Core and Architecture Enhancements in Revit 2020


Revit remains at the center when it comes to BIM authoring tools and continues to change the landscape of the AEC industry.

By Jason Boehning and Katie Watton

In Revit 2020, there are multiple enhancements that we believe will be valuable to help software users improve workflows. Several of them were ideas submitted by Revit users on the Autodesk forum Revit Ideas page. We have indicated which changes came from users on the Revit Ideas page below.

Cloud Models

Over the last year, Autodesk has been working to better integrate Revit and BIM 360. In Revit 2019.2, an update was made so that non-workshared projects could be saved to BIM 360 Document Management. Now in 2020, there have been additional updates to provide consistent creation and access for workshared and non-workshared cloud models.


BIM 360 Design users can now set up worksets and use the Save As > Cloud Model tool to initiate a workshared cloud model. Additionally, the Cloud Model Browser on the Revit Home page can be used to access cloud models saved in BIM 360 Document Management.

Copy a Legend View Across Sheets (Revit Ideas)

Legends can now be copied from one sheet and pasted onto other sheets. This is extremely beneficial when you need to place a legend on numerous sheets, aligned to the same place. Simply copy the legend viewport to the clipboard, and then use the Paste Aligned to Selected Views tool.

PDF Underlay (Revit Ideas)

In Revit 2020, you can now import PDF files. This is a huge help because there is so much data that resides in PDFs. You can insert a single-page or multi-page PDF file into a 2D view. When a PDF is imported, it essentially becomes an image that can be used as a reference for your project, and it can be added to schedules as an image. The PDF can be a raster or vector file. When importing a vector PDF, you can snap to vector data. You can use this capability as a background reference for floor plans, elevations, and title blocks.


Materials Improvement (Revit Ideas)

For Revit 2020, materials got a face lift! There are really two areas of improvement here: the Material Browser and appearance assets.

Material Browser

The update to the Material Browser is an enhancement to the UI. Three things have been updated to help users find and visualize materials:

  1. The options to show and hide the library panel and tree have been moved to the bar above the library panel—a more intuitive place for these options.
  2. A new, larger thumbnail size of 256 x 256 has been added, which can provide an easier view for some users.
  3. A new Filter project materials by class drop-down menu has been added to the Material Browser. This helps users quickly find materials by filtering the entire project materials list.


Material Appearance Assets

New material appearance assets have been added to improve the quality of visual presentation for rendered images and views where the Visual Style is set to Realistic or Ray Trace.


Path of Travel (Revit Ideas)

The Path of Travel tool is probably the most unique update in Revit 2020. This is an analysis tool that calculates the shortest path between two points in a model. You can begin by defining which model categories are used as obstacles.


After that, you can create a path of travel line in a plan view. The path of travel generates a line indicating the shortest path of travel between the two selected points. The route that is generated depends on the model categories that are considered to be obstacles between the starting and ending points of the path of travel.


Once a path of travel has been created, you can review the travel Speed, Time, and Length based on the path of the line, as well as modify the Line Style and Mark value. In addition, path of travel lines can be tagged and scheduled.


Filtering Improvements

Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to create conditions that don’t give us what we need. This is especially true with filters. For 2020, there are two updates specific to filters.

Enhanced OR Conditions for Rule-Based View Filters (Revit Ideas)

In Revit 2019, there were updates to the way view filters worked. These updates provided much more flexibility. However, one of the sticking points was the limitation on parameters that could be used for OR rules. Essentially, when an OR rule used multiple categories, you could only select a parameter that was common to all the selected categories. For example, if your filter included both Doors and Walls, you could only select from common parameters when defining the OR rules.

Now, in Revit 2020, you can choose any of the parameters from the selected categories. This provides much more flexibility when creating OR rules.


New Operators for Filtering

The following operators have been added for view and schedule filtering:

  • has a value
  • has no value

Schedule Scope Boxes (Revit Ideas)

The Scope Box parameter can now be scheduled in a view list. This allows users to see if a scope box has been applied to a view, and if so, which one.


Import SketchUp Models

You can now import or link Trimble SketchUp models into your Revit project. This capability allows Revit and SketchUp design teams to collaborate more efficiently. When importing Sketchup files, Revit treats the data as a complicated collection of geometry that may require more steps to manipulate it. However, you can change the layer settings in SketchUp to improve the results. To import or link Sketchup models, you must create either an in-place family or a loadable family, and then import the file into the family.

Create Elliptical Walls

In Revit 2020, when using the Wall tool, Ellipse and Partial Ellipse tools are now available in the Draw gallery. This allows users to create walls and curtain walls with advanced geometry.


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