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Views: Duplicating Views

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In this article we are going to take a look at the Duplicate View tool, within Revit Architecture. Please note that this tool is also found in all other flavours of Revit (ie Revit Structure and Revit MEP) and works in exactly the same manner.

The “Duplicate View” tool can be found on the “View” menu, in the “Create” tab. The interesting thing about the tool is that it contains three different options. These are:-

a) Duplicate View

b) Duplicate with Detailing

c) Duplicate as Dependent

We are going to take a look at each of these in turn and see how they fundamentally differ from each other. We will use simple graphic examples to explain how each one works. So let’s get started….

Duplicate View

The first option “Duplicate View” creates a simple duplicate of the selected view, but ONLY includes the MODEL elements within the view. So here’s a real world example to show you what I mean.

Here is my “Level 1” view……



You can see that the view contains both model elements (walls, doors, windows and rooms) and a variety of detail / annotation elements (Room tags, door tags, text element and dimensions) If we use the “Duplicate View” option on this view, the result is….


Only the model elements are shown in our new view. Please remember: Detail and annotation elements are VIEW SPECIFIC. It is only model elements that are “universal” across all model views. Of course, when we duplicate a view- a new view name appears in the Project Browser. It is always pre-fixed be default with “Copy of…” and then the original name of the view that was duplicated. So in our case…..

Duplicate with Detailing

As you may expect, this option copies the original view- complete with all detail and annotation elements. So if you start with


And “Duplicate with Detailing”, you will end up with……





Duplicate as Dependent



This is probably the least used of the “Duplicate View” options, but has a place nonetheless. When we “Duplicate as Dependent” Revit creates a view that is dependent on the “Primary” view on which is it based. This is fundamentally different to the first two options we looked at. It is different because ANY changes made to “either” the Primary View OR the Dependent View, results in the same changes being carried over to its’ counterpart view. Let’s look at this in practice and then discuss when you would use this feature. So once again here is our starting view….



Let’s now “Duplicate as Dependent”. Notice how the duplicated view is “nested” under the original (or “Primary”) view….




Also notice how Revit names this view: It tells us that this new view is “Dependent on…”. Now, if we go and change any of the properties of the primary view, ie….

-View scale

-Detail level

-Visibility / Graphic Overrides

-etc, etc

…the Dependent View will change to match. Ie Revit keeps the two views fully synchronised. And this works BOTH ways. So changing a property of the Dependent view results in the Primary View adopting the same property change.

OK. So that’s “how” Dependent Views are created and function- but why would you want to do this. The most obvious reason is when you want EXACTLY the same view to appear on multiple sheets. As you probably know by now, you can only place a view on one sheet (Legend Views excepted). But there WILL be times when you need the same view on multiple sheets- for example: You need a small scale ‘key’ plan to be on the corner of each sheet. This plan needs to be identical on every sheet. Using Dependent Views, you would just create a dependent for each instance of the ‘key’ plan that you require.

You could of course just create straight forward duplicates using “Duplicate with Detailing”. However: Any changes to the detail / annotation elements would need to be manually copied between all instances. And as you know, with BIM we are desperately trying to reduce the need to manually cross-reference and synchronise information- because that’s where time is spent and mistakes are made.

You can also Dependent View where you need to break a large floor plan up into different segments or zones. You would define the boundary between zones using the “Matchline” tool- which we will look at in a separate article.




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