Revit Architecture tips & tricks
- Nudge (Use your arrow keys to move objects around. Its not accurate but perfect for text especially as the movement amount is zoom sensitive.)
- SZ (Snap option to close a chain of lines for floors, profiles etc.)
- Blue (Represent links in Levels symbols, Section markers etc. if double clicked; also represent linked values ie. parameters in tags, that turn blue after selecting them.)
- Shift + Control (Toggles elements in/out of the selection set when pressed together)
- Mirror axis (There is a pen button to create an axis after you have selected the command.)
- Surfaces are defined by material (can be overriden), lines are defined by category.
- Edit wall join can be selected before joining walls up, to disable jointing and indicating them as separate elements.
- Right clicking on sheet names in the browser allows them to be copied and pasted with all added text notes, detail elements etc. (Only works on empty sheets ie. no views dragged in.)
- Ctrl Drag will copy the elements, while it also lets you see them (not available in ordinary copying).
- Grouping text to a reference line will allow you to rotate them together in a family. (Rotatable column tag enclosed – a long standing wish.)
When you have three elements for example three walls, desks
.and they are EQ spaced and you select one, the anchor
appears. What the anchor does is it shows you which element
will stay in possession if you move any one of the other elements.
So it works like the pin but after you have moved the elements
the object is not pinned any more. You can move the anchor
to any one of the elements. Just keep something in mind though..
when you pin an object, it will overide the anchor.
What is the default focal length of a Revit camera?
A camera inserted into a Revit scene has a default focal view
(FOV) of 50° (degrees). This corresponds (with a 35mm
film camera) to a focal length of 38.6mm.
You can change the focal view parameters in the properties
of a view crop region.
When using "color fill" in your project, you are
able to switch off the "color fill legend" by selecting
"VG" on your kb. Then select annotation categories.
If you would like to switch off the actual color fill on your
floor plan, select on "model categories" and then
select the sub-categories of "rooms".
But, if you would like to switch off the color fill on your
"area plan", then select the sub-categories of "Areas"
under the model categories.
Creating a copy
If you select the object and hold control and drag the object
the original stays behind but you have created a copy.
When you use the tab key to jump around elements you would
like to select, but it happens that you press the tab key
one too many times.
All that you have to do is hold down the shift key and press
tab at the same time - this enables you to go back.
Select V, then the space bar - you will go to View
If for some reason you are doing a project where you draw
in the levels, you then dimension between those levels and
select the EQ symbol, the distances between levels will then
be equal, those levels are now constraint to that dimension.
When you delete that dimension an error will come up. If you
just say "ok" and not "unconstrain", the
levels will stay equal from each other.
You could either undo that step and select unconstrain, or
say you're halfway through your project and then you only
realize this.. you can select on a level and you'll find an
anchor symbol near the bottom/top level. You'll also see an
EQ symbol that you would then have to select to solve the
problem(the levels will now be unconstraint). This doesn't
only count for levels.. windows.. and so on.
If you use temporary dimensions often, it's nice to know that
when clicking on an object and you get the temporary dimension,
you are able to click on the blue square box and move the
point of reference of the temporary dimension to the needed
Door height offset
Since doors are placed on a level and dont have a height
offset from the level, creating a new level for doors where
doors land on a landing would be unworkable.
Solution: Take your door, open it in the family editor. Change
its Type category to Window, From Settings Family
category and parameters Apply the changes and
then change it back to the Door category, apply changes, save
and import it back into your project. The Elevation instance
parameter Sill height will be created so the door
can be elevated or lowered below the level it was inserted
Producing a Drawing List
Click on VIEW on the toolbar. Select New Drawing List. You
can add parameters, as you would in a schedule (eg. issued
to electrical contractor). Do this as a Yes/No Parameter.
You can find the Drawing List under your schedules for exporting
or placing onto a sheet.
Revit geometry in a DWF file appears shifted
in Volo View
Volo View 3 displays a .DWF file from Revit (DWFwriter) with
shifted geometry. Apply Service Pack 1 (or higher) for Volo
View 3 - see www.xanadu.cz/download
Forum - http://www.cadforum.cz
Converting shape entities to standard DWG objects
If you need to process your DWG drawing in a different CAD
application (GIS, Revit, ...), it may be necessary to first
convert Shape-type objects (SHX/SHP files) to other, more
standard object types.
