Knowledgebase: Revit
Revit - Can’t Find an Element in the View
Posted by Kent Watson on 10 October 2014 05:50 PM

Tip Title:      Can’t Find an Element in the View

Product:      Revit

Author:        Chad Smith – Consulting Technical Lead



Sometimes elements can be visible in some views, but then in other views they may not be visible. So how do you go about tracking down which settings you need to change to correct this?



To follow is a checklist of settings which can be assessed in order to help find the missing element/s.

Category Visibility

The Visibility/Graphic Overrides dialogue is the most obvious place to start, and one of the easiest and quickest places to check. When users learn Revit, this becomes one of the earliest places of the user interface to use, so checking here should already be second nature.

While checking the Categories, make sure to also expand them and check the Subcategories.

Category / Subcategory Overrides

One thing that is really easy to overlook, is not being able to see an element because it’s Surface/Cut Pattern has been changed or made Invisible. It may still be visible in the view, but if the Surface/Cut Pattern has been overridden then it’s not so obvious.



While you are in the Visibility/Graphic Overrides, have a quick check of the Filters tab. Make sure that none of the Filters are turned off, or have overrides that are affecting your element.


Reveal Hidden Elements

Press the Reveal Hidden Elements button on the View Control Bar. This will reveal all elements and categories which have been hidden. Since you have already checked the Category Visibility from the first step, what you will be checking this time is if individual elements have been hidden in view.
i.e. Select Element, Right-click, Hide in View > Elements


View Range

If you can’t turn an element back on, then it might not even be in the range of the view in the first place. Check your View Range to see if these settings need changing. For a regular plan view, you will want to look specifically at the Cut Plane and View Depth.

TIP: If you only need to adjust the View Range for part of the view, then maybe a Plan Region will be a better option, rather than changing it for the entire view.


Crop Region / Annotation Crop

Both of these view parameters help change the scope of the view for both model elements and annotation elements, so you may need to check that the element you are trying to find is within the corresponding crop parameter.


Scope Boxes

This is along the same idea as the Crop Region hiding your elements. In the view’s properties, check to see is there is a Scope Box set. If there is, you may need to set Scope Box to None, or if it’s possible to move your element into the scope of the Scope Box.


Detail Level

This sounds like a simple thing, but depending on how the element (Family) has been created, will depend on whether it can be seen in different or all Detail Levels.

Take Structural Columns and Framing as an example. Using the Out-of-the-box content, at a Coarse Detail Level these elements will display as a stick line. When you’re looking at a complex view with lots of linework, a stick line for your structural element might be hard to see, especially with the Thin Lines turned on.

Other elements might just have their geometry to not display at all when on a Coarse Detail Level. You should also open and inspect the Family to check.

NOTE: That the Visibility/Graphics Overrides also has a Detail Level column in which you can control this on a per Category basis.



Each view can automatically control the visibility of Categories by using the Discipline view property. Using Architectural or Coordination should display all elements on all Categories (when available), while Structural, Mechanical and Electrical will filter Category visibility.



Check to make sure that you don’t have elements on Phases which come after the Phase for your current view.
If you have the element on the correct Phase, then check that the Phase for the view is set correctly and also the Phase Filter.


Design Options

Check that the element is not sitting in the wrong Design Option. If it is on a Design Option which has not been set to the current view, then you will need to cut/paste the element to the correct Design Option, or maybe even to the Main Model if that was the original intention.



If working in a Workshared project, there are four (4) places which could be affecting your element visibility. This is the order I would be checking them in;

1.      Is the Workset open?
Go into your Worksets dialogue and check that the Opened column is checked next to your Workset in question.

2.      Is the Workset set to Visible in all views?
While still in the Worksets dialogue, check that Visible in all views is checked.

3.      Is the Workset in the Visibility/Graphic Override > Worksets tab set to Show or Use Global Setting (Visible)?


4.      If the element is in a Linked Revit file which has Worksets, is the correct Workset open?
Go into your Manage Links > Revit tab, select the file, then press the Manage Worksets button to open the Worksets dialogue and follow the previous directions from point 1.



Linked Files

Just like setting the Category and Subcategory visibility and overrides in the host project, you are able to do the same with elements from linked files.

If you find that you have an element in a linked file which is displaying correctly when that file is opened directly, but not in the host file, then you will need to go into the Visibility/Graphic Overrides > Revit Links to check the visibility and Display Settings.

There are quite a number of ways to control the graphics of elements in linked files, so you should read the Revit Help for more detailed information.

Symbolic Lines not Parallel to Views

A common issue which relates to Families is Symbolic linework from the Family not displaying when it is placed and viewed in a project. None of the aforementioned areas in this topic will resolve this, as the issue is found entirely in the Family itself.

This issue stems from when Symbolic Lines are drawn in the Plan, Front/Back or Left/Right views, but when the family is viewed in the project from a direction which is not exactly parallel to the view, then Revit cannot display this linework. Typically, the user doesn’t realise that they are not looking at the family in an exactly perpendicular direction, and usually is related to Elevation and Section views.


Grids & Levels

To the inexperienced user, the lack of Grid and Level visibility in views can be somewhat perplexing when trying to understand the 2D/3D Extents of these elements.

Grids and Levels, just like regular 3D elements, do have a 3D extent to them. What this means is that they can be found either inside or outside the view range of the view. The part of Grids and Levels which dictate whether they are within the range of the view is the 3D symbol (open circle) on those elements.

The 3D Extents needs to be within the range of the Elevation, for it to be seen in that Elevation view. Same goes for Sections.


Elevations & Sections

While Elevation and Section lines don’t have a 3D symbol, they still have a 3D extent just like Grids and Levels.

For both view types, it is controlled by the Crop View parameter, which is controlled via the double arrow grips on either end of the line. You can use these to control how far they extend which determines whether they are visible in other views.

The Crop View extent of the Section is within the Far Clipping range of the Elevation.

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