Organizing the Browser: If You Haven’t, Do!

I see many firms whose templates can use a lot of help for efficiency sake, if not sanity. One simple way to start to gain a foothold is to customize the Project Browser.

Figures 1 and 2 illustrate a variation of the organization explained herein; same strategy, perhaps a few different numbers ;)

There are myriad ways this can be done and the interweb has a lot on this concept with some very pointed positions: it also gets us into the “small template or comprehensive template” conversation. I am on the moderately comprehensive template, based on a tiered developmental approach, but that is for another time. Let’s get some help to those who use “All” as their browser organizations, for some quick relief.

FWIW: I do include naming and numbering strategies, mostly based on the NBIMS (National BIM Standards), and while you can obviously do what you like, if we all actually adopted standards, well, then we’d have one… if you get my point :)  Now to the goods:

The purpose of a custom Revit Browser Organization is to enable a logical filing structure to Views and Sheets. Organizing views and sheets into logical and project specific groups allows a large quantity to be easily searched and worked with.


The first course of action is to review the guidelines for creating views; namely, the requisite workflow for creating views will follow these protocols (every single time):

A. Create a View

B. Rename the View

C. Modify necessary View Parameters

D. Get on to work ;)

Hint: Use a View List (the *Mgmt one) to modify large numbers of newly created views.

Elevation & Section Views

There is only one recommended method to create Elevation & Section views imo, and that is:

1) Create a new Elevation or Section using the Elevation or Section View tool.

2) Do not use any of the “duplicate” tools. It is inadvisable to use “Duplicate,” “Duplicate with Detailing,”

or “Duplicate as Dependent” when creating multiple Elevations & Sections (Building, Wall and Detail included).

Duplicating Elevations & Sections creates a host of problems and will also copy the View Markers and these will immediately cover the previous view markers, making an unintelligible set of documents.

This obscuring of data will spiral out of control and make the project nearly unworkable; confusion caused by this will continue to get worse as the project progresses.

Please take note that what may have traditionally been called an elevation is very specifically different in Revit. There are two things that make up Revit’s Elevations and Sections; namely The View & The Elevation itself.


Figure 1

Figure 2

Naming and Renaming Views

View names are one of the many parameters in Revit. These are “Instance” parameters and are accessed from the first window of the modeless Properties window. Instance parameters can be set differently for each distinct “instance” of a family, such as scale, name, etc. BTW, never include “scale” in a View Template—let that be free, you’ll thank me ;)

When naming or renaming views, if the following dialog appears prompting the actual Level be renamed, always choose Yes. Reason being, that set of views are never on sheets as outlined below.  There are reasons, but we have enough to cover.

View Name Convention


Views that go on Sheets

Modified Sentence Case:

Views that do not go on sheets

More on specifics below…

View Properties and Parameters

The View & Sheet Parameters are accessed via the Properties dialog, four of the five used in organizing views fall under the heading “Identity Data.”

Along with the View Name, for each new view we must also set up a Title on Sheet value, along with the Discipline, View Sheet Heading 1 & View Sheet Heading 2. These are used to correctly designate all views into their proper browser organization. Yaay.

A Few Notes on Views:

  • Any annotations placed in views other than CD, SK CA, or Presentation views will NOT find their way to sheets, as the only views that are to be placed onto sheets are CD, CA and/or Presentation views. All other views are for modeling and/or reference and collaboration only.
  • User Sections & Elevations with OOTB families are to be set to use a "Hide at Scales Coarser Than" parameter value set to 12"=1'‐0" (full scale). This will ensure that their symbolic markers do not show up throughout the model views and document set.
  • Manage the location, etc. of these user sections/elevations from a user plan view by changing the scale to full size when editing the extents of the section, etc.
  • When a value is placed in the “Title on Sheet” parameter field, the View name is only used in the Project Browser. This Title on Sheet value is left empty for all views that are not intended for sheets.

Browser ‘View’ Organization

The purpose of a custom browser organization is to enable a logical filing methodology to Views and Sheets. Breaking these out into smaller logical and project specific groups allows a large number of views and sheets to be more easily searched and worked on and with.

Not all views are used for modeling; some are only for documentation, or collaboration/coordination, or presentation. Annotations such as dimensions, annotations, keynotes, etc. are placed for printing purposes only so there will be several copies of each plan view setup for such purposes. Most all modeling is to be done in "User" views that will not go onto sheets. The reasons for this are several‐fold and allow independent component and view visibilities providing smooth team workflows and less “stepping on each other’s toes.”

