Tutorial: Lines

About Lines

If you are a beginner in Revit or transitioning from CAD tools, lines are the best way to get started. Revit works a bit differently than other popular CAD tools. Thus, getting comfortable in sketching lines would give you a good feel about how the software works.

Many architects like to begin their designs by sketching lines in a layout for space planning. Once an overall single line diagram for the space plan is prepared, the design then moves on to defining walls, columns, grids, etc. In Revit, you can use this approach by starting your project with lines too and then build it up as the design evolves.

There are two types of lines in Revit –

  • Model Lines: Model lines are visible in all views and are mainly used as a reference for the model.
  • Detail Lines: Detail lines are visible only in the specific view it is drawn in and are typically used for annotation in detail drawings.

Tutorial Objective:

In this tutorial, you will learn to,

  • Create Model Lines in the project
  • Create straight line, rectangle and fillet arc lines

Sample Problem:

Sketch the site boundary line of the sample project using model lines as shown below:

  • The overall site boundary dimensions are 20.26m x 17.30m with 1.80m radius arc at the bottom left corner.
M2 Lines Tutorial
Fig 1. Site boundary line for sample tutorial project

Files required for this tutorial: “TutorialLines_Input_LearningRevitOnline.rvt” (If you do not have this file, please download it from here.)


  1. Open the sample project file TutorialLines_Input_LearningRevitOnline.rvt
  2. From the Project Browser, navigate to the Floor plan view named “00 Ground Level”.
  3. First, we will begin by drawing site boundary lines as shown in Fig 1 above.
  4. Go to Architecture tab -> Model panel -> Model Line
    • OR type “LI”as a shortcut on the keyboard
  5. In the Modify| Place Lines tab, under the draw panel, you will see options for choosing different shapes to draw. Choose a straight line. Ensure “Chain”option is checked from the options bar.M2 LInes 1
  6. In the drawing area, click to enter line start point in your drawing area.
  7. Move your cursor in a straight horizontal direction.
    •  Revit will highlight tooltips. It will also display dimensions highlighted in blue which change when you move your cursor. They are known as listening dimensions, which gives you relevant references while sketching.
  8. In order to create a line with a specific dimension, type the length of the line (20.26m) from your keyboard. Press Enter. This will determine the end point of the line.M2 Lines 2
  9. As chain option is checked, the line tool is still active allowing you to continue to draw more lines from the last end point.
  10. Move your cursor downwards at 90 degrees to draw a vertical line and type on your keyboard the length of the next line (17.30m). Press Enter.
  11. As we want to create a rectangle, move the cursor in a horizontal direction towards the start point of the first line. This time, Revit will automatically detect the reference for the end point based on the parallel horizontal line that we first drew. It will also highlight the dimension 20.26m, same as we took for the first line. Click at the intersection highlighted. M2 Lines 3
  12. Now, move the cursor upwards in 90 degrees vertical and click at the start point of the first line to close the rectangular loop.
  13. Click Esc twice to end the Model Line tool.
  14. Next, we want to create a fillet arc of 1.8m radius at the bottom left corner of the rectangular site boundary as shown in Fig 1.
  15. Go to Architecture tab -> Model panel -> Model Line
    • OR type “LI”as a shortcut on the keyboard
  16. In the Modify| Place Lines tab, under the draw panel, you will see options for choosing different shapes to draw. Choose a fillet arc. Check the Radius option from the options bar and specify 1.8m as the radius value.M2 Lines 5
  17. Go to the drawing area. Click anywhere on the left vertical line. Next, click on the bottom horizontal line. A fillet arc of 1.8m will be created between these two lines. M2 Lines 6
  18. Click Esc twice to end the Model Line tool.
  19. After completing all of the above steps, Go to File -> Save As this project as “TutorialLines_Output_LearningRevitOnline.rvt

NOTE: As we have created the site boundary line using Model Lines, these lines are also visible in other views including 3D views.

Alternative Approach:

  1. Repeat Steps 1 to 4 from above.
  2. In the Modify| Place Lines tab, under the draw panel, you will see options for choosing different shapes to draw. Choose a rectangle.
  3. In your drawing area, draw a rectangle of an approximate size. Accuracy of the dimensions are not important at this stage.M2 Lines 7
  4. Now, let’s make this rectangle of the exact size as specified in the Fig 1.
    • NOTE: If you click on a vertical line, a horizontal dimension appears in the rectangle and if you select horizontal line, a vertical dimension appears. This might be strange for users who are accustomed to CAD. However, in Revit, the temporary dimensions appear as references to other objects nearby. It understands that if you are selecting a vertical line, you might want to move it either left or right for which you will need the reference of the horizontal dimension. Similarly, for horizontal lines, vertical temporary dimension appears considering that you may want to move the line upwards/downwards.
  5.  Select the left vertical line of the rectangle. Click on the text of the temporary dimension, change its value to 20.26m. Note that the line would move (stretching the rectangle accordingly). Similarly, select the top horizontal line. A vertical temporary dimension will appear between two horizontal lines, change its value to 17.30m and note that the line move accordingly while stretching the rectangle.M2 Lines 4
  6. Now, repeat steps 15 to 19 from the above method, to create a fillet arc at the bottom left corner.


  • TIP: Property Line: As this tutorial is to learn about Model lines, the site boundary has been drawn using Modeling Line tool. However, in reality, it is better to draw site boundary lines using the “Property Line” tool. This will automatically calculate the area of the property enclosed by property lines (which would be a smarter way to do it, right?) Learn more about property line here.
M2 Property Line

More References:

Following are some references from where you can learn more about drawing different shapes with the lines


Have any Questions? or Suggestions? or Feedback? Please feel free to Contact Us, we will get back to you as soon as we can.

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