Thursday, August 28, 2008

Notes on Object Visibility

Object visibility can be controlled in Revit in many ways.

a. Temporary switch on / off:

You can temporarily hide / unhide selected objects or categories in a view using the Hide / Isolate button available in the View tool bar at the bottom of the screen. You can also access this command from View Menu > Temporarily Hide / Isolate or by pressing the relevant shortcuts. The objects that you switch off using this method will still get printed. If you close the project and open the project again, these objects loose their temporary visibility setting.

b. Permanent visibility settings:

You can select an element and right click and select the Hide in view command to switch on/off an element or all elements that belong to the category of the selected element.
You can select an element and right click and select the Override graphics in view command to change the colors / line thickness / line pattern of the selected element or all elements that belong to the category of the selected element.
You can also change the colors / line thickness / line pattern of these objects, and also switch them on / off using the command menu View > Visibility Graphics. The objects that you switch off using this method will NOT get printed. If you close the project and open the project again, these objects don’t loose their visibility setting. But anything you change will only affect this particular view.

c. View Templates:

If you want more than one view to have the same visibility settings, instead of changing the visibility setting for each view separately one by one, you can use a View Template. We create a view template and just assign it to other views.

· Create a View template:

1. Setup a view to your liking: Scale / shading / detail level / visibility graphics etc.

2. Go to menu View > Create View Template from view…

3. Give it a name and press ok. Now you have created a view template based on the current view. You could apply this setting to any other view later.

· Apply a view template:

1. Go to the appropriate view

2. Go to menu View > Apply View Template

3. Select the relevant “View template” you had created.

4. Press ok.

You can also right click a view or a set of views in the project browser and then select “Apply View Template”.

d. Permanent for the whole model:

To change visibility settings for objects, that affect the whole model, you have to go to menu

· Settings > Objects styles.

You can change the colors / line thickness / line pattern of these objects, but cannot switch them on / off. If you close the project and open the project again, these objects don’t loose their visibility setting. Anything you change will affect the entire model. Objects styles are NOT view specific.

e. Screening:

· To screen an individual element:

1. Select the element;

2. Right click > Override Graphics in View > By Element… ;

3. then check “Halftone”

· To screen all elements that belong to a category:

1. Select the element;

2. Right click > Override Graphics in View > By Category…;

3. Check “Halftone” for the selected objects category in the Visibility Graphics dialog box.

· To screen CAD Files: Similar method listed above. However, if you want to show certain layers in thick lines (like A-Demo layers in a Demo drawing) then instead of Halftoning the whole drawing,

1. Go to VG (View menu >Visibility Graphics)

2. In the Imported categories tab, select all the layers in the DWG except the one you want to make it bold

3. Override the layer color and line weight, etc.

4. Then select the layer you want bolded and override its color / line weight, etc.

f. Surface Patterns:

You can switch on/off, change colors of the surface patterns using the methods described above. If you want to change the surface pattern, you might have to create a new material with a different surface pattern or assign a different material in the property dialog box of the element.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gateway Autodesk User Group Meeting

Here are the details of our next Gateway Autodesk User Group meeting

When: 10th of September - Wednesday - from 6 to 7:30 pm

Where: Masonry Institute, 1429 S Big Bend Blvd, St Louis, MO (google map).

What: "Interoperability between BIM and Building Performance modeling applications like Eco-tect and Green building studio" by Tomislav Zigo

What else: If you are a GAUG member and if you are present at the meeting, you might win a pass to Autodesk University 2008. ($ 1,845 value).

You can RSVP here to make yourself eligible for this AU draw by joining GAUG!!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Notes on Printing

· Print window

· Duplicate the view; Crop it to suit your needs; then print current view;
It is always a good idea to delete this duplicated view after printing.

· Another workaround is to use the “Print Visible portion of current window option”.

1. If the zoom is set to Fit to Page in the print setup dialog box, Print Visible portion of current window option will print all the visible portion of the current view.

2. If the zoom is set to a zoom scale in the print setup dialog box, and the paper placement option is set to center, revit will print a portion of the model (NOT just the visible portion of the current view) that would fit into the selected size of sheet, in the selected scale, aligning the center point of the view to the center point of the sheet.

