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Revit Legend Component Sizing

Revit Legend Component Sizing

When adding an elevation view of a curtain panel (door/window/etc), there should be an option to adjust the height and length of the component, not just "Host Length".  This way we can show doors as the correct size, such as 3'-0" x 8'-0" or 6'-0" x 9'-0".  We now have to draw this type of door on the legend because we cannot make it look correct.  This can introduce errors if the door family were to change.

28 Comments
JADAstudio
Collaborator

Lots of room for improvement as far as legend components go. Not being able to change the size of a legend component is one of the big missing features. Would also like to see the ability to tag and place callouts (sections, details, etc.) on legend components.

fabiosato
Mentor

Another nice feature is the possibility to rotate the component.

A couple of times I needed to change the lighting fixture orientation in the family editor to make it appears in the legend in the proper orientation!

Gary_J_Orr
Collaborator

Add my support to this...

When placing a component in a legend one should be able to adjust any instance parameter that exists in the originating family/type.

 

And don't forget the ability to tag these items as mentioned in a previous comment.

 

This item should also be combined with this one:

http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/revit-ideas/dimensions-to-system-families-in-legends/idi-p/6324499

 

The result should be: better, usable, legends

lionel.kai
Advisor
AnthonyViscusi
Advocate

We effectively need a "virtual environment" similar to the common workaround which is to create two additional phases BEFORE the existing phase.  This allows you to completely document model content as you wish.  All of that should be avoided by just allowing "legend components" to be placed in the same manner as real components on a "virtual canvas" and documented thus.

sasha.crotty
Community Manager
Status changed to: Under Review

Thanks for your submission and votes on this idea!  We are evaluating where this request falls into our roadmap and will provide an update when we have made a decision.  

 

The Factory

sburca
Advocate

I would also like to be able to have curtainwall doors show up reasonably in a legend. I mean more than a 3' high broken family. I always have to do a workaround with all my curtainwall doors.

adam.jw
Advocate

Just bandwagoning on to others requests. Adjusting the size is just one aspect of how legends could be improved.

 

If we were given more flexible legends, the "Phase-farm" may go the way of the dodo bird.

 

1. Rotate the component

2. Change the size of the component

3. Change the instance parameters of the component

4. Transfer project standards-ability of Legends

 

Etc.

 

Excited to see more dev work on legends!!!! Go Revit!

harlan_brumm
Autodesk
Status changed to: Archived

Thanks for your submission and for voting on this idea and thanks to everyone for the comments as well.  After evaluating this idea, we have decided not to add this to our roadmap and to archive this idea.  This idea currently does not fit into our plans.  Please feel free to resubmit the idea and we will be happy to consider it again.

The Factory

pieter5
Advisor

@harlan_brumm

 

A little surprised that this one got archived actually. Could the factory comment on why it is this idea does not fit into the roadmap. Is there perhaps al alternative for legends being considered? Given the many workarounds for legends and the problems/limitations they cause (just to a short google search for revit legend) we feel it's obvious that there's a lot of room for improvement here.

 

 If we understand the reasons for archiving this idea we might be able to offer better suggestions.

pieter5
Advisor

@harlan_brumm 

 

Little reminder. We had a scenario today where better legends would have been very helpful. Could the factory comment on why this idea was archived so we can submit better ideas for improving legends?

lionel.kai
Advisor

@pieter5 If you look at Autodesks' roadmap, it's very short-sighted. I get the impression that if they aren't planning on working on it in the next few months (next release) or 1 year max, they don't want to hear about it. I think that's why they have the system in place: we spend a bunch of time trying to get an idea to their attention, they reject the stuff they don't want to work on now, and tell us to start over again (so by the time it accumulates enough votes, they might be willing to work on it). It has NOTHING to do with whether or not the feature is actually needed or useful, it's more about if it's "small" and "EASY to implement" (read their suggestions on submitting ideas).

 

Marketing is a big factor also. Steel connections are a big deal (for fabricators, etc.), but when it comes to expanding that to more general connections (that would help with our Construction Documents, but wouldn't affect fabricators) - that's not even on the radar! They're pushing for more market share from fabricators, but for the AEC guys that already own the software: there's no need (because there's a phase-based workaround).

 

Vote up the legend ideas (linked above) anyway, and create new ideas (small & separate - there could probably be 5 or more from what's on this page) and link to them on this thread (so the rest of us can vote on it), and hope that Autodesk changes one day... 🙂

harlan_brumm
Autodesk

 Hi all,

 

@pieter - Sorry about the delay in not replying sooner.  Our goal is to be transparent and honest about our roadmap and plans and you and the community deserve more details about this decision.

