How to Use Revit Scope Box – Complete Guide

For creating professional and consistent-looking views on sheets, Revit has a nice feature called a Scope Box. The Scope Box is a 3D transparent-looking box that can help you out with controlling the view and Datum extents (Grids and Levels).

Within a Revit project, you can have multiple Scope Boxes that organize your views. We can also add custom names to these Scope Boxes, making it easier to manage and keep track of them. The advantage of using Scope Boxes is that they are 3D, which means you can drag them all over the different levels of the model and crop views on each level to the same extent.

In this article, we are going to take a look at what a Scope Box is used for, how to create a Scope Box, and assign it to a view. Additionally, I will give some tips and tricks you can use while working with Scope Boxes.

What is a Scope Box?

A Scope Box in Revit is a 3D transparent-looking box that can be used to crop (multiple) views with ease. Whenever you change the size of the Scope Box, every view that is assigned to this box will change as well. So in fact, you don’t have to resize every view individually.

In addition to the cropping view extents, managing the Datum elements such as Grids and Levels is possible. We can use the Scope Box to align the extent of these elements to the border of the box. This comes in very useful when we want to create consistent-looking views. Without this method, it can be a mess and time-consuming task to align the same extents.

Tip

After placing a Scope Box, you can pin or hide it to avoid accidental adjustments.

Create Scope Box

To create a Scope Box we have to open a Plan View, this is also where the bottom of the Box begins. Don’t worry about the size and height when placing the Scope Box, because we can adjust the location and size/height afterward. This can be done within any view, such as a (ceiling) plan, elevation, section, or 3D view. Follow the steps below to create a Scope Box:

  1. Open a Plan View
  2. Open the View tab > Create panel
  3. Click on Scope Box
place scope box revit
  1. Give the Scope Box a Name and Height
  2. Drag the Scope Box by clicking in the upper left corner to the bottom right corner.

After you have placed the Scope Box, notice that the rotate symbol [A] is at the upper right corner, which will be your indicator for the orientation. Read here for more information.

scope box revit
Scope Box placed in Plan View is also visible in other views

Step 4 is optional, you can also change the Name and Height after placing the Scope Box. Change the name of the box in the Properties Browsers. To change the Height of the Scope Box we can open an elevation, section, or 3D view and then drag the blue shape handles.

Update: with Revit 2024, you can change the Height of the Scope Box by using the Height parameter in the Properties Browser. It is still possible to use the Drag symbol to adjust the height. Note that the Name and Height parameters are now only available in the Properties Browser and are no longer accessible from the options bar.

scope box properties
You can adjust the height of the Scope Box by dragging the Shape Handles or using the Height parameter.

Note

While a Scope Box can help you to ensure consistent-looking views, it’s not possible to create an exact Scope Box in Revit, as the software does not allow for precise measurement inputs.

Assign Scope Box to View

Now that you have placed the first Scope Box, we can continue by assigning the Scope Box to single or multiple views within Revit. We can do this by following the steps:

Single View

  1. Open the View you want to assign
  2. Go to Properties Browser > Extents category > Scope Box parameter > Assign the Scope Box
assign scope box revit

Single or Multiple Views

  1. Open the Project Browser > Select one or multiple views (hold down CTRL-key when clicking multiple)
  2. Go to Properties Browser > Extents category > Scope Box parameter > Assign the Scope Box

After assigning the Scope Box, notice that all assigned views are uniformly cropped and now match the extent of the box. This results in a consistent-looking appearance.

plan views
Plan Views on different levels share the same Crop with the Scope Box

Note

Whenever a Scope Box is assigned to a view you are unable to remove the Crop View (it will grey out). In order to remove the crop, change the Scope Box to None temporarily.

Assign Scope Box to Grids & Levels

The Scope Box in Revit can also help you create consistency for organizing Datum elements effectively. A Scope box can control the 3D extent of elements such as Grids, Levels, and Reference Planes.

  1. Select Datum elements (grids, levels, and or reference planes)
  2. Go to Properties Browser > Extents category > Scope Box parameter > Assign the Scope Box
assign grids and levels to scope box

Note that in this instance, the 3D extents (A) of the Levels will align with the borders of the Scope Box. The 3D extent will become locked whenever a Scope Box is assigned to it, and you are unable to move it. Yet, it is possible to drag the blue dots of The View Specific Extent (B), which is in this case independent of any other view.

Furthermore, Revit will automatically create a visually consistent offset (C) of around 2540mm on a 1:100 scale, between the 2D and 3D extents in the horizontal and vertical way. This automatic offset is visually created to indicate the distinction between the 2D and 3D extents.

assigned datum elements

Scope Box Tips

If you want to make the most out of the featured Scope Box in Revit, there are a few tips to keep in mind. The tips below can help you improve your views’ efficiency and consistency.

Visibility

When you place a Scope Box, Revit will automatically show this in 3D views and all other views where they intersect with the view cut plane. To avoid any adjustment of the Scope Box, we can turn it invisible for each different View Type.

