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Creating linked auto-text for detail callouts


Hi All,


I know my title isn't very descriptive, but I couldn't come up with something better. We draw a lot of details in our office and I'm looking for a way to create a sort of linked auto-text that could be updated in a schedule and would reflect in the associated detail. I'm sure I'm not describing it in the best way so here's a couple of examples:


First use case would be tagging foundation walls W1, W2, etc. This project has a couple of dozen different wall types from the structural engineer. Right now each relevant detail just shows a dimension string with over-ridden text saying "W1, See Struct." - Id really love to have a schedule where, if all of the wall numbers need to be updated, I could change them in a schedule and the text in the detail would update. I know how to do this in 'live' drawings, but since we're drafting these details, I don't have any 'live' walls to tag.


Second use case would be for assembly callouts. We like doing one large call-out like this:

Screenshot 2024-06-13 at 3.03.18 PM.png


I'd love to have a way for this text to live in one location that I could update and would change everywhere. My current workaround is to use an independent worksheet that then gets dragged onto the sheeted detail and overlays the 'static' version of this callout. It would be great if it could live in the detail instead of on the sheet.


Any thoughts would be appreciated, thanks!


There are probably about 3 different solutions you could try which I have used for various projects:

  1. Central Innovation Keynotes tool (or any other keynote tool that might be available).  This allows you to have all your notes set up then if you want to change something you just do it in the Keynote Manager and update throughout the project.
  2. Set them up in Project Info and link to them with Autotext, so any changes just need to be made in the Project Info screen.
  3. Expressions in Properties which extract data from elements.  This would really depend on how long you want the notes to be, but for shorter notes, eg size & type of timbers / steel etc you could incorporate the data into the composite profile / surface / material name and then extract it with properties and again use autotext to link to the property.  This way you would just need to update the attribute in 1 place and have it update throughout the project.
Tony Fitzpatrick
Head of BIM

Co-Founder / CEO

Thanks Tony,


Project info is the route we had come up with, but were hoping could be avoided. Central Innovation is a great tip. I used it in Revit at my last office, but didnt realize they had a mac version. I'll definitely look into that a bit more, but the subscription fee might be a deal breaker for us.


Could you expand on the Expressions in properties a bit? How would I get this to work in a detail drawing where I can't actually link to an object?

I tried creating a "Wall Type 1" property, and gave it value W1, but if I try to auto-text it in the detail it still just returns "#Wall Type 1"

Setup info provided by author