Archive for June, 2009

Revit TotD – 6.30.09: Room Tag Types “I don’t have that option!”

As usual, this tip is the result of coming across another odd “I don’t have that option” when trying to help another fellow member.  When he asked about how to show the Volume and are information in his room tags, I simply remarked that he should choose the correct Room Tag type from the Type selector.  When he said he did not have that option, I went through painstaking detail to explain to him where the type selector was and how to change the types, only to find out that the metric room tag family does not have those options.  Surprised, not really.  So here are the steps I gave him to modify his room tag to display this information.  This can be used for any annotation family that you wish to modify to show information you wish to show.

Modifying your Room Tag labels and types:

  1. Select the room tag and click “Edit Family.”  Alternatively you can open the family directly if you know where it is located.
  2. In the family you will see what labels are already in place.TotD-063009-06
  3. Place the new Labels.
    1. Choose the Label tool.
    2. Click to position the new label.
    3. Select an available category parameter to be included in the label and move it to the right.
    4. Click OK
    5. Repeat for all new labels.
  4. Click “Types” to access which types are available.
  5. Create the parameters for the visibility controls that we will associate to the new Labels.  In this case we are crating tag types that will individually show Room Name; Name and Number; Name, number and Volume and finally Name, Number and Area.  So we need 4 yes/no parameters in this case.
    1. Create New parameter,
    2. Name it according to which label it will be controlling.
    3. Choose “Yes/No” from type.
    4. Choose the appropriate group for your parameter.  In this case it will be Graphics.
    5. Leave it as a Type parameter since the family type will be controlling the parameter.  Click OK to create the parameter
    6. Repeat for the remaining parameters.
  6. Create the 4 types.
    1. Change the parameters to show the correct setting for the new type we are about to create.  In this case, Name, Number and Area.
    2. Click New under types.  Name the Type accordingly.  Click OK.
    3. Repeat these steps for all types.
  7. Associate the parameters to the object’s visibility parameter.
    1. Select the Label and open it’s properties.
    2. Choose the “=” button to the right of the “Visible” parameter.
    3. Choose the appropriate parameter to control that label’s visibility, in this case, the Volume parameter we created.
    4. Click OK
    5. Repeat for all labels that need visibility associations.
  8. Load the new tag into the project.
  9. Notice that you now have the 4 types we just created available in the type selector.
  10. Test the new family to ensure all types work appropriately.

While I wasn’t surprised to learn that the Metric install of Revit omitted these types from the family library, I was sure disappointed.  Either way, I hope this has been helpful to you.  Remember you can apply this to most annotation families that you wish to alter the information shown for your projects.  Remember that you also will want to save the new family in a different location than the default family location so that you don’t overwrite the default tag.  Thanks again for stopping by, have a great day and I’ll see you again for the next Revit TotD!



Revit TotD – 6.29.09 – Stealing Worksets from Lazy Co-Workers

WARNING!!!!  If you are not a BIM Manager in your office, stop reading here!  This is not a tip for the drafters in the office that don’t feel like placing Edit Requests to get something mundane done instead of walking over to your co-worker’s desk; if you hate them that much, you probably need to have a chat with your boss. </CYA> Now that that is done, what are we talking about?!  Everyone who has worked on a workset project has had this happen to them at some point or another.  If you haven’t had it happen… I pity you because your time is coming.

At some point in your workset project career, someone is going to forget to reliquish their worksets before they leave for lunch, the weekend or their one month long vacation, and you’re going to have to find a way to get their worksets relinquished for them.  Well, here’s a quick tip on how to easily get your workset project back on track, without their help, without their file, and without their machine.  Remember, if you’re not the BIM Manager in your office, then you need to have them do this or ask them for permission to do this before you continue.

Stealing worksets back from your lazy co-workers:

  1. Check for the user name that has the workset checked out.  This is in the Worksets Dialogue.
  2. Open a new instance of Revit (I do it this way so that I don’t have to save my local file to central, close, then open the central file.)
  3. Change the user name in the options settings BEFORE you open the central file.