 

Legends in general are a low priority for us right now.  The reason for this isn’t straight forward, but has to do with our current investments, our long term strategy for Revit, and the use of this workflow overall.  

 

I’ll try and dive into a bit of the reasoning. 

 

For the first, our current work is focused on creating complex geometry simply, modernizing our user interface, automating tedious workflows (leveraging Dynamo), and connecting our wider portfolio of products together.  We also are focused on strengthening the core of Revit with higher quality and stability.  You can read more about this on our roadmap (www.autodesk.com/revitroadmap).  From our perspective, at least right now, working on Legends doesn’t really it into any of these areas.

 

For the second item, we are looking long term at the AEC industry and the future of how things will be made and how Revit will fit into that future.  Right now, working with legends in Revit isn’t an area we see as a focus for how things will be built in the future.  Things like machine learning, VR/AR, fabrication level of detail, and leveraging the cloud for computation and data would fall into this area.     

 

Last, legends are a lower priority for us because of how they fit into the overall workflow for a project.  There are lots of items in Revit that need attention, and many seem more valuable for completing a project with Revit.

 

Taking into account all three of these factors, we made the decision we would archive this idea and focus on other items.  While all three of this factors could be argued (and I am sure will be), we want to be transparent and open to the conversation about these factors and decisions.  One of the hardest things we have to do is decide on what not to do. 

 

One of the main reasons for archiving an idea is that we hope by doing so we will allow a 3rd party developer or partner to fill this gap with the Revit API or perhaps with Dynamo because they will know that we are not going to be working on it ourselves. 

 

I hope this description of why we archived this idea and why legends are lower on our list sparks some thoughts and conversation and that it helps you understand our current reasoning.   

pieter5
Advisor

Harlan,

 

Thank you for giving us more insight. I understand the reasoning behind the current priorities etc. 

 

That said, to your point 2: I do think that "a place, outside of the project, to document elements" (broad definition of legends) will remain important in the future. 

 

Is it possible for 3rd party developers to use the API to develop a legends functionality in Revit? Would they be able to work around the current limitations (allowing for component sizing, changing instance parameters in the legends, taggings, showing plan/elevation/rcp/3d elements in legends for all elements, etc...)? In that case: I really think there could be a market for a reasonably priced plugin.

 

 

JADAstudio
Collaborator
I think it's great that Autodesk is pursuing its vision of the future. It's extremely disheartening that this comes at the expense of improvements that would impact usability and productivity today.
lionel.kai
Advisor

@harlan_brumm Thank you very much for the response. It was very helpful to read the following (as, actually, it is NOT explicitly stated in the road map, at least anywhere that I see):


@harlan_brumm wrote:

...our current work is focused on creating complex geometry simply, modernizing our user interface, automating tedious workflows (leveraging Dynamo), and connecting our wider portfolio of products together.  We also are focused on strengthening the core of Revit with higher quality and stability. ...


I think this should be stated in many more places. I've definitely been shocked at times by things that are NOT exposed to the API or Dynamo, so I'm looking forward to significant improvement. Also, knowing the above is especially helpful (for the future) when I consider posting what I think is a very simple and easy to implement (for Autodesk) idea, such as:

 

https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/revit-ideas/add-a-quot-fixed-distance-minimize-number-of-joists-quot-...

https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/revit-ideas/add-a-quot-centered-space-quot-justification-option-for-b...

 

Now I know that Autodesk instead expects me to create two (maybe even three) complex add-ins or Dynamo scripts for that functionality, that probably would need to be manually run (initially, and every time something changes), even though it would "Optimize designs for best results." and "Boost productivity by automating tasks.(as your roadmap DOES say).

 

Also,


@harlan_brumm wrote:

...we are looking long term at the AEC industry and the future of how things will be made and how Revit will fit into that future.  Right now, working with legends in Revit isn’t an area we see as a focus for how things will be built in the future.  Things like machine learning, VR/AR, fabrication level of detail, and leveraging the cloud for computation and data would fall into this area. ...


Your comment confirmed what I felt a this year's AU: Autodesk is focusing a LOT of effort on extreme use cases and ignoring the every-day AEC professionals - you know, the ones that produce CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS and build stud walls by SWINGING A HAMMER (or nail gun), NOT by pressing a button on a robot that does it for them. I'm not sure WHEN you (Autodesk) think this "future" is going to get here, but considering that it was thought that robots would replace people decades ago, I'm pretty sure it will be 50 years or more before it has any significant impact on 90% of the jobs that we do. So until then, you expect us to just put up with all issues in this GREEN piece of software? Or will you just make the changes if (when) someone makes a competing (better) piece of software?

