Revit and the Mysterious Origin

Where exactly is the 0,0,0 point of a Revit project? Does anyone really know? Has anyone actually seen it? Then again, we know that black holes exist, but we have never seen them. Or have they?  It is said that, there is a black hole at the 0,0,0 point of our galaxy. Follow along with the video below to get to the origin of all the origins in your Revit files. Sorry, but I can’t help with the black holes.

Revit and the Mysterious Origin

Align Views on Different Sheets

Revit has a serious lack of tools when it comes to aligning views in the same place on multiple sheets. Sure you could just slap the views on and nudge them until they “look close”. But we all know that it is not exactly in the same spot. We want to show all those skeptics that Revit can make an excellent set of documents. You would also want to think about how your drawings will look when someone is flipping through your sheets as a PDF and the plans are bouncing all if the place, sheet after sheet. So follow along with the video below to learn how to get the classiest set of drawings this side of Bimtown.

Align Views on Different Sheets

Edit Linked Revit File Faster

Working with linked files in Revit can be great… except when you have to just quickly edit the linked file. If you haven’t noticed, you can’t just open the linked file without unloading in from the main file. Watch the video below to learn how to edit a Revit link faster.

The workaround is simple. Just open up another instance of Revit. If you are using windows 7-10, you will have to right-click on the Revit icon on your taskbar, and click on Revit to open up another instance. Open up the linked file in the 2nd Revit, do what you gotta do and save the file.

Go back to the main file and right-click on the Revit links in the Project Browser and select reload. If you know that you will be editing the linked file a lot, you can always keep that second instance of Revit open, so that you will not have to open it every time you need to make a change.

Edit Linked Revit File Faster

Rotate plan view in Revit

Let’s say you are working on a project that a portion of the building is on an angle. And I’m not even talking on 45 degree angle, but something crazy like 23 or 63 degrees. How in the world would you draw a “straight” line relative to the building? Yes you could just rotate the entire project; but that really isn’t a good idea if the other portion of your project is 90 degrees.

Watch along with this video below to learn how to rotate your plan view without wrecking havoc on your other views and sheets. Don’t forget to subscribe to my videos and my email newsletter!

Rotate plan view in Revit

Press Space to Align New Objects

Are you tired of having to place new objects and rotating them after? What a drag!! Why don’t you just draw everything by hand then?!

When placing any component into a Revit plan view you can press the space bar to align it along any angled wall surface or other existing object in your mode. You can also press the space bar to rotate an object after it has been placed in 90 degree increments.

Check out the video below, and be sure to subscribe! 


Press Space to Align New Objects

Wishlist – Not be able to delete pinned objects

Up to version Revit 2014, I would say that pinning objects in Revit was somewhat useless. All it did was prevent you from moving the object. You can still select it, delete it, copy it and change the parameters (such as reference, height, etc.). Sure you get a warning that you just deleted a pinned object. But you can easily click this warning away without ever noticing this.

Pinned Objects Deleted

In Revit 2014, there is an option at the bottom of the drawing window that allows you to not be able to select pinned objects. Great. However, we are still counting on the fact that everyone working on your team has this option engaged. Without this selected, your precious pinned objects still have less than a snowball’s chance in hell of making it through a work day.

If not being able to delete pinned objects isn’t that important, then the warning box should at least be a dialogue box that forces you to hit OK or Cancel after you inadvertently deleted something.

Wishlist – Not be able to delete pinned objects

Simple Copy/Paste From Floor to Floor

The least fun thing fun thing to do in Revit is copying objects from one floor and pasting them on the next floor. Sure you can just go through the floor plan, select what you want, and then go to the next view and paste aligned to current view. But this can really take a lot of time if you have a boat load of stuff in one plan. Plus, you might just select something you don’t want to copy, such as an  exterior wall, window, column, etc.

There must be a simple way! Two words: View templates [and technically filters]. OK so 5 words. You make view templates for everything…so why not a create a view template to just copy and paste stuff? The simplest way to make a view template is to just pick a view, get the view to look how you want, and then Create Template from Current View. Don’t do this yet though! We have not actually done anything.

First, let’s turn off the categories that we do not want to copy. Open up Visibility/Graphics override and turn off windows, columns, curtain systems, curtain panels, mullions stairs (basically anything that does not repeat on the next floor). Unfortunately, you will not be able to just switch off the walls category, so we will need to create a filter for that.

Visibility / Graphics Override

The first filter we will make will turn off ONLY the exterior walls. But before we do that, you must make sure that all the walls that you are using as an exterior wall have their function set to “Exterior”. Select an exterior wall and click on Edit Type under the properties pallet. Then in the Type Properties pallet, make sure that the wall’s function is set to Exterior as seen below. Hit OK.

Edit Type > Function Exterior

Press VG to open up the Visibility/Graphics again and click on the Filters tab all the way on the right. Click Edit/New…

Create New Filter

Click on the create new filters button and give it the name of “Exterior Walls”.


Scroll down the list and check walls. On the right, change the filter rules to the following (see image below):
– Filter by: Function
– equals
– Exterior

Filter Rules

Hit OK once to get back to the Visibility/Graphics. Make sure that you are still on the Filters tab and click on Add. Select the Exterior Walls filter (the one we just created) from the list and hit OK.

Add Filter

The filter will now appear in the list. Un-check the box under the Visibility column and hit OK to get back to the drawing board. All walls with an Exterior function specified will no longer be visible in this view.

