RM+ Tuesday Tips #2: 5 Revit Keynote Tips

Below are my favorite Revit Keynote Tips! Keynotes can be a powerful tool in Revit, but they have some quirks. ~Lauren Stassi

Tip #1: Element vs. Material vs. User Keynotes

Click below for a free downloadable Cheat Sheet for Keynote Types!

RM+ Keynote Cheat Sheet

Keynote Pull Down

ELEMENT KEYNOTES- use to note an object in the model or a detail component. When you hover over the object, the keynote will automatically fill out.

Element Keynotes

MATERIAL KEYNOTES – use to note a Revit object that has sub components like Walls & Curtain Walls, Roofs, Floors, and Ceilings. Keynote will automatically fill out as you hover over each subcomponent

Material Keynotes

Material Keynote Example

USER KEYNOTES – use for notes not linked to an object. After inserting the keynote, Revit will open the keynote database for you to select the specific keynote you need. Commonly used on details where keynotes are needed for items that are drawn with line work– i.e. metal flashing, waterproofing, etc.

Tip #2: Reload the Keynote Database

When a team member updates the keynote database, you need to reload the database to see the changes in Revit – This is easy to do, except that Revit has hidden it!

On the Annotate Tab, go to the Tag Section.  Next to the work Tag is a small triangle pointing down – Click on the triangle to get a fly out with more options.Reload Keynote

Click on Keynote Settings

Keynote Settings

Then Click Reload, Then Ok.

Keynote Reload

Tip #3: Keynote a Repeating Detail

This is a work around, but it is quicker than using the User Keynote Type.  Use the repeating detail component tool to add the component that you need. Then, add one regular detail component on top of the repeating detail component. These will match exactly in shape and size and not be noticeable when you print. Then, keynote the regular detail component with an element keynote.


Tip #4: Make Your Keynotes as Short as Possible

Keynotes with long text cause a few problems in Revit.

  1. If the text does not wrap, then they take up too much precious real estate on a crowded detail sheet
  2. If the text does wrap, then the shoulder of the leader arrow is never straight.  No matter how far you zoom in, it will always be a little crooked.

Crooked Keynote

To prevent this as much as we can, we have chosen to ACTUALLY use the abbreviations on our abbreviations list to make the notes as short as possible. We also removed the spaces between the Specifications Section numbers to save space.

Before: 09 29 00.A01 – 5/8” GYPSUM BOARD

After: 092900.A1 – 5/8” GYP. BD.

It may not seem too significant at first, but on a crowded detail, it will make a big difference.

Another option would be to use only the Keynote numbers in your tags. This will open up space on your details, but on a crowded detail sheet, your legend may be very long.  We prefer to show the number and note together on the details so that the contractor does not have to look in multiple locations on our drawings for information.

Tip #5: Add Keynotes to your Detail Components and Make a Cheat Sheet View for Your Team

We set up a drafting view to be used for reference that has all of our standard detail components inserted and noted.  Components and Keynotes can be copied out of this view quickly while working on details, and it’s a reference for the names of each component.  This helps our team avoid scrolling through the long list of detail component families to find the one you need.

Detail Componenet Keynote Examples

Check back next Tuesday for more tips!