Revit Groups – Everything you need to know

Revit Groups is a nice feature that allows you to place many repeating model entities simultaneously. You can think about repeating floor plan layouts, repeating walls, or repeating facades with different options. This feature might be somewhat infamous due to different bugs, but good preparation makes it a nice addition to Revit.

Using groups has the advantage of associativity among them. For example, when you have a floor plan Group with multiple instances and you like to add a new door or modify anything else, it changes this for all the same Group instances. If used properly, this can be a notable time saver.

In this article, we will explore the different features of Revit Groups, including how to set and modify them. Additionally, I will provide tips and workarounds for using these Groups effectively.

Revit Groups Overview

Revit Model Group allows you to create or place multiple defined Groups of elements, where each Group contains multiple entities. This feature is beneficial when creating representations of recurring layouts, for example. In Revit, you can create Groups for various purposes. These Groups are made up of:

  • Model Groups: You can create Model Groups, which contain model elements, such as walls, floors, windows, doors, furniture, etc.
  • Detail Groups: Detail Groups allow you to add view-specific elements to a Group. You can think of elements such as text, detail items, filled regions, and even dimensions. For example, you can group a filled region with dimensions attached to it.
  • Attached Detail Groups: A Detail Group can be attached to a Model Group, creating an Attached Detail Group. In this case, you can add view-specific elements that are associated with model elements. For instance, you can add dimensions or tags to an Attached Detail Group, but you ensure that you attach or host these view-specific elements to the elements of the Model Group.
revit groups
different revit groups
I. Model Group II. Detail Group III. Attached Detail Group

It is important to note that it is impossible to Group model elements together with view-specific elements in Revit. Whenever you try to select model elements and view-specific elements and create a Group [I], Revit will create a separate Model Group [II] and an Attached Detail Group [III] which is associated with the Model Group.

model and detail groups

One main restriction in creating Groups in Revit is that if you cannot copy elements together, you also cannot group them. For example, you can’t Group a curtain panel without selecting the entire curtain wall.

Tip

If you like to know more about creating detail drawings in Revit, you can read this article: Detailing in Revit- Everything you need to know

Group Instance Properties

In Revit, you can select any Group and modify or check the instance properties inside the Properties Browser. Of course, you can add your custom project parameters to the Groups but there are two built-in parameters by default.

Instance parameterDescription
Reference LevelThis parameter shows to what Level the Group belongs or refers to.
Origin Level OffsetYou can use this to give the Group an offset from the Level it refers to.
Group Instance Properties
group instance properties

Create Model or Detail Groups Revit

In Revit, you can use different methods for creating Groups with model elements. The first method is selecting elements in a view and grouping them with the Create Group feature. The second method uses the Group editor and you can add elements individually to the Group.

Method 1 – Selecting Elements

The first method is the most common method for creating Groups because you can select elements and Group them in a few steps without many clicks. Follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Open the right view > Select the required elements (drag a selection border or use CTRL + Left Mouse Button to select multiple elements)
  2. Open the Modify | Multi-Select tab (or Modify | <Element>) > Create panel
  3. Click Create Group (shortcut: GP) > Create Model Group dialog opens
  4. In the Create Model Group dialog, give the Group a proper Name > Click OK

Optional: You can select the Open in Group Editor [A] if you want to edit elements inside the group directly.

create model group revit

Method 2 – Group Editor

The second method is using the Group Editor directly and adding new model elements to the Group. Unfortunately, you have to add existing elements to the Group one by one by selecting them. Follow the steps written below:

  1. Open the Architecture tab > Model panel
    • Alternative: Open the Structure tab > Model panel
    • Alternative: Open the Annotate tab > Detail panel
    • Alternative: Open the Modify tab > Create panel
  2. Click Model Group > Select Create Group from the dropdown menu > Create Group dialog opens
create group
  1. In the Create Group dialog, give the Group a proper Name
  2. Choose a Group Type (Model or Detail) > Click OK > Edit Group mode opens (notice the sand-colored background)
  3. If you like to add existing model elements to the group go to Edit Group tab > Select Add
  4. Click the required elements from the model to add them to the Group
    • You can also add new model elements from any creation tools, such as walls, floors, roofs, etc.
  5. Click Finish
create model group

Place Revit Groups

After creating a Group, you have the flexibility to add an unlimited number of Model and Detail Groups to your model using various methods. The most common way to place a group is by using the Place Model Group feature or by copying an existing group.

Place Model or Detail Groups

To place a Model Group in your model, follow the steps:

  1. Open the Architecture tab > Model panel
    • Alternative: Open the Structure tab > Model panel
  2. Click Model Group
  3. Select Place Model Group from the dropdown menu
  4. Choose a Model Group to place from the Type Selector > Click inside the view to place the Group.
place model groups revit

To place a Detail Group in your model, follow the steps:

  1. Open the Annotate tab > Detail panel
  2. Click Detail Group
  3. Select Place Detail Group from the dropdown menu
  4. Choose a Detail Group to place from the Type Selector > Click inside the view to place the Group.
place detail groups revit

An alternative way to place the Model or Detail Groups is by using the Project Browser. From the Project Browser go to the Groups tab > Simply drag the Group to the view. This only works for Detail and Model Groups and not for Attached Detail Groups.

project browser groups

Edit Revit Groups

In Revit, you have many options to modify Groups. For example, you can add or remove elements from the Group, you can ungroup it, or even duplicate a whole Group. Furthermore, it is possible to change the Group origin, making it easy to swap with other Groups.

