Archive for the ‘Central File Operations’ Category


Created By / Last Updated By in 2013 >

July 27, 2013

If you want to track down the last user to update a model component in your Revit project or determine who created it you can by simply going to the bottom of the Revit interface screen and selecting the WorkSharing Display button.  At the drop down select “Owners”
Revit-Last User-01

Then hover over the object you want info on.  You should get an info box like this.

Revit-Last User-02

Of course this assumes you are using a central file and worksharing.

Be careful though, over using this capability to point the finger at others can ultimately be your downfall, since Karma has a way of coming around to bite you in the backside.  Always elevate your inquiries to the professional level, seek an explanation and strive to educate, understand and reach a solution that reduces the potential reoccurrence of the problem.

Strive for Temperance


Globally Hide Specific Levels w/ Referencing Spot Elevations

May 5, 2013

The Need: 

When working on a large project I needed to create a level that allowed me to set a base level of 0’-0” for a stair tower that did not share the same level as the ground floor of the building.  I was then going to provide spot elevations from this 0-0 reference for each landing and level as a means to providing fabrication reference points for the overall 6 story stair assembly.

The Problem:

In a drawing set which contained 100’s of drawings that would inherit the new level (that no one wanted to see) let alone have to hide in every drawing where it appeared, I needed a way to control a single level’s visibility throughout the project.  In my case I had two separate stair towers so I needed to hide two independent levels.  I needed these levels to give my spot elevations for the towers a base reference.

The Caveat:

You only get to utilize this solution if you have created Worksets for a Central project file.  For those one man firms not using a central file approach it’s probably not such a big deal to hide the level in the few drawings where they will appear.

The Solution:


  1. Go to the Collaborate Tab and select Worksets to the far left to enable worksharing.
  2. At the Worksets Control Window create a new Workset, mine was named Hidden Levels.  It’s important to uncheck the “Visible in All Views” box where you enter the new Workset’s name.
  3. At the prompt to make the Workset Active select “No”



  1. It’s important to use the spot elevation type that is using a “relative” reference.
  2. Spot elevations are under the “Annotate” Tab
  3. Once you select the spot elevation make sure you are using the Target (Relative) type which shows up in the properties dialog at the top. If not selected go to the drop down arrow to the right and select it from the drop down list.
  4. Place the spot elevations as desired.  The spot elevations will reference to the “Current Level” by default.
  5. Select the spot elevation you want to reference to the   level you are going to hide.  In this case it will be the “stair base elev ref.” then go to the “Relative Base” drop down shown in the image below.  Note: I have spot elevations referenced to Level 1 and the Stair Base Elev. Ref. as well in the plan level 1 view.
  6. Revit-Relative Spot Elev
  7. You can hide the level at any time and without affecting the ability to select the hidden level in the Relative Base drop down.


  1. You need to assign the level to the “Hidden Levels” workset you’ve already created above. Select the level to be hidden and in the Properties dialog set the workset to “Hidden Levels”
  2. Revit-Hide Level Step 1
  3.  Now in the visibility graphics control interface (Key stroke “vg”) go to the Worksets tab and at the far right drop down for the “Hidden Levels” select hide.  As shown in the image below the level disappears globally throughout the project but the spot elevations retain their reference to the hidden level.
  4. Revit-Hide Level Step 2

Now all those team members won’t be screaming at you when you add that extra level.



Revit Fails to Update the Central File

June 30, 2011

Ever get this message?  “”Revit cannot reconcile the differences between your local and the central file”  Well we have, here at Breckenridge.  Patrick at CADsoft offered the following steps to aviod this situation as well as dealing with it when you encounter this message:

1. Make sure no one EVER edits a Central file directly, once local files have been created. If you do, you will need to recreate all the local files from the new Central file.

2. Make sure that everyone in your team is saving and syncing to Central at least every 30 minutes. If you have a very large project (over a few hundred MB), you may want to have a schedule when people save, like, so-and-so saves at 1/4 past and 1/4 till every hour and so-and-so saves at half past and on the hour every hour. This will keep you from having to wait on each other when the sync process is going on.

3. If the Revit cannot reconcile the differences between your local and the central file error pops up, immediately stop working on all your local files. If you have a lot of work done on a particular local file that you don’t want to lose, you might choose to create a new central file from it. You will then have have other users create a local file from the new central.

4. If there are new elements or work you don’t want to lose in one of the local files, you may be able to cut and paste elements into your local and then sync up to central.

Autodesk recommends that everyone in your team create a new local file from Central every single day. I don’t find that necessary, but doing it at least once a week will prevent any corruption from creeping into your project.”

Thanks Patrick, I deemed these words of wisdom worth sharing with the SARUG members.

On our end we believe this error resulted from limited operating RAM on the computer where this occured.  The system only has 3 gigs of RAM and had been returning memory limit errors that increased as the project file size grew.  The other A.I.T. working on the file has 4 gigs of RAM and had not been getting any memory warnings or error messages.  Fortunately the local file from the offending machine was intact so the data wasn’t lost.  The changes just have to be painstakingly found and recreated in the central file.

One caveat:  Ideally you would want to open the local file and the central file in the same instance of Revit and just do copy / paste operations to transfer the data; however, you cannot open a local file and the central file in the same instance of Revit.  But you can create another central file with a different name from your local file and open both central files within the same instance of Revit.  You only need to have sufficient RAM on the system to hold both versions.   

Best of Luck

P.S. 7-12-11 

Steve Stafford is a regular reader of the SARUG Blog and recently posted some additional advice on this subject at his blog (Revit OpEd) that you should read.  Thanks Steve for monitoring the blog.  Your comments are always welcome.