5 Revit commands you should avoid


Construction Template
This one is not really a “command” and only applies to people just learning Revit.

If you are using the Autodesk-provided templates, you will want to avoid the construction template. Unfortunately, it is the default option when selecting the New command…


Template 01.png


So, what’s the problem with this template? Phases!


Template 02.png


Perhaps contractors use phases like this, I am not sure, but for anyone else, this template creates a bit of a mess. I would know, as my six Revit textbooks are used across North America (in high schools, technical colleges, and universities) and when students accidentally start a project with this template and the instructor cannot figure out why the ceiling is visible in some views and not others, they email support at SDC Publications, and they forward it on to me. I get a lot of them for this problem.

It is possible to remove this template from your list, on the current computer. In Revit’s Options dialog, on the File Locations tab, it can be removed as shown in the following dialog (or just moved down the list, so it is not first).


Template 03.png


Back in 2017 I wrote a post about this on my blog BIM Chapters with a little more detail: Revit Templates; New Users Beware.


Cut Profile (View tab)
Chances are you may have never even seen or heard of this command before. It is hidden away on the View tab (thankfully). And, while the results look really nice, they are superficial and do not show up anywhere else. It is a view-specific override and not a 3D edit to the model.


Cut Profile 01.png


The following image shows the original wall (top), the profile sketch line (middle), and then the result. Notice the heavy perimeter line does not properly follow the new profile.


Cut Profile 02.png


Hide Element in View
Hiding things, one element at a time, in one view at a time, is not at all efficient or scalable. Instead, a more sophisticated workflow would be to create a filter, and if needed use a customer parameter associated with the things you wish to manage. This allows the elements to easily be hidden in any view, and any new elements that are placed are automatically hidden in necessary views via filters and view templates (VT).

Two additional reasons this is a bad workflow: 1) The only way to unhide them is to use the Reveal Hidden Elements command and look around for them, select them, and click the unhide command. 2) This could also be problematic for consultants (i.e., other disciplines) who might need to hide the same elements, but if you had a parameter they could also just create their own filter or VT.


Hide Elements.png


Worksets (to control visibility)
Worksets were created to manage system resources. Their ability to control element visibility came later. And, while there are a few scenarios (e.g., MEP pipes based on system) where using worksets to control visibility is acceptable, most are not.

The reason is nearly identical to the previous section on hiding stuff manually. Hide in View - Elements and worksets are reactive actions and prone to errors. By contrast, if you are using filters, view templates, and custom parameters you can proactively manage element visibility and never have to worry about making sure you are putting things on the correct workset, like layers in AutoCAD.

I wrote a little more on this topic on my blog BIM Chapters back in 2017: Avoid Using Worksets to Control Visibility. It includes a little more on the history of worksets.


Model In-Place
I am not of the opinion that this command should be blocked from use (like many are), but it does have a very limited application. Like the tool tip shows below, the command is meant for one-off conditions that need to engage its modeled surroundings.

The main issue is that Model In-Place items cannot be copied. Well, they can, but each copy makes an entirely new Model In-Place family. So, you have all these instances that look the same but cannot be updated together. In this case, it is better to open the family editor and create the family here, load it into the project, and then copy it around. These copies all reference the same family and can be updated together.


Model In-Place.png

Maybe the title of this article should have been “Almost” Never Use These 5 Revit Commands. Hopefully, with this information in hand, you will be able to make more informed decisions on when, or if, to use these commands.