May

13

2022

Every day, our Ideate Software Support team fields all types of questions from AECO professionals all around the world. You can review some of these recent question and answers via our Ideate Software Support Series blog category.

Ideate Explorer has been a Revit user’s best friend for almost 14 years! Since the first release of Ideate Explorer, Revit users have been using the application to show model elements that the default Revit project browser just does not show. Ideate Explorer is the model browser for almost every element within your Revit model.

The Ideate Warnings Manager within Ideate Explorer is an extremely powerful and useful tool for organizing, reviewing, and fixing Revit warnings. 

Here is a question we got from a longstanding Ideate Software customer from Australia about if we could isolate or sort warnings by level:

“Do you know if there is a way to organize warnings by level? I am working on a project where it is delivered in zones. Obviously, it would be great to remove or fix warnings in the whole project but that isn’t possible due to time constraints. Currently I have to go through the warnings and try and remove as many as I can, but I only want to do it for the zones that need issuing.”

Using Ideate Explorer’s powerful search engine, you can select on the Warnings Tab within Ideate Explorer and enter the level name you are seeking within the search field. This will show you ONLY the elements with a specific Warning Type contained on the level you selected. As an example, if you search for Level 6 and there is a wall on Level 5 and wall on Level 6 that have the overlap warning, then you would see both elements because as least ONE component of the Warning Type is on Level 6.

 
You can enter a level name in the search field to show only warnings sorted by types where at least one component of the warning is on the specified level.

 
You might also want to show only warnings by Room or “Created by” or “Last Updated By” as some more examples.

Be sure to review our Help topic on Resolving Revit Warnings with Ideate Explorer and watch our online videos for more workflows featuring Ideate Explorer.

Keep those amazing questions coming to [email protected] and we will keep answering them!

Do you have a support question?

Just send an email.

Learn More

Browse our website to learn more. Download a free trial or subscribe today

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About the Author

Richard W. Taylor, Associate AIA – Technical Evangelist 
Richard has more than 30 years of experience working for companies that develop architectural and engineering software solutions, such as Intergraph, Bentley, and Autodesk. He has over 20 years of Revit experience, and he was part of the original development of Revit while at Revit Technology Corporation. He worked for 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 Master of Architecture from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. As Technical Evangelist, Richard works with AECO clients worldwide, developing and consulting on BIM solutions. Find Richard on Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

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Would you like to learn more about Managing Revit warnings with Ideate Explorer?

Warnings management is a hot topic with Revit users around the world. Our website houses many resources that describe the value of the Ideate Warnings Manager component of Ideate Explorer, as well as how to use the powerful plugin to keep your Revit projects clean and functioning well. For easy access, here are links to and descriptions of just a few:  

  • Help File: Set up and Deploy Warnings Standards 

    To gather consistent and relevant warnings data, you need to determine which Revit warnings are important to you and assign the appropriate warnings rankings. In this Help file, we provide guidance on how to determine which warnings are critical to the project or your company and then set warnings thresholds. The Help file also provides detailed instructions on how use our Revit plugin to edit and export the rankings, review the warnings threshold, set the standards, and deploy the standards.
     
  • Blog Post: Ideate Explorer: Review Revit Warnings Using Microsoft Power BI (UPDATED)

    This blog post from September 2021 updates a post from June 2021 where we announced the release of a Power BI template that uses warnings data from our Ideate Explorer Revit plugin to help users 1) visualize details of the warnings in their Revit projects, 2) get accurate information about their warnings to BIM 360 users, and 3) create actionable data visualizations that clearly deliver warnings data. In the more recent post, we detailed updates to the Power BI template to align with the latest software developments of Automation for Ideate Explorer. We 1) added an Ideate Automation input script, 2) adjusted slicer filters, 3) added a date slicer, 4) added top 10 warning descriptions, and 5) added warnings over time.  Read the blog post for details.
     
