Maximizing Efficiency with Revit's Filter-Based Selection Sets

June 28, 2023 Cherisse Biddulph

In addition to the comprehensive main content of our Revit Fundamentals guides, we provide an appendix containing supplementary information to assist you during your Revit workflow. One of the topics covered in the appendix is selection-based filters, including how to save, edit, and load selection sets. 

If you find that you are selecting the same elements over and over again, using selection sets in Revit can be an incredibly useful tool for quickly selecting multiple elements in your project. Selection sets allow you to save a specific selection of elements and quickly select the saved selection set in the view at any time. This makes the task of selecting multiple elements much simpler. 

Facts About Revit Selection Sets: 

  • Their primary function is for filtering 
  • Selection sets are a selection of specific elements and will show up in Filters under Selection Filters 
  • They cannot be shared or transferred between projects 
  • Copying/pasting selection set elements to another model will not bring the selection set with it 

How to Save a Selection Set 

To create a selection set, select the elements you want to include in the selection set. Use the Filter tool to remove elements from the selection. 

In the ribbon, go to the Modify Multi-Select tab>Selection panel and click Save. This will bring up a dialog box where you can name the selection set. Once you’ve named it, click OK to save the selection set. 

How to Edit a Selection Set 

Editing a selection set is easy and can be done by following a few simple steps. First, without any selection, go to the Manage tab>Selection panel and click Edit. This will open the Edit Filters dialog box, which will show you all the sets you currently have in the project. In the Selection Filters node, select the set that you want to edit and click Edit.

Note: This is also how you would rename a selection set. 

In the drawing area, the elements in the selection set display while everything else in the project is grayed out. From the Edit Selection Sets tab on the ribbon, you can select Add to Selection to select additional elements to the set and Remove from Selection to delete elements from the set. Once you have finished editing, click Finish in the Options Bar and then Finish Selection, and then click OK in the Edit Filters dialog box. 

How to Load a Selection Set 

You can load a saved selection set at any time by going to the Manage tab>Selection panel and clicking Load. In the Retrieve Filters dialog box, select the set you want to use and click OK.  

The selected elements will now be highlighted in blue in the view, allowing you to quickly modify them, for example by using mirror, copy, or move.  

Selection Sets vs. Groups 

Revit selection sets and groups are two distinct tools that can be used to organize and select objects in a Revit project. While they may seem similar at first glance, they have several key differences. The primary difference between selection sets and groups is their purpose.  

  • Selection sets are primarily used for filtering. For example, if I want to copy similar walls to another guest room in a hotel project or if I want to copy specific elements in a view to another view using the Copy to Clipboard tools. 
  • Groups are typically used for repeating layouts, as might be used in a hotel or apartment building. Elements in a group will act as one element when any item in the group is selected in the model. Groups, unlike selection sets, will show up in the Project Browser and they can be converted to links. 

Selection sets are a powerful feature of Revit that can save you time and make your workflow more efficient. With a bit of practice, you’ll soon be using selection sets like a pro! 

About the Author

Cherisse Biddulph

Learning Content Developer<br><br>Cherisse is an Autodesk Certified Professional for Revit with extensive experience in teaching and technical support. She holds an Associates of Applied Science degree in Architectural Drafting and Design with a focus on Interior Design. In her career spanning over 20 years in the industry, she has helped many firms with their CAD management and software implementation needs as they modernized to a BIM design environment. Today, she brings her passion for design and architecture to all the learning content she creates.

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