  4. Open the central file.
  5. Relinquish the worksets.  Verify that the worksets were relinquished, if not make them non-editable in the worksets dialogue.



  6. Save to central and close the central file.  At this point you may want to change your user name back to your default user name if you are having problems with the other user name being applied to new Revit sessions after doing this.
  7. Go back to your local file and synchronize it with central (save to central) to update the workset permissions.
  8. You should now be able to check out the worksets you need for use.

As always, thanks again for stopping by and I hope this has helped you in some way!  Please share and comment.  Have a great day, and see you next time for another TotD.



Revit TotD – 6.26.09: Same View, new Callout

Here’s a quick tip to round off the week, most of you may know this already, but I think ALL of you should know, therefore I’m posting this little tip!  Ever had a View such as a cad detail or a drafting view that you want to reference by a new callout in your project?  There’s a quick little button you can check in the options bar before you place the callout that will allow you to do this.

Placing a callout for an existing view:

  1. Select the callout tool.
  2. Check the “Reference other view:” option in the options bar.
  3. Select which view you want to reference.
  4. Place the callout.  Note: the callout you place does not affect the area shwon for the existing view so take care as to how you place the callout.

Like I said, short and sweet, just the way we like it here!  Hope everyone has a great weekend and I hope you stop by next week for more, Revit TotD!  As always, enjoy, comment, share!



Revit TotD – 6.25.09: Wall Profiles and Constraints

The last project I worked on in a real office was a real piece of work.  With about 12 people in total working on the model at any given time, the model no doubt had some issues between everyone having their way with the model.  One of the issues that occurred DAILY was with wall profiles.  What I began noticing was that people were using profile lines instead of the Height and Length constraints to change the length and height of the walls.  Here is a quick tip on what to look for if you are having strange wall issues in your project.

Checking your Wall Profile Constraints:

  1. Select your wall and click “Edit Profile”
  2. Check that the outer profile lines are constrained to the wall reference planes.
  3. You can use align and lock to constrain any profile lines that are not constrained.
  4. Click “Finish Profile”
  5. Check that your wall edges flex with the wall grips.

Easy as that!  Hope that helps, as usual please comment and tell our friends and coworkers and fellow students!  Have a great day and I will see you next time for another Revit TotD!



Revit TotD – 6.24.09: Project Elevation vs. Actual Elevation

Yeah, I know you’ve been there.  Your boss asked you to make the elevations on a certain sheet show the actual elevation above sea level.  You tried to move all the levels up 600′ and EVERYTHING B0RKED!!!  If you haven’t been there you will eventually, well maybe not if you read this because you’ll know the correct way to handle this situation.  Today’s tip is geared to show you how to use the shared coordinates options to set the actual elevation and modify the level tags to handle the difference between Project Elevation and Shared (or actual) elevation, as shown in this handy video demonstration!

Setting the shared coordinates for your project:

  1. In your project go to the Manage ribbon (or settings > Coordinates in 2009)
  2. Choose “Specify Coordinates at point”
  3. Select the base of your project or a point int he project that you know the elevation of and click
  4. Change the elevation to reflect the actual elevation and click OK.
  5. The Shared (Actual in this case) elevation has been changed.  Now let’s setup the Level markers to reflect this.

Setting up the Level markers to reflect Actual and Project Elevations:

  1. Select any level in the project and go to the element properties (PR is the keyboard shortcut)
  2. Click “Edit Type” to access the type parameters dialogue
  3. Click “Duplicate” to make a new Level type so you don’t mess up anything you already have in the project.
  4. Call it something like “Actual Elevation”
  5. Under Elevation Base, you’ll notice that it is set to Project, change this to Shared
  6. Make another type called “Project Elevation” and have the Elevation Base set to Project
  7. Hit “OK” out of the dialogues and select your Level Marker, change the type to the Actual Elevation level marker we jsut made.
  8. Notice that the elevation changes.