You can do this with the SHP2BLK Express Tool. The selected
shape is translated to a standard block reference, with the
identical insertion point.
Forum - http://www.cadforum.cz
Deleting a .dwg
It's very important that when deleting a dwg out of a project/family
that you also go to "settings", "Object Styles"
and also delete the layers if not deleted. This will just
help you to keep your project/family as small as possible.
If you imported a DWG and you would like
to make all the lines black
Go to view properties / DWG/DGN...categories selects the DWG.
and go to object styles there you will be able to select the
pen colours and make them black.
Or make sure you select all lines black before you import
the dwg... remember to delete the DWG when you have finished
Tracing a .dwg
A common path for new Revit users is to import a dwg file
and start tracing a project that got started in AutoCAD. Revit
has a number of features that make this pretty easy to do.
But just because it was drawn once in cad doesn't make it
perfect or correct. I can't remember the last time I used
a dwg file that didn't introduce some sort of error into the
project I was involved in. What sort of errors am I talking
The old they sure look lined up but they aren't problem
for one. This one happens alot. Two lines that are on either
side of a corridor, forming an opening look lined up but if
you look closely you'll find that they are off by a tenth
of an inch or less. So when you use the PICK option to place
walls you get two segments that are off slightly. The ALIGN
command will fix it quick but you'd have to notice it first.
A sure fire hint that there is something wrong is when Revit
doesn't offer a snap. If you pick an endpoint of a dwg line
segment, move your cursor up to the other end and no SNAP
icon is offered, BEWARE! The line segment is not aligned with
the previous point.
Another is the line is almost nearly exactly plumb or horizontal,
or almost exactly a clean angular value. Such as 89.001 degrees
or .003 degrees. Sketching a Revit wall or line over such
a dwg source will generate an error message like this one.
This simply means, "Gosh, this line is so close to a
nice angle we thought we'd let you know that it doesn't make
sense!" So the next time you start tracing a dwg file
to start your Revit model, be a little skeptical and cynical
about the dwg source, even if you did the work yourself. Been
there, done that!
How to delete the unused families in your project.
Go File/purge unused.
Select the elements(families) that are not been used in the
Updating families created in previous
versions of Revit
If you go to the installation extras on your Revit install
cd for v8.1 you will see that there is an automatic update
pgm that will sort out all of those fantastic families you
have downloaded or created in previous versions.
Files / scripts
Assigning Revit 8.1 as my default for
It was recently discussed on augi where Revit 8.1 doesn't
become your default for loading projects or families. The
files would always open in Revit 8 regardless if the files
where already 8.1 or not.
- Go to Windows Explorer (you must have Admin or Power User
rights to do this)
- Tools>Folder Options, then File Types Tab
- Find RVT in the list of files, highlight it, then click
Advanced (opens new Dialog)
- Click the New Button. in Action Type "Open with Revit
8.1" (no quotes)
- In Application used to perform this action, Type exactly:
- "C:\Program Files\Autodesk Revit Building 8.1\Program\Revit.exe"
- Click the function use DDE.
- Type this exactly as is inside the DDE Message Box:
- Click OK
- highlight the new "Open with Revit 8.1" and
click Set Default button.
- Click OK/Close to get out of all dialog boxes.
Your files will now open in 8.1 by default. Do the same for
RFA and RTE if you'd like.
When doing a project and you want to save that project, make
sure that you go to your simplest floor plan and then select
"window" and then say "close hidden windows".
When saving a Revit file in floor plan it saves the file in
a smaller size.
How to run the Revit journal file (script)?
Just drag and drop the journal file from your Windows file
manager to the Revit icon.
Floor slabs tricks
When modelling up a floor slab and I select the "pick
walls" option I then pick the walls that I need. I then
draw a cut in the "sketch mode" for the area where
my staircase would be.. When you select "finish sketch"
you would be able to move that opening/cut in the floor without
having to edit the floor. Keep in mind that you'll have to
edit the floor if you want to change the size of the hole/cut/opening.
You would also be surprised of the fact that when you use
the "pick walls" tool.. and and and.. When you move
a wall that you've selected, the floor opening keeps the distance
from the wall the same no matter how far you move the wall.
