Two-Click Coordination

Imagine the increased amount of coordination that could be accomplished if the coordination procedure consisted of two mouse clicks followed by visual inspection of each sheet. Could it really be that simple? Pinch yourself—you’re not dreaming. This is actually possible with just an extra ounce of setup effort or post-start effort!

This article shows the “behind-the-scenes” procedure that can empower any Autodesk® Revit® user (expert or novice) to visually coordinate Revit model elements without this Revit user needing to add views or tinker with the visibility/graphics dialog box. This procedure can be done in the comfort of the view where the user is primarily displaying information. The impact on model size is negligible, and the procedure has a very low technical difficulty.

The Powerful Potential

Here is an example of the electrical power plan displaying all mechanical and plumbing in the power floor plan with two clicks:

Figure 1: First click and initial view showing power connections

Figure 2: Second click. Buckle up or be prepared to jump for joy

Figure 3: Results of second click. Displaying mechanical and plumbing temporarily in the power floor plan

Procedure for Project Setup

While the procedure above is very simple, getting to that point of simplicity requires a little bit of extra work after the project has been set up. This procedure can be utilized in existing projects, using the same procedures shown. The following paragraphs outline the procedure, which could be implemented into any basic project setup that the company may already have in place.

The first thing to know about the project setup is that it utilizes view templates. If the company’s Revit designers are not comfortable with view templates, this is perfectly okay! The only person who needs to be comfortable with the view templates is the person setting up the project, and if he or she sets up Revit projects, this person probably already knows and utilizes view templates extensively.

The first piece of information to gather is to find out what the users need to coordinate. Experienced designers will know what coordination items will be important down the road, but newer designers may not know the answers quite yet. Good questions to ask the designers include:

  1. What items do light fixtures need to coordinate with?
  2. What does mechanical ductwork need to coordinate with?
  3. Does mechanical piping need to see where electrical equipment is located?
  4. Are there any cross-discipline items that would be useful for designers to have quick access to while designing?
  5. How do design elements in one discipline affect other disciplines? Whose design takes priority?

Once this is understood, devise a plan for how many view templates this will require and which model(s) need to have it. If possible, it can be beneficial to combine a few coordination items into one view template. This can reduce the size of the list users must navigate through, making for a more pleasant user experience. The example shown at the start of the article can be used when electrical designers need to coordinate the physical location of mechanical equipment locations that need electricity. The next example will show how light fixtures from the electrical model can be coordinated with diffusers from the mechanical model. A similar procedure can be done for any other coordination items; over time, these will reveal themselves.

This procedure is best done after all links for a project have been received and linked into the model. Worksets should already be created in the working model and filters (if any) should already be created and placed wherever deemed necessary. If these are not already set up, the view templates may need to be revisited once again at a later time and readjusted.

  1. Click the Temporary View Properties button, and select Enable Temporary View Properties
  • Note: The Temporary View Properties button is located in the bottom of the Revit window, near the Scroll Left button.

Figure 4 – Enabling Temporary View Properties

  • There will be a purple border surrounding the view that indicates that temporary view properties are enabled.

      2.  Open the Visibility/Graphics dialog box and modify the visibility graphics until the items to be coordinated are shown.

  • Note: This is a good time to solicit help from the company’s most experienced Revit personnel as this is the most time-consuming process for this procedure. Every company sets up projects differently, so the difficulty and time will vary from company to  company.

      3.  Once the view has the coordination items showing simultaneously, save these view properties as a new view template.

  • (View Ribbon -> View Templates Dropdown -> Create Template from Current View).
  • Pick a meaningful name that gives a good description, such as “jm Show Mechanical Diffusers.”
  • Note: Prefacing the view template with initials of the originator can help direct questions to the right person if any arise. It can also psychologically stop well-intentioned users from messing with the template.

      4.  Once the name has been decided on, a dialog box will then pop up that has an “Include” column. Uncheck all of these checkboxes except the ones necessary for the proper display (potentially Worksets, Filters, Model Categories, and Links).

Figure 5: Uncheck the unnecessary options from the “Include” column

      5.  For the Discipline parameter, change to Coordination, but leave the Include column unchecked. Note: This will allow users to easily filter to coordination-oriented view templates.

      6.  Once the included columns are toned down to the necessities and the Discipline parameter is set to Coordination, press the OK button.

      7.  Remove the temporary view properties from the view in place and ensure that the view looks how it was originally shown.

  • Note: Use the Temporary View Properties button located in the bottom of the Revit window, near the Scroll Left button.

Testing the New View Template

Once everything is back to its original state, it is time to test the procedure to make sure it works properly for users. If everything was done properly, this new view template should make it possible to quickly display the coordination items.

To do the testing, utilize the procedures outlined in the next two sections. If everything works properly, the desired coordination items will show. The following two sections can also be useful as guides for new users.

Initial Procedure for Revit Production Staff

This section outlines the initial procedure, followed by the simpler procedure for future coordination efforts. Once the model has been set up properly this procedure allows the coordination to happen.

  1. Click the Temporary View Properties button, and select Temporarily Apply Template Properties…
  • Note: The Temporary View Properties button is located in the bottom of the Revit window, near the Scroll Left button.

Figure 6: Click on Temporarily Apply Template Properties…

      2.  After the window pops up, change the Discipline Filter to Coordination.
      3.  Choose the View Template that has been set up for coordinating the desired items.
      4.  Press OK.

  • Note: The border around the view will change colors, indicating that temporary view properties are enabled. The top-left corner will also display “Temporary View Properties.”

      5.  Once coordination has been completed, turn off the Temporary View Properties via the button that enabled the temporary properties originally.

  • Note: Because these view properties are temporary by nature, the user can forget to do this step and not cause any model problems. This can help bring peace of mind to both the end user and the BIM manager on the project.

Subsequent Procedure for Revit Production Staff

That was a little more than two clicks, but the great part about using this procedure is that next time the user does this, he or she can get there with merely two mouse clicks. Revit automatically populates a “Recent Templates” list local to each user’s machine for each project. The new procedure for subsequent coordination becomes:

  1. Click the Temporary View Properties button, and select the proper view template from the Recent Templates list.

Figure 7: Recent view template properties are automatically added by Revit

      2.  Once coordination has been completed, turn off the Temporary View Properties.

As one can see, it is a much easier process the second time around, as the procedure requires only two clicks of the mouse. What a fabulous incentive for users to do coordination this way!

Figure 8: Example of lighting plan that has used temporary view templates to show diffusers

It now merely becomes an educational activity to show users how to use the newly implemented coordination technique, and fortunately, this has already been written up for reuse in the early sections of this article.

Educating users can be as simple as printing the pages of this article and fielding questions as users read and walk through the process. As one of the author’s first work-release coworkers said, “Work Smarter, Not Harder,” as he was loading the lemonade container onto a push-cart destined for the conference room. (Author was hand-carrying the water container to the conference room.)


With proper experience and user input, it is possible to set up a project for more successful coordination across disciplines. As the company’s Revit production staff becomes comfortable with this method, chances are they will like it and request more items for coordination. As the coordination view templates begin to grow, coordination efforts become simpler and better-coordinated drawings can be produced quickly.

Another highlight of this method comes from the fact that it was done using view templates. These templates can be easily reused in future projects via the Transfer Project Standards button in the Manage tab of the ribbon. There may still be the need for some minor tweaks, but naming and model categories will already be complete.

If this has sparked anyone into a grassroots effort for utilizing this method at the office, clothing assistance can be found at

Jerad Meidinger is an Electrical Engineer and Revit MEP Certified Professional. His email address is

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