Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Revit Properties Filter

The Revit Properties Palette has an underutilized feature... the Properties Filter. At a past RTC-Europe conference I mentioned this in a session I was attending and the presenter got really excited as he did not know about this feature. I personally love it when I learn something new in my own sessions! The collective knowledge of a group of people at a BIM conference is off the charts:)

  • At a past Autodesk University, Lynn Allen made a funny comment just before the Blue Man Group was about to give a special presentation to the attendees. She said something like this "It is pretty sad that I can say 'we are about to be entertained by the Color #5 Group' and everyone here knows exactly what I mean"!
    • FYI: For you Revit only users, Color #5 is blue in AutoCAD.

First, let's quickly mention it's competitor... the Filter command. Select a bunch of stuff, click Filter and select one or more categories as shown in the image below. The result is a refined select set. At this point, what we see in the Properties Palette is the common properties for the elected elements.

An interesting alternative to the Filter command is Properties Filter. Here's how it works:
  • Select a bunch of stuff
  • Notice in Properties the Properties Filter per the next image
    • If just walls are selected, this says Walls (12) for example
      • This lists the Revit category and the number of elements selected
    • In this case, it says Common (4331)
      • This means there are multiple categories selected
      • The total number of elements selected is also listed

Here is where it gets interesting. With multiple categories of elements selected click this drop-down list and you see a list of all categories and the number of elements in each. This list looks just like the Filter dialog list above.

If you select Walls (1140) the Properties Palette changes to show the properties for just the walls. But here is the interesting part... unlike the Filter command, all the other elements are still selected.

Because all the other elements are still selected, we can then switch to another category quickly... the example below now shows the properties for the seven Floor elements selected.

Notice the properties presented continue to change for the selected category.

One more example showing 21 Roof elements selected.

There are a few other uses for this drop-down list as well. While in sketch mode for the Roof tool, this drop-down lets you switch to the view properties and the settings for the sketch line you are about to create. This allows you to set the roof pitch, for example, proactively.

Another example is within sketch mode for the Stair tool. If you are creating a stair like the one below, you need to know about this option to efficiently create the second stair run off of the landing.

With the Stair tool active, this drop-down list allows you to switch to New Stair: Runs as shown in the image below. With the landing elevation in hand, you can enter that for the Relative Base Height and Revit will automatically connect the landing with the new run!

Fun stuff!