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Find out how to create compelling architectural designs using the modeling tools in Autodesk Revit software. In this course, author Paul F. Aubin demonstrates the entire building information modeling (BIM) workflow, from creating the design model to publishing a completed project. The course 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 plotting and exporting your drawings.
In this movie we're going to look a little closer at the Dimensions future in Revit. We've already looked at Dimensions in a few other movies, but mainly we were interested in using Dimensions as a tool to help us build our model. In this movie I'm going to focus on Dimensions as an annotation tool to actually help enhance our construction documents and prepare drawings for printing. I'm in a file called Dimensions, and I'm looking at a Level 1 Floor Plan View. And I'm just going to add some dimensions to various parts of this file here, just to show you how it works. So what I'm going to start off with, is I'm going to zoom in over in this location over here and I just want to show you the basics of how the Dimension tool works.
Now we've covered some of this, so some of this will be review. We can get to the Dimension tool in a couple of places. We can go to the Annotate tab. And there actually are several Dimension tools. I'm going to focus on the Aligned Dimension tool because this is the one that I use 99% of the time. So you're free to explore some of these others on your own later. They all kind of work the same way, but I'm going to focus on the Aligned tool. What the Aligned tool does is it's aligned with the geometry you are dimensioning, so it's probably the most versatile. So I'm going to click on that, and that same button is right here, and the shortcut is DI.
Now when you highlight an object, it will highlight some part of that object. Now with walls we actually have some options. So here you can see that if I put my cursor over, it's highlighting the face of the wall and if I move slightly, it gives me the other face of the wall. So if I wanted to say what the inside dimension of this office was over here, I could click this face and then this face, and then if that's all I wanted was just that single little dimension, the third click, the final click, is in empty space. If you click an object and click another object and then you try and click in the same spot to place it, it will actually remove that witness line.
So each time you click, Revit is looking to either add or remove a witness line. And I see folks struggle with this a lot: they'll click a point and then they'll click again in the same point, and they'll wonder what happened, and then they'll click it again, and then they'll do it again. Remember that the final click placing the dimension has to be in empty space. There has to be no object under your cursor, because that's how you're telling Revit, put the dimension here. If there is an object under your cursor, Revit thinks you're dimensioning that object. Now here on the Options bar we have some settings. So instead of Wall faces, if I wanted to, I could dimension the centerlines of the walls.
So if I choose that, now you'll see it will highlight the center of this wall and the center of this wall, and I'll get a different dimension, so that's certainly an option. Well, if you want to, you could actually do the center on one side and over here I could say I want to go to the outside face. Well how would I do that? Put your mouse over the outside face and press the Tab key. Even though you've chosen your preference on the dropdown there, you can still override it anytime with the Tab key. So you just Tab until the object that you wanted to mention highlights and that's when you click to verify that selection, and then of course I can place the dimension.
So those dimensions there I'm just using as sort of warm-up to kind of get us started. Let's Zoom Previous to get back out to the overall plan here, and let's go a little deeper. The other thing that we can do--all of these examples I did in here were just individual dimensions, just between two points, but I wanted to also make sure that you understand that you can select two points, like these two gridlines, and then keep going. And so I can make a continuous string of dimensions by just continuing to add more and more dimension references. And again, it ends the same way as the previous ones: you click in empty space to finish it.
So those are the basic mechanics of placing the dimensions, but let's take it a little deeper now. If we look up here on the Options bar, under this Pick option here, there's two choices. And we've been doing the individual references, but we also have this feature here called Entire Walls. Now what's handy about this is you can select the wall now instead of the two sides that you want to dimension and Revit will figure out where the two witness lines should; it'll do the whole wall. Now in this case I'm just getting one wall end to end, maybe not exactly the dimension I had in mind, but there is an Options button right here and if I click that, we have a whole bunch of options here that we can look at.
So we can include the openings when we're making that dimension. You can dimension to their centerlines or their widths. I personally like the widths, so let's take a look at that. I'm going to click OK. Let's zoom in down here. Pick this wall and look at that. Now that's going to be a big timesaver, because if we did the same thing with individual references, we would have to click each one of these points to get to that location. Now you notice how I still have wall centerline here, so it was picking up the centerline, so these two work together.
If I go to wall faces, zoom out just a touch, pick this wall, now you can see that that that final dimension is going out to the face of the wall. Let's zoom all the way out. I'm going to do zoom to fit, Z+F. Let's go to Options again. If you want to, you could add the intersecting walls in your dimensions. Let's see what that looks like. Now I tend to think this is just a little too busy for my taste. There is an awful lot going on here, but let's say that you did like this and you wanted to go with that.
I'm going to cancel out of the command. You can't read any of these dimensions at the current state. So if you click on the dimension, there is these little dots right here, these little grips, and you can use that to drag the text away. Now if you drag it far enough, it'll actually add a leader pointing back again. You can have that leader point back, and that makes it I think a little bit more legible. So if you started to pull all of these labels away, you could start to make this dimension a little bit easier to read. But I'm actually going to delete this dimension and zoom back out again and do it slightly differently.
If go to Options, I'm going to turn off the Intersecting Walls, but I'm going to turn on Intersecting Grids instead, and let's take a look at that. Now when I click this wall, it's a little bit less busy. It's including the gridline here and the gridline here, and then the rest of it kind ignores the interior walls. I tend to prefer doing a different string for the interior than the exterior, so you can see that it's a little bit cleaner. You may still need to move a few of those pieces of text over there. Now let's pan it over here.
What about this wall here? The only downside of the Pick Walls feature is you can only pick one wall at a time. But you can select an existing dimension, and then up here on the Ribbon we can choose Edit Witness Lines. Now when I click this button this just takes me back into a mode where I can add in more dimension lines. So I'm going to add a witness line here at the end of the curtain wall, one here and here on each side of the door, one over here at the outside edge of the wall. Now the final click has to be in empty space, just like we did when we were creating the dimension in the first place, so don't press Escape or Enter here; you'll lose all your work. Click in the empty whitespace and that will complete the dimension and you now have this continuous string here.
Now, there's this new feature in 2013 that I want to show you here. Let's say that for whatever reason I wanted to exclude this line right here. I want to basically break this dimension into two pieces. Highlight the dimension, press your Tab key, and it will actually let you reach in and pick an individual segment. You can click on it and then you can just delete that, and now I've got this dimension, and this dimension has two separate dimensions. So that's a handy new feature because there really was no way to do that before; you'd have to delete the entire dimension and start again. I'm going to undo that and get that one back again.
Another really neat feature that we can do is we can edit the text value. So let's say that this curtain wall is existing, and we don't know exactly how big it is. I can click right on the text, and what this is is you are editing the dimension text now. And the actual value is the 17'-10", but we can replace that with an alternate value like VIF, for Verify In Field, and it will replace the numerical value with the text value.
Now you can't put in a number here; Revit will not be happy about that. In fact, it will display a dialog and tell you that that's not allowed. So this can be replaced with text, not with a number. So I'm going to go back to use the actual value, and you can actually add modifiers on any of the four sides around the text as well. So maybe you want to say that it's close to 17'10", but you want them to verify, so you could add the note below or something. So let's zoom all the way out and check our work. There is nothing like some dimensions to make a drawing start feeling like a construction document, so we're getting close to being able to print this drawing out. So feel free to experiment further and add additional dimensions.
Remember that you can either do the individual references to the faces or the centers or you can use the Pick Walls option to do the entire walls. Pick Walls is only available for walls, so if you want to dimension between plumbing fixtures or other elements like columns and so forth, those you'll have to do with the Pick References.
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