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Join the Ideate Software tech experts for eLearning. Make the most of your Revit workflow with free, live, online classes that provide your entire organization with easy access to premium education. The following classes are at 11:30 Pacific / 2:30 Eastern. View the full Ideate Software classes & events schedule, including events in other time zones. We welcome questions, so come with challenges you’d like us to address. Register today to save your spot! 

September 27 // Ideate Sticky
Display non-BIM Data in Revit with Ideate Sticky
Revit is an outstanding tool for managing BIM data. But what about the critical non-BIM data, such as code checklists, design data, consultant’s data, project dashboard data, and general notes? Revit users have developed some creative workarounds, but each comes with challenges. Take this online class to see how Ideate Sticky solves the problem by enabling you to “stick” or link Excel files containing non-BIM data onto your Revit files. We will walk you through real-life examples, demonstrating how edits entered once in Excel are reflected in Sticky Schedules across multiple Revit projects. You will learn how Ideate Sticky can help you ensure that your entire team is always accessing the most current data. We welcome questions, so come with challenges you’d like us to address. ​ ​

October 6 // Ideate BIMLink
Simplify Revit Model Managment with Ideate BIMLink — REGISTER

Revit files are made up of massive amounts of data. Microsoft Excel enables quick and easy editing of massive amounts of this Revit data. Take this online class to see how you can use Ideate BIMLink to move data from your Revit file into Excel for editing, and then push it back into Revit with speed, ease, and accuracy. We will provide step-by-step instructions on how to complete some of the BIM tasks often requested by our customers, including creating and reviewing Placeholder Sheets, creating a Quantity Takeoff, managing Family names, completing a project-wide spell check, and managing Elevation names. You will learn how to dramatically reduce the amount of time spent on data management tasks while at the same time increasing the accuracy of your files. 

October 13 // Ideate Explorer
Audit Your Revit Projects with Ideate Explorer — REGISTER

Hidden DWGs, misplaced elements on Worksets, not following BIM standards, and other factors can negatively impact Revit file performance. Take this online class to see how to keep your Revit projects clean in just five minutes a week by using Ideate Explorer. Ideate Explorer is a Model Browser as opposed to a Project Browser, which means that it enables you to search through all 100,000+ elements in a Revit project with many different methods. We will walk you through the steps to inspect and clean up 10 key areas: Element Count; Model/Detail Lines/Keynotes and Revisions; Text and Dimensions; Families; Views; Grids, Levels, and Reference Planes; Groups; Worksets; and Imports. You will learn how to keep your Revit files in top working order while simplifying your quality control processes. ​

October 20 // Ideate BIMLink
Streamline Revit MEP Workflows with Ideate BIMLink — REGISTER

Your time is valuable. The accuracy of your Revit model is critical. Take this online class, designed specifically for MEP professionals, to get step-by-step instructions on how to complete five BIM tasks often requested by our MEP clients: managing Space Types for energy analysis, expediting duct accessory information, managing device data, addressing duplicate type marks, and managing data onsite and in the cloud with Google docs. Through our real-life examples, you will learn how to use Ideate BIMLink to pull data from Revit into Excel for easy and powerful editing, and then push it back into Revit with ease, speed, and accuracy.​​​

Click here for full class descriptions, times and registration links.

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Join Ideate Software for an hour-long webinar and learn how to maximize your efficiency on Revit projects, save time on typically tedious tasks, and diminish many common BIM workflow obstacles. You will learn about Ideate Explorer, Ideate BIMLink, and Ideate Sticky — all of which were recently updated to work with Revit 2017. The latest round of updates also includes new features and improvements our customers have requested.
If you are already using Ideate Software applications, be sure to use the “check for updates” feature to ensure you are using the latest software release specific for your version of Revit. If you do not currently use any Ideate Software applications, download a trial today and bring your questions to the class. 

Register today to reserve your spot!

Australia / Asia
Date: Wednesday, September 21
Time: 9:30am AWST / 11:30am AEST
Europe / Middle East / Africa
Date: Thursday, September 22
Time: 1:30pm BST / 2:30pm CEST
Date: Wednesday, September 21
Time: 11:30am PDT / 2:30pm EDT

Find Out More About Ideate Software:

Ideate Explorer
Learn how to audit, review, and maintain the health of your Revit project. Find hidden CAD imports and other culprits lurking in your Revit files that are impacting performance. Find, refine and revise elements, even those excluded from the project browser. Use Ideate Query to quickly find elements based on parameter values such as overridden dimensions or In-Place families. Easily maintain standards compliance. Ensure quality assurance and quality control. 

