Archive for the ‘How To’s’ Category


Revit Hatch Patterns

September 24, 2011

This seems to be a hot topic as the majority of the hits on this blog regularly access the one post we have on hatch patterns that Kirk posted in 2010.

(update 08-17-13)

“Revit Masters,

Below is a nice hatch creation tool for Revit that I was able to use to accurately draw an abnormal brick pattern.

Download the 3 files and place in your C:/ProgramData/Autodesk/Revit/Addins folder and it’ll show up in your Addins ribbon.
Follow the instructions below and its pretty self explanatory. ” Tim K.

Much Thanks to Tim Kauffman (Architect at GLHN) for providing the link to this handy tool.

(end update)

Here’s a methodolgy descriptive I posted back in 2008 on AUGI that involves creating a ceiling demolition pattern.

The text file that needs to be edited to receive the code below is found at:
C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit Architecture 2011\Data

It has a “PAT” icon and is titled “revit” and is a “DWG TrueView Hatch Pattern Definition” file type.

In explorer go to the file but don’t’ open it. You need to change it’s properties to turn off the ‘read only’ protection by right clicking on the ‘revit’ file, go to properties, and uncheck ‘ read only’

Then open the file and paste the following code into it. I revised the initial name to get it to order itself next to the ceiling patterns and added the 24 x 48 Tiles text to match the other entries. Not sure if it was necessary but I wanted to cover all the bases just to be sure. So the text reads as follows:

*Ceiling-Demo 24×48, 24 x 48 Tiles
0, 0, 0, 0, 24, 2, -2
90, 0, 0, 0, 24, 2, -2

Save out this file once you are done.  I save my patterns to a Master Library File under a folder structure called Support>Patterns this creates a location where all updates are located and prevents the updates from being associated with a particular Revit install, which may get removed or you may make updates to later Revit version pat files and wind up having your patterns spread across various version installs.

Now open Revit. You will need to create a new material “Ceiling Demo 24 x 48” and then edit its surface pattern.

1.  Select the model component in the RCP, in this case it would be a ceiling.

2.  Then in the properties dialog select “Edit Type” then for the row entitled “Finish”

3.  Under the material column select that cell and you’ll see a drop down button appear to the right.

4.  Select it to open the materials dialog.

5.  Then go to the material entitled “Finishes-Interior-Acoustic Ceiling 24×48”

6.  Select duplicate in the lower left corner and amend the offered title to add “Demolished” (note 48 changes to 49)

7.  At the Surface Pattern  to the right select the drop down button to the right.

8.  The “Fill Patterns” interface should then appear.

9.  Select “new” then ‘custom’ then ‘import’ then import the file at this path
C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit Architecture 2011\Data
(Note this will change if you relocated the file to a master library or as you receive Revit upgrades Revit will want to point to the PAT file of the latest version you are using.)

You will then have a number of patterns to select from, one of which will contain the new demolished ceiling pattern.

Select it and you are done.

There is a descriptive at the beginning of the PAT file which tells you how each of your numerical inputs in the pattern code influence the pattern.

If you are into coding you’ll feel right at home here.  Not a place I like to go though.


SARUG Similat Link (Revit Addon)
SARUG Similar Link 001
SARUG Similar Link 002


Blog Inquiry – Referencing Details With — Linked Buildings

September 14, 2011

We had an inquiry from Glenn as follows:

“Message: When working on a project that has multiple buildings on one site (each building is its own file), how do you reference details to each building if you have standard details that each building will reference? Do you have to use symbols and “draft” the detail call outs?”

I would create the details in the site project or import them into the site project from my library where I have various master detail .rvt files.

Then create the desired section cut or area call out via the View Tab.   

 Click on Image to Enhance Resolution

After selecting the task note the Options bar gives you a check box for “Reference Other View” Once you check this box you’ll note a drop down to the right which will let you access all your drafting views as well as some other view references.  Once you select the appropriate detail the call out will make the appropriate associative link to the detail # and sheet # where it’s placed.


If you need to build the details in the specific building project file because of unique geometry, go ahead and construct it there.  You can then import the detail into the site project and follow the procedure above to reference it.

To import the detail from the building project file (while in your Site Project file) just go to the Insert tab then select “Insert from File” and at the drop down “Insert Views from File”  this will open a browser window.  Navigate to the building project file or your master detail .rvt file, wherever the detail(s) reside that you want to import.

Once you open the .rvt file you’ll get a detail selection list as follows,  Immediately check the “Check None” box to avoid getting the initial checked item.  Then navigate to the details you want and check them all.  You’ll notice each detail becomes visible to the right as you click on it to highlight it. 