3. If the zoom is set to a zoom scale in the print setup dialog box, and the paper placement option is set to offset from corner, revit will print a portion of the model (NOT just the visible portion of the current view) that would fit into the selected size of sheet, in the selected scale, aligning the lower right corner of the sheet to the specified corner from the lower right corner of the view.

· Batch plotting:

1. First, go to the one of the views or sheet that would be included in this batch plotting process.

2. In the print dialog box > Print range option, keep it to Current view.

3. Then go to print setup and set the scale/etc, as if you were printing only this view / sheet.

4. Preview the print.

5. If everything looks ok, then change the Print Range to “Selected view / sheets” and click select button.

6. Always check none before proceeding to build a new batch plot list

7. You cannot preview the batch plot prints. But since you had already previewed it in step 4, you are ok.

8. (If you are uncomfortable with this and really want to preview the whole batch plot set, you need to create DWF or PDF files)

9. In the Print Audit dialog box, you can enter the batch size so that you don’t have to enter the info for every sheet / print.

· Issues

· To print or not to print certain elements, Revit has the following options.

· If you see certain text / hatch objects / tags missing in the printed output (but was visible in the view), then you should select Raster processing. This takes more time (10 secs) but prints properly. Revit defaults to Vector processing.

· If printing crashes your computer or the Print server (no one can print anything to anything!!!@#%$$##!), then use Raster processing. Generally if you want to print a shaded color view from Revit (color shaded plans; rendered views, etc.) always use Raster processing.

· Revit defaults to “Fit to page” option in the Print setup dialog box. You might want to check this always before sending the print. Here zoom 100% would mean that the printed output will have the same scale as that of the View.

· PDF printing;

· Select a PDF printer first. Print setting would be similar to other printers. While making a Batch PDF print, you can combing all PDFs in one file or create separate PDFs for each view / sheet by selecting the option in the print dialog box.

· DWF printing:

· You don’t print to DWF anymore. You go to File menu >Publish DWF to create DWF. Similar to PDFs you can create one combined DWF or separate one for each view / sheet.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Color Scheme issue

We had a situation where all the rooms were colored by the color scheme except one. We just could not figure out the reason for this. The room had a column right at the center and a partition wall that is aligned with the column.

After some trial and error, we found out that if we tweak the partition NOT to be aligned with the column the room gets colored! 


Here the partition is aligned.


Here the partition is tweaked.

As long as the partition does not overshoot the column, the room gets colored.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Locking objects and Views

Revit does not have a tool to lock an object or a view. Anybody can delete an object or change the parameters of the view. Revit has a fragile PIN command, which does not allow the 'pinned' object to be edited. But this pinned object can be deleted without much problem. Locking can be achieved, with some mixed results, by employing this cumbersome workaround. The idea is to use an imaginary user to own certain worksets that you don't want everyone to edit.

To lock views:

    1. Close your project.
    2. Go to settings > options and change the username to some imaginary user, for eg. "Locker"
    3. Open the central file
    4. Go to file menu > worksets and switch on view worksets.
    5. Select that particular view and make it editable. The user "Locker" owns that view workset now. (Most of the view related commands will be allowed for other users...including view dependent items!)
    6. Close the central file.
    7. Go to settings > options and change username back to yours.
    8. Open your local file or create a new local and work happily ever after.

If you need to edit the view elements that are locked, you can change the user name, open the project and make edits.

To lock objects:

  1. you can create a workset, for eg. "Locked Workset"
  2. Move any objects that need to be locked to this worksets
  3. Make it editable by the user "Locker", so that others cannot modify it.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Line breaks in schedule cells

You can enter data in a schedule cell with line breaks by using the "Cntrl-Enter" key combination whenever you need a line break. Revit does not show the text beyond the first line break in the schedule view, but the text looks ok in the sheet.


However, if we want to edit it later, it becomes a pain. When you select the cell, Revit shows only the first line. To see / edit the other lines, one needs to click inside the cell  and then press the "Down arrow" key to go to the next line.


