Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a key plan family, part of Revit: Tips, Tricks, and Troubleshooting.
- [Voiceover] When you have large floor plans that span across multiple sheets, you often want to create a Key Plan to indicate which portion of the building is showing on each sheet. I have a simple example of that to illustrate right here. If I use my Tab key and highlight the chain of walls, this is the perimeter of my building, and it actually spans across five different sheets, and so I've just labeled those Zone A through Zone E, so you can see those there onscreen, and you can also see them here as five dependent views indented beneath Level One.
I've also created each of the sheets for each of those dependent views, and so each one is placed on sheets 101 through 105. Now I need to create the key plan. Now, I'm gonna do that in this example with a generic annotation family. Now, you might be thinking of other ways to do this, and there actually are other ways to do this, but firstly let's talk about things that you can't do, techniques that won't work. You may be tempted to think about just creating a view, right? Why wouldn't I just duplicate the floor plan view, change the scale to something really small, and then just place that on the sheet, right, and hide all the stuff that I don't want to see? Well, the trouble with that is, you may recall that each view can only be on one sheet at a time.
So if you take that approach, you're gonna actually have to duplicate that view for every single sheet in your set, or every sheet that needs a key plan, rather. That's not gonna be a good solution. It's gonna become way too cumbersome to manage that. So you can't do a live view. You could do a legend view. The whole point of legend views is a single legend can appear on multiple sheets, okay, so that's one of their special features. So, a legend view is certainly an option, and I welcome you to explore doing that on your own later.
In fact, the steps that we're going to follow here to create the annotation family would be very similar to set up the legend views, okay, so in both cases, what you need to do is create some line work that traces the outline of the building, and then you're going to take that line work, and you're going to use that to indicate the zones of the family. Now, that line work, if it's on a legend, or that line work, if it's in a family, it's really about the same amount of effort either way, so that's why I say I welcome you to try that other approach if you like.
Now, why not a detail item family? Well, here I am in a sheet, and you could see that the kinds of things I could place in a sheet are somewhat limited. Any model family is out of the question, because all those buttons are grayed out. If I go to annotate, detail component families aren't allowed either; that button is grayed out. You could draw it individually, line by line, but that wouldn't be very efficient, because if it changed, you'd need to go and change it on every sheet, so that really leaves us with the symbol tool, and the symbol tool accesses the generic annotation families.
So we're gonna create a generic annotation symbol family, it's gonna have the line work within it, and then we're gonna place that on each of our sheets. Alright, so to get started, we go back to our Level One floor plan then, and what you really need to do is start with a temporary view. So I'm gonna right click Level One and duplicate that view, I'll right click the duplicate and I'll just call it "temp," and then, the next thing I want to do is change the scale, because it's an eighth-inch scale, and that's way too big for the sheet, so let's go all the way down to the smallest scale that we have: 1 to 400.
Now, that makes all of the other geometry in this view very large, right, so let's get rid of some of that distracting geometry. I'm gonna select the grids, hide that category, select the elevations, hide that category, and that simplifies things a little bit. Now, this is the essential geometry that I want to see in my key plan, so now my task is to trace over this. So let's just make sure that the size is what I want first. So let's scroll back down here to our sheets and reopen up one of our floor plan sheets, and then I'm gonna drag this temp view and place it on the sheet.
Now, that looks a little small to me, so I'm thinking I might want that to be about twice as big as it is right now. So all I have to do is activate this view. You could do it right here or you can double-click in that view port. That gives you access to the scale. I'll double the scale to 1 to 200, highlight that size a little bit better, and then I'll just right click anywhere and choose deactivate view. So now I need to zoom in on this, and just trace over it, okay, so just simply trace over it using detail line work.
So I'm gonna go to detail lines here, and I'm gonna set my line style to lines which is green in color, and that'll just make it easier for me to see what I've drawn and what I still need to draw. Now, you're literally just eyeballing this. Don't get too carried away because this is just representational, it's a key plan, it doesn't have to be super precise. Now, if it's bothering you to be this imprecise, you can zoom in a lot closer and get a little bit better off, or if you really want it to be perfect, the only kinds of geometry that you can snap to from a sheet view into a view port are data elements, so it would have to be a grid, a reference plane, or a level, so if you want, you can go in and place reference planes on top of all these walls, and then you'll be able to snap to the end points of those reference planes and draw it very precisely, and what I've done is over here on this view called "Key Plan Temp," I've done exactly that.
So notice that if you tab in here, there are some reference planes, and then that makes it every easy for me to trace over that once this is placed on a sheet. In fact, I've got a sheet here called "A100 Temp," and that's exactly what I did. So I just brought in this Key Plan Temp, I placed it on the view, and then when you start to trace over it, notice that it will snap very precisely to those reference planes. So that just makes it a little bit easier to do the tracing and gives you a more accurate result right here.
