Kitchautomation Tutorials

Tutorial 5 - Create a Section Marker

Posted by Christopher Huebner on Jan 22, 2019 8:13:00 AM
Christopher Huebner
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Tutorial 5 - Create a Section Marker

Our last blog ended with our shiny new View Titles under each View.  I also re-arranged the views to prepare them to be placed with our Titleblock.  In this Blog we will start by Creating a Section Marker for our Section View.  We will see where it goes from there…


The Section View Marker is the last unfinished line in our current model, and if you are wondering where it is, it is the one in the Equipment Plan view.

Let’s inspect this now, first double-click the Equipment Plan View to activate it.  Revit allows you to work directly in the Views even when they are on Sheets, but you must activate them first. 

When you activate a view from a sheet, the other views and schedules fade away to highlight the view you activated shown in the image below.


Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_3If you activated a View by accident or just want to deactivate the View to return to the Sheet, the quickest way is to double-click the white space outside the View.


 This is easy to do right now; mainly because our View is quite small.  But this may not always be the case, the view could take up the entire screen. 

Another way to deactivate the View is to right-click inside the View and select Deactivate View.


Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_4You may also be wondering where the View starts and ends, that is the real answer to whether you double-click outside the View, right?

To find the answer select the Floor Plan view or Activate it and look at the Properties window.

This brings us to some very useful View parameters called Crop View and Crop Region Visible.

By default, when you create Floor Plan Views in Revit they do not have Crop View or Crop Region Visible checked.

But we used the default Floor Plan View that came with this project from Revit, and then turned it into our Equipment Plan so this time our View did start with Crop View checked.

Crop View uses the Crop Region around a View as the boundary and everything outside that boundary is hidden.

Crop View does not delete anything that is outside the Crop Region, it just hides it.


Let’s try something to explain how this works.  Click to check the Crop Region Visible parameter On.



Now let’s take a look at our View.


Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_6As you can see, turning the Crop Region Visible parameter On turns on a rectangle in the View. 


To edit the Crop Region from a Sheet, you must be inside the View, which means the same thing as you must Activate the View first.


Ok so if you do not have the View Activated already, double-click on it to Activate it.

When you hover over the Crop Region, you should see the type of View and the name of the View.

To resize the Crop Region, just select it and drag the grips.


Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_8I resized my Crop Region right through the middle of the oven Family to explain how this works.

Architectural elements and Families can be partially cropped.

Annotations cannot be partially cropped.

Once I drag the Crop Region even farther past the oven Family and the Section View Marker, all the Annotations will now disappear.

That is how Crop Regions work.

Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_9Now let’s leave our Crop Region like this and turn the Crop View Off.




Let’s try one more thing, select your oven Family and click the Move button.


Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_12Select anywhere near your oven as the Start Point.

Then move your cursor to the left a few feet, I went about 10 feet, at this point don’t click yet, start typing 300.  This will override the distance the cursor moved and instead move the element the distance that you type.



Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_13Revit uses Feet as the default, so this is 300 feet.



Now zoom out with your mouse wheel so see the View and the oven Family.

Like it should, the oven also moved in the 3D View.





Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_15Now double-click your Mouse Wheel Button, this will perform a Zoom Extents function that shows you everything in the active view, in this case it shows you everything on the Sheet because the Sheet is active.

Zoom Extents goes by the Crop Region, not the View Contents though, so even though the oven is way off to the other side of the Sheet, it doesn’t show up when Zoom Extents is used. Tricky.

Fun Fact: You can also press Z then E to Zoom Extents if you are not in the middle of another command.

With a Titleblock the problem would be much more obvious, but even without a Titleblock you should see that when your Views are not cropped, they could create issues when printing your Sheets.

So the main thing to take away here is that you should ALWAYS crop your views.  The reason is that you never know what is lying way off in the outskirts of your model or any of the models you linked in. 

Alright now that you have some sweet new View skills, let’s get back to creating that Section Marker.

Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_1First press CTRL-Z to Undo the Move command and get our oven back on to the floor.

Also Undo any Crop Region changes you might have done and turn Crop View back to On.


Your Sheet should look like this again.




Alright let’s start by activating the Equipment Plan View then selecting the Section Marker.




Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_18Now go to the Properties Palette and click on the large drop-down menu at the top, this is called the Type Selector and you will use it constantly when working with Families.

Right now I just want you to understand what the Type Selector is and a little bit about how it works.

We discussed Categories briefly earlier when we inserted the Specialty Equipment oven Family.

Specialty Equipment is the Revit Category that all Foodservice Equipment is under.

There are 88 Categories in total and you will probably use some Categories other than Specialty Equipment, such as Electrical Fixtures for electrical rough-ins or Plumbing Fixtures for plumbing rough-ins and floor sinks.

Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_19That is where this Type Selector will come in handy, you can select a Family and then go to the Type Selector and see all of the other Families of the same Category. 

You can then easily switch a Family to another Family of the same Category.


Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_20Let’s now go to the Properties Palette, click out of the Type Selection and then click Edit Type.


This should once again look familiar, and once again there isn’t much to change.


A Callout is a new type of View that we will get into in a future tutorial.

Section Tag is what we are looking for, first you need to select the text and then click this tiny … button at the end.


Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_21Here are the Section Tag Properties.

Once again Revit gave us nothing to start with so that is why our current Section Marker just looks like a line.


Normally Section Tags have a similar look to the View Titles we created earlier, a circle with a Detail Number and the Sheet Number at the end of a line.

The circle part is called the Section Head.

Section Tags also have a tail called a Section Tail, it is on the opposite end as the Section Head.


Ok so now that we know what we need, let’s go create our Section Head and Section Tail,  click Cancel and then Cancel again to exit.

Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_22To create our Section Head, let's start with an Annotation Symbol template. 








Open the Revit main menu and then click New, then click Annotation Symbol. 

I only see a Section Head, no Tail, so let’s start there,

Select Section Head and then press Open. 


Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_24The Section Head opens with some notes and reference planes just like the other Annotation Symbols.


They also gave us the circle and dividing line, so all we need to do is add our Labels.

On the Create ribbon, click the Label button.

Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_25The top Label will be Detail Number, the bottom will be Sheet Number. 




Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_28Your Section Head should now look something like this.





Now we just need to add something to show which direction the Section is facing.


Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_29First let’s draw a triangle using the Line command.

I recommend you first create a temporary line from the center of the circle to the top of the triangle.



This will help you draw the triangle symmetrically and you can delete it once you have the other lines. 



Also draw the tiny segments between the edges of the triangle and the circle. 

Make sure you do not extend the line in the center of the circle, that line has a special parameter that rotates with the text so we cannot use it.


So this is starting to look pretty good but we really want it to stand out on our plans so we are going to add a Filled Region.  Filled Regions sound fancy but they are really just solid fills like the paint bucket you are probably used to seeing in other software. 


Let’s start by clicking on the Filled Region button.


Filled Regions also use the same Create Mode that we already know, but this time we are going to use the Pick Lines tool on the Draw panel.


Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_34Pick Lines is great, it just selects lines that are already in your model to use as part of your sketch.


Let’s select the segments of our boundary now.

Pro Tip: You can also use TAB with Pick Lines to select Chains of Lines or edges of families and geometry.


Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_35Once you have your sketch complete, click the Green Check and Voila!





Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_37Looking great but before we finish let’s look at the Filled Region Type Properties really quick.


Make sure the Filled Region is selected and over on the Properties Palette click Edit Type.


Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_38This Type Property window should look very familiar by now, as you can see Filled Regions have only a few properties that can be changed. 


These properties will make more sense once we see the other possible Cut fill patterns.




Click on the Cut fill pattern parameter value to show the … button and then click the …button.

Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_39These are the default Fill Patterns that Revit provides but you can always create New too.

We won’t go into New Fill Patterns in this post but we will definitely get to it when we go over Counter Sections.

We created several different Fill Patterns to represent different materials like plywood and stone.

Alright that’s all for Fill Patterns, click Cancel and return to the Fill Region Type Properties window. 




Before we leave here, make sure you Rename the Filled region 1 to Solid Black and then press OK.







Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_41We are now done, let’s Save and then we can insert it.  I will save mine as Circle Section Head.

 Now we can Load into Project and Close.



Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_43We are now back in our project and while it looks like nothing happened, we know that’s not the case.




First activate the Equipment Plan View so you can select the Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_68Section Marker, then click Edit Type.


Let’s go back into our Section Type Properties to update our Section Head family.



In the Section Type Properties we want to once again click on the Section Tag parameter value and then click on the … button that appears.









Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_46That takes us to the Section Tag Type Properties.



Click on the Section Head drop-down menu and select our Circle Section Head family.

Leave the Section Tail as <none> for now.


Let’s also rename our Section Tag to something more fitting, I will name mine Circle Section Tag.

Next click OK and then OK in the Section Type Properties to return to the project.


Our shiny new Section Head is looking great but where is our Detail Number and Sheet Number?

All we have is those dashes…

Well that is because we never put our Section View on our QF101 Sheet.

It should make sense, I mean how is Revit supposed to know what Sheet the Section View is on when it’s not on any Sheet.

First Deactivate the Equipment Plan View, since we are working on the Sheet not in the Equipment Plan View.


Next select the Equipment Section in the Project Browser and drag it onto the Sheet. 


Once you click and place the Section View, the Section Tag will reappear in the Equipment Plan View with the correct Detail Number and Sheet Number.





Looks great!

