Revit Guide Grids

I have had this post in my queue for a while now. Often when composing sheets in Revit, we have similar views which we would like to appear in consistent locations from one sheet to the next. The most common example is floor plans. If you have each floor plan on its own sheet, you probably want those plans to align in the same general location with respect to their titleblocks. Revit has a tool for this called the Guide Grid. It is a slightly odd little tool that allows you to line up model elements in the same location across multiple sheets. It does this by allowing you to move the viewport on a sheet by snapping to the datum elements in your model (levels, column grids and reference planes) and then snapping them to the intersections on the Guide Grid. With plan views, the most likely element for this task is the Column Grids. However, if your building does not use Grids, you can draw some Reference Planes instead.

Using Guide Grids to align views

Using Guide Grids to align views

When I first started using the Guide Grid tool, I noticed that the default size was pretty dense, so I would typically change the size of the grid to the largest size I could get away with in order to reduce the visual clutter of the grid. This works, but recently it dawned on me that there is a better way. When you select a Guide Grid, it has grips on the edges. You can use these grips to resize the grid. So, if you reduce the size of the grid to make it very small, you can then move the entire grid anywhere you like. This location will be maintained across your various sheets (since this is the very purpose of the Guide Grid). So if you are using the Guide Grid to line up plans, this is a much nicer way to do it. Here is a quick video to explain.

19 Responses to Revit Guide Grids

  1. David Koch says:

    Excellent tip. That makes using a guide grid easier (and visually less obnoxious) when you are only trying to align one primary view on multiple sheets, such as plans. It sure beats the previous method of creating an annotation family that could be temporarily placed on a sheet and then eyeballing the alignment of the desired grid lines with linework in the annotation family.

  2. Trevor Pan says:

    Hi Paul,

    Thank you for the post. Timely for plans in my first revit project!

    Other than cropping a guide grid and having multiple grids per sheet, is there a way to adjust the spacing in x,y directions? The end goal I have is to space details on a sheet.

    I’m new to revit, but with autocad, previous firms created a detail grid, they tend to be vertically aligned rectangles vs. squares. This allows for a nice and neat uniformity.

    Any thoughts?

    Trevor Pan

    • Paul F. Aubin says:

      Hi Trevor:

      Guide Grids are more about lining up plans and elevations. I suppose you could use them for detail sheets, but as you noted, the grid is square, not rectangular. What most firms do instead for detail sheets is create a detail guide family that can be inserted into the drafting view that you draw your detail(s) in. This family would be a 2D detail item family and you can include any lines in it that you need and make it parametric so that could adjust to different grid sizes.

      Let me know if you need more info than that.

  3. Trevor Pan says:

    Hi Paul,

    Sweet! So, in a way, it’s like x-ref’ing in a detail grid. Haven’t ventured too far into families yet, but feel I will be soon.

    If I understand you correctly, these “drafting” views would have multiple details on them? Not “detail” views. I checked out a post of yours about details, still trying to sort out when to use each view type over another.

    Could this detail guide family be placed on a sheet instead? My concern is differently scaled details, and annotation display.

    Thank you very much,

    • Paul F. Aubin says:

      Hi Trevor:
      What I suggested in the last comment wouldn’t help you on a sheet. You don’t do any work in sheets in Revit. You create views for details. You can use detail views (enlarged callouts) if they reference part of the model (add 2D stuff over the top), or you can use drafting views if they are not connected to the model (2D only). With drafting views, you can have more than one detail on the same view if you want, or you can do a separate view per detail. It is up to you and depends on how related the details are to one another. So the detail grid family that I suggest would be something you insert in the view if you want to use it to reference geometry and/or notes. I have seen people make a grid as part of their titleblock family, but like my original post, it would only help them in placement of the details on the sheet and getting them all lined up with each other, not in creating the details in the first place.

  4. Trevor Pan says:

    Thank you Paul,

    Sounds good. Yea, I meant on the sheet so they could be in a nice grid, not to draw. But it sounds like a hybrid of the two could achieve what I’m thinking.

    Anyhow, I really appreciate your response!

    PS-I saw your addendum to the 2013 book. Our school used a different book that had a project in it, by Stine, which is kind of helpful.

    Does your Revit 2013 and beyond go much further into functionality? Really looking to up my game.

    • Paul F. Aubin says:

      My pleasure. Glad to help.

      My book is tutorial based and starts from square one and goes through DD and CD phases. If you follow all of the lessons, you will build two projects: one residential and one commercial starting from the beginning and going through CDs.

      Thanks again for your interest.

  5. S Elle says:

    Is is possibe to have the underlay feature (as in plan views) on the sheets to nudge the focus on views?

    • Paul F. Aubin says:

      The sheet itself cannot have an underlay, but the views on the sheets can. So you might be able to use a view temporarily with the underlay to nudge and then remove it when you are done. But I am not sure that would really work the way you are hoping.

  6. Alex says:

    Is it possible to put structural columns on a plan without any grids? In my office we do not use grid lines for concrete buildings, we use a coordinate system for each column from a reference point. Thank you

    • Paul F. Aubin says:

      Absolutely. You can simply place them like any other component family. You can use copy or array to make multiples. Hope that helps.

  7. Rick Holguin says:

    How about when a Revit Viewport is rotated 90 degrees (plan View) and the grid bubbles go from being Horiz. to Vert. Is there a way to have the Grid bubbles always read in the Horiz. position, the same way we set it up for Labels in the> Keep Text readable?

    • Paul F. Aubin says:

      If you are using the “Rotate on Sheet” option, then no. The bubbles (and all annotation) would also rotate by design. This option is for changing the orientation with respect to the sheet (sort of like Portrait or Landscape).
      If however, you are selecting the crop boundary in the view and then rotating that, then all annotation should still orient “upright” after this rotation.

      Hope that helps.

  8. nick chapman says:

    I was asked in a revit exam recently to dimension from a grid guide to the plan – is this possible or done using Ref Planes ?

    • Paul F. Aubin says:

      You can move, rotate or align a guide grid. You cannot dimension them. Perhaps the question was asking you to dimension to a grid (datum element; column grids) instead? Was the question specifically about sheets and a guide grid?

  9. DJvD says:

    I use your method for years now but over time I met two things I’d like tot add.
    1] Guide Grids only work with orthogonal grids or reference planes. When working on a strange angled building it would be necessary to add some reference lines for the purpose of using Guide Grids.
    2] Today I found out that snapping to the Guide Grid only works when under Manage > Snaps the item ‘work plane grid’ is ticked.

  10. Ochi Cynthia says:

    Is there any book for tutorial that will help me,am new in using revit.

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