Monday, October 01, 2012

Linked Files with Linked Files

Ran across a recent situation where a good number of units were modelled as linked project files and combined into a "master" file. This master file was then linked into another model. As attached links that meant they would automatically show up as long as the source file was "found" (in a folder it could find).

It may have seemed like a good idea when they started, but the down side is nearly zero control over the nested linked units. About the only way to control what they look like is if every (and I mean every) sort of view configuration you might need in other files that host the combined file are preset in the "master file". The display of nested links can be configured to use the Linked File settings. Unfortunately, this is hard to really accomplish because we might not be able to imagine everything that will need to be done. That means an awful lot of back and forth to get it all to work.

My recommendation? Don't go there...


Unknown said...

Hey Steve, good post and I agree with your recommendation. If you absolutely must deal with this kind of scenario, I wonder if some variation on a project with master View Templates that pushes them out to all of the sublinks could be useful?

As per What Revit Wants: Keeping Views in Multiple RVT files consistent

Travis Vaughan said...

So would you recommend bring the units into the first model as groups and then link that model into the other one? Thanks!

Unknown said...

We do this a lot. It works for us as we don't need to see the units most times at the top level. ie, masterplan(for a multi building project). We do need to control them at Blockplan level and use view templates rigorously to do this.

We stay away from groups for units as we find them awkward to work with. And prone to errors.

Alfredo Medina said...

Is it not inevitable to punt links into links for some large projects?

Steve said...


Two points I should have made.

One: This post is more pointed at nesting files together when "normally" they'd be linked directly to another file. For example, linking structure, M,E and P into a container file and then linking the container into a Architecture model. In this scenario we'd have practically no control over each discipline's information.

Two: Repeating "units" (townhouse, apartments, hotel rooms, hospital patient rooms) must be linked into something and often that is a "floor" project file. In this case the individual control over the unit links is not often a real loss when the "floor" is linked into a "shell" model.