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Flexible, Fast and Functional – A Review of Master Script’s Total Keynote

This guest post is by David Jefferis.

“Someone finally made a good keynote object.”

The reaction by a former co-worker sums up my feelings about the new Total Keynote object by Master Script. The object has a deep level of functionality and easily conforms to any graphic style or working method. In addition to describing and analyzing the object (note, it’s NOT an add-on), I will also explain how the three styles of notation I discussed in my previous posts (Full Text Note and Full Keynote and Hybrid Note) can be accomplished with the object.

Total Keynote is really two objects

A Total Keynote object is used to place notes and a Total Keynote List object is used as the key. The Total Keynote object is linked to a user-generated text file containing all keynotes used in the project. Up to five columns of data can be used; the first three (Section, Keynote and Naming) must contain information for the object to function properly. Once a text file is linked the appropriate keynote can be selected for each instance of the object through the Settings dialogue box. Any changes made to existing notes in the text file will be automatically updated in the objects once the Library has been reloaded.

Generating and placing the Total Keynote List is complex, but Master Script’s instructions for this process are very detailed. In short, a list of Total Keynote objects is created and published as a text file which is then linked to the Total Keynote List before this object is placed either in a View or on a Sheet. Detail Views are not supported by the list scheme, but this issue is easily solved by drawing details in Worksheets.

The settings and graphic styles available for the Total Keynote object and list

The Top Eight thoughtful functions of Total Keynote

  1. The Total Keynote object’s appearance can be precisely adjusted to any user’s preference by selecting from an impressive number of Marker, Leader and Tic styles, and columns of data in the Total Keynote List object can be formatted individually. The range of options and ease of alteration allows the object’s appearance to accommodate or very closely approximate existing notation graphics. The only downside I have found in the object’s appearance settings is that the scale of Tic marks does not automatically adjust to the scale of the Views in which they are placed and must be set in the Appearance dialogue.
  2. Each Total Keynote object can be configured to display any combination of data from the five columns of the text file.
  3. Multiple leader lines can be pulled from nodes on either side of a placed Total Keynote object.
  4. A central node allows selection of different keynotes, avoiding the need to navigate to the Object Settings dialogue.
  5. The use of lists to generate the Total Keynote List object allows for great flexibility in how the key is generated. One master list can be produced combining all keynotes in the project, or individual lists can be made for each View type or for any combination of Views.
  6. The use of text files as a master reference for the object leads to greater efficiency in managing projects. Instead of storing keynote text in individual models all linked text files can be kept in a single location, are easily edited in a dedicated text program, and automatically update in their referenced models.
  7. The appearance of individual Total Keynote objects can be set globally through the Model View Options settings. Since the Scale of the Tic mark does not adjust to the scale of the drawing, a different MVO must be created for plans, sections and elevations (if the scale differs).
  8. Masterscript was quick to provide technical support and advice via email whenever I had a question or comment.

Illustration of items 3 and 4

Total Keynote accommodates different styles of notation

At first glance it appears that the object’s primarily use is in offices using the Full Keynote style. However, the object is also invaluable for offices using Full Text notation. Simply set the Total Keynote objects to display Naming instead of Keynote in the Object Settings dialogue; Listing and Publishing the Total Keynote List is not necessary. In this way Full Text notes are automatically updated when changes are made to the master text file.

The Hybrid notation style is only slightly more complex. When placing Total Keynote objects displaying Keynote in a View, make sure to enter an ID under each object’s Tags and Categories tab (they do not need to be unique). When placing Total Keynote objects displaying Naming, do not enter an ID. Navigate to the Project Map and edit the Keynote list scheme to exclude objects with no ID. Finally, publish the list and place the Keynote List Object on the drawings. The drawings now have keyed notes and full text notes not listed on the key; both update automatically when changes are made to the text file.

After only a few days Total Keynote was seamlessly integrated into my drawing production process and continued use has revealed an incredible range of functionality while disclosing no major difficulties. I believe that any office will find this object useful, regardless of notation style and technique.

If you are interested in purchasing Total Keynote, please click the image below:

About the author:

David Jefferis is a licensed Architect and principal at Grayform Architecture in Houston, Texas. Though ArchiCAD is his preferred program, he has extensive experience on multiple modeling and rendering platforms. His primary interest is in general techniques and theories of standardized architectural representation, with a specific focus on the ways in which BIM software alters the way these drawings are made by expanding the amount, availability, and types of graphic and textual information.


  • June 18, 2012

    Very useful article thank you.

  • April 13, 2017

    You mentioned that you received good customer support from ‘Master Script’. Based on your recommendation I purchased ‘Total Keynote’ from them for $125. I found that I could not get ‘Total Keynote List’ to function. I sent them an inquiry last week and have not heard back. Was your communications with them more prompt?

    • April 13, 2017

      When David wrote this review back in 2012, Jeroen was very prompt in responding. I wonder if over the intervening years he hasn’t had as much time to devote to his Master Script products. You might want to try reaching out to him via other routes (LinkedIn or Twitter, etc.). I’m sure once you can reach him he’ll be helpful.

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