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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.
Sometimes as you work on your projects, you will develop a part of your design that can be reused elsewhere in the project. You could, of course, simply use copy and paste for such items, but often a better choice is to make a Group. A group gives you a way to manage repetitive items. You make a selection of any objects in your project, you group them, and then anytime, if you edit one instance of the group, the change applies to all instances of the group throughout the project. You can use this for common stair towers, common furniture groupings, or even entire room layouts, like the one I have here onscreen. So I have a version of the condo plan here onscreen.
If you did the lessons in Chapter 4, then you're familiar with this layout. I've taken it a little further than what we did back in those previous chapters. I have added some annotation to it and a few other items. All the items you see here that we haven't talked about yet, we'll talk about in future lessons. For now, we are just going to focus on the grouping. This file is called adding groups, and it's in the Chapter 5 folder. To create a group is very simple. You just make a window selection around the entire area that you wish to group. In this case I kept it pretty simple.
We can just select everything. So we just drag a window across the whole file. And up on the Ribbon, it will say Multi-Select. And this is because we have multiple objects selected, so it can't tell us about any particular type of object. If you wanted to exclude anything from the selection, you could go to Filter, and all the items that we have selected here are listed. In this case, I am going to leave everything selected. And I am going to click on the Create Group button. Now the shortcut for that is GP, if you prefer to do the shortcut.
Now when I click that, I'll get a dialog that asks me to name the group that I am creating. And in fact, there are really two groups being created here. What happens is in Revit as we've talked about previously, Revit makes a very clear distinction between things that are part of your model and things that are part of the view, or that are annotative. So in this case it's recognizing that my selection includes both types of items. And so it's offering to make a Model Group from the elements that are part of the model, and then an Attached Detail Group from the elements that are not part of the model, the elements that are annotation.
And those elements are things like the room tags and the door tags that I have that you can see there in the background. So what I'm going to do is name the group itself: Two Bedroom Unit. And I'm going to name the Attached Detail Group just simply Tags. So again, you can call these things anything you want, but I am going to go ahead and click okay there. Now I am going to deselect everything, and I want to show you how you know you have a group. Basically, if you pre-highlight an item that's a group, you'll get this dashed line that will appear when it pre- highlights a rectangular boundary.
And that lets you know you have a group. And if I select, I want you to notice that all that selects is the model elements. Notice how the room tags and the door tags are not part of that selection. If I move my mouse around, kind of over some of those tags, you'll actually see those highlight as a group as well. And the tooltip tells me that it's an Attached Detail Group. And if I were to click, that would select only the tags and not any of the model geometry. Furthermore, you'd see this little pushpin icon right here, which is grayed out, and it's really just Revit's way of letting us know that this group is actually attached to the model.
Okay, so that's its sort of indicator. It's a clue that we've got it attached. Now there is another place where we can see that we have groups in our model, and that's here on the Project browser. So I'm going to scroll all the way down. There is an item here called Groups. I'm going to expand that. There are two categories. I'm going to expand Model. It's possible to create a Detail group all by itself, stand-alone, a nonattached detail group. If that were the case, then it would appear here. In our case, because our Detail group is attached, it actually appears here, indented beneath the Two Bedroom Unit.
So you can see that under model Groups we have a Two Bedroom Unit and then beneath that Floor Plan Tags. So not only does it recognize that it's an Attached Group, but it actually is specific to floor plans. If we went into an elevation or section view, we could create another Attached Detail Group for that view, as well. So now what do we do with the group once we have it? Well, I am going to zoom out a little bit. I'll use my wheel to do this. And the most obvious thing that we can do is copy it around. So perhaps I want this same layout four times on this Floor Plan. So I'm going to give myself a little bit of room here.
