Category: Revit, Visibility

Controlling Visibility in Linked Revit Models

I work with a lot of MEP engineers and contractors. So one of the first steps in setting up a project is linking in the architectural model. Then I typically get a question like “how do I turn all this stuff off?!” 😊 Well, let’s take a look!

Controlling Visibility in Link-Specific Categories

Let’s start with the easy things. The visibility of categories that are specific to the link can be turned off in the Visibility/Graphic Overrides dialog, on the Model Categories tab. Here’s what I mean by link-specific…if it’s an architectural model, then architecture-specific categories, such as Furniture, Furniture Systems, Parking, Site, and so on. If you do not want to show elements in that category, simply uncheck the checkbox in the Visibility column. Just make sure that you do not turn off a category that you need to show in your view, such as Lighting Fixtures in your lighting views. That would fall under a shared category.

Controlling Visibility in Shared Categories

Shared categories are those that are shared between the host model and the linked model. This is not a Revit term, just a way to think about how to control the visibility. Some examples are Lighting Fixtures, Air Terminals, Plumbing Fixtures, and so on. Any category that you do not want to show in the link but need to show in the host model must be handled differently. You will need to use the Revit Links tab in the Visibility/Graphic Overrides dialog.

On the Revit Links tab, click the button in the Display Settings column next to the link. Initially the button will display By Host View.

This opens the RVT Link Display Settings dialog. If you open this dialog and begin to panic, thinking that there are hundreds of additional controls you have to figure out, just relax! It’s really not that bad. While there are some new controls on the Basics tab, the other tabs are almost identical to those in the Visibility/Graphic Overrides dialog. Be aware that when By host view is selected on the Basics tab, then all the other view settings on the tab and on the other tabs will be unavailable – they are grayed out.

In order to adjust the visibility of categories for just the link, you will need to select Custom on the Basics tab. When you do, the view settings on the Basics tab become available. However, you don’t need to make any adjustments here – at least not for what we are talking about now. Next, switch to the Model Categories tab. When you do, you will notice that all the settings are unavailable. This is because the Model categories setting at the top is initially set to <By host view>. Expand this drop-down and select <Custom>. Once you do, all the settings will become available, and you can finally turn off categories for just the linked Revit model! If there are other categories of elements that you want to turn off, you can switch to the other tabs and repeat the process.

TIP: If you don’t know the category of the element in the link, you can hover your cursor over the element and press TAB until it highlights. Then click to select it and look in the Properties palette to find the category. If it’s not working then check your selection settings and make sure Select Links, Select Underlay Elements, and Select Pinned Elements are enabled.

The visibility of categories that are specific to the link can be turned off in the Visibility/Graphic Overrides dialog, on the Model Categories tab. Any category that you do not want to show in the link but need to show in the host model must be handled differently. You will need to use the Revit Links tab in the Visibility/Graphic Overrides dialog.

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