In general, Revit lines are made out of three elements (parameters):
- Line Color
- Line Width
- Line Pattern
When we talk about “lines”, we mean Revit lines in general: e.g. drawing lines, and lines (edges) of Revit’s objects (edges and other lines in Revit family instances), which we can see in plan views, sections and Revit other views.
Color of the line is self explanatory. Now, let’s talk some more on the Revit Line Weights.
According to ISO/DIN Standard, basic (standard) line weights are
ISO/DIN lineweight color coding system for CAD
Line weights according to ISO are dependant on 1mm multiplied by square root of 2 (or divided by square root of 2).
For example: 1/sqrt(2) = 0,70 or 0,13 * sqrt(2) = 0,18 etc.
In that way we can extrapolate all of the standardized line weights. However, in Revit, we often use all of these and few more levels of line weights.
In Revit, line weight must be adjusted in project (or template) file. Difference between Revit and AutoCAD is that in Revit we have all of the print styles adjusted upfront. In AutoCAD, we usually choose Plot Style when we print our model (among other way, of course). Revit works as WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get), so, if we take a look at some Revit view, what we see is what will be printed. Just to be precise, Revit has the, so called, Thin Lines view style, which displays pure vector drawings (without line weights). Revit will not print in Thin Lines, but in the “real” line weight of each line.
We can adjust Revit line weight if we first go to the Manage tab on the ribbon, then, under Additional Settings, we choose Line Weights:
Dialog opens, and it has three tabs: Model Line Weights, Perspective Line Weights and Annotation Line Weights. On each of the tabs, we can see a table of 16 rows with successive numbers 1 to 16. These numbers are called Revit PENS. It is not possible to add additional pens (or to remove existing pens).
Model Line Weights
The biggest table on the dialog defines line weights for the model elements. These line weights are applied to all of the views dependant on the scale (3D, Floor Plans, Ceiling Plans, Structural Plans, Elevations, Detail Views, Sections). Table has 16 rows and 6 basic columns. In the column header we can see the scale on which line weights from that column will be used. It is possible to add additional scales. If there is a scale in the view which have no line weights defined for that scale, a line weights for the closest scale will be used.
This is very practical because it ensures that our views will look great on each scale. Ok, at least we hope it will.
Example: If we use pen settings from the table below, we can see that Pen 13 has line weight of 0,250mm in the 1:100 scale, but, in the smaller scale, for instance: 1:500, the same pen (Pen 13) will be only 0,180mm wide.
If we use ISO standard line weights, and add some more to it, recommended (Engipedia standard) Model Line Weights settings in Revit will look as follows:
Perspective Line Weights and Annotation Line Weights have the same line weights as in 1:100 column of Model Line Weights.
We can easily adjust the table to our needs by clicking into each cell and enter the number we need (in milimeters). Once we develop Revit Pen standard, I recommend not to change it later (it will mess up ALL object styles in the model).
Remark: First row of the Model Line Weights table (widths of the Pen #1) is used (reserved) for Revit hatches (Revit filled regions). Ceiling surface patterns use Pen #2. So, if you want to control those independently, you should start your regular line weights from Pen #3. It is not recommend to use pen 1 and pen 2 for anything (else) in the project.
Tip: If we adjust line weights in one project file (or in a template file) we can easily transfer those settings (line weights) to another project with Transfer Project Standards tool on the Manage tab.
Perspective Line Weights
These line weights are used in the 3D perspective views. It has only one column (and no scale at the column header) because Revit perspective view is not scale dependant. Remark: “regular” (axonometric) 3D view IS scale dependant and it uses Model Line Weights.
Annotation Line Weights
These line weights are used for all of the annotation elements (Tags, Dimension lines etc.). It has only one column (and no scale at the column header) because Revit annotation elements are not scale dependant. E.g. dimensions line weight must look the same on each scale.
To conclude: if we see somewhere in the Revit line weight for some element set to 3 (for example), first, if it is an annotation element, we take a look at the Annotation Line Weights table to find out it’s weight. If it is not an annotation element, we take a look at the Model Line Weights table to find out line weight for particular scale and into Perspective Line Weights table to find out line weight for that element in perspective view.