Welcome to the Revit Ideas Board! Before posting, please read the helpful tips here. Thank you for your Ideas!
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Graphical Column Schedule Improvements

Graphical Column Schedule Improvements


First let me apologize for repeating what others may have written before. I don't claim any or all of these ideas as my own - but the squeaky Wheel gets the grease, and this wheel ain't been greased in 8-9 years....

Graphical column schedules (and columns in general) are something that structural engineers need for nearly any large project. But they have some major shorthcomings that need addressing:

1. Column Location Marks - These are the root of the sorting algorithm that graphical column schedules use, but there are issues in these hard-coded (and API unchangeable) values that can cause some serious headaches. In concrete high-rise projects, it is not uncommon to use grids on the face of columns as opposed to center of column along the perimeter of the structure. But the grids along the face of the often are not "read" to the column location mark when other grids happen to cross thru a column closer to the center. Even more confusing is when a larger column transitions to a smaller column higher up the structure, and the two different column sizes happen to associate to two different column grids because the column centers are not aligned and happen to be closest to two different column lines (neither of which may be the one you want association to..). So not oly doe the columns read a column location mark that may not be the one you want, but the column "stack" may not even read as a single stack because the first 15 floors of a column stack may happen to associate to a different column location mark than the following 15 stories. So request #1 - we need some way to override the Column Location Mark. I would like to see this be something a bt more "complicated" than simply typing in a new mark. It needs to be some sort of an "associate grids" command (or API method) that requires a bt more thought and "stickiness". Without this item being addressed - Revit's graphical column schedule capability can never really fully meet the needs of structural engineers. Note that fixing this issue might have other benefits as well for other workflows.

2. Column stack ordering - currently we can kind-of specify "Column Location Start" and "Column Location End' - but who's to say if that represents the order that we want the column stacks to be shown in. Often we might want certain areas of columns grouped together. Other times we might want certain columns (say along a parking deck ramp) shown side by side to illustrate the different column pour break locations along the ramp. Ideally - I would like to be able to highlight a column schedule "column" (the vertical boxes in the graphical column schedule - not the structural element) and choose "move left" "move right" and " hide".

3. Structural column size representation (view angle) - Currently there is no way to control how a column is shown in the schedule in terms of the direction it is viewed from. If a 24"x48" column transitions to a 24"x36" column and later a 24"x24" column, depending on the direction that the transitions occur (N-S or E-w) the column may show the transitions in the schedule or it may simply appear to be a consistent 24" wide column all the way up. Idealy - a tool to handle this should not be a simple "show E-w or show N-S view" but should be something where we are allowed to "pick view parallel face" in order to handle columns that may not be aligned to a N-S or E-W orientation.

4. Allow graphical column schedules to be rotated Clockwise and CounterClockwise when placed on sheets. When dealing with buildings over 20 stories, it gets difficult to fit a GCS onto a 30"x42" sheet in landscape orientation.

5. Allow us to "flex" individul schedule "columns" and "rows" once the GCS is placed on a sheet much like we can do with regular Revit Schedules. I like the "Grid Appearance" parameter for the setting of a default appearance for a schedule, but if I happen to need one column to be wide to accomodate a bit more information in a tag, i don't want to have to make every column location mark wider, only the single column that contains the extra information.

5. Allow us to show footings (for dowel information and footing tagging), connections (baseplates - cap plates), and framing members (diagonal braces...) in column schedules.

I'm sure others can chime in on some of their frustrations or ridiculous work-arounds they've been using to circumvent the shortcomings of Graphical column schedules. Personally my latest favorite has been to cut full building sections and vertical-break the sections down to just wide enough to show each column for tagging purposes (naming the section with the parallel grid line and showing the perpendicular grids in the section) in order to get a better context for the actual column conditions. This works well, but is still more of a headache than an improved GCS workflow could provide.


And allow the tolerance for a column height to be changed when grouping like columns. We don't need a separate column for essentially the same column just because one column is a few inches taller based on roof slope. the detailer is capable of determining this based on the framing plans. I'm not saying everyone should be forced to use this, just give the option to ignore height changes at top within a certain range by a user specified parameter.