  • Video – The Value of Ideate Explorer + Ideate Warnings Manager to all Revit Users

    In just three minutes, you will gain a solid understanding of how Ideate Warnings Manager fills gaps in the warnings dialog that is built into Revit, as well as the strong value and ROI possible with this critical component of our Revit plugin, Ideate Explorer. Wherever you fall within the architecture, engineering, construction, or building-owner community, you can avoid time consuming and costly downstream problems when you use Warnings Manager to proactively keep your Revit models clean and healthy. Watch the video for more.
     
  • Video Series 

    Failure to manage the warnings in your Revit project can result in poor model performance, slow synchronization times, and/or file corruption. To help Ideate Software customers address specific warnings and to show how simple the workflow is, we developed a series of short videos that demonstrate the steps to take to resolve the warnings using the Warnings Management component of Ideate Explorer. 
     

Learn More about Ideate Software Plugins for Revit

Browse our website to learn more about Ideate Explorer and Ideate Warnings Manager. While there, be sure to check out our other Revit plugin tools, Ideate BIMLink, Ideate StyleManager, Ideate Sticky, and IdeateApps. To learn how customers use our tools to streamline their Revit data management tasks, read some of the stories featured in the Case Studies category of our blog posts. 

Download free trial versions of any product you don’t yet have to experience firsthand how it will help you and your team enhance productivity by working in Revit faster and more accurately. 

Connect with us Through Social Media

Get tips and tricks, product demonstrations, and more on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.

Contact us with Questions

If you have any questions, reach out to us. We are here to help you understand and use our Revit plugin solutions. 

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April

29

2022

Microsoft Excel is the world’s most popular spreadsheet program. With an estimated 750 million users worldwide, it’s safe for us to assume that all readers of this blog post use it to organize, format, and calculate data, and that everyone knows how to use at least its basic functions of sorting, filling, and finding/replacing. Excel is a powerful part of our everyday professional and personal lives, completing tasks that would have taken hours in just seconds and eliminating the need to double or even triple check our work. 

Linking Excel to Revit

The Ideate BIMLink plugin for Revit harnesses the powers of Excel and Revit, allowing users to export massive amounts of data from a Revit model to Excel for review, editing, and manipulation, and then import the Excel file into Revit. No longer do you need to go into Revit models to update hundreds of elements when one has been replaced with another, alter room numbers one at a time, change lower case letters to upper case, correct the spelling of a product, or any of the thousands of other tasks you perform, whether daily or infrequently. Instead, you can select elements you need to review/update, push their data to Excel, make any changes needed, and import from Excel into Revit. Viola! The Revit model immediately updates. 

Hundreds of Possibilities

Ideate BIMLink gives you access to all the data in your Revit model. To streamline the process of selecting the Revit items to import to Excel, Ideate BIMLink ships with more than 300 preconfigured links of common workflows for all AECO disciplines. And, each link is easily customizable, so you can add or remove parameters to meet your specific needs. 

Three Examples

There are hundreds of ways to manage Revit data with Ideate BIMLink. Here are descriptions of three popular workflows. These were presented along with three others at a webinar hosted by The Architect’s Newspaper. We will post information about the other three later. Review the recorded webinar

  1. Edit Model Data – Changes throughout a project are inevitable. New naming standards may be implemented, several small rooms or spaces may be converted into one large room or space, additional windows may be added, or hundreds of other changes can and will occur. Instead of manually editing the model data in Revit, you can use the Ideate BIMLink add-in to export the data to Excel, use the powerful features within Excel to edit the data, and then import the updated Excel data back to the Revit model. While this will save you time and increase accuracy even when just changing something as simple as sentence case to upper case, it can be used for much more interesting tasks as well.

