embellishments. We can draw a variety of
view-specific elements directly on top of the section view of our model. We will start
with Detail Lines. These are simple drafted elements much like the sketch lines with
which you are already familiar. When you add a Detail Line, it appears only in the
view to which you add it. If you wish to draft a line that appears in multiple views,
use a Model Line instead. We will use Detail Lines to sketch in some flashing at the
bottom of the wall cavity.
9. On the Annotate tab, on the Detail panel, click the Detail Line tool.
Notice the choices on the Modify | Place Detail Lines tab that appears are very
familiar and match those that we have seen in many sketch-based objects so far.
• From the Line Style list on the ribbon, choose Wide Lines.
• On the Options Bar, verify that there is a checkmark in the “Chain” checkbox.
10. Zoom into the bottom of the wall cavity (at the brick shelf).
11. Sketch the line segments shown in Figure 11.15.
FIGURE 11.15 Sketch Detail Lines to represent the flashing in the wall cavity
To make it appear like flashing, it is best to avoid snapping these lines to the Wall.
Unlike the sketch lines that we drew in previous chapters, these lines are complete
“as is.” They do not describe the shape of a more complex element like a Floor or a
Stair. These are simply drafted lines placed on top of a model view, much like drafting directly on top of a Mylar background in traditional hand drafting.
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12. On the Project Browser, double-click to open the Longitudinal section view.
• Zoom in to the same portion of the Wall and notice that this linework does not
appear in this (or any other) view.
13. On the Project Browser, double-click to return to the Typical Wall Section view.
You can hold down the CTRL key and then press TAB to cycle through the open views.
All of the parts of the detail that we are going to create next could be created with
Detail Lines following the same process. However, several other detailing tools are
available to us. Let’s look at them now.
Detail Components
Detail Components are simply two-dimensional view-specific elements that (like Detail
Lines) appear only within the view in which they are placed. They are more useful and
more powerful than simple Detail Lines in that they are Families and can be parametric.
Like other Families, a Detail Component Family can have many Types built into it. The
parameters can be as simple as Length and/or Depth, or include dozens of parametric
dimensions. For Example, a “Wide Flange” Family file included in the out-of-the-box
Detail Component folder contains hundreds of Types representing all of the commonlyavailable steel shape sizes. Another example that is a bit more pertinent to the detail that
we are creating here is dimension lumber. Rather than attempt to edit the Wall type and
begin adding three-dimensional framing elements, which would add a level of complexity to the model that is typically only needed in details, we can add predefined detail
components to our detail view to represent this information more efficiently only in the
views that require it.
14. On the Annotate tab, on the Detail panel, click the Component drop-down button.
• Choose Detail Component from the list.
Currently, there are no “Dimension Lumber” Families loaded in our project. Like
other components in Revit, we can simply load them from the library.
• On the Modify | Place Detail Component tab, click the Load Family button.
• In the “Load Family” dialog, from default library folder (either the Imperial Library
or the Metric Library) browse to:
Imperial: Detail Components\Div 06-Wood and Plastic\061100-Wood Framing.
Metric: Detail Components\Div 06-Wood and Plastic\06100-Rough Carpentry\06110Wood Framing.
If you do not have access to either of these libraries, the Family files mentioned in this tutorial have
also been provided in the Library folder with the dataset files installed from the student companion.
• Double-click the file named Nominal Cut Lumber-Section.rfa [M_Nominal Cut
The “Specify Types” dialog will appear.
Unlike other Families we have seen so far, this Family uses a “Type Catalog.” A Type
Catalog is used when Families have dozens or even hundreds of types. It is an external text file saved in the same folder as the Family that lists the parameter values of
all of the possible types. This method allows you to load only the selected types from
this Family file into your project, and not the potentially hundreds of types associated with this Family file.
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• From the matrix of types listed at the right, hold down the CTRL key; click 236
[503150mm] and then 2310 [503250mm] to highlight them.
• Click OK to load just these types into the project (see Figure 11.16).
FIGURE 11.16 Choose the Detail Component Family and specific types that you wish to load
15. From the Type Selector, choose Nominal Cut Lumber-Section: 2 3 6 [M_Nominal Cut
Lumber-Section: 503150mm].
• Press the SPACEBAR three times.
This will rotate it so the placement point is at the top left corner of the 236
16. Place two plates in the space between the floor joist and the foundation Wall (see
Figure 11.17).
Use the Move or Align tools to assist in accurate placement.
FIGURE 11.17 Place a double top plate on the foundation Wall
17. Repeat the process (or copy) to add a sill plate above the joist at the first floor.
18. On the Annotate tab, choose the Detail Component tool from the Component dropdown button again.
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Perhaps you have noticed how heavy the outline is
around this particular component. The line weight
in this case is a result of the subcategory assigned
to the outline geometry in the Detail Component
Family. In this particular Family the subcomponent is “Heavy Lines,” which is set to a line weight
of 5. If you wish to make this line weight less bold
in your detail, you have three options: you can edit
Object Styles in the current project and reduce the
line weight assignment of the Heavy Lines subcomponent, use VG to edit the subcategory in this view
only, or edit the Family and modify the outline to
use a different subcomponent. Editing the Object
Styles in the current project is quicker and easier, but
not considered “best practice.” While the desired line
weight will be achieved, the effect will apply to all
Families that use the Heavy Lines subcategory and
its name “Heavy Lines” will no longer be applicable.
The best practice approach is to edit the
Family and reassign the outline to a lighter subcomponent. To do this, select one of the Nominal
Cut Lumber-Section: 2 3 6 [M_Nominal Cut
Lumber-Section: 503150] elements on screen. On
the Modify Detail Items tab, click the Edit Family
button (you can also right-click to find this command). This will open the Family in the Family
Editor. (The Family Editor was covered in detail in
the previous chapter). Select the outline. The out-
line element is a Masking Region, which is a polygon object with an outline and solid opaque fill.
On the Modify Detail Items tab, click the Edit
Boundary button to edit the sketch of the Masking
Polygon. If you are working in Imperial units, you
will need to create the Medium Lines subcategory.
To do this, click the Manage tab and then click
Object Styles. Click the New button in the lowerright corner to add a new subcategory. Name the
new subcategory Medium Lines and set its line
weight to 3. Click OK to finish. On the Modify
Detail Items . Edit Boundary tab, chain select
the entire outline (four lines) on screen and then
choose Medium Lines from the Type Selector. On
the ribbon, click Finish Region and then save the
Family. Finally, click the Load into Project button on the ribbon. Overwrite the existing Family
when prompted.
A modified version of the Family named
MRAC Nominal Cut Lumber-Section.rfa [MRAC
M_Nominal Cut Lumber-Section.rfa] has been
provided in the Chapter11 folder. You can make
the edits listed here or load the provided Family
using the Load Family tool on the Insert tab.
• Change the Type to Nominal Cut Lumber-Section: 2 3 10 [M_Nominal Cut LumberSection : 503250mm].
• Use the spacebar to rotate if necessary and place a rim joist as shown in Figure 11.18.
FIGURE 11.18 Place a rim joist using a 2×10 [50×250mm]
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A frequent concern when creating these “hybrid” details is change management. What happens if,
after placing Detail Components in several detail views, components in the model have to move,
even if only slightly? To help alleviate the problem of having to revisit all of those details to make
sure that all of the affected Detail Components get updated, you can lock the Detail Components
to the model geometry that they are aligned with. After using the Align tool to position a component, click the lock symbol that appears. This will cause the Detail Component to move with the
associated model component. Conversely, you cannot accidentally move a Detail Component once
it has been locked to model geometry, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally modifying the
model by inadvertently editing a Detail Component. Keep in mind that you can “over constrain”
your models as well. Even though there is a potential benefit to locking the detail components
to the underlying geometry, in some cases you may experience errors later in the design process
when moving model components if such a move causing the locked relationship to become invalid.
In such a case, the user performing the edit may not understand the error, nor know the impact
of clicking the Remove Constraints button. As always in BIM, you must strike a balance between
potential benefits of a practice with the potential disadvantages.
You use the same process to load and place any Detail Component. Revit ships with
a very large collection of pre-made Detail Component Families. As we discussed in
the previous chapter, set aside some time to get acquainted with what is provided. You
can use the components in the library, modify them, or build your own. It is usually
best to start with those provided before endeavoring to create your own. Let’s continue to add to our detail by repeating the load and add process to add an anchor bolt.
19. On the Annotate tab, on the Detail panel, click the Component drop-down button and
choose the Detail Component tool from the list.
• Click the Load Family button and browse to:
Imperial: Detail Components\Div 05-Metals\050500-Common Work Results for
Metals\050523-Metal Fastenings.
Metric: Detail Components\Div 05-Metals\05090-Metal Fastenings.
• Open the Anchor Bolts Hook-Side.rfa [M_Anchor Bolts Hook-Side.rfa] file.
• From the Type Selector, choose the 1/2" [M16] type.
• Place the anchor at the midpoint of the lower plate.
• On the ribbon, click the Modify tool or press the ESC key twice.
20. Select the bolt that you just placed.
• On the Properties palette, change the “Length” parameter to 1'-9" [525].
• Change the “Hook Length” to 3" [76] and then click OK.
• With the bolt still selected, on the Modify| Detail Items tab, click the Mirror – Pick
Axis tool, clear the Copy checkbox, and mirror the bolt about its center.
• On the Modify | Detail Items tab, click the Align tool; use the top of the plate as reference and align the bottom of the bolt to it (see Figure 11.19).
Fine-tune your placement as necessary to match the figure.
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FIGURE 11.19 Place an anchor bolt and adjust its location and parameters
Repeating Detail Elements
Repeating Detail elements are Detail Components that automatically repeat about
an invisible sketch line. This allows more rapid placement of Detail Components
like studs, CMU, Brick, etc. In the detail that we are constructing, we can see the
brick Layer of our Wall with the heavy cut line on the exterior and the diagonal
fill pattern. This rendition is fine for general scales and overall plans and sections.
However, at the scale of this construction detail, adding mortar joints will better
delineate the brick veneer and suggest the individual bricks. While we could place
one mortar joint and then array or copy it, a Repeating Detail Component is more
expedient and the spacing can be edited later if necessary.
21. On the Insert tab, on the Load from Library panel, click the Load Family button.
• Browse to the location where you installed the dataset files and open the Chapter11
• Select the MRAC Mortar Joint with concave joint.rfa [MRAC Mortar Joint with concave joint-Metric.rfa] file and then click Open.
Now that we have loaded a mortar joint Family, we will create a new Repeating
Detail Type using this Detail Component. If you wish, feel free to open this Family
in the Family Editor and study its composition.
22. On the Annotate tab, on the Detail panel, click the Component drop-down button and
choose the Repeating Detail Component tool from the list.
Only one Type is available on the Type Selector—Repeating Detail: Brick. We are
going to use this as the basis for a new Type.
On the Properties palette, click the Edit Type button.
In the “Type Properties” dialog, click the Duplicate button to create a new type.
Name the new Type MRAC Mortar and then click OK.
In the “Type Parameters” area, choose MRAC Mortar Joint with concave joint:
Brick Joint from the “Detail” list.
• Leave all of the other settings unchanged and then click OK to return to the view
23. Click at the bottom-left corner of the brick veneer and drag up past the top of the
Crop Boundary and click again (see Figure 11.20).
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FIGURE 11.20 Place a Repeating Detail for the Mortar Joints
• On the ribbon, click the Modify tool or press the ESC key twice.
• Save the project.
Filled Regions
Filled Regions are two-dimensional shapes comprised of boundary lines and fill patterns. You can draw them any shape you like and use them to create, hatch, or cover
up parts of the detail or other drawing. We will use a Filled Region here to illustrate
the filled trench on the exterior side of the foundation wall.
24. On the Annotate tab, on the Detail panel, click the top part of the Region tool.
The Modify | Create Filled Region Boundary tab will appear with familiar sketch tools.
• From the Line Style panel on the ribbon, choose Wide Lines.
On the Draw panel, be sure that the Line icon is selected, and on the Options Bar
that the “Chain” checkbox is selected.
25. Zoom into the bottom of the foundation Wall near the footing.
26. Sketch the shape shown in Figure 11.21. The exact dimensions are not critical.
FIGURE 11.21 Sketch a Filled Region boundary
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27. On the Draw panel, change the shape to Circle.
• Add a sketched circle with a 2" [50] radius as shown in Figure 11.22.
FIGURE 11.22 Sketch a circle in the Filled Region shape
28. On the Properties palette, click the Edit Type button.
• From the Type list, choose MRAC River Rock and then click OK.
• On the Mode panel, click the Finish Edit Mode button (see Figure 11.23).
FIGURE 11.23 Change the Filled Region to River Rock and then Finish the Sketch
If necessary, you can widen the crop region to allow more room to draw the Filled Region.
29. Repeat the same process for adding the finished grade with the MRAC Earth Disturbed
Filled Region (see Figure 11.24).
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FIGURE 11.24 Add another Filled Region
Both of the Filled Region Types have been provided in the dataset for your use.
They make use of custom Fill Patterns. You can edit and create Fill Patterns on
the Manage tab on the Additional Settings drop-down. Simple fills can be created
directly in the “Fill Patterns” dialog by designating the spacing of parallel lines. For
more complex patterns, PAT files can be imported.
Adding Break Lines
Next let’s drop in some Break Line components to hide part of the model. Break Lines
have Instance parameters so we can individually adjust their size to fit the Detail.
30. On the Annotate tab, on the Detail panel, click the Component drop-down button and
choose the Detail Component tool from the list.
• Click the Load Family button and browse to:
Both Imperial and Metric: Detail Components\Div 01-General.
• Open the Break Line.rfa [M_Break Line.rfa] file.
• Place a Break Line at the top of the detail to cover the top edge.
• Press the SPACEBAR three times, and then place another Break Line covering part
of the floor joist to the right (see Figure 11.25).
