Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Using a scope box to set datum extents, part of Revit: Tips, Tricks, and Troubleshooting.
- Let's take a look at the Scope Box feature. The Scope Box object is a 3D Element that defines a three-dimensional box that you can then use to set the Extents of your Datum Elements or your View Extents. So, the Datum Elements include: Levels, Grids, and Reference Planes. So we can use the Scope Box to size each of those Elements. And we can also use it to size the Crop Region, the actual View Extents of any of our Orthographic Views, like Plans, Sections, or Elevations.
So, the first step is to go to the View tab and create a Scope Box. So the tool is right here and I'll go ahead and select that and then on the Options bar we've got two Properties that we can configure. We've got the Name of our Scope Box and its Height. So, for the Name, I'm going to input West Tower. Now the Height, it's not critical that you set it here, but this is the only opportunity you'll get to set it numerically. So I usually like to think about how tall my building is and try and get a height that's a little bit larger than that.
But you can always adjust it later with the Grip controls as we'll see shortly. So, I've gone ahead and put 80 in there and then I'm going to click over here in the upper left-hand corner and then drag down into the lower right of this rectangular portion, on the west side of the building, and click again to create my Scope Box. Now the Scope Box will appear as this green dashed line when it's not selected. And when it is selected it will have these Grip Controls at any of the sides that you can use to resize it.
Now, when it's selected, over here on the Properties palette, you will have an opportunity to rename it. So we can certainly rename it later but notice that we do not see the Height Parameter anymore. So the Height you'll have to control with the Grip Controls and you'll have to do that in Elevation. But here's the trick with Elevations, if I scroll down here and I open up my South Elevation, notice that my Scope Box is not appearing in this View. And in fact, if I opened up any of my other Elevations I would note that it wasn't displaying there as well.
So I'm going to return to my Level 1 Floor Plan, make sure my Scope Box is selected, and notice the other Property here on the Properties palette is the Views Visible option and it's got an Edit button. And for whatever reason, Revit decides the default visibility of the Scope Boxes for us when it's first created, and we don't really get an opportunity to tell it otherwise. So notice that it is displaying in most of the Floor Plans but it's not displaying in any of the Elevations, it's set to Invisible here in all of these Elevations.
Particularly the South Elevation which is where I want to work on it and it's set to Invisible. However, there is an Override column and if I click there I could override the visibility and make it Visible. So, after you create your Scope Box it's a pretty good idea to Edit the Views Visible and decide which Views you want to see it in and then click OK here. Now if I go and reopen my South Elevation you'll see that my Scope Box appears and there's that 80 foot Height that I asked for.
Now I can use the Grip Control here to adjust that Height but I'll do that after I've begun to assign Elements to this Scope Box. Now, what am I going to use this Scope Box for? Well, let's start with the column Grids here. Okay, so, if we look at the column grids that are intersecting this view, I'm going to make a crossing window right here and select all of those Grid lines. On the Properties palette you'll see a Scope Box Parameter and it currently says None.
But if you click there you'll get a drop-down and there's your West Tower Scope Box. Now, when I choose that and apply it that'll actually make my Grids a little bit taller. Because what happens now is if you select just one of them the 3D Extents of the Scope Box are now defined by the edge of the Scope Box itself. And then it goes to a 2D Extent for the Grids and displays those overlapping that just a little bit. So, these you can no longer stretch.
Notice that I'm not able to change the length of that 3D Extents any longer. To change the 3D Extents I now use the Scope Box itself. And when I adjust it, it will in turn adjust all of the associated Datum Elements within it. So that's basically the purpose of the Scope Box. Now, if you were to narrow it down, like so, these Grids over here would highlight and generate a warning, telling you that these Grids are no longer inside the Scope Box and would ask you if you want to Disassociate them.
Okay, so I'm going to actually Cancel that and get the Scope Box back to its original size. But it does bring up an interesting decision over here, if we look at the shape of the Building. And it might be easier to see if I turn the Display mode here onto Shading. And you can kind of see that the Building is tall here and then right after Grid A6 it drops down to about here. So you might not want these three Grids A7 through nine to be that full height. Well, if you try to adjust their 2D Extents they're all going to adjust, okay.
