33 Weird Revit Terms Explained

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Revit language is quite geeky and obscure for beginners. This is a Revitionnary, explaining Revit terms with names that are not self-explanatory.

This post was designed to be extremely simple to understand, so you feel free to share it with friends and colleagues that have a hard time grasping some Revit terms.

1- FAR CLIP

In a 3D view, section or elevation, control the distance between the beginning of the view and where the view is cut.

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2- CROP REGION

Control what part of a view is visible.

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3- ANNOTATION CROP

This is an optional feature that set the visibility limits of annotations (text, dimension, tags, etc) in a view. It is the dashed line in the image below.

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4- VIEW RANGE

In a plan view or Reflected Ceiling Plan, control where the model is cut and the depth of the visibility.

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5- PARAMETER

Parameters are information stored in each element in the project. It can be text information, dimensions or any option specific to elements. In the image below, you can see parameters for a wall in the properties dialog box.

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Users can create custom parameters for each element category.

6- SHARED PARAMETER

Shared parameter are stored in an external files and shared among multiple project and families. Add them in project and families in the Manage Tab, in the Project Parameter tool.

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7- CURTAIN GRID

Curtain grids are horizontal or vertical division lines created on a curtain wall

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8- CURTAIN SYSTEM

Curtain System are curtain walls created from the face of a Generic Model. This tool is used to create glazing or other pattern from irregular shapes.

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9- MODEL IN-PLACE

Model In-Place is a tool to create custom shapes in your project. It works in a similar way to Sketchup or other non-BIM modelling programs.

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10- REGION

If you are from the AutoCAD world, this is the equivalent to Hatch. It is a 2D pattern constrained by boundaries.

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11- MODEL LINES / DETAIL LINES

Detail Lines (shortcut: DL) are only visible in a single view, they are mostly used for detailing and temporary annotations.

Model Lines (shortcut: LI) are visible in all views, they are usually used to represent real 3D elements.

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12- GROUP

Groups are similar to Blocks in AutoCAD. They are used to repeat part of the model in multiple places. You only have to edit the group once to affect all instances. In the image below, we created a group with a wall, a door and a toilet.

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13- LINEWORKS

This tool is used to change the appearance of certain lines in views. Select a line type and click the line you want to change.

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14- THIN LINES

Revit is known as a "What You See Is What You Get" interface, meaning what you see on the screen is what will actually be printed. However, thickness of some lines can be annoying when trying to model and adjust your project. Use Thin Lines (shortcut: TL) to make every line 1 pixel width. This only affects the screen, printing will still show the correct lineweight.

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15- PIN

Pin (Shortcut: PN) is used to make sure elements can't be modified or moved without unpinning first.

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16- SPLIT FACE

Use split face if you want multiple materials on the same surface.

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17- LOCATION LINE

Location line is an imaginary lines to control walls. It is indicated by blue dots. Below we have a Centerline location line.

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18- FAMILY / TYPE / INSTANCE

A family is an external file loaded in a project, for example a glazed door family. A type is created from this family, for example a 36'' x 80'' glazed door. Instances are every occurrence of this 36'' x 80'' glazed door in the project.

For some type of elements, like walls, families are built-in and can't be modified.

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19- BUILDING PAD

Building Pad tool is used to create a hole in a toposurface for your building.

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20- FILTER

Filters are used to produce visual modifications on a view based on specific parameters. For example, below we make every wall with a width bigger than 300mm appear red on the plan view.

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21- HIDE

Hiding an element will remove it from a view, but the element still remain in the model and in other views.

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22- WIREFRAME

Wireframe is a visual style that makes every surface invisible. It is not used often because this view type usually produces a complete mess. (see next tip image)

23- HIDDEN LINES

Hidden Lines is the most commonly used visual style in Revit. It is a black and white style with opacity.

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24- SILHOUETTES

Silhouettes are used to make edge lines wider, like in the example below. Find this option in the Graphic Display Options.

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25- DEPTH CUEING

Depth Cueing is a feature used to create a depth effect in elevations. See our complete guide on elevations to understand how to use this tool.

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26- UNDERLAY

Underlay is used to show another level information in halftone on a plan view. Activate it in the view properties.

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27- VIEW TEMPLATE

View templates are used to take settings from a view and apply them to other similar views.

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28- DRAFTING VIEWS

Drafting Views are used to create completely 2D views without link to the main model. It is a 2D safe space, where you don't have to be scared of ruining the model and have colleagues mad at you.

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29- DETAIL LEVEL

Choose a detail level between CoarseMedium and Fine. Fine detail level will show all layers from elements structure while coarse will show much less.

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30- ENTOURAGE

Entourage are characters, plants, cars and other elements around to embellish and add context to your views.

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31- VISIBILITY GRAPHICS

Visibility Graphics (shortcut: VG) menu is used to control the visibility of all elements in the current view. Simply uncheck a category to hide it completely from the view.

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32- WORKSETS

Worksets are user-created categories that are similar to layers in AutoCAD, but that are used mostly for performance purpose instead of visibility. Check out our blog post on this topic.

33- CENTRAL VS LOCAL

A Central file is located on the server or on the cloud. Local files are copies of the central files located on the computer of each user. User synchronize the changes from the local file to the central file.

If User1 is trying to modify an element User3 is working on, User1 will receive a warning.

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