1.5 - Group Objects

Groups in FormIt function similarly to Families in Revit and Components in SketchUp. Grouping different objects prevent their geometry from joining. Copies of a group act as an instance of the original geometry, meaning that changes to one copy will affect all of them.

If you did not complete the last section, download and open the 1.5 - Group Objects.axm file from the FormIt Primer Part 1 Datasets.

Create a Group

1 - Select the upper terrace mass by double-clicking it.

2 - Right-click and select Group (G), or simply press ‘G’.

3 - Notice that after creating a Group, you get automatically placed in the Move tool.

Move a Group

1 - To assist in the modeling process, turn on Grid Snapping (SG), if it was off.

2 - To start moving the selected object, while still in the Move (M) command, click once on any lower corner of the mass. Then move your cursor up, and you should see a blue (Z) axis line appear. This line will assist you in moving the object straight up.

3 - With the blue axis visible, type 4'-6" and a dimension dialog will appear. After entering the dimension, click OK or press Enter on the keyboard. This will move the entire mass up off the ground plane along the Z axis.

Note: Similar to Revit, you can also type 4’6, 4’6”, or 4.5, and the program will interpret the value as 4(feet) 6(inches) when using imperial units.

Edit a Group

1 - To enter the Group Edit Mode, double-click the mass.

  1. In the Properties Palette, rename the Group "Massing - Main Building".

  2. To save the changes and exit the Group Edit Mode, click on the Finish Group Edit checkmark icon in the upper left corner of the canvas, or double-click off in space.


  • To learn about the Category options, go to the Working with Revit _chapter._‌

  • Each Group has its own undo/redo history that is distinct from the overall project - you can click the Undo and Redo arrows in the Group Edit Wizard in the upper left corner of the canvas.

Apply Levels to a Group

Note: Grouping a geometry overrides previous settings you may have applied to the geometry. Because of that, you will require to re-apply the Levels from the previous exercise.

1 - To apply levels to a group:

  1. Single-click the Massing - Main Building group to select it.

  2. Go to the Properties Palette and check Use Levels.

  3. Keep only the Main Building level by unchecking all the others.

  4. The Area by Level field will display the currently selected object(s) gross area. The area of each Level is displayed in front of each Level’s name.

  5. If you do not see a blue level line crossing the object horizontally, turn on the level display by going to the Settings menu > Visual Style > Display Levels (DL).

Note: If there is no area reported for the Main Building level, the geometry may not be intersecting the Level, which should be at 4’-6” height. Troubleshoot by repositioning the geometry or the Level height so they intersect.

2 - Deselect the Group by pressing Esc or single-clicking off in space. With no selected object, the Properties Palette will report the overall sketch’s gross area - rather than a specific object’s area.

Manage Groups

1 - To view and manage all groups in the sketch:

  1. Go to the Group Tree Palette. There you will see:

    • Terrain group – group automatically created when the satellite image was imported.

    • Massing - Main Building – the building mass geometry group we just created.

    • group 2 – unnamed group containing the floor plan image.

  2. To rename group 2 through the Group Tree Palette, double-click on group 2, and then type Plan Image.


  • For a tidy model, we recommend keeping the group names descriptive.

  • This is a handy way to manage and edit all groups in the model from one place.

2 - With the Plan Image group still selected, navigate to the Properties Palette. Note that the group name was also updated in the Group field.

Hide Group Context

This tool is a quick way to hide all geometry outside the group you are currently editing. It becomes very handy whenever you have a large and complex model and other geometries get in the way.

1 - To isolate a group:

  1. Double-click on its geometry to edit the group.

  2. Navigate to Settings in the Main Menu and check Hide Group Context or simply press H on your keyboard. Note how the Plan Image disappears.

  3. Finish editing the group. Note that the Hide Group Context (H) mode is only active while inside the Group Edit Wizard.

  4. To toggle this mode off again, simply press H. This option can be toggled at any time, inside or outside of a group.

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