How to set this up:

  1. Create 2 Project Parameters:

View Sheet Heading 1

View Sheet Heading 2

  1. Input values as follows, for every view and sheet. Always.

Parameter Value Naming Convention

View Sheet Heading 1 (Modified Sentence Case)

View Sheet Heading 2 (Modified Sentence Case)

Family & Type

Organization Structure

The browser organization used for views categorizes them by the following parameters:

View Sheet Heading 1

View Sheet Heading 2

Family & Type

View Sheet Heading 1

The View organization includes, but may not be limited to the following values for View Heading 1.

00 System Views

01 Presentation Views

02 CD Views

03 Coordination Views

04 Study Views

05 RFI Views

06 SK Views

07 Project Defined

08 Project Defined

09 User Views

View Sheet Heading 2

The View organization includes, but may not be limited to the following values for View Heading 2.


3D and Isometrics


Dependent Children



XXX (Denotes User’s Initials)

Verify with your team any additions to these lists.

00 System Views

The System Views are for project management purposes only and are never placed onto sheets.

Associated (Views)

The Default 3D views and all “Level Created” Plan and RCP views are to be organized under “Associated.” Whenever a Level is created and it generates a Plan View those originating (Associated) plans and RCPs are kept in this subcategory. These do not to go onto sheets, even though they are in ALL CAPS (rules do have breaking points).

Associated Views Naming Convention

Associated Views have names that break from the convention of: ALL CAPS= on Sheets, Sentence Case= not on sheets. Associated views are named per project documentation requirements. Since these views’ names also appear on Level Markers, they want to be ALL CAPS for documentation purposes. Remember, when naming or renaming views, if the following dialog appears, always choose Yes.

01 Presentation Views

The “Presentation Views” subset houses those views intended for presentation title block sheets, including but not limited to Overall plans, Dependents, Sections and Elevations, etc.

Presentation View Naming


PResentation Over All LEVEL 01


PResentation Reflected Ceiling Plan Over All LEVEL 01

For other presentation views the naming will follow a similar protocol, with a PR prefix, such as:


PResentation Building Section near grid 5 from grids A to F

02 CD Views

The “CD Views” subset houses those views intended for CD title block sheets, including but not limited to 3D’s, Overall and Enlarged plans, partial Dependent plans, Sections and Elevations, etc.

3D Isometric View Naming


3Dimension ISOmetric @ ENTRY

3D Perspective (Camera) View Naming


3Dimension CAMera @ ENTRY

Dependent ‘Parent’ Plan View Naming

  • Parent views do not themselves go onto sheets so they have Modified Sentence Case naming.
  • The “View Sheet Heading 2” for Parent Dependents is: Dependent.
  • Always annotate and make changes in the Parent views, so all additions and changes are reflected on all child views.

Parent Level 01

Parent RCP Level 01

Dependent ‘Children’ Plan View Naming

The “View Sheet Heading 2” for Child Dependents is:

Dependent Children. With the naming convention:


Construction Document LEVEL 01 North


Construction Document Reflected Ceiling Plan LEVEL 01


Note: By having no “OA” prefix, the child views shall be understood as being partial plans.

CD Enlarged Plan Naming


Construction Document ENlarged LEVEL 01 STAIR A


Construction Document Reflected Ceiling Plan ENlarged


CD Overall Plan Naming


Construction Document OverAll LEVEL 01


Construction Document Reflected Ceiling Plan OverAll


CD Building Elevation Naming


Exterior Elevation OverAll EAST


Exterior Elevation Partial EAST

CD Interior Elevation Naming


Interior Elevation ROOM 101 viewA

CD Building Section Naming

Note: Even though there is to be no “CD” prefix on sections, all section & detail views shall be understood as being for CD’s; thus on sheets: except in the case of User views that would have three initials as a prefix and PR (presentation) views.

BS 5 A‐F

Building Section looking toward grid 5, cutting from grids

A through F

CD Wall Section Naming

WS 5 A

Wall Section looking toward grid 5, cutting near grid A

06 User View Naming

XXX Level 01

User XXX Level 01


  • XXX denotes user’s three initials. If a user has only two initials, please add one to keep the three- letter prefix for user views consistent.
  • The “View Sheet Heading 2” for all User Views is to be the user’s three initials.