Add or Remove Elements

You can always add or remove elements from the model or detail Group which makes you very flexible in using them. To add or remove elements, follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Select the model or detail Group
  2. Go to the Modify | Model Groups tab > Group panel
  3. Click Edit Group
add or remove elements from group
  1. Add or Remove elements from the group using the Edit Group panel and selecting the elements inside the viewport.
  2. Click Finish or Cancel (to undo all changes)

Tip

You can update the changes made in Edit Mode by pressing the ESC-button. This is useful when you want to see updates of the added elements without finishing the Group editor.

Ungroup

Sometimes in Revit, you may have grouped elements that you now want to separate again. In this case, you can easily Ungroup them with the Ungroup feature. Follow the steps written below:

  1. Select the model or detail Group
  2. Go to the Modify | Model Groups tab > Group panel
  3. Click Ungroup
ungroup revit elements

Note that ungrouping a Group in Revit does not automatically mean that the Group is totally gone from the file. You can find the model or detail Group inside the Project Browser and delete it from there or Purge the Groups.

Duplicate Groups Revit

To save time, you can create a new Group type from an already-existing one in Revit. Duplicating the Group type allows you to edit the newly created Group without interfering with the original Group instances.

  1. Select the model or detail Group
  2. Go to the Properties Browser > Click Edit Type > Type Properties dialog opens
  3. In the Type Properties dialog, click Duplicate…
  4. Give the Group a Name > Click OK twice
duplicate revit groups

Alternative: You can also duplicate a Group by going to the Project Browser > Right-click the Group > Select Duplicate > Rename the Group (Shortcut: F2 to rename).

duplicate from project browser

Position Group Origin

Each Group type you have created has an Origin point placed in the middle of the Group by default. This origin point is used while placing, swapping, and rotating Group types. You are allowed to change the Group Origin at any given time.

It’s recommended to always change the place of the Origin right after creating a new Group. I mostly use the intersection of two Grids or corners of walls inside the Group. Using this technique makes it easy to swap out different layouts at the same origin. Follow the steps outlined below to change the Origin:

  1. Select a model or detail Group > Origin becomes visible (in the middle of Group by default)
  2. Drag the center blue dot to move it to your required location
revit group origin
  1. Optional: You can rotate the Origin by clicking and dragging the end controls. Alternatively, you can mirror the X-axis and Y-axis by clicking on the letters X or Y and selecting “Yes”.
rotate or mirror group origin

Tip

By placing the Origin of Groups consistently, you can take out the advantages of easily swapping out Groups. This is very useful while working with different Design Options. Learn more about Design Options here: Design Options in Revit – What you need to know.

Create Attached Detail Groups

Revit Groups can not contain both model elements and view-specific elements. When you create a Group containing both types, Revit automatically will separate them and create an Attached Detail Group for that Model Group. You can create an Attached Detail Group by following the steps below:

  1. Open a view > Select the required view-specific elements (elements must be associated with an existing model Group)
  2. Open the Modify | Multi-Select tab (or Modify | <Element>) > Create panel
  3. Click Create Group (shortcut: GP) > Create Model Group dialog opens
  4. In the Create Model Group dialog, give the Group a proper Name > Click OK
create attached detail group

Note that when you create a Group, Revit automatically detects which view-specific elements belong to the Model Group. If any of the view-specific elements are not associated with the Group you will get noticed by a warning.

revit group warning

When creating a Group, any unassociated elements are kept outside of the Attached Detail Group. You can modify these elements and re-associate them with the Group.

Place Attached Detail Group

When you have placed multiple Group instances and you like to add the same Attached Detail Group to them, simply follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Select one or multiple instances of the same Model Group
  2. Open the Modify | Model Groups tab > Group panel
  3. Click Attached Detail Groups > Attached Detail Group Placement dialog opens
  4. In the Attached Detail Group Placement dialog, select the right Group > Click OK

Alternative: You can also uncheck or delete Groups to hide it from the current view.

add attached detail group revit

Tips & Tricks for Revit Groups

Lastly, here are some additional tips and tricks to enhance your use of Revit Groups.

  • Avoid elements to join, lock, or attach with elements outside the Group. For walls, you can use the Disallow function for example. This also allows you to easily swap between different other Groups.
  • Do not use any datum elements inside your Model Groups, such as Levels, Grids, and Scope Boxes.
  • It is possible to use Rooms inside Model Groups, as the rooms do not vary from the specific Group. Room numbers can vary because they are instance-based and you can change them anytime.
  • When you receive an error message instructing you to Fix Groups, avoid using it as it either ungroups the group or creates a new one. In both cases, it doesn’t fix your Group. Please remember to always Cancel this message and attempt to resolve the issue manually. Expand the message to read what elements are causing the problem.
fix groups revit
  • When using Worksets in Revit, keep note that all elements within the Group belong to the same Workset as the Group is in. It is not possible to change an individual element to another Workset inside that Group.
  • It is important to keep hosted elements and their hosts together in a group to avoid any excluded elements.
  • Sometimes you might lose the Edit Group panel with buttons to Finish or Cancel the Group Editor. In this case, you can use the default Shortcuts to Finish (FG) or Cancel (CG) the Group Editor.
  • You can save Groups individually as a Revit Project file (.rvt). Go to the File tab > Save As > Library > Group > Give the Group a File name or use “Same as group name” > Select the Group To Save > Optional: check “Include attached detail groups as views” > Click Save.

Wrapping Up

Revit Groups is a feature that can help manage repeated model elements in your project, such as floor plan layouts or facades, for example. Although there may be occasional bugs, preparing the elements properly can turn this feature into a valuable tool.

One of the key benefits of using Groups is that they allow for associativity among them. This means that you can easily modify one instance and see the changes reflected across all other Groups. This can save time and effort. Combining Groups with Design Options is an effective way to switch between layouts efficiently.

I hope this article helped you to understand the different Group features in Revit, including how to set them up and modify them. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions, tips, or tricks I did not mention.

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