Floor Slabs Joining walls
If you are using the generic object styles and you join geometry
of a floor slab to a wall, it has a very thin line representing
the cut of the slab.
If you go to object style> floor, you will see that you
can change the Common Edge Cut, if you change it to about
a pen 4, the results are cool.
When you create a ceiling and you select the 600x1200 grid
and the grids are not going in the right direction, you can
select on the model hatch pattern that is representing the
ceiling grid and select on the rotate command on your toolbars
and rotate the ceiling grid. Please note that you must select
the gridlines and not the edge of the ceiling.
Importing / exporting
Importing 3D models done in AutoCAD
1. Open new family called Metric Mass
2. Import the AutoCAD 3D model into the family
3. Save as, New family name.
4. Go to the Revit file.
5. Load the new family into the project
6. Design bar/Massing
7. Place Mass.
8. Use the massing tools to create walls, roofs, floors ext.
Linked or Imported Detail Components
Never explode imported or Linked AutoCAD detail
components as this slows down your model and you might have
to clean up the file by deleting repetitive elements and replacing
them with appropriate drafting tools like the Detail lines
or Filled Region from the Drafting menu. If you have to use
an AutoCAD detail on a Revit model; Import/Link the AutoCAD
details to Current view only, this is to avoid
seeing 2D model lines in all other Views by default.
Which export formats are supported in
Autodesk Revit supports besides its own formats RVT, RFA,
RTE, RVG also saving (export) to the formats DWG (incl. DWG2004),
DXF (incl. DXF2004), DGN, gbXML.
Revit model can be also saved as a relational database through
ODBC - ie. as MDB, DBF, XLS, SQL. Views can be exported to
the raster formats JPEG/JPG, BMP, TARGA, TIFF. Walkthroughs
can be exported as AVI video files. Plot output can be published
to the DWF and PDF formats.
Why is my Revit menu item Export 2D DWF
Probably you don't have installed the "Autodesk DWF Writer"
driver neccessary for DWF publishing. See DWF
How to change Level Head?
Go/file/new/annotation symbols, select M_level head > Delete
the text note after reading it > Use line tool and sketch
the new profile of your level head > and put a label for
the level and the name.
Save As, give file name i.e. CP_Level Head. Reload the new
Level Head into the project.
How to hide level line if you linked two
Go to Visibility/Graphics(VG shotcut key)
4.Linked RVT Categories
Select the rvt file (click on the + sign)
Go to levels and untick then.
Changing line styles of a family
Load the family into your project. Go to Settings/object styles/Model
Objects/ > and then you can go and change the line type,
Creating a line style
Go to Settings/line pattern/new and start with dash or a dot,
give distance to it, next a space with a distance, keep on
with this till you are satisfied with your pattern.
Just remember one thing you have to end the pattern with a
Now go to settings/line styles/new (under modify subcategories.)
Give the new Line style a name. Now you should have your own
How do I divide a curve line into 7 or
10 equal segments
Draw a circle/arc (I would use walls not lines) - you could
then use a drafting line from the centre of the arc arrayed
from the centre point of the arc using a radial array from
the start to the end, split the wall using the split tool
at the points where the lines intersect the arc/circle.
Thick lines in DWG imported into Revit
If the AutoCAD drawing you have imported to Revit displays
with too thick lines, check the line thickness settings and
the overall scale (units) - your imported scene may be too
Objects / elements
Deleting multiple elements
If you have multiple elements that need to be deleted just
hold the delete button on your keyboard and select the elements
you want to delete.
How to un-demolish an element in Revit
Select the element and go to the properties/phasing and make
the demolished phase none.
Object properties & editing
If you select almost any object in Revit and then go 'Alt
enter' it will bring up the properties of it. Then press 'Ctrl
enter' to edit it.
Quick way to make object transparent
I'm just working on a roof of a large house and in 3D wanted
to see thru to the walls underneath the roof without hiding
the roof. I used the Demolish tool to make the roofs transparent
-- and tweaked the Phase - Temporary material to something
other than the blueish hue that it is by default. This is
allowing me to figure out how to make the roof line less ugly
on this project ...then you'll have to undemolish the objects
to bring them back to life.
To undemolish you go to the object's properties and demolish
phase, turn this back to none.