 

Don't get me wrong, the stuff you mention is very cool. We're starting to use point clouds in our projects (through laser scans as well as photogrammetry), and I'd love to see easy VR/AR. But we're not fabricators. An engineer that used to work with us produced some routines for ME10 that would automatically create hundreds of rebar shop drawing PDFs very quickly, but it never caught on because that (creating shop drawings) is not our BUSINESS. I AM happy to see more effort in steel connections - not because we produce shop drawings for the steel beams, but because we see the connections in our construction document DETAILS. That's also why I want to see the steel connections expanded to other materials (see https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/revit-ideas/structural-connection-improvment/idi-p/6618496) - so it's easier to "Efficiently create information that captures design intent.as your roadmap DOES say.


@harlan_brumm wrote:

One of the main reasons for archiving an idea is that we hope by doing so we will allow a 3rd party developer or partner to fill this gap with the Revit API or perhaps with Dynamo because they will know that we are not going to be working on it ourselves.


That's a great mechanism for developers to know Autodesk's intent (although I don't think that's communicated), and I do appreciate that (it's very helpful for developers to know what to work on, and what not to work on). It reminds me of the time (many years ago) when I considered (and began work on) a LISP routine in AutoCAD that helped automate General Notes creation. One or two versions later, AutoCAD finally implemented better (if not perfect) text handling which made our way of doing General Notes (with separate columns of text) obsolete, and I was very happy that I did NOT spend more effort investing in our "kludge" workaround for General Notes.

 

Ultimately, the reason we spend so much effort in submitting (and voting for) ideas is to help YOU (Autodesk) "Create a modern and effortless experience.(again, in your roadmap). It's very frustrating when it seems that Autodesk is telling us "Don't bother. Our plans for the future don't include you."

harlan_brumm
Autodesk

@pieter: To answer your question about the API explicitly for legend views: unfortunately, it is very limited in its current state, but the API for other view types and items is much more robust so it might be possible for a developer to actually use the overall Revit API to create "legends" that meet your requirements without actually using Revit's legend functionality - hopefully that makes sense :).  We'd be interesting in also hearing from developers (submit ideas! 🙂 ) on how we could improve our API so that we can address gaps that impact their ability to create add-ins that solve problems like this. 

 

@baumbach: Our goal is help users today and not just about the future - at the end of the day, our goal is to help architects and engineers get projects built.  It is a balance though to make sure we are adding value in the long term and now.  I know that saying we aren't going to do something is not what anyone wants to hear, but I hope that what we have accepted on the ideas site is valuable.  We really value feedback and thoughts on what we are doing and what we are not so please keep comments and contributing your thoughts and I will be here listening.     

 

@lionel.kai  I first do want to say thanks for taking the time and energy to reply.  We highly value your feedback and the energy and time you and everyone in our Revit community takes to submit ideas, vote and add comments.  That might not be as clear as it needs to be.  We are not perfect though and I know we can do better so we will keep working to do just that.    

 

One thing that greatly helps us with understanding the needs and requirements for any idea is getting a clear picture of the workflow and problem that we are solving and how that problem impacts the overall usage of Revit.  For this example, the comment above from @pieter5 about "a place, outside of the project, to document elements" is very interesting and something I'd like to hear more about why that is a important piece of what legends provide because it speaks to the root problem.  At a high level, understanding the problem is key to making sure we are focused on the right things and not just as they say "putting lipstick on a pig" :).       

lionel.kai
Advisor

@harlan_brumm Thank you for the response. I hope I didn't come off too harsh - finding out that we were missing a network license (since fixed), and learning of Autodesk's new subscription pricing structure to "encourage"(force) us into rentals (nothing that I hadn't already expected), and what seems to be a lack of movement on these ideas, had all combined to put me into a bit of a "ranty" mood. 🙂

 

So, even though we are always willing to consider better and/or cheaper alternatives to Revit as our primary production software, we are also very happy with what it can do now - we're just frustrated sometimes because there's still SO much untapped potential to be EVEN BETTER.