Legend View Naming

Legends shall follow the protocols:


Views that go on Sheets

Sentence Case:

Views that do not go on sheets

Schedule View Naming

Schedules shall follow the protocols:


Views that go on Sheets

Sentence Case:

Views that do not go on sheets

*Mgmt schedules are used for management of project data only, never placed onto sheets. The * places these at the top of the schedule’s list.

Browser ‘Sheet’ Organization

Sheets are organized first by Consultant, then View Sheet Heading 1, and finally View Sheet Heading 2. Refer to section.

View Sheet Heading 1

Sheet View “View Sheet Heading 1” parameter values:

Presentation Set

Construction Document Set


SK Set

Etc. (?)

View Sheet Heading 2

Sheet View “View Sheet Heading 2” parameter values follow the National (CAD and) BIM Standards:

 A0’s = General Front Sheets

 A1’s = Plans (Including Dependent views)

 A2’s = Elevations

 A3’s = Sections

 A4’s = Large Scale Views (not Dependent views)

 A5’s = Details

 A6’s = Schedules & Diagrams

 A7’s = *User Defined*

 A8’s = *User Defined*

 A9’s = 3D Representations

View Name Prefixes

These are to be created or modified as necessary for each specific project, using the convention and concepts herein.

Phase Prefixes

DX Demolition of Existing

EX Existing

Note: New views shall be CD views.

3D View Prefixes

3D ISO Three Dimensional Isometric

3D CAM Three Dimensional Camera

3D RDR Three Dimensional Renderings

General Prefixes

OA Overall Views

EN Enlarged Views (Partial Views)

DV Dependent Views

Plan View Prefixes

CD Construction Document

FN Furniture Plans

FP Finish Plans

PC Power & Communication Plans

RCP Reflected Ceiling Plans

SP Site Plans

Section View Prefixes

BS Building Section

WS Wall Section

DS Detail Section (View Generating)

DT Detail (Drafting Views)

Elevation View Prefixes

EE Exterior Elevation

IE Interior Elevation

Schedule View Prefixes

*Mgmt Data Management Schedule

Structural View Prefixes

FS Foundation & Slab Plans

FM Framing Plans

FE Framing Elevations

RB Reinforcing Plans

Coordination View Prefixes

XARC Architectural Coordination

XSTR Structural Coordination

XMEP MEP Coordination

Sheet Number Designations

A00.01 Discipline

A00.01 Type

A00.01 Sub‐Type

A00.01 Level (Plans), Sequence (Others)

A00.01 Sequence

B.1.1 Sheet Types & Sub‐Types

A0’s = Front Sheets, Site, Existing & Demo

A00. Cover

A01. General Notes

A02. ADA

A03. Site & Site Details

A04. Existing

A05. Demo

A1’s = Architectural Plans

A11. Floor Plans

A12. RCP’s

A13. Finish Plans

A14. Power & Comm. Plans

A15. Furniture Plans

A2’s = Architectural Elevations

21. Exterior Elevations

22. Interior Elevations

A3’s = Architectural Sections

31. Building Sections

32. Wall Sections

A4’s = Architectural Enlarged Views (Plan, Section, Elevation, etc.) Note: For Enlarged View’s Sheet sub‐types use similar break down as are in plans, etc.

A5’s = Details

A51. Typical Details

A52. Floor Details

A53. Partition Details

A54. Wall Details

A55. Roof Details

A56. Other Details

A6’s = Schedules & Diagrams

A61. Door & Window Schedules

A62. Room Finish Schedule

A63. *User Defined*

A64. *User Defined*


A7’s = *User Defined*

A8’s = *User Defined*

A9’s = Architectural 3D Sheets

A91. Exterior 3D Sheets

A92. Interior 3D Sheets

So to close, make those two parameters, use them, and if you can deal with the rigors of keeping to naming conventions and team workflows, you should find that an organized browser, even with the coded naming convention suggested herein (proven on countless projects to include most every project inevitability) will enable a smoother, efficient practice.

Learn. Always. Push. Change. Inspire. 
Art - Architecture - Technology - Creativity
With over 20 years of Architectural experience Jay B. Zallan enjoys a varied and diverse portfolio spanning high-end custom residential design, large mixeduse developments, major transportation and infrastructure projects through most every large-scale project type. President of LARUG (Los Angeles Revit Users Group) and an Autodesk Implementation
Certified Expert (ICE), Jay combines unique insights into the creative and business process of AECO with proven management, creativity, and project generating strategies. Enabling, empowering, and inspiring teams to realize their own dreams and potentials beyond limitations (whether real or perceived).

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