How to Crop a CAD Drawing after Importing It

If you’ve just imported a giant .dwg file with drawings all over the place and you only need to see one area, you might be wondering how to crop your imported drawing to a more manageable size.

Unfortunately there’s no easy way to do this.  You can crop the whole view with a crop region, or draw a masking region to hide the parts of the .dwg you don’t want to see.

Alternatively you can select the import and click Query to hide individual components within the file, but there’s no way to select multiple objects at once with this method so it only works if you have just a few things to hide.

In some cases, your easiest option is to create a new .dwg where you delete all the stuff you don’t want to see.

How to Hide the Purple Area Boundary Lines on Your Area Plans

If you want to show a plan of your project with area tags but you don’t want those purple area boundary lines to show, you can turn them off with a Visibility/Graphic Override.  The trick is knowing where to find them – they are on the Model Categories tab but they aren’t classified under Areas like you’d expect.  Instead, they are found within the Lines category.  Just uncheck the box to hide them.

Save time by creating a view template with the boundaries hidden that you can then assign (not apply) to all your area plans.  If you need to switch them on and off, you’ll only have to make the change in one place for it to affect all the area plans.

How to Stop Revit from Automatically Adding Railings to Your Stairs

If you find yourself always deleting the handrails Revit adds automatically to the stairs you create, you should turn off the automatic railing setting.

To do this, click the stair button on the ribbon.  But before doing anything else, click the railing button on the Modify | Create Stair tab.  Choose “None” from the drop-down and Revit will stop adding those pesky railings.

You can also use this setting to select a different railing type if you don’t like the default.

If this change makes your life easier, open up your template file and make the change there too – now every project you create will work the way you want!

How to Turn Off Topography in Linked Files

Your linked models have toposurfaces that you don’t want to see.  But when you go to select them, you keep selecting the model as a whole.

The trick is to use tab to select only the elements of a linked model that you want to see.  Once you have all the toposurfaces selected, you can hide them by element in your view.

How to Make Your Realistic Views Bright and Sunny

The default settings for Revit’s realistic visual style are dark and dreary.  But if you look at the top of the visual styles menu, you’ll see “Graphic Display Options…”

Open Graphic Display Options and then expand the Lighting panel to see sliders that will allow you to adjust the brightness of the sun, ambient light, and shadows in your scene. Experiment to see what look you like – I used these settings to get a nice sunny mood.  If you have one version you want to use in most of your projects, make the adjustment in your project template.

Do you have a favorite setting?  If so, leave a comment!

The Purpose of Wall Functions

When you create a new wall type, there’s a construction parameter called function.  It has various options, like “Exterior” and “Foundation.”  You might be wondering which one to pick – does it make a difference?  What are the different wall functions for?

Wall function matters for filtering views and organizing wall schedules.  You can set up a view to show only exterior walls, for example.

Some functions also affect the default instance values when you go to create a wall.  For instance, a foundation will default to a base offset of -12 feet and a top constraint up to the level you are working on.