Getting Your Sheets in Order

Revit is always touted as a modeling application, not a documentation one.  I have even heard an Autodesk folk say that you should do your modeling in Revit and then print from AutoCrap… sorry, AutoCAD.  Well, that’s one horribly insane idea that we’ll file neatly in the “crazy person said it” category.

Still, Revit out of the box leaves a little to be desired on the documentation front.  We like to refer to it as the last 10%.  Revit almost gets you there, it gets you 90% of the way to amazing documents and gorgeous sheets that I would want to frame and hang on the wall, but that last 10% rears its head and bites you.

There are ways to work around the last 10%, thanks to customization and parameters that you can create.  One of the out of the box issues is ordering sheets.  The sheet index is an amazingly wonderful schedule that you can plunk on your index sheet or cover sheet and be done with it… as long as you want to list everything alphabetically.

If your firm is like ours, the A sheets don’t come first (they do in our hearts, but not in the set).  What is a Revit user to do?  Here’s where some parameters come in. 

Make a project parameter and call it Sort Order and apply that parameter to sheets.  Numerically determine what the order for each discipline is (general = 1, architectural = 6, etc) and then fill in the correct value for the sheet.  We also added a parameter called Sort Order Name which contains the discipline’s name.


Now, create a Drawing Index Schedule and add the Sort Order (and Sort Order Name) fields to it.  Hide Sort Order under the Appearance tab.  In the Sorting/Grouping tab, set the first sort by to Sort Order.  And for extra points, set the second one to Sort Order Name and mark it as Header.  The final sorting is done by Sheet Number.


This will organize and group your sheets by the numeric Sort Order and put a nice header of the Sort Order Name above them.


We may never fully make it past the last 10%, but we can get close.