Hid Exterior Walls

Please keep in mind that you will have to repeat this process for other wall types that you do not want to copy/paste between floors (i.e. shear walls that you may have modeled as one continuous wall up the building).

Other family specific items that you might want to hide is the refuse chute if you have that modeled as one “specialty equipment” object going up the building. To do this, create a new filter, but select specialty equipment in stead of walls. Then filter by family name, equals, and select your refuse chute family. Repeat this process as many times as you may need.

Now that all the grunt work is complete, you can finally create the view template. Go to View tab > View Templates > Create Template from Current View.

Create View Template

Give it a snazzy name and hit OK (I prefer Copy/Paste). You can thank me later for all the drinks your coworkers will be buying you to express their gratitude for this time saver. All that is left to do is to select the remaining objects, press Ctrl + C to copy them and go to the next view. Go to the Modify tab, Paste > Aligned to Current View. This will put your object in the same spot as the other view.

Paste Aligned to Current View

You can also make this a keyboard shortcut if you will be using this command a lot. I use AC.

To modify the filter is quite simple. Go to the Properties Pallet, under Identity Data, click on the button next to View Template. The button should say the name of the template you specified.

Modify View Template

When you are done copying and pasting you can switch the view template back to what ever you like. If you do not have a view template set up for how you like to work, just go to another view in your project, and create a new view template from that view. Switch the copy / paste template to the new template you created.

Cautionary side notes! Some objects or categories are not able to be hidden. For instance, wall reveals. If you run into this situation here is my work-around.

  1. This only works for Revit 2014 (and above I assume). Select one of the reveals, right click, select all instances > in entire project. Then click on the Pin in the Modify tab. Then make sure that you have pinned objects “not select-able”. This can be found in the lower right corner of the drawing window.
  2. Don’t use reveals (just kidding, that is not an option)
  3. Always check your filter on the Modify tab after selecting your objects to make sure that you have every unwanted category turned off before you copy.
Simple Copy/Paste From Floor to Floor

Deleting a Floor

The other day at the office I had to delete a floor from one of my Revit models. Yes, I know, the horror! However, just follow this quick tutorial, and before you know it, you will just be deleting floors from all of your projects for fun! Disclaimer: I do not endorse making buildings smaller.

I came to the realization that the best practice to do this is to just get rid of a typical floor within the center of the building. For example, if you have a 50 story building, and floors 10 – 40 are typical, pick any one of those floors to get rid of. The method I do not recommend is deleting the roof level and renaming level 50 to roof. This will lead you down a very scary path of un-referenced walls, roofs and other things that need a reference (which, by the way is everything).

Take a loot at our starting example below:Initial Floors Example

What you need to do first is to delete everything on the floor you wish to get rid of. In our example let’s delete the 6th floor. Remove all of the windows, doors and other various objects that are hosted to level 6. You also want to go to the plan view and delete all of the interior objects that are hosted to level 6 (interior partitions, furniture, fixtures, etc.). It is very important to complete this step before removing the actual level to prevent any overlapping objects or floaters. Go to the elevation view, select level 6 (or the level you wish to remove) and hit delete. Your elevation should look like the example below:

Deleted Floors

Select all of the levels above where 6 used to be, and move them down to where level 6 was back in the day. Our imaginary project has floor-to-floor heights of 10′-0″, so I moved everything down 10′-0″. See the example below:

Floors Removed

Rename all of your levels accordingly. Consider that floor removed.

Keep in mind, if you have to add a floor to a large building, you can do the same thing, but just in reverse. Insert the new level in the center of the building, move the levels you need up, and rename accordingly.

Please note that this example really only works if the building is just too tall and it needs to be shorter. If your client (or boss) really hates the top floor of your building and wants to get rid of it altogether, then you can remove the Roof level and rename the next floor to Roof.

UPDATE! If for some reason you get an error message stating that “Elements will be deleted”, check to see if you have Disjoin checked in the options bar. If you do, un-check it!

Deleting a Floor

Audit Revit Files

When you think of auditing, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? The IRS? Your taxes? Those extra ‘business’ lunches you’ve been taking? That’s crazy, we all know those lobsters your order every Friday is for clients.

The fist thing that should really pop into your mind is getting rid errors from your Revit files, and kill the bloat! Follow along with this short video and learn how to get your Revit files running smoother than your next business lunch.

Audit Revit Files

Create Placeholder Sheets

Placeholder sheets in Revit are a great way to set up sheets that you will use in the near future, but don’t want to actually have the sheet show up in your project browser. The tricky part is there is no “placeholder sheet” tool so we will have to go through a few steps.

  1. Create a new project
  2. Create a new Sheet List by going to the View tab > Create Panel > Schedules > Sheet List

Creating a Sheet List

The Sheet List Properties will pop up.

  1. Make sure that the “Fields” tab is select and on the left side, click on Sheet Number. Hit Add –>
  2. Click on Sheet Name and hit Add –> again
  3. If your dialog box resembles the image below, hit OK

Sheet List Properties

You are now in the sheet list view. Time to add some new rows to create the placeholder sheets.

  1. Under the Modify Sheet List tab, go to the Rows panel and click New row.
  2. Every time you click on new row, it will add a blank sheet to your file, and you will see the Sheet List below begin to populate
  3. Note that you can change the name of the drawing by clicking where it says Unnamed

New Row

When you are ready to actually use the placeholder sheets, click on New Sheet (see image above) and pick from the list of pre-made sheets.


Create Placeholder Sheets