Tag Archives: Revit 101

[Solved] Revit Error: Unable to make the necessary Workset (Project Info) editable in the Linked File in order to change the Shared Coordinates.

While attempting to link an architectural Revit model into my electrical model, an interesting error message popped up:

“Unable to make the necessary Workset (Project Info) editable in the Linked File in order to change the Shared Coordinates.”

Revit Error: Unable to make the necessary Workset (Project Info) editable in the Linked File in order to change the Shared Coordinates.

This was a new one for me.

When attempting to open these models, you can’t uncheck the “Detach from Central” box, nor can you tick the “Create New Local” box.

Revit - Can't click the checkbox to detach from central or create new local.

This gave me the clue that the architectural model was a detached central model. This means that the model has been detached during an eTransmit process.

It is hard to find technical information regarding the state of these models. From what I’ve figured out, the model is in a state where it is technically “read only”. So if the linking process requires accessing or revising anything in the linked model, you will get an error. In this case it was an issue with permissions to edit shared coordinates.

The Solution

Save the linked model as a central model.

[Solved] Revit does not display vertical elbows (i.e., risers in shafts) properly in plan view

Let’s talk a little about Plan Regions in Revit. In a nutshell, this tool helps to show areas of a View that may need to deviate from your view’s View Range. Aside from the common uses for this in architecture, mechanical designers can actually get their risers to display properly when using a vertical elbows.

The Problem

Mechanical and plumbing Revit Designers have undoubtedly run into issues with their ducts that turn vertically if the elbow is outside of the view’s View Range. Revit does not cut through the elbow properly, if it cuts through it at all. Note the image below is missing the “X” within the riser to graphically designate which system the duct is on.

Revit duct elbow is not cut in plan view
A duct turning down in a shaft that is not cut properly.

The issue is caused by the View Range settings for your view. Don’t fuss with the View Range settings for the entire View because tweaking View Range for one riser can be catastrophic for your the rest of the elements on your View.

View Range settings that do not cut the duct properly.

The Solution: Use a Plan Region

The steps below outline a simple workflow to fix this issue. The goal is to create a Plan Region that encompasses the shaft’s view range requirements. Note that this technique also works with pipe elbows that do not graphically show the proper up or down symbol.

First, take note of the elevations that you need where you need to adjust your view range for the Plan Region.

Section view of duct turning down in a shaft with dimensions.

Next, go to View > Plan Region and draw a shape around the area you would like the View Range to effect.


Use the Draw tools in the contextual tab.

Important: Your plan region needs to encompass the entire riser for this to work. If the outline of your Plan Region overlaps the duct, it will not be effected.

You may want to extend your Plan Region a little further out than the duct itself. Note that the Plan Region outlines do not print.

The completed Plan Region.

Now we must adjust the View Range for the Plan Region. With the outline of the Plan Region selected, go to the View Range setting in the Properties window.

Adjust your View Range accordingly based on your measurements from step one.

View Range settings for the Plan Region of the shaft.

The riser should now display the appropriate symbology within the duct that is turning up or down.

A proud supply air duct riser displaying it’s “X”!

Revisions from a revision schedule in a titleblock family are not populated on sheets

Today I was challenged with figuring out why a revision schedule from a titleblock family was not showing the revisions on the sheet that the titleblock was placed on.

I found a subtle setting in which I’ve never used before – it is to set a fixed Height of the revision schedule. I suppose this could be useful if you would like to limit the number of rows in a schedule. Apparently, this can restrict your revision schedule to the point where it won’t display any revisions whatsoever.

Revisions on sheet from revision schedule in titleblock family not showing revisions.

The fix was to change the Height setting to “Variable” rather than “User defined”.

Hope this helps someone out there!

Rotate a section to line up to an angled element in Revit

I remember my early days of Revit and working with architecture that had several angles in plan view. Cutting a section without knowing the exact angle is difficult in Revit and the Align tool currently does not work on section lines.

Here is a workaround to rotate your sections to align with any angle within Revit.

1) Draw a straight section

Make sure it is perfectly straight or this method will not work.

Cut a section in Revit.

2) Use the rotate tool

Select the section from plan view and click Modify > Rotate.

Rotate tool in Revit.

3) “Place” your center of rotation

This step is where the magic happens. Once you choose the Rotate tool, there is a checkbox on the Options Bar that says “Center of rotation”. Click the “Place” button.

Place your center of rotation in Revit when rotating elements.

4) Pick a point

Choose a point that snaps to an element that has the angle you would like to reference. In this example, we will use the midpoint of the elevator wall.

Rotate a section to align with an angled architectural wall.

5) Create a rotation reference

After you’ve picked your center of rotation, you need to create a starting angle for the rotation. This reference line should be parallel to your section line. In this example, it is horizontal.

Use a reference to rotate a section in Revit

6) Snap to the proper angle

To complete the rotation, snap to the line that you are using as a reference.

Use rotate to snap a section into place and align it.

7) Done and done

You have successfully aligned and rotated a section to match an angled element in Revit!

Align a section to an angled element in Revit

Here’s why your Revit families hosted to reference planes may appear upside down

Hosting elements to reference planes in Revit is a technique used by many, but only fully understood by few. The most overlooked part of the entire process is drawing the reference plane itself. Did you know that there are differences between drawing a reference plane from right to left versus drawing one from left to right?

I recently came across a post by Cadline Community regarding reference planes and noticed some incorrect information. They state that the beginning and end of a reference plane is left to right, however this is incorrect. Reference planes should be drawn from right to left or the plane is technically upside down.

A Demonstration of Upside Down Reference Planes

In the example, I’ll demonstrate the difference between modeling reference planes from left to right versus right to left in Revit.

Let’s start by modeling our planes.

Drawing a reference plane from left to right in Revit.
Drawing a reference plane from left to right in Revit.
Drawing a reference plane from right to left in Revit.
Drawing a reference plane from right to left in Revit.

For demonstration purposes, I will name the two reference planes accordingly so that when placing my hosted elements I’ll know which is which.

A named reference plane in Revit.
The left to right reference plane.
A named reference plane in Revit.
The right to left reference plane.

Now we will pace a hosted family onto each plane. Note that we are using Autodesk’s air terminal family from the default library.

Placing a hosted family on a reference plane.
Choose Place on Work Plane and select the named reference plane accordingly.


Notice that the diffuser that was placed on the “Right to Left” reference plane is upright and hosted properly. The air terminal that was placed on the reference plane drawn from left to right is hosted upside down.

Right side up air terminal (diffuser) on a reference plane.
Right side up air terminal (diffuser) on the reference plane that was drawn from right to left.
Upside down air terminal (diffuser) on upside down reference plane.
The upside down air terminal (diffuser) on the reference plane that was drawn from left to right.

Direction Matters

In conclusion, it is important to note that the direction that you draw the reference plane in Revit matters. Always draw the planes from right to left. Although it is easy to rotate reference planes that are upside down, elements that are already hosted to said reference planes may behave erratically.