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Control loading of LINKS AND OR WORKSETS on open

Control loading of LINKS AND OR WORKSETS on open

On open - Specify Which LINKED files and which WORKSETS to open. This will eliminate the bastardized process of using worksets to control loading of linked files on open.



If WORKSET-A exists in the current file and also exists in a linked file- unloading the workset in the current file also unloads it in the linked files...  All links reside on WORKSET 1. Let view and display settings and templates manage the rest.


So workset A can be unloaded for an area - but all worksets reloaded (and linkes unloaded ) to run analysis or connect systems, etc. This way HVAC and ELECTRICAL systems don't have to be broken because they are separate files.


So on open:


On open in RevitOn open in RevitManage worksets and links on open-1.pdf.png




It would be very useful to have a dialog with all the links related to a model and choose which one has to be opened.

Sometimes there's a huge amount of links and we have to wait for maybe 10 minutes before loading everything.

Maybe we can have something like workset and autocad layers and choose if we want to open with links or without links.



I put each link on its own workset so I can open the model without them, particularly when upgrading versions.


@cesare.caoduro Agreed - this is needed to manage loads and simplify the process. @membrec - Know if they are still working on this ? Seems like a simple check prior to load on open and it has been on the wishlists for years.


@jkidder- As I climb on the soapbox...


I cannot stand the practice of worksets-per/for-linked files. why?


It overcomplicates work and visibility graphics as well as tracking content through links into other worksets. I realize it is widely used in practice today- and Autodesk was forced to recognize it as "some practices" some follow in the revit guide...


Worksets were intended for large projects for workflows, not forced loading and unloading. It is like having a switch on a wall right beside another switch beside another switch. How do you know where or why something was turned off?


Lets say you have a 4-square zoned building. Worksets should be used for each of those zones and labeled identically between A/S/M/E/P/FP/etc. so mechanical, plumbing and electrical can have ONE file broken out by zones and limit loading by those zones. This allows for calculations and pressure and circuiting to be done and can be turned on or off in cases where limited system capacity is an issue.


Unloading the links has the same effect as closing a workset... we just need the capacity to do that work up front : )


@WM_Ron_Allen I agree that link/workset is not ideal, and if there was an alternate way to unload them I'd prefer that.  I try not to use worksets for visibility (except in the few instances where that is the only way to target specific elements in a consultant's model).  Until there is an alternate way to unload links on load I'll keep doing it, because troubleshooting issues by closing the models and unloading them for upgrade by workset has saved me a lot of time.


@jkidder there is... 


In the links menu UNLOAD the links.  


I did some tests with a few different projects. The Only, and I do mean only,  benefit to links on worksets it the ability to not load links on open. With all the negatives, it isn't worth it.


Based on this, I do not believe links should be placed on individual worksets and the disadvantages to workset-per-link greatly outweigh any advantages of using worksets to load links at startup.

Note worksets will retain their load/unloaded state GLOBALLY as long as it is unloaded for the model.

“Unload for me.” Will retain workset load/unload states on save and reopen as well.

Ron Allen

B+P BIM Manager - Rocky Mountain Area, NCARB IDP, Autodesk Revit Certified Professional

D 1-303-740-2716




Some interesting findings.


  • Load times and memory demands can be minimized on open using the linked worksets to contain the linked files


  • Files have to be loaded at some point for printing and design (otherwise why link them at all?)


  • Complexity is increased
  • Bound to have displaced objects on 'linked' worksets
    • Requires more back-checking,
    • Can lead to duplicate work, etc.
  • visibility graphics more difficult to troubleshoot for links:
    • Is the link loaded?
    • Is the link visible?
    • Elements in the link visible (I.e. Mech components showing properly for Mech file)?
      • Is the workset loaded?
      • Is the linked workset visible?
      • Is the linked workset visible in view?
      • Is the linked file on the correct linked workset?

Unloading links has a similar effect on memory management- it just cannot be managed at startup unless the link is unloaded for all on save?

I believe all data, including pertinent linked data, should be loaded and accessible for working in the files, designing, printing and managing models.

To test the version on the left- I will need to create a system with the 'zoned' elements to see if that affects loading and unloading through same-named worksets in linked files (What Autodesk admittedly intended with worksets management from the beginning)



Proposed integration and management of Worksets using primary scheme at right below. Worksets named the same will load/unload when shared with the host file. This is how Autodesk intended Worksets to be used, all systems and components in one file broken out by areas on worksets; preventing the need for workarounds for systems to attach one linked file to another linked file systems.


(Slides cannot post and no way to attach documents evident at this time)


Community Manager
Thanks for taking the time to submit your idea. Unfortunately, this idea did not get the support of the community over the last 6 months and as such we will not be pursuing it at this time. Please feel free to rework (titles and clear descriptions are really important) and resubmit this one down the road.
Community Manager
Status changed to: Archived

you can always assign links to specific worksets that are unique to each link, this is what I currently do.


but nonetheless, it would be great to have that feature, because a project file with a dozen links needs 12 separate worksets!!!!!!


