Solutions from Synergis: Many Ways to Copy Details

8 Sep, 2006 By: Peter Gehring

Copy and Paste in Autodesk Revit Building 9.

Those familiar with AutoCAD and other applications are usually well versed in using Copy and Paste commands to avoid duplicating effort within files or across files. Because I'm not a fast typist, I use many techniques to copy and paste text from one application or dialog box to another. Almost always, typing Ctrl+C to copy and then Ctrl+V to paste usually works.

Autodesk Revit Building has similar options to copy (and cut) annotation and model elements from view to view, and from project to project.

Avoid Rework
Let's begin with some examples that can help you avoid retyping or browsing when entering information in Revit dialog box cells. Many times when setting materials to wall types or family types, you may have the same material applied to multiple components. Instead of selecting the browse arrow to get the same material you applied to a different component, you can highlight the entry in the material cell, select Ctrl+C and then select the destination cell and type Ctrl+V (figure 1). This also works when using the same dimension values or other similar element or type parameters in the property cells.


Figure 1. You can easily copy and paste information from one dialog box to another.

One of the great things about Revit is that text, tags and dimensions are view specific. Usually this is a good thing, but what about when you need the same annotation on similar views? You can select the annotation objects in one view, select Ctrl+C or select Copy to Clipboard from the Edit pull-down menu (figure 2).

Figure 2. To copy annotation objects in one view, select Ctrl+C or Copy to Clipboard from the Edit pull-down.

Then go to the destination view and select Paste Aligned / Current View (figure 3). If the view is a different scale, the annotation will scale accordingly. You can also paste the annotation to multiple views at once by selecting Paste Aligned / Select Views by Name.

Figure 3. Once copied, go to the destination view and select Past Aligned / Current View.

The Paste Aligned command is also a great way to move repeating model elements and components from floor to floor in multi-story buildings. When selecting Paste Aligned / Levels by Name you can use Ctrl or Shift to select multiple levels.

To copy similar fenestration from floor to floor you can also Copyclip from one view and then Paste Aligned using the select Levels by Name option. If you are in an elevation view and have copy clipped the windows, you can use the Paste Aligned / Pick Level Graphics option to select a level line in the drawing window with the mouse cursor. This method only lets you select one level and then it ends the command.

The Paste Aligned option / Same Place pastes the copied elements at the same coordinates that you copied them from. This is a good technique for copying objects from one workset or design option to another within a project, or between projects that have shared coordinate systems.

Revit lets you copy object styles, such as wall types and annotation types, from project to project with the Transfer Project Standards command on the View pull-down menu. One limitation of this technique is that if you transfer wall types, it brings all the wall types from the source file to your destination file. If you just want to copy only one specific wall type from another project, you can Copyclip a wall instance of that type (figure 4), and paste it into another project. It brings that wall instance as well as importing its wall type (figure 5).

Figure 4. To copy one wall type, Copyclip a wall instance from the source project.

Figure 5. Then paste it into the destination project.

You can then delete the instance and the type is still be present. Using this technique, you can use multiple selections on different objects and object types and paste (Ctrl+V or Paste from Clipboard) them into your destination project. Keep an eye on the Options Bar when you do this. You need to left-pick a point in the drawing screen to paste the copied objects and select Finish or Quit on the Options Bar to complete the action. If you are pasting a selected group of objects, you can select Edit Pasted Elements from the Options Bar to modify the copied objects before finishing. This opens up the Edit Pasted mode on the Design Bar. The main use for this is to make sure pasted elements find the right host in the destination project.

The copied and pasted objects also import any assigned and subordinate types, such as materials and profiles. If the destination project has the same profiles and materials, you see the Duplicate Types message (figure 6).

Figure 6. If the destination project has the same profiles and materials, you'll see this warning.

Copying and pasting a curtain wall across projects is a good way to get System Mullion Profiles from project to project.

You can also copy 2D elements in drafting views from one project and paste them into a drafting view in another project (figure 7).

Figure 7. It's also easy to copy 2D elements in drafting views from one project to another.

Revit Building 9 has more automatic ways to do this with the Save to Library and Insert from Library commands. If you looked at your undo list after these commands, you see that the commands are really using copy and paste in the background.

About the Author: Peter Gehring

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