Part Two. Revit

Chapter 10. Set grids, levels, dimensions, & building columns

Session Objectives

Upon completing this session, students will be able to:

  • (CO 1) Import CAD drawings- Floor plans, building elevations, and sections
  • (CO 2) Adjust and verify the scale
  • (CO 3) Create and modify grids and levels
  • (CO 4) Create plan views- Floors and ceilings
  • (CO 5) Create columns

 Session Highlights

At the end of the session, students can create the graphics below.

It shows the Session highlight presenting the column grids and columns. This is the expected result at the end of this lecture.

 Lecture Contents

(CO 1) Import Drawings- Floor plans, building elevations, and sections

Prepare Drawings before import CAD drawings

  • [STEP 1] Open Revit application > Open your project > Double-click [LEVEL 1] from [PROECT BROWSER] > Close all other views except [LEVEL 1]
  • [STEP 2] Select [SITE] information including the property line, trees, and neighborhood buildings > Mouse right-click on one of the selected elements > select [HIDE IN VIEW] > Select [ELEMENTS] or [CATEGORY]
    It indicates how to open the model and hide other elements that will not be used for level 1.

It shows the views that hide unrelated information.

Insert drawings

In this tutorial, we will practice how to add an image (drawing) to the view. You can insert CAD files and PDF files

  • [STEP 1] Select [IMPORT IMAGE] from [INSERT] tab, under [IMPORT] panel
    Note. Revit can import various file types – dwg, dxf, pdf, jpg, tif, rvt, and more
    Note. For this project, I will use [tif] files
    It indicates how to import image drawing.
  • [STEP 2] Find the folder where the drawings are saved > select the floor plan > click [OPEN] > place the imported image on the view [LEVEL 1]

Repeat this process for FLOOR PLAN – LEVEL 2, ELEVATION – EAST, WEST, NORTH, SOUTHNote. The imported image will only show on the view where you placed.
Note. To use the image file that you imported for your other level like [LEVEL 2]. Click [MANAGE LINKS] > Click [IMAGES] tab > Click the image that you loaded in the model > Click [PLACE INSTANCE]
It indicates how to import image drawing using manage links

(CO 2) Adjust and verify the scale

Confirm the scale and position of the imported drawings

If the imported image/CAD file/PDF is in the right scale and position, skip this one, but double-check for your accuracy

  • [STEP 1] Select imported image > click [SCALE] from [MODIFY] tab, under [MODIFY] panel
    It indicates how to scale change of the imported drawing
  • [STEP 2] Click the first point that you know the dimension. I will use the overall building dimension (58’-7”). You may also use a graphic scale if you have one
    You need to zoom in to select the first point in the middle of the dimension line.
    It shows the scale change of the imported drawing to zoom in to find the point to dimensioning.
  • [STEP 3] Click the second point
  • [STEP 4] Type the dimension [58’7”] and press [Enter] key
  • [STEP 5] Zoom out to see the position
    It shows the location of the imported image that must relocate to match the building footprint.
  • [STEP 6] Move the drawing to match the base drawing. You can use a specific point to match the drawing to the base Revit model that you created
    It shows the relocated imported drawing.

You may need to change the graphic display to [WIREFRAME] to see the image behind the model

It shows the import drawings for all views.

