The first-ever online Ideate Software user group meetings took place in December. We were delighted to meet online with our customers from the UK, APAC and Americas regions and get creative about BIM data management together. 

The sessions featured BIM professionals that talked about how they have incorporated our Revit solutions into their workflows. 

  • Michael Hartley - RambollMichael Hartley, Technical BIM Manager at Ramboll UK, leads the roll-out and implementation of Ideate Software solutions within his company. “We’ve noticed a huge difference since using Ideate [Software] tools over the past year. We’re only going to get more efficient. The more we learn from them, the more we use them.” Michael presented a Navisworks clash workflow
  • Robert Bell - StantecRobert Bell, BIM Manager at Stantec, manages numerous BIM projects across multiple offices. One problem he encountered was “How can we generate dependent views for all our required discipline-specific views? We need each view to have the proper box and naming.” Hear Robert talk about the solution he found. 
  • Steve Deadman - Pollard Thomas EdwardsSteve Deadman is the Head of BIM at Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects. “We’ve been using Revit and Ideate [Software] for a long time. I’ve been using Ideate tools for many years, so I’m a big fan.” Steve presented tips and tricks on three of our solutions – Ideate SmartDelete, Ideate Clone and Ideate SheetManager (part of the IdeateApps collection) and Ideate Explorer. Watch his presentation.
  • Yong Tan - DES Architects and EngineersYong Tan, Senior Associate at DES Architects and Engineers, shared how Ideate BIMLink enables him and his colleagues to coordinate structural analysis data from RAM into Revit Structure. Watch Yong’s presentation.

The User Groups’ discussions also included topics such as:

  • New solutions from Ideate Software
  • Ideate StyleManager enhancements
  • Images vs. Schedules for Ideate Sticky
  • Feedback and Q&A

Many thanks to all those who attended our inaugural user groups meetings. 2021 will see an increased number of such events, as we seek to become increasingly connected with our customers all over the world.

To receive future user group notifications, please complete our registration form. We look forward to hearing and learning from you.

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We send a sincere thank you to Paul Aubin, from Paul F. Aubin Consulting Services, for reviewing our Revit productivity solutions. With 30+ years of experience, Paul is an independent architectural consultant providing Revit software training and implementation services. He has authored many books, including Renaissance Revit, and has posted dozens of Revit courses and tips and tricks videos to LinkedIn Learning.   

Here is the first part of Paul’s article where he talks about Ideate QuickSelect and Ideate Explorer. We will post the second part about Ideate StyleManager in January.

Ideate Software Tools Have Enhanced my Revit Workflows

I have recently added Ideate Software solutions to my Revit installation and workflow. I find myself going to the Ideate Software tab on an increasingly regular basis. In these articles, I will share just a few of my favorite “go-to” tools. But first, if you are not familiar with them, Ideate Software makes Revit productivity solutions that are available individually or in bundles. They work directly inside of Revit and are accessed from their own Ideate Software tab on the ribbon. 

While I focus on Ideate QuickSelect and Ideate Explorer in this article, the complete suite of Revit solutions offered by Ideate Software is worth your taking the time to fully explore. 

Ideate QuickSelect

Let’s start with Ideate QuickSelect. This is a very simple but highly useful tool. Whenever I deliver beginner level Revit training, element selection is one of the first things we discuss. Editing in Revit (like any graphical software package) begins with a selection of elements onscreen. The software offers many ways to do this directly with your mouse and various modifier keys on the keyboard. Such methods are fine for simple selections. However, when you need to make a more complex selection, it can sometimes be challenging and/or time consuming using the native tools. For example, let’s say you have a large plan and want a selection containing only doors and windows. You can box select (with a window or crossing selection), and then filter out all categories except Doors and Windows in the Filter dialog. This is effective, but it limits you to selecting by category only. For example, if you only want some of the doors, you must be much more strategic about your initial selection (to avoid the ones you don’t want) and then filter from there. The other out-of-the-box method that is quite handy is the right-click option to select all instances. This is effectively “select by type.” Right-click an element and then using this method, select other element of the same type as the one selected. 

But what if you want to select two types, but not a third? And what if getting that initial selection just right to avoid the ones you don’t want is too tricky? Or what if you want to add to or remove from the selection later without manually CTRL and SHIFT clicking? These are the times when Ideate QuickSelect comes in. 

Ideate QuickSelect combines the best of the filter and right-click methods into a single modeless dialog. It lets you make selections from the active view, your entire project or even from an existing selection (like Filter). Best of all, it lists all elements in their familiar hierarchical tree starting at Category and progressing through Family, Type and even Instance. You simply expand your way down the tree and check the boxes at any level to select. 

Paul Aubin Review

Figure 1 - Select items by checking the boxes next to categories, families, types or even instances

Additionally, as you expand each branch you will see the quantity of elements at that level (even before they are selected). If you expand the branch all the way, you will see each instance listed. If you double-click on an instance shown, the active view will zoom to that element. 

If you choose the “Entire Project” option from the Display drop-down at the top, and then double-click an element, an appropriate view will be found and opened to display the element (if it is not visible in the current view). Furthermore, changing the Display options at the top will not drop the selection! So, any elements already selected in the list will remain selected. Naturally, this could be a little risky when using the “Entire Project” option, so I recommend caution or sticking with the “active View” display option most of the time. 

Ideate Explorer

Want even more control over your selection? Try Ideate Explorer. Ideate Explorer has all the features of Ideate QuickSelect plus other tools useful for auditing the project. I won’t dig into all its nuances in this article and will instead remain focused on selection. (However, there are excellent videos on the Ideate Software website that cover the complete functionality of Ideate Explorer and all the other Ideate Software tools). Ideate Explorer adds sorting and filtering to the selection. This means that you can choose from several other sorting schemes rather than the default of Category. 

