Making the non-editable field in the Door Schedule becomes editable

Revit tried to make creating a door schedule a breeze. No more making your own schedule, just add all the door parameters you need to show in the door schedule and it will automatically populate most of the information for you. Sweet! But wait until you start editing some of the field in the door schedule, you realized they are not editable! Bummer! So what is the problem? Why can we edit the field for some doors but some not?

We need to understand a few basics:

  1. Door parameters – Parameters defines the properties of the door. Common parameters in a door family are door height, width, thickness, swing degree, frame materials, etc.  These parameters are information that can appear in the door schedule.
  2. Door Family – Families are components used to build a Revit model. You are likely going to have many different families in a single model. Common door families used are single door, double door, door with side lite, glass doors, etc.
  3. Each door family may not necessary carry the same list of door parameters. For example, some door families might have a parameter called “Fire Rating” defined, but some door families do not. For this reason, when you include the door parameter “Fire Rating” into your door schedule, doors that have this parameter will find the field editable, but doors that doesn’t have this parameter will find the field un-editable. Simple concept! To make all the fields become editable, we need to add the “missing parameter” to other door families.

Adding “Missing” Parameter to Door Family

There are two approaches, but first we need to make the “missing parameter” a “shared parameter”.

  1. Proper method – Load the shared parameter into each door families. Yes, very time consuming, but this is the proper way. The advantage is when you reuse the door family in another project, you do not have to do this all over again with this method.
  2. Quick fix method – If you are on a deadline and need a quick fix. Load the shared parameter into the Project Parameters in the project model. Make sure you assign this parameter to the Door Category.  This is the quickest way to get the job done.  This parameter now becomes available to all the doors in the model.

door schedule01 Making the non editable field in the Door Schedule becomes editable

Adding “New” Parameter to Door Family

What if you need to add a brand new parameter into the door schedule that does not exist in any of the door?

  1. Proper method – Create this new shared parameter and “share” it with all the door families. Basically, you will need to open up every door families in your project and load the parameter in.
  2. Quick fix method – You have two options: 1. Create this new parameter directly as a Project Parameters in the project model. 2. Create the parameter as a Shared Parameter first, and then load it into the project.  For either option, make sure you assign this parameter to the Door Category.

Whether you are adding a missing parameter or a brand new parameter, the solution is pretty much the same. The only difference is in the quick approach solution.

  • If the parameter already exist in some of the door family, we need to turn that parameter into a shared parameter before we can add it into Project Parameter.
  • If the parameter is brand new, you have the option to create and add the parameter directly in Project Parameter or create a Shared parameter  and then load it into the project.  But remember, adding door parameter directly to Project Parameter is a “cheating” method to get the job done when you are in a time crunch, it is not a good practice.  It is always preferable to create it a Shared Parameter and load it into the project.  If there is already a Shared Parameter file created in your office, it is highly possible you will find the parameter you need from there.

Why Shared Parameter? Even if you create another parameter that is identical to the parameter in another family, Revit doesn’t recognize it as the same parameter. Every time a new parameter is created, Revit assigned an unique ID to the parameter. To make Revit recognize it as the same parameter, you need to “share” the parameter with other families. That way, Revit knows all your door families are carrying the same parameter.

Warning message when linking CAD files to Revit

There are chances we have to Link AutoCAD files into the Revit model. Have you even come across this warning message when you link CAD files – Import detected no valid elements in the file’s Paper space. Do you want to import from the Model space?

cad link Warning message when linking CAD files to Revit

 

This warning appears when you try to link CAD files directly into your Sheet view. To resolve this, we have to understand Revit’s behavior. When we link anything from CAD, Revit will automatically look for the drawing from the CAD Paper space if you are linking it in a Sheet View; and look for the drawing from the CAD Model space if you are linking it in a Drafting View. With this concept in mind, next time you link the CAD drawing from Model space, link the CAD file into the Drafting View first and then bring the View into the Sheet. This will eliminate the warning message.

You might say if you click Yes to the warning message, you are still able to link your CAD drawing from the Model space directly into the Sheet View. This is true, but you will see this warning message over and over again every time you open your Revit model. It is kind of annoying, so why don’t we do one more step to eliminate this warning? After all, we want to keep our Revit model as warning and error free as possible.

Showing Curved Column Grid in Section View

col grid04 Showing Curved Column Grid in Section View

I receive an email from a Revit user asking me how to get the curved column line to show up in the Section View. In Revit, the rule of thumb is any column line that is not perpendicular to the view will not appear in the Section View. Since the column line is curved, how is it possible to make the section cut line perpendicular to the column line? Here is my quick solution.