(CO 3) Create and modify grids and levels

Create grids

  • [STEP 1] Open [LEVEL 1] view
  • [STEP 2] Select [GRID] from [ARCHITECTURE] tab, under [DATUM] panel
  • [STEP 3] Using the straight-line selection, hover over the view near the west wall until it becomes highlighted in the center of the wall and an “X” appears
    It shows the location of the first grid and guideline.
  • [STEP 4] Click the first point and click the second point to complete the gridline 1
  • [STEP 5] To complete the remaining gridlines, you can copy or continue drawing gridlines based on the imported image
  • [STEP 6] To copy, select the Revit gridline 1 that you just made. Select the Copy tool and click a point and specify the second point to the next grid line
  • [STEP 7] Also you should use dimension [DI] to specify the distance between gridlines
    It shows the grid dimensions.
  • [STEP 8] Continue to copy all North/South gridlines
  • [STEP 9] If the grid bubble and numbers are too big, you can update the view scale by clicking scale. For the Eames House project, use 3/8” = 1’-0”
    It indicates how to update the scale for changing grid symbol size.
  • [STEP 10] Create a Horizontal new grid for East/West. And Update the Grid name to [A] and complete East/West grids
    It indicates how to change the number to the letter of the grid symbol.
  • [STEP 11] Your gridlines and dimensions can be locked
    It shows the locked grid symbol and dimensions.
  • [STEP 12] Open [NORTH] view and adjust the grid line heights by dragging and drop the edge of the grid line. And repeat this for [WEST] view
    It indicates how to adjust grid line.

Create and Modify levels

  • [STEP 1] We will now make Levels. Begin by navigating to the [SOUTH] elevation in the Project Browser.
    • Adjust the length of the level by dragging and drop the edge of the level line
    • Repeat this for [EAST] elevation view
  • [STEP 2] After you have confirmed that Levels 1 & 2 are set to the correct elevation, you can add additional levels. To adjust the elevation number, click on the number and type in the correct elevation.
    Note: Level 2 will be [9’-7”] higher than Level 1.
    It indicates how to adjust the level height.
  • [STEP 3] Add a roof level.
    • Select [LEVEL] from [ARCHITECTURE] tab, under [DATUM] panel
      Or, type [LL]
    • Click the left corner of the level and click the second point to finish the command
    • Rename [Roof] > Click OK in the window pop-up and change the view name accordingly
    • Adjust the height to [18′ 5 1/2″]
  • [STEP 4] If you copy (CO)the level from the existing level, the view will not be created. Create Ground and Level 1 top (Black symbol)
    It shows the resulting image after adding levels.
  • [STEP 5] Update the view scales
    • 3/16” = 1’-0” for all elevations
    • 3/8” = 1’-0” for floor plans and ceiling plans
      It shows the resulting image after updating drawing scales.

(CO 4) Create plan views- Floors and ceilings

Currently, you have what you need. When you add a new level [LL], the views automatically created. If you made the view by coping existing levels [CO], you have to create new views for the level

  • [STEP 1] Select [PLAN VIEWS]
  • [STEP 2] Select [FLOOR PLAN] if you need a floor plan
  • [STEP 3] Select [NAME OF THE LEVEL] and click [OK], then you can find the view from [PROJECT BROWSER]

If you need additional plans for furniture plans, power, and data plans, and finish plans, you need to duplicate the view by mouse-right clicking and select duplicate view > duplicate

Note, there are three options for duplicating views. Please refer to this link for further explanation

(CO 5) Create columns

We will now add columns beginning on the Ground level

  • [STEP 1] Under the Architecture tab on the Ribbon select Structural Column.
    It indicates how to select the structural column tool from the ribbons.
  • [STEP 2] Select the 5” x 5” column.
    Note: an existing column family may need to be edited to create this size by clicking [EDIT TYPE] > Click [DUPLICATE] > add name [W5x 5] > click [OK] > update width and height to 5”
    It indicates what to edit type to 6X6 column.
  • [STEP 3] Confirm the Base Level is set to Ground and the Top Level is set to Roof
  • [STEP 4] Place a column on your [LEVEL 1]
  • [STEP 5] It will be necessary to Move [MV] and Copy [CO] the Revit columns to align as shown on the imported floor plan and the grid that you created

Hide the imported drawing image to confirm all columns are properly placed

Type [TL] to see the thick lines for print
It shows the resulting image after adding columns.

SAVE the file before closing the application.

Save in a different location for the backup (e.g., a cloud folder)


Autodesk.Help. (2007, September 13). About Duplicating Views in Revit. Retrieved October 22, 2020, from