    In this video (or skip right to the demo) you will see a demonstration on how to convert numerical View Orientation data in a Revit model into the words “North,” “South,” “East,” and “West,” (“Cardinal direction”) by exporting the elevation orientations into Excel, using a simple formula to convert the orientation numbers to the appropriate cardinal direction, performing the calculation in one cell, and using the Fill function in Excel to automatically convert all the numbers to the words. Then take it even further by concatenating three cells in Excel to combine the data into a new column that includes the room name, room number, and Cardinal direction, for example, “CORR 210 – EAST.” Once again, use the Fill function to fill the column down. Copy and paste all the data in the new column into the “Title on Sheet” column, save the spreadsheet, and close Excel. Then go back to Ideate BIMLink, open the spreadsheet, confirm everything that has been changed is correct, and hit “Import” to sync Excel to Revit. Immediately, all interior elevation room names in the Revit model are updated (click image to enlarge).   

    Ideate BIMLink - Edit Model Data
     
  2. Construction Quantity Takeoff – Knowing all the material quantities needed for construction is critical for keeping projects on time and on budget. Not ordering enough of just one item can slow the whole process, and overordering an item can negatively impact the bottom line. Considering the hundreds or even thousands of different materials needed for a project, it’s clear to see the importance of getting the information correct. Quantity take-offs, developed by estimators during the pre-construction phase, are the detailed lists of all materials and labor needed to complete a construction project. This process can be incredibly tedious, especially since project designs change often. 

    In this video (or skip right to the demo) you will see how Ideate Software makes the process simple by using a sample QTO Excel workbook that ships with Ideate BIMLink to export the Revit model data for QTO purposes. The workbook has two tabs:
     
    1. The QTO tab contains all the raw data that Ideate BIMLink exports from the Revit model to Excel
    2. The Summary tab has a spreadsheet that uses Excel pivot tables to convert that data into an easy-to-read QTO

QTO and Summary Tabs - Ideate BIMLink
 

With our Ideate BIMLink add-in, it’s easy to import data from Revit to Excel. While in your Revit model, launch Ideate BIMLink, and go to the preconfigured, multi-category “Construction QTO” link and select “Instance Link.” Ideate BIMLink will bring up all the data in alignment with the information in the Excel spreadsheet and the pivot table. If the out-of-the-box link doesn’t include all the information you need, you can easily add more parameters or Revit categories. Remember to edit the pivot table to accommodate any changes you make to the out of the box Construction QTO link.

Keep in mind that the Ideate BIMLink plugin for Revit gives you access to A LOT of model data. We don’t just show you things that you see in the Properties pallete and in a schedule. We show you things that you don’t have access to within Revit, such as Coordinate and Host information.

Once you hit “Export,” Ideate BIMLink pushes the Revit model data into the existing Construction QTO worksheet in the QTO Excel file, overwriting its existing data, and the Summary tab automatically updates to reflect the latest model data. As your project continues to evolve and change, simply repeat the export process to the same QTO Excel file to overwrite the Construction QTO tab data. 

  1. Revisions – In Revit, there is no native way to schedule all sheets and revisions on those sheets, as Revit will only show you the most current revision and some very basic information about those revisions. Furthermore, when you want to issue out a drawing set in Revit, you must go to each sheet individually, select the “Revisions on Sheet,” button in the Properties palette, and select each Revision to display in the Titleblock. Since Revit will not allow users to bulk-select sheets and select Revisions in masse, you have to make these changes one-by-one and sheet-by-sheet. Imagine if you have hundreds of sheets to edit. What if you make a mistake? You literally have to go back to each sheet and click/unclick boxes in each one. This process could take hours, depending on the size of the project.

    Fortunately, with our Ideate BIMLink add-in for Revit you get an “Edit Revisions on Each Sheet” link that brings up all the sheets along with same boxes that are in Revit. In this video (or skip right to the demo) you will see how to export all the data to Excel and use simple True and False commands to select the information you need and import it back into your Revit project, easily creating or updating sheet lists with revisions.   

