Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Often Overlooked by Beginners

Here are a few tools that are often overlooked by beginners.

Rotate: When you select and start to rotate an object you'll notice a blue rotation icon shows up. You can move the icon to rotate an object about any origin.

Mirror: When you select and start to mirror an object don't overlook the fact that you can DRAW any axis you wish to mirror about.

Stacked Walls: Does the width and material of your wall change halfway up the elevation. You can select the Stacked Wall from the drop down list and edit it to suit your needs. Remember that you have to create the two wall types separately before you can add them to a stacked wall. If you want to break up the stacked wall after it's placed just right click on the wall and select Break Up.

Leaning Walls: Do you have a wall that leans? If you go to your tools palette (Basics, View, Modelling, etc) right click on it you'll notice there are massing tools. Create a mass of the volume you want and then use the Wall By Face tool to create walls from your mass volume.

VH Command: Select any object and type VH. You'll notice that every object in that category hides from view. This is a fast way to hide whole categories without having to go to the Visibility/Graphics Overrides (VG) dialog.

Drawing List: Did you create a drawing list and you don't want that sheet to show up on the list? Select the sheet and go to its properties. Then uncheck "Appears in Drawing List"

Select All Instances: Want to change a wall type globally. Select one of the walls and right click. Select All Instances and you can change them all at once. When selecting all instances of a detail line be aware that the tool will include detail lines in ALL views.

Filter Selection: Select everything with a fence select and click on the Filter Selection Icon (next to Press + Drag). You can now filter out all the categories you don't want selected.

Browser Organization: Did you know that you can change the organization of your Project Browser? Go to Settings... Browser Organization and change or add filter rules for organizing the directory tree that appears in your Project Browser.

Tool Palette Extras: Right click on your left hand tool palette and you'll notice there are Area Analysis, Massing, and other tools available.

Thin Lines Tool: Are you having trouble seeing your work because the lines are displaying too thick? Go to View... Thin Lines.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Changing Line Styles

There are a number of ways to change linestyles and it is important to be familiar with all of them. It took me some time to track down how to change different linestyles so I thought I'd dedicate a post to linestyles.

Linestyles for Model Objects like walls, doors, roofs, topography and other families are located under Settings... Object Styles. Here you can set the Color, Pattern, and Material of any family's linestyle. You can also change the lineweight of the family's Cut and Projection lines. Cut lines are lines that your plans and sections are cutting through. Projection lines are lines BEYOND or lines that lie beyond the cutting plane. You will also find linestyles for Annotations and Imported Objects here. These changes will affect linestyles GLOBALLY. If you want to change a linestyle in just one particular view you will have to go to View... Visibility/Graphics or use the Linework Tool.

Let's say you're drafting with Model Lines and Detail Lines. At the moment these linestyles are located under Settings... Line styles... but there is talk of moving them in with the Object Styles.

Now let's say that you've started a new family using one of the family templates but you can't find the linestyle that you want (say a dashed line for instance). To create a new linestyle go to Settings... Objects Styles... and add a Subcategory. Construct your family and import it into your project. You now have the power to turn on/off your new linestyle under View... Visibility/Graphics.

Now let's say you've constructed a model of your project but there are stray lines that you can't seem to get rid of. You can use the Linework Tool (LW) to set any visible line... invisible. Another great use for the Linework Tool is if you wanted to show the line of a balcony above in your plan view. Goto the view's properties and change the Underlay from None to 2nd Floor for instance. Now use the linework tool on the edge of the balcony above and turn off the underlay. You'll notice that the new linework remains. The linework tool is view specific so any changes you make are only going to be visible in the current view.

Now let's say you just want to OVERRIDE the linework in one specific view. For this we go to View... Visibility/Graphics (or VG for short). Here you can override Line Weight, Line Color, Line Pattern and we can Halftone an entire or part of any category. Halftone comes in handy when you've imported a DWG that you want to show in greyscale.

Drafting and model patterns use lineweight 1 end of story. If you want patterns with heavier lineweights you'll have to use filled regions.

Now lets say you have a floor, wall, or ceiling with many layers in their construction (finish, sheathing, framing, etc) and you want to change the lineweight, color, or pattern of one of the layers. If you go to View... Visibility/Graphics... and check the Cut Line Styles box you can now edit Host Layer Line Styles.

I think that pretty much covers linestyles for this post and I hope you've found it helpful.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Changing Fonts

Revit's Annotations, Tags, Titleblocks, Schedules, Dimensions, and Text Tool are all setup to Arial by default and there is no one place in Revit to change Font styles and sizes so, like linestyles, you have to kind of search around to find all of them. We use Times New Roman in our office so I had to change the fonts in our template one at a time. Hopefully sharing my experience will help you.

Annotations, Tags and Titleblocks are family files. In your project browser go to Families... Annotation symbols. Here you can right click on any of the loaded families and EDIT them. Once you have the family open just select the text label and go to its properties. Click on Edit/New to change its type parameters. It is then a simple matter of reloading the annotations back into your template file for use in all projects. If you choose to rename your tags you'll have to search around in Settings... Annotations or Settings... View Tags to apply the new families to your template.

Revit's Schedules will, unfortunately, always default to Arial, so you'll have to do the following everytime you create a new schedule. While in the schedule go to View Properties (VP). The fonts are configured under Appearance. (Note: In Revit 9 you can now save a schedule's formatting for use in other projects... While in the project browser right click on the schedule and Save to New File)

Dimensions and Text are fairly simple to change. While in the Dimensions or Text tool just click on the Properties Icon and go to Edit/New. Now you can change the fonts for all your dimension types and all your text types.

If you want to purge unwanted Text or Dimension Styles go to File... Purge Unused... Check None. Then check the objects you want purged from the template. It is important to be aware that the only objects that show up on the purge list are objects that are not currently in use.