Well that was fun, wouldn’t you say so?  I hope you learned something from this.  As always, please comment on the session; that let’s me know I’m helping someone out there! 🙂  Hope to see you again next time for another, Revit TotD!



Revit TotD – 6.15.09: Phases and your views!

Oh hi there!  Guess you keep coming back for something.  Hopefully for things like this!  Today I am going to show you why you keep having to change the phase of the objects that you are creating and even better how to make your objects automagically be listed under the correct phase.

  1. In the view properties, set your view to the correct phase setting.  I like to name my views according to the phase they correlate to.


  2. Now that the phase is set in your view, all new objects in that view will be created in that phase.

Simple as that!  Hope this helps you along the way, and please, come back later for more.  Be ure you tell your Revit friends and co-workers and leave comments!

-Carl Gibson


Revit TotD – 6.11.09: Curtain Walls.5 | Advanced Curtain Wall Types

OK, so those of you that are here that really know your stuff may start thinking that this isn’t really advanced.  You’re right, but looking back, we started with navigating a freaking curtain wall… this is pretty advanced for those people that are just delving into Revit’s curtain walls; and you guys are doing great for being 5 days in!  So here we are, at the culmination of our curtain wall tips.  So without further adue, let’s delve into our advanced curtain wall! **Please note, I ran out of time at the end of this recording, so it cuts off the “thanks for stopping by, and see you tomorrow.” bit at the end.  I still love you guys, just wanted to let you know since the video cut it off 🙂

Nesting other walls into curtain wall panels:

  1. Select the panel(s) you wish to replace.
  2. If the panels are part of a predefined curtain wall type, then you need to unpin the panels.
  3. In the type selection drop down, notice you can select other wall types, even curtain walls.  The only wall you can not place in the panel is the same curtain wall that the panel is already in.
  4. Each panel has it’s own instance properties as though it were it’s own wall instance.  If you need to make batch changes to the walls, do it before you deselect them.  Play, experiment, have fun!


You can also attach a curtain wall to a roof/floor just like you can a normal wall:

  1. Select the curtain wall you wish to attach to a surface.
  2. Choose “Attach” form the options bar.
    1. Be sure you choose top or bottom depending on which end of the wall your host is (ie: Roof is not always going to be top!)
  3. Choose the host you are attaching to.
  4. If there are mullions at the top of your curtain wall, Revit will warn you that you are about to delete these mullions.  If that is what you prefer, choose ok.

Well, that concludes this little mini series on curtain walls.  I hope you took something of value from it.  Don’t worry, there are still plenty of tips to be had here at Tip of the Day central!  So come back tomorrow for yet another TotD!  See ya soon!


-Carl Gibson


Revit TotD – 6.10.09: Curtain Walls.4 | Curtain Wall Doors

OK, so by now, if you’re an architect, you’re probably saying “Will you please stop calling it a curtain wall?!?”  No, I will not.  Not because I don’t know that it’s not technically a curtain wall, but because unfortunately curtain wall is what Autodesk decided to call it.  So just know, when I say curtain wall in these tips, I’m not creating a curtain wall necessarily, but instead just using the curtain wall tool!

“That’s great and all, but i still can’t figure out how to put a door in this blasted ‘Curtain Wall!!'”  Oh really now?  Well you’re in luck because that is today’s TotD topic!  Building from yesterday’s tip on fundamental curtain panel blocks, we will go through curtain panel doors today!

Placing Doors in Curtain Walls:

  1. With your curtain wall already in place, select the panel you wish to replace with a door panel.
  2. Change the panel type from the type selector.
  3. Use the grid lines to change the dimensions, noting that the dimensions are from GRID LINE to GRID LINE, not from inside of Mullion to inside of Mullion. IE: if you want a 3′ wide door, and your mullions have a 2″ vis line, you want the grids to be 3′-2″ apart.
  4. You can tag Panel doors just like normal hosted doors, but you will need to create a tag family for panels that looks like your standard door tag.
  5. Using the space bar, you can rotate and change the swing of the door like a normal door.

