In Revit, working with multiple project members on different parts of the project simultaneously is possible. To create a work-shared model in Revit, Worksets must be enabled. This process allows the Revit file to function as a central model after saving. Each user creates a local copy to work on their specific part.
A Workset in Revit is a bundle of elements, such as walls and floors, that project members manage based on ownership. A common use for Worksets is to organize building components by disciplines, such as architecture, structure, and mechanical engineering.
Table of Contents
In this article, I will explain the fundamentals of Worksets, how to use and create custom Worksets, and provide tips on using Worksets effectively.
Worksets in Revit are collections of building elements and graphical output, such as views and sheets within a project. Project members can share and manage these collections with each other. By using Workset, you can divide the building elements into portions such as site, architectural, structural, or mechanical (MEP).
Worksets make it possible for multiple Revit users to work on the same project simultaneously while maintaining the design data. Enabling worksharing in the file will allocate elements to a specific Workset, ensuring each element is associated with a single Workset. Assigning elements to multiple Worksets is not possible.
As Worksets are portions of the model, you can manage them by opening, closing, or changing whether you want to show or hide. Note that there are four categories of Worksets:
- User-Created: These are model Worksets custom-created. Revit also creates a Shared Levels and Grids Workset which is editable.
- Built-in Worksets
- Project Standards: The Worksets in Project Standards contain types for project settings.
- Families: Each loaded family is placed into its own Workset.
- Views: Every view, sheet, and view template in Revit gets its own Workset.
Utilization of Worksets
- I’m using Worksets a lot at the start of a Revit project, so my colleagues and I can start working on a different part of the project. For example, one user creates the conceptual structure, while the other places the exterior facades.
- You can use Worksets for blocking elements to prevent unindented modifications.
- Worksets can also be utilized to manage the visibility of specific elements across different project phases. For instance, you can create a Workset for modeling windows and later deactivate it when linking in a window manufacturer’s details during a later phase.
NoteElements within a group are inherently linked to the Workset of the Model group, and you cannot assign them separately to any other Workset.
The following terms are commonly used with the Worksets feature of Revit:
|Worksharing||This design method allows multiple project members to work on the same model simultaneously.|
|Workshared file||A Revit file with Worksets enabled.|
|Collaboration||Multiple project members are working on the same project. The project members may be from other disciplines, such as architecture, construction, or mechanical. You can achieve collaborative work methods through worksharing and linked models.|
|Workset||A bundle of elements in a project with a specific ownership. When using Worksets in Revit, each discipline can be divided into separate Worksets. Tasks can be assigned accordingly and each individual can be held responsible.|
|Central file||This is the main file for workshared projects. The central file stores the present ownership details for all elements in the Revit project. Moreover, it serves as the central hub for all changes that are published to this file. Each Revit user works on a local copy and syncs with the central file.|
|Local file||This file is a copy of the Central file, where each Revit user works on their Workset. Project members should synchronize their changes periodically to the central model. This allows other members to see the changes as well.|
|Borrowing||This is a feature that allows you to edit an element that you do not have ownership of. When no users own an element, you get permission to borrow automatically. When someone else is editing an element in the project, they become the owner. You can request to borrow that element.|
|File-based Worksharing||This method allows you to create a workshared model stored at a network location.|
|Cloud Worksharing||This method allows you to store a workshared model in the cloud, such as the Autodesk Construction Cloud, for example.|
Enable Worksets in Revit
Now that it is clear what Worksets are in Revit, it’s time to prepare the model as a central file by enabling Worksets. In the examples below I will explain two different methods to create Worksets. The first method is a File-based worksharing model and the second is a Cloud-based worksharing model.
NoteIt’s recommended to use a File server for Revit or the Autodesk Construction Cloud service. Avoid using Cloud services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, etc, as they have latency and not a direct connection to the central file.
Method 1 – Enable Worksets File-based
For the first method, you need a network location to store the central file on (LAN). Follow the steps outlined below:
- Open the Collaborate tab > Manage Collaboration panel
- Click Worksets or Collaborate
- Give the Levels and Grids Workset and the remaining elements Workset a Name > Click OK
- Select Within your network > Click OK
With either the Collaborate or Worksets function, you have enabled Worksharing for your model. The Worksets feature immediately launches the Worksets dialog when you click OK, while the Collaborate function simply activates worksharing; however, you can access the dialog by clicking on Worksets afterward.
Ensure that you save the Revit Project File on the server after enabling Worksets to establish it as the Central Model.
After saving, close the file and generate a local copy, which every user should do from now on.
TipUsing the Worksets File-based method, it’s recommended to create a new local copy every day when opening the project.
Method 2 – Enable Worksets Cloud-based
For the second method, you need Autodesk Construction Cloud with a BIM Collaborate Pro license (for each user). Follow the steps outlined below:
- Open the Collaborate tab > Manage Collaboration panel
- Click Collaborate
- Select In the Cloud > Click OK
- Choose your project from the dropdown menu
- Select the folder to save the file to
- Give your Workshared Revit model a Name > Click Save
Upon clicking the Save button, Revit activates worksharing, generates default Worksets, and stores the file in the cloud. If you have a model already stored in the Cloud without Worksets and wish to add them, select Worksets > Check the boxes (read carefully) > Click Enable.
Create Worksets Revit
After you have enabled Worksets, you can add custom Worksets to your team’s requirements. Choose logical names to clarify each discipline’s or linked files Workset by using a prefix or suffix, for example. Open the Worksets dialog > Click New > Give the New Workset a Name > Click OK.
