We have all used various autoSectionBox addins to adjust 3D View section boxes quickly. But if you want to quickly match a Section Box to a Scope Box without using an addin, try this:

  1. In a 3D view, select the Scope Box and the Section Box
  2. Sunglasses (ie. Temporary Hide/Isolate) – Isolate Element
  3. Turn the Section Box off
  4. Turn the Section Box back on

It will basically try to match whatever it sees in the view – in this case, the visible Scope Box. There is one pretty big catch, though… it doesn’t really work well if the Scope Box is not aligned to Project North. In this case, go back and use one of those addins 🙂

Tip via:

When working with multiple linked files, you can utilize the ability of Revit to close Worksets in Linked Files, and in some cases this is a good visibility shortcut. Along these lines Simon over at BIM42 has written “a few line of code for set up every Scope Box, and Reference plane to the correct workset…”

See the code at:

Managing linked worksets | BIM 42

The standing rule with linked datums is that if they intersect the view cutting plane, they should show up in the host. However, Matthew Nelson discovered an interesting inconsistency – for Plan Views, this doesn’t seem to apply when Scope Box has been added to Grids.

In other words, the Grids in the Linked project, when applied to a Scope Box, do not seem to show in the Host project, even if the Host plan view range intersects the Grid elements.

After some experimentation, including testing on Revit 2013, 2014 and 2015, I think I have found the solution:
If the Scope Box in the Link intersects the Level in the Link with the lowest Z value (the lowest level), then that Scope Box and any associated Datum (Grids and Reference Planes) WILL appear by default in the Host.

Got it? So this won’t work:

 But this will:

Download this to see it in action

There are 3 other ways to show linked Grids in a plan representation, even if you can’t modify the linked Scope Box as I describe above:

  • Make a Detail View with Plan Orientation that intersects the linked Scope Box
  • Copy / Monitor the Grids (which will automatically bring in the linked Scope Box too)
  • Use “By Linked View” setting in the Host

Here are those workarounds:

Copy / Monitor

Detail View

By Linked View


Nice post over at  revitstructureblog.  A couple of highlights:
When working with Radial grids you will typically find a couple of problems. The first issue you will find is that the grids will not show on new levels. This is because the grids need to be elevated to cut through the levels and a grid is not shown unless a view is perpendicular to the grid as shown in the image below.

A new feature of Revit 2013 is the ability to create a continuous grid line with the same reference called a multi-segment grid. The grid is simply drawn with a series of lines and arcs and then when the sketch is finished the grid is created. It is worth noting that the grid cannot be controlled with a Scope Box (Covered Below).

Read more at:
Tutorial – Working with Grids and Levels | Autodesk Revit Structure

I had one of those slap-your-head moments when this finally came to me … use Coins Auto Section Box!

Step by step:

  1. Close Revit
  2. Install Coins Auto Section Box
  3. Open Revit
  4. Open a project
  5. Draw a Scope Box
  6. Go to a 3D view where you want to match the Scope Box
  7. Select the Scope Box
  8. Go to Add-Ins > Auto Section Box
  9. Set Element extents, plus buffer: to 0
  10. Hit OK!

The 3D view now has a Section Box that matches the selected Scope Box.

I previously tried to implement some sample code from The Building Code, but couldn’t make it work (see below the lines).  I’m sure this is due to my less-than-optimal API skills…

How to compile code SLN for Revit (using Building Coder as example:)

  1. Download the ZIP
  2. Unzip it
  3. Double click SetSectionBox.sln and open it in Visual C# Express (or use SharpDevelop, see below)
  4. Click on the Reference Paths side-tab
  5. Using the … add your Program FilesAutodeskRevit 2013Program directory
    it is looking for RevitAPI.dll and RevitAPIUI.dll
  6. Right-click on the SetSectionBox node and press build
  7. Find the setsectionboxsrcSetSectionBoxSetSectionBoxbinRelease folder, and copy the SetSectionBox.dll
  8. Paste it into %AppData%AutodeskRevitAddins2013
  9. If it isn’t already there, paste SetSectionBox.addin into the same folder.

Revit 2013 ships with the open source IDE SharpDevelop.

If you want to use SharpDevelop:
“yourdrive:Program FilesAutodeskRevit 2013ProgramSDAbinSharpDevelop.exe”

Just drag and drop the solution file into the SharpDevelop window.

Running the command, I get a couple of different errors.  One is:
Revit encountered a Autodesk.Revit.Exceptions.ArgumentException: Box is
Parameter name: box
at Autodesk. Revit.DB.View3D.set_SectionBox(BoundingBoxXYZ section Box)
at SetSectionBox.Command.Execute(ExternaiCommandData
commandData, String& message, ElementSet elements)
at apiManagedExecuteCommand(AString* assemblyName, AString*
className, AString* vendorDescription, MFCApp* pMFCApp, DBView*
pDBView, AString* message,
Set< Elementldstd::less tnallc< Elementld> > • ids,
Map tnallc > * data, AString*
exceptionName, AString* exceptionMessage)

Here is SetSectionBox.zip containing the complete source code, Visual Studio solution, and add-in manifest of this command. 
The Building Coder: Set View Section Box to Match Scope Box

Isn’t it strange that Scope Box is a property of datums (like Reference Planes and Levels), AND its also a Property of Views (Floor Plans, Elevations, Sections etc) in the FAMILY environment, yet there is no tool to create a Scope Box available? (we are talking Revit 2012 here)

If you add a keyboard shortcut to Scope Box – it doesn’t work in the Family Editor…

If you add Scope Box to the Quick Launch toolbar – guess what?  The Scope Box tool suddenly ‘appears’ in the Family Editor – but it is always greyed out.  Remove it from Quick Launch, and it disappears just as suddenly… check it out:

How are we going to get around this one?  Simple – use this method to transfer a Scope Box from the Project Environment to a family RFA.  From there, we can copy the Scope Box from family to family as needed!

Here is another gift from What Revit Wants – a Generic Model family with a Scope Box in it that you can copy to other families:
Download family

It’s pretty funny that you can’t even Create Similar once you have a Scope Box in the family!

EDIT:  Added video showing creation process:

As we all know, Revit really wants you to be able to properly visualize your building. You may have experimented with Section Boxes in normal 3D views, but you can also use them in Perspective/Camera views.

  1. Make a new Camera View.
  2. Go to the View Properties of the Camera View, and select ‘Section Box’
  3. To modify it, select the Section Box and then switch to a Plan View. The Section Box should still be selected, and you can modify the grips (you can modify these grips in many views).

Using this technique, you should be able to make some awesome cutaway views. These views can really help you to visualize and optimize your design.