Break line components contain invisible Masking Regions that mask (cover up) the
model objects beneath them. The concept of a mask is common in graphic design
software and can be helpful in creating details.
• Use the Shape Handles to make adjustments as necessary.
FIGURE 11.25 Add Break lines with integral Masking Regions
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Batt Insulation
Next we’ll place some batt insulation in the wall and floor.
31. On the Annotate tab, on the Detail panel, click the Insulation tool.
• On the Options Bar, set the Width to 5" [130].
• Click the first point at the bottom midpoint of the stud space, move up vertically
and then pick the second point above the Crop Region (see Figure 11.26).
FIGURE 11.26 Draw Insulation in the Stud cavity
32. Press the ESC key one time (this deselects the previously drawn insulation, but
remains in the command).
• On the Options Bar, choose “to far side” from the drop-down list.
• Click a point on the inside of the rim joist and drag to the right past the Crop
Region (see Figure 11.27).
FIGURE 11.27 Draw Insulation in the Floor cavity
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• On the ribbon, click the Modify tool or press the ESC key twice.
Notice that the insulation is not masked by the Breaklines. This is because there is
an explicit display order for the view-specific Detail Components. The insulation is
currently on top because it was added to the view after the break lines. We can shuffle the display order now.
33. Select the Break Line component on the right.
• On the Modify | Detail Items tab, click the Bring to Front button (see Figure 11.28).
FIGURE 11.28 Use the Display Order icons to shuffle the order of Components in the view
• Repeat this process on the other Break Line elements.
• Use the Send to Back button on the Mortar Joints repeating detail item to bring it
behind the flashing Detail Lines.
Edit Cut Profile
Sometimes you encounter a situation where the automatically created graphics do not
suit your specific needs in a particular view. One such example is the keyway locking the foundation Wall to the Footing. It is possible to modify the model geometry to rectify this situation, but as an alternative, Revit Architecture provides us with
the Edit Cut Profile tool. This tool gives us the ability to edit the path of the cut lines
that Revit automatically generates. This type of edit is view-specific and two-dimensional. While it does not change the 3D shape of the model, it gives us a quick way
to make the detail look the way we need without forcing us to model something
that would have little or no benefit in other views. Since a key between the bottom of
a foundation wall and the top of a footing would never be seen in any view other than
a section or detail view, it would be difficult to justify the additional time or effort
required to model it in 3D. Using the Edit Cut Profile tool we can make the section
or detail appear as required more quickly and without the extra modeling overhead.
34. On the View tab, on the Graphics panel, click the Cut Profile tool.
• On the Options Bar, select the “Boundary between Faces” option.
This option allows us to edit two boundaries—in this case the Footing’s boundary
and the foundation Wall’s boundary—with one sketch. If we used the other option,
Face, we would have to first edit the bottom face of the foundation and then go back,
repeat the process and edit the top face of the footings.
• Select the boundary line between the foundation Wall and the footing (see
Figure 11.29).
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FIGURE 11.29 Using the “Boundary between faces” option, select the face to edit
The Create Cut Profile Sketch tab appears.
35. From the Draw panel, using the Line shape, sketch the new path as indicated in
Figure 11.30.
FIGURE 11.30 Sketch the new shape using a Chain of Lines
• On the Mode panel, click the Finish Edit Mode button.
In this case the fill pattern is the same on both sides of the Cut line, but if they were
different you would notice that the fill pattern for the footing receded and the fill
pattern for the foundation wall extended to fill in the key shape.
View Breaks
It is common that a detailed wall section will be too tall to fit on a Sheet. So it is typically broken into separate parts that crop away the repetitive areas. The crop boundary for any view includes “View Break” Controls and can be clipped to achieve this
36. Select the Crop Boundary surrounding the section callout (it appears as a rectangle
surrounding the drawing).
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On each of the four edges of this Crop Region, a blue dot control handle appears at
the midpoint and a “zig zag” break Control appears on either side of it. The “zig zag”
controls allow us to truncate the view into smaller parts facilitating placement on a
Sheet (see the left side of Figure 11.31).
FIGURE 11.31 View Break Controls allow you to crop out the middle portion of the section
• Click one of the View Break Controls on a vertical edge (there are four total; you
can pick any one) of the Crop Boundary (see the right side of Figure 11.31).
The view splits into two separate Crop Regions with a large gap in the middle. A
blue arrow Control Handle appears in the middle of each View Break region. We
can use these to move the two portions closer together. Notice that along the vertical
edges of each of the two new Crop Boundaries the same types of Control Handles
appear. You can continue to break them into additional sub-views as necessary. But
all breaks must be along the same direction as the first one—vertical in this case. In
this example two is enough so we will not break it any further. However, we need to
adjust the top View Break so we can see the entire Anchor bolt.
• Using the blue dot Control Handle at the bottom of the upper View Break, drag the
edge down a bit to show all of the anchor bolt.
37. Click on the View Break Control arrow (in the middle) of the top View Break and drag
it down so the Crop Region is a little above the upper crop boundary of the lower View
Break (see Figure 11.32).
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FIGURE 11.32 Drag the upper view closer to the lower one using the Move View Region Control
If you continue to drag so that you overlap the two View Breaks they will join back
into one. This is how you “remove” the break.
Be sure to move the portions of the View Breaks with the Control arrow in the middle. Do not drag
the edge of the Crop Region. Doing so will actually move the area of the callout in both this view
and the referring Longitudinal section view.
Although the sub-views are truncated and closer together, distances are dimensionally correct. Look at the Level lines to the right of the views. The First Floor is at
elevation zero (0) and the Top of Footing is at elevation -9'-1" [-2700]. Therefore,
if we were to add a dimension from the top of the finished floor on the first floor
to the top of the footing, it should read a distance of 9'-1" [2700]. Let’s try it out.
38. On the Annotate tab, on the Dimension panel, click the Aligned tool.
• Move the Dimension tool over the top edge of the Floor object at the First Floor.
Most likely the Level line will prehighlight. While we could dimension this point
and still receive the correct value, we want to associate the dimension with the Floor
element instead. We can use the TAB key here (like so many other places in Revit
Architecture) to cycle to the element that we want.
• Press the TAB until the top edge of the Floor prehighlights and then click.
The selected edge will remain highlighted while you complete the dimension
• Move down with the Dimension tool and over the top cut line of the Footing.
If the top cut line of the Footing does not automatically pre-highlight, use the TAB
key again.
• With the top edge of the Footing pre-highlighted, click to select it.
• Move to the left Crop Region Boundary and click next to it (in the white space) to
place the Dimension string (see Figure 11.33).
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FIGURE 11.33 Dimension the distance between the Floor and the Footing
Notice that the Dimension displays the correct 9'-1" [2700] value from the top of
the Footing to top edge of the finish Floor. As you can see, applying a View Break
is a graphical convention only and has no impact on the dimensional accuracy of the
model being displayed in each portion of the Crop Boundary.
• On the ribbon, click the Modify tool or press the ESC key twice.
• Add Break Line detail components on the foundation Wall at the break between
the two halves of the detail.
39. Save the project.
Annotating a drawing with notes, dimensions, symbols, and tags is essential to communicating architectural design intent. Such annotations in Revit are view-specific
elements. This means that these elements appear only in the view to which they
are added. The exception to this is view indicators and Datum elements like section markers, elevation makers, Level Lines, Grids, and Callouts. These items are
purpose-built to appear in all appropriate views and enhance the fully coordinated
nature of a Revit project.
It is possible to create a view where annotation appears simultaneously in it and another
“dependent” view. This feature is used to facilitate large drawings that require matchlines to
fit on a standard sized sheet. If you would like to learn more, please look up Dependent Views
in the online help.
Each view in Revit Architecture has a “View Scale” parameter and all annotations
added to a particular view will scale and adjust accordingly. View indicators and Datum
elements are included in this behavior. This means that no matter what the scale of
the drawing, the annotation, view indicators and Datum symbols (level heads and grid
bubbles) will be the correct size required for printed output. This behavior also applies
to line weights and drafting patterns. Each graphical view you open will have its own
scale. In addition, if the scale parameter of a view is changed, the text, line weights and
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drafting patterns will automatically adjust. The relative thickness of a particular line, or
line weight, is controlled in a matrix of common plot scales. If desired, you can edit this
matrix with the Line Weights command from the Additonal Settings drop-down button on the Manage tab. Drafting patterns will maintain their line spacing so the spacing always looks correct on printed output no matter what the scale is.
Model patterns do not change with the scale of the view; they are a fixed size relative to the model.
Try using the out-of-the-box settings as-is for a while before making any changes. You will likely
find the out-of-the-box settings for scale and line weight to be adequate for most situations. If you
do make changes, save these modified settings in a modified version of the standard Revit template
file and make it your office standard. This is much more efficient than repeating your desired edits
with each new project. A common practice is to keep a record of changes made in the Project that
should become standard settings. Periodically, you can use the Transfer Project Standards button
on the Manage tab to migrate these settings into your Project Template.
Create a Custom Text Type
A text element in Revit, like other elements, can have one or more Types. A text
Type in this case is simply a grouping of parameters that control the look and formatting of the text. There are several parameters, many of which are similar to text
in other computer software and are likely familiar to you.
Like other Families and Types, Text Types can be preconfigured and added to a Project
Template. Additional Types can be added to the template or as a project progresses. The
process for creating a new text Type is nearly identical to the one used for duplicating
other element Types; you simply duplicate an existing one, rename it and modify its
parameters. Let’s create a new text Type for our project. In this example, we will create
a “general note” text Type that is 1/8" [3] high and uses a different font.
In Revit, the height is its final plotted height—you are not required to calculate text size relative
to the model.
40. On the Annotate tab, on the Text Panel, click the Text Types icon in the corner of the
panel title bar (see the top half of Figure 11.34).
• Next to the Type list, click the Duplicate button.
A shortcut to this is to press ALT + D.
A new Name dialog will appear. By default “2” has been appended to the existing
• Change the name to MRAC Standard Notes and then click OK.
You can use any font that is installed on your system. Since the choice of fonts can
vary widely from one computer to the next, your system may not have the same
fonts as those indicated here. Feel free to choose a different font if you prefer.
41. Beneath the “Text” grouping, from the “Text Font” list, choose the font of your choice.
• In the “Text Size” field, type 1/8" [3] (see Figure 11.34).
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FIGURE 11.34 Create a new Text Type
This is the size the text will be when printed out. Beneath this, you can choose to
make the text bold, italic, or underline if desired. The “Width Factor” setting is used
to compress or stretch the text. This is a multiplier. When set to 1, the text draws in
the way it was designed in the font. A value less than 1 will compress the text and a
value greater than 1 will stretch it out.
In the “Graphics” area, you can change the color of the text as well as assign an
arrowhead to be used when you create text with a leader line attached. Attaching
a leader is done on the Options Bar. The “Leader Arrowhead” parameter is used to
assign an arrowhead Type to the Text Type.
• From the “Leader Arrowhead” list, choose Heavy End 1/8" [Heavy End 3mm].
Arrowheads are System Families. You can add additional Types using the Arrowheads command
from the Additional Settings drop-down button on the Manage tab.
• Click OK to complete the new type.
Placing Text
42. On the Annotate tab, on the Text panel, click the Text tool.
• On the Properties palette, choose MRAC Standard Notes from the Type Selector.
To place text in a view, simply click a point on screen or drag a rectangle at the location where you want the text to appear. If you choose one of the leader options on
the ribbon, the first (and possibly second) click will be to place the arrow and elbow
of the leader, then you click to place the text. If you click a single point, the text will
flow in one continuous line without wrapping. If you click and drag two points, it
will wrap to the width between the points. Regardless of your choice, you can always
edit the wrapping of a text element later using the control handles on the text element. Pressing the ENTER key within a text element will insert a “hard” Return. This
will move the cursor to the next line regardless of the automatic wrapping. It is similar to using a word processor.
43. On the Format panel of the ribbon, choose the No Leader option and then on the left
side of the detail, click and drag a text region near the top, close to the crop region edge.
• Type Standard Face Brick Veneer- see specification for color (see Figure 11.35).
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FIGURE 11.35 Add a Text element and type in the desired note
• Click next to the note (in the white space) to finish typing.
• Click the Modify button on the ribbon or press ESC.
If a warning message appears and a text element disappears, you have created the text outside
the annotation crop region (see Figure 11.36). The annotation crop appears as a dashed boundary
outside of the view crop region and hides any annotation that falls outside its boundaries. Review
the next topic for a more thorough explanation of the annotation crop region.
FIGURE 11.36 Revit warns you when a newly created element is invisible
Annotation Crop Region
In the exercises above, we made adjustments to the crop region of our detail callout views to fine-tune how much of the model’s geometry was included in the view.
In addition to the crop region, we also have the annotation crop region. This region
falls outside the normal crop region and affects only the annotation elements added
to the view. When any portion of an annotation element intersects the annotation
crop, the entire element disappears. While the annotation crop can be enabled in any
plan, section, or elevation view, the most effective place to utilize it is in drawings
that contain matchlines. In this way, if you have text or other annotation that occurs
near the matchline, Revit can show a limited amount of the duplicate annotations
on each matchline sheet. To see this feature in action, explore the dependent views
feature in Revit. An example is shown in Figure 14.10 in Chapter 14. You can also
look up dependent views and annotation crop regions in the online help.
In our current detail, we have no need to crop the annotation. Therefore we will simply turn off the feature in the current view.
• With nothing selected in the View window, on the Properties palette, beneath the
“Extents” grouping, remove the checkmark from the Annotation Crop setting and
then click OK (see Figure 11.37).
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FIGURE 11.37 Turn off the Annotation Crop
If the notes you typed above were not showing, they should have now appeared.
Another effective way to deal with the annotation crop in a detail view, such as the one we have
here, would be to simply enlarge the annotation crop region using the control handles.