Ideate BIMLink
Learn how to edit the Revit data in Excel to manipulate data in Parameters, Sheets, Views, Rooms, & Families quickly in order to better manage your Revit projects. Edit parameters in schedules — and manage parameters NOT in schedules such as offset/elevation, sizes, Design Option, Scope Box, Revisions, etc. Rename families and types. Extend the BIM project team by using Excel to create and edit large amounts of data with ease.
Ideate Sticky
Learn how to link Excel Spreadsheets directly into your Revit project allowing maximum graphic fidelity, and extending the BIM Project team. Ideate Sticky manages “non-BIM” data such as code checklists, consultant data, general notes, subtotaled or matrix data, non-Revit electrical panels and more. The latest version of Ideate Sticky includes support for images so you can include lighting schedules, company logos, and more. Data and formatting can be changed within Ideate Sticky or Excel, and update automatically or at your command.

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    If you are not familiar with key schedules within Revit, you might want to first read What is a Key Schedule? I think of key schedule data as a collection of data that is applied to a Building Information Model object by a Post-It note. Key schedules are most commonly used as a way of managing large volumes of related properties for Rooms (room styles) and Doors (hardware) but have also been used to great effect as a way to create pseudo-type properties to circumvent manufacturing data.

key schedule, Revit, hardware, ironmongery

For a long time, I’ve been extolling the virtues of the key schedule. Which is why I was initially surprised to hear from an early adopter of Ideate Sticky, that they had decided to use Ideate Sticky as a substitute for key schedule data. For reference, Ideate Sticky links an Excel table into your Revit project, with the source data residing in Excel. Using this method to circumvent key schedules seemed a bit of BIM heresy, but I decided to let it slide as a crazy idea from a crazy architect. However, a chorus soon gathered of those who wanted to do the same thing; perhaps it was an idea worth further consideration.

So, after giving it much thought, here are my top (3) reasons to consider dumping your key schedules, in favor of using Ideate Sticky, and (1) reason to keep the key schedule. We’ll use this Door Hardware / Ironmongery Schedule as an example.

key schedule, Revit, hardware, Ironmongery

Benefits of the Key Schedule

Let’s start with the benefits of using the key schedule over using Ideate Sticky + Excel. With the conventional key schedule approach the data properties that relate to the key are connected to the Revit element. Meaning that if you selected a door, in the example above, you would see all the key properties (Location, Handle & Lock, Closers, Panic Bar), and their values, within the Properties palette, along with the key value itself (Hardware Group). You can also choose to include these same properties in the Door Schedule.

For some projects, this may be a requirement of the deliverable, particularly if your handover document is the Revit file. If you don’t need to handover the Revit file and you only include the ‘key’ in your main schedule, then consider the top three reasons for dumping your key schedule in favor of Ideate Sticky.

#3 No Support for Linked Files

Unlike regular schedule, key schedules are not designed to work across linked files, meaning that you cannot have a single key schedule be referenced by schedules that exist within multiple files. It is primarily for this reason that we’ve had customers starting to use Ideate Sticky as a solution to this problem. With Ideate Sticky, a single Excel file can be used for the ‘key’ data and then it can be linked into as many Revit files as needed. With Ideate Sticky, a change to the Excel file will then be automatically reflected within each Revit file – no need to open up each Revit file to make a change! This also means that the person in charge of this data does not need to own Revit, or no how to use it.

#2 Deleting the Key Schedule – Yikes!

Sad but true… if you delete a key schedule, the key parameter (Hardware Group in this example) will disappear, which is logical, but the related values will also become unassigned, which stinks. In the example above this means that the data already assigned for Location, Handle & Lock, Panic Bar and Closers would be deleted though the parameters would remain. I first ran into this problem when a customer called in a panic after having experienced a massive loss of data. The good news is that we were able to restore that data by using Ideate BIMLink, but it was a distressing problem to have, none the less. Keeping this ‘key’ data in Excel and using Ideate Sticky to display the data means no accidental loss of data.

#1 No Support for Shared Parameters

Probably the most vexing aspect of key schedules within Revit is that they do not support shared parameters. This means that you are limited in your ability to standardize the data across multiple Revit files. You also will not able to report the key value itself within a tag. When I checked last, this was high up on the Revit Ideas Forum and was under review, but until that day, you might just want to use Ideate Sticky to liberate your data. In our door hardware /ironmongery example, instead of creating a Revit key schedule for Hardware group, we can create Hardware Group as a shared parameter and then assign the values as needed. The rest of the data is identified within the Excel worksheet as desired.