So what you need to do first is unlock, drag one of these down, then go to the next one, unlock, and I'll drag it down and snap it to the other one, and then the last one. And now these three are snapped together and I can adjust those independently. That change that I just made is View specific because I was modifying the 2D Extents so it only affects the South Elevation. But meanwhile, the 3D Extents of these Grids are still associated with the Scope Box.
So notice when I drag the Scope Box it does have an effect on those as well as these. So you can kind of manage it that way by first establishing the 3D Extents and then fine tuning it with the 2D. So let's look at the Levels as well. On this side of the Elevation you can see I've got Levels that are prefixed with WT for West Tower. And then over on this side I have a few that are prefixed with ET for East Tower. Now, maybe you don't want those Levels to go all the way across the entire Elevation like this so what I'm going to do is zoom in over here and select each of the Levels that are associated with the West Tower.
And I'm just holding down my Control key to make that selection. When I zoom back out I've got this same Scope Box defined right here. I can now associate those Levels to that same Scope Box by simply choosing it off the list here. Now of course your other option would be to create as second Scope Box specifically for the Levels. So if you want these Levels to pull in even tighter to the Tower portion of the Building that would be one option. The other option would be to do what I just did with these Grids.
And that would be to unlock them and then drag their 2D Extents. And that's entirely up to you in terms of how you want to manage these Elements going forward in your Building. Now, if we go back to the Floor Plan there are two other regions of this overall Building. We have this sort of connecting piece here, in the middle and then the East Tower over here. The orientation of those two portions is at a 30 degree angle to the main portion of the Building. So we would probably want our Scope Box to likewise match that 30 degree angle.
So what I'm going to do is create a new Scope Box and I will set the Height at about maybe 50 feet. I'm going to Name it East Tower and I'll just sort of draw it off to the side. With it still selected I could use this little control but I don't have a lot of control over the rotation angle so I'm going to undo that. And instead, I'm going to select this and just use my Rotate command. Because now I can type in an angle of 30 degrees and get that to rotate exactly to match the orientation of the Building.
I'll now drag it, so that it's just a little bit bigger than that Tower, and then stretch it out, and stretch it out. And then over here, I will select each of the Grids. And on the Properties, associate those with the East Tower. Now sometimes Revit will reverse the direction of the Grid Bubbles but that's easy enough to fix and you can do that later. Now, the next section is this middle portion.
Well, for that I'll just simply take this Scope Box and copy it. So I'm going to copy it next to itself, like so, then I'll kind of move it a little bit, adjust the size, get it to about the size that I want, with it selected it went to Scope Box 1 so I'll call that Connector Grids. And once again, you've got your Views Visible and it will default to No Visibility for Elevations so I will change that to Visible in the South Elevation.
Or if you like, more specifically, I've got this South - East one which is oriented directly so that might be actually a better choice. And I'll select both of these Scope Boxes, Edit their Views Visible, and I'll make them Visible in both the South and the South - East and click OK. So now I'm going to open this South - East and then as you can see we're looking at both of those Scope Boxes. I'll cross through these Grids right here, associate those to the Connector Grids.
And then these, over here, are already associated to East Tower so if I drag this, those adjust, if I drag this, those adjust. And you could continue your set up by performing similar modifications. So for example, if we go back to the South Elevation it might actually be preferable to have one set of Scope Boxes for the Grids and separate one for the Levels. Because in this way you could take the Levels like Level one, Level two, and possibly even the next Level up at Level three and let those go all the way across the entire Building.
But then meanwhile, create separate Scope Boxes for the Levels that are on the Floors up above. As it stands right now, I could take this Scope Box and use it to associate both of these Levels here but the trouble with doing that is they will only go that far. And the Connector portion, which we might see better in this Elevation, the Connector portion would not see that Level. Now, if the East Tower, Level three, doesn't need to be shown in the Connector portion of the Building then that would be fine.
But if we wanted it to show then that's when we would need an additional Scope Box. So as you can see, setting up the Scope Boxes gives you a very powerful way to begin isolating groups of Datum Elements in your Building and associating them with this 3D box that you can then in turn use to make adjustments to the Extents of all of the Datum Elements that are associated with it.
NOTE: The exercise files for this course can only be opened in the most recent version of Revit (Revit 2017).
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