To open the Scope Box Views Visible settings: Select one or multiple Scope Box(es) > Properties Browser > Views Visible parameter > Edit…

The Automatic visibility column will display the current state of visibility. We can adjust the visibility in the Override column. There are three options available, which are self-explanatory:

  • None: Scope Box stays as shown in the Automatic visibility column
  • Invisible
  • Visible
scope box visibility

Tip

In addition to the visibility settings of Scope Boxes, you can also think of hiding them individually or by using a special View Template which excludes Scope Boxes.

Rotate Scope Box

Scope Boxes can be a valuable tool for overcoming challenges in placing angled views on sheets in Revit. It is possible to control the angle of the Scope Box by rotating it. The rotation symbol located in the top-right corner indicates that the Scope Box is positioned correctly. The right side of the Scope Box corresponds to the right side of the view when it is assigned to the Scope Box. In the example below, you will see that the cropped view is now aligned with the Scope Box.

rotate scope box revit

Furthermore, it is possible to change sides on the cropped view by rotating the Scope Box by 90 degrees each time. So the different sides (Right, Left, Top, Bottom) will change.

rotated view

Note

Taking out the Scope Box from a view in Revit results in the crop angle reverting back to its default.

Propagate Extents

As mentioned earlier, consistency in the Grids and Levels can be done by assigning a Scope Box to these elements, which will align the 3D extents. If you modify the 2D extents to achieve a better fit later on, the changes will only apply to the view in which they are made. To save time, Revit has a nice feature we can use to “Copy” these changes of the 2D extents to other views, which is called: Propagate Extents.

propagate extents
Example of copying the appearance of datum elements to parallel views
  1. Open a View and select Datum elements
  2. Go to Modify | Grids > Click on Propagate Extents
  3. In the Propagate datum extents window, select views to “copy” the 2D extents > Press OK
propagate datum extents

Reset Extents

If you made a mistake changing the 2D extents, you have the ability to reverse any changes made to the 2D extents. When you choose to reverse these changes, the 2D extents of the datum elements will restore to their previous state. This simply means that when we assigned the Scope Box, the datum elements will return back with the consistent offset to this box. If there is no Scope Box assigned, the datum elements will lock and merge together into the 3D extents.

Select the datum elements you prefer to reset > Right-click > Select Reset to 3D Extents

Scope Box PDF setting

When printing a view to PDF or to any printer instantly, you have the option to show or hide the Scope Boxes by selecting the “Hide scope boxes”, which is enabled by default. To learn more about creating PDFs in Revit, refer to this article for additional details and options.

hide scope box print setting

Greyed Out Scope Box

What if you wish to assign a Scope Box to a View, but the parameter is greyed out and unavailable to set? The solution for this problem has something to do with a cropped view which is probably already edited. If the crop boundary, which is defined by four model lines, cannot form a perfect rectangle, the Scope Box parameter will grey out.

If you are experiencing the problem of a Scope Box being greyed out in Revit, follow the next steps to fix it:

  1. Choose the specified View > Properties Browser > Make Crop Region Visible
  2. Click on the Boundary
  3. Go to Modify | Floor Plan > Click on Reset Crop

As a result, the Scope Box parameter will become available again. After resetting the crop boundary, the Reset Crop tool will become greyed out. This is an indication that the crop is no longer edited.

greyed out scope box
Example of an edited Crop Boundary, which will grey out the Scope Box parameter

Wrapping Up

Creating professional and consistent-looking views on sheets can be a time-consuming task, which we can automate using a Scope Box. The Scope Box can help you out controlling views and datum extents such as grids, levels, and reference planes.

It is possible to have multiple Scope Boxes in Revit, which allows you to control different views. A huge advantage of these Scope Boxes is that they are 3D, so you can drag them over multiple levels. When assigning the Scope Box, you can crop multiple views to the same boundary.

I hope you found this article helpful, if you have any questions, just drop a comment below.

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7 thoughts on “How to Use Revit Scope Box – Complete Guide”

    • Select the Scope Box in your model > Modify | Scope Boxes (in toolbar section) > Modify panel > Select Pin icon (Shortcut: PN). Its above the Delete icon.

  1. Beste Ralph,

    Is er een ‘workaround’ om een scope box te oriënteren naar een werkvlak ?
    Als in pyRevit >3D> optie: Orient section box to face.

    • First, place the Scope Box with the rotation symbol located in the top-right corner. Then, create a Reference Plane on a corner of an element. Select the Scope Box > Rotate > Place center of rotation on the corner (shortcut is Spacebar) > select start ray (Reference Plane) > then align it with the angled element. Your Scope Box fits the same angle as the element.

    • Have you associated your working Plan or 3D view with a Scope Box? If yes, set it to None in the Properties Browser, and then you can adjust the Scope Box. If the Scope Box is pinned then unpin it.

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