Archive for the ‘Troubleshooting’ Category


Ribbon issues for Revit 2012 after installing .Net4.5 (that installs with Revit 2014).

April 18, 2013

After installing .Net 4.5 which is installed with Revit 2014 I experienced some crippling ribbon issues. I could no longer edit sketches of various family types including floors and in-place families.

Before you try to re-install (which will not fix this), this easy to apply Hot-Fix will fix the issue promptly 2014INSTALLdotnet.

Make sure to read the Read-Me on how to apply after having service pack 2 installed.


RPC Content (People, Vehicles & Plants) – Trouble Shooting

December 10, 2011

Archvision ( provides a variety of content for populating your renderings with people, vehicles and plants. A typical installation on a single machine usually doesn’t present a problem but if you are working in a large office with your Revit files on a main server you are going to have to address some pathing issues.

The problem arises when you are working on a project and you load the RPC content from the server. Archvision uses a series of files to direct Revit on how to render the content placed within the Revit project. These files are (or should be) located within a folder called “ArchVision Content Manager” under the local path of C:Program Files/ArchVision folder. These commands direct the Content Manager to look for the RPC image files at the following local path:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Autodesk Shared\Materials2011\assetlibrary_base.fbm\RPCs

So if your image files are stored on the server and the Content Manager is looking on the local machine for the image files, which are not there, the RPC’s will not render. The big clue that there is a disconnect is your RPC’s will look like cubes rather than the wire mesh of vehicles or paper cutout profiles of people or plants.

The cube below is a Mini-Cooper (or should I say a Mini-Cuber) before the image file path is re-established.

The easy fix is to copy the desired image files from the server onto the local machine to the asset library address referenced above.

For some reason Revit Arch 2011 doesn’t immediately see these image files so you may (will) need to close and restart Revit to see the new image files. It may be that Revit populates the ArchVision image content to Revit at startup rather than going directly to the file source each time you are re-pathing the image. Whatever the reason this is the only way I’ve been able to see the new image content.

Also the RPC’s may not automatically update with the proper image files when you restart the project. So if you have to re-path the image files because they won’t render or they still look like cubes just select the failing RPC note the name of the RPC in the Properties dialog. Select ‘Edit Type’ then ‘Rendered Appearance’ button. An ArchVision dialog window should open showing you all the local image content available for your RPC’s. Select the image of the same name as your RPC to re-path. You should see the outline of the cube change to match the image when you back out of the edit dialog.

I’ve been told by ArchVision that the Content Manager can be located on the server to circumvent this issue. Just one more thing on my list of a 1000 that I need to do. Hmm this is probably 957.

Happy Rendering

4-26-2012 Updates:

Resolving Network License Issues in Revit 2012

Revit 2013 RPC Content Disappears with Realistic Mode Setting: 
I’ve had this issue with my 2008 Toshiba laptop and it appears to be a Video card compatibility problem.  If you enter the Options button under the Purple ‘R’ (upper left corner of Revit interface) and proceed to the “Graphics” area you’ll notice (if your graphics card is suspect) an “Unknown Video Card” caution.  If you uncheck the “hardware acceleration” under “graphics mode” then close and reopen your project you’ll notice that your RPC content will no longer disappear under the “realistic” view mode but at the same time it will not render.  So it appears the video card may be at odds with the realtime RPC render aspect of the “realistic” view inherent in this Revit enhancement. At least with my NVIDIA Quadro NVS 150M video card.

You can check for recommended and certified hardware compatibility at:


Symbolic Lines in Nested Families

October 27, 2011

I ran into an interesting glitch in Revit 2011 while I was creating a nested family.  The primary family was categorized as Specialty Equipment which was then nested into a Specialty Equipment Wall based family.  This piece of equipment typically is mounted above the plan cut  elevation so I wanted some symbolic lines to represent the family as hidden above.

For some reason none of the symbolic lines would show up in my project, so after some head scratching I decided to throw in some model lines.  All of a sudden I could see both model and symbolic lines.  I then took out the model lines and all the symbolic lines disappeared, go figure.  Consequently I had to leave a very small model line discretely hidden in the family to get my symbolics to activate.

Also if you are interested in how to develop a nested family, Patrick at CADsoft posted a nice how to at this link.



Images in Revit – Raster V.S. Vector

October 20, 2011

In Revit 2011 image files can give you some problems when used in viewports, such as details captured from a scan of an old project.  While the detail may look clean without edges you may experience ghosting of the image boundaries when producing pdf files.  I had this happen using both the Adobe and Cutepdf writers.  I suspect it has something to do with the way Revit communicates the outgoing file to the format writer, because the fix can be found in Revit.

In the print control interface.  Go to the “Setup” button in the lower right of the print control interface.  Here you will find two options for processing the file.  “Vector” and “Raster”.   Vector processing is faster and cleaner but will create ghosting of the image file edges in your pdf’s that will print in hard copy.  Raster takes about 2 to 3 times longer to process but eliminates the ghost edges.  The other down side with the output is that it is less crisp.  I would estimate a 10% reduction in print quality.

I suspect the image boundaries during vector processing in Revit are being interpreted by the pdf writer as lines.  What is even stranger is you don’t always get all edges as lines.  It appears to be an arbitrary assignment as to which edges are seen as lines.

