Showing elements from a ceiling plan in a floor plan

From time to time it’s nice to see overhead items in a Revit floor plan. Dropped ceilings, soffits, light fixtures, etc. are all useful to see in plan view, especially when arranging furniture and such.

Here’s a great and incredibly simple technique to show these items in plan using whatever line style you choose, while still maintaining the connection to the actual ceiling elements. I’ve found some designers simply using drafting lines to create these items in plan, but this is a non-BIM way of doing things, since there is no real connection between the items in plan and the elements in the RCP. Sure, you could constrain and lock them, but the following method is much simpler.

What’s the trick? Well, it makes use of Underlay, setting the orientation to Reflected Ceiling Plan, then using the Linework tool. The slick thing is that once you’ve overridden the line style, you can shut off the underlay and the lines you’ve modified are still visible. Nice, right?

I’m sure that’s enough to get a lot of you going, but here are the step by step details in a quick Revit tutorial.

Revit Tutorial – Show Elements from a Ceiling Plan in a Floor Plan View

Revit - Standard Reflected Ceiling Plan View

Here is a standard Revit reflected ceiling plan. We’ve got an acoustic tile ceiling with an overhead lighting fixture in the conference room.

Revit - Standard Floor Plan

As you know, by default in a Revit floor plan view, no ceiling items are shown.

Revit - Turn on Underlay with RCP Orientation

Set Underlay to Level 1 (same level) and make sure the Underlay Orientation is set to Reflected Ceiling Plan

Revit - Linework Tool

Use the Line Work tool from the Modify panel of the Ribbon to change the appearance of the edge of elements you’d like to be visible in the floor plan. You’ll notice that there is an Overhead style that exists for this very purpose.

Revit - Overhead Line Style

Piece of cake, right? Simple choose ‘Overhead’ from the Line Style drop down (or whatever line style you prefer) then click the edge of the element you want to be visible. You’ll see the line change from halftone (underlay style) to a dark line with whatever line style you choose.

Revit - Ceiling Elements in Floor Plan

Here’s the finishing touch! Turn off Underlay in the View Properties. Presto! The lines that we modified with the Line Work tool are still visible. Sweet, right?

What’s great about this is that what you’re looking at is the actual element that is visible in your ceiling plan, simply with it’s line overriden. This means that if the ceiling edge moves in your Ceiling Plan, it moves in your Floor Plan as well. This is true BIM.
Note that in this case, even though I only overrode one edge of the light fixture, the whole fixture shows up. This is not exactly what I was after, but I can live with it.
I hope you find this tip helpful. Please leave a comment if you have anything to add.

6 thoughts on “Showing elements from a ceiling plan in a floor plan

  1. Thanks for the link, Carl. I’m glad you got something out of the tip. If any of you haven’t dropped by the Southern Arizona Revit User Group website yet, I recommend you do so. Carl and the group do a really nice job sharing Revit techniques. A lot of their meetings are recorded, as well, so you can learn all sorts of good tips! Click the Link above or visit

  2. Thanks for the tip. Good trick. By the way, in case anyone is wondering, you can revert the line styles back to invisible as they originally were by using the ‘linework’ tool to set the lines to ‘By Category’.

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