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A very important basic concept to understand in Revit is the way that precision is approached. In Revit what you typically do is you place objects in a general location and then you refine the placement of those objects over time. So I call this sketch and then modify. So in this movie we are going to talk about temporary dimensions and temporary dimensions is a process that we use to take our roughly-placed objects and modify their positions to a more precise location. So what I have here on screen is a file called Temporary Dims and this is just a copy of the completed grid layout from the previous movie.
The grids here have been placed in rough locations, but I want to start controlling these grids in a very precise way. I want the measurement of the grid lines to the face of the walls to be controlled very precisely for example. And I can do that in a variety of ways in Revit and the first way that I want to share with you is using temporary dimensions. So I am going to start by selecting grid line A. What you'll see is on screen here, in addition to all the other little controls and grips that appear, you'll see a couple of dimension strings appear here and here.
I am going to zoom in slightly, just to get a better look at this, and you'll see that the dimension number is here and it's got kind of a long, random fractional number to it, and a second dimension is here. You'll see these little blue dots, showing me the Witness Line locations of these dimensions and what they're measured to. In both cases, on the left and right, they're measured from the grid line and then back to the center of the wall. That's the default behavior. So if I know what this value is, if I know how far off the wall I want this distance to be, all I have to do is click in that dimension and make the change.
Now this exterior wall is a generic 12- inch wall, you can see it there when I highlight the tooltip, that means that if I want this grid line to be 2 inches off the inside face of that wall I could do the math and I could say, well, half of the distance of the wall is 6 inches plus the 2 inches so I could click right here and I could put in a value of 8 inches. Now the way that you put in inches in a Revit project is to either do 8 inches or I'll show you a second way in a few moments here. And I am going to press Enter and you'll see that we'll move that grid line over closer to the wall to maintain that distance.
Now I am going to select this grid line and I want to do a similar modification, but perhaps I don't want to perform the math this time, maybe I don't want to do the calculation. What I can do instead is using these little small circles here I can actually click those grips and they will jump to other points on the wall. When I click it, it jumps to the inside face, if I click it again it goes to the outside face, and then one more time it's back to center. I want to do it from the inside face so I'll click it again, and now the current distance is 3 feet, I click on there, and this time I want it to be just 2 inches.
Instead of writing 2 inches which I did a moment ago my alternative is to do 0, space, 2. When you're working in an imperial file you do the feet first, then a space, and then the inches. And so in this case 0, space, 2 will be interpreted as 2 inches. You can do two with the inch symbol or 0, space, 2, the choice is up to you. They both achieve the same result. So let's do it again, change my Witness Line location, pick in the dimension, 2 inches, go to another location, one more time, the dimension is way over here this time, click right there, click in the value, 0, space, 2.
So again, the same result in both cases whether you do the space or whether you do the inch symbol. So I could continue to work my way around, this one here you can see the dimension line goes off screen, there it is right there, click the witness line grip, click in the value, and then the final one over here, click right there, click in the value, 0, space, 2. Now that positions all of the grids that are associated with an exterior wall in their correct locations, however sometimes you know the distance of a grid off of something other than a wall.
Now if I select this one what you are going to see here is, it's measuring still back to the center of this wall, 24 feet in this case. Now if I knew what the distance was off of that wall then I could edit that dimension, but where I'd rather measure it to, is to the gridline C, to the neighboring grid line. So it's often the case where you'll know the measurement to some other piece of geometry. Well simply clicking the little blue circle won't do the trick, it'll jump two points on the wall, but it won't actually jump to the grid line.
So what you do instead is you drag it, so click the little witness line grip, hold-down, and you see now that I'm dragging, I can highlight nearby geometry like grid C, let go, and now I've associated that dimension to that nearby geometry, and I can click in here and put in a value. Now in this case, my value is in feet and inches and the value that I want is 31'8. Now I can do it with the foot symbol, which is just the apostrophe mark, or 31, space, 8.
Both would work, it's entirely up to you whichever method you prefer, press Enter, and you'll see grid line D move in order to maintain that new dimension. So an important aspect of temporary dimensions to understand is, whatever you have selected is what will move with the temporary dimensions. If I select grid line C, even if the dimension was measured back to D here, there is the 31'8, if I click in here and change it to some other value notice that grid line C moves in this case.
Now I am going to undo that with Ctrl+Z. So it's important to always pay attention to which object you select, and then that's the object whose dimension you modify. So often in Revit you are going to start with a rough idea of what you want, whether it be walls or grids or some objects, you are going to lay them out in a very rough fashion and then you are going to come back using the temporary dimensions and do a series of refinements. We call this sketch and then modify, and it's a very common way to approach editing with precision in the Revit environment.
In fact, the word Revit actually stands for revise it. So the name of the product comes from this notion that we start with a simple sketched out layout and then we progressively refine it and refine it as we learn more about our design. Temporary dimensions is just the first of many ways that we have to do that.
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