In Revit, each Link is bound to both a Type and an Instance. So you can have one Link ‘Type’ – relating to a single RVT file that is linked into the project. But it can be placed multiple times in the project, thus having multiple instances. In workshared projects, the Type and the Instance can belong to different Worksets.

Did you know you can use Linked Views to display two identical copies of the same linked model in different ways?

To add control, you should create 3 worksets – 1 for the Type, and 1 for each Instance, as shown below:

Then, set up two different Linked Views in that linked model. In this particular case, I want to use a model converted from ArchiCAD to a single Revit file. But I want to be able to separately load and display the Site objects, and the Building objects. So I have an Link Instance for each, and linked views for each. The whole rig can be seen in the image below.

Using the worksets, I can separately Load / Unload each Instance (closing a Workset unloads any Link instances on that Workset from memory). And using the Linked Views and Overrides for the Instance, I can display each instance as I like. I can also load both instances and show both in a ‘combined’ view.

Final note: Link Instances can be located in different positions in the Host model, and they can have different Shared Coordinates. Using the methods above, you have a lot of flexibility to be able to use a single linked Revit model in many different ways…

A federated Revit model is a model containing many Revit links, and they can be quite slow to work with. There are a few steps you can take to speed things up, and one of them is creating a set of fast view types and a related view template.

Here’s how:

  1. Make a View Template called “No Model” and untick all the Model categories in that Template
  2. Make a set of View Types called “Fast Plan“, “Fast Section” and so on
  3. Set the View Template for those Types to the “No Model” template you created

Now, when cutting sections or making new floor plans using these ‘fast’ view types, the view will generate quickly without any model elements. Then, you can decide if you want to switch view templates / types to something more useful for coordination or documentation.

Ok, two unrelated issues here, but both are along the lines of “weird stuff that happens in Revit that can be fixed but doesn’t always make sense”. If you use Revit long enough, you will certainly come across issues like this…

Firstly, certain Electrical penetration families were not tagging for height when using Spot elevations. These elements were in a model, which was linked into another model. The fix? Super weird one. Try turning on Lighting Fixtures in your View (in the host model). Then, those spot elevations worked… Even though the penetration family was a Generic Model with Nested Mechanical Equipment inside a link file. I’m thinking this one was either an upgrade error, or perhaps the families had some earlier history as a Lighting Fixture?!?

Secondly, I came across a Structural Consultant Design Model in Revit 2015 that doesn’t want to upgrade to Revit 2016. This is due to some corruption inside various families. Here are a few things to try… along with the ultimate solution.

1) Try opening the model in the newer version of Revit with Detach and Audit ticked, and choose Specify from the Worksets dialog dropdown. If the Opening Worksets dialog appears, Close all the Worksets and press OK. Then, Detach and preserve worksets. You should see the Model Upgrade progress dialog.

This fails with the following error:
The file cannot be opened. There are too many elements missing in it. Please contact Autodesk Support.

2) Next steps are more detailed and resulted in a successful upgrade:

1. Open in 2015, with Audit and Detach, no Worksets open
2. Save As
3. Open in 2016, with Audit and Detach, no Worksets open
a. Delete families when prompted (as you can see, it is one problem Rebar family)

c. Ok to mass errors:

e. Click to resolve Join errors

4. Save As
5. Setup starting view…

And here are some model tidy-up steps that I did, just #GoodRevit with some Dynamo:
6. Make these worksets:
a. Hide-CADs
b. Hide-Topo
c. Link-Control
7. Move DWGs to workset by:
a. Getting Ids in Dynamo

c. Group
d. Change Workset
e. Set workset invisible
8. Move Topo to workset and set invisible

9. Acquire Coordinates from Control Model
a. Copy / paste control model from current ST file to this upgraded one
b. Link neutral coordinate file
i. Acquire
c. Then acquire from BMGR control file
d. Save

Finally, sharing with team:
10. Save to Box
11. Open in Fed
12. Glue

Big day yesterday in Revit updates, particularly with Revit 2017 Update 1 bringing some really cool enhancements, and the Dynamo Player! Here are some links and other information:

Revit 2017 Update 1
Direct Download Link
Release Notes 
Autodesk blog post
showing these top new features:


Revit 2016 R2 Update 7
Direct Download Link
Release Notes

Dynamo Player
People have been asking for a way to run their scripts more easily and transparently, and now you can. Simply install Revit 2017 Update 1, ensure you have Dynamo installed, and you will have a new option on your Ribbon…

It comes preconfigured to point at a samples folder:

You can point this at your own “Player” folder containing DYNs.

Press Play button to Run, and Edit button to open the DYN in Dynamo.

It remains to be seen how inputs will be handled?

Pick Objects and Dynamo Player
Interesting thoughts over on the forum, about how if you use a DYN with a Select Node, it will still ‘work’ —  this opens up some great possibilities!


Dynamo Player on Revit Help

Associated discussion over here.

When working in 3D in Revit, you *can* use the normal dimension tool *if* you first set the Workplane. However, this can get annoying. Why not make a 2 point adaptive family, with a reporting parameter, so that you can just place the family (two clicks) and then check the instance parameter as shown below?

Update: V2 with arrowhead and tag in project Download here

Adaptive dimension family (2016), Download here



Revit wants you to make your own better, faster way sometimes…

If you have just scaled an object (such as a Raster Image) at a certain scale, did you know you can re-use that previous scaling method very quickly on other objects?


  1. Scale one element
  2. Select the next element
  3. Switch to “Numerical” in the Options bar
  4. The previous scaling method is already here
  5. Click on the desired basepoint (origin) on the element
  6. The object is immediately scaled

Ok, Parts are pretty cool, particularly when working with Linked Files. But there is a strange behaviour in Revit that exists between the Parts Visibility setting of a View, and the Parts category Visibility / Graphics.

Here’s what I’m talking about:

  1. In a 3D view, with a Linked Revit file, make some Parts from the linked elements. You could use something like this in Dynamo.
  2. Now, switch the Parts Visibility of the view to Show Parts. Revit is now hiding the linked elements you made the parts from originally, and showing you the parts in the host model.
  3. Let’s say you want to verify that the linked elements are really hidden… ok, let’s go into V/G and turn off Parts… drumroll please…
  4. Revit decides that this means you want the Parts Visibility setting of the view to be turned back to Show Original, and so it goes ahead and does that. Um, thanks, I guess? In essence, the Parts V/G is linked to the Parts Visibility switch for the view.

So, what is the workaround?

Just make a filter for the Parts category, and turn that off:


Using this Filter, Revit does not switch the autopilot on, meaning you can have Show Parts turned on for the view, with the actual Part elements switched off.

Wow, Revit 2015 is setting some serious records for updates!

Here is the direct link to the Update Release 14 for Revit 2015 R2:

and non-R2:

Autodesk Revit 2015 R2 Update Release 14 Readme


Enhancements list (not live yet…)

Just a reminder on how this works, in the off-chance that you are confused…

2015 Products
Use the Enhancements link from


2016 Products
Use the Autodesk App Store


2017 Products
Use Autodesk Desktop App


Yes, there are exceptions to these rules, but it should get you headed in the right direction.