Watch the Recorded Webinar


 
See More Examples

You can visit our website to see many other examples. The Ideate BIMLink section of our blog has many articles, the How-to section of our Help pages details more advanced workflows, and our video library houses hundreds of short demonstration videos. See how easy it is to enhance Revit by importing Excel spreadsheets with updated model data. 

Contact us or visit our website to explore Ideate Software’s range of Revit tools and see how they can make your Revit projects faster, simpler, and more accurate.

Stay Connected

Check us out on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube.

If you have any questions, reach out to us. We are here to help you understand and use our Revit plugin solutions. 
 

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April

26

2022

Recently, I was fortunate enough to work with one of our customers on a challenge they were facing managing revision issuances for a large project with several revision issuances. While they were using our Document Issue Record (DIR) Excel template, which enables users to push out Revision Sequences and Revision on Sheet data to generate a comprehensive sheet list with each revision listed for each sheet, they ran into some troubles with how to include consultant sheets in the same DIR template, since the consultant sheets were not in their Revit models.

Limitations in Revit

While Revit allows users to create a sheet list and include linked element sheets as part of the sheet list, there are limitations that can arise, especially if one team is in charge with managing a master sheet index for an entire project. For example, if each team uses different sheet parameters or revision sequence names (can be problematic with the DIR), including linked elements in the master index may yield unwanted results. Since Revit does not allow changes to linked model data, the team in charge of the master sheet index may have to constantly ask their consultants to manage the information in their models in a very specific manner so that when the models are aggregated in a federated model, the information comes in correctly via the Sheet List.

Because of these situations, many architects request that their consultants send them a sheet list, so that they can manually generate the consultant sheets (typically as placeholder sheets) in their models, for the purpose of generating the master sheet index.

Expedite the Process with Ideate BIMLink

To expedite the creation of the placeholder sheets, we can use the Ideate BIMLink plugin for Revit. Depending on the situation, we have a couple of options to create the sheets:

  1. If the consultant models are linked into the project that will maintain the master sheet index, such as a federated model, then we can use Ideate BIMLink to report on the linked model sheets and use that sheet data to generate the new sheets using Excel. See below for detailed steps on how to create placeholder sheets using linked Revit models and Ideate BIMLink.
     
  2. If the consultant models are not linked into the project that will maintain the master sheet index, then we can use Ideate BIMLink to export the sheet parameter data we need (sheet name, number, appears in sheet list, etc.), and add the consultant sheet info to the exported Excel file and import the data back into the Revit model to create the placeholder sheets. For more information on this workflow, refer to this Help topic and this blog post.

Step-by-Step Instructions

The following steps outline how you can create consultant sheets from linked Revit models using Ideate BIMLink: 

  1. In Ideate BIMLink, start with a pre-configured link called 02 Sheets-Create_New:

    Start with a pre-configured link in Ideate BIMLink Revit Plugin
     
  2. By default, this link is designed to filter out any existing sheets that exist in the project. Since we need to display the sheets from the linked Revit models, we will need to remove this filter: 

    Remove the Filter
     
  3. To reveal the sheets from the linked Revit models (the consultant sheets), check the “Include linked elements” option under the Properties tab. After doing so, you will see the primary sheets from the main model (highlighted in red), which has editable information, such as Sheet Number, Sheet Name, and Appears in Sheet List, and the sheets from the linked Revit models (highlighted in blue), which has non-editable information. The element ID numbers (highlighted in green) look different here, since we are displaying the element ID for the linked Revit models, followed by the element IDs of the sheets from the linked models: 

    Reveal Sheets from Linked Revit Model
     
  4. Before exporting this data to Excel, if you are interested in exporting only the linked model sheets (highlighted in blue), then return to the Filters tab and set the values to be Sheet Number is not editable. This will filter out all the sheets from the primary model and leave you with only the sheets from the linked models. If you will need to edit the sheet data from the primary model, while creating new sheets, then you can skip this step:

    To export only the linked Revit model sheets
     
  5. Once complete, export the information to Excel and open the Excel file to reveal the results: 

    Export to Excel and open Excel File
     
  6. Since we are interested in creating placeholder sheets in the federated model by using the Sheet Name and Sheet Numbers from the consultant links, all we need to do is erase the element ID numbers (column A) and replace them with the word NEW. For the Title Blocks (column B), you have a few options:
     
    • Leave the values blank, which will generate placeholder sheets. This is a typical workflow.
       
