Autodesk Revit: Detail Levels

In this Autodesk Revit tutorial I am going to explain the concept of Detail Levels. If you’d like to watch the video version of this tutorial, simply click in the box below…



Detail Levels in Revit as effectively view settings that show you one of three different representations of your model elements. Just be absolutely clear: There are only THREE Levels of Detail contained in Revit. This is “hard wired” into the software. You CANNOT choose to have (for example) 10 Levels of Detail. Everyone using Revit is confined to these THREE Levels. However, YOU can choose (for the component content you create) exactly what is shown for each of those three levels.

Let’s take a simple Revit Project to help explain this further. In the image below you can see a Floor Plan view of my model. Let’s focus on the window and door at the bottom of the plan….





For both the window and door, the components are drawn very simplistically. For example, the door leafs do not even have any thicknesses to them. This is because this Floor Plan View is currently set to display a “Coarse” Level of Detail….



Detail Levels are view-specific. That means that they are set on a “per view” basis. By far the easiest way to change a view’s Detail Level is to use the icon on the view’s “View Control Bar”…..





Go ahead and click on the Detail Level icon on the View Control Bar- see the image above. The popup shows you the three Detail Levels that you can choose from- Coarse, Medium or Fine. Each Detail Level has it’s own graphic symbol for the icon. Go ahead and change the Detail Level to “Fine”. The view changes accordingly….



Notice (in the above image) that on a “Fine” Level of Detail, the walls now show their individual layers (1), the window show it’s sill and cavity closers (2) and the door shows it’s frame, door leaf thickness (3) and threshold (4). You can also change a view’s Detail Level via it’s “View Properties”. You will find the “Detail Level” property in the “Graphics” group of parameters….





If you wish the override a view’s base “Detail Level” setting for a specific category, you can do so via the view’s “Visibility / Graphics Override” panel. Simply use the keyboard shortcut “VV” to bring up the view’s Visibility / Graphics Override panel. The last column is for “Detail Level”. Notice the default value for each category is “By View”- that is, the Detail Level for each category of element will be the same as the general setting for the view as a whole. Click on the category you need to override and choose an appropriate Detail Level from the drop-down.




All System Families (i.e. Walls, Roofs, Floors, etc) have their “Detail Level” graphics hard-wired into the software. For standalone component families (i.e. the one’s you create and edit with the Family Editor)- YOU can choose EXACTLY what is show at each of the three Detail Levels.

Key Points

  • There are 3 Detail Levels hard-wired into Revit
  • You set the Detail Level on a per-view basis
  • Individual categories of elements can have their Detail Level overridden.
This tutorial is taken from "The Complete Beginner's Guide to Revit Architecture" FREE online course.
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Posted in Autodesk Revit.