An Introduction to Working in Worksets

An Introduction to Working in Worksets

One of our main reasons and goals when working with worksets is to improve the performance of our models. For this reason, they become increasingly important and it becomes necessary to master using worksets correctly.

First, let’s make sure you understand what a workset is. Worksets can be a great tool to help manage your model, but not to manage element visibility. If you’re looking to hide elements or element groups, you should use the visibility graphics dialog. Worksets are a direct result of enabling worksharing and they’re an important part of effective collaboration. You can assign a linked model, a section of a building or even a group of elements to a workset and turn them on when you want to work on your model, and turn them off when you aren’t working on them and want to increase the performance of your model.

One of the most basic steps when mastering the use of worksets is learning how to correctly hide and close a workset. We see the lines blur quite often between these two options and we find that most users don’t completely understand the difference.


Hiding a workset in view only affects the visibility of that workset in that view. It has very little or no effect on the performance. You can adjust workset visibility in the Visbility Graphics command. It is important to understand that if you hide your workset through the VG dialog, it will only affect the current view. It has almost no bearing on model performance. In most cases, it should be avoided.





The proper way to open/close a workset is to use the workset dialog. To locate the workset dialog, navigate to the center of your workspace, on the bottom of the screen. (Alternatively, you could navigate to the collaborate tab.)

Selecting this will bring up the following screen.

At this point, you have the chance to open/close worksets as needed. Once a workset is closed, it will be unloaded from your local file. This helps the performance of the model and keeps those worksets out of all views while you have it closed.

A word of caution: if you are new to worksets, make sure you are working in the right workset! It’s very easy to forget to switch worksets when working in your model. If you consistently forget, it could cause serious issues down the road. You can use the workset tab in the Visibility Graphics dialog to change the appearance of active worksets if it helps. Sometimes placing a Post-it note on your monitor also helps. Just make sure your workflow accounts for switching worksets.

Worksets are a wonderful collaboration tool that must be approached with caution. Do you use worksets regularly? Have trouble using them correctly? Any tips or tricks you can share? Let us know!