    • Use the value: <None>, which will add the sheets to the Project Browser, without titleblocks. This is not a typical workflow, since views will not be placed on these sheets.
       
    • Assign a loaded titleblock (family:type format, as seen in above image), which will add the sheets to the Project Browser, with titleblocks. This is not a typical workflow for consultant sheets, but a very typical workflow for creating new sheets in a primary model in which views will be placed.

Because we are interested in creating placeholder sheets for the consultant sheets, we will clear the existing values in the Title Blocks column. Finally, since we want these sheets to appear in the sheet index, we will ensure that the Appears in Sheet List value is set to TRUE for each sheet:  

Make edits in Excel

  1. Once the data has been edited, save the Excel file and import the changes back into the Revit model using Ideate BIMLink:


     
  2. Verify that the new placeholder sheets have been created by either using the new sheet function (blue arrow) or by going to a Sheet List schedule and selecting the Isolate function under the Filter Placeholder Sheet panel in the Revit ribbon: 

    Verify the updates

After your placeholder sheets are created, you can then modify any of the sheet information, such as Revisions on Sheets, and even use these placeholder sheets as part of your Document Issue Record (DIR).

More Training Tips

For additional training tips, check out our Training blog post series.

Send us an email with questions or visit our website to explore Ideate Software’s range of Revit tools and see how they can make your Revit projects faster, simpler and more accurate.

Stay Connected

Check us out on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube.

If you have any questions, reach out to us. We are here to help you understand and use our Revit plugin solutions. 

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April

25

2022

Ideate Software is hiring!

We are seeking a Revit designer, engineer, or architect to join our team in the role of Customer Success Manager. The primary responsibility is to expand the Ideate Software business through the cultivation and management of strategic AEC companies. This position is full time and will require occasional travel for tradeshows and to customer locations.  

The ideal candidate will be based in the US Pacific Time Zone, but all US candidates are encouraged to apply. This position involves significant customer interaction as well as Building Information Model expertise. 

Interested parties can read the full job description

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April

22

2022

We recently showed how to find unused Legend or Schedule views using the Query function within Ideate Explorer in this blog post

Finding unused Legend or Schedule Views
Ideate Query finds where legends have been placed or not.

But how can you find which sheets the legend or schedule views are placed on? 

While Ideate Explorer and Query can identify the number of sheets with legends and schedules, it can’t identify the sheet names or numbers, as this is information is not yet accessible.

However, using Ideate SheetManager, one of the tools in the IdeateApps collection, you can easily find which sheets have legends or schedules placed on them by using the Search function.

Use the Search function to find which sheets have legends or scheduled
You can also use the Search to find other view types.

Using Ideate SheetManager can help make preparing your drawings sets an easy and efficient process.

For additional training tips, check out our Training blog series.

Visit our website to learn more about how Ideate Software add-on products help Revit users save time, increase model accuracy, improve deliverables and elevate design. You can give them a try by downloading trial versions or purchasing the bundle for access to all the Revit plugin solutions for six months.


About the Author

Steve Deadman - Customer Success Manager - EMEA
Steve provides support to customers and helps them get a strong return on their software investment. He has a B.Eng (Hons) degree in Mechanical Engineering and various certifications in engineering. Before joining Ideate Software, he worked at several top architectural firm in the United Kingdom where he specialized in the implementation and management of BIM processes and technology. Find Steve on LinkedIn.

 

 

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