Cut Profile

I love the Cut Profile tool. It’s great that it uses the same hatch pattern as the element and its good for cleaning up junctions.

However, where it is seriously lacking is in lineweights.  Revit uses the Common Edges line style (found as a sub-category) for the element as the lineweight of the Cut Profile. You can neither, while drawing the boundary for the profile, select lineweights for the individual lines nor can you use the Linework tool on the Cut Profile afterwards.


The Revit.ini file stores the settings typically found in the options dialogue; default locations, usernames, recent files, colour backgrounds, etc.

Customising the revit.ini file can be done either through the options dialogue or by opening the file in a text editor. This file can then be distributed to multiple users to create an office standard.

If the Revit.ini file becomes corrupted an error displaying “Encountered an improper argument” will occur when loading projects. To resolve, rename your Revit.ini file to archive it (to something like Revit_archive.ini) then copy a Revit.ini file from another installation of the same version of Revit (or your office standard).

Revit.ini File Locations

Revit 2011 – C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit Architecture 2011\Program

Revit 2012 – C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit Architecture 2012\Program\UserDataCache

or – %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit Architecture 2012

2013 – %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit 2013

Mass Floor Material

The mass floor material can be controlled in 2 ways, either globally or singularly. Globally changing the mass floor material is done through object styles, with mass floors being a subcategory of mass. To singularly change a mass floors material you can simply paint the material onto the mass floor.

I have noticed that in Revit 2012 and 2013 mass floor materials won’t update after changing the object style for the mass floor material. This seems to be a bug as material will update after editing the mass, however you will need to edit each mass.

Rotated Views with Text, Dimensions and Tags

So you’ve created a callout of your plan, placed it on your sheet and rotated it either 90º clockwise or anti-clockwise. The text that was horizontal is now displayed vertically, not too much of a problem, but the text that was vertical is now upside down, disaster!

Different “text” elements will need to be fixed in various ways.


Dimensions – Duplicate your dimension style and under Type Properties modify the Read Convention to suit your view. The convention applies to the view, not how the view has been placed on the sheet, so you will have to take this into account.

Tags – Room Tags

Edit the tag family. Select the label required to be upside down, untick ‘keep readable’, then rotate the label 180º. Depending on how you construct your tags the upside down could either be turned off using a visibility parameter or as a standalone tag.

Tags – Other

I haven’t found a way to rotate the text in all other tag categories besides room tags. Unticking ‘keep readable’ seems to have no affect on the text when rotated.


Duplicate the dimension type and rename it. Then in the type properties, in the ‘Text’ section, modify the read convention to ‘right then up’.


Aligning Views

If you want views to be in EXACTLY the same spot on a series of sheets, draw a reference plane in the view and draw a detail line on the title sheet. Select the view, and move it with the move command. Select a point on the reference plane in the legend as the base point and move it to a point on the detail line. Cut this detail line and paste it onto the next sheet, manually place the view and repeat the move process.

It’s possible to draw the original detail line off the reference plane if you’re happy with the location of the view on the first sheet.


Convert Detail Linework into Detail Component

Following on from this post about saving in place families as regular families, I thought I’d add a useful trick to convert your detail line-work into a detail component.

Similar to saving the family, create a group from the lines and regions. You can name the group now or in one of the next steps, however to make sure everything is consistent (I name the group the final family name now). Now find the group in the Groups > Detail section of the project browser, right click on it and select “save group”. This will create a Revit project from your detail items (and there is no way to select family).

Browse to the location where your group project was saved and rename the file extension from .rvt to .rfa (windows will generate an error saying this may make the file unstable, ignore this error). If the file extensions are not visible don’t add .rfa to the end of your file name  you will need to make file extensions visible and then change the file extension. The file will be converted in to a Revit family, although still with many of the properties of a project. Instead of cleaning up the family, find the view in which your detail elements have been copied (this should be the view type as the view in the model) and copyclip (ctrl + c) all the elements. Then create a new detail component family and paste (modify > paste > aligned to current view) the elements into this new family. The intersection of the two reference planes named centre will be the insertion point for the detail component, so move the pasted elements into a location that relates to this point.