As usual, I hope this gets you started on the long road that is curtain wall panel doors in Revit.  hope to see you tomorrow as we conclude this little mini series on curtain walls!



Revit TotD – 6.9.09: Curtain Walls.3 | The Curtain Panel

You probably wouldn’t believe me when I told you how many requests I get about how to add doors into curtain walls.  Or maybe you’re one of the many that have struggled with this and would in fact believe me with how many requests I get!  Whichever boat you float in, I’m glad you stopped by; because today, I’m going to show you a few tips on the basic building blocks behind curtain wall panels.

As mentioned in the previous TotD, curtain walls have many components, one being the panel.  The panel is the infill between all the grids in a curtain wall.  The Panels that Revit provides us out of the box are system panels (ie: system families), and can not be edited in the family editor.  You can however, create new curtain panels in the family editor to be used in your projects.

Creating a new curtain wall family:

  1. File > New > Family (or New Family from the recent files page)
  2. Choose the Curtain Panel.rfa template file (this is one of the two family templates that can be used to create curtain panels)
  3. Notice the reference planes already in place.  Your masses must constrain to these reference planes if you want the panel to work within the grids on your curtain wall.
  4. You can also use material and other parameters to customize your panel

A few properties oft he curtain panel to understand:

  1. Instance Parameters
    1. The Instance Parameter window will show you height, width and area of the panel, but you can not change those parameters from this window.
    2. You can place Marks and comments for each instance if you need them for scheduling purposes.
  2. Type Parameters
    1. This window will affect all instances of this type of panel.
    2. You can place all construction type info, change the finish material and type mark in this window.

So that does it for today.  This will hopefully give you a nice foundation for the curtain wall doors we will be discussing tomorrow.  Thanks for stopping by, and I hope everyone makes it for tomorrow’s Revit TotD!



Revit Totd – 6.8.09: Curtain Walls.2 | “WHY CAN’T I MOVE GRIDS!??!?”

Heh… I have to laugh at this one.  Here in lies a tip that essentially is the answer for probably 80% of the problems that people have when working with Revit.  This one in particular I see in about 30% of the questions regarding Curtain Walls; “Why can I move the grids in my curtain wall?!”  Yes that’s nice, but if you’ll notice in the PROPERTIES of your curtain wall, you have the vertical and horizontal lines set at a specific distance apart from each other. This means in order to move those pretty little grid lines you just made, you’re going to have to unpin them all and move them.

So in light of this epidemic, I am offering a panacea: Check the properties every once and a while.  More specifically for curtain walls, notice the difference between the presets you have available to you.  Here, let me help!

  1. FIRST THINGS FIRST!  Curtain Walls are what kind of family?… System Family.  You can not load Curtain Families into the project like a normal component.  They are treated within Revit as system families.
  2. Revit comes out-of-the-box with three curtain wall presets:

    Curtain Wall Presets

    Curtain Wall Presets

  3. The difference in these walls can be easily found in the properties for each wall.  Notice the Horizonta/Vertical Distance parameters highlighted in these property boxes.
    Exterior Glazing

    Exterior Glazing

    Curtain Wall 1 (think of it as a clean slate)

    Curtain Wall 1 (think of it as a clean slate)

    Store Front. Notice the Mullion Presets.

    Store Front. Notice the Mullion Presets.

  4. You can add grid lines to a Curtain Wall type with a preset using the Curtain Grid tool mention in the previous tip.  However you can NOT move grids that were generated by the presets until you unlock them.

    You must unpin an automagically generated grid line before moving it.

    You must unpin an automagically generated grid line before moving it.

As usual, be sure to check out the video linked above for a few more tips on what is available in the curtain wall properties.

Thanks again for stopping by and be sure you come back tomorrow for the next tip on this series on curtain walls!  Hope to see you then!

-Carl Gibson


Go to Top