How to Add a Revit Break Line

Sometimes, when working in Revit, we find ourselves in a situation where we want to improve the clarity of a view. To achieve this, we can break or truncate specific parts of the view by adding a Revit Break Line. This allows us to focus on the essential elements of the view and present the information more understandably.

The Break Line is also useful when elements are too long to fit on a single sheet and maintain a consistent shape throughout their lengths. Break lines are commonly used in Revit for detailing purposes. However, they can also be utilized to truncate large-scale Floor Plans. The default appearance of a Break Line typically consists of a straight line with a zig-zag pattern in the middle.

In this article, we are going to take a look at what a Revit Break Line is and how to add a Break Line. Additionally, I will explain how to create your custom-made Break Line family.

Break Line

You can use the Break Line to break or truncate elements within a specific view. The symbol of the Break Line commonly consists of a straight line with a zig-zag pattern in the middle. Other examples of Break Lines consist of wavy, or dashed lines. In the Netherlands, we mostly use dashed Break Lines to truncate specific parts in detail drawings.

Additionally, you can use the Break Line to mask elements in large-scale Floor Plans, However, it is generally not recommended to do so. In this case, it is better to split the view and refer to another view with the Match Line function in Revit: Matchline Revit – Everything you need to know.

revit break line
Different types of Break Line


Break lines are frequently used in detail drawings. If you’re interested in creating detail drawings in Revit, you may find this article helpful: Detailing in Revit- Everything you need to know.

Add a Revit Break Line

Now that you have a clear understanding of the purpose of a Break Line, you can continue by adding the default Break Line family from Revit to your project. Once you have loaded the Break Line family, you can easily add it to your desired location within the view and modify it when needed.

Break Line Family

By default, the Revit installation contains various libraries with families you can load into your project. From the library, you can load the Break Line family into your project. You can find the default family at this location:

C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT XXXX\Libraries\English\US\Detail Items\Div 01-General

If this is not the case, you can download the default family from the Autodesk Cloud by following the next steps.

  1. Open the Insert tab > Load from Library panel
  2. Click on Load Autodesk Family > Search for Break Line
  3. Select the family > Click on Load
revit break line family
Load Break Line family from the Autodesk Family cloud service

Add Break Line

Once you have loaded the Break Line family, you can continue to add it by opening a view and following the steps outlined below:

  1. Go to the Annotate tab
  2. Click on the Component dropdown menu (if Detail Component is not selected before)
  3. Select Detail Component
detail component revit
  1. In the Properties Browser, search for the Break Line family and select a Type.
  2. Click to place the Break Line in your designated area and use Spacebar to rotate it (while positioning or after it has been placed.)
add break line

Modify Break Line

Once you have placed the Break Line in your view, you can change the size and appearance by using the shape handles inside the view. The other method is by changing the values of the parameters inside the Properties Browser.

modify break line

Change Appearance

To change the Line Style and Color of the Break Line, you can use multiple methods which are:

  • Object Style (project-wide)
  • Visibility/Graphic Overrides
  • Override Graphics in View

In this post, I will only explain the Override Graphics in View method. For the other methods, you can refer to my step-by-step guide in this separate post about Revision Cloud and Tags.

You can change the appearance individually by using the Override Graphics in View. Follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Right-click on the Break Line family
  2. Hover over Override Graphics in View
  3. Click on By Element…
  4. Change appearance settings in the View Specific Element Graphics dialog > Click OK

Create a Custom Break Line

To create a custom Break Line family, you have two options: modify the default family from Autodesk Revit or create one from scratch. Follow the steps written below to create your custom family from scratch. In this example, I will explain how to create a double-dashed Break Line with visibility settings.

The default family templates can be found under this location:
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\RVT XXXX\Family Templates\English

  1. Open the File tab
  2. Hover over New > Click on Family
  3. Select the Metric Detail Item family > Click on Open
create detail item
  1. Create four Reference Planes: two vertical and two horizontal. Go to the Create tab > Click on Reference Plane in the Datum panel or use the default shortcut RP
  2. Create two Yes/No parameters for the Dashed Break Lines visibility and create three Length parameters. Make sure to set all parameters to Instance-based. Add all dimensions to the Reference Planes and give them the appropriate label (see print screen). For the Height add an extra dimension and make it Equal.
break line family revit
  1. Create a Masking Region with the subcategory <Invisible lines> and constrain them to the left, right, bottom, and top Reference Planes. To lock the borders of the Masking Region, you can use the Align tool. Click on Finish Edit Mode.
add masking region
  1. Open the Manage tab
  2. Select Object Styles
  3. Create a new Subcategory for Break Line with a Dashed Line Style > Click OK
object style break line
  1. Open the Create tab
  2. Select Line > and select your just created Subcategory: Break Line
  3. Add two lines for the top and bottom and constrain them on the horizontal plane. Also, constrain them on the left, and right planes.
  4. Select each line and add the visibility parameter that you have created in Step 5.
add lines to family
  1. Save your family
  2. Load your family to your project by clicking the Load into Project button in the Family Editor panel
example break line revit
Variations of the Break Line in Detail Drawing

Wrapping Up

The Break Line in Revit can be a valuable tool for enhancing clarity inside the view and focusing on essential parts of elements, particularly in detail drawings. With this method, you can easily break or truncate elements without hiding them internally.

In Revit, it is possible to add the Break Line into various views and modify them to your requirements. Keep in mind that you can create and customize your own Break Line inside the family editor.

I hope this article helped you to understand what a Break Line in Revit is. How to add and modify the Break Line. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.

Get more stuff like this

Revit, Dynamo, Sketchup and BIM Tips

I hate spam too, so you can unsubscribe at any time.

Leave a Comment