More Revit File Mistakes and How to Fix Them

In Six Revit File Mistakes and How to Fix Them, we explain that a healthy Revit model is important for saving time, maintaining consistency, and facilitating teamwork. In this sequel article, we're featuring six more Revit file mistakes and how to fix them. Let's dive in.

1. Do Not Let Warnings Accumulate


Excessive amount of warnings will increase open and save times. At some point, the file will become corrupt.


  • To streamline the process of resolving warnings, set keyboard shortcuts for Review Warnings (RW) and Select by ID (RE) commands. Export the warnings to HTML file for easy copy and paste of the element IDs.



Resolving warnings should be a team effort. Make time to resolve warnings, even if for just an hour each week. Know how and why warnings happen so you can avoid creating them if possible.

Follow these steps:

1. Select Manage > Open Warnings Dialog

2. Export warnings to HTML file


3. Open HTML warnings report

4. Choose a warning to resolve. Double click the element ID number to select, then copy to clipboard.

5. In Revit, click on the select by ID command (Manage tab > Inquiry panel).

6. Paste the element ID and click OK. This selects the element.


7. To locate the element, use the hosted level listed in properties. Open a plan view on that level to find where the selected element is.

8. With the element selected and located on the plan, click the Show Related Warnings button. This warnings dialog will only show the two elements in conflict, and there is a convenient button to 'Unjoin Elements' which will get rid of the warning.



The next type of warning is a room tag outside of its room. These are the quick and easy warnings to resolve. Getting rid of these will not take much time.


Warnings involving unenclosed rooms should be a high-priority for two reasons. These warnings will slow down the file more than other warning types because it can't compute the area. Also, not having an accurate area for the rooms will cause errors in your documentation, such as room tags not being able to display the area and errors in life safety calculations.


When you locate the room, there are typically two possible solutions. One solution could be a missing room separation boundary. Adding the missing boundary will resolve the warning. The other solution is one of the rooms is no longer needed and can be deleted. Either way, you should inspect the problem closely to determine the appropriate solution.

2. Do Not Update View Ranges Freely 


Updating the view range will impact the overall plan, and in most cases will cause another problem in a different area of the plan.


  • This is usually a problem when attempting to view objects at a different height other than the cut plane that is used for the rest of the view, such as the furniture located at the bottom/top level of a tiered auditorium.
  • It is important to understand view range extents.



If a specific portion of the plan is deeper than the rest of the floor but needs to be seen properly on the drawings, try to keep the default view range settings and use a Plan Region in the area of the view where the view range needs to be changed.


  • Be aware that Plan Regions are view-specific and will need to be copied to other plan views. Use the Paste Align > Current View command for the other plan views that need the plan region.

  • When Plan Regions are copied, they will maintain their settings from the previous view until manually updated if needed.

  • The Plan Region outlines will export and print if they are visible in a view. Once the Plan Region is placed where desired, you can hide the Plan Region in view, which will hide the outline but not alter the view depth assigned within that Plan Region.

  • Two different plan regions cannot overlap one another.


3. Do Not Move 3D Extents of Column Grids 


Moving the 3D extents of grids in plans or sections can cause those grids to not show up in other views. Grids are considered datum elements in Revit, along with Levels and Reference Planes. They are essentially planes slicing through the model. They have 2D extents which can be changed per view. The 3D extents are absolute and should be set at the beginning of the project, and usually not moved again.


  • When the grid is selected, it displays 3D extents with '3D' near the grid endpoint which is a hollow blue dot. If the grid is set to 2D it will display '2D' near the grid endpoint with a smaller solid blue dot.


  • Use scope boxes to control extents, levels, and reference planes.


If the 3D extents have been moved incorrectly, set them so they are showing in the necessary views. Toggle to 2D extents if you want to change it for a certain view. When moving a column grid bubble in a plan, section or elevation, switch to 2D extents prior to moving the bubble. The 2D extents controls the visual display of the line itself in that view only. Moving the column grid bubble while in 3D extents will update the location of that bubble throughout the entire project.

