Hidden Keys

Door schedules are the bane of most techs. Nobody I know likes to fill one out. While Revit does make the job simpler by automatically adding the doors as you insert them; there is another hidden tool that Revit has that can speed things up.

Keys are a great way to add in commonly used door hardware to fill out your schedules faster and (most importantly) accurately. I was never shown keys when I took the Revit training course. I was never even told about them. I happened to stumble across them when I was looking through the Help file for another topic. Yes I actually read the help file now and then.

Here’s how keys work.

  • Create new key schedule for doors. This is different from a regular door schedule. Check out the Autodesk User Guide to see how to create one.
  • Open the door key style schedule and insert a new row for each type of door key style you will need. See the tips sections below.
  • Select a door in your drawing in the properties window you should see “Door Style” under the “Identity Data” section. This is a pulldown list showing the door key styles you created in the schedule.


  1. The Door Style pulldown list doesn’t appear in the door properties UNLESS you have a door key schedule in you project.
  2. Give the each row a good descriptive name. When picking from the pulldown list the name is all you see.
  3. Create only a few rows. You have to remember what each row does.
  4. Add only “common” used hardware to the door key schedule. Do not include all hardware only the most used stuff. Why? When you apply a door key to the door all the hardware in the door key schedule will appear ‘greyed out’ (even if the hardware item is blank). You won’t be able to edit it unless you remove the door key. So if only a few doors use door viewers, it is better to leave that item out of the door key schedule. See the image below.

Door properties with keys

Now you don’t want to create a door key for every kind of door in your project. That would make it confusing when selecting the proper door key. Also each door can only have one key assigned to it so you have to be clever about how you design your keys. Here’s a method I came up with to help me decide:

  1. Get a schedule from a past project that is similar to the one you are working on.
  2. Hold a straight edge down each column in your schedule. Any hardware that appears on less than 5 doors should not be included in the key schedule.

See you next time

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Revit and Building Information Modeling