Using Layers

  • Using Layers

    Posted by Troy DeGroot on July 8, 2021 at 3:50 pm

    I’m writing a blog post dedicated to Layers. I’m curious what different experiences and uses are out there.
    Are you using Layers?
    Do you use the Lock, Print, Export settings? How are you using them?

    • The Lock feature didn’t seem to lock the existing markups on that layer, I assume it would lock for everyone other than the author… ?
    • The Print option works as I would expect.
    • The Export option refers to exporting markups from the Markups List but is not respected when creating a markup summary (which surprised me). You can however filter the layers in the Markup Summary window.

    Thoughts anyone?

    Troy DeGroot replied 1 year, 4 months ago 5 Members · 13 Replies
  • 13 Replies
  • David Cutler

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    July 8, 2021 at 4:10 pm
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    I’m on the fence on this one. I’ve just started working with layers for my takeoffs. Previously I’ve made copies of the utility sheets for example and completed my sanitary sewer, storm sewer and water system takeoffs independent of each other. My thought is that using layers I could keep my files smaller which might help with performance. I haven’t noticed any of the issues that you noted yet @troydegroot but that doesn’t mean that I won’t.

    My one concern would be that if I have a layer turned off when I make my export I might miss a few items on my import to our estimating system. If I have everything on separate, duplicated pages and never turn a layer off this would appear to mitigate this risk. If I find later that I need all of the markup on one page I can use “paste in place” (cntrl-shift-v) to combine the markups.

    • Troy DeGroot

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      July 9, 2021 at 9:33 am
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      My concern with having several copies of the same drawing is when a revision comes in and I have to update all of them. With that said, if you have a very small team and a system that works, keep at it!

      For the future, if you want all the markups from all those sheets on one, you can go to the Markups List menu and select Import Markups, then select all 6 sheets and they will import all at once in the correct place.

      Thanks for the response David!

    • Troy DeGroot

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      July 14, 2021 at 11:23 pm
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      One more thought, your concern about layers turned off not exporting….

      If I remember correctly you are exporting your markups list to a CSV file. Turning off the layers is simply a visual thing on the drawings, the markups still exist in the markups list and will be exported. A person can change the export settings to NOT include certain layers, but you wouldn’t do that.

  • Andrew Veggian

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    July 8, 2021 at 5:45 pm
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    I’ll just start by saying I love using layers. Layers in Revu work so much better than any of the other takeoff software I’ve used.

    My favorite layer feature is parent-child relationships. This allows me to quickly isolate a single item or a large scope of work. Here’s a screenshot of a concrete takeoff as an example. The right-click>”isolate” or right-click>”show all” also help. The only downside is that tools do not remember parent-child relationships when you start working on a new file.

    Another useful feature in some cases, which is kind of hidden, is the “Save Configuration” feature. If you use the drop-down menu on the far right of the Layers panel there are options for “New Configuration” and “Save Configuration”. This saves the current configuration of your layer tree and which layers are currently visible. The “Default” configuration is how your layers are configured when you open a file, and you can create custom layer configurations also. This works great when sharing documents with others and you want them to see specific information when they open the document.

    Last layer tip. If you have a preset layer configuration that you use on every project, the easiest way to recreate them every time is to create your layers on a blank page and save that as your template. When you have a new set of drawings copy them into your template file and then delete the blank page. Now your layers are already configured (and will solve the issue I mentioned above).

    • Troy DeGroot

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      July 9, 2021 at 9:46 am
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      This is great Andrew. I love layers also and just in writing this article exploring the child layer functionality. I imagined a layout similar to what you show, but your image really drives home the idea.

      My thought for importing the layers was to have a “standards” document pinned for quick reference. Then copy/paste the markups representing each layer into the document… This will bring over the layers and you can delete the markups. This however does not bring with it the Layer Configurations like I was hoping.

      Mind if I Steal your method and credit you on my blog post?

      • Andrew Veggian

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        July 9, 2021 at 12:37 pm
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        Of course, but I learned this one from Terry Cline. He even automated the process with a very simple script that he shows in the following video. This would be the ideal setup if you have a client that always uses the same layers.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eY0IYljFxs

        • Troy DeGroot

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          July 11, 2021 at 12:17 pm
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          This was extremely helpful. It also solves a problem for an existing customer workflow. Thank you Andrew.

    • Troy DeGroot

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      July 11, 2021 at 12:28 pm
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      Andrew, I’m also curious if you are getting quantities for rebar along with the concrete with these tools? I recently built some tools to do this, but I’m curious if you have done the same.

      • Andrew Veggian

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        July 12, 2021 at 10:57 am
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        No, I’m not quantifying the rebar with the concrete. We don’t self-perform rebar so I usually don’t need to know the rebar quantities for self-work concrete estimates. Typically I’ll only calculate rebar quantities for conceptual estimates, but then it’s using a simple lb/cy or lb/sf factor that is easily multiplied after the takeoff is done.

        I actually started working on a detailed rebar takeoff profile a while ago but gave up on it because the custom column formulas are just too limited and couldn’t calculate rebar quantities with the amount of detail I wanted. When I do need detailed rebar quantities I stick to my excel spreadsheet for now.

  • Vince

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    July 9, 2021 at 1:45 am
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    I mainly use layers in order so I can measure everything on one drawing / set of drawings but then when I need to see specific details I then turn on & off layers. For example, when measuring foundations layouts I will have layers for Foundation Trenches, Top Of Concrete Levels, Bottom of Concrete, Oversite Areas, Substructure Masonry and Oversite Masonry. If all of the layers are turned on then you cannot pick out relevant details.

    All of my measures are exported so I can use them in Excel to complete actual calculations for tender purposes, etc..

    • Troy DeGroot

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      July 9, 2021 at 9:51 am
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      Excellent example Vince!

  • Roye Arie

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    July 9, 2021 at 8:20 am
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    I started utilizing layers a couple of years back in precast, rebar, walls and truss shops.

    I used to request the CAD files and import them into our Revit model and then review it in the model. I found that rather cumbersome since there was no easy way to build multiple layers to compare simultaneously, and to easily turn layers on/off as needed.

    When I experimented with building more and more documents with the layers built in, I discovered it is much easier and faster to bring layers into a document (Or in some cases starting a blank doc with only layers in it, so I can manipulate the base layer if needed). That process saved my a lot of time, specially when I needed to compare multiple floors.

    I started simple. in a floor truss layout, I started importing the floor below and above to verify the conditions. Then I evolved and created a document for precast review, so I can “build” the layers from footings and foundations through plank, and compare that with multiple disciplines. Started manipulating how bold or dim I wanted each layer, assigning different colors. And since we typically mark up on the shops, I lock the layers in their spot to prevent accidental movement.

    Here’s another note that is note related directly to working with layers. A few months ago I discovered that I can assign a layer to tools in my Toolsets, so when I place them on a document, I can then delete all of them at once instead of independently removing them. That helps when I need to check something off, lets say I’m reviewing door and hardware submittals and comparing them to the floor plans, I have check marks that I use and at the end, when the document is ready to be returned to the vendor, I can delete all my “in house” markups and keep the ones pertinent to the review.

    (Sorry about the lengthy response. If you read it this far, you might be a geek like me. Cheers)

    • Troy DeGroot

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      July 9, 2021 at 9:54 am
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      I will typically build a toolset specifically named “Internal comments” and have all those on a specific layer. Then like you said you can delete them, or export them to a record copy to archive.