Friday, March 23, 2012

Symbols in Keynote Lists - Strange but True

Among the drawing efficiency improvements that were introduced in the Systems Drafting era was the concept of  "Keyed Notes". 

This technique evolved from the desire to standardize and streamline repetitive notation. Symbols on the plan replaced the hand-lettered notation, resulting in clean drawings and efficiency in making changes.

Eventually the numbered lists were produced by copying a type written master onto adhesive backed transparent mylar. The typewriter did not draw a circle around the number, nor did we.

Fast forward to CAD. The keynote symbol is an attributed block and it is so cool because I can double-click on the object and edit its contents. Since all the notes are placed as separate objects, or perhaps as multi-line text, it's easy to copy the same block vertically to create the numbered list.

Revit was designed to solve the deficiencies of CAD. In this case it is the link between the numbered list and the symbols on the drawings. In (vanilla) CAD there is none.

Neither software can automatically place the symbol in the numbered list. Only Revit can update the list automatically, transparently, in both directions.

It is a widely accepted convention that a legend should be included to explain the different types of symbols used in a set of construction drawings. The keynote symbol should be included in this legend, and if it is there is no need to repeat the same information in a note list.

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