Creating Working Sections in Revit

As I work on building projects inside Revit, I like to place sections in my model for continual design review.  These are sections that will never be placed on a sheet for construction documents, but are there just for my usage.  This is a very common occurrence and utilized by most Revit users, so I am not unique in this practice.  When providing Revit training, I always recommend usage of sections for this purpose.

When placing sections, I like to know specifically which sections are for my usage and which ones are intended to be placed on sheets.  Therefore, I have a special section type used specifically for this purpose so that I don’t get confused (or anyone else looking at the views in the model).Working Section

The following instructions will walk you through making a basic section type to use for working sections.

Step 1: Create a Custom Section Head

  1. Go to the Annotations folder of the Revit library and make a copy of the Section Head that is most similar to what you desire. For my desired appearance, I made a copy of “Section Head – Open.rfa”.
  2. Change the name of the copied section head family to Section Head – Working.rfa.
  3. Open the Section Head – Working.rfa file into Revit into the Family Editor.
  4. Modify the family:
    1. Delete the Labels that specify the detail number and the sheet number since this information will not be needed.
    2. Delete the horizontal line going through the middle of the bubble.
    3. Delete the “SIM” text since it will not be needed.Working Section - Delete Text
    4. Using the Text command, place center justified text in the middle of the bubble with uppercase “W” as the text. This will always have the working section show as a “W” on the view.Working Section - Head
      1. I selected the Edit Type button for the Text Note 1 text type and changed the Text Size to 3/16″ so that the “W” would not be as big as it defaulted to.
      2. IMPORTANT NOTE:  The text must be left justified to work properly in Revit 2017.  This is evidently due to the changes to text made in the 2017 version since Center justification will work in prior versions.
  5.  Save the file and load the family into your template/project.

Step 2: Create a Section Type

  1. Inside your project file (.rvt) or template file (.rte), start the Section command.
  2. Select the Edit Type button in the Properties palette.
  3. In the Type Properties dialog box, select the Duplicate… button.
    1. In the Name dialog box, type Working Section for the name and pick the OK button.
    2. For the Section Tag parameter, click in the Value area and select the button to the right of the box.Working Section - Section Tag Button
  4. In the Type Properties dialog box, pick the Duplicate… button.
  5. In Name dialog box, type Working Section for the name and pick the OK button.
  6. In the Type Properties dialog box, pick the down arrow for the Value next to the Section Head parameter.
    1. Select the nearly created and loaded Section Head – Working family that was added.Working Section - Section Head Value
    2. Change the Section Tail value if desired.
  7. Pick the OK buttons to close out of the dialog boxes.


You now have a Section mark that looks different than your other sections in the model views so it is obvious which ones are not meant to go on a sheet.

There are other changes that you can make to this new Section type, including assigning a default View Template for Working Sections.  You may desire the appearance of this working section to be even more different than the standard sections, so I encourage you to modify it as desired.

See follow-up article on keeping Working Sections from printing.

See follow-up article on creating a personalized working section.


4 thoughts on “Creating Working Sections in Revit

  1. Pingback: Personal Section View in Revit | Applying Technology to Architecture

  2. I’m having a problem where after I sync and reopen a file, my W disappears. I’m using Revit 2017.2 but I left the text left justified per your instructions. If I try center or right justified text, the W flies off about 100′ to the left of my section head. I don’t see any way to snap text to the center of the section head circle. Any thoughts? Thanks!!

    • Unfortunately, that is a quirk that appeared in Revit 2017 and I see center justified text jump 100′ to the side just like you are seeing.

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