I will then close family that was renamed from the exported project and then save the newly created family over the top. However you could save the family with a different name if you wanted.

Your new detail component family is now ready to be inserted into your project.

Hope this helps


Ceiling Split Face Lines

I was attempting to modify (what appeared to be) linework which denoted an irregular breakup of a ceiling grid. For some reason I was unable to select the lines (they weren’t on a design option, separate workset, or category that was hidden).

After some investigation I found that I was able to paint the individual divisions the lines created and realised the lines were split face lines. However unlike usual split face lines I was unable to select them. After some trial and error I realised that I was able to select the split lines by using a selection box and filtering out all other categories. If you have multiple split lines, you will need to make sure the selection box only selects the split line you want to edit (you can only edit one at a time).

This doesn’t seem to effect categories other than ceilings.

Hope this helps.

Materials Missing from Schedules

There are a few items that I have come across that don’t appear in schedules.

The first step is to check your filters to make sure that the material isn’t being filtered out, then check your grouping and untick “Itemize every Instance” to make sure that the material isn’t grouped with other materials.

There are some element categories that, for some reason, Revit just won’t schedule. I have been unable to find an information from Autodesk detailing what element categories won’t schedule, so the list below is only what I have discovered so far.

  • Flashing and Gutter profiles
  • Curtain wall mullions
  • Roof Soffits
  • Wall Sweeps

You will still be able to tag the materials in your plans / sections / elevations, so the workaround is only required so that the material appears in the Material “Takeoff” Schedule. To add the material to the schedule we will basically trick the schedule by adding the material to a category that the schedule actually recognises.

Typically where possible I add the materials to existing model components, for example I will add the Mullion material to a Window family, which will have a similar construction anyway (anodised aluminium curtain wall mullions and anodised aluminium windows). If there isn’t a logical existing model component, then I will add a this generic model component and create a new type for each material. Typically I put the component on its own workset that is turned off in all views or on a temporary phase that doesn’t appear in any of my views, but does appear in my material schedule.

A list of my typical workaround categories is below.

  • Flashing and Gutter profiles – Generic model family
  • Curtain wall mullions – Window family (if appropriate)
  • Roof Soffits – I use Ceilings instead of Soffits (although you only have to use one)
  • Wall Sweeps – Generic model family

Due to Revit not scheduling the actual elements, the areas and volumes in the schedule will be inaccurate (although I would argue against the use of these metrics in the architectural profession). If you require areas and volumes you will probably require model elements that are more accurate than what can be produced through the above modelling techniques.

Hope this helps.

An error has occurred while drawing the contents of this window

If you’re getting the error “An error has occurred while drawing the contents of this window” try the following fixes.

  • Disable (or enable) hardware acceleration under Revit > Options
  • Clear as much as possible out of the User’s Temp folder. To access this folder press Windows+R > Type %temp% in the text box. Close Revit before you delete the Temp folder’s contents to allow more files to be deleted.

Save In Place Families

I always forget the method for saving families or parts of the project out into separate files.

The simple overview is to group the objects to be exported and then save the group. Depending on whether you are currently editing the project or an In-Place family you will either get a RFT or RFA file.

Below is the extended method for creating families from In-Place families, to create parts of the project simply ignore the steps referring to families.

  1. Edit the family you want to export.
  2. Select all the elements that are to be included in the new family.
  3. Group these elements. (The name used for the group can automatically be used for the name of the family)
  4. While still editing the In-Place family, either find the group in the Groups section of the project browser right click and select Save Group or go to Save As > Library > Group. In the pull down menu select the group you wish to export, type in a File Name and click Save. Note as mentioned above, depending on whether you are editing the project or an In-Place family you will either get a RFT or RFA file, the File Type pull down does not give you this option.

I tested this method for breaking up projects and the Project Base Point remains in the same location. So the exported parts of the project can be linked back to the same location by using the setting Auto – By Shared Coordinates.

Revit Project is a blog of my day to day Revit activities. Publishing it aims to provide help to all those out their that are also having problems with Revit.