Some blue control handles will appear attached to the text element while selected.
You can use the one on the left to move the element (while leaving any arrow heads
in place), the one on the right to rotate it, and the two small round ones on either
side to resize and reshape the element and its word wrapping (see Figure 11.38).
44. Select the Text Note added above.
• Use any of the control handles to fine-tune its placement.
FIGURE 11.38 Move, Rotate, or Resize a Text Element with its Control Handles
Including Leaders with Text
To place a leader and arrowhead with a note, you can choose the appropriate option
on the ribbon.
45. On the Annotate tab, click the Text tool again.
• On the Modify | Place Text tab, on the Format panel, click the One Segment button.
• Click the Leader at Bottom Right button (if it is not already active).
• In the view window, click near the middle of the double top plate on the foundation Wall.
This is the location of the arrowhead for the Leader.
• Drag to the left and click beneath the first note (a temporary guideline will appear
to assist you).
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This is the end of the Leader. A text object will appear. (If you selected the “Two
Segments” icon instead, you would place two segments of the Leader line before typing would begin.)
• Type the next note, Double Top Plate – (2) 2x6 and then click next to the note (in
the white space) to finish typing (see Figure 11.39).
FIGURE 11.39 Add a Text Element with a Leader
• Using the Move handle, drag the text element to align it with the first one. A temporary guideline will appear to assist you.
When you drag a text element with a leader, be careful not to drag up or down as
this will bend the leader line. This is because the leader’s arrowhead stays attached to
the element to which it points. If you want to move the entire thing (text and leader
together), use the Move command (on the Modify tab of the ribbon) or the arrow
keys on the keyboard (to nudge). Make any fine-tuning adjustments that you wish
to the position of either text element.
• Use the grip on the right side of the Text Box to shorten it until the Text wraps to
make two lines.
• On the ribbon, click the Modify tool or press the ESC key twice.
The Leader should remain attached to the bottom line of Text. You can determine
the Leader location for either the left or right side of the text on the Format panel
of the ribbon. In the process of adjusting the Text box, the Leader may now have
shifted so that it is no longer horizontal, so you may want to move the Text up or
down until it returns to its original orientation as shown in Figure 11.39.
The first text element we created does not have a leader attached to it. You can add
leaders to existing text anytime.
46. Select the first text element (the brick veneer note).
• On the Format panel, click the Add Right Straight Leader tool (see Figure 11.40).
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FIGURE 11.40 Add a Leader to an existing Text Element
A leader will appear attached to the text. You can then use the drag handles to modify its shape and adjust the location of the arrowhead.
• Make adjustments with the drag controls as necessary to move the arrowhead to
point at the brick.
47. Using the Text tool with a leader option, add a note pointing to the batt insulation
that reads: Batt Insulation.
• Adjust the position of the note and leader as required.
Sometimes you want to have the same note point to more than one location in the
detail. You can add additional leaders to an existing text element. To do this, you
simply select the text element and then click the appropriate icon on the Options
Bar. To remove a leader you no longer need, click the “Remove Leader” button.
• With the Text selected, on the Modify Text Notes tab, on the Leader panel, click the
Add Right Straight Leader button.
• Position the leader and its arrowheads as necessary to point at the insulation in the
floor (see Figure 11.41).
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FIGURE 11.41 Add a second Leader line to the Text Element
Adding Keynotes
Adding text is not the only way to add notes to a detail (and other views). We can
also use keynotes. Keynoting allows you to annotate your details using a pre-defined
list of notes. The notes are organized in a keyed list, which is why they are referred to
as keynotes. If your firm uses a keynoting system such as the AIA ConDoc system,
keynotes provide a means to simplify the application of keyed notes and the compilation of all keys into a keynote legend for inclusion on titleblocks.
However, it is not required that you actually utilize the keys in order to use the keynote functionality. Even if you do not currently use a keynoting system, you may
still find the keynoting tools useful. This is because rather than being required to
type out each note you add to a project, with keynoting you choose the note from
a pre-defined list of standard notes. Furthermore, you can even pre-assign keynotes
directly to your materials, templates, and Family types in your office standard templates and library files.
Revit Architecture includes a sample keynote file organized in CSI format. You can
use this list as is, edit it, or create your own. Creating or editing your own file is easy.
The Keynote list is stored in a simple tab-delimited text file. If you wish to create
your own file, look up the “Adding Additional Categories” topic in the online help
for instructions and an example of the proper format. Of course using keynotes is
optional, and to benefit fully from them, a certain amount of setup is required. You
will have to decide if the benefits of doing so prove valuable enough to justify the
initial configuration effort.
Before we begin adding keynotes to a project, you must choose a keynote file. You can
use the same file for all projects in the office, or have different files for each project.
48. On the Annotate tab, click on the Tag panel titlebar.
The Tag panel expands to reveal more tools.
49. Click the Keynoting Settings button (see Figure 11.42).
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FIGURE 11.42 Load a Keynote file and configure other settings
Use the Browse button to load an existing file. Revit ships with files based on the
CSI specification format. The RevitKeynotes_Imperial.txt [RevitKeynotes_Metric.
txt] file is based on the traditional 16 section CSI format and the RevitKeynotes_
Imperial_2004.txt file (imperial only) is based on the newer CSI 2004 format and
its 48 specification sections. These out-of-the-box keynote files are located in the
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RAC 2012\Libraries\US Imperial folder for imperial and
in the C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RAC 2012\Libraries\US Metric folder for metric.
You can use one of the provided files or create your own. Copies of these files are
included with the dataset files from the student companion in the Chapter11 folder.
When assigning your chosen file to a project, the path to the file can be set to absolute, relative, or set by library location. An absolute path writes the complete path
back to the drive letter. A relative path assumes that the keynote file is located in
the same location as the project file and therefore only writes the path relative to
the location in which the project is saved. Using the “At Library Locations” option
writes the path relative to the locations defined on the “File Locations” tab of the
Options dialog. The Options command is on the Application menu (big “R”).
Keynotes can be numbered using the keynote defined in the file or by sequential
number relative to each Sheet in your document set. In other words, the “By keynote” method will use a fixed and predefined key. The “By sheet” method will compile the numbering uniquely for each Sheet of the set based on the notes actually
used on that sheet.
Copies of the out-of-the-box keynote files have been included with the book dataset
files installed from the student companion. For this reason, the “Relative” path type
is configured for our project (as shown in the figure).
• Verify the settings, make any required changes, and then click OK.
50. On the Annotate tab, click the Keynote drop-down button and then choose the
Element Keynote tool.
Move the cursor around on screen. Items that have a keynote assigned will appear as
the mouse passes over them.
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• Move the mouse over the Anchor Bolt element on screen and then click it.
• Click a point for the leader and then a point to place the keynote tag.
It requires two clicks. If you want a straight line leader, click twice along the same
A Keynote symbol will appear with the key for the associated note displayed.
Most of the out-of-the-box detail components (like the anchor bolt and studs we
used here) already have keynotes assigned from Autodesk. If you click an item that
does not already have a keynote assigned (like the Walls and Floors) then the keynotes dialog will appear. At the top of the dialog whatever keynote file you assigned
above will appear in the title bar. A list of major categories will appear. Each contains
additional sub-categories and notes. You can choose any appropriate note from the
list for the item you are noting.
The note will appear within the keynote tag with a leader pointing to the anchor bolt
detail item. Continue to keynote other items if you wish. You will only be prompted
to select a note the first time you keynote an item. After assigning the note the first
time, Revit will simply display that note on each subsequent instance you keynote.
Understanding Keynote Tags
The default keynote tag has four Types. Three Types display the key and the fourth
displays the text of the note. Using the text display option, you can use keynote tags
to speed up data entry without being required to actually use “keyed” notes (see
Figure 11.43).
FIGURE 11.43 The out-of-the-box Keynote Tag includes four variations
51. Select one of the keynotes you have added.
• From the Type Selector, choose Keynote Number or Keynote Text.
A couple variations are shown in the figure. If you prefer a variation not shown, you
can edit the Keynote Tag Family.
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When you choose the Keynote Text option, you will notice that the text is center justified. To use
right or left justified, edit the keynote Family, select the appropriate label element and change its
properties to your preferred justification.
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Types of Keynotes—Keynotes have three modes: Element, Material, and User.
The Element option reads the keynote assigned to the element in the model such
as the keynote assigned to a Wall or Door, not the individual layers or sub-components of the Wall or Door. To keynote the layers of a Wall or components of
a Door, you would use the Material keynote option. This will read the keynote
assigned to the Material of the selected sub-component. When you wish to override the pre-defined keynote setting, choose the User option. This option will
always display the “Keynotes” dialog and prompt you to choose a note. Since this
option is an override, it will not update if you edit the type or Material of the
selected element.
Keynotes offer some compelling features, but they are not as mature as other features
in the software. For example, certain items cannot be keynoted, like Drafting Lines,
Repeating Details, and Batt Insulation. Furthermore, keynotes have not been preassigned to all of the out-of-the-box content. They have been assigned to the out-ofthe-box detail component Families as we have seen, but not to the out-of-the-box
model Families or Materials. This means that to fully benefit from the power of
keynotes, a good deal of effort will be required to go through the library and assign
keynotes to both Families and Materials. While you might be tempted to abandon
the keynote functionality altogether based on these limitations, remember that the
alternative to keynotes is to manually type every note. Once set up, having keynotes
assigned to elements will save a great deal of time in production and will help to
standardize the verbiage and phrasing used on notes throughout the office. So they
remain worthy of your consideration.
Keynote Legend—If you want to compile a list of all the keynotes used on a particular sheet or throughout the entire project, you can create a keynote legend. A
Keynote Legend lists all the keys and their corresponding notes. This can be a real
time saver versus manually compiling such a list. You create a keynote Legend from
the View tab. On the Create panel, click the Legends drop-down button and choose
Keynote Legend.
Finalizing the Detail
Our detail is nearly complete. With a few final edits, it will be ready to place on a
52. Using the process covered here, add additional notes or keynotes to the detail.
53. Using the Dimension tool, add dimensions to the footing and foundation Walls.
Remember to use your tab key as needed to select the required edges to dimension.
The Crop Regions around the detail are becoming a bit distracting. We can turn off
their display.
54. On the View Control Bar (at the bottom of the view window) click the Hide Crop
Region icon (see Figure 11.44).
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FIGURE 11.44 Add additional Notes, Dimensions and hide the Crop
Hiding an Element in the View
On the left side of this detail we see a gray vertical line. This is the edge of the chimney beyond. In cases like this, where some piece of the model that we would rather
not see displays, we can hide it in this view. We have two ways to approach this. Both
are view-specific overrides leaving the chimney unchanged in all other views.
Method 1
55. Select the Fireplace element.
• On the ribbon, click the Hide in View drop-down and choose By Element (see the
left side of Figure 11.45).
FIGURE 11.45 Hide the fireplace in the current view only
The fireplace will disappear. Should you need to make it reappear, click the small
light bulb icon on the View Control Bar. This will make all invisible elements reappear tinted maroon. You can then select the chimney (or any maroon element) and
choose the appropriate unhide command on the ribbon.
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Method 2
56. Make sure you have no objects selected in the View Window.
• On the Properties palette, in the Extents grouping, for the “Far Clip Settings,”
change from Same as parent view to Independent.
This makes the Far Clip Offset field editable.
• Change the Far Clip Offset to a small value like 1'-0" [300] and then click OK (see
the right side of Figure 11.45).
This method will crop out everything in the view beyond 1'-0" [300] from the cut
Detail the Remainder of the Wall
To detail the rest of the Wall section, you can follow the same procedures as outlined here. Start by returning to the Longitudinal section view and create a new callout of the top portion. Use the View Break controls to crop the detail and remove
the repetitive portions. Add masking break line Detail Components to each of
the breaks. Hide the Crop Region of the view when finished. Begin adding Detail
Components on top of the section cut as we did above, add drafting lines and edit
the linework as required. Complete the detail with dimensions, notes and/or keynotes. Focus on the Wall connection at the second floor and the overall studs, rafters, joists, and insulation. When you are finished, the detail should look something
like Figure 11.46.
FIGURE 11.46 Create additional Details using the same process
Most of the components that you will need are already loaded into this project; however, for items like the steel angle at the Window lintel, you can simply load them in
from the appropriate library. At the roof eave, you will need to rely more on Filled
Regions, Drafting Lines, and Edit Cut Profile. Let’s take a look.
57. From the View tab, click the Callout tool.
• On the Properties palette, choose Detail View: Detail from the Type Selector.
• Create a Callout bubble similar to the one shown in Figure 11.47.
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FIGURE 11.47 Create a Callout View for the eave condition.
58. In the Project Browser, expand the Detail Views branch.
• Select Detail 0 and right-click to rename it to: Typical Eave Condition.
• With the Typical Eave Condition view still selected, on the Properties palette change
the scale to 1 ½" = 1'-0" and the Detail Level to Fine.
• Double click on the Typical Eave Condition View to open it.
Using Edit Cut Profile to Modify Wall Layers
As you have seen, you can use the technique of adding Filled Regions and Masking
Regions to cover unwanted geometry and then sketching Detail Lines on top for
almost any situation. There is nothing inherently wrong with the procedure, but
if the underlying model should change, the Filled and Masking Regions may no
longer cover the intended geometry leading to errors in coordination and intent.
Another approach is to modify the underlying geometry as it is displayed in this
view. To do this, we use the Edit Cut Profile tool as we did above for the footing.
Work in the Typical Eave Condition view.
59. Select the Roof Level Marker; on the ribbon, click the Hide in View tool and choose
Hide Category from the pop-up.
60. On the View tab, on the Graphics panel, click the Cut Profile button.
• Pass the cursor over the Wall and when the stud layer pre-highlights, click the
The Create Cut Profile Sketch tab appears and shows some now familiar sketch
tools. The existing boundary of the stud layer will show as an orange outline.