 

Regarding your other responses (on Legends in general & the API), improvements to the API are not currently needed (if they aren't for Legends) because the workaround to make a functional "legend" is to make a bunch of fake Phases and put your stuff in those (no Legends needed). To me, this isn't very Revit-y, but since there's an "acceptable" workaround, any improvements to REAL Legends get put on the back burner. I know that many Autodesk employees don't have real world experience, but I would think that it should be obvious why "a place, outside of the project, to document elements" would be needed. That said, we're more than happy to educate Autodesk on our needs and how we use the software, if they're willing to listen.

 

I also don't understand why it would be so hard to enable functionality that already exists in other areas of the software. Since Drafting Views are just "special" Plans with all the model-related elements (and functionality) turned off and hidden from the user (except for Reference Plane snapping, apparently Smiley Wink), I assume (but could be wrong) that Legends are similar "special" views where functionality is just being disabled and hidden.

 

Thanks,

 

Lionel

harlan_brumm
Autodesk

Hey Lionel,

 

Your not too harsh at all - in fact, you've been very civil.  I agree that there is still so much potential in Revit - if there wasn't life would be too boring for me :).  

 

The comment for me that was interesting about the elements is the "outside of the project" piece.  In my experience, legends can be standard things at most companies and most projects, but they always are in relation to working on a project itself or need to reference what is really in the project, so existing outside the project isn't normally what I hear a need for.  I could see a need for a library of a legends so to speak that sit outside the project so that it could be easily brought into a project environment (same need for schedule types so to speak), but I am curious if you see other uses for documenting element level details outside of a project environment more so than this...

 

I'm going to skip the "how hard can it be" question as much as I can as really how hard it is doesn't matter as much as what problem are we solving.  Hard is a relative term, myself trying to do this would be impossible (as I am not a developer) :).  One analogy I like to use though is that software in many ways in not dissimilar to working on a building project.  Only this building is being renovated and is fully in use at the same time.  Somethings might be small, like replacing a burnt out light bulb with a new one, but maybe one light bulb really needs a different electrical system and that require a entire electrical rewire and at the same time, all the lights in the building still need to work.  All that is seen is a new light bulb but behind the walls, the whole building was rewired...  I'm not saying that is the case here, but there are all types in between the two as well.  

 

-Harlan      

pieter5
Advisor

@harlan_brumm What I mean with outside the project is: a place where you can create objects that don't show up in the normal views, don't get counted in schedules, etc... These objects could be the same objects you've used in your projects (same wall types, same door types,...) and thus are in some way still connected to the project. It's just that these specific instances live outside of the normal project space.

 

Some scenario's where such a sandbox environment would help us in our daily workflow:

 

- Sometimes it's just too much work to model something exactly right. We had a very difficult terrace condition a while back. We modeled one correctly (spent a lot of time doing it) and used that in a 3d call out as an example but it would just be a huge time waste to model everything to that detail level. The problem was: every time that that particular terrace moved etc. we had to adjust our legends... Also, now we have one part of the model that was modeled way more detailed than other parts of the model, which does not feel BIM to us at all. This scenario happens much more than you would think: casework, kitchens, bathrooms are often times designed as "typicals". Big benefit: we would be able to copy these typicals to other projects. 

 

- Traditional legend scenario's: ADA examples (example you want the toilets in your legend to be the same toilets as in your general drawings so you can't rely on drafting views), Door legends, RCP Legends off all the ceilings used, typical mounting heights, 

 

- Having this environment would also allow you to use Revit in new ways. We could quickly create a legend and sketch out a "general idea". No longer would be have to rely solely on drafting views for this. We could quickly get a blank canvas and sketch a few walls, place some doors in it, etc.

 

- We would finally be able to create 3d typical details and share them between projects.

 

In my ideal world this is how a legend would work:

 

1) you would create a new legend

2) you get the options which views you want to add (similar to assemblies: floor, rcp, elevations, 3d etc)

3) these views can be placed on as many sheets as you want and would behave the same way as normal views: tagging, dimensions, changing instance properties, applying a view template... 

 

 

I can understand that this all may sound like an "old" workflow and that it will be less important in the feature of "how things are made" but I'm very confident that the practice would very much disagree with that idea. We would use this feature in literally all of our projects. Right now Revit projects are really an all or nothing thing: it's either part of the building or it has no place in your set. The reality of building things is a little bit more nuanced. 

 

The fact that people go to great lengths right now to try to create such a sandbox environment (hacking the phases for example) proves that there's a real need for this. The problem with all the workarounds is that they have huge downsides and are hard to manage. 

 

If there's genuine interest of the Revit team to look more in depth to this concept I'm sure me and other community members can provide tons of better real world examples but I want to make sure there's genuine interest before I spend my time 🙂

 

 

 

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