4. Do Not Highlight and Move the Entire Elevation Tag in Plan 


Moving the entire elevation tag (circle and triangle) also moves the cut plane for the elevation, causing the view to display incorrectly.



Just select the circle ONLY and move it. The triangle will come with it but your original elevation cut plane stays intact.

5. Do Not Continue to Place a Family You Cannot See in View 


Multiple instances of the same family get placed in an area because a view setting was causing the family not to display, and the user kept clicking in the hopes that it would eventually display after many attempts.


  • When you see this box, stop clicking.



First, stop clicking. Second, investigate why this element is not showing in the view. Check your active workset and confirm that workset is open in your Revit file.


Confirm that workset is visible in the view you are working in by checking Visibility/Graphics.


Then check the category of the element you are trying to place. If you were trying to place a Casework family, check Visibility/Graphics to see if the Casework category is turned on.



90% of the time:

  • Category or Workset is the cause

10% of the time:

  • Phasing settings: check the Phase Filter of the view
  • View filters in Visibility/Graphics
  • Element is placed outside of the view range of the view (higher than the cut plane or lower than the bottom plane); look at a section view of the area

6. Do Not Delete Lines/Elements from Families You Don't Want to See 


There are times you have a specific line or element embedded in a family that you do not want to see in your Revit view. Your first thought may be to just delete that line or element but that could potentially cause an issue later down the line. Maybe you delete important clearance annotation, a reference plane or even a part of the family that will not be missing in a rendering.


  • It is sometimes difficult to perceive what you will and will not see once you bring the family into the Revit file. The Preview Visibility Tool within the family will give you the opportunity to see what you will see in the Revit file.




You can use the Linework tool within your Revit file that overrides the line style for a selected line in an active view only.


You can update the visible settings within the family, which could make the line/element visible or not throughout the entire Revit project.


You can update the visibility/graphics overrides within the family, which can control the visibility of the line/element depending on the detail level of the view for symbolic elements.



With modeled elements, you can control the visibility depending on the detail level of the view and the view type (plan/rcp, section, elevation).



We hope this article helps you toward a better understanding of what it means to have a healthy Revit model and how to achieve such an efficient file. You can take these strategies, remedies, and learning aids back to your office to share with your teams.

Learn more with the full class.

After receiving her undergraduate degree in Architecture from Clemson University and master's degree in Architecture from the University of Tennessee, Maria Fox Montgomery joined the Atlanta office of Perkins&Will in 2014 as an integral part of the architectural team. While specializing in higher education and laboratory design, she has contributed to a wide range of project types. In addition to her role as project architect, she also serves as a BIM manager and sustainability manager for many of the projects she works on. She held a major role in the success of a 150,000-square-foot university science building being awarded LEED Platinum. Along with being a USGBC LEED Accredited Professional in Building Design+Construction, she is a Design Technology Leader and the only WELL Accredited Professional in the Atlanta Perkins&Will office. With Maria's attention to detail, constant striving to learn, and outgoing personality, she brings a memorable energy to all projects she works on and presentations she gives.

Jason Diamond is a design applications manager for the Atlanta office of Perkins&Will, where he focuses on integrating workflows on large-scale architectural and urban design projects that leverage the power of computational design and advanced modeling techniques. He has taught numerous Revit training courses at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced user levels. Jason is a licensed architect and has worked in BIM management and project architect roles across a wide array of project types, and has over 20 years of experience in the AEC industry.

Companion Class

There are 12 things you should never do in Revit software—but if you do them, here’s how to fix them. Now, we know you didn’t explode a DWG in your Revit project—but somebody did, and it has to be fixed. This is one of 12 examples we will discuss in this class. Of course, we will cover strategies for how to avoid these problems, but let’s be realistic. You can’t control everything. We will dive into 12 painful mistakes made in Revit files that may drastically affect your model and production. We...

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