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Dimensions on linked DWG file gets lost after updating the dwg file

Dimensions on linked DWG file gets lost after updating the dwg file


we did a supportrequest last year about dimensions on linked dwg file get lost if we reload the changed dwg file in the project. Still there is no way of preventing this behavior.


So lets do another idea-post.


We do alot of project development and we build alot in existing buildings (sorry don't know the correct english term). So there are always dwg files of the building and its not economically to redraw the building in revit. So we work with linked dwgs in our project (sometimes with a container .rtv for dwg files).


But if you make changes in the dwg file and reload it into revit all the dimensions on the dwg file get lost.

I made a screencast of it:


So it does not matter what you change in the dwg its always losing every dimension on it.


Would be nice if the dimension would still exist after updating the dwg file. At least give us the chance to see what dimension gets deleted or what dimension need a new reference. At the moment you can just hit delete and like we say in german look for the needle in the haystack.


Found this fourm post. Its the same behavior but in other disciplins and with civil 3d.


But to be honest.... the marked solution can't be the solution. We want to make money with our projects and not lose it in time wasting work we need to do because revit can't handle dwg files.



The same issue is already done when linking RVT model in another RVT file , almost all the dimensions that you have taken over that link will be deleted once reloading the file.


Didn't know that one. That is crazy. Come on Autodesk.... you can't be serious about that.


The thread in the forum is from 2015 that is like the one with beams in floor plans. But thats another pity theam 😞

For more clarification , the dimensions really deleted , when doing modifications in the link and then reload it (a lot of dimensions deleted but not all but I can not track upon which circumstances the deletion done) . Or if the link path changes and Revit could not track the path, by this also the dimensions on the link will be deleted.

Survival tip - don't dimension to a linked file. ANY linked file. I had to talk to my team about this yesterday.


If at all you need to, then drop a detail line on the location you want to dimension to. That will prevent the dimensions from diappearing on you.




Thanks for the survival tip but is ridiculous that we have to draw detail lines on linked files to prevent dimensions form disappearing on reload.


Ok i get it dwg is not revit..... most common cad file type but ok .... but come on @therevitteam its the same behaviour on revit files. How small do you think are our projekts? 


  • Consistent customer practice is to break up a large model into multiple files of about 200 MB and link together the resulting project files. This procedure works best if the user can work on one file while the other links are unloaded for a majority of the time. Engineering consumers of architectural models may have to maintain one or more constantly loaded links, which may affect model size estimation and thresholds for those disciplines.

This is a quote out of the Autodesk Revit 2017 "Model Performance Technical Note".




(trustlevel in revit 45% - plunge)


Autodesk support staff  frankly you are treating people who pay your subscriptions and people like myself who have been using autodesk products for over 30 years as idiots. Wake up ! Surely we can use 2 of your products with compatibility? I draft up a design in floor plan in autocad lt and underlay it in Revit for first round schematics.


No..... this makes complete and utter sense - so pull your heads in and make your software work the way people actually use it or be quiet on the support pages. Certainly do not  count his this 'fixed' 

Same Problem for Linked Revit files- Usually we separate 3D models and Sheets in a different model. Once we reload the linked model all dimension will disappear without even a warning.
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It is a good idea to drop a detail line on the location you want to dimension to. The problem with this is that you need to align all the detail lines all over again to all the elements that you want to dimension. An added work for the modelers....


I'm confused...the title of this tread is called "Dimensions on linked DWG file gets lost after updating the dwg file" but I got here through another troubleshooting page having to do with Linked Models.


FWIW, I will describe my problem:


I'm working in a design build where the Architect changes things all the time (I'm an MEP user).


We dimension our sleeves to C/L of the linked model's plumbing fixture (a lot of sleeves are offset 50 - 300mm to suit prefabs). I am finding our dimensions remain intact UNLESS a fixture gets turned 90 degrees. In such a case, Revit gives me the warning about dimensions (in bold). I export the warning and save it in a dedicated "warnings" folder and share with the team. Once this is done, I hit "delete all dimensions in bold" and carry on. The problem for me is, if I "delete all dimensions in bold", the element IDs are useless for tracking down the deleted dimension because those specific dimensions are no longer there. But if I hit cancel then Revit doesn't reload the new linked models. So I have no choice but to delete.