In revit, you were able to edit the room's identity
data by clicking on the room tag. That has now changed in
Revit9. You need to click on the room ie. click on the X that
marks the room boundary. Select the room and then go to properties.
That's how you would be able to edit the room's properties.
Patterns / materials
How to change my texture in Revit for renderings
You can use the standard texture or you can load your own.
Loading your own material:
i.e. changing the wall material; select the wall and go to
properties; edit/new > then structure edit > go to material
(by categories) > let's say you would like to make a new
brick type:- you select masonry brick and duplicate and rename
Go to the accurender texture select the pull down menu to
see the materials loaded > Right click on the material
select new-default gray.
Then the material editor will open > go to maps > image
mapping / add > go and look for the image file you would
like to load.
Using a hatch pattern from AutoCAD
This is for a particular hatch pattern in AutoCAD you want
to use in Revit. In AutoCAD draw a rectangular polyline and
fill it with the hatch pattern you want. Save the file with
the hatch pattern name that you used and import this dwg file
into Revit. Explode the dwg. Just remember if you explode
a dwg that your file size will become very big. (REMEMBER
TO DELETE THE DWG FILE AFTER YOU HAVE EXPLODED IT).
Using Filled Regions as a Wipeout
Many of us use Filled Regions in Revit to cover up, or wipeout
an area of a drawing or detail. Most of us will instinctively
use a White Solid Pattern as the filled region to do the covering
up. This will actually cause problems, especially when exporting
to DWG, because those white solids end up showing and printing
as black solids. The correct pattern to use as a cover up
is actually no pattern at all! Thats right, choose the
No Pattern option in the Filled Region dialog
box, and then draw your region. It will cover up anything
behind it like a white solid pattern would, but without the
D - Autodesk Revit Building Product Manager
Easter egg in Autodesk Revit
Also Revit has a hidden "Easter egg". Hold the Ctrl-Alt-Shift
keys and choose "Help - About Autodesk Revit..."
from menu. The development team is introduced using Revit
Faster 3D display in Revit
To accelerate display functions in Autodesk Revit switch on
the OpenGL support (if you have a 3D graphics card):
Settings > Options > General, check the option Use OpenGL
acceleration if supported.
Slow mouse motion in Revit
You may find your mouse moving slowly in some OpenGL enabled
applications (including Revit) if you are using the Logitech
In the current version of this driver (Control panel >
Mouse > Motion tab) you can find the "Disable acceleration
in games" option. Uncheck this option. You can also download
and run the "Logitech Advanced Settings Utility"
for MouseWare 9.76 and above.
How do I place an entourage on an angular
You will have to go into the family and edit two things. Go
to settings / family categories and parameters. Turn off 'always
vertical' and turn on 'work plane base'. Save as. (New Name)
> Load into project > and in level view i.e. Level1.
Select the plane that you have created. Place your entourage
and it will be on the work plane and not the level line.
Print error: Spooler subsystem app has
encountered a problem and needs to close.
If you encounter this error trying to print/plot from AutoCAD,
Revit, Inventor, Design Review or other Windows application,
you need to fix a faulty printer driver or printer service
installed on your computer.
You can find detailed information on Microsoft's
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/810894/en-us) support site
(KB810894). If this problem occurs when installing a new printer/plotter,
try to stop the spooler manually (net stop spooler) and restart
it after the installation (net start spooler).
How to make site topography show up properly
in a render? ie. water, sand, grass is grey when rendered.
Turn off 'use sun shadows' on the main render settings screen.
Also check 'phase' and 'phase filter' settings of the view
you want to render. There are materials for phases that render
grey if the settings are not set to the most recent phase
with a 'show all' filter. Do also check that you do not have
a ground plane on.
Forum - http://www.cadforum.cz
My Revit rendering functions are grayed out
If you see disabled buttons Raytrace, Radiosity and other Revit rendering functions, you have probably set a wrong path to the rendering folder - typically:
c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Autodesk\Revit Building 9\Rendering
You can find this setting in the dialog Settings > Options > Rendering.
The folder may not contain the neccessary files and the downloaded Accurender contents (libraries).
Forum - http://www.cadforum.cz
Common label for multiple rooms in Revit
If you want to handle a group of rooms as a single room (labels,
selection, schedule...) disable the Bounding property for
their common boundary walls.
