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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

BIM & BEAM: Excellent Linework Tip for #Revit Structure Users

Special thanks to Erik Snell for this excellent Revit Structure Tip!

Linework Tip

The linework tool lives here on the Modify Tab in 2011 (similar for 2010).



The tool simply allows you to change the view specific style of a model edges (cut or projection) to a line style different than the one assigned to the category.  Common uses may be to increase the weight of specific lines or eliminate them by choosing the style <Invisible Lines>.  To set a line back to its default you choose <By Category>.

A neat trick first proposed by the developer that implemented the tool way back in the day is to use the linework tool on lines from other views displayed via underlay.  This made it easy to add a roof outline to a plan view as demonstrated in this blog post on Inside the Factory. We can take that same tip and twist it for a common structural case of displaying non-bearing walls in plan views.  Let me try to demonstrate on this overly simplified model.


Here we have four bearing walls, in blue, with non-bearing walls above and below, in grey. Note that these non-bearing walls are not visible in the structural plan view.

In the Level 2 view I'll set the view underlay property to Level 2 so I can see the wall above. The underlay view does not follow the view discipline property, which in this case is a good thing.


The lines from the wall above are now displayed.  Using the linework tool set the line style to <Overhead> and click each of the wall lines.


This will cause the edges to appear in the overhead style (dashed).  Next turn off the Level 2 underlay and note that the view specific line work remains.  The line work is not just visible but is still referencing the original edges even though they are not displayed.  When an edit affects the walls the overhead lines will adjust automatically.


Now you can repeat the same method to display the wall below. This wall will be displayed in the underlay of Level 1.

Be aware that these lines are a representation of the actual wall. If you select these new lines you will actually be selecting the wall element. To remove these lines do not delete them, this will delete the wall. You must reuse the linework tool with a setting of <By Category>.

As you can see from this post and its reference, on Inside the Factory, the linework tool can be used for many different use cases. Please share your experiences.


Erik Snell


Erik Snell is a product designer working on the Revit platform and specifically Revit Structure. Erik is a registered professional engineer and has been with Autodesk since 2005.

Content from Inside the Factory has been used by permission.


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