61. Using the Lines icon on the Draw panel, draw the cut profile (see Figure 11.48).
FIGURE 11.48 Sketch the new edge of the Cut Boundary
A small arrow handle will appear on the sketch line. It should be pointing to the
inside of the stud to indicate that you wish to keep everything below the sketch line.
If it points outside the stud, click it to reverse it. Be sure that the line touches the
edges of the stud component on both sides.
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• On the Modify | Cut Profile panel, click the Finish Edit Mode button.
The result should look like the stud shown in Figure 11.49
FIGURE 11.49 After the Cut Profile Edit, the shape of the Wall reflects the change
62. Use the Cut Profile tool again to edit the face of the Brick, Air Gap and Sheathing layers so that your detail looks like Figure 11.49.
The profile line for the Sheathing layer should be 5/8" [16] above the profile lines for
the Air Gap and the Brick.
63. Use Detail Lines, Masking Regions, Detail Components and Repeating Details to add
embellishment to the Detail (see Figure 11.50).
FIGURE 11.50 Finishing the Eave Detail.
64. Make any additional edits and then save the project.
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Add a Detail Sheet
Once we have created one or more Detail views, we can add them to Sheets in the same
fashion as other views. We explored this process back in Chapter 4. Let’s review the
steps here to create a new Detail Sheet that contains our Typical Wall Section detail.
65. On the Project Browser, right-click the Sheets (all) branch and choose New Sheet.
• In the “Select a Titleblock” dialog, choose MRAC D 22 3 34 Horizontal [MRAC A1
metric] and then click OK.
This will create “G101 - Unnamed.” This is because the last Sheet we created was
Sheet G100.
66. On the Project Browser, right-click on G101 – Unnamed and choose Rename.
• In the Number field, type: A601.
• In the Name field, type: Details and then click OK.
You can also click directly on the (blue text) values in the titleblock and edit them directly on screen
without right-clicking the sheet on Project Browser.
67. From the Project Browser, drag the Typical Wall Section detail view and drop it on the
• Click a point to place the detail. Move it around as desired to fine-tune placement.
68. On the Project Browser, double-click to open the Longitudinal section view (if you prefer, you can also open A301 – Sections Sheet instead).
Notice that the callout annotation has automatically filled in to indicate that the
detail is number one on Sheet A601. This will also remain coordinated automatically (see Figure 11.51).
FIGURE 11.51 Annotation will coordinate automatically after adding the detail view to a Sheet
69. Repeat the process to add the other details done in this chapter to this Sheet.
If you want to align the views to one another on the sheet, it can be tricky sometimes
to select and move the right thing. When you click the viewport, both the viewport
and the title will highlight and move together. However, if you click just the title,
you can move it independently. Revit will try to give you alignment guidelines as you
drag items on screen.
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In some cases, you will add details to the Sheet and then later wish to reorganize
or renumber them. To do this, you edit the View Properties of the view in question.
Edit the value of the “Detail Number” parameter in the “Instance Properties” dialog
for the view. Be sure to type a number not yet in use—Revit will not allow you to
duplicate an existing number. To swap the numbers of two details, first edit one to a
unique value, edit the other to the value originally used by the first, and then edit the
first to the number originally used by the second. If you make such a change, open
the Longitudinal section view and note that the new numbers are reflected there as
well. A change in one location is a change everywhere in Revit!
You can edit the view’s Properties directly from the Sheet if you wish. Expand the
Sheet entry on the Project Browser to see a listing of all views already placed on a
particular Sheet. Click the name listed and the properties for the View will be listed
on the Properties palette. You can also double-click the view from there to open it.
Create a Custom View Title
Some firms like to see the sheet where a detail is referenced. You can customize the
View Title Family to include this information automatically.
70. Expand the Families branch on the Project Browser.
• Expand Annotation Symbols, right-click View Title, and choose Edit.
Annotation Families are much simpler than the component Families we worked
with in the previous chapter. Here you can add linework, text, and labels. Labels
report the values of parameters. In the case of View Title Families, we can report
the name and number of the detail, the scale and the referring detail, and the sheet.
71. On the Home tab, on the Text panel, click the Label tool (see Figure 11.52).
FIGURE 11.52 Add a Label to the View Title Family
The line under the view title is actually part of the viewport object back in the project. Therefore, as you can see, there is no line here. You will have to approximate the
correct location of the new label relative to the line. We’ll place it next to the scale
Label in this case.
• In the “Edit Label” dialog that appears, choose Referencing Detail and then click
the Add Parameter(s) to Label icon in the middle of the dialog.
• Select Referencing Sheet and add it to the label as well.
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• In the Prefix field for Referencing Sheet, type: / (a forward slash) and then click OK.
This will make the Label display the Referencing Detail parameter, then a slash,
then the Referencing Sheet like this: R/R101.
72. Edit the Element Properties of the new Label and change the Horizontal Align to Left.
• Use the control handles to reduce the width of the field and move it as necessary
(see Figure 11.53).
FIGURE 11.53 Add Labels for the Referencing Detail and Sheet
If you wish, add additional graphics, text, or labels.
73. From the Application menu, choose Save As . Family.
• Browse to the Chapter11 folder and save the Family as: MRAC View Title.rfa.
• On the ribbon, click Load into Project.
74. On the A601 – Details sheet, select all three viewports, on the Properties palette, click
the Edit Type button.
• Click the Duplicate button.
• Name the new Type: MRAC Viewport with Referencing Title.
• Change the Title entry to MRAC View Title and then click OK (see Figure 11.54).
FIGURE 11.54 Load the Custom View Title into the project and apply to the viewports
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75. Save the project.
Notice that the two wall details reference back to the A301 sheet, but the Typical
Eave Condition references A601.
In some cases, you will want to add a detail to a project that does not require a callout underlay from the model. There might be several situations where this is appropriate. Examples include typical details that are generic in nature such as a typical
head, jamb, or sill detail. Other examples might include a carpet transition, typical
blocking condition, Wall type details or just a simple diagram of something related
to the project but not specific to a particular area in the model. To create these kinds
of details in Revit, we use a drafting view. A drafting view is like a simple blank sheet
of paper. You can draw your detail on this blank page using any of the tools covered
so far like detail components, filled regions, masking regions, drafting lines, and text.
You can even add view references from other views if appropriate.
Creating a Drafted Detail
In this example, we will create a drafting view and a simple carpet transition detail.
This can be created either with or without a view reference callout in our floor plans.
You can create it as a typical, unreferenced detail by creating a new Drafting View
on the View tab. If you want to reference the drafting view from a particular area of
the plan, you can create a drafting view from the section and callout tools. To do this,
you choose the “Reference other View” setting on the Options Bar before drawing
the section or callout. For this example, we will create an unreferenced detail. In the
next sequence, we will create a referenced one using the section.
1. On the View tab, on the Create panel, click the Drafting View tool.
• In the dialog that appears, type Floor Transition Detail for the name.
• Choose 3"=1'-0" [1:5] and then click OK (see Figure 11.55).
FIGURE 11.55 Create a new Drafting View
A new drafting view will be created and opened. When Revit opens the new drafting view the most obvious characteristic is that the view is empty, showing no model
geometry. A drafting view is like a blank sheet of paper. There are no automatically
generated graphics from the model.
2. On the Annotate tab, on the Detail panel, click the Component drop-down button and
choose the Detail Component tool from the list.
• Click the Load Family button and browse to:
Imperial: Detail Components\Div 06-Wood and Plastic\061600-Sheathing.
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Metric: Detail Components\Div 06-Wood and Plastic\ 06100-Rough Carpentry\
• Open the Plywood-Section.rfa [M_Plywood-Section.rfa] file.
• From the Type Selector, choose the ¾" [19mm] type.
If you have trouble finding this file, or if you did not install the default library files,
all of the Families noted in this section are provided with the dataset files from the
student companion. You will find them located in the same folder structure as noted
here in the MRAC\Imperial Library [MRAC\Metric Library] folder. Feel free to load
the required detail components from there instead.
• Following the prompts, create a horizontal length of plywood approximately 10"
[250] long across the middle of the screen (see Figure 11.56).
FIGURE 11.56 Draw the plywood subfloor
• Zoom in on the component after you draw it.
3. Click the Load Family button again and browse to:
Imperial: Detail Components\Div 09-Finishes\096000-Flooring\096400-Wood Flooring.
Metric: Detail Components\Div 09-Finishes\09600-Flooring\09640-Wood Flooring.
• Open the Wood Strip Flooring-Section.rfa [M_Wood Strip Flooring-Section.rfa] file.
• From the Type Selector, choose the 133 [19 3 76mm] type.
4. Place the item on the top edge of the plywood.
• Repeat the process to load four more Families from:
Imperial: Detail Components\Div 09-Finishes\096000-Flooring\096800-Carpeting.
Metric: Detail Components\Div 09-Finishes\09600-Flooring\09680-Carpeting.
Carpeting-Section.rfa [M_Carpeting-Section.rfa]
Carpet Reducer at Flooring-Section.rfa [M_Carpet Reducer at Flooring-Section.rfa]
Carpeting Tack Strip-Section.rfa [M_Carpeting Tack Strip-Section.rfa]
Carpet Pad-Section.rfa [M_Carpet Pad-Section.rfa]
With the first three, simply place them on screen in approximate locations for now.
The Carpet Pad-Section.rfa [M_Carpet Pad-Section.rfa] Family behaves like the
Plywood-Section.rfa [M_Plywood-Section.rfa] Family above did. You must click two
points to place it. You can click two points along the top edge of the plywood for
this component.
5. Move and copy the carpet and wood flooring components on screen to match
Figure 11.57.
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FIGURE 11.57 Lay out the detail components to create the basic detail
6. Add a Break Line Detail Component to the end of the detail.
• Edit the Element Properties of the Break Line and change the Dimensions parameters as follows:
TABLE 11.1
Jag Width
1/2" [12]
3/4" [18]
1" [25]
1" [25]
Masking Depth
2" [50]
Set the Jag Width and Jag Depth first and the Right and Left last. This will avoid Revit’s displaying
error messages.
• Copy the Break Line to the other side, and then press the SPACEBAR twice to flip it.
7. Add notes or keynotes to complete the detail (see Figure 11.58).
FIGURE 11.58 The completed detail showing keynotes on the left and text notes on the right
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8. Add the detail to the A601 – Details sheet.
If you want this detail to be a typical detail, edit its View Properties and change the
“Title on Sheet” parameter to “Typical Floor Transition Detail.” Otherwise, if you
prefer to call it out from the plan, you can open the First Floor plan view, zoom in
on an appropriate area and then click the Section tool. From the Type Selector,
change the view type to Detail View: Detail. Before you draw the section, check the
“Reference other View” box on the Options Bar and choose Drafting View: Floor
Transition Detail from the list of views. Draw the section line. The callout will read
detail 3 on sheet A601 (see Figure 11.59).
FIGURE 11.59 You can optionally add a section callout that references the existing Drafting View
9. Save the file.
Often details are reused from one project to the next. These “standard” details are
typically kept in libraries for easy reuse and retrieval. In the days before computer
design and drafting software, such a library would be a three-ringed binder from
which photocopies were made. With computers, these standard details are stored
digitally. If your firm has been using CAD software for a while, you likely already
have such a digital library of standard details. You can use these legacy files directly
in your Revit Architecture projects. You simply import the DWG or DGN files and
place them on Sheets like other details.
Create a Referenced Section View
In this tutorial we will assume that the handrail of the existing Stair will be replaced
with a new one. To show this, we will create a “Referenced Section View” to create
a Section marker callout of a handrail detail within a stair section view. However,
instead of creating the actual section view in Revit Architecture or drawing an unreferenced drafting view as we did above, the Referenced Section will link to a drafting
view containing an AutoCAD file.
1. On the Project Browser, double-click to open the Section at Existing Stair section view.
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• Zoom in on the area of the Stair between the First Floor Level and the Second Floor
2. On the View tab, click the Section tool.
• From the Type Selector, choose Detail View: Detail.
• On the Options Bar, set the “Scale” to 6"=1'-0" [1:2].
• Place a checkmark in the “Reference other View” checkbox, and verify that the
menu is set to ,New Drafting View. (see Figure 11.60).
These settings instruct Revit to create a new Drafting view instead of the typical live
section view of the model. The detail marker will point to this new drafting view.
• Drag the section line through the Railing as shown in Figure 11.60.
FIGURE 11.60 Create a new Section View set to reference a New Drafting View
Notice that a new Drafting view was created on Project Browser beneath Drafting
3. On the Project Browser, right-click the new Drafting view and choose Rename.
• Name the view New Railing Detail and then click OK.
4. In the section view window, double-click on the detail head to open this Drafting view.
We again have a blank page upon which to work. Drafting an image that makes
sense relative to the detail cut location is up to you. The only reference back to the
model is the callout. We have already seen how we can draft something from scratch.
Now let’s look at importing a legacy CAD file.
Import a Detail Drawing
5. On the Insert tab, on the Import panel, click the Import CAD button.
• In the “Import CAD Formats” dialog, browse to the Chapter11 folder and choose
Typical Handrail Detail.dwg [Typical Handrail Detail-Metric.dwg].
• In the “Layer/Level Colors” area, choose Black and white.
• In the “Positioning” area, choose the Manual-Center option (see Figure 11.61).
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FIGURE 11.61 Import a DWG file for the handrail detail
Import embeds the file into the Revit project and does not maintain a link to the
file. If the file were changed outside of Revit, you need to re-import the modified
file. If you wish to link to the file instead, use the Link CAD tool on the Link panel
instead. Linking makes it possible to reload the file later via the “Manage Links” dialog if the original file changes.
6. Click Open to import the detail, and then click a point on screen to place the detail in
the view.
• Verify that the scale of the current view is 6"=1'-0" [1:2] as indicated above. If it is
not, please change it.
• Zoom to fit.
