Saturday, September 21, 2013

More on Keynotes

This is a quick follow-up post to this one on the topic of keynotes. I have to confess that this is one of my least favorite tools in Revit. Not because of the potential of using keynotes in documentation, but because of the overall lackluster implementation in Revit, which tends to leave a lot of holes in the workflow.

We have also been plagued by too many visibility and collateral issues in the past:

  • Pre-Revit 2013, keynotes didn’t work properly in dependent views (never posted here about it after reporting the issue, but it was resolved in Revit 2013);
  • Borrowing of Sheet Worksets when keynoting elements in Linked Files as explained here at the Revit Clinic in pre-Revit 2014. This has been addressed in the current release as explained here, which is my primary reason for upgrading existing projects to 2014;
  • Besides the visibility issue noted in my previous post, keynotes buried in design options, even if not visible in the view due to V/G settings, still schedule in the Keynote Legend (thanks to Trey Klein for this one!);

I’m sure there are other issues, such as the inability for multiple users to edit the keynote text file, API limitations that prevent developers of Keynote plugins to reload a modified keynote text file as soon as it is modified, and the list goes on.

Steve Stafford has a very good post on the topic if you’re into using this functionality. My biggest point of contention with keynotes is the over-use of User Keynotes, which increase “laziness” in updating Revit families in content libraries to actually include keynote information and discourage abiding with firm standards (assuming they exist). There are instances where keynotes need to be placed on the fly such as in addition & renovation projects containing demo plans, where you’re mostly assigning “actions” to collections of elements rather than definitions/”nouns” to singular elements. However in most cases, I encourage users to first assign a keynote value to their families, and then place Element Keynotes instead.


If you’re a heavy keynote user, you absolutely have to use a plugin. Mr. Stafford references a very good one by Steve Faust of Revolution Design, called Keynote Manager. I believe this is the first plugin ever built to address keynoting inefficiencies and is nowadays a very mature and full-featured product. I have been toying around with another one recently from KiwiCodes called Keynote Browser. It is still not as fine-tuned as the Keynote Manager, but could be a slightly cheaper alternative if you don’t need as much functionality, although at the moment Steve’s solution is much more solid and reliable.



Unknown said...

Another tactic for use when you wish to have keynotes that behave like Element keynotes but don't have a good element to attach them to:
Create a loadable "Keynote Target" family with little or no 3d geometry, just some symbolic lines. Set it to a category you will not likely schedule. For each new note you want available, create a new type and assign keynote parameters to it. When you need an "ad hoc" keynote, place this family, select the desired type, and note it.

Dave Baldacchino said...

Thanks for the tip David! I have just recently observed a similar strategy used in "standard details" built in drafting views, where a line-based detail family that contains no visible geometry was used to host verb/action keynotes. In this case it was just a single family with multiple keynotes attached, so it seems to be a variant of what you just described.

Post a Comment