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In Revit Architecture 2011 Essential Training, author Paul F. Aubin shows how to create compelling architectural designs using the modeling tools in Revit. This course covers the entire building information modeling (BIM) workflow, from design concept to publishing. It also covers navigating the Revit interface, modeling basic building features such as walls, doors and windows, working with sketch-based components such as roofs and stairs, annotating designs with dimensions and callouts, and adding 3D geometry. Exercise files are included with the course.
We've already explored dimensions earlier in this training series. However, the focus of those explorations was on using dimensions to edit the model. Dimensions can of course be used purely for annotative purposes in any view where you wish call out the dimensions to the contractor. In this movie, we will look at some techniques for using dimensions to annotate our drawings and get them ready for presentation. I have a file here called Dimensions, and I am looking at the Level 1 floor plan view, and let's go ahead and add some dimensions to this view. On the Annotate tab I can click the Aligned Dimension tool. Now there is actually an Aligned dimension and a Linear dimension.
The Aligned dimension will follow the angle of the geometry that you are dimensioning, and the Linear dimension will always remain horizontal and vertical. I tend to prefer the Aligned dimension. I think it gives me nicer results. So I am going to use that one. Now the easiest way to dimension is similar to the methods that we have already seen. You simply find two items that you wish to dimension, like the faces of these walls, and you click the points and then you click your third point for where you want the dimension to go. It's pretty simple. It's pretty straightforward. I would like you to direct your attention to the Options bar so that we can understand why we were able to do that so quickly.
There are several choices that we have here for dimensions. We can use the wall faces. We can use wall centerlines. We can use the core as reference points for the dimension. My happens to be set to Wall faces which gives me nicer results, if I am trying to get the inside clear dimensions. If I change it to Wall centerlines, then Revit will automatically find the centers of the walls and anytime regardless of what the setting is in the Options bar, I am able to press the Tab key and cycle to other available options.
So you are never locked in completely to just the one setting, but you certainly do want to look there in the Options bar and choose the setting that you plan to use most frequently. Now we are not limited to just dimensioning walls, although walls are certainly one of our more common things to dimension. Let's start with these column grids. Notice that I can select several items at once. The items that I have selected will stay highlighted in blue while I have selected them. If I select it again, it will remove that item from the dimension.
I select it one more time and add it back. Those become the witness lines of your dimensions. However, you always need to end your dimension with a click in empty space. If you click on some geometry, Revit will think you are trying to dimension that geometry and add a witness line there. So if I click in white space that's where I am placing the dimension string, and it will place the dimension at that location. You can repeat it over here and place it where I want it to go.
Now I could go through and change this to Wall faces, and I could start the process of selecting all of the different points that I want to dimension, but let me show you a faster way. We have been choosing the Pick Individual Reference option. That's the default option. If you open that option up though, we have this choice below it, which is Entire Walls. Now the way this one works is you just simply click on a wall and then you get a dimension that goes from end to end. That's useful, but it would actually be more useful if it gave me more than just the end-to-end dimension of that wall.
So right next to it, if we clicked Options, we can actually see that there are several different options that we can take advantage of to get more points from our dimensions. So I am going to go ahead and tell it to dimension the Openings, and I am going to choose the Widths. When I click OK, let me just drag my wheel a little bit, zoom in down here, and I am going to select this wall and pull the dimension out here and click, and you could see that with one quick easy click I can create a dimension that covers quite a bit of ground. Let's do it again over here, select here, pull it out here.
It doesn't get much easier than that. Now if we click Options again, we can actually do Intersecting Walls. I tend to think this is a little bit too busy. So not my favorite choice. And I have a hard time reading all that. Certainly, we can move the text around and that is one of our options. So if you did like this, you could select it and you see these little squares here that allow you to drag the text. You could pull it out there. If you drag it far enough, it will actually add a little leader back to it.
So if you really do want all these dimensions, then I would certainly recommend going and cleaning up a little bit. But that's a little bit too much as far as I am concerned. So I am going to delete that. I will zoom back out a little, select my Aligned dimension again, go back Options, turn off Intersecting Walls. But what about Intersecting Grids? I will try that one. So I am going to select here and then pull it out to about here. Now this time, it just did the Walls and the Openings, which I think is much cleaner, but it did go ahead and include any gridlines that happen to intersect as well.
So that might be handy. Now let's get rid of this dimension that I drew before, overall wall length. We don't really need that one, and let's talk about Edit Witness Lines. If I select this existing dimension, I can add or remove points from it. Maybe I don't want gridline D to be part of the dimension anymore. I could do Edit Witness Lines, and I could highlight gridline D and remove it from the dimension. Maybe I want to add gridlines B to it or maybe I want to add this curtain wall opening. So I can go ahead and click there and then gridlines B and then this door opening.
Then finally the outer edge of this wall here. Here is the thing you want to be careful of. Don't press Escape here. Don't click Modify. If you do, that will cancel everything you just did. What you want to do is click somewhere in white space to actually finish the dimension, and then you can click Modify to deselect it. So even though we only are allowed to pick one wall with that Pick Walls option, it's pretty easy to come back and add additional items to that overall dimension string and makes one continuous string here. You can fine tune the position by just dragging on it.
You can even do stuff like this. If necessary, we can modify the actual value of that dimension. So perhaps right here let's say that this was actually a field dimension that we wanted to verify. We can click right on the dimension, click right on the text and then below the dimension I am going to type VIF for Verify in Field. That piece of text will appear there beneath the dimension. You can't override the number. So I couldn't put in like 18 feet there, but if I wanted to I could decide not to show the number at all and replace it with VIF.
So then I will remove it from here. When I click OK, it won't show any number at all. Instead, it will just say we are going to verify that dimension. We are not sure what it is. So you can do that, but if you tried to put in just a number here, 18 feet, Revit is going to say, oh no, you don't. We are not going to allow that, because that's not really what you have there in the model. So what they would rather you do is actually change the witness lines and have them edit something else. So I am going to do ZF, Zoom to Fit.
Nothing makes a drawing start to look like a construction document quite like dimensions. Adding dimensions is quick and easy, and we have many options at our disposal to control both which elements we are dimensioning and how those dimensions display.
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