the View – part 2

As promised last week, I’ll be covering more on the view and still nothing on Whoopi Goldberg. A few more items that I have found aren’t taught in Revit classes are scope boxes, design option, phases and I’m also going to touch on worksets even though worksets are usually covered in a Revit course.

Scope Boxes

A scope box is a 3D object in Revit, just a simple box really. Like reference planes you can assign a distinct name to scope boxes. In fact, Revit does this automatically when you create a scope box but you can rename it. In addition to the regular visibility setting, scope boxes can also be hidden in views through their properties. Just select the scope box and click the “Edit” button next to “Views Visible” in the Properties Palette. A list of all the views in the project will appear and you can override whether or not the scope box is visible in that view.

So what are they for? Scope boxes are good for limiting the extents of objects like reference planes, levels, grid lines and annotations like sections and elevations. When you select one of these objects on of the rows under the “Extents” heading will say “Scope Box” next to it is a pull down lost of all the scope boxes you’ve created. When you select one the extents of that object will be bound the the extents of the scope box. When you increase the size of the scope box, the extents of all the items bound to that scope ox will increase as well. The most common use is to limit the extents of grid lines and levels to a single wing of a large building.

Scope boxes can also be included in design options and worksets, but not phases.


Most of you are probably familiar with worksets for their function of letting multiple users work on a single project. I have also found they are handy for providing an extra set of visibility options. For example, when doing interior design drawings after the architectural drawings have been completed. Often model lines are added to walls and floors to indicate finish patterns and extents. However, it isn’t always desirable to have these appear on the architectural drawings. When the decor workset is created there is a check box when you are prompted for the workset name that says “Visible in all views” next to it. If unchecked when the workset is created, the workset will turned off in all views by default. Then you can just turn the workset on in the interior design drawings you create after and all the architectural drawings are unchanged.

Design Options

Design options are similar to worksets. These are used for creating multiple design to the same part of a building. An example would be if the client wanted to see what the house looked like with a gable and a cottage roof. In the visibility setting of each view a Design Option tab will appear (after your first design option is created). You can set which design option should be visible in each view. There are 2 option: Automatic and a design option. Automatic will display whichever design option you have set to primary, other wise you can select a specific design option to display.

Just a word of caution. Design options can be frustrating. To use them you must move the elements you have created into a design option and then edit them within the design option. However, when moving an item like a wall into a design option, anything hosted by that wall (doors, windows, wall mounted equipment) must also be moved into the design option. This includes wall sweeps as well and since wall sweeps can be continuous across multiple walls you can see how this can become frustrating. The sweep must be cut before the wall can be added or you can end up adding all the exterior walls to the design option.


Again I’m not going into the specifics of how to setup these items. The Online Help does a good enough job of that. I’m just trying to document some of the items the Help file doesn’t cover. Also apologies if this post is a little disorganized, it was a busy work week and I didn’t have time to double check it.

See you next week.

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Revit and Building Information Modeling