Autodesk Revit: An introduction to Symbols

In this Autodesk Revit tutorial we are going to take a look at Symbols. If you’d like to watch the video version of this tutorial first, simply click in the box below….

Revit Symbols allow you to “stamp” your views with standard annotations. The symbols are “actual” size as printed out. For example if you created a rectangular symbol that was 50mm high, then it would actually measure 50mm high on paper when printed out, irrespective of the scale of the view it is on. This property makes symbols really useful for annotations such as North Points.

Let’s go ahead and place a North Point symbol onto this Floor Plan view….



The “Symbol” tool can be found on the “Annotate” menu….




Once you are on the “Annotate” menu, go ahead and select “Symbol”…




Notice the options now available to you on the Options Bar….



You can choose to have a number of Leaders emanating from your symbol (1, above)- note that the default is “0” i.e. no leaders created. You can also choose to be able to rotate your symbol directly after placing it (2, above). In your Properties Palette activate the drop-down Type Selector and choose the “North Point” symbol, Click in the active view to place an instance of the symbol….




In the above image the “View Scale” property is set to 1:100. Note the relative size of the symbol when compared to the nearby double doors. Now if I simply change the “View Scale” to 1:200, take a look at the relative sizes again…




The model elements have changed scale, but the symbol has remained the same. The symbol “looks” bigger because the model has (in effect) shrunk. This demonstrates that Revit Symbols remain at a constant fixed size irrespective of the scale of the view in which they are placed.





The out-of-the-box Autodesk Revit template comes with a very limited palette of symbols. You can load more into your project using the “Load Family” button. This will appear on the ribbon once you have activate the “Symbol” tool. Once you select “Load Family” you can navigate through to the “Annotations” folder in the default Library…..





You can also adapt existing symbols in order to create variants. Just select a symbol you have already placed (1, below) and then hit “Edit Family” (2, below) in order to open the “Family Editor”. Please Note: The use of the Family Editor is outside of the scope of this Beginner’s Guide.





Symbols can also be placed directly onto Sheets, in addition to views

Key Points

  • Use Symbols where you need to add standard notes and/or symbols to your views or sheets
  • Symbols are created at “actual printed size” and remain so when printed
  • Symbols are “Annotation” elements
This tutorial is taken from "The Complete Beginner's Guide to Revit Architecture" FREE online course.
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Posted in Autodesk Revit.