Notice that if you change the scale, it has an impact on how the line weights of the
imported view display. If you wish to experiment with the way that the line weights
import, click the small dialog launcher icon on the Import panel titlebar to open the
“Import Line Weights” dialog. Revit uses the line weights built into the CAD file as
is. If there are no line weights assigned to the CAD file’s layers, then it looks to the
colors of the layers and assigns linewieghts as listed in the “Import Line Weights”
dialog for each color.
This is a typical detail and there is no need for any changes. If we needed to make
edits, we could select the detail, and then on the ribbon, click the Explode button to
convert it to individual Revit Detail Lines and Text so we could edit it. However, it is
best to avoid this and make such edits in the original file using its native application
instead of using Explode. Exploding an imported file can increase file size adversely
and create inaccuracies in the file. Most CAD/BIM Managers would look unfavorably on exploded CAD files in live Revit projects, so please consider carefully before
you proceed.
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If you choose to explode imported CAD files, you will discover that many element types are added
to your file beyond what you see on screen or what you would otherwise expect. For example, you
will likely end up with many line styles, text styles, and other elements bearing names reminiscent
of the original CAD file’s layers. In addition, regardless of whether you choose to explode the file,
you will get Materials bearing names like Render Material 63-0-255 in your Material list. In general,
these items will not cause you difficulty but they can increase the size of your files and cause confusion among team members. If you have decided to explode a CAD file, consider the following procedure. First, if you have access to the CAD program that created the file, open the file there first
and clean up the geometry as much as possible. This includes deleting unneeded geometry and layers, purging the file, and resaving it. Next, import the CAD file into a new Revit project. Explode
the CAD file in this temporary project and perform additional cleanup. This will include reassigning
linework to appropriate Revit Line Styles, changing text to Revit text Types, etc. Please note that
CAD dimensions and text leaders will not become Revit dimensions or leaders, so if you want actual
leaders and dimensions, you will need to recreate these items. Once you have cleaned up the file
to your satisfaction, you can select all of the elements and copy and paste them back to a drafting
view in your original project. In general, importing CAD files into Revit should not become a longterm practice. CAD files in a Revit project can unnecessarily bloat the file and cause performance
problems. Over time, you will find it beneficial to convert your standard CAD details to Revit format if you wish to continue using them in your Revit projects. For more information on this and
other critical model management tips, you can download the Model Performance Technical Note at While this document
was written for Revit 2010 at the time of this writing, it is still relevant and the topics discussed in
it apply to Revit 2012 as well.
7. On the Project Browser, double-click to open the A601 - Details Sheet view.
• Drag the Drafting view and drop it on the Sheet (see Figure 11.62).
FIGURE 11.62 Add the Detail view to the Details Sheet
This will become detail 5 on the sheet. If you return to the Section at Existing Stair
view, you will see that this number and sheet reference have appeared automatically
in the callout.
8. Save the project.
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Except for Drafting views, all views in the Revit Architecture project are generated
directly from the building model. While Revit does a very good job of interpreting
this model geometry into abstracted two-dimensional representations such as plans
and elevations, there are often items that we wish to manipulate in order to create
the Architectural drawings we are accustomed to producing. We have already seen all
of the techniques that are used to perform such edits. Until now we have used these
techniques and tools only on detail views. However, you can add drafting embellishment on any Revit view including plans, sections, and elevations. All such edits,
including those made with the Linework tool, Filled Regions, Masking Regions,
Detail Components, Edit Cut Profile, and Drafting Lines can be done on any view.
More importantly, such edits apply only to the view in which they are applied.
Embellishing Model Views
Let’s make a few enhancements to one of our elevation views.
9. On the Project Browser, double-click to open the East elevation view.
One common architectural drafting convention is to show the new foundation in
an elevation as dashed below grade. We can achieve this using a combination of the
Linework tool and adding Drafting Lines. Let’s start with the footing.
10. Select the Terrain element, and then on the View Control Bar, choose Hide Element
from the Temporary Hide/Isolate menu (sun glasses icon).
A cyan colored boundary will appear around the viewport. New in 2012, a label
reading “Temporary Hide/Isolate” will appear in the upper corner. Remember that
this is the temporary hide/isolate command. The cyan boundary appears as long as
some elements are temporarily hidden. Temporary hide/isolate does not affect printing and is reset when the model is closed.
11. Select each of the Level Heads that do not have associated views (the ones that are
black), right-click and choose Hide in View . Elements. (You can also use the ribbon
This will hide levels for “Top of Footing” or “Bottom of Stair” etc. This is the permanent hide command. These elements will stay hidden even after closing and reopening the model. Permanently hidden elements also do not print. To reveal hidden
elements and unhide them, click the light bulb icon on the View Control Bar. If you
try this now, a maroon colored border will surround the screen and the label in the
corner will change to reflect the new mode. The three hidden Level Heads will
appear maroon in color as well, and the temporarily hidden terrain, which is still
hidden, will appear cyan in color. Click the light bulb again to exit the mode.
12. On the Modify tab, on the View panel, click the Linework tool.
• Choose ,Hidden. from the Line Style drop-down list.
• Click on each of the edges of the footings to change them to ,Hidden. lines.
• Do not change any of the vertical foundation lines yet (see Figure 11.63).
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FIGURE 11.63 Change the display of the footing lines to ,Hidden. with the Linework tool
You may need to pick more than once in the same general spot or a little to either
side since there is more than one footing in the same spot in the elevation. If you are
unhappy with the result, you can instead use the ,Invisible lines. Type and then
draw a continuous Drafting Line in on top. Be sure to lock the constraint padlock
icon to keep the Drafting Line associated with the position of the footing
13. On the View Control Bar, choose Reset Temporary Hide/Isolate.
The terrain model will reappear. Notice that the footing still shows dashed through
the terrain and is no longer hidden.
14. With the Linework tool still active, choose ,Hidden. from the Type Selector again.
• Click on one of the vertical lines of the foundation Walls.
With it still highlighted, a drag handle will appear at either end.
• Drag the top handle down to the point where it intersects the terrain (see
Figure 11.64).
FIGURE 11.64 Change the Linework of the foundation walls and edit the extent of the change with the
drag handles
• Repeat for other vertical foundation Wall edges.
Later if you wish to change the linework to a different linetype or return it to its
default setting, you can use the Linework tool again. To restore the default, use the
,By Category. option from the Type Selector.
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If you wish to modify the way that the terrain displays, you can use a Filled Region
to trace over it. Draft additional linework as desired to complete the elevation. You
can add notes, dimensions and tags as required. If the Linework tool is not working
for a particular edge, you can try Masking Regions and Drafting Lines.
15. On the Annotate tab, on the Tag panel, click the Tag by Category tool.
• On the Options Bar, clear the “Leader” checkbox.
• Click on each of the Windows in the new addition. (Do not tag the Windows of the
existing house.)
16. Add some text or keynotes to the patio on the right or to indicate materials of the elevation such as brick veneer and roof shingles (see Figure 11.65).
Try the Keynote . Material option to keynote the materials in the Wall instead of the entire Wall.
FIGURE 11.65 Add tags and notes to complete the elevation
17. Perform similar edits in other elevations if you wish.
18. Save the project.
Controlling Display of Items Beyond
To show depth in elevations, it is a common architectural convention to lighten
the line weights of objects as they recede from view. Unfortunately, Revit does not
offer an automated way to do this in elevations and sections. However, we can use
the override graphics feature to manipulate the graphical display manually. Like all
graphical overrides, edits you make are view-specific. So they will apply only to the
view in which you make them. It may take you a little time and effort to fine-tune
the elevations to display as desired, but you should be able to achieve acceptable
results. We’ll do a quick example here to illustrate the concept and process.
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19. On the Project Browser, double-click to open the North elevation view.
• Feel free to repeat any of the previous edits (foundation display, notes, etc) on this
elevation before you proceed.
• On the right side, at the upper patio, select the gable Roof, its fascia boards and
gutter, and the two upper Windows.
• On the ribbon, on the View panel, click the Override Graphics in View button and
choose Override By Element from the pop-up.
• In the “View-Specific Element Graphics” dialog, expand the Projection Lines item
and change the Weight to 1 and then click OK (see Figure 11.66).
FIGURE 11.66 Override the graphics of selected elements in the view
This change may be hard to see without zooming in. We also want to lighten the
brick hatch on the Wall beyond at the patio in the same area.
20. Select the Wall beyond at the patio in the same area.
• Choose Override Graphics in View . Override By Element again.
• Check the Halftone checkbox and then click OK.
Notice that because of the way that the Wall joined, we are seeing the end of the perpendicular Wall on the right side. We can override this Wall the same way or we can
edit the join of this Wall on the Second Floor to fix this.
21. On the Project Browser, double-click to open the Second Floor plan view.
• On the Modify tab, click the Wall Joins tool.
• Click on the intersection of Walls at the lower-left side of the patio.
• On the Options Bar, click the Miter radio button and then click the Modify tool to
accept the change (see Figure 11.67).
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FIGURE 11.67 Override the graphics of selected elements in the view
When you return to the North elevation, you will notice that selecting the Wall now
gives better results.
22. Repeat any of these procedures on the remaining elevations and then save the project.
There is a feature called Silhouettes which will override the profile edges around
your model in the current view. To access it, click the Visual Style pop-up on the
View Control Bar (the tool that sets hidden line or shading) and choose Graphic
Display Options. In the “Graphic Display Options” dialog, you can choose a Line
Style for Silhouettes. However, this feature lacks the capacity to control which edges
receive the effect. Revit will determine which edges are silhouette edges and which
are not. Give it a try and see if the results are satisfactory. If not, you can use the
Linework tool to override the outline of elements in elevation the same way we
dashed the footings.
Legend Views
As our final exploration in this chapter, we will look at another type of drafting
view: the Legend View. This kind of view, as its name implies, is used to create symbol legends in your project. When working in a legend view, you can add Legend
Components. Legend Components are symbolic versions of all Families and Types
in your project, and as such are only graphical representations, not actual model
23. On the View tab, on the Create panel, click the Legends drop-down button and then
choose the Legend tool.
• In the “New Legend View” dialog, type Door Types for the name, choose 1/4"=1'-0"
[1:50], and then click OK.
Like the other drafting views we have created, a blank page will appear. The unique
feature of a legend view is the availability of the Legend Component tool on the
Annotate tab. We can use this tool to place a symbolic representation of any Family
in the project. In this case, we are building a Door Types Legend, so we want to add
elevation views of each kind of door, but do not want to add actual Doors, which
would throw off the count in the Door Schedule later. This is where the Legend
Component comes into play.
24. On the Annotate tab, on the Detail panel, click the Component drop-down button and
choose the Legend Component tool from the list.
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• From the Family list on the Options Bar choose Doors: Single Flush: 36" 3 80"
[Doors: M_Single Flush: 0915 3 2032mm].
• From the View list on the Options Bar choose Elevation: Front.
• Click a point on screen to place the symbol.
• Repeat the process to place each of the following:
Doors: Bifold-2 Panel: 36" 3 80" [Doors: M_ Bifold-2 Panel: 0915 3 2032mm]
Doors: Bifold-4 Panel: 72" 3 80" [Doors: M_ Bifold-4 Panel: 1830 3 2032mm]
Doors: Double-Glass 2: 68" 3 80" [Doors: M_ Double-Glass 2: 1730 3 2032mm]
Line them up next to one another. You cannot tag the symbols because they are not
real doors, but you can add text and dimensions where appropriate.
25. Add labels, notes, and dimensions as appropriate (see Figure 11.68).
FIGURE 11.68 Add notes and labels to complete the legend
To edit the dimension values as shown in the figure, simply click on the dimension text
and then edit the appropriate fields in the dialog that appears.
You can drag this legend view onto any sheet like the other views. Perhaps the most
appropriate sheet for this legend would be the door schedule sheet. Since we have not
created a door schedule yet, we will wait until the scheduling chapter for that task.
26. Save the project and close the file.
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Understanding the relationship between modeled elements and drafted elements is
an important concept in Revit Architecture. Creating the basic model geometry can
be accomplished in nearly any convenient view and as we have seen throughout this
book and will remain coordinated as changes occur in all views. Drafting and annotation, on the other hand, occur in only the currently active view. This means that we
can apply additional embellishments on top of an automatically generated model to
explain and clarify design intent. We can modify the display of underlying model geometry using the Linework tool, element level graphic overrides, or view-specific display
settings. Finally, we can create drafting views, which contain only drafting elements
and no model geometry. Using a combination of these techniques, we can fine-tune any
Revit view for inclusion in our complete set of architectural construction documents.
• Detailing occurs at many levels in Revit: as part of the model, as view-specific
embellishment on top of the model, and as completely independent drafting
• You can use Wall Type edits such as unlocking layers, adding Sweeps, and adding
Reveals to add details to the Walls that show throughout the model.
• Create callout views of any overall view to create the starting point for a construction detail.
• Add view-specific detail component (2D) Families, drafting lines, repeating
details, filled and masking regions and batt insulation to embellish and add content to the underlying model callout view.
• Each view has its own scale and visibility settings.
• Detail Components and Detail Lines are view-specific embellishments that are
used to convey design intent.
• Repeating Detail Components save time by adding an array of Detail Components
at a predefined spacing.
• Use Masking Regions in any view to mask unwanted portions of the model.
• Use Filled Regions to apply patterns to areas and draw view-specific
• Add Break Lines and adjust Crop Regions to isolate “typical” portions of detail
• Annotate the detail with dimensions, text notes and keynotes.
• Keynotes reference an external keynote file and help to maintain consistency in
noting and reduce repetitive typing.
• Keynotes can display either the key or the note. You can add a keynote legend to
list all notes used in the project or sheet by sheet.
• Use Cut Profile to modify the automatically created profile of building model elements within a particular view.
