Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Tracking Which Area Scheme a Schedule Belongs to in Revit

Typical project browser names
Have you ever opened a Revit project and tried to understand the naming conventions (or lack thereof) for Area Schedules?  And then tried to figure out which Area Schedule belongs to which Area Scheme?  It can be tricky, particularly with names like the ones above, which people seem to like using.

When you create a new Area Schedule, it puts the Area Scheme in brackets at the end of the schedule name.  Many people rename it and remove that suffix because it shows up on the sheet, or they just don't realise how important it is for identifying the Area Scheme it belongs to.

Unless people leave the Area Scheme in the schedule name it is difficult to keep track of which is which - the only trick that I know is to use the 'Highlight in Model' function, which sometimes works:
To use this, first select an element in a particular area schedule, then click on the 'Highlight' icon.  If you happen to have an area plan view open that shows the area element then Revit will go to that view and select the Area.  You then need to deselect the Area to get to the View Properties for that view (or use the drop-down menu just below the Type Selector).  It should show you the Area Scheme name in the Type Selector

If you don't have that view open, Revit may figure out which view to open but usually it asks to search for a suitable view, which may take some time - it is probably worth a try. 

However, you may actually not have a view of that particular level for that particular area scheme, so Revit won't find a view.   Or the area may be unplaced so it won't show on a view, in which case the Highlight function is greyed out.  

To really track down the area schemes for troublesome areas/schedules, you may need to create the missing views for every level for every area scheme - then try the Highlight in Model function again.

If anyone knows a better way, please let me know.

Area Schemes

Prevention is better than cure:
Area Scheme names and descriptions are things that people are often very casual about - and it soon gets very messy.  In many cases, people just leave the default description, which is pretty meaningless.
Badly named and described Area Schemes
The first step in solving this issue is to train people to not only name the Area Schemes sensibly, but to give them a proper description so that others have at least some clue what they are for

Slightly improved Area Scheme naming and descriptions
 OK, so the example above is not a serious system, but you get the idea, I hope.

Area Schemes in Schedule (Workaround)

Since it is not always feasible to keep the area scheme in the name of the schedule, here is a workaround that might help you out:

  • Whenever a new Area Schedule is created, add a calculated parameter
  • Call it 'Area Scheme' 
  • Make it a text calculation
  • For the formula, put the Area Scheme name in quotes
  • In the schedule it will display the Scheme name in every row, even for elements in linked files
  • You can hide this column, but it remains there so you can check the scheme name later on
Of course this method is not foolproof as someone could rename the Area Scheme at any time - but it should work in the majority of case.

If anyone knows a better way, please tell me.

[Edit] - As Dmitry Chubrik has pointed out in the comments, here is a good technique for changing the Area Schedule titles: 

Renaming Area Schedule Titles

As it is strongly advisable to keep the Area Scheme name in brackets within the schedule name, there is a way to do that without it showing up in the schedule title that appears on the sheet.  If you want change the title, do not rename the schedule in the Project Browser;  also, do not just edit the text in the schedule title cell, as this will rename the schedule too.
Instead, you should click in the schedule title cell, then click on the "Clear Cell" icon that appears in the ribbon - this literally removes all text from the title cell.  You can then type in new text, which will not have the effect of renaming the schedule in the Project Browser.

Once the link has been broken between schedule title and schedule name, the title can be changed just by editing the text in the title cell.

Using this method you can keep the Area Scheme name in the Project Browser for multiple schedules of the same Area Scheme - and keep track of which is which.  It would be good practice to teach all Revit users to do this as a matter of course.

Thanks for the tip, Dmitry


  1. Just click on the "clear cell" button and you'll get the name of the specification that is not associated with its name in the project brouser:

  2. Thanks Dmitry - good tip for editing the title of schedule as it shows on the sheet, without losing Area Scheme name in Project Browser. But if someone just renames the schedule by editing the title (or in Project Browser) then you can't get the Area Scheme name back.