But what I like best is that you can use Filters. Now these are Revit View Filters that we are talking about here. So, if you have configured Filters to use in your Visibility/Graphics Overrides, they can be used in Ideate Explorer to assist in selection! 

For example, in the next figure I have a project with many elements in the Site category. The left side shows that there are 1,510 such elements in the project. However, I have added information to the properties of many of these elements and a corresponding filter that lets me customize their visibility in certain views using that information. Using that same Filter in Ideate Explorer (shown on the right), you can see that it limits the selection to only 473 elements. This makes it very easy to select exactly the elements needed and leverage all those carefully crafted Filters you may have in your projects. By far one of my favorite selection tricks available in the Ideate Software tools. 

Figure 2 - Using Ideate Explorer, you can use your Revit display Filters to assist in selection

That is all I have for you in this article. I hope you found those features exciting and worth a look. Ideate Software offers a free trial of their solutions. Browse this website to learn more and download them. You can also subscribe to them online

Keep an eye out for the second half of my article where I will talk about Ideate StyleManager. 

Disclosure: I have been granted a license to the Ideate Software solutions in exchange for my honest review of the software. The views in this article are my own. 

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Recently I had the pleasure of welcoming Gavin Crump to share how he uses Ideate Software applications. Gavin is a BIM enthusiast with more than 10 years of experience and is a Revit Architecture Certified Professional. He founded BIM Guru in Sydney, Australia at the start of 2020, and he runs a popular YouTube channel called Aussie BIM Guru, where he posts two videos a week to share hands-on technical tutorial workflows. 

Gavin got to know Ideate Software tools during his second year working with BIM, and he says he was “pretty blown away from the start.”  

Watch a recording of his presentation, Revit Model Management using Ideate Software, to see Gavin demonstrate workflows he uses with his clients or in day-to-day work related to his business content. Here are some comments he made about three of our products he discussed:

  • Ideate BIMLink “I find this tool really handy for data processing and Revit element management.”
  • Ideate Explorer “This is my favorite Ideate Software tool, because it is such an innovative tool.”
  • Ideate StyleManager “I typically use this for maintaining standards, to see if more than one standard for the same thing is used and for taking away a standard that’s not used in the model.” 

Everyone at Ideate Software thanks Gavin for his presentation, which received high marks from attendees. Here are some of the comments we received:

  • “I can see huge potential in the Excel link workflow.”    
  • “I use Ideate BIMLink a lot but learnt more about Explorer.”
  • “I didn't know Align would align views on sheets.”

Browse our website for more information on our Revit productivity tools. Give them a try with a free trial version, or subscribe today

About the Author

Sash Kazeminejad - AIA, LEED AP - Customer Success Manager
Sash earned his Master of Architecture from Montana State University and is a California registered architect, LEED Accredited Professional. He has extensive experience in project management; BIM management; design for architectural firms in California, Montana, and Oregon; and leading classroom and online BIM training. He provides consulting, sales, support, and training solutions to AECO customers around the globe. Find Sash on LinkedIn.


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San Francisco-based Modulus Consulting provides BIM guidance, support and services to companies with needs that range from an extra hand in drawing production through full project BIM coordination and management. While providing BIM coordination services for an electric company, Modulus was asked to pull some information needed for the company to purchase prefabricated parts.

The client asked for information about strut lengths, rod insets and offsets,” said Javi Candelas, BIM Specialist, Modulus Consulting. “My first thought was to try to create a schedule in Revit, but I wasn’t able to find the reporting parameters I needed in the available field box. As I was thinking about the pretty laborious task ahead of me (identifying instance/type reporting parameters), I remembered that a co-worker had shown me how to perform a similar task with Ideate BIMLink.”

Having decided to spend a few minutes trying Ideate BIMLink before resorting to Revit, Javi launched the software and tested some options.

First I, tried to export info from a schedule I had already made” said Javi. “But then decided to make a whole new schedule through Ideate BIMLink to do the job.” 

Ideate BIMLink - Modulus
That did the trick,” said Javi. “In the next screen, the properties I needed were under the Available Properties tab in the Available Properties field box. I selected the properties, added them, verified the selection on the preview and finished my link.”

 After exporting the link and cleaning up the Excel spreadsheet a bit, Javi had the information he needed.

A process that could have taken a few hours in Revit took just minutes with Ideate BIMLink,” said Javi. “It was a win for the customer, Modulus and me.” 

After rediscovering how easy Ideate BIMLink is to use and how it simplifies tedious Revit tasks, Javi decided to look at the other Ideate Software applications. He quickly found an opportunity to use Ideate SheetManager, one of the tools in the IdeateApps collection that streamlines Revit tasks performed most often.

Ideate Software tools are becoming part of my regular routine,” said Javi. “I suggest that team members take a few minutes to get comfortable with them, because they are user friendly and they make it much easier to do our jobs better and faster.

Browse our website for more information on our Revit productivity tools. Give them a try with a free trial version or subscribe today

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We extend a big thank you to Aimee Molleken, Mechanical CAD Technician/IT Support Specialist at GLHN Architects & Engineers for letting us know how she and her team use Ideate Sticky, how much time they save and how that time-savings covered the cost of the software.  

Here’s what Aimee said:

“Ideate Sticky reduces the time we spend getting Excel schedules into Revit by a minimum of nine minutes per project per reload. It paid for itself in just one month.”

Before Ideate Sticky  “Our previous workaround for getting an Excel schedule into Revit was to print it to PDF, convert the PDF to an image and then bring the image into the sheet. The image quality was poor, the process took 10 minutes and it had to be done every time the schedules or calculations changed.”

With Ideate Sticky  “Using Ideate Sticky, the initial process takