Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Room Names - How Long is to Long

Here is something that keeps surfacing with Revit users - what do I do when my room name is to large for my room? This is really common when dealing with overall floor plans at small scales. To address this issue, this is the method I currently employ.
  1. Create a shared parameter (I usually use something like "Room Abbreviation".
  2. The shared parameter is then loaded into a Room Tag family and used as the reporting name.
  3. This family is saved as Room Tag-Abbreviated (note: I also do the same for tags that include SF, Name Only, Number Only, and combinations thereof).
  4. I then load the shared parameter into a project (this usually happens a lot so you may want to do this in the template file).
  5. The shared parameter is assigned to the Room category. (I also like to group it under text so it does not get lost in the room identity data. Also be sure to select the Instance radio button.)
  6. Finished. Now you can swap out your standard room tag with the abbreviated room tag.
Now, why go through all this trouble you might ask?  As stated earlier, this can be used to abbreviate your rooms in smaller scale plans or where the name just doesn't fit in the room. In the attached image, I have the start of a reflected ceiling plan and the scale is 1/8"=1'-0". I have a Storage Room, Machine Room, and Elevator. These rooms use the abbreviated room tag.

You also may be asking, why use a separate tag? Why not type in the abbreviation as the room name? The reason is simple. The "Name" parameter in the default Room Tag family is what Revit uses to report the room names in the Room Schedule. If the abbreviated room name were entered, this is what would show in the schedule. Thus the abbreviated room tag is used. This way the proper room name is preserved in the schedule, while the abbreviation is used in plans.

Another reason you may want to create/use the abbreviated room tag is for instances where the room name needs to span multiple lines. I like the abbreviated room tag for this application because it allows me to control where I break the room name.

This is what happens WITHOUT the abbreviated room tag:
The label in the default Room Tag family (this is true with any tag) has an "invisible" boundary around it that only shows up when highlighted in the family. Left untouched, this boundary determines the limits of the text. When the text exceeds the limit, the text wraps.

Usually what happens here is that the user will edit the family, stretch the limits, and reload the family. Well, unless they "save as", this will update the other room tags in the project, thus modifying their limits, which may be undesirable.

This is what happens WITH the abbreviated room tag:
Because this is a custom room parameter, and probably not scheduled (except for coordination), you can force multiple lines without having to edit the family. This gives the user control over where the room name is split, in addition it will not affect your proper room name. To do this, select the room object you want to edit. Under the room properties, locate the custom parameter. Place your cursor in the editable field where you want to split the text and use the keystroke combination Ctrl+Enter. This will force a second line, or third, or fourth... Note that this method can ONLY be used through the properties of the room. This does not work at the tag level.

The other reason I like to use this method with abbreviated room tags is that if you were to preform the same operation (Ctrl+Enter) with the actual room name, this will force a second line in the Room Schedule as well.

I hope this gives you some idea as how you can manipulate room tags to work for you.

Remember - Make it, don't fake it.