Tag Archives: Tips and Tricks

Managing View Templates with Revit links that are set to “By Linked View” per level

One of the biggest challenges of dealing with large Revit models is working with outside consultants’ linked Revit models. You may need to use a linked view to easily match said consultant’s floor plan views. In that case, you should use the By Linked View V/G setting of your RVT Link. The problem you will face is that you cannot control the linked view with a View Template unless you have a View Template for each level.

I’ve seen a number of projects that actually had a view template per level. Don’t do this! In my opinion, this is improper usage of templates because if you have to make a change to a template, you would actually have to do it several times (once per floor). Keep in mind that for large Revit projects, the less templates you have, the better.

So, how would you solve the issue of having linked models with their Visibility/Graphics set to “By Linked View” on multiple levels without managing a template per floor?

First of all, in your View Template settings, uncheck the V/G Overrides RVT Links.

You cannot use this setting if you have linked views that point to specific levels unless you have a view template for each linked level.

View template settings for levels that use By Linked View in Revit.

Second, create a view template that ONLY controls the V/G Overrides RVT Links.

Think about how you would like to apply the linked views in batch and set your linked view in that template. For this example, I needed to create a template per level.

I realize I seemingly contradicted myself by having a template per level, but keep in mind that these templates are never assigned to views themselves – we will use them to apply the RVT Links settings only. So in the rare event that you need to changed your By Linked View settings, you are still saving an enormous amount of time by using these templates to manage your “backgrounds”.

Using Revit View Templates to manage linked models with V/G set to By Linked View.

Managing view templates when you need to use a linked view from a linked Revit model


Lastly, apply the template properties to all views that need to display the linked view in your template.

Select the multiple views that you need to have the same linked background (most likely every view per level) and right click and select Apply Template Properties from the menu. Note that applying a template’s properties to a view does not assign the template to that view. It will only apply the properties that aren’t controlled by the assigned template.

Apply view template properties to all views in Revit.

Power-user tip: Change your Project Browser organization to group the views by Associate Level so that you can easily select all views for each level easily.

Revit tip to group all views by level to easily apply view template per view for linked views.

A quick fix for gridline bubbles that do not copy/monitor on the same ends of the gridlines

Occasionally, you may copy/monitor gridlines from a linked model only to realize that the grid bubbles are all over the place. Some are at the top, some are at the bottom, some are on the left and some are on the right. This can be frustrating to correct if you have several views in a Revit model.

Gridline Bubbles sometimes behave erratically when using copy/monitor.
Gridline bubbles sometimes behave erratically when using copy/monitor.

We had previously posted an article regarding how to fix this issue by using propagate extents. That method works fine to correct this, however it can still be time consuming. Here we have a quick and dirty way to get grid bubbles to appear on the same side of your views in just a few simple steps.

The Fix

The first step is to duplicate your Grid family to include a second version which has the “Plan View Symbols End 1” and “Plan View Symbols End 2” parameters checked – one per type. For this example, we will call them “…End 1” and “…End 2”.

Grid family types for each symbol end
Create a grid family type for each end.

Next, you want to select all gridlines that you would like to change the orientation of the bubble.

Select all incorrect grid lines.
All incorrect grids selected.

While Grids are selected, go to your Properties window and change the type to the alternate family type that you created.

Change a family type in Revit.
While grids are selected, go to your Properties window and change the type to the alternate family type.

That’s it!

All grid bubbles on all views will be aligned to the side of your preference.

Fixed gridlines with bubbles on the same end

ArchSmarter Toolbox – Free Macros for Revit to Maximize Efficiency


We recently stumbled onto a set of Revit macros that may be of use to all Revit users regardless of skill level. The good folks at ArchSmarter have a toolbox of Revit macros that maximize efficiency on mundane tasks such as duplicating views, aligning views on sheets, and batch linking Revit models. The best part about these macros is that they’re free – all you need to do is register on the ArchSmarter website.

We are currently working on trying these tools out, but we urge you to try them on your end and give us feedback on your experiences. We will updated this article as our experience with these Revit Macros progress.

Below is a list of the macros included in the ArchSmarter Toolbox for Revit

Join ArchSmarter to download the toolbox.

Overlapping Grid Bubbles in Revit and How to Fix Them Globally Across Multiple Views

Revit grid bubbles overlap when gridlines are too close.

How do you deal with overlapping grid bubbles? Whether you use “elbows” on your gridlines or offset your bubbles, you should never have to go to each view individually and manually change them.

