Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Manually Add Length and Width to a Room Tag, part of Revit: Tips, Tricks, and Troubleshooting.
- [Instructor] A client recently asked me if they could create a tag that would automatically report the length and the width of room elements. And while it's not really possible to do this completely automated, there are some acceptable solutions that we can use to get very close to what the client is looking for. So I have an example here, and I'm going to show you how I built this here in this video. There are some shortcomings to the approach and the technique I'm going to share with you this time is a fairly manual approach. Next time we'll look at automating it just a little bit using global parameters.
And then finally in two weeks time, we'll actually automate it a bit further using Dynamo. So this is the final result. Let's switch to a starter file that has none of this work completed yet. So the first thing that we need to do is look at what the room gives us automatically. So I'm going to select one of these room elements here. And if we look at the properties palette, as you can see it will show you the area, the perimeter, and the unbounded height. It does not have length and width parameters automatically built in.
So in order to add that information to the rooms I need to do two things. First of all I need to know what that information actually is, how big the room really is, and then I need to have a place to put those values. So let's start by dimensioning the space. So I'll do this just simply with the regular linear dimension tools. And say for this master bedroom here, there's my length and width information. So now I need a way to get that information and actually plug it into the room element. Now it's pretty easy to do that with these rectangular spaces, but, you know, in some cases you're going to have to make a judgment call on the spaces which are a little more freeform in shape, like the living room or the kitchen.
So here in the kitchen I just have to sort of decide in this direction that seems pretty good for the width, but here do I go to the closet? Do I go to this wall behind the refrigerator? Do I go all the way out to this corridor space here? And you'll just sort of have to decide which one of those dimensions best represents what you're trying to convey about that space. So that's perhaps one of the few things about this technique that's advantageous, is because you're placing dimensions, you get to decide exactly what you want those dimensions to be referenced to.
Now rather than spending a lot of time creating a bunch of dimensions, I've already got a floor plan here where I've created them already and I've colored them in red to help them stand out. So now that I have all of my dimensional information I now need a way to assign that information to my rooms. I'm going to do that by adding custom parameters to hold that information. Now the custom parameters that are going to be created is what we call shared parameters. So on the Manage tab, there's a Shared Parameters button right here. So here in the shared parameters dialogue, there's a Create button here and I can create a new Shared Parameter file.
And I'm going to give it a name, and then I'll save that file. Now if your company already has a shared parameter file, you can browse to it, or if it's already loaded, you can just simply go right to editing it. Check with your CAD or BIM manager first to make sure. Now, shared parameter files are organized into groups. So you need at least one group before you can add any parameters. So I'll click the New Group button here, and I'll just call this group Rooms. In the rooms group, I'm now going to add my new parameters.
So I'm going to click the New button, and I'll call this Room Width. I'm going to make sure it's a length parameter, and then I'll click OK. And I'll create another one, Room Length. Now for this example I'm just going to do length and width. But you could also add room height as well if you'd like, and that would work exactly the same way. But let's just use these two, and I'll click OK. So now when I select the room, it still doesn't have those parameters yet. So to get them to actually apply to the rooms, I have to take those shared parameters and create what's called project parameters from them.
So the Project Parameters button is also on the Manage tab, right above Shared Parameters right here and I click this Add button to add a new project parameter. Now at the top of the screen you can see that project parameters can either be created directly in the project and those can appear in schedules but not tags. Well since we're trying to create a tag that reports this information, we need to create a parameter that can be seen by tags. So notice that the second option can be included in tags. So I'm going to choose that second option Shared parameter, and that allows me to click Select and it just takes me to that file that we just set up.
So I'll add the room length. And then over here from this list of categories, you just want to make sure that you check the Rooms category. And then I'll click OK. And I'm going to repeat that process to add a second shared parameter for the room width, and also assign that to the Rooms category. So I now have those two project parameters. So what can we do with those? Well when I click OK, the first thing you'll notice is when you select your master bedroom now, and you look over here at the dimensions grouping, notice that we now have room length and room width.
Now this is the part that's very manual. Because unfortunately there's no easy way to get this dimensional information to automatically feed into this room. So for today's example, we're simply going to type in the information from the dimensions directly into those fields. Now if you only have one or two rooms to do, this will move fairly quickly. If you have lots and lots of rooms it's obviously going to be a bit more tedious. So at this point we just need to manually input that data for this example, and it's a somewhat tedious process if you have a lot of rooms so let me get to work.
And it might take a few moments while I fill in all of the information. Now when I'm done, you can click on any of the rooms to see the values filled in on the properties palette, or if you prefer I have a room schedule right here and we can open it up and you're able to add those two custom parameters as fields in the schedule. So I'll click the Fields button, I'll select room length and width, I'll add them to the schedule and click OK to see the information appear. Now you'll notice that I skipped the closets and the smaller spaces, but I did all of the major spaces.
So all of the spaces that you want to tag with the dimensions are the ones that you need to fill in the information for. So let me go back to my level one floor plan, and now all we need to do is edit the tag. So I'm going to select my room tag, edit that family, that takes me into the family editor. And I'm going to pan down slightly here and click to create a brand new label and I'll line it up with the existing ones and click the spot right there. Now notice that the length and width of the rooms are not listed here in the available fields.
However, down at the bottom of this window there's an add parameter icon and if I click that, here the only option is shared parameter. So I can click Select, add my room length, click OK, and then do it again to add my width and OK. So now I can take my room length, add that to the label, and then my room width and add that to the label. Now both of those values will appear in the label and the sample value is something that you can put in anything you want.
Now I usually like to just put in something that looks like the final value. So I'm just going to put in one foot zero for both of those. You're also able to add a prefix or a suffix. So as a suffix after room length, I'm going to add L x and then after width I'll just do capital W. Now finally I can select my room length and down here there is an edit parameters unit format. Now the reason I want to do this is it's going to use the project settings by default.
I'll uncheck that and instead of letting it go to the nearest 1/32 of an inch which could make some really busy dimensions, I'm going to round off to the nearest whole inch. Click OK and then I'll do that again for the width. Okay so this is optional, but I think it'll make for a nicer presentation. Now let me OK that. Click the modify tool to cancel, and then let's go ahead and load this back into our project. This will ask me if I want to override the existing. And now you're going to see all of those dimensions appear beneath each of the tags.
So we've achieved the desired goal and that is to report the overall length and width of each room underneath the room tag. However, keep in mind that the entire process is manual. It's not only manual from the point of view of the data input, but it remains manual on an ongoing basis. So if you were to modify the model, say this wall here were to move, that updates the dimensions, the size of the room will update, but unfortunately the label and the tag will not update because even though the size of the room is now larger, these dimension fields that we created are complete manual input.
Therefore you will have to manually type in the new value when the sizes of the spaces change. So keep that in mind if you decide to use this solution that you have to keep track of those changes manually. Now, in next week's tip we're going to look at a way to use global parameters to help automate it a little bit, and make it a little bit less of a manual process.
NOTE: The exercise files for this course can only be opened in the most recent version of Revit (Revit 2017).
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