Room volume computing
When placing a room tag, select on the room tag and go to
the type selector. Select "room tag with volume"
. Where the volume should be, the room tag indicates to you
that the volume is "not computed". Go to "settings"
then "room & area settings". You'll notice that
you can select "compute room volumes".
When back in your floor plan, you'll notice that the volume
is now computed... The thing that you need to keep in mind,
is the fact that you have to go and set the volume of the
room, ie. you need to go to the room's properties and select
the "limit offset". Keep in mind not to click on
the room tag, but the room itself!
You would now also be able to do a schedule of volumes in
your room schedule.
RPC / blueprints
Where to find blueprints (views) of cars?
Blueprints of different car types are often needed for CAD
jobs, visualizations, AEC projects, mechanical design or for
design of large format adhesives.
Blueprints of the most common car types (eg. Audi, BMW, Citroen,
Fiat, Ford, Hyundai, Jaguar, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Nissan,
Opel, Peugeot, Renault, Saab, Seat, Skoda, Volvo, VW) can
be downloaded from http://jpracing.racerplanet.com/modules/myalbum/viewcat.php?cid=1 or http://www.suurland.com/ or www.smcars.net.
How to add the revisions so that it fills in a revision number
parameter automatically in a titleblock; taking data from
the revision schedule?
Make two revision schedules - format one to only show Revision
Number; place this in the appropriate position in your titleblock.
We have implemented this but there are a few things the users
- This only works if you set your revisions to by sheet
and not by project.
- Do not sort anything but have grand totals ticked with
count and total set. Itemize every instance must be unticked.
In the apperance window nothing must be ticked so that only
the body text displays.
- Do not use the field 'revision number' rather use 'issued
to' (most people do not use this field) this solves the
problem of a double number on the first revision.
- Do not use more than one revision cloud on the drawing
for each revision. Because Itemize every instance is unticked
the revision schedule displays the revision once but the
count displays every instance of the revision.
To display more than one cloud draw the first cloud then
edit it and add in the extra clouds.
Update from Rob Newman: Revisions schedules (October 2006)
We have encountered a problem with
automating the placement of revision numbers on drawing sheets
in the method discussed below.
Because we are using a schedule to display the revision number
and not a parameter, we can not pass a revision number on
to the drawing list schedule.
We have created a drawing issue register using Microsoft Access.
In the drawing issue data base we keep a record of the lates
revisions. to achieve this We export the drawing list and
read the exported file into the data base.
It is therefore more important to us to have the revisions
in the drawing list schedule automated than to have the drawing
display the revision automatically.
And we are back to the original problem. HOW DO WE GET A PARAMETER
FOR THE LATEST REVISION? Once there is a parameter that has
the latest revision then everything is simple. You display
the parameter on the drawing sheet and use the paramater as
a field in the drawing list schedule.
The number that this parameter should hold exists in Revit.
Revit creates a revision sequence number for each sheet to
enable it to populate the revision schedule on each sheet.
We need this sequence number to be a drawing sheet parameter.
It apears that this problem has no work around and therefore
needs to be addressed by Revit.
How do I show a small part of my section/plan/elevation
How do I show a small part (detail) of my plan/section/elevation?
- Go to view/callout.
- select the area you would like to show the detail of and
drag the callout around the area.
- Select the text that you would like to show on the callout
- Copy to clipboard.
- Go to the callout view and paste aligned /same place.
How to change the Detail Number in the section head?
The first thing is that the section should be placed on a
sheet. Then you will see that the section has a detail number
and a sheet number.
Right click on the section line > go to properties >
and change the detail number. Remember DON'T WORK ON THE SHEET
VIEW BUT ON THE PLAN VIEW.
How to change your section head?
Start off by going to file/new/annotation symbol.
Delete the text in red. By using line and filled regions create your own section head.
When finished save your section head family into your desired folder.
Load the new section head family into your project.
Now in your project go to Settings/View tags/Section tags.
Duplicate the one and give a new name to your section head.
Now change the section head to your section head and if you would like to change the section tail you can do it too.
if you have done this select the apply button and then OK.
Go and select your section line in your project and go to Properties / Edit New and change section tag.
