Friday, 11 July 2014

Selecting Individual Components Within a Revit Repeater

Repeaters in Revit are made up of an array of adaptive components that have been placed on one or more nodes of divided path/surfaces, and then arrayed using the Repeat command.  This can only be done within the Conceptual Massing Environment (CME) or the "Point World" as Andy Milburn refers to it - this means that it could be done in an external mass or adaptive family, or within an In-Place Mass family in a project. 

Once a repeater is created, Revit treats it as a single object, but you can also select individual components within the repeater. When you try to select a component, Revit will always go for the whole repeater by preference, and it can be tricky to actually select a number of individual components.  Here are some notes on the curious inconsistencies between different situations, and some hints on how to make the process easier.

Select Components Within a Repeater

  • You can hover the cursor over a component and press the TAB key to highlight it, before selecting it.  This is a standard Revit technique but it is not as easy as usual, particularly if you try to select more than one component - after picking the first component, when you press the Tab key it often highlights an element within the adaptive component or even a different component to the one that the cursor is on.
  • You cannot select components inside a repeater by dragging the cursor around them.
  • There is no command for selecting all the components in one row or column on the repeater.  It would be really useful if there was a method somewhat like selecting mullions on a curtain wall.
  • You can use the "Select All Instances" command by right-clicking on a selected component within a repeater - but it has some limitations (see next section):

Select All Instances

Different rules again, that you need to learn:
  • In the external mass family editor, you can right-click on a selected component within a repeater to pick all instances in the view or family.  This means that you could select and change multiple instances - particularly useful for resetting all back to the default family type.
  • In a project, In-Place mass (edit mode) - If you select one of components in the repeater, then right-click, both Select All Instances options are greyed out - this is seriously restrictive as this would be the most useful situation to be able to change multiple instances, particularly by view.  
  • In-Place mass (edit mode) - If you select the family type from the Project Browser, then Select All Instances you get different results, depending on what you try to do:
    • If you select a type that has been used in the active mass family, then Select All Instances Visible in View will be available - however, it just selects the whole repeater as a single entity (not the components within it) 
    • If you select a type that has not been used in the active mass family, then Select All Instances Visible in View will not be available
    • Select All Instances in Entire Project will be available whichever type you select - and it does select individual components. However, it will also select instances outside of the active mass in the project - seriously restricting what you can do
    • None of the element properties are available - this is because it selects the repeater as well as the individual components.
    • Try reducing the selection by excluding the repeater - it then displays some of the system parameters (comments and Mark), but the type selector is greyed out, even if this type has not been used elsewhere in the project. 
  • In a project, but outside the in-place mass editing environment, you can Select All Instances in Entire Project only. This means it will select components inside repeaters within in-place masses for which you cannot change the selected components to another type (because they are inside a mass) - unless you edit the mass.  It is a "Catch 22" situation.

So the end result of all this is that in a project (in-place mass) you have to select them all individually.  This can be a slow and tedious process, but there is one way to improve it slightly:

Hot Tip

The best way to quickly pick a number of components is to select the whole repeater, then isolate it in the view - then it is much easier to individually select each component in the repeater (usually no need to tab-select)
Once you have selected multiple instances of components within a repeater, you may want to change some of their properties - refer to Repeater Instance Properties

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