Import and Link Options

When you import or link files to the Revit project, you can control many aspects of the process, such as colors, layers, and positioning.

The following options apply to linked or imported CAD format files (on the Import CAD Formats and Link CAD Formats dialogs that display when you click Insert tabImport panelImport CAD, or Insert tabLink panelLink CAD).

Positioning options also apply to linked Revit models (when you click Insert tabLink panelLink Revit).

Option Definition
Current View Only Imports a CAD drawing into the active view only and elements behave like annotation. For example, you might want an AutoCAD object to appear only in a Revit floor plan view and not in a 3D view. This option is not available when importing to a 3D view.

If you are using worksharing, the import will belong to a view workset.

If the option is not selected, the import behaves like model geometry and is available in all views.

If you are using worksharing, the import will belong to a model workset.

Note: If you are importing data from a CAD file for use in creating a toposurface, do not select this option because the 3D information is required to create the toposurface.
Invert Inverts the colors of all line and text objects from the imported file to Revit-specific colors. Dark colors become lighter, and light colors become darker. This can improve readability when the file is in Revit. This option is set by default.
Preserve Preserves the colors defined in the imported document.
Black and White Imports the document in black and white.
All Imports or links all layers. Layers that are not visible in the link are turned off in the current view in Revit.
Visible Imports or links only visible layers.
Specify Allows you to select the layers and levels to import or link (on the dialog that displays). Layers not selected are deleted.

If you select Visible or Specify and you are linking the file, when you later reload the linked file, still only the selected or visible layers originally linked are loaded. Any layers not selected or visible are not linked. If you later want omitted layers to be linked, you must delete the link and relink the file.

Tip: If you want to be able to see and hide layers as needed, you can link to all layers, and then click View tabGraphics panelVisibility/Graphics to control the visibility of different categories in a view. (See Visibility and Graphic Display in Project Views.) Or you can link to all layers, and then query the import and hide a selected layer in the active view. (See Query Objects in Layers.)
Import Units Explicitly sets the unit of measure for imported geometry. The values are Auto-Detect, feet, inch, meter, decimeter, centimeter, millimeter, and Custom factor.

If you specify Auto-Detect for an AutoCAD file created in Imperial (English), then the file imports with feet and inches as the units. If the AutoCAD file was created in metric, then the file imports into Revit with millimeters as the units.

For MicroStation® DGN files, Revit uses the unit specified in the Master Units setting. Feet, inches, meters, centimeters, decimeters, millimeters are all supported. If the DGN file has custom units, then the unit in Revit defaults to feet.

Note: If you import a file into a project with opposing units (for example, a metric file into an Imperial project), the units in the host project prevail. If the imported file has a custom unit, select Custom factor for Import Units. This enables the text box adjacent to the selection list so that you can enter a scale value.

For example, the file has a unit called widget where one widget equals 10 meters. When importing the file, select Custom factor for Import Units and specify a value of 10 in the adjacent text box. Each unit from the source file is now equal to 10 meters in the Revit file.

The value you enter here displays in the Scale Factor type property of the import symbol.

If the units are known, you can select Custom factor and enter a scale factor. This can increase or decrease the size of the imported elements in Revit.

Auto - Center to Center

Revit places the center of the import at the center of the Revit model. The center of a model is calculated by finding the center of a bounding box around the model.

If most of the Revit model is not visible, this center point may not be visible in the current view. To make the point visible in the current view, set the zoom to Zoom View to Fit. This centers the view on the Revit model.

Auto - Origin to Origin

Revit places the import’s world origin at the Revit project’s internal origin. If the import object has been drawn at a large distance from its origin, it may display at a large distance from the model. To test this, set the zoom to Zoom View to Fit.

Auto - Origin to Origin is the default positioning when you insert a Revit model or CAD file. If you change the default, the option you select for Positioning becomes the default for the current Revit session. The software remembers one default option for Revit models and another default option for CAD files.
Note: If you are not a student or an Autodesk Maintenance and Desktop Subscription customer, the Positioning default is Auto - Center to Center.
Auto - By Shared Coordinates Revit places the imported geometry according to its position with respect to the shared coordinates between the 2 files.

If there is no current shared coordinate system between the files, Revit notifies you, and uses Auto - Center to Center positioning. See Shared Positioning.

Manual - Origin The imported document's origin is centered on the cursor.
Manual - Base Point The imported document's base point is centered on the cursor. Use this option only for AutoCAD files that have a defined base point.
Manual - Center Sets the cursor at the center of the imported geometry. You can drag the imported geometry to its position.
Place at Select the level to place the origin/base point.
Orient to View This option is useful if True North and Project North are not aligned in your Revit project. If True North and Project North are defined identically in the project, then this option will not affect the way the import/link is oriented. The World Coordinate System (WCS) is used to orient the CAD file in the view.

If the current view is set to True North and True North is rotated away from Project North, then clear this option to align the CAD file with True North. If you select this option, the CAD file will align with Project North regardless of the view orientation.

Note: CAD files are always imported into the current view from the top view direction. The CAD file is brought into the view assuming that the current view is a top view.
Correct lines that are slightly off axis Selected by default, this option automatically corrects lines that are slightly off-axis (less than 0.1 degree) and helps avoid problems with Revit elements generated from those lines. You may want to clear this option when importing/linking to site plans.