• Adding details to a sheet automatically numbers them and keeps the annotation
• You can draw isolated two-dimensional details that do not link to the model. Use
drafting views for this purpose.
• Import legacy CAD details and add them to drafting views to leverage existing
detail libraries.
• Edit any section or elevation view using similar techniques to those used to create and modify details.
• Use the Override Graphics in View command to indicate elements that appear
“beyond” in an elevation or section.
• A legend view is a special kind of drafting view that allows symbolic representations of any project Family to be added and annotated.
48480_11_ch11_p577-636.indd 636
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Acoustical tile ceilings, 689–691
Add Edge tool, 774
Add Profile tool, 766, 775
Add Split Lines tool, 424
Adjust for Mullion Size setting, 457
Air gaps, 432, 434
Align tool, 34, 320, 585
ALT key, 81
Angle constraint, 463, 464
Angled Mullions, 474
Angular parameters, 793–797
crop regions, 608–609
custom View Titles, 621–622
elements, 44, 47–48
families, 52, 511–512
keynotes, 612–615
leaders with text, 609–612
overview, 605–606
placing text, 607–608
text types, 606–607
visibility of, 589–591
Appearance option for printing,
Application menu, 73–76, 715
Arc options for walls, 115
Architects and BIM, 43
Architectural vs. Structural Columns,
251. See also Columns
Area boundary line, 683–685
Area plans, working with, 683–686
coat hooks (example), 560–561
grid lines, 242–246
Arrowheads, 607, 610
Artificial lighting, 824, 814–815
At Columns button, 254–255
Attached Detail Groups
adding to mirrored Groups, 296–297
adding to nested Groups, 303–305
creating for existing Model
Groups, 295–296
defined, 285
impact of Model Group changes
on, 284, 288–289, 291, 296
tags and, 290, 295
Aubin, Paul F.’s web site, 817
AUGI, 471, 474
AutoCAD. See CAD; DWG files
Autodesk Buzzsaw, 718
Autodesk Design Review, 235,
Autodesk discussion groups, 474, 838
Autodesk Seek, 359, 491, 499, 719
Autodesk Users Group International
(AUGI), 474
Automatic ceiling, 690
Automatically Embed option, 456
Avatech Solutions, 640
Background for rendering, 817
Base Point, 318, 322, 325–326, 333
creating stair to, 325
new construction, 824–825
Basic walls, defined, 435, 486
Batch printing, 716
Batt insulation, 600–601
Bay windows, 785–786
Bays, sub-dividing Curtain Wall,
Beams, 269–270
<Beyond> line style, 276
Bi-directional coordination, 45
CAD vs., 40–41
extended design team and, 578
overview, 69, 38, 42
Binder bin example. See Parametric
defined, 504
solid, 523–526
swept, 504, 526–529
Blue color, 116, 187
Boundary and Riser mode, 336,
Boundary Line mode, 696
Braces, 270–271
Break Lines, 599–601
Brick shelves, 580–587
Browser Organization, 54–56,
229–231, 230
Building Information Modeling. See
Building Pads, 316–317
Bull nose risers, 355–356
Buzzsaw, 718–719
BIM vs., 40–44
exporting to, 719–721
importing details from, 627–629
linked files, 313–315
linking vs. importing, 727
whirlpool tub example, 571–575
Callout views, 587–589
Camera views, 808–809
Canvas area, 88–89
Cartoon sets, 185, 233–234
Cased openings, 151–152
assigning Families to, 162–164
defined, 548–550
overriding by, 411
acoustical tile, 689–695
automatic, 690
completing RCP, 707
creating via Sketch, 695–697
displaying Doors in reflected, 704
drywall, 702–703
existing, edit an, 697–698
fixtures, 702–707
height offset, 690, 697
moving, rotating, and aligning
grids, 695–696
section views of, 699–700
sketch, 695–696
switching to different grid size, 706
type properties, 691–693
type selector, 691
underpinned, 698–699
Central file, 732–734, 739–743, 751
Chain option for walls, 110, 113–115
Chain selection, 16, 99
Chimneys, 279, 390–393
Closed stringers, 349
Clouds in background, 817
Coat Hook Family example
arrays, 568–569
changing family category, 562–563
creating, 560–561
formula parameters, 564–566
loading, 570–571
nested families, 563–564
parametric array count, 569
using formula for array count,
visibility parameters, 567
Color Fill Legend, 65
Color Schemes, 678–683
in DWG and DGN files, 312
element/selection, 139–140
adding, 236–253
copying and pasting aligned,
editing, 255–258
using structural tools for, 251
48480_20_index_841-850.indd 841
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842 I n dex
Commercial project, creating,
Component Elements, 47
Component Families, 52–53,
485–489, 495
basic procedure for creating,
cased opening, 151–153
detail, 587–59
legend, 634–635
overview, 40
plumbing fixtures, 159–162
Computer-aided design. See CAD
Conceptual Massing environment.
See also Divided Surface and
Patterning tools
accessing, 756–758
creating forms, 759–760
extrusions, 762–764
lofts, 764–766, 771
overview, 761, 767
revolves, 760–761
sweeps, 767–770
swept blends, 770–771
editing forms
add Edge tool, 774
add Profile tool, 766
global and local controls,
overview, 747
X-Ray tool, 772
In-Place Mass example,
In-Place vs. Loadable Families, 756
intent stack, 761–762
interface, 758–759
loadable Family example
adding bay window, 785–786
creating new file and adding
levels, 735–736
creating solid form, 735–736
loading into project, 754
sculpting top surface, 774
model-based vs. reference-based
forms, , 758–759, 776–780
overview, 756
Constraint system, 9
applying, 145–146
blends and, 504
equality, 146–147
grid rotation and, 702
parameters vs., 541
Construction Documents, need for,
Construction phases. See Phases
Construction templates, 188
Contextual ribbon tabs, 76–77
Continuous Footings, 274–275
48480_20_index_841-850.indd 842
Contract Documents, relevance of,
project, 318
shared. See Shared Coordinates
toggling between global and local,
Coordination Monitor tool, 728–729
Coordination review, 364–365
Copy/Monitor tool, 328, 422
Copy to Clipboard command, 298
columns, 258–259
grid lines, 249
walls, 121–122
Corner Mullions, 464, 474–476
Cover sheets, 224–225
Create Instance command (for
Groups), 310
Crop regions, annotation, 608–610
Cropping, adjusting elevation,
Crossing selection method, 113–114
CTRL key, 95–96
Current view only option, 313
Curtain Grids
adding, 439–442, 446–447
adjusting spacing, 451–452
Curtain Panel Families
creating, 555–560
pattern-based, 793–797
Curtain Panel Types, 442–444, 456
Curtain Systems
adding Corner Mullions, 472–474
adjusting mullion position,
creating new Type, 474
curtain walls vs., 435–436, 457
editing horizontal mullions,
editing massing elements,
458–462, 758
editing profile, 474–476
editing vertical mullions, 466–467
overview, 434–435
properties, 457
sub-dividing bays, 471–472
swapping Panel Types, 471–472
Curtain Wall 1 Type, 451
Curtain Wall Doors, 442–443
Curtain Walls
adding Curtain Grids, 437–442,
adding windows to, 453–454
adjusting Curtain Grid spacing,
assigning Curtain Panel Types,
assigning mullions, 444–447
built-in Types, 455
creating working view, 437–439
curtain systems vs., 435–436, 458
drawing, 435–437, 450
editing, 439
editing mullion joins, 445–446
hosted, 449–453
mirroring, 453
overview, 434–435, 438, 485
properties, 455–457
using wall type for panel, 447–447
Custom Families, 152–153, 534–535.
See also Conceptual Massing
environment; Desk Family
example; Families; Parametric
Custom parameters, 231–233
Custom stairs, 379–383
Custom view titles, 621–622
Cut Geometry, 453
Cutable elements, 538
Cycle Section Head/Tail controls, 212
Datum Elements, 45–49, 605
Day lighting, 805, 821, 829, 835, 837
Dedicated Worksets, 807
Default templates, 174–180
Delete command (for Groups), 308
Dependent views, 725–726
Design Web Format (DWF) files,
232–233, 720–722, 724–725
Desk Family example
adding keyboard shelf, 510–511
adding void form, 518
adjusting view windows, 522–523
creating, 511–517
creating pencil drawer, 529–530
creating reference plane, 521–522
creating solid blend, 523–526
creating solid extrusion, 519–520
creating solid revolve, 530–531
creating solid sweep, 532–534
editing extrusion, 505–506
loading, 534–535
mirroring leg, 526–529
using swept blend for fancier leg,
Detail Components, 592–598
Detail Elements, 49
Detail Groups. See Attached Detail
Groups; Groups
Detail Lines, 50, 591–592, 618
Detail Sheets, 620–621
Detail views, 67–68
Detailing. See also Annotation
adding Break Lines, 599
adding callout view, 587–589
additional techniques, 630–635
06/06/11 11:16 AM
Inde x
adjusting annotation visibility,
adjusting scale, 589–591
batt insulation, 600–601
controlling display of items beyond,
drafted details, 623–626
duplicating views with, 64
edit cut profile tool, 601–605,
embellishing model views, 630–632
filled regions, 597–599
finalizing, 615–617
legacy, 626–629
legend views, 634–635
overview, 579, 587
repeating detail elements, 596–597
view breaks, 602–605, 617
DGN files
import options, 312
importing details from, 626
linking vs. importing, 727
Digital cartoon sets, 186, 233–235
Digital plots, generating, 35
Dillon, Matt on BIM, 44, 839
Dimension parameters, 541–545
Dimension snaps, 103
Dimensioning and TAB key, 97–98
Dimensions. See also Temporary
adding, 34–35
overview, 47
permanent, for doors, 159–160
Display Detail Level, 255–256
Dissolve form, 776
Divided Surface and Patterning tools
applying custom Family Panel,
applying divided surface to form,
building complex roof surface,
creating pattern-based Curtain
Panel Family, 793–796
overview, 788
stitching borders of, 799–801
using intersects for, 802
Door Families, 137–138, 444
adding, 10, 137–138, 220–221
cased openings, 151–152
changing, 136
curtain wall, 435–436
displaying in reflected ceilings, 704
elevator, excluding from Schedule,
equality constraints on, 146–147
families, 136–138
options for, 137–138
phase filters, changing, 136–137
48480_20_index_841-850.indd 843
placement with permanent
dimensions, 145–147
placement with temporary
dimensions, 141
renumbering, 639
in Schedule, 634–635,
size, adding new, 125
size, changing, 144, 148
swing parameter, 734–737
tags, 660–661
type, changing, 136
DPI setting, 816
Drafted details, 623–626
Drafting Lines, 353, 630–632
Drafting Views, 233, 623, 626–627,
629–630, 634–635
Drag control, level, 189
Drag handles for section lines, 212
Draw Points tool, 424
Draw tools for walls, 113
Drawers, pencil, 529–532
Driven Points, 756, 794
Drivers, printer, 717–718
Driving Points, 789, 794
Drywall ceilings, 702, 711
Duplicate command (for Groups),
DVD, replacing missing or damaged,
DWF files, 234–235, 713, 717–719,
DWG files
import options, 313–314
importing details from, 626
linking vs. importing, 727
outputting to, 713
whirlpool tub example, 571–573
Edges, adding, 774
Edit Assembly dialog, 406
Edit Boundary tool, 697
Edit command (for Groups), 299
Edit Cut Profile tool, 601–602,
Editing forms in conceptual design
environment, 771
Edit profile, 775
for grid lines, 239, 249
for levels, 186, 209
Element keynote option, 615
Elements. See also Families; specific
types and elements
annotation, 49
borrowing, 735, 745
cutable, 538
Datum, 48
editing from Schedule, 642–645
generic, 50–51
hiding, 91, 616–617
hosted. See Doors
isolating, 91
model, 47–48
overriding by, 411
revealing hidden, 91
selecting. See Selection methods
types overview, 45
view, 48–49
in Worksets, 735, 746–747
Elevation Base, 188
Elevation cropping, adjusting,
Elevation sheets, 222–224
Elevation tags
adjusting, 203–205
creating custom, 511–516
imperial vs. metric, 177–178
loading custom, 205–206
NCS, 513–516
Elevation views
adding elbows, 209
adjusting elevation cropping,
adjusting elevation tags, 203–205
adjusting level heads, 208–209
editing level heights, 209–210
loading custom elevation tags,
205–206, 511–516
overview, 203
interior, 709–710
showing depth in, 632–634
adding, 383–384
excluding door from Schedule, 659
Equality constraints on doors,
Existing ceiling, edit an, 697–698
Existing conditions layout, creating,
Existing conditions view, 344–345
Existing roof plan view, 388
Exporting, 74, 719–721
Exposure adjustment, 818
Extend tool. See Trim/Extend tool
Exterior Glazing type, 455
creating in Conceptual Massing
environment, 762–764
creating roofs by, 21–24,
creating solid, 519–520
creating solid forms by, 166–167
creating void forms by, 167–169
defined, 504
editing, 505–506
reveals, 582–583
06/06/11 11:16 AM
844 I n dex
Families. See also Elements; Types;
specific Families
accessing in projects, 492–497
advanced parameters. See Coat
Hook Family example
annotation, 54, 512–513
category assignment, 162–164
component, 51–54, 486–487, 495
conceptual Mass. See Conceptual
Massing environment
creating from CAD, 571–575
curtain panel, 555–560
custom, 152–153, 571–575. See also
Desk Family example
detail components, 592–597
door, 141
duplicating, 503–504
In-Place. See In-Place Families
libraries accessing, 497–500
overview, 487–492
loading, 152–153, 509–510,
534–535, 570
from manufacturer’s content,
model element, 52–53
nested, 563–564
overview and types of, 51–52,
parametric. See Parametric Families
profile, 528, 533, 558–560
saving, 508–509
strategies for, 492
system, 54–55, 113, 486–487, 495
tag, 678–680
titleblock, 217, 221, 224–227, 229
adding Parametric Family,
editing and creating, 500–503
view title, 621–622
Family Edit mode, 384
Family Worksets, 731
Fascia boards, 408–410
Files. See also Paths, file; specific types
central, 734–735, 740–741, 747–748
default paths for, 101
export options, 74
filename extensions, 74
journal, 101
linked. See Linked files
local, 741–744
location settings, 101–102
printing to, 35
recent, 72–73, 491
saving Groups to, 306–307
Filled Regions, 597–599
schedule items, 650
selection, 97
48480_20_index_841-850.indd 844
Fireplaces, in-place creation
adding reference planes, 164–166
creating solid form, 166–167
creating void form, 167–169
joining with wall, 169–170
selecting category, 162–164
First floor, New Construction,
Flip Section control, 212
Floor plan sheets, 217–222
Floor plan views, applying view
template to, 192–193
adding, 19–21, 413–414
adjusting position and joins of,
copying to levels, 265–266
creating Floor Type, 414–415
creating from walls, 264–265
editing, 370–371
landings, 25, 371–374
overview, 387
Footers in Schedules, 648–650
Footings, 274–279
Forms. See under Conceptual Massing
environment; Solid forms; Void
Formula parameters, 564–566
Foundation, 274–279
Framing, structural, 268–273
Functions, 405–407, 431, 456
Furniture. See also Desk Family
example; Schedules
excluding from Group, 293–294
plan view, 663–664
Gaps in Segments control, 212
General overview. See Quick Start
General tab, 100–101
Generic elements, 50–51
Glazing, 798
Global and local controls, 772–773
Global vs. project settings, 99–100
Graded Region tool, 342, 830
Grand Totals in Schedules, 648–650
Graphics overrides. See Visibility/
Graphics over rides
Graphics tab, 101
adding, 237–242
adding Guide, 249–251
ceiling, 693–695, 702
controls and handles, 238–239
copying and arraying, 242–246
curtain. See Curtain Grids
deleting vs. undoing, 239–240, 243
dimensioning, 246–249
lengthening, 240
numbering, 239–240, 243
overview, 48–49, 236–237
viewing in other views, 249
adding missing elements to,
adding rooms within, 310–311
arrayed grids and, 244–246
attached detail. See Attached Detail
binding linked files to, 309
commands on right-click menu,
converting to linked file, 307–309,
creating, 271–273, 281–285
duplicating and editing, 289–291
duplicating on Project Browser,
editing, 273, 287–289
excluding members of, 291–295
importing, 330
creating, 285–286
editing, 291–295
nesting, 303–306
overview, 281
saving to file, 306–307
Guide Grids, adding, 249–251
Gutters, adding, 410–412
Hardware, adding to Family, 547–548
Headers in Schedules, 648–653
Height, wall, 113, 199
Height Offset from level, 690, 691
Hidden Line Views option for
printing, 714
Hide/Show Bubble, 189, 239
Hide unreferenced view tags option,
Hiding elements, 91
Highlight Boundaries option for
Rooms, 668
Highlights, 820
Horizontal mullions, 463–465
Host Elements, 47–48, 486
Host Families, 50–51
Host Sweeps
applying to roof edges, 408–410
for Stacked Walls, 482–483
IFC (Industry Foundation Class)
files, 727
Ignorable Warning messages,
274–275, 292, 381, 391–392
06/06/11 11:16 AM
Inde x
Image files, 813, 819
Image settings for rendering, 820
Imperial templates, 175, 177–178
Imperial units, 69–70, 118, 178
Import units option, 313
In-Place Families
conceptual massing, 756, 757
defined, 162, 487
fireplace example. See under
Fireplaces, in-place creation
In-Place Masses, 199–203
Industry Foundation Class (IFC)
files, 727
Instance parameters in Schedule, 643
Instance properties, 86–87
Install dataset files and open project,
Insulation, batt, 600–601
Intent Stack, 761–762
Interference check, 728–730
Interior elevations, 707–711
Invisible lines, 553
Isolated Foundation, 274
Isolating elements, 91
Isometric views, 12, 808
Join Condition, default, 456
Joining floor/roof with walls, 264–265
Journal File Cleanup settings, 101
Keyboard shelves, adding, 510–511
Keyboard shortcuts, 80–81
Keynotes, 612–615
Label Contours tool, 830
adding more than one parameter
to, 226
for Tag Families, 679
for view titles, 621–622
Landings, 25, 371–374
importing CAD, 313
roof, 405–407
wall, 431
Layout settings, 4
option for Room Tags, 667–672
options for Doors, 138
with text, 609–611
Legacy details, working with, 626–629
Legend Components/Views, 634–635
color scheme, 682
keynote, 615
48480_20_index_841-850.indd 845
Length and Alignment constraint,
189, 239
Level Heads, adjusting, 208–209
adding and modifying, 186–189
adding in Conceptual Massing
environment, 780–781
constraining walls to, 196–198
controls, 188–189
copying floor slabs to, 265–266
copying landings to, 359
editing, 15–17
height adjustment, 209–210
height offset from level and, 690
overview, 48, 173, 186
renaming, 191–195
views and, 187–188, 190,
accessing, 497–500
overview, 487–492
seek, 383–384, 492, 499–500, 719
Light fixtures, 702–704, 816
Light switches, 705
Lighting, 812, 814–818
adjusting weight in Detail
Components, 594
<Beyond> style, 276
break, 599–600
detail, 50, 591–592, 618
invisible, 553
model, 50, 353, 591
section, 211–212
Linework tool, 630–632
Linked files
binding to Groups, 309
CAD, 313–315
converting Groups to, 307–309,
copying/monitoring elements
from, 328–329
linking by Shared Coordinates, 326
overview, 307, 311
placing on dedicated Workset, 750
positioning, 320–321
revit, 318–319
swapping with another file,
worksets vs., 311
Local files, 741–744
Location line for walls, 113
Lofts, 764–766, 771
Make Element Editable command,
Mark, 641
Masonry shell
adding windows to, 453
creating wall type, 430
editing wall type structure,
Masses. See also Conceptual Massing
adding in-place, 199–203
editing, 459–463, 466–467
Match command, 298, 496–497
Matchlines, 722–723
Material keynote option, 615
Material Takeoffs, 676–678
applying to Toposurfaces, 828–830
editing landing, 375–376
rendering and, 807, 810–811
for Roof Layer, 406
Mental Ray ProMaterials library,
Mental Ray rendering engine, 804,
806, 812
Merge Surface tool, 830
Metric templates, 175, 177–178
Metric units, 69–70
Microstation files. See DGN files
Midtones, 818
Mirrored Groups, adding Detail
Groups to, 296–297
Model-based forms, 758–759,
Model Element Families, 52–53
Model Elements, 47–48
Model Groups. See Groups
Model In-Place. See In-Place Families
Model Lines, 50, 353, 591
Model Text, 50
Modeling vs. CAD, 40–44
considerations for rendering,
3D vs., 160
editing, 654–656
editing elements from Schedule,
editing Schedule parameters from,
spinning, 12, 17, 154, 228
viewing in 3D, 153–156
views and, 49–51
Modify Sub-Elements tool, 424
Modify tool
creating selection boxes with,
as default tool, 7
adjusting position of, 466–469
angled, 474
assigning, 444–447
corner, 464, 472–474
06/06/11 11:16 AM
846 I n dex
Mullions (continued)
curtain wall properties related to,
deleting extra, 468
editing horizontal, 463–464
editing joins, 445–446
editing vertical, 465–466
profile families, 558–560
type properties, 463–465
Multi-segment sweeps/swept-blends,
Name for Print Setup settings, 715
National CAD Standard (NCS), 640,
Natural lighting, 805, 812–814,
Navigation Bar, 57, 95
Navigation in views, 57–60, 94–95
NCS (National CAD Standard), 640,
Nested Families, 563–564
Nested Groups, 303–306
New Features Workshop screen, 72
Object snaps, 103–104
Object Styles dialog, 412
Offset, Mullion, 463
Offset option for Rooms, 667
Offsetting walls, 113, 120–121,
On Grids button, 254–255
Online resources, 838–840
Open stringers, 349
Openings, 9, 18–19. See also Doors;
Options Bar. See also specific elements
overview, 72, 88
right-clicking on, 92
Options dialog box, 100–102
Orbit control, 155
Orientation option for printing, 714
Output Settings for rendering,
application menu, 712–713
exporting to CAD, 719–721
exporting to DWF file, 721–722
options for, 37
preparation, 31–33
printing, 713–718
publishing, 718–719, 722–724
Overhangs, 23–24, 420
Overrides. See Visibility/Graphics
over rides
Overview. See Quick Start tutorial
48480_20_index_841-850.indd 846
Pads, Building, 316–317
Paint tool, 809–810
Panel Types, swapping, 442–444
Panelized wall systems. See Curtain
Systems; Curtain Walls
Panels, ribbon, 76–77
Panning, 59–60, 94–95
Paper option for printing, 714
Paper Placement option for printing, 714
Parameter Properties dialog, 569
adding more than one to Label, 226
advanced, for Families. See Coat
Hook Family example
angular, 833–837
creating custom, 231–233
custom, 231–233
dimension, 541–545
door swing, 835–837
formula, 564–566
in Schedule, 643–644, 656
shared, 679
visibility, 567
wall, 122–123
Parametric Families
adding Family Types, 545–547
adding hardware, 547–548
adding Symbolic Lines, 550–552
creating, 536–538
creating dimension parameters,
creating Reference Planes,
creating subcategories, 548–550
displaying in plan, 552–554
loading, 554–555
overview, 535–536
Parking components, 830
Paths, file, 101–102, 613
Patios, adding railings to, 382–383
Patterns. See Divided Surface and
Patterning tools
PDF files, printing to, 717
Pencil drawers, 529–530
Permanent dimensions for doors,
Phase Filters, 135–136, 139–141
built-in states, 135
creating Existing conditions view,
creating Existing roof plan view,
overview, 132–136
parameters, 132
resetting, 170–171
walls and, 132–136
Photometric IES files, 805
Pick Faces option, 113
Pick Lines mode, 113, 127–128,
Pick Supports tool, 424
Pixels, 815
Places, adding paths to, 102
Planes. See Reference Planes; Work
Plots, digital, 35
Plumbing fixtures, 159–162
PNG files, 819
Position parameter, Mullion, 464
Positioning option, 313–314
Pre-highlighting, 15, 61, 95, 98
driver configuration, 717
to file, 35, 716
print dialog, 715–717
setup dialog, 713–715
troubleshooting, 718
Printing views. See Sheet views
Profile parameter, Mullion, 474
Profiles, adding, 775
Project Base Point, 318, 321–324
Project Browser
accessing Families from, 492–497
browser organization, 54–56,
229–231, 233
creating new Types from,
duplicating groups on, 298–300
overview, 44–45, 72, 81–86
right-click items in, 92
Project Coordinates, synchronizing, 323
Project Elevation Base, 188
Project information, editing, 229
Project North, defined, 325
Project Standards Worksets, 731
Project Vasari, 760–776
add edge, 774
add profile, 775
dissolve forms, 776
edit profile, 775
editing forms in conceptual design
environment, 771
extrusions, creating, 762–764
global and local controls, 772–773
install dataset files and open
project, 760
intent stack, 761–762
loft form, creating, 764–766
revolve form, creating, 766–767
sweep form, creating, 767–770
swept blend form, creating,
using X-ray, 771–772
Projects. See also Files; Project
Browser; Sample project
exploration; Templates
bi-directional coordination
within, 45
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Inde x
commercial project creation,
creating from Construction
template, 181–183
creating with default template,
creating without template, 184
residential project creation,
saving as template, 74, 235
ProMaterials library, 809, 811
Properties, instance vs. type, 86–87
Properties Tool, 16, 86–88
Property Line tool, 830
Publishing, 718–719, 722–725
Quality setting for rendering, 815
Queries, 674–678
Quick Access Toolbar (QAT)
adding tools to, 76
overview, 74
right-clicking on, 91–92
Quick Start tutorial
adding doors and windows, 9–11
adding floor, 19–20
adding roof, 21–24
adding stair, 24–27
creating schedule, 28–30
creating walls, 7–9
editing in any views, 15–19
getting started, 4–5
output options, 35
preparing output, 31–34
solar studies, 35–38
underlay creation, 5–7
working in other views, 12–15
Radius option for walls, 113
Rafter mode, 404–405
adding to entry stairs,
adding to patio, 382–383
adjusting outside, 377
adjusting sketch of, 357–358
editing, 375–377
modifying, 339–340
overview, 334
type selection during stair addition,
337, 370
types, 349–350
Ramps, adding, 377–379
Raster processing, 714, 718
RCP. See Ceilings
Recent files screen, 72–73, 512
Reception desk, 516–518
48480_20_index_841-850.indd 847
Rectangle option, adding walls with,
Reference-based forms, 759–760,
Reference Lines, 833–835
Reference Planes
adding to in-place Family, 164–166
for custom Families, 519, 521–523,
overview, 49, 345, 346
for positioning stairs, 345–346
Reference tracking, 40
Referenced Section Views, 626–627
Reflected ceilings. See Ceilings
Reload command (for Groups), 299
Reload From button, 331–332
Reload Latest tool, 747
Rename command, 33
Rename command (for Groups), 298
dialog and settings, 815–818
3D views and cameras, 808–809
generating, 835
lighting, 804–806, 812–820
materials, 809–812
model preparation, 806–808
overview, 804
post-rendering exposure
adjustment, 818
saving, 819
walkthroughs, 820
workflow, 804–806
