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How to Create Design Options

When you want to explore the design possibilities and experiment with different layouts or materials in your Revit model, you can use Design Options!

Follow this guide below to understand how they can be used.

Design options can be created:

A. Before option elements are created and then add elements to a design option

B. After the option elements are created in the main model and then add them to a design option after.

In this guide we will look at how to set up design options first.

1. Open up a view of your existing model. In this example a plan view will be used.

2. To activate the design options dialogue box you can:

a. Navigate to the Manage tab – Design Options Panel and click on the Design Options Button

b. Click on the Design options button from the status bar

3. In the design options dialogue box you will see ‘Main model' under the ‘Now Editing’ heading, this value represents the default option that already exists.

4. You will notice there are no options or option sets by default. You will need to create a new ‘Option set’. Click on the ‘New' button under the option set heading.

Note: The option set will be used to categorise the options you create for a specific area. For example; Rear Extension, Kitchen Layout or Ground Floor Plan type 1.

5. To Rename the Option set, first select the option set at the top of the tree, then the Option set menu will become available. Click the ‘Rename’ button.

6. Once renamed, you can create as many options as necessary using the ‘New’ button under the ‘Option’ heading. You will notice option 1 is created by default, after you create a new option set. Click new to create a second option.

7. Once you have added another option, select it in the tree menu. You will see the option menu appear under the option heading. You can then choose to;

a. Make an option primary, (Option 1’ is set to ‘Primary by default as there are no other options available to start with).

Note: when you create multiple option sets, you will have a primary option within each option set. You can choose the primary option by selecting an option and then clicking the ‘Make Primary’ button.

b. Rename an option, this helps to identify the option

Note: By default the Main model will show the primary layout as well as main model. You can use option 1 to show the existing layout by keeping the option empty and renaming it existing.

c. Duplicate an option

Note: Duplicated options will be given the prefix ‘copy of’ followed by the name of the original option. As well as the name, the content of the option will be copied too.

b. Delete unwanted options

Note: You cannot delete a primary option. You must make it a secondary option before you attempt to delete it. Alternatively, you can delete an option set which will also remove all options in the set.

8. To edit a design option, select the option you would like to edit, then use the ‘Edit selected’ button located under the Edit heading. This will make it the active option. Once selected, click close to exit the design options dialogue box.

9. In the model window you will notice the Main Model is now halftone and any new elements you add to the option will be full colour.

Note: Main model elements cannot be edited or selected in an option view.

10. Toggle between design options and the main model using the 'Active Design Option' selector. Choose an option in the list to make it active, then you can add model elements to that option.

Note: Elements created in an option will only show if the option is active or if the elements are part of the primary option in the main model view. The primary option elements are visible by default when you select the main model option.

11. To remove elements:

a. from an option you must make the option active, then select the elements you want to remove and delete them as normal using the delete key or the delete button on the modify panel in the modify tab.

Note: Deleting an element from an option will not affect other options or the main model.

b. from the main model you can select elements and choose which options they will appear in using the 'Add to Set' button. the elements will only appear in the selected options.

Note: This will open up a dialogue box where you must choose the option sets that will contain the selected elements. A checked box means the element will be included in that option set.

Note: You can also add elements to an option by using the Add to set button from the Design options panel in the Manage tab.

Note: Elements that belong to an option cannot be added to another option using this method. Only elements created in the main model can be moved to an option set via the Add to set button.

See A Closer Look At Design Options – Copy Elements to view a workaround.

13. Once you have chosen your favourite option, you will then need to set it as the primary option, ready to integrate it into the main model. To do this you must open your design options dialogue box again.

14. Select the Option Set title and click Accept Primary to merge the option with the Main model.

Note: All other options will be removed from the option set once you accept the primary option. A 'Delete Option Set' warning box appears to check if you want to proceed.

15. Click Yes, to accept the changes. The option set will disappear and become part of the main model.

Want more on design options? See: A Closer Look at Design Options


MJ Architecture Design Services Ltd

T : (+44) 0151 319 1258

Registered Office: Gorseburn Road, Liverpool, L13 8BS (England, UK)
Company Number: 12629551

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