If the down arrow is pressed when the cursor is at the last line in a cell, Revit moves the cursor to the next cell. This is quite irritating. To work around this, one could simply copy and paste the contents of the cell into a Text object. To do this, click inside a cell and then click and drag to select all the text in all the lines, then press "cntrl -c".


You create a new text object in any other view and paste the content of the clip board. After editing the text there, you can copy and paste it back into the schedule cell.

Copying and pasting from a text object seems to be time consuming, but will be faster than using "Cntrl-Enter" and "Down arrow" in some cases.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Attached wall height

This is quirky.

For instance, if we have a 15' unconnected wall and then attach


the top of the wall to a floor at level 1, which is at 10'. The wall properties still says that the height of the wall is 15'.


Revit also shows that the "Top is Attached". Changing this height in the properties does not change anything apparently. However, selecting the wall and clicking the "detach" button in the option bar,


to detach the wall returns the wall to the actual height shown in the properties.

(even though the wall height shows incorrectly while the wall is attached, the wall area, etc schedule correctly!)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Curtain Wall Doors and Levels

Curtain wall panel doors hosted in a curtain wall acquired the level from the level of the curtain wall. In this example the CW goes from level 1 to 4 and the doors are hosted at level 1, 2 and 3.


However, the schedule shows that all these CW panel doors are at level 1. This is the level the CW had as its "Base Constraint" when the doors were created.


Changing the base constraint of the CW to level 2 does not change the level value for the doors. There might be other better workarounds to show the correct level. The one that is shown here is long and winded. We used this one:

  1. Change the base constraint of the CW to the level you want to see in the schedule for a particular door. In this example, we made it Level 2 and then added a base offset of -10' , so that the CW looks the same after the level change.
  2. Select the Door panel that is needed to be changed and swap this panel with the "CurtainWall : Curtain Wall 1" wall.  (This is a default CW type. It has no mullions / grids but only one panel)
  3. Now TAB select the panel inside this "Curtain Wall : Curtain Wall 1" wall
    and swap this with the door panel.
    (You should NOT swap it with the whole "Curtain Wall : Curtain Wall 1" but the panel inside this CW.
  4. Now the schedule should show Level 2 for that particular door ("Curtain wall dbl glass"):
  5. You might have to repeat relevant steps to change other doors. Changing the base constraint of the original CW back to Level 1 without and base offset does not affect the doors!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Multiply by count in schedules

When we try to multiply with the Count parameter in Revit, it spits out: "The field Count cannot be used in formulas.


For example, in a furniture schedule, after assigning $ values for various furniture, one cannot get an extended total for a set of particular items using the calculated value (= Count * Cost)


The work around is to create a calculated value named "ExtCost" (= Cost) which is equivalent to the cost parameter. The result looks like this.


Then go to the schedule properties > Formatting tab and select the ExtCost parameter and check Calculate Totals.


The result,


looks fine. But why do I have to do this?

Friday, August 8, 2008

View Reference and duplicate with detailing

This looks like a bug.

We tried to duplicate a view with detailing and got this error.


When we tried to duplicate the view or duplicate as dependent we didnt get any error.

Duplicating as a dependent and then trying to convert the duplicated view to an independent view gave the same error.


The view had some dependent views along with View References. Revit does not like these view references to be duplicated, which is fair. However, revit could have automatically removed the view references while duplicating the view.

The workaround is to select all the view references in the view; cut them to clipboard; duplicate the view with detailing; then paste aligned the cut view references in the same place.  May be there is a better way!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Archive a Revit Project

People asked me about archiving a Revit project. A Revit project gets a bit tricky with its linked DWG and RVT files, etc. Archiving in this sense, is not backing up, but creating a Revit project that is frozen in time, for eg., after a DD submittals.

  1. Everybody STC and relinquish everything.
  2. Make a PDF set of the whole project.
  3. Open the central file with the option ‘detach from central’.
  4. Go to File menu > Manage Links and import the CAD links. 
  5. Select any Revit link in the project and click on the "Bind" button in the option bar.
  6. Go to File menu > Saveas to save here:
    P:\year\project number\CADD\Revit\archive\yearmonthdate-project number-project name -_archive.rvt