Making New Sheets
Did you know that you can copy a sheet to clipboard and paste
a new sheet into the project browser? Now you DO!
Add a new sheet, rename and number it (or use an existing
sheet). In the Project Browser select the sheet and press
CTRL + C (Window's copy to clipboard shortcut). Then immediately
press CTRL + V (Window's paste from clipboard shortcut). The
new view is added and renumbered based on the next number
using the previous and using the same name as the previous
as well, as fast as Emeril can say "BAMM".
For what it is worth when you select a sheet and Right Click
you can choose Copy to Clipboard. No Right Click > Paste
From Clipboard however 8-(
How to edit or add keyboard shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts are defined in the file KeyboardShortcuts.txt
in the Revit folder. You can use a text editor to modify this
file and add keyboard shortcuts in format: "shortcut"
Reading SketchUp models (.SKP) in Revit
Autodesk Revit (R9) supports import of 3D models in the SKP
format (Google SketchUp). See File > Import > CAD formats.
I've come to the conclusion that when starting a new staircase,
set up all the properties of the staircase even before indicating
the run. Also, when creating a customised railing, rather
go to the "railings type" and set the railing from
default to the railing that you've created and then draw the
staircase with that railing set as the default.
Depicting a steel stair with metal pan
treads showing channel stringer sections
Turn off the stringers Revit creates by default and use a
Railing with the profile you need for the stringers, then
offset it downwards into the correct position.
Lost a Tag on the Doors and Windows
How do I get it back? There are 2 ways:
1. If you only need to do one tag you can go to Drafting and
select the tag command and select the door or window.
2. If you need to tag all the door and windows in the project
go to drafting and select the tag all not tagged and select
the wind tag or the door tag.
REMEMBER: That tags are view based and this will only tag
the door and windows on the level you are on.
Adding 3D model text
Model text by default orientates itself to a plan view - and
there seems to be no dialog box or a setting that gives it
an option to orientate it otherwise. To place 3D text on a
vertical wall. Select your wall and orient to 3D view. From
the Modelling menu, choose Model Text from the Modelling tab
on the Design Bar. Choose the model text type from the Type
Selector on the Options Bar. Place the mouse over the model
element. Select a plane when the plane's edges are highlighted.
Type the text in the Edit Text dialog box. Click OK. Move
the pointer to the desired 3D text location and click.
You can add 3D text directly to any modelling element or family
including wall faces, massing, doors, or any other element
with a selectable plane. Revit adds the model text on the
set work plane of the view. You can specify the text font,
depth, and apply material to the 3D text.
Text that cannot align to angle of wall
1. Rotate text 90° or 180° closest to wall.
2. Then draw detail line 90° or 180° close to text.
3. Then group the two.
4. Now align to wall.
Text is aligned to wall - now all you have to do is ungroup
it and delete the line.
After changing a view in Revit, the view disappears
Probably a problem with your graphic card (or the GC driver).
Hit F5 to refresh the view. Try to change the hardware acceleration
Rotate a single view in Revit
In Revit, the structure is designed in the direction of either project north or true north. Many requests have been made to rotate a single view 90 degrees for placement on a sheet. This can be a very dangerous if you do not know what you are doing because rotating a view will change the entire direction of the project, which is WRONG.
To rotate a single view:
- Duplicate the view.
- Turn on the crop region.
- Choose MODIFY and select the crop region.
- Use the ROTATE command to turn the crop region, which will turn the view.
Author: The Mad Cadder - http://themadcadder.blogs.com/
When you select V and then space bar you will go to
How to create a wall reveal
File / new / family / Metric Profile-reveal > Create the
profile you would like to use > Load into your project.
Work in elevation or 3D view > Modelling / Host sweep /
wall reveal > Use the default profile > Put one reveal
in the wall.
Select the reveal and go to properties > Edit/new / Duplicate
/ give profile new name > Go to the profile and select
the profile youve created.
ok ,ok ,ok.
Revit walls with varying thickness
A wall with a non-rectangular shape (in plan view) or a wall
which thickness changes linearly by height can be created
as a in-place family, with its category set to Wall (Modelling
> Create > Walls).
Such wall will be properly listed in schedules and you can
insert doors and windows in it. You can align (lock) its individual
edges to the levels.