Operation in Revit



  1. Understand the uses of the type parameter “Keynote” inside the model.
  2. Be able to manage a keynote parameter file in Revit.
  3. Be able to add a legend in sheets scheduling keynote codes used.


  1. User have basic skills in BIM modelling with Revit Software, and understand the language used.
  2. User understands the data structure in models (category > family > type > instance).
  3. There is a need for classifying model elements according to a classification system, internal or external.


In Revit we have several tools for classifying elements. Some of them are out of the box, as the Omniclass classification, the Assembly code or the keynotes, and you also can use a new project parameter for this kind of task. In this document we are going to focus in the keynote tool.

A keynote parameter is available for all model elements (including detail components) and materials. The keynote value is derived from a separate text file that contains a list of keynotes.

Keynotes assigned in a project are linked to their source keynote table. When the keynote table is changed, keynotes in the project will reflect the changes when the project is closed and reopened.

The default keynoting data provided in Revit is based on the 1995 Construction Specification Institute (CSI) Master format system, which uses 16 divisions to organize construction process and materials.

You can use your own one by going to Annotate > Keynote > Keynote Settings and browsing for your file.

We are going back later to this window to talk about the Numbering Method.

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  1. Adding keynote data

As explained before, keynote parameter is available for all system and loadable model and detail elements and for materials. To assign it to a family, you have to open its Type properties panel and click on the icon as the image below:

Then, you only have to browse your keynote file and select the code you want to assign.

For the materials, the workaround is pretty similar. You have to go to Manage > Materials, look for the material you want to assign the keynote and in its Identity data you will find the Keynote section.

  1. Tagging keynotes

Next step in the keynote workflow is tagging the element with the information related. This can be done by clicking on Annotation > Keynote > Element Keynote or Annotation > Keynote > Material Keynote.

User Keynote. This option provides a way to use commonly used notes or phrases to address documentation issues. These additional user notes must be added to the provided keynote text files or included in one that you create. This option is only accessible when you click in an element with the tool Annotation > Keynote > User Keynote selected.

This tool only affect the view in which you are, it doesn’t modify any element property. You have to be careful with its use.

  1. Keynote legends

When you place your view in a sheet, you’ll want to add a legend explaining the codes of the keynote. You can do it by clicking on View > Create > Legend > Keynote legend.

This legend is a schedule that can be placed on sheets. You can work with its properties to filter the items you want to see or to see only the items visible in the current sheet. This can be done by choosing the option Filter by sheet in the legend properties.

The last option for the keynotes is the ability of working with the codes in the keynote file or changing them by a sorted list independent for each view, starting in number 1. To do so, you have to change the Numbering Method in  Annotate > Keynote Settings to “By sheet”.


  • Keynotes are defined in a tab-delimited text file. You can use Microsoft® Excel or a similar spreadsheet application to manage the data, then export it to a tab-delimited file format.
  • Changes made to the keynote table are not available in the current project session of Revit. Changes are available when the project is closed and reopened.
  • Keynote files for a standalone installation reside in the Revit library, which is located by default in %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Autodesk\<product name and release>\Libraries\<locale and language>


Keynotes are a great tool for classifying and describing elements in a project. The joint use with legends will let you to standardize your projects. Depending on your country, you may have a National Standard to follow, as the NBS in UK for instance.

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