In the Worksets dialog, you can manage Worksets by creating new ones, deleting those you no longer need, or renaming them as required.
- Rename: To rename a Workset you need to be the owner of that specific Workset by setting it to Editable: Yes.
- Delete: All custom User-created Worksets can be deleted including Shared Views, Levels, Grids after making it Editable. The only exception is that you cannot delete the firstly created Workset, which is called: “Workset1” by default.
When you delete a Workset, you have two choices: delete it entirely or transfer its elements to another Workset.
In the table below, I explain the purpose of each parameter in the Worksets dialog.
|A.||Name||Use logical names for your Worksets for a better understanding. Use a prefix or suffix for example when using links. In the Netherlands, we implement standards outlined in a BIM Execution Plan.|
|B.||Editable||You can set a Workset to Editable Yes (Editable), or No (Non Editable).|
|C.||Owner||When a Workset is set to Editable, the user owns that specific Workset. Only that user can make changes to the elements of that Workset. You can take ownership from within your local file and it’s important to note that only one user can be the owner at any given time.|
|D.||Borrowers||When a Worksets doesn’t have an owner, you can borrow an element by editing. Several project members can access and make changes to Borrowed Worksets. Note that only one borrower at a time can make changes, and has to save it to the central file to relinquish the ownership.|
|E.||Opened||Use this option to Open or Close the Workset, making it possible to “Unload” or “Load” the collection of elements. I recommended closing unused Worksets. This will affect the graphical visibility and data of the model, which will improve the performance of your file.|
|F.||Visible in all views||Use this option to make the Workset Visible or not in all views. This is the global setting, which you can override for each view in the Visibility/Graphics Overrides settings.|
Using Worksets Revit
To assign elements to a Workset, you must set the Active Workset first. Any elements you create from then belong to that specific Workset. To set the active Workset go to the Collaborate tab > Active Workset. An alternative but faster way is to use the Status bar at the bottom of Revit.
Every element in Revit has the parameter “Workset” that you can find in the Properties Browser. This is also the right location to change the Workset to another one. To change the Workset follow the steps outlined below:
- Select the element(s)
- Go to the Properties Browser > Identity Data Group
- Click on the dropdown menu next to the Workset parameter
- Select the desired Workset > Click Apply or move away cursor from the Properties Browser
NoteElements like tags and dimensions within Views are associated with the Workset of that particular View, and the same applies to Views placed on a specific Sheet. In both cases, the Workset parameter is greyed out, and you cannot change it.
Sync and Relinquish Worksets
If you are either the owner or borrower of the element and need to transfer ownership to another Revit user, you can Relinquish it by following the steps outlined below:
- Open the Collaborate tab > Manage Collaboration panel
- Click the dropdown menu Synchronize with Central
- Select Synchronize and Modify Settings
- Check Borrowed Elements and User-created Worksets (owner) > Click OK to synchronize with the central model. Optional: Save Local File before and after synchronizing with central.
The next time you save and synchronize to the central, you can use the Synchronize Now button, which will use the latest settings.
In Revit, you can control the visibility of Worksets after enabling them. You will see a new tab inside the Visibility/Graphics Overrides settings. Inside this tab, you can choose to Show, Hide, or use the Global Setting controlled in the Workset dialog. Follow the steps below to control these settings:
- Open the View tab > Graphics panel
- Click Visibility/Graphics (Shortcut: VV)
- Click the Worksets tab
- Select a Visibility Setting from the dropdown menu next to each Workset > Click OK/Apply
The Worksharing Display tool in Revit enables you to conveniently check the owner of each element, the associated Workset, and any elements currently checked out by other users. You can enable these temporary settings by following the steps outlined below:
- Go to the View Control Bar at the bottom of Revit
- Click the Worksharing Display Off button
- Select any temporary view you like to use (Checkout Status, Owners, Worksets)
To change the colors for the different temporary views, click on the Worksharing Display Settings… and then change the colors on each tab to your preferences. Moreover, it’s possible to turn the color off by unchecking the Show Color in the settings.
The orange border around the work area in Revit indicates that you have enabled the temporary display settings.
Tips & Tricks for Worksets Revit
Lastly, here are some additional tips and tricks to enhance your efficiency when working with Worksets in Revit.
- Use a separate Workset for each file you link into your model, making it easier to control visibility and closing when not using it.
- Use View Templates to automate Visibility/Graphics Override settings for Worksets.
- When working with BIM ACC in Revit, the Revit Collaboration Cache is used. It allows you to download the models you open to your computer for editing in Revit. Also, downloaded linked files will be stored there. Remember to occasionally clear the cache folder to free some disk space. Read more about it in this article: How to Cleanup Revit Temp Files.
- Since Revit 2024, it is possible to change the location of the cloud model cache files.
To collaborate with multiple project members in Revit, you can enable Worksets, which instantly allows worksharing for the model. This method creates a central model after saving, and every user can create a local “copy” of the model to work with.
Dividing the project into the right Worksets serves as the foundation for effective worksharing. As Worksets can be a bit challenging to comprehend, you can experiment with them on a small test project with a few colleagues to observe how they function and evaluate their usability.
I hope this article helped you to learn the fundamentals of Worksets in Revit and how to create, use, and manage them for your project. If you have any questions, just drop a comment below.