I am going to select the group. And here is a tool that we haven't looked at previously; it's called the Mirror tool. I am going to go ahead and select this on the Modify tab. And there are actually two kinds of Mirror. We are going to use both of them in this lesson. So I'll start with this one, the Pick Axis, and the shortcut for that is MM. What this allows you to do is just simply pick on any edge of any existing object, and that edge actually becomes kind of like a plane of glass. If you imagine placing a mirror along that edge, like a literal mirror glass, it would reflect the object along that plane.
So if I highlight this wall right here, imagine you are looking down on that plane of glass, and then it kind of becomes clear what's going on, and I just click it, you are going to see the object actually mirror up, so get a flipped version of it in the other direction. Now we also got a message that's saying that we have highlighting walls that overlapped. And if I do a zoom region, they are talking about this area right here, because there are actually two walls now in the same spot. And we are going to remedy that in just a moment. But let me go back to Zoom Previous.
And again, let's talk about what we've just done. So we've mirrored this object up to the other side. It's still a group. It's an instance of the two bedroom condo unit. But we've just sort of made another instance of it up above there. Now let's go ahead and take a look at this wall situation here. If you recall from the previous movies, the Tab key is a very powerful tool in Revit. And we are going to use that anytime we are having a hard time getting a selection that we want. In this case, we can use the Tab key to cycle between all the various objects that are in the same spot.
So obviously, if I just Tab here, we expect to see it flip between the two groups. But it turns out if you Tab one more time, it actually is capable of reaching right into the group and allowing us to select items that are inside the group. Now if I click this item right here, you'll get a small, little icon right there. That icon actually allows me to exclude one instance of this double wall, so that everything cleans up nicely, and I don't have a redundant wall there.
So from the point of view of creating a nice, clean floor plan, everything makes a lot more sense. We don't have this double wall, but yet we still get the benefit of managing this condo layout with the group. Now what do I mean by that? Well, suppose I want to actually make a change to the condo unit after I've already done the mirroring. If I had just simply done copy and paste, then it would be difficult, because it have to go and make the same change in two locations. But by doing this with the group, I can actually make the change, and it will apply across all instances of the group. So I am going to do a really simple change.
I am going to select this group, and I am going to choose the Edit Group button here on the ribbon, or you can type EG if you want the shortcut. And let's do something really, really simple here that will be noticeable. I'll just add another window. Now, I am going to go ahead from my list here, and I'll choose this Casement Double with Trim. And I'll put a window right here in this bedroom. I am going to go ahead and click Modify. And there is this floating toolbar right here that you use to get out of Edit Group mode. So I am going to go ahead and finish that.
And as soon as I do, you'll see that change applies across the way to the other instance of the group. So that's a pretty quick and easy example, but it gives you an idea of what the benefit of using groups is. So let's go ahead and Mirror one more time. I am going to select this guy, and this guy. And this time, because I don't want these to be butted right up against each other, I need to allow room over here for an elevator lobby and some stairs and so forth, I am going to use this icon instead. The shortcut is DM, and its Draw the Mirror Axis.
So rather than selecting an object that uses an axis, I'm actually going to pick two points to show it where the axis is. So I am going to do that by coming over here and kind of just moving my mouse using the Temporary Dimension. 8 feet will give me a total of a 16 foot corridor, so I want to actually drop that back to about 7' 6", and you just kind of pull it down straight. As long as I've got a 90 degree there, I should be good, and I'll click again. And there you have it. Now of course, I will need to come in and add some walls, and some stairs, and so forth.
And we'll do that in future movies, but pretty much that gives me the total layout here. Now one last finishing touch. This is the only one that has the Attached Detail Group. So what about the rest? Well, it turns out that you can actually select these other groups, and I'll do those two with a crossing window and this one with my Ctrl key, and on the Ribbon you have this Attached Detail Groups button, and if I click that, I can simply check the Floor Plan Tags check box, click OK. And it will add all of those tags that are in the other group to all instances of the group that I had selected.
And more importantly, they will even be right-reading. So there you have it. There are a few examples of using groups in your projects.
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