@RakMas No.


That is the bastardization that needs to be avoided. This would also limit memory loads. Once a workset with links is loaded then unloaded the memory loading remains as opposed to unloading the link.(There is a memory leak in there as well I suspect from test I ran where it perpetually crept up in 2016)


That 'process' was carried over from a bastardized process in Autocad which used a layer to turn off entire linked files rather than correctly cherry-picking layers to turn on and off (e.g. LINKED FILE | A-note-anno  OR -layer;Freeze;*LINK|*;;). Or unloading the link.


This process adds an unnecessary layer of complexity for determining what is visible or invisible in a set, and causes issues with streamlining and limiting worksets. Believe me as a BIM manager having to sort through why something looks broken or does not appear - it is a huge time waster.:


Is the link unloaded

Is the workset unloaded

In the linked related same named workset unloaded

Is the workset off in the view

... and a whole lot more when looking at overrides... If you halftone a workset and then halftone the link and there are halftoned worksets which link to same named worksets in linked- does it 1/2x1/2x1/2 tone those items?



Precisely why I precluded with "This will eliminate the bastardized process of using worksets to control loading of linked files on open."


Not bustin on ya- just tired of dealing with the mess! : )


Hi Ron,


I may be missing something obvious but there are two things I have noticed


In your first screen shot both 'Create New Local'  and 'Detach From Central' appear to be grayed out.




In your second screen shot the dialog is called 'Manage Links and Worksets'  but I can only either 'Manage Links' or 'Manage Worksets' but not both in the same dialog.





Hi @gocarroll This is a proposed idea for Autodesk to implement in Revit- so that we have control over what files/worksets/links are loaded on OPEN of revit files. These files can be enormous- and having control over the loading of worksets is essential for controlling how much is loaded on open.



The base issue rests in worksets shoudl be used for work process- not links- but so many folks use it as a means to unload linked files on open. It shuts down a lot of in-roads to managing data in Revit and greatly overcomplicates Visibility Graphics issues : )


The worksets are probably greyed out as these I hastily grabbed images for graphic in put- snapshots taken from working in the sample central file to generate the graphics. Apologies for any confusion - just sketching the ideas out as I don't have a lot of time to post here : )


We have the ability to specify which worksets we want to load on open. I would like the ability to specify which Links to load / open as well. It could be a dialogue box, and a series of checkboxes for each link. Load, Unload, Load for Me, Unload for Me. A checkbox might be faster than a pull down. And while we're at it, please make is multi select.


Thank you for your consideration.



Tags (5)

you can create workset for each link then specify to close them on load
when creating the central model choose workset to be specified every time you take new local 
this will help 


@craigh_bim we do the same as suggested by @Hazem.Elamir


Similar to Unload Revit link - Only for me, can we have an option for "load Revit link - Only for me"?

It would save so much time when only small part of the team needs certain Revit links, e.g. who puts the wall / floor openings needs to load the MEP model but others don´t need to have them loaded.


On model open, if linked models are present, provide option to go to links dialog prior to  full open of file. 

At last check, Unloaded Worksets' objects are loaded and resident memory! But some magic behind the scenes hard filters those elements from displays and limits their interaction with other elements, speeding up the redraw process keeping MEP/FP systems intact.

This can be directly controlled on open in lieu of using "WORKSET_LINKS":


In Revit:


Clicking OK sets the status for the rest of the load, only opening what is "Loaded" and "Unloading for all" and "Unloaded for me". Revit automatically remembers the last setting. Unloaded elements should be highlighted or reversed to make it very obvious if there are unloaded elements.


The pain point

Too often unloaded worksets are overlooked when content is woven into the models - like structural, plumbing or mechanical  elements in architectural models. Productivity time is lost when users easily overlook the unloaded links or files, causing duplicated efforts in modeling, or when we realize too late sets were printed without "Workset_Links" or worksets loaded.


Using worksets named identically for zones or areas across links is magical as unloading for a host file will also unload same-named worksets in guest link files.  Where additional worksets beyond the undeletable "Workset 1" and "Levels and Grids" are needed, they can specify zones or area management for unloading across all disciplines - like an airport consource divided into areas A, B, C, D, E, F G, H, and J.  An unloaded workset retains system connections for S/M/E/P/FP! so systems remain intact Without jumping through unnecessary hoops!


(Reviving this form a post from 5 years ago with a fresh twist)

  • Close links on load, Worksets
Tags (3)

Revit develop team has posted a related design proposal at Revit preview release forum with this Link, your insights or suggestions are much appreciated.


Well, this was a stupid Idea to archive. It would be extremely help for users to control the speed/workflow in projects with several models. I agree with @WM_Ron_Allen that we should not have to create a workset every time we add a new link to a project.


Come on Autodesk, this is would be a huge boon for your users.

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