David Metcalf at CADsoft also did a little trouble shooting on my pdf files and noted that the free pdf reader called Foxit did not show any lines in the Vector processed file, while Adobe did.  David also indicated the Foxit viewer is a lot crisper.

Looks like Revit and Adobe could use a little tune up to get this issue addressed.

It’s time to Slip out of the Office.

Until my next Revit speed bump.



Grid Guides – The Great Revit Cover up

October 15, 2011

Grid Guides are a nice sheet layout tool even if somewhat limited, since you can’t change the graphic attributes of individual lines.  They also have another annoying habit in 2011.  The grid guide will conceal shaded regions, raster images and detail lines in your viewports.  It doesn’t affect printing when the guides are on and you send a file to the printer or produce a pdf.  It just makes your sheets look like sh!!t.  Consequently you have to turn them off and on during production.  Big Pain!

Seeing things (NOT!)


Revit – Specialty Equipment Category Issue

September 29, 2011

In Revit the Specialty Equipment category is hardcoded as a family category which can not be cut through in an elevation view.  The elevation view tag will highlite the cutting plane by clicking on the directional arrow.  As typical in Revit you can adjust the limits with the blue end dot drag points and move the plane closer to or further from the elevation tag.  The image below depicts the activated cut plane with the elevation directly above.

As you move the cut plane to cut through the first partition you’ll notice the elevation view of the right  partition remains unchanged.

Push the cut plane further and the standard partitions remain unchanged.  The hcap partition ends where the standard partition corner begins so we loose the hcap partition in the elevation view but we are outside the limits of that family so this is to be expected.

Of course you could assign the partitions to another family category that does permit cutting through but that could create issues with your Specialy Equipment schedule that you will need to somehow address.  The other option is to go back to the original position where all partitions are visible in the elevation, then right mouse click on one of the partitions and select “Override Graphics in View ” then “Element”.  At the control window select “Transparent” then with the Linework tool select a hidden line and mouse over the partition till one of the lines highlites then key “tab” to force the entire family to highlite and click to assign the line type.

This will allow any wall fixtures or tile patterns on the rear wall to be exposed.  You may also want to do a fill pattern at the dividing partitions to simulate a cut situation since any toilet accessories, like TP dispensers, will appear solid and floating on the hidden partition.

A special thanks goes out to David Metcalf at CADsoft who joined me on this Revit Journey of Discovery.



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. 


Linked AutoCAD File : Active-X / Proprietary Components Error on Reload

June 15, 2011

“Some elements were lost during import.  ActiveX and some proprietary componets cannot be imported”

1.  This error can arise from p-lines of infinite length, which are typically used as reference lines.  Remove these elements from the AutoCAD file and reload.

2. or ?

AutoCAD not my thing.  This one from the CADJockey sitting next to me.



Revit Crash – Insufficient Space on the…………………C-Drive Error

June 8, 2011

If you get this error it’s because your system’s paging limit for the Virtual Memory Allocation is set to low.  Check out this link for accessing and changing the VMA setting.,topicNumber=d0e1694
Typical responses to this type of limitation: Revit evaporates or locks up, or Revit gives you the memory warning and prompts you to save a recovery file, which more often than not will fail and the application will go into a recovery file prompt loop. If this happens just end the program and hope you haven’t lost to much work.

To get ahead of this I suggest you check your VMA and up the default limit substantially.

At my age I can use all the memory I can get!

P.S.  Insufficient drive space can also be due to too many temporary files on  the drive.  This type of problem is accompanied by a warning to free up space on the C-Drive or redefine Windows user variable TMP to be a folder on another drive.  To purge your TMP files use the Disk Cleanup utility in the Programs>Accessories>System Tools folder.  Reboot after running the Cleanup routine.



Locked to a Reference Plane?

May 18, 2011

In an effort to reduce file sizes and bridge staff 3D family construction inexperience and time limitations on projects we often use 2D symbolic line representations of kitchen equipment in lieu of full 3D families.  One of our staff happened to create a 2D family of grouped lines that was somehow locked to the reference level of the family that is used as the finished floor.  Here are things to look for when this happens and how to break the lock.

1.  Check to make sure the group is not locked to the reference level.  Click on the group and look for the lock symbol. Click on the lock symbol to toogle between locked and unlocked.

2.  Was the family constructed using model lines?  If so they were referenced to a specific plane when created.  Select all the 2D lines and use the “Edit Work Plane” button in the tools bar found under the Modify Tab.  Upon selection the program will prompt you to I.D. the reference plane you want them associated with so make sure you have a reference plane in place you want to use as your target.

To unlock the group use the mirror function and mirror the group about another reference plane.  Sometimes a parallel reference plane won’t work so try a 45 degree reference plane to mirror about.  Of course this will change the orientation but once it’s unlocked you will be able to rotate it and lock it to another reference plane.  In our particular case the staff member wanted to lock to a reference plane they could control the height of with a parameter.  Also be aware that if the group of lines was locked to reference planes to control type properties of length and width mirroring out of plane, as would be the case with the 45 degree reference plane, will unlock these control properties.

This mirror trick also works with 3D extrusions and sweeps in families and in the in-place families in a project that have been associated with a reference plane for construct purposes.  Once you free the 3D form you can delete the original locked version of the shape.

Reference Free in 2 & 3D