Create a reference plane perpendicular to the column line

col grid05 Showing Curved Column Grid in Section View

Draw a reference plane at the location where you want to create the Section cut. Go to Home tab > Ref Plane (under Work Plane Panel). Start the first point from the column line and move your mouse pointer slowly until you see a perpendicular symbol, then click the second point. Once you have the reference plane, stretch the plane as long as needed.

col grid03 Showing Curved Column Grid in Section View

Create the Section View

Draw the section cut line along the reference plane. You  should be able to snap onto the reference plane when you create the cut line. Delete the reference plane when you have finished creating the section view.

col grid01 Showing Curved Column Grid in Section View

Check the Section View

All the column lines should show up on the Section View.

col grid02 Showing Curved Column Grid in Section View

 

This solution will work perfectly if you have column lines that runs in the same direction. In cases where you have column lines that runs in many different directions, we will need to introduce some dummy column line to the section.

 

Adding Folder to Organize Sheets in Project Browser

In the last blog post Using Parameter to Control Sheet List Order, I discussed the process to setting up parameter to control the sheet list order. Since we already have this Discipline Order parameter available, we can go one step further to take advantage of it to organize the sheets structure in the Project Browser.

Go to the View tab > User Interface (under Windows panel) > Browser Organization.

Proj Browser01 Adding Folder to Organize Sheets in Project Browser

In Browser Organization window, click the Sheets tab.  Click the New button to create a new browser organization.  In this exercise, I called it Discipline Order.

Proj Broswer02 Adding Folder to Organize Sheets in Project Browser

Once you input the name and click OK.  The Browser Organization Properties Window opens up. On the Folders tab, follow the image below for the settings.  What I am telling Revit is I want to create a Folder for each Discipline using the Discipline Order parameter defined earlier; and within the Discipline, I want the sheets to sort by Sheet Number.  Click OK and you will see your newly created Project Organization “Discipline Order” in the list.

Proj Broswer03 Adding Folder to Organize Sheets in Project Browser

Once you are done, go back to the Project Browser.  You should see (Discipline Order) shows up next Sheets.  The Browser Organization “Discipline Order” is now applied to the Sheet organization structure. All the Sheets are now organized nicely by Discipline.  This is an easy solution to keep all your sheets organized cleanly in the Project Browser.

Proj Broswer04 Adding Folder to Organize Sheets in Project Browser

Using Parameter to Control Sheet List Order

I recently received a question from a Revit user asking about assigning Sheets to the correct disciplines. This is  an excellent question. I remembered I came across some frustration when sorting the sheet list for the first time.

To effectively sort the sheet list, I introduce a parameter called “Discipline Order” to the sheet list. Go to Manage tab > click Project Parameters (under Settings Panel).

para01 Using Parameter to Control Sheet List Order

I will make this parameter a Project Parameter. With the Project Parameter window open, click ADD. Follow the image below to create this parameter. Make sure you check the “Sheet” check box in the Categories scroll down menu.

para02 Using Parameter to Control Sheet List Order

With the “Discipline Order” parameter created. Open any Sheet and look at the Properties menu. You should see your newly created parameter under Identity Data in the Properties menu. Start entering the appropriate discipline** (i.e. Architecture, Structural, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, etc..) into the sheet properties. We are now ready to use this parameter to sort the sheets.

para03 Using Parameter to Control Sheet List Order

From your Project Browser, scroll down to Schedules and select the Sheet List. (If you have not created one yet, go to View tab > Schedules (under Create panel) > Sheet List.) From the Sheet Properties, click Fields.

para05 Using Parameter to Control Sheet List Order

Go to the Sheet List Properties > Fields > Add “Discipline Order” parameter from the “Available Fields” (left) to the “Scheduled Fields” (Right).

para06 Using Parameter to Control Sheet List Order

To sort the discipline. Click the Sorting/Grouping tab and follow the image below for the settings. What I am doing here is to tell Revit to sort the Sheet List by Discipline Order first, then sort by Sheet Number.

para07 Using Parameter to Control Sheet List Order

If you need to add Placeholders to the Sheet List, you can as well take advantage of this Discipline Order parameter. Go back to the Sheet List and add the Placeholder Sheet as you normally would. (Refer to this blog post – Adding Other Disciplines to Sheet List – for step by step instruction on adding a Placeholder Sheets). In the discipline Order column, type in the discipline. Once you input the discipline, Revit will automatically move your Placeholder sheets to the correct discipline.

para04 Using Parameter to Control Sheet List Order

** I would suggest adding a number before the discipline.  For example, 0 – Demolition, 1 – Architecture, 2 – Structural, 3 – Mechanical, 4 – Electrical, 5 – Plumbing… and so forth. This gives you better control on the discipline order.

Since we have already created the Discipline Order parameter, we can take advantage of it to organize the Sheets structure in the Project Browser.  Please read my next blog post “Adding Folder to Organize Sheets in Project Browser“.