Repeating Detail elements, 596–597
Reports, 682–683
Representation, 41
Reset Shape tool, 424
Residential project, creating, 117–120
Resources, online, 838–840
Restrooms, 161–162, 832
Revealing hidden elements, 91
Reveals, 582–583
Revision tracking, 724
Revit Architecture. See Quick Start
tutorial; User interface; specific
concepts and elements
Revit Structure, 251
Revolves, 504, 530–531, 766–767
Rewind function, 60, 95
Rhomboid pattern, 792, 794
Ribbon. See also Tools
overview, 6–7, 71, 75
panels, 76–77
right-clicking on, 91
viewing states, 77–78
Right-clicking, 91–93
Riser and Boundary mode, 353–356
Risers, 25, 355–356
Riverbed Technology, 732
Roof plan views
creating in Existing phase, 388
editing view range, 422–423
modifying, 401–402
existing, 389–391
new, 398–399
simple, 197–198
in tutorial, 21–24
adding gutters to, 410–412
adding Layers to, 405–407
adding skylights to, 412
adjusting chimney, 391–393
applying Host Sweep to edges,
attaching walls to, 393–394
commercial vs. residential, 387
complex type, 405
in Conceptual Massing
environment. See Divided
Surface and Patterning tools
creating by extrusion, 21–24,
editing structure of, 405–407
joining, 399–400
options for, 402–405
overview, 388
sub-elements, 422–428
Room Bounding, 695, 700
adding finish information, 673
adding within groups, 309–310
door numbers and, 639
editing names of, 671
exporting reports, 682–683
overview and options for, 667–668
renumbering, 640, 661, 669–671
reporting in Furniture Schedule,
Tags, 667–671, 678–679
viewing Schedule of, 672–673
working with Area Plans, 682–683
Rotate tool, 318
Run sketch creation mode, 336, 368
Sample project exploration
detail views, 67–68
getting acquainted with, 57–60
getting started, 56–57
tool tips, 60–62
views, editing in any, 67
views and detailing, 62–66
Saturation, 818
Save Group command, 299
Scale, 33, 65, 228, 589–591, 605
Schedule Keys, 640, 656–660
Schedule views
adding, 213–214, 640–642
duplicating, 647–648
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848 I n dex
Schedule views (continued)
importing from other Projects,
interaction with plan view, 29
overview, 213
adding to sheet, 651–653
copying and pasting, 183
creating, 28–31
editing model elements from,
editing parameters from model,
excluding elevator doors from, 385
exporting to file, 682
filtering items in, 650
footers, 648–650
formatting and appearance,
grand totals, 648–650
grouping items in, 646–647
headers, 648–650
highlighting items in Model, 639
material takeoffs, 676–678
overview, 637
reporting Room in Furniture,
sorting items in, 645–646
splitting long, 653–654
viewing existing, 638–640
viewing Room, 672–673
Scope Boxes, 723
Second floor
editing wall layout, 394–398
new construction, 826–828
Section boxes, 808
Section lines, 211–212
Section sheets, 222–224
Section views
of ceilings, 699–700
creating, 13–15, 211–212
overview, 211
Seek Web Library, 383–384, 491,
499–500, 719
Segment Drag Handle controls, 212
Select All Instances command, 257,
Selection boxes, 96
Selection methods
in conceptual modeling
environment, 200
crossing, 115–116
overview, 95–97
Selection sets, 95–97
Settings, 99–107
Shadows, 814, 820
Shafts, 266–268, 372–374
Shape Editing tools, 423–428
Shape Handles, 585
Shared Coordinates
48480_20_index_841-850.indd 848
defined, 322
establishing, 318
linking by, 326
saving, 319, 323–325
Shared Elevation Base, 188
Shared Levels and Grids Workset,
Shared Parameter File, 679
Sheet Prefix Browser Organization,
Sheet views
cover sheets, 227–228
elevation sheets, 222–224
floor plan sheets, 217–222
overview, 57, 216–217
from placeholders, 221
section sheets, 222–224
adding, 31–33
adding Schedules to, 651–653
adding plan views to, 221–222
cover, 227–228
detail, 620–621
elevation, 222–224
on Project Browser, 85–86
renaming, 33, 217–219
renumbering, 33, 217–219
section, 222–224
views from placeholder, 221
Shelves, brick, 580–586
SHIFT key, 96
Sinks, adding, 161
Site Plan views, applying view
template to, 193
Sites, creating simple, 193–195
Sketch-based objects, defined, 334
Sketch ceiling, 690
Sketch mode, 19, 337
Skylights, 412
roof, 199, 387, 390–391, 399,
stair/railing, 26–27
Slope Arrow mode, 696
Snaps, 103–104
Solar studies, 35–38
Solid blends, 523–526
Solid extrusions, 519–520
Solid forms
creating, 166–167, 781–782,
defined, 504–505, 518–519
Solid revolves, 530–531
Solid sweeps, 532–534
Spacing settings, 457
Specialty Equipment template,
Spline Through Points tool, 789
Split button tools, 19, 78–79
Split Face tool, 810
Split Surface tool, 828–829
stringers, 26
walls, 131–132
Stacked Walls, 435, 477–483
Stairs. See also Railings
adding, 25–28, 335–339, 367–370
adding railings to entry, 381–382
adjusting Toposurface for, 340–341
adjusting wall profile for, 361–362
to basement, 350–352
bull nose riser, adding to, 355–356
copying and demolishing, 342–344
custom shaped, 379–381
editing sketch of, 352–355
multi-story, 370–371
overview, 334–335
straight interior, 345–347
types, 347–350
viewing in 3D, 356–358
Status Bar, 88
Steelhead accelerators, 732
Steering Wheel, 12, 58–59, 62, 155
Storefront type, 455–456
Stringers, 26, 349–350
Structural framing, 268–273
Structural plans, creating, 330
Structural vs. Architectural Columns,
251. See also Columns
Structural walls, 260–264
Sub-element editing tools, 422–428
Subcategories, creating, 548–550
Sun path, 814
Survey Point, 321–322, 324
in conceptual massing
environment, 767–770
defined, 504
host, 408–410, 482–483
solid, 532–534
wall, 481–482
Swept blends, 526–529, 770–771
Swing parameter, 835–837
Symbolic Lines, 550–552
Synchronizing with Central file,
739–740, 746–747
System Families, 54–56, 113,
486–487, 495
TAB key, 97–99
Tag All Not Tagged tool, 661
adding to other views, 674
door, 660–661
elevation, 177–178, 203–205,
families, 679
groups and, 286–287, 289
06/06/11 11:16 AM
Inde x
loading, 511–516, 661–662
loading custom elevation, 205–206
NCS elevation, 513–516
options for doors, 138
overview, 660
room, 667–674, 678–679
Teams, tools for. See Work sharing
construction, 181–183
creating own, 113, 184–185
creating projects without, 184
default, 101, 176–181
family, 517
imperial, 175
metric, 175
overview, 173, 174–176
saving as, 74, 235
view, 192–193
views and, 49, 217
Temporary dimensions
for doors, 10–11, 141
enabling for multiple selections, 210
for levels, 17, 189–190
setting defaults for, 103, 124
sketching and, 125–126
for walls, 8
for windows, 18
leaders with, 609–611
overview, 50
placing, 607–608
types, 606–607
mullion, 463–464
roof layer, 407
3D Models
BIM vs., 41, 44
considerations for rendering,
3D views
camera, 808–809
default, 748
defining in rendering workflow,
of models, 12–13, 153–156
plumbing fixtures and, 160
of sun path and shadows, 36–37
of stairs, 356–358
in workset enabled projects, 748
TIF files, 819
Tiling views, 14–15, 88, 517–518
Tilted walls, 42
Titleblocks, 217, 221, 224–227, 229
Titles on sheet parameter, 224
Toilets, 161, 832
Tools, 8, 78–79. See also specific tools
Tooltips, 60–62, 79–81, 89, 738
adjusting, 340–341
creating, 194–195
48480_20_index_841-850.indd 849
graded region tool, 342
from imported data, 312, 315–316
splitting and applying materials to,
tools for, 830
Total sun area, 37
Transfer Project Standards command,
113, 176
Transparent background, 701
Transparent feature, 573–574
Transverse section view, 255–256
Trim/Extend tool
for floors, 20–21
for void forms, 167–169
for walls, 127, 128–129, 261–262
Troubleshooting printing, 718
True North, rotating views to, 325
Truss mode, 404–405
2D drafting items, 807
2D DWF, publishing, 234
2D/3D Extents toggle, 189, 209, 239
Type Catalogs, 592
Type Mark, 641
Type parameters in Schedule,
Type properties, 86–87
Type properties command, 299
Type Selector dropdown for Room
Tags, 667
Types. See also Families
defined, 51, 87, 486
family, editing and creating,
match properties, 496–497
selector, 86–88
Unconnected height for walls, 113
Underlays, creating, 5–6
Underpinned ceilings, 698–699
Unit conventions, 69–70
Upper Limit option for Rooms, 667
User Defined Worksets, 731–732,
User interface. See also Options Bar;
Project Browser; Quick
Access Toolbar (QAT);
Ribbon; Selection methods
application menu, 73–74, 712–713
conceptual massing environment,
navigating in views, 57–60, 94–95
overview, 69–71
recent files, 72–73
right-clicking, 91–92
settings, 99–104
status bar, 89
TAB key, 97–99
tools, 8, 79
type selector and properties palette,
unit conventions, 69–70
view control Bar, 90–91
User keynote option, 615
Username setting, 101
Variable option for Roof Layers, 406
Vector processing, 714, 718
Vertical mullions, 465–466
View Breaks, 602–604
View Control Bar, 89–91
View Elements, 46, 49–50
View indicators, 605
View templates, 192–193
View Title Family, 621
View windows, 92–93, 520–521
View Worksets, 731
ViewCube, 62
Viewport boundary, 32
Viewports, 61, 66
Views. See also Phases
adusting level of detail display for,
callout, 587–589
camera, 810–811
3D. See 3D Views
dedicated rendering, 809
dependent, 722–723
detail, 67–68
detailing and, 62–66
drafting, 233, 623–626, 634–635
duplicating, 64
editing in any, 15–19, 66, 156–159
elevation. See Elevation views
embellishing, 630–632
enlarged, 377
furniture plan, 664–666
hiding elements in, 616–617
isometric, 12, 808
legend, 634–635
levels and, 187–188, 190, 192–193
models and, 49–50
navigating in, 57–60, 94–95
not on sheets, 63, 86, 230
opening, 229
overview, 45, 49–50, 173
on Project Browser, 63–64, 84–85
referenced section, 626–627
reflected ceiling plan. See Ceilings
roof plan. See Roof plan views
rotating to True North, 325
in sample project, 62–66
scale, 33, 65, 228, 589–591, 605
schedule. See Schedule views
section. See Section views
sheet. See Sheet views
switching between, 216
06/06/11 11:16 AM
850 I n dex
Views. See also Phases (continued)
templates and, 49, 216
tiling, 14–15, 88, 517–518
visibility settings. See Visibility/
Graphics over rides
walkthrough, 820
working, 64, 438–439
working in other, 12–15
work set enabled project, 748
Visibility/Graphics over rides
cut line weight for host sweeps, 411
depths in elevations, 632–634
doors in RCP, 704
furniture, 66, 664–666
linked files, 422
in rendering views, 807
work sets, 738–739
Visibility parameters, 567
Visibility settings for Family
elements, 553–554, 572–573
Void forms
creating, 164–167, 506–507, 760
defined, 506–507, 518–519
Volume calculations, for energy
analysis, 667
Walkthroughs, 820
Wall Foundation, 274
Wall Layers
joining, 581
unlocking, 581–582
using Edit Cut Profile for, 601–619
Wall Sweeps, 481–482
adding using lines, 109–113
adding using pick lines mode,
adding using rectangle, 7, 113–114
adjusting profile for stairs, 361–362
attaching to roof, 393–394
basic options, 110–111
brick shelves, 580–586
constraining to levels, 196–197
copying, 121–122
creating and editing Type. See
Masonry shell
48480_20_index_841-850.indd 850
creating floors from, 264–266
curtain. See Curtain Systems;
Curtain Walls
detailing. See Detailing
extending single element, 128–127
height, 110, 199
location adjustment, 122–124
masonry. See Masonry shell
moving, 130–131
offsetting, 121
options for, 118
parameters, changing, 122–123
phasing and, 132–136
residential project creation,
second floor, 394–400
sketching, 125–126, 131–132
splitting, 128–130
stacked, 435, 477–483
structural, 259–262
tilted, 42
trimming, 169
trimming/extending single
element, 169–170
types of, 431
WAN (Wide Area Network). See
Wide Area Network (WAN)
Warning messages, Ignorable, 274,
292, 391, 479–480
Web sites of resources, 838–840
Whirlpool tub example, 571–573
White Point setting, 818
Wide Area Network (WAN), 732,
740–741, 750, 818
Width on side 1 and 2 parameters,
adding, 10–12, 149
adding to masonry walls, 429–430
bay, adding, 785–788
cased openings, 151–153
custom Families, 152–153
modifying, 17–18
Windows (interface), closing unused,
209, 222
Windows selection method, 115
Wiring for ceilings, 706–707
Witness lines, moving, 117–120, 241
Work Plane
defined, 21, 418
disassociating, 531
setting perpendicular to the path,
using surfaces as, 524
Working views, 64, 500–501
Working with Area Plans, 683–686
Work sets
adding new elements, 746
borrowing elements, 735,
central file, 732–734, 739–740,
closing, 743
creating additional, 735–749
default 3D views, 748
editable and open, 734
editing elements in, 658
enabling, 732–733, 772
linked files vs., 307
local files, 740
moving items to, 737
overview, 726, 728,
reload latest tool, 747
rendering performance and,
tips for, 749–750
tooltips, 738
visibility, 736, 738–739
Work sharing. See also Linked files;
Work sets
linking and importing, 727
overview, 298, 311, 726
Work surface Height Reference
Plane, 531
Wraps, 406, 434
X-ray tool, 771–772
Zoom option for printing, 714
Zooming tools, 32, 58–60,
06/06/11 11:16 AM
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