Tuesday, December 8, 2015


I don't often do "tips & tricks" but this one came up at the office recently and I thought it was worth sharing.  One of my colleagues was having difficulty controlling the lineweight of a wall sweep.

His first thought was to use Object Styles (good idea, control all the section views from one place)  There is a subcategory there that looks like it will do the job.  You might be wondering why it says "cornice" but maybe it's just one of Revit's many naming inconsistencies.  Sadly that doesn't seem to have any effect on our sweep.  "Strange" you say to yourself.

Next you might try an element over-ride just to rule out some wierd possibilities like graphic cards or whatever.  That works fine, you can change colour and lineweight just like any other element.  Of course you don't want to have to select every sweep in every view and pick a new lineweight, so what about using a filter ?

As far as I can see there is no way to select a type of wall sweep using a filter.  Wall sweeps don't show up in the categories list for filters, and if you try selecting walls that have "Sweep" in their type name, that doesn't do it either.

What starts to give the secret away is that wall sweeps do respond to the basic object-style settings for walls.  Which is fine most of the time, but let's say you want the sweep to have a thinner line weight than the wall it sits on, what then ?  And what is the purpose of that sub-category called "Wall Sweep - Cornice" if the wall sweeps aren't assigned to it ?  and what would we do with more that we might invent along the same lines, like "Wall Sweep - Copings" or "Wall Sweep - Dado Rail" ?

So now the penny drops.  Maybe we have to consciously assign our sweeps to a subcategory (you think?)   And this turns out to be the missing piece of the puzzle.  Furthermore it's a TYPE property of Wall Sweeps.  So for each type of sweep you can choose a subcategory to associate it with.  But by default all sweeps sit in the root category for walls, aka the <none> subcategory ... and they respond to that, along with all the system wall types.

Why is this confusing?  Is it in fact confusing for many users?  How could it be made easier to discover?  Interesting questions and I'm not sure I have the answers.  It would be possible to put the default sweep into the subcategory where you might expect it to be, but would that help much?  Where would new types that you make go? (by default)

Perhaps, when you make a new sweep type Revit should ask us whether we want to assign it to a subcategory.  Would this be annoying?  Would we need another of those little tick boxes that say, hide this message in future?

Just in case you thought I was going to do a whole post without mentioning Project Soane ... my sample profiles where extracted from the Bank and while I was at it I decided to make a little collection, gathering things together from the various files and families.  It's not complete yet, surprising how many different profiles have been generated, many of them done as sketches at the time and being upgraded to profile families as I collect them.

The mouldings at the base of Tivoli Corner were originally provided by Paul Aubin way back at the beginning.  I seem to remember him pointing out that it was just a first rough draft but I had never zoomed in close.  Turns out that the curves were represented by straight lines and when I stopped to think about it the profiles were too deep.  He had quickly traced over a portion of drawing where the mouldings are at an angle to the viewer.  The resolution of the drawing is not so hot, but I did my best to interpret it and upgrade the mouldings.

That's it for now.  I'll make the profiles collection available when it's more complete.



  1. Hi Andy,

    I found a way to easily filter wall sweeps, and want to share it with everyone because it's such a key tool.

    The way to do it is to select the wall sweep, let's say a skirting, and break it into parts. Nothing happens to it graphically, but one is now able to create a Parts Filter, and filter wall sweeps using the "Original Type' parameter which is the original sweep family type name. Now you're able to hide, change the appearance and schedule your skirtings, conrnices etc!

    The other great thing about breaking it into parts, is that toggling the Part Visibility between Show Original and Show Parts in a view will toggle the wall sweeps in their original and 'overwritten by filter' visibility respectively.

  2. Thanks John, that's an interesting work-around which I will try out when I get a chance. Always something new to learn wth Revit :)

  3. Andy,
    thanks for this - but am I correct in thinking you control the sweep visiblity/appearance (apart from material) once the sweep is embedded within a wall type?

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