Revit has the ability to apply the visual adjustments to your gridlines across multiple views using “Propagate Extents”. It seems as though this should be a relatively easy task, however there are a few tricks to getting this to work for your project.

1) Turn off the Crop View property of your view.

First of all, your “Propagate Extents” button will do absolutely nothing if your crop regions are ticked in your view. Ensure that this is not checked on the view your are adjusting your gridlines in.

Remove crop regions in your Revit views first

2) Adjust your Gridlines.

Once you’ve turned off the property which crops your view, you may adjust your gridlines to include elbows by clicking on the tiny break symbol near the bubble. This gives you a grip to freely move the grid bubble. Note that by default, Revit has grid overrides set to 3D, but it is worth looking for the small “3D” text next to your gridlines when you select them.

Add grid elbow for overlapping grid bubbles.

3) Turn off the Crop View property for all views you need to apply the grid override to.

Another key step in getting Propagate Extents to work for you is ensuring that the crop region is off for all views that you would like to apply these grid overrides to. Otherwise, they will not show up as an option to apply them to in your “propagate extents” dialogue box. You can select multiple views in the Project Browser by holding shift or control on your keyboard as you select views.

Revit - Select multiple views and adjust properties to crop.

4) Select all grids.

Once all of your grids are adjusted and all of your views have their crop regions turned off, you need to select all grids. An easy way to do so is to right click on a gridline and choose “Select All Instances” > “Visible in View”.

Select all grids in view in Revit

5) Apply Propagate Extents

With all grids still selected, click the Propagate Extents button on your ribbon under Modify | Grids (it will be a contextual tab on the far right when you have grids selected).

Use Revit to Propagate Extents across multiple views

A window will pop up showing all of your views. Remember, only views with the crop regions OFF will appear in this dialogue box.

Select views you would like to apply grid visibility to.

6) Don’t forget to turn your crop regions and/or scope boxes back on!

Revit - Select multiple views and adjust properties to crop.

How to show a custom scale as “None” or “N.T.S.” in Revit

Revit - Plot Scale on View Title

For those of you who are new to Revit, there are many hurdles to overcome when working with documentation. We’ve all run into the issue where we want a drafting view title or titleblock to say “SCALE: NONE” or “SCALE: N.T.S”. This is a simple task, however not very obvious in Revit.

Click the scale menu (it most likely currently says 12″ = 1′-0″). It is the small button on the bottom left corner of your view window. Select Custom… at the top of that menu.
Revit - Change Custom Plot Scale to None or NTS


In the Custom Scale dialogue box, you will see the ratio field, typically set to 1:1 for diagrams and details. Check the field below to enter a custom display name.

Revit - Change Plot Scale to None or NTS


Now your titleblock and view titles will show the custom display name that you set.

Revit - Plot Scale on View Title as None or NTS

Worksets used to control visiblity and graphics are a big no-no.

Can we, as a community, agree that using worksets to control visibility of elements is a horrible idea? There have been a number of models in my recent years where elements’ visibility are controlled based on the workset they are modeled on.

Yes, it is easier to turn off multiple worksets based on your personal preference, but on a 500,000 square foot project with over 30 MEP engineers, designers, and BIM Specialists working simultaneously on it, you are asking for trouble.

Unfortunately, there have been more than a few models that I’ve seen set up this way and I will chalk it up to lack of experience. Below are a few reasons you should not use worksets to control visibility. Please take this advice into consideration before you set up your first Revit MEP model.

  • HUMAN ERROR: You are risking someone putting something on the wrong workset and it showing up on a view that you did not intend it to.
  • INABILITY TO USE WORKSHARING PROPERLY: Worksets were designed to help users share a model by checking entire worksets out. If elements’ V/G settings are controlled with worksets, you lose the ability to check worksets in and out using a workflow that makes sense.
  • THERE ARE NO LAYERS IN REVIT: If your views’ V/G settings are reliant on worksets, then it appears that you have successfully created AutoCAD-style layers in Revit. This is not a good thing! Layers have always been a struggle and do not contain intelligence in the true BIM fashion.
  • YOU ARE USING A SINGLE PARAMETER: Visibility and Graphics should be controlled using filters so that you will have the ability to utilize the infinite number of parameters to turn things on or off, change colors, customize line weights, and more.

Revit has extremely powerful visibility and graphics control right out of the box, without having to create any extra steps other than the initial setup of your templates. Revit was designed to control elements by categories, filters, and phases (more on each of these topics later).

While it is somewhat easy to assign a workset with each element in your model you are trusting that all of your users will put elements on the proper workset. Think about it this way, how often have you seen AutoCAD objects drawn on the wrong layer?