December 13, 2011

What's the key with keynoting?

What is sheetrock? I mean drywall? Or is it Gypsum Wall Board? Maybe GWB? No, it called Gyp Board... I think... When we detail drawings, we need to label elements and materials. We have always done this with leaders. A leader is the arrow pointing the object. However, in AutoCAD, the leader command is used to place text with the arrow connected to it. We can do the same in Revit but with the text tool; we can specify if a leader should be part of the text element.

So what is keynoting and what does it have to do with text and leaders? Keynoting is placing "smart text" with a leader pointing to an element or material. Keynoting automatically fills in the "text" for you. How does it do this?

In short, when you touch an element or material, Revit looks at it's assigned keynote number and places keynote tag it in the view. The keynote tag can display the keynote number or keynote text. Keynote text can look just like plain text with an arrow. However, you don't type anything; Revit fills in the information for you.

The keynote number and its associated text is kept in an external text file called RevitKeynotes_Imperial_2004.txt. Click on Annotate ->Tag Panel (Expanded)->Keynote Settings. You can see the path where this file is kept and the name. You can also view the file.

Many, if not all, 2D Detail Components have been configured to work with Keynote Elements. Most materials, however, are not configured to use Keynote Materials. It's not hard to do but it requires time to configure.

Once configured, any user in an office who keynotes 1/2" drywall, with a few clicks of the mouse and no typing, a leader (a keynote tag) will appear with the words " 1/2" Gypsum Wallboard ". No need to worry someone might write 1/2" G Wall B!

Watch for a follow-up blog about how to edit the keynote file and change the the text to upper case.
Mark Petrucci

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