Legend Components
General Revit Tips

You Legend! – Creating Legends in Revit using Legend Components

Whilst we create digital models and work in 3D, at the end of the day we still need to produce 2D drawings which can be understood by many. Our drawings are really just lines on a sheet, which in turn represent the building (or bridge, plane, kitchen whatever…). A lot of the times our drawings are self explanatory or are understood with text notes, but sometimes (especially if the drawing is cluttered) we need the help of Legends to help tell the story.

Creating Legends using Legend Components

Legends are a clear way of showing what a particular element represents. This could be standard building elements such as floors, walls, columns, or indicative items such as symbols or line types.

For many years, I use to painstakingly match the hatch pattern of a modeled element (a wall for example), to a new filled region. I would then draw a filled region in a legend, the same width etc. that would represent the wall in the model. I did this for as long as I could remember, until I recently discovered Legend Components!

First off, lets start with creating a Legend.

On the View tab, under Create you will find the Legend button.

Alternatively, on the Project Browser you can right click on Legend and select New Legend…

Legend Components

Give it a name and a scale. If you are creating a Legend of modeled elements (a Wall Legend for example), then you want to set the scale to match your floor plans.

Now here’s the fun part. On the Annotate tab, click the Component drop-down and right at the bottom, select Legend Component

Legend Components

This brings up a sub-menu, where under Family we can choose from all the Model elements in the project.

Legend Components

Once we have selected an element, we can choose how we display it from the View dropdown. (e.g how you would see it in plan or section). Also the Host length option controls the length of the element within the Legend.

Legend Components

Legends components are effected by the Detail level (e.g course/medium/fine), so make sure the Detail level is the same as your plans.

Legend Components

Next, just add some text as you normally would to describe the elements (You can’t tag unfortunately).

BOOM! Awesome legend without having to use filled regions. The great thing about Legend Components is, if you change how your elements are displayed in the model, then your Legend automatically updates as well! Awesome!

Legends are pretty straightforward, but with the help of Legend Components they become a bit ‘smarter’ too!

If you have any other suggestions on creating legends in Revit then please share them in the comments below!


-Talk soon
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Article written by:

Structural Revit Technician and BIM/Drafting Manager from New Zealand. Founder of revitIQ.com

Join the discussion

  1. Pingback: You Legend! – Creating Legends in Revit using Legend Components - Revit news

  2. Phil Sheridan

    I and many others, if the forums are any indication, find legends not fit for purpose. They might work for walls but they have many limitations that should be quite easy for Autodesk to fix but they don’t . For example , they only show ceilings in section when what most people want to show is a legend of how the ceiling is represented on plan. Door and window elevation legend components can’t be snapped to which makes adding additional linework and dimensioning difficult, and legend components can’t be tagged so you have to use dumb text to identify a component (not the BIM way of doing things).

  3. Caleb Bulow

    Thanks – these are some great tips!

  4. Eduardo

    Thanks for sharing Karl. Worth noting, we can also create a legend of our project’s 2D symbols. The procedure is the same except that instead of choosing a “Legend Component”, you can choose a “Symbol” at the right end of the Annotate tab.

  5. Callum Freeman

    Awesome Karl!

    One frustrating limitation of Legends, is that you cant keynote / tag the legend component – does anyone have any clever workarounds for this?

    Detail components can be Tagged/Keynoted, and the Legend component can be Material Tagged/Keynoted – but is there a better way?

  6. Payam Rad

    Great post. Too bad revit doesn’t let you (yet) to create legend for ceiling or floors in “plan” view.

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