Deciding how to best structure your Revit data is an important task that should be integrated into your BIM execution plans and office standards. Proper data structure can mean the difference between mind-numbing data entering and painless, user-friendly data decisions. For other posts related to this topic, you may want to review how to decide whether a parameter should be shared or not, and also how to handle multiple shared parameter files.  

About the Author

Glynnis Patterson, Revit expertGlynnis Patterson, NCARB — Director of Software Development
Glynnis is a Registered Architect and has worked within the BIM industry since 1998. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, she has worked as an architect, educator and construction site manager. Glynnis is currently the Director of Software Development Services at Ideate, Inc. and continues to work with AEC clients worldwide, developing, and consulting on solutions to Building Information Modeling challenges. In her spare time Glynnis does volunteer work for ECLC of NJ and Grow it Green Morristown. Follow Glynnis on Twitter.

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Ideate Software is pleased to announce the launch of its latest Revit add-in tool, IdeateApps. IdeateApps is a collection of the following four tools that simplify the tasks that daily Revit users perform most often:

1.    Ideate ReNumber speeds the once time-consuming process of renumbering elements by selection, path, or auto-update. Enabling users to create and save customized renumbering rules.
2.    Ideate XRay reduces frustration by quickly discovering why some elements aren’t visible in certain views.
3.    Ideate SmartDelete decreases accidental deletions by discovering all of the elements that will be deleted along with a selected element.
4.    Ideate QuickSelect enables users to easily select elements and zoom to elements within the Revit project, template, or family file.

→ Download a trial of IdeateApps and start saving time on everyday Revit tasks. 

“The development of IdeateApps expands our focus from managing the massive amounts of BIM data within a Revit model to addressing the needs of the everyday user,” said Glynnis Patterson, director of Software Development, Ideate Software. “By noting the questions that came into our support lines most often and by engaging in open discussions with our customers, we identified the areas in which Revit users spend a lot of time, and we created easily accessible tools to reduce that time.”  

“The development of these new tools demonstrates our commitment to providing the building design, engineering, construction, and facilities management community with unprecedented access to and control over their Revit data,” said Bob Palioca, president, Ideate Software.

IdeateApps is available with a non-commercial free trial. Download the trial today. For more information about IdeateApps, call 888.662.7238, or contact sales.

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Ideate QuickSelect is a powerful application that is part of the IdeateApps suite of solutions for Revit. Ideate QuickSelect allows you to understand all of the elements in your Revit model, even those that might be hidden or difficult to select.  It allows you to organize, search, and select elements with speed and agility. You can quickly understand Revit elements as well as relationships between elements using Ideate QuickSelect.

Ideate QuickSelect is a Model Browser as opposed to the “out of the box” Project Browser included within Revit. Ideate QuickSelect shows a “results view” of ALL instances of either model or annotation elements. Inserted or linked CAD files, Section boxes, Scope Boxes, Elevation or Section Markers, Schedule Graphics, and View References are just some of the difficult items to find that Ideate QuickSelect can show you in seconds.

Not only can you select and modify elements with Ideate QuickSelect, but you can choose to find and display objects that may be hidden in a particular view.

Ideate QuickSelect can also be used to quickly navigate to views or schedules. Unlike the Project Browser within Revit that lists all schedules alphabetically, Ideate QuickSelect organizes schedules by their type and usage. Ideate QuickSelect even shows schedules that have been created with Ideate Software’s Sticky application

Use these powerful tools independently or together to realize increased productivity and efficiency, ease of design, and enhanced quality for all your Revit projects. 

Watch this video to learn more about Ideate QuickSelect.

About the Author

Richard W. Taylor - Associate AIA - Technical Evangelist Ideate Software
Richard Taylor has over 25 years of experience working for companies that develop architectural and engineering software solutions such as Intergraph, Bentley, and Autodesk. He has over 15 years of Revit experience, and was part of the original development of Revit while at Revit Technology Corporation. He worked 12 years at Autodesk where he presented, taught, and worked to improve features in Revit. Richard holds both a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies and Masters of Architecture from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Richard is currently a Technical Evangelist for Ideate Software Solutions and continues to work with AEC clients worldwide, developing, and consulting on BIM solutions. In his spare time, he is active in his local community and is an elected member of the local Planning Board where he evaluates new developments, regional planning, and design criteria. @Rwtaylor_Revit

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