Sunday, December 21, 2014


Let's take advantage of the information a Revit model can hold and display. In this entry we're going to explore one option for documenting material finishes in a floorplan by tagging and scheduling wall and floor materials.
First we create the Wall Material Tags by opening the "Generic Tag" family template.

Being this template generic, we now enter the "Family and Category Parameters" and assign the "Material Tag" category to this family as shown below.

Having established the correct category we now proceed with the simple geometry for the tag. Draw whatever your office standards calls, in this example I have a simple arrow drawn with a solid filled region. Note how the tip of the arrow is located in the intersection of both reference planes. This intersection is the origin of the family and the insertion point when loaded.
As you can see I have also included a Label (which is different from a simple text). As you edit the label in the properties palette, you choose the Mark parameter. Later in the project file we will make all our finish materials contain a "Mark" so this label can read them. This family is ready, save and load it into the project file.

Using this family as the starting point, we then create tags pointing in the other 3 orthogonal orientations. Also, create one tag for floor finishes with a different symbol, in this case it's a square. Make sure this square is made of a masking region so when placed in the project can obscure the floor finish behind it.
Save and load them all into the project. Using the "Material Tag" tool from the Annotate tab let's point to one of the walls first and see what happens (for the kind of tags used in this example, I have unchecked the "Leader" in the options bar so I can apply the tag directly to the material finish)
When you hover the tag over the building elements always make sure it is reading what you want by checking the lower left corner where Revit tells you what's being pointed. If you're not careful with this you might think your tag is reading the wall finish when it is actually pointing to the floor.

TIP: Many times you want to point at the wall and it only recognizes the floor. When this happens, hide the floor from the view, tag the wall, and make the floor visible again.

Ok so now what? The tag just displays a question mark!!!! Now is the time to edit our project materials. Select the wall you just tagged, edit its type properties, edit one of its finish materials. Under "Name" make sure the material has a proper description. Then assign a "Mark". See the following picture:

In this example I'm assigning an "M" prefix to the wall materials and a "P" prefix to the floor materials. This will benefit the finishes schedule as you will later see. Do this for all your materials you want to tag. Rather than editing all your walls and floors you can directly do this through the "Materials" button in the Manage tab. Now tag all your finishes and your finishes floorplan will look like this:

The beauty of this system is that you don't have to manually enter the material codes anymore, With your newly created tags, Revit is reading all of the finishes from the model. And you know what happens when the model changes, your tag readings update accordingly. No more errors in finishes floorplans!!

NEXT POST: How to create the material finishes schedule for this example.


  1. hi
    should it work with painted materials? (on walls, in plan view)

    1. Hi Johann. So far it doesn't work with painted surfaces in plan views. However it's curious, it DOES work in elevations and blocked 3D views. One more reason to avoid using the paint tool. Revit's paint tool has a many limitations, it's always advised to model using Revit materials, not paint.
      There is a super complete tutorial by Paul Aubin on the materials topic. Check it out here:

  2. Very nice article, exactly what I needed.