That’s it.  The details will populate into your Site Project file and you can then reference them.
Hope that answers your question Glenn.



Interrupting a Wall Sweep

September 2, 2011

Ever wanted a wall sweep to break to let another wall pattern to continue through?  My first thought was to select the wall sweep and use the split tool.  The problem with that approach was that it split the wall not the sweep and caused the wall pattern to break.  While this may be the intuitive approach you may remember a previous post where I indicated Revit was anything but intuitive.  So here’s the non-intuitive long way around this procedure.

Once you’ve placed your sweep, which runs the entire length of the wall, select the sweep and you will see the blue drag points.  Adjust the sweep to the desired length.

Now you have to copy the sweep.  Select the sweep and depress/hold the CTRL key then drag the new sweep.  You’ll notice that Revit wants to place the new sweep above or below the old one and the sweep has to be within the same wall plane.

Next you will use the blue drag dots to adjust the sweep over the adjacent opening.  Notice that when you get a dot over a vertical plane the plane highlights indicating your relative position in the 3D view.

Now look at your properties dialog for the new sweep.  In my case my sweeps were set to a specific level I had created in my project which resulted in a 0′-0″ level reference.  The image below shows the sweep is 1′-11″ and some above that level.

By typing the 0′-0″ height into this field I can drive the new sweep into perfect position.

Beware the day Revit becomes SELF AWARE!

(Still waiting to become self aware)


Schedules: Tricks with text.

July 12, 2011

A question on the AUGI forums came up about the ability to add or combine strings of text together in a schedule.

While that function would be great you can not directly combine strings of text in a schedule.

You can however do some mathematical formulas and “toggle” on or off preset strings of text. Take a look and try for yourself. If nothing else it could make for a nifty party trick.

For the trick you will need:

An integer parameter.
A calculated value – that is set to: Text, and a formula.

Set your formula to something like:
if(integer = 1, “Show text string 1”, if(integer = 2, “Show text string 2”, “ERROR”))

Tip: you can keep nesting IF statements if you need more than two strings of text.

Refer to the attached image for how this works.



Export a webpage.

May 20, 2011

Revit is full of often overlooked hidden gems.  Here is one that I thought I’d share that creates a complete webpage with click-able hot links.

It allows for one to export a complete set of documents that are fully integrated into a nice little web page in HTML format.  The nice thing is that all of the sections and detail markers that are click-able in Revit are also click-able in the webpage and will bring you to the page or view exported. Note: Screen shots below are from Revit Architecture 2011.




Yes / No graphic presentations in Schedules

May 5, 2011

Working with yes no parameters in schedules make sense. We set them up, check the little boxes, slap the schedule on the sheet and all of a sudden we are shocked because the little radio boxes change from a checked box or unchecked box to text stating “Yes”, “No”, or a blank box.

To architects and engineers this may seem weird because historically we made matrix schedules and would identify a option with a filled circle, dot, “X” or other graphic. A “Yes” doesn’t work for us.

One method to resolve this problem is as follows:

Create your yes no parameters as normal.

Create a Calculated parameter called something like “Graphic”. Make it a Text parameter and set the formula to:


* Insert your graphic symbol between the quote marks. One way to do this is to copy and paste a symbol from the Windows Character Map.

Create new Calculated parameters for each of your Yes/No parameters. Set the formulas as:

if((nameofYESNOparam), Graphic, ” “)

Duplicate the schedule so you have a working schedule and a schedule to be placed on your sheet.

For the schedule you will place on the sheet make sure to hide the Yes/No parameters (under the formatting tab) and rename the headers as you would like them to be displayed on the sheet. Work from the working schedule and let the other schedule display the same information but in a more desirable format.

Your finished result should look something like this:




Revit MEP Temporary Dimensions

May 4, 2011

Temporary Dimensions play an important role in Revit Architecture, Structure and MEP. In Revit MEP the term “temporary dimension” is a little misleading.  MEP’s temporary dimensions are less about length and more about displaying key design information. I have found on a number of machines that the out of the box Revit MEP temporary dimensions are much too small to be legible. Users try to zoom in on them to read the information but they are still illegible because they stay the same size no matter how far one zooms in on them.

To fix this click on the Revit “R” in the upper left of the screen and go to Options. Then click on the Graphics tab.  There you will find the dialog box to increase the “temporary dimensions text appearance” size.  Adjust this value to a usable size and you will be much more able to get your design information on the fly.

Of course this is also the same place to set Revit Architecture and Structure.