And Base plates (and perhaps anchor bolts). It would be nice to associate the base plate with a particular column (have them group by like columns) and have it be shown on the graphical column schedule.

Love all those suggestions & evidence to back them up bosborne, you've gone to al lot of effort writing that up.

I'd love to see them all in there one day, but i'd be happy to start with sorting columns Mark or a shared parameter so we can at least start using the tool!
Bump to see if there's any new interest

@bosborne Having gone through the headache with the trusses idea, I would suggest breaking this idea up now and linking them all together so that users can find each section. The ideas will then get a renewed interest now and wont be rejected later.


Even if this idea does get some legs Autodesk will end up shooting it down because it contains to many ideas.

See The truss idea as an example. I would be happy to vote again for each idea.


Some of these ideas have been requested by several of my delegates.


Its about time Graphical Column Schedules got at least some of these improvements


My favoured preferred improvement is the ability to control which angle each column on the schedule can be viewed from rather than just NSEW..



It would be great to be to be able to re-order the columns in the GCS so on a structural plan the columns were numbered in a more logical order.


provide filters similar to other type of schedules to better facilitate organizing multi-storey/multi-building projects

Community Visitor

Adding the ability to see structural walls where they are intersecting with the columns shown in the GCS would also be a plus.  Many columns in towers become pilasters integrated with walls once they get below grade and that interaction is lost. 

Community Visitor

Boy! Do we need some improvements to the Graphic Column Schedules, but don't hold your breath....

On the whole, I have adapted our column families (rectangular and circular) to present our graphic column schedule in an ideal form (for us)



The trouble comes when a column moves in relation to grids, or we add another column. The column order across the GCS sheet set (in this case 6 sheets) will re-sort itself to the grid order meaning I have to re-issue the entire set as I don't have the time to cloud individual changes on each sheet from this reshuffle.

If I could just dictate the order of the schedule by any parameter - in this case the column number - all my problems disappear.

It would also be good to be able to add a side heading to the column number (mark) in the left margin.


And allow text and detail lines on column schedules!


I know Revit has received some major structural improvements focus recently, I'm surprised this functionality desperate for improvements has been overlooked.


Every time I come to the Idea Forum, I come to realize its pointless. 


The graphical column schedule will never be fixed.


As Stated above:

it would be nice to be able to add text, dimenions and other details to the schedule as well.


I would like to see the addition of being able to customize the schedule by adding Type parameters to the schedule.  We typically specify information about the baseplate in our schedule but currently have to add it manually.



xx-Graphical Column Schedule.jpgyy-Graphical Column Schedule.jpg


While we desperately need overhaul on the schedule, I thought I would share a workflow I have developed that really helps. This is a work around, and as the main idea and discussions outline, we really need a lot more than this to make GCS's even more usable. But this is a start.


The key to getting baseplates into the schedules is to create a baseplate family that uses the "column family template". you can then use it to create all the different column types and tag as required. The schedule will see the column baseplate as part of the column just the same as it will see a splice with a different upper size and treat them as a unique column. (Ignore the column types not being sequential. we just completely changed the footprint of this building, and I am starting from scratch)


You don't get to include the baseplate parameter information into the actual graphical column schedule, but you can tag them as you see in the image above and then you can schedule them as their own separate element. We create base plate types and reference typical baseplate details for each type, or for complex baseplates we indicate a specific detail. The family flexes to the different typical types / bolt patterns and is much better than just including that information as dump parameters in a parameter of the building column.



Information on Anchor rod, Grout bed, whatever can be added to the baseplate family and scheduled.


I've considered submitting an AU class on this but always end up being really busy at submission time. I hope this helps though.



We need to be able to change the height of the "Column Location" row.


@MOR-ConorMacken , I see this as a software issue and reported it several months ago to Autodesk, so far there has been no action taken. We had a 2.5 million sq foot building that really showed how broken this was. We had to make the schedule a whole page high just to get around this error.

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask the community or share your knowledge.

Submit Idea  

Autodesk Design & Make Report

Autodesk Design & Make Report