Saturday, June 21, 2008

Line weight visibility in linked files

This was inspired by a thread on the AUGI forums and I didn't realize that visibility in Linked Files behaved this way.

When you link a Revit Project into your main host project, the visibility is by default set to By Host View. You can change this option to By Linked View or Custom. So far so good.

If your host and linked projects were started from the same template, you might not notice this issue, which is probably why I never came across this head-scratcher. When getting a project file from some other source outside your office, you stand a good chance that the line weights in each file are not the same as yours and/or other linked files.

When your link visibility is set to By Host View, Revit will use your host project's visibility settings to display the geometry in the linked file/s, together with other settings as shown below.

Notice that Object Styles will also be represented based on the Host file. But here lies the problem: what if the line thickness mapped to the line weights are not the same in each file? That's exactly when you notice the problem. For example in your host project, you might end up with walls showing with different line thicknesses, because Revit will use the line weight per the host file, yet it will still map the line thickness of the parent project file to it's geometry. So while your walls might rightly be using line weight 5 for their cut representation, your host project's geometry will display at 0.018" thick lines per the host's line weight settings, but if the linked project has line weight 5 mapped to a thickness of 0.2", then Revit will use that thickness for geometry residing in that linked (parent) file.

The solution is easy: Use Transfer Project Standards to copy the line weight settings from your host project to the links. I personally don't think Revit should behave this way. If I say I want settings to be By Host View, I would expect the line weight to line thickness mapping to also be honored. Maybe we need a new line item to the above list: Line Weights. You agree? Great, go file a wishlist item on AUGI!



Unknown said...


I agree!! A Lineweights parameter to control this would certainly make sense. Obviously transfer project standards is an answer (the only one at the moment), but what a work up if you have to do this for a large number of linked files. :(

Dave Baldacchino said...

Exactly, or if you're getting weekly updates of project files from your consultants!

To a certain extent, I can see why you'd want the current behavior. If every link is split per discipline, then it would make sense as each discipline could have modified the line weights for certain objects that other disciplines don't use or don't bother with. But then if you set the link to By Host View, the line weights are still going to be modified, except now you'll get unpredictable results because of the different line thickness mappings.

If you're getting building models from various sources, that becomes more of a problem because elements belonging to the same categories now reside in different locations. But then again...if I want to retain the line thicknesses specified in the parent file, I wouldn't set the link visibility to be by host. After all, what we're trying to control here is the line thicknesses.

Brandy C said...

Has anyone experienced a problem where lineweights print correctly from one computer but not from another? I am close to losing my mind trying to resolve this... my computer (with 64-bit REVIT MEP 2010) is printing the walls as extremely thick lines that block large portions of my electrical work. But when my IT department (with the same computer configuration) prints the same sheet, the walls come out thin as they are supposed to. Any ideas on what could be causing this??

Dave Baldacchino said...

Brandy, never seen that issue. In theory it shouldn't happen because line thicknesses and object styles/visibility settings are per-project. So unless you were plotting from an out-dated local and someone in IT made changes for plotting only, I can't point to what's wrong.

An Engineer's Guide to Handwork said...

Awesome, I've been wondering why my linked architectural model was showing up so weird.

Transfer project standards is the only way, for now.


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