Now, you're welcome to use the line work that I've already created for you, and the next step is to just simply select all of that line work, CTRL+C to copy it to your clipboard. So once it's copied to our clipboard, our next step is to create the family. So we're gonna go to the file menu, new, annotation symbol. Choose the generic annotation template, and click open. Gonna zoom in just a touch. CTRL+V to paste it from my clipboard, and I'm just gonna snap right there to the insertion point.
That's gonna make the lower left-hand corner the insertion point, I'll just click anywhere in empty space to accept that, and then I'll just delete this red note, because I don't need that. Now I'm gonna zoom in, and the next step is that I need the indications of the individual zones. Now, I'm gonna do this with filled regions. I'm just gonna solid fill-in each area. You could use cross hatches, you could put letters there, whatever you want to do, okay? So I'm gonna go to create, do a filled region. The default is solid black. I'm gonna just accept that, but you are welcome to do edit type duplicate and create a new type if you want with a different hatch pattern, but I'm gonna trace over Zone A and finish it.
Once I've done that, I just need to repeat that four more times, and when you're done, it should look something like this. Now, if you were tracing over this zone right here, you probably ran into some trouble in this little corner here. Revit doesn't like it when the line is, quote-unquote, too short, so what I did there is I just exaggerated the length of this little elbow just a touch. Nobody will ever be able to tell in your finished key plan that it doesn't match the walls exactly, so I don't think that's a very big deal.
Now, the next step is to select each of these filled regions that we've created, and add a toggle switch to be able to turn them on and off. So when you select the element, over here, under graphics, there's a visibility checkbox right here. Right next to that is a small little button that says, "Associate Family Parameter." If I click that, I don't currently have any visibility parameters, so I'm gonna click the little new icon to create one, and I'm gonna call this Zone A. I'm gonna put that under graphics.
That's just my preference. You can put it under any group you like, and I'm gonna choose instance parameter for this. You could do type parameter, but then you would have to do edit type duplicate for each of your different zones. So I think it's gonna be a little bit simpler to just control these with instance parameters, but it is entirely up to you if you prefer to do them as type parameters. So once again, I just need to repeat this process four more times.
Okay, that's it. I've assigned the visibility parameters now to each of the filled regions, so now all I need to do is save this file and then load it into my project. I can do all of that by clicking load into project and close. It'll ask me if I want to save Family4. I'm gonna say yes. Gonna give it a name. I'll just call it Key Plan and save it, and then it's gonna load into my project. Now, it went to my Level One floor plan, which is not where I want to insert this, but notice it did run the place symbol tool, so I'll just click the modify tool to cancel.
Switch back over to one of my floor plan sheets. Gonna zoom out just a touch, here, and I want to get rid of this view port, and I want to get rid of any of this line work that I drew right here. Now, in its place, I'm going to go to the annotate tab, click the symbol tool, and place my key plan. I'll click modify to cancel. Now all I need to do is select it, and notice that over on the properties palate, we have our five checkboxes.
So this is Zone A, so I'll just simply uncheck all of the other zones. Now, for the next sheet, I can select it, CTRL+C to copy, go to the next sheet, and then do paste a line to current view. That puts it in exactly the same spot, and now all I have to do is uncheck Zone A and check Zone B, and then just continue that for the next three sheets. Now, the reason that I like doing these as instance parameters is I don't have to keep doing edit type duplicate to create additional types.
Furthermore, if I have a special case where I have more than one zone on the same sheet, it's real easy to do, 'cause I can just check two boxes, okay? So I just think it's a little bit more user friendly with instance parameters, but you'd be able to do all of this with type parameters as well. It just means that now the experience would be you would open up the dropdown list and you would see Zone A through Zone E listed there as types. So it's entirely up to you which approach you want to take, but once you've got your key plan established like this, you just simply place it on all of the sheets and adjust which zones.
Now, if the shape of the building changes, all you need to do is select this family, edit family, make an adjustment to that sketch, load it back in and overwrite the existing and all your key plans will update across the entire project. So the hardest part of this technique is just the setup, but once it's all set up, it works pretty well. So, you might prefer to do it with legends, and I welcome you to experiment with doing that, but I actually like doing it with the family because I get that global control to edit one family.
If I do multiple legends, I still have to go into multiple views and make changes. Granted, it's only five zones in this case, but it's still five of the same edit versus one family. So I welcome you to explore either way, but that gives you, hopefully what you'll find is a very viable technique for setting up key plans in your multi-sheet projects.
NOTE: The exercise files for this course can only be opened in the most recent version of Revit (Revit 2017).
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