09 May

Revit® Tips & Tricks #2

Project model environment


1. How to change temporary dimensions behavior

When modeling elements, Revit will suggest and put temporary dimension lines with which elements can be places precisely.

If Temporary Dimension lines in Revit are snapping to references that you think are wrong, you can always check the settings and set up prefer referenced to which temporary dimensions will snap.


2. Default IFC Revit project template

When linking IFC to Revit, two things happen:

  1. To create IFC file Revit picks first Revit template set in File > Options > File Locations
  2. Revit creates RVT file from that IFC model and saves it in the same location (folder) where IFC file is with the same file name as IFC.

Linked IFC (it’s actually Revit model file described earlier) can be found in Manage Links dialog on IFC tab where it can be reloaded if newer IFC file (under the same name) is saved into the IFC folder. Reloading means creating linked Revit file again.

To minimize IFC file size and load time, it is recommended to create separate Revit IFC template, which contains essential settings, such as line weights, line patterns, object styles and one level. This templeate should be first on the template list in Revit so it’s used every time IFC is loaded into project.


3. Change Cable Trays, Pipes, Ducts, Conduits level without moving elements

It’s a big deal if you have whole systems modeled in Revit just to realize that they need to be on another level. For point elements (such as ligthing or electrical fixtures) it’s not a big deal, but if you have pipes or other listed above, which are linear elements, and they also have slopes, you are in a lot of trouble. Revit will allow you to change the level for those elements but it will then put them on new level and keep the offset RELATIVE to that new level.

To change levels of elements in Revit but keep them in the same ABSOLUTE place, use free Dynamo script I created for this purpose:

Kako promijeniti referencu Revit familije bez pomicanja elementa


4. Create multi-category list containing some of system family categories

Multi-category schedule will not schedule system families.

To schedule system families, use multi-category material takeoff schedule in Revit. Next picture shows such example from Revit sample architectural project model (sorted by Category, Show all instances set to false):

But what if we just need want Ceilings, Floors, Roofs and Walls?

Well, the trick is to add unique shared parameter only to those categories you want to have together in a schedule and then filter by “parameter exists” schedule rule.

Let’s add shared parameter called “Layered”, of yes/no (Boolean) type. It will be added only to Categories mentioned above (you need to create it in your shared parameter file first):

Finally, if we add that parameter to the schedule and filter by rule “Parameter exists”, our table will have only wanted categories:

There are two tricks here that are not obvious:

  1. You cannot add parameters to system family categories trough Revit schedule Fields dialog, you must go to Manage > Project Parameters
  2. “Parameter exists” filter rule in schedules is available only to shared parameters


5. Compare Wall, Floor, Ceiling or Roof types to find duplicates

Finding duplicate layered types in Revit is not easy since layers in layered types are defined with multiple different settings:

  • Is layer inside of a core?
  • Layer Function
  • Layer Material
  • Layer Thickness
  • Is Layer defines Structural Material?
  • Can layer be of variable thickness?
  • Can Layer Wrap?

Additionally, Walls have options Wrapping at inserts and wrapping at ends.

If we ignore all of the other type parameters which can make a difference between one type and another, we can compare layered instances using Engipedia Layers Manager (since version 1.1.) and Multi-category Material Takeoff table from previous trick.

For example, if we set up add-in options like this:

Add-in will create comparison string containing only function of each layered type. The same principle can be used to find elements with the same materials with the same thickness or regardless of thickness and other layer properties.


Families environment


6. Saving family as family template

Revit® uses the following file name extensions:

  • .rvt – Revit® project file
  • .rte – Revit® project template file
  • .rfa – Revit® family file
  • .rft – Revit® family template file

You can save from Revit® to all of the file extension types except the rft extension. To get file as rft, you need to save it as Revit® family (.rfa), and just change the extension to .rft

Why is this useful? Well, you can set up a family with your parameters, line weights, lines patterns, fill patterns, materials, object styles, subcategories and other, save it as family and use it as a template for future families.

If you save it to default path for family template files (set under File > Options > File Locations), for example:

C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT 20xx\Family Templates\English\

it will be available every time you go to create a new family. (change RVT version number and language appropriately)


7. Create fixed value family parameter

The trick to create family parameter which value cannot be changed by user in Revit® project environment, set it by formula of the following syntax:

IF((1 = 1), “Fixed value”,  “any value”)

  • Note that this will not work for parameters that cannot be set by formulas, for example Materials.
  • Note that if you set this in type parameter, it will have the same value for all types.
  • Note that you must use (1=1) in parentheses since Revit® will give you “Invalid Formula” if you use 123 456 789,00 units number format in Revit® family editor.


8. Find out if number is even or odd in Revit® family

In Revit® family, if you want to test if a number n is even or odd, you can use the following formula:

if(roundup(n/2) = rounddown(n/2), “even”, “odd”)

The trick is that roundup and rounddown function will round number differently when number is different from integer.

for example, for n=3

  • roundup(3/2) = roundup(1.5) = 2
  • rounddown(3/2) = rounddown(1.5) = 1
  • 1 ≠ 2, meaning  it’s odd number

for example, for n = 4:

  • roundup(4/2) = 2
  • rounddown(4/2) = 2
  • 2=2, meaning it’s even number.

You can also use even/odd mathematical functions to find out if an number is even, odd, integer or exactly half.

In Revit®, for example, cosine function can do the trick of determining if a number is even or odd (since cosine is even function itself):
if (cos(n * pi (or 180°)) = 1, “even”, “odd”)

Both cosine and sine can be used to tell you if something is exactly half or an integer, for example:
if (cos(n * pi (or 180°)) = 0, “exactly half”, “not half”)
if (sin(n * pi (or 180°)) = 0, “whole number / integer”, “not an integer”)

* pi or 180° depends on your angle settings in Project Units dialog.


9. View Range in Revit® Family editor

Do you know that you have View Range dialog available in Revit® family editor as well.

The trick is that you need to click on the view name, not on the empty space inside of view. That way, when view name is selected, you will get all associated view properties in the properties panel, see image for instructions:

You have also crop box in family editor available on 3D view, but it mostly don’t work as expected.


10. Can’t move in Revit® family? Cut/paste to same place

In Revit® family there is an issue when you try to move family objects up/down, or any direction which includes up/down movement, regardless of Constrain checkbox status.

For example, family on the image below cannot be moved up, even if Constrain is unchecked and mouse is pointing up. Revit® only allows left/right movement in the Front view.

But, if select family objects, do Cut and Paste to Same Place and then try Move command again:

Now family is detached from anything it was attached to and can be moved to any direction.

Use this trick carefully considering your parameters and dimension lines sets.


Hope you learned something new, if yes, please comment in the comments section below!

If you have not already, read Engipedia Revit Tips & Tricks #1 blog as well.