I have been doing work for a Doha-based practice for the last couple of days. It was a short gig, an in-and-out operation to help the team push through a rough deadline and since I was the one setting up their Revit Model just a month prior, I was in a great shape to take off the pressure off their team. The workflow was a bit more complicated, as we were working off a cloud repository, which allowed us to use the same Central Files, but required a bit of planning ahead. Aside from that, what I found quite annoying was the constant error messages that I kept running into – many times their inexperienced team would forget to relinquish certain elements, which would freeze my progress for short but increasingly more frustrating periods of time. I reached my limit of Skype requests soon enough, so I did the only natural thing – I Relinquished All Theirs. Here, let me show you how this can be done – it’s really quite simple.

By default, the username that Revit assigns is taken from your Windows login account. Let’s assume that your account name is ‘janeroe’. Your handsome colleague ‘johndoe’ from the 3rd floor has been playing with the Central File the night before and is now late for work. You get an urgent memo from your boss ‘hereyougo’ saying that you need to change the grid of the curtain wall system. You dash to your Revit icon, open the local file (which now takes 2 minutes in which you start to silently panic), Reload the Latest changes, as you should. You open the view, head to the curtain wall and the moment you try to unpin the first grid line, this error message greets you from the screen:

What you do next is the following:

  1. Open a new Revit session.
  2. Go to big ‘R’, Options and under ‘Username’ change the name to ‘johndoe’ (or whatever the name of the user that has the rights of the element is in your particular case).
  3. Go to ‘Collaborate’ tab, Synchronize with Central -> Relinquish All Mine -> head back to your other Revit session -> Reload Latest there and see if you can now edit the element. You should be.
  4. Go back to the extra Revit that you have opened with the ‘johndoe’s credentials. Close the file, change the user back to your original username and close the program. You can now keep working in your local copy.

You shouldn’t do that all the time or recklessly, those limitations were set there for a reason. This is a last resort measure that can save you at times of trouble. Normally, if you have your colleague within earshot, the right thing to do would be to ask politely for a Relinquish.

I hope that you find this tip useful! Have a great day and be nice to your colleagues.

Hey folks,

Today I am going to show you how to reveal all levels in a Revit project, because:

  • Have you ever opened an Elevation or a Section View only to find that your levels have miraculously disappeared?
  • And then opened every single section and elevation, but couldn’t quite figure where they went (pondering on the meaning of the words ‘propagate extends’ for at least few minutes)?
  • Googled ‘CAN’T SEE LEVELS REVIT’ to no avail?
  • Wasted time, money, hair and youth, but never got a satisfactory answer on how to make those pesky levels appear on your command? 

That scenario is so common that I finally took the time and came up with a bullet-proof, panic-free, robust solution that I now use every time the proverbial composting material hits the fan. I am going to explain to you how to do it, but I need to warn you that there are many reasons why something can be hidden in Revit and I am not going to attempt to cover all of them here. My favourite article on the topic is the 33 ways to find stuff, although you should know that this number is even higher. So, without further ado, here is the algorithm:

  1. Open your file, open a plan view, make sure that ‘Elevations’ and ‘Scope Boxes’ are turned on from the Visibility Graphics interface.
  2. Create a new elevation (View Tab/Elevation View) (it can be a section too, but let’s stick to elevations). Create a new scope box (View Tab/Scope Box).
  3. I prefer to do this in a 3d view, but you can do it in an elevation view just the same – your goal is to adjust the scope box so that it ‘contains’ all the levels inside its horizontal boundaries. This means you need to stretch the bottom and the top grid of the scope box – the bottom needs to be below the lowest level and the top – above the highest one.
  4. Now go to the newly created elevation view. Let’s take the worst-case scenario, in which no levels are shown. Create a new dummy level (shortcut ‘LL’). Don’t forget to delete this level after you are done with this exercise!
  5. Select the level and right-click -> select all instances in the project. (shortcut ‘SA’). You should observe that you have selected at least several levels.
  6. With all the levels selected, go to their Properties and assign your brand new scope box. You should now see all your levels neatly aligned within the boundaries of the scope box!
  7. In addition, you would want to repeat steps 5 and 6 for all your level types. Let me go back a bit – like any other element in Revit, levels can have multiple types. The command ‘select all instances’ implicitly says ‘of this type’ and therefore, in order to reveal all the levels in your project, you should repeat the above process for all level .. types (and so for all instances of those types).

That’s it! It wasn’t so hard, was it? What you would like to take home from this lesson is that scope boxes are a great way to control your datum elements and you should learn how to use them to your advantage. Of course, handling multiple scope boxes can be cumbersome, but that’s a topic for another discussion.

I hope you enjoyed this little Revit tutorial – have fun revealing all your levels!