Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Selecting Elements

When you right-click on an object or a tag in Revit, one option is to Select All Instances. For some reason, even though it's in plain English, some users tend to think that only those instances in the current view will be selected. When Revit says "All", it means ALL! (in the entire project file)

So how do you select all instances within a view? It's a multi-step process, at least for right now.

  1. First, do a Select All Instances on the object in question.
  2. Now use the Isolate Elements command to only show the selected elements in your view.
  3. Finally, window-select the visible objects in your view. The filter tool at the bottom-right corner of your view window should report the same amount of objects selected or less.
Doing a window-select on it's own does not give you enough filter granularity and will only show you the categories of the selected objects and the quantity of your selection. So if you have 20 types of casework, it'll show them all grouped under that category, which is not what we want to select. We want all instances of just one type selected.

Another little issue I ran across this past week...I wanted to select all instances of a type of casework and change an instance parameter. Once I selected all instances in a project, I noticed that the instance properties were greyed out. This happened because some of those instances lied within groups. To deselect the groups, I isolated all the selected instances in my view and hovered over the visible objects with my cursor. When a group was highlighted, I Shift+clicked to deselect it. Once all groups were removed from the selection, I was able to make the instance parameter changes. Later I edited the groups and made the same changes there too.

So, here are some suggestions to the Factory to make our lives easier:

  • We need a "Select all instances in current view" option.
  • We need the ability to expand the filter categories and reveal the different types in the selection. The filter tool has been enhanced in the 2009 versions, but has a way to go to be truly efficient.
  • We need to be able to "Select all instances" on lines too!!
  • We need the ability to easily remove elements that reside within groups from our selections. Currently, if you select instances that are within groups, those groups do not become part of the selection set. If they did, then perhaps it would be easier to remove them by going to the filter dialog and unchecking the"Detail Group" and/or "Model Group" categories, leaving only ungrouped instances selected.
I'm sure you have more enhancements in mind, so feel free to add your comments!

EDIT: Thanks a lot to "ada" (see comments) for pointing out that this technique doesn't work on dimensions. In fact, it doesn't work on any annotation object, since when you hide the referenced model element, the associated tag/dimension is hidden also. That should strengthen the argument for the need for a "Select all instances in View" command!



Troy Gates said...

We need the ability to expand the filter categories and reveal the different types in the selection.

I've suggested this in every Revit beta since version 9. Hopefully they will expand the filter someday to the type level.

Paolo Emilio Serra said...

I hope this could help:
-create a schedule of the category you want to select, for example walls, arranged by type;
-window tiling with a 3d view
-from the schedule select the type you want and, most important part, click on the title bar of the 3d view.
Now you have a precise selection-by-type of all instances in the whole project: you can isolate the elements and then select only some instances of that type.
The bad news is that doesn't work backward, so you can't select from the 3d view and get highlighted rows in the schedules... I think it's really a pitty.
Keep going Dave, I agree with you!

Dave Baldacchino said...

Thanks for that "tipnique" Paolo! I would add that one needs to make sure that the "Itemize Every Instance" needs to be checked off so by selecting one row in the schedule, all instances are automatically selected. And probably you want to do a multi-category schedule or you won't be able to schedule Generic Models.

Right clicking on an element and picking "Select all instances" does the job very fast without the need for a schedule. Obviously the caveat is that we cannot select just the instances within a specific view or ones that don't belong to a group with either method. Bummer!

Paolo Emilio Serra said...

Yes Dave, I've got some problem with the english translation of the software and I didn't know how to translate "Elenca ogni istanza" in the schedule properties.
However I didn't think to generic models, you're right as usually!Thanks again Master :)

Using project parameters or at least comments, one can set filters in the schedules in order to obtain a selection set with a combination of parameters and not just the type of the family.
Of course this method isn't error free and it depends too much on the user protocol.

ada said...

it doesn't work to dimensions..unfortunatelly :(

Dave Baldacchino said...

ada, thanks a LOT for pointing that out...I missed a very important detail! That technique does NOT work on any annotation element because as soon as the model element that the annotation references is hidden, so is the annotation. Which strengthens the argument for a "select all instances in this view" command even more. I'll edit my post to reflect this.

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