It still works ok because the warning html file tells me what view they were deleted from, so we have an idea where to look for changes and I can mobilize one or two other guys to go hunt down the change. But to be frank, this is still not a good workflow (kind of embarrassing actually).


Sorry, I know it's not related to dwg files, but good to know there is a problem in that area. If there's a moderator maybe s/he can move this post to somewhere more on topic.


 Dear Revit Dev Team,


Please add this to your roadmap to do's in 2018.   Not every Civil consultant will upgrade to Revit.  Therefore, we need a way to link CAD files into our documents while not loosing the reference.  There must be a way to at the very least select the linked file, tab to the line we want to reference, and "import' a copy and paste in place into our model as a reference line or model line ?  Seems like combining the 'import' with the 'link' functions might be the first step to maintaining a dimension reference, while allowing for the possibilities of the linked file being reloaded ?  Because the linked file will always be reloaded until the end.   


I know you can do it!  Help!  We have the linked file right there; there must be a better method for this process, with less productivity waste, other than having to redraw lines over a linked file.  Thank you.  


Hope this will be fixed very soon.

After syncing a cloud workshared model all my dimensions that were referencing to the linked model got deleted.

Drawing Detail lines is not the right workflow. If the link model will get updated the dimensions WILL NOT


That’s the way it is. You do not dimension to anything linked, especially a DWG. I would recommend reference planes, maybe, to host the dimensions? That way even if the linked DWG updates, the dimensions will not go away, and the reference planes can be flexed to match any changes in the DWG. Not the best way to do things, I’m afraid. I guess that’s the cost of expecting RVT to play with DWG. 


We have the same issue with linked Revit models. We are working with the architect who continuously sends updated base models and every time we reload a number of our dimensions and keynotes are deleted. How do we avoid this as re-doing a ton of work is a very inefficient way of working?


It's the same with level annotations (Spot Elevations) - they get deleted if you unload the link, and can't be replaced so easily with the detail lines workaround.

It's all very well Autodesk saying use worksets rather than unload links, but someone on the team will always forget and unload a slow link, breaking dozens of drawings.


It's been a while. Same problem persist thru the years.  The only thing that increases is the subscription fee.


Hi all, I'm from the future, just letting you guys know this is still an issue in 3067 AD (after doomsday)


It is a frequent case that upon reloading a link (or simply opening a file that has links in it) deletes a lot of dimensions that lost their references, and Revit provides no info about these dimensions, only their Ids, which become non-existent after their deletion.



This makes it almost impossible to trace these deleted dimensions, thus noone even tries. Usually it cannot be avoided to have dimensions that referencing linked elements, so it is not an option to "stop doing that". So I would suggest to have a solution, to keep these references/dimensions as they were before losing their referenced elements, have something like <LOST REFERENCE> instead of the actual distance/numeric value, and should also be listed among the warnings. Here the user can get to these dimensions, and "rehost" or delete them at their individual discretion.


Hands down this is my number one request. The constant deleting of invalid dimensions means you have to check the entirety of a drawing before sending it out, which is tedious and time consuming on medium to large projects. Large projects also have to be linked and several people often work on a drawing meaning no one person is fully aware of the full array of required dimensions.


When Reloading CAD Links, have Revit maintain Revit Dimensions in areas of the Links that did not change.

Every time we get an updated CAD link from our Civil Engineer, we lose our Revit dimensions.


Thank you for your time.



Hi, @d.dillon ,


There are a few similar Ideas that I can combine with yours. In the meantime, here is a workaround (I know, not ideal and also painful) that may help depending on the number of dimensions that you have. 

"One or more dimension references are or have become invalid" when reloading linked files in Revit |...


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