Rotating a plan view without affecting other views or the Project North

Sometimes, especially in case of detailed Floor Plans showing areas of special interest of larger spaces (like escape staircases or entrance lobbies), there is a need of orienting those detailed Floor Plans on sheets to a different direction than True North, Project North or the limited options available under the Rotation on Sheet instance property of Viewports (90° Clockwise or 90°
Counterclockwise) – shown on the image below.

6.1 Rotation options on Sheet_mrk
6.2 Rotated Crop Region6.2 Rotating the Crop Region_mrk

Rotating the Crop Region by 45° – preview during rotation (left) and the result (right)

Rotating the Crop Region is a view specific operation and the rotated Floor Plan can be placed on a Sheet just as any other View.

Customizing the order of any list of names

Control characters RS and US (Left ALT-030 and Left ALT-031) are not only invisible, but are also at the top of the alphabetical order. This means that each of those characters when inserted before any name in Revit will move this name to the top of any alphabetically sorted list of names without changing the name. This allows creating custom orders of any list of names in Revit like Worksets, View Types, View Templates, Views, Line Styles, etc.

The above control characters can also be inserted using a contextual menu revealed with right-click in any textual field. This is often more convenient than typing the “Left ALT-“combinations, especially on some laptops, which cannot even simulate the numeric keypad.

1.1 Inserting control characters from pop up window_mrk

Left ALT-030 is before Left ALT-031 in the alphabetical order and the number of those characters inserted before a name matters in such way that the names preceded by more characters are placed higher on the list. A good example of this approach is a list of Line Styles, in which we would like to place our standard Line Styles with company prefix at the top and achieve the result shown below:

2.1 Custom list order of Line Styles_mrk

 

Revit cryptic knowledge – magic alphabetical sorting

I bet you often wanted to control somehow the order in which Revit shows stuff in its multitude of windows and lists and still keep your original names of the entities listed, be it Filters, Floor Plan Types in the Project Browser, View Templates, etc. In all those cases the default and only available order, which Revit uses is alphabetical. So, unless you start using some weird prefix systems, which may soon result in names like “_*-.Site Plan” (not cool),  your named entities simply have to be where they fall based on their names. Right? Fortunately wrong! Believe it or not, but there is a way to control this order without affecting your naming system at all.

From a standard QWERTY keyboard you can input a character not only by just typing it, but also by entering its ASCII code. To do it you need to press and hold the right Alt key and type the ASCII code (0-255) with the numeric keyboard. Among all the ASCII characters are special symbols, which are not visible to humans on the screen, but are understood by computers. Those symbols have numbers from 0 to 31 and as such are “alphabetically” before any visible symbols. So entering such symbol before the name of whatever you are naming in Revit will not visually change this name, but for the computer will position it at the top of the alphabetical order. Entering two such special symbols will position your name before the name with one special symbol, entering three …. and so on. This way you can create groups of names, whose position in the listing order will be controlled by the proper number of special, invisible symbols at the beginning of their names. And the most important information – out of all the special symbols, the only two, which seem to do this trick in Revit are Alt-30 and Alt-31. Enjoy !

I am aware that this method may not work on every keyboard and every system configuration. Please let me know if it does not work in your case.

Revit cryptic knowledge – magic alphabetical sorting

I bet you often wanted to control somehow the order in which Revit shows stuff in its multitude of windows and lists and still keep your original names of the entities listed, be it Filters, Floor Plan Types in the Project Browser, View Templates, etc. In all those cases the default and only available order, which Revit uses is alphabetical. So, unless you start using some weird prefix systems, which may soon result in names like “_*-.Site Plan” (not cool),  your named entities simply have to be where they fall based on their names. Right? Fortunately wrong! Believe it or not, but there is a way to control this order without affecting your naming system at all.

From a standard QWERTY keyboard you can input a character not only by just typing it, but also by entering its ASCII code. To do it you need to press and hold the right Alt key and type the ASCII code (0-255) with the numeric keyboard. Among all the ASCII characters are special symbols, which are not visible to humans on the screen, but are understood by computers. Those symbols have numbers from 0 to 31 and as such are “alphabetically” before any visible symbols. So entering such symbol before the name of whatever you are naming in Revit will not visually change this name, but for the computer will position it at the top of the alphabetical order. Entering two such special symbols will position your name before the name with one special symbol, entering three …. and so on. This way you can create groups of names, whose position in the listing order will be controlled by the proper number of special, invisible symbols at the beginning of their names. And the most important information – out of all the special symbols, the only two, which seem to do this trick in Revit are Alt-30 and Alt-31. Enjoy !

I am aware that this method may not work on every keyboard and every system configuration. Please let me know if it does not work in your case.

One little veteran bug Autodesk does not care to fix for years

During the Autodesk University in 2011, where I went as a speaker, I reported to the Autodesk team a bug I found in Revit 2012. Revit has many bugs, but this one was particularly annoying, because it came out during the class I had for my students at the University of Hong Kong.

The problem is simple – a Wall with vertically edited layer does not show properly in section when mirrored or drawn in the opposite direction, as shown on the image below. Both Walls are of the same type (3.4_44CON_ve), yet look different in section.

Vertically split layer problem

 

I was promised that the bug would be reported to the right people/team for solving. In the next version Revit 2013 the bug was still doing very well, so I reported in again on the AU 2012. Very nice sales people from Autodesk apologized, that it had not been fixed and said that this time they would personally follow the problem to ensure it would be solved. The result was that nothing changed in Revit 2014 as well. I knew that Autodesk is generally not doing great in the area of customer support and their product improvement, but this left even me a bit surprised. So I contacted one of the vice presidents of Autodesk, whom I had had once a pleasure to meet in Hong Kong. I wrote to him a long letter complaining on the slow development of Revit in general and giving the above little bug as an example of poor quality of their service. He acknowledged the problem, contacted me with “the right people”, who apologized again and promised to put my bug at the top of their list of priorities. I may be naive, but I believed them again thinking that intervention at such a high level must bring some results. Oh, how wrong I was… Believe it or not, but nothing changed in Revit 2015. Morover, upto this date (12 Feb 2015) we have already had six so called “Update Releases” of Revit (kind of intermediate upgraded versions) and the file with my lovely bug attached to this post (link below) behaves the same way when opened in this ultra-upgraded Revit 2015 Update Release 6 as it behaved back in 2011.

I think it makes sense now to start taking bets how many more years will it take for one of the largest software companies in the world to fix a little bug in its flagship BIM application, which had been reported to them for four years. Anyone?

If you have had similar experience with Autodesk or would like to share your own bug found in Revit, please use the link above to write your post.

Please use the link below to download the file with my bug in Revit 2015.

Mirrored wall with split layers problem 2015