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.

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