But we aren’t done yet, we still have the Section Tail to create. 

Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_50Your first thought might be going back to the Revit main menu, then New, then Annotation Symbol.

Unfortunately Revit doesn’t come with any Section Tail templates.  Hmm.




When we added the Circle Section Head to the Section Head properties in the Section Tag Type Properties, I noticed it was possible to use the Circle Section Head as the Section Tail.


That means there is no difference between a Section Head and a Section Tail, besides how they look of course.

That’s great, that means we can use our Circle Section Head as our template for our Section Tail.




Open the Circle Section Head family.



Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_16First thing to do is Save As, that way we don’t overwrite our perfect Section Head family.







I am going to name mine Rectangle Section Tail.

Next, select everything EXCEPT the reference planes and press Delete.  We don’t need any of the previous lines.



What we are left with is just reference planes.  I have broken down some properties of each reference plane.

As you saw in our Circle Section Head, these reference planes determine the Left End and the Right End of the Section Mark.  A Section Mark can be a Section Head, like our Circle Section Head, or it can be a Section Tail, like the one we are going to create.

When we created our Circle Section Head, the circle was already given to us and it was already placed in perfect alignment between the left reference plane and the right reference plane.

To create our Section Tail we need to do something similar, but since our Section Tail will not be quite as wide as the circle, we will need to move one of the reference planes in closer.

The Left Reference Plane is the only one that can be moved so that is what we will do.

Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_54Start by selecting the Filled Region button on the Create ribbon.



Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_53Next, select the Rectangle button on the Draw panel.





Now draw a rectangle starting at the intersection of the right reference plane and the horizontal reference plane and stretching up and to the left.




Before you click away, let’s look at these Locks.

These Locks are extremely powerful tools in Family creation. 

Combined with reference planes, Locks give you the ability to lock your lines to your reference planes.

This may not sound that important right now but it will be paramount when we get to Equipment Family creation.


The Locks can easily be toggled on and off by just clicking the Lock.

Try this now, click both Locks to Lock them.

Now click both Locks to Unlock them.

If you clicked away and the Locks are no longer visible, don’t worry you can also use the Align command to get to the Locks which I will explain next.


First click the Green Check to exit Create mode.


So as you might be guessing, what we need to do next is align our left reference plane to the left side of our Section Tail.  Once it is aligned, we also need to Lock it. 

While it is possible to use the Move command to move the left reference plane to the left side of the Filled Region, using the Move command will not give us the ability to Lock it.

Instead what we need to use is the Align command.


The Align command is on the Modify ribbon under the Modify panel.

Align is similar to Move but works backwards, first you need to select an edge to be used as the end placement, then you select the element that you want to move.

When using Align always remember the first element you select doesn’t move, the second one you select does move.

Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_60Let's try it, first click Align, then click the left edge of the Filled Region, then click the left reference plane. 

The left edge of the Filled Region may be hard to see but it can be selected easily.

This will move the left reference plane to the left edge of the Filled Region.

Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_61Just as we wanted, using the Align command gives us a Lock to use.




Click the Lock now to Lock the left reference plane to the left edge of the Filled Region.



This is exactly how you would Lock the other edges of the Filled Region to the other reference planes.  Align works the same even if the two edges you are selecting are already aligned


It’s common to need to lock edges that are already aligned. 

Just remember that TAB is your friend when you need to cycle through the edges to find the one on the bottom.




You can also see when an element is locked by selecting the element, then the locks will appear.


Our Section Tail is now complete!


Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_41Click the Load into Project and Close button and make sure to Save your Family.



Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_64Now let’s go update the Circle Section Tag to show our Section Tail.

Remember to first activate the Equipment Plan view, then select the Section Marker.



Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_68Then click Edit Type.





Then select the ... button next to our Circle Section Tag.




Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_65Now we are back in the Section Tag Type Properties where we can click the Section Tail drop-down menu to select our Rectangle Section Tail.


While we are here let's Rename our Section Tag to Circle Section Tag w/ Rectangle Tail.




Press OK to return to the Section Type Properties



One more Rename before we finish, here let's Rename the Section 1 to Circle Section Marker.






Click OK.



Kitchautomation_CreateSectionMarker_70Our Section Marker is now complete!


Notice how the Section Tail forms the outside boundary of our Section View.


Congratulations on a job well done!  Our model now has no more unfinished annotations and is really developing a professional look to it.

Thank you for attending the Kitchautomation Academy!

Next up- Create an Elevation Mark


Topics: Floor, Annotation Symbol, Family Category, Reference Plane, Move, Line, Label, Detail Number, Sheet Number, Section Marker, Crop View, Crop Region Visible, Section Tag, Section Head, Section Tail, Filled Region, Pick Lines, Reference Locks, Align, Deactivate View, Crop Region, Zoom Extents, Cut Fill Pattern

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