Elevation Tags… So Close!

I have been working on the next Udemy course, Datum & Reference Graphics, and thought I would share some progress and insights, along with a frustration.

D Elevation

I have managed to get an Exterior Elevation symbol that looks like one would expect an Exterior Elevation to look.






D Elevation Angled

But when placed at an angle, of course it rotates.







D Section

What I want is for the elevation to behave like a section, where the arrow rotates, but the text and dividing line don’t. This is handled in the Section by way of the “magic line”, which has a parameter for Rotate with Section.






Magic Line (Cropped)

And yes, if you change the Category of your Section Head to Elevation Mark, you can copy that line into your Elevation Mark family, and the Rotates with Section property is intact. Hmm, half way there?

(Click to open the image in a new window and see what I am talking about)




Now, along with these Documents type graphics, I have been working on some Presentation families.

P Elevation

These are simplified graphics, and in this case for small format (11×17, etc) sheets with only one view per sheet, they only show the sheet number.






P Elevation Angled

Initially these where misbehaving on the angle as well. But with the 2012 Elevations, there is a setting…






P Elevation settings (Cropped)

…called Fixed Rotation. This is the same setting you use on the label in the pointer family to create the usual Revit Interior Elevation tag.






P Elevation Angled - revised

It ensures that the text at the pointer stays upright as it rotates. Woot, and maybe with the magic line we have a solution?







NOPE! Unfortunately, while the magic line does copy, it does not show up in an elevation. And the labels remain bottom read as we want, but they rotate around the origin of the family rather than staying stationary as we need them to. Damn, so close, and yet thwarted in the end.





The Presentation version works because the label is centered on the origin. Which has me thinking… I have never liked the traditional symbol anyway, it lists the detail number first, then the sheet number, which is dumb because you need to get to the sheet first, then use the detail number. American addresses are backwards too. We put the street number before you even get to the street. The Germans have this right, street first then number, they just change street names every 500 meters which is crazy. But I digress. The point is, IF you have a single label centered on your tag, it will behave as expected. And one convention I have always liked is to put the sheet number and detail number together, so A7.1/1 or A7.1-1. With the concatenation of multiple parameters in one label that is now possible in Revit, this may just work.


I am doing this now in a large format presentation symbol, for boards where you have more than one view on each board.





P Large Format

This references Board 1, View 5. Works a treat. It’s nice and large so you can read it from a distance, and uses a very heavy lineweight too. Snazzy, if I do say so myself.






So maybe we can get closer to graceful, we just have to abandon the familiar graphic to get there. But since the familiar graphic was backwards and ugly anyway…
Will be trying that sooner rather than later for sure.

For those who just have to have the same look you had in AutoBAD and hand drafting, not much of an option. That nasty rotated thing up top is as close as you can get. Better than the square OOTB box symbols to be sure, but still not what we are looking for. Maybe the Factory will read this and give us the elevation symbology we wanted all along? Crossed fingers.