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Custom Keynote Database(s)

In order to annotate objects in Revit and have a list of those annotations be 'sheet specific' we
can use the Keynoting tool. Keynotes are the only schedules or legends (at this time at least) that
will report only those objects that are in views placed onto each individual sheet -automatically.

The overall workflow is to use a custom keynote database and either modify the standard one or
create a custom one that would be independent of the CSI formatted one. When the actual,
specified assemblies, etc. are chosen; then simply either reassign the new keynote value or link
up to another keynote database and choose the newly specified key value.

The example below is of a custom keynote database, used for project specific (schematic)

.TXT file Project example:

Image 1

Image 2

The example in Image 2 above illustrates how sub-groupings can be utilized to get logical
Chapter: Project example:

ordering to the keynotes, such as Demo, RCP, etc; this assists in placing the appropriate type of
note to the appropriate objects, in the appropriate view, without having to sift through ungrouped
linear lists.

Note that the text fields must be comprised of a single

line in the keynote text file itself but once the Keynote
Legend is placed onto a sheet (or sheets) the text
wrapping will become a function of the Revit Legend
size on sheets. See Image 3 (left).

Jay B Zallan

Steps to take for setting up a Custom Keynote Database

1) Copy the standard Autodesk Keynote Database file (Perhaps from: C:\Documents and
Settings\All Users\Application Data\Autodesk\RAC 2011\Imperial
Library\RevitKeynotes_Imperial_2004.txt)… to a project folder. Note: your locations may
vary; especially if you don’t use RAC 2011!!! Remember to rename the new text file to be
something logical & project specific.

2) Edit the new text file according to any sub-groupings, numbering and element
descriptions desired. TAB separate each item, per Image 1 & 2 above… usually we use
Windows Notepad to edit these. No formatting other than “TAB separated” will work
(for now?).

3) On the Annotation Ribbon click into the Tag down arrow, per Image 4 below.

Image 4

4) Click "Keynote Settings" and browse to the project specific .txt file, per Images 5 & 6.

Chapter: Steps to take for setting up a Custom Keynote Database

Image 5

Image 6

Jay B Zallan

Excerpts from Revit Help Menu:

Keynotes are defined in a tab-delimited text file. The first portion of the text file is reserved for
major headings/categories (the parent values). The remainder of the file is for sub-
headings/categories (the child values). A tab-delimited file requires the use of the TAB key to
create spaces between data entries.

Changes made to the keynote table are not available in the current project session of Revit
Architecture. Changes are available when the project is closed and reopened.
You can use Microsoft® Excel or a similar spreadsheet application to manage the data, then
export it to a tab-delimited file format.

Types of Keynotes:

A keynote can be applied to an entire element, such as a wall, detail component, or door.

A keynote can be assigned to a material that has been painted on a surface, and to materials
assigned to the component layers of an element. Keynotes are not supported for the insulation
drafting tool or the detail components line and filled region.

This option provides a way to use commonly used notes or phrases to address documentation
issues. These additional user notes must be added to the provided keynote text files or included
in one that you create. Do not apply "User" keynotes for Elements or Materials, only
implement User keynotes for generic, repetitive notes.”

Format the text file per the example in Image 7 below, Refer to Revit's Help menu for more
information; simply search "Keynote"… That is if they fix the RAC 2011 Help system!!!

Chapter: Steps to take for setting up a Custom Keynote Database

Image 7

Image 8 below, shows an example of a Keynoted View placed on a Sheet that has a Keynote
Legend placed on it.

Jay B Zallan

Image 8

Reverting or Changing Keynote Database(s)

Once the project transitions into using the MasterSpec Format database, etc. simply follow these
1) Go into the Keynote Settings
2) Choose the new .txt file
3) Save & close the project

Chapter: Steps to take for setting up a Custom Keynote Database

4) Open the project
5) Replace the 'schematic' Keynote values (for all the keynoted objects) with values from
the new keynote file… Dare I suggest a master, multi category or all encompassing
keynote schedule to help streamline the management of this? OK I will…


In closing:
• Keynotes and Keynote Legends give the most flexibility when used correctly

• Be mindful not to mix and match the dreaded (by some; me included) “User Keynotes”
with Element or Material Keynotes (You were warned)!!!

I could go on and on about how bad (in my opinion) User Keynotes can be but suffice it to say,
they do not really relate to the actual objects and have been known to cause major project
headaches, loss of revenue and lost jobs and employment too…

Whatever methods you employ to call out your objects and materials I highly recommend that
they are used and keynoted, etc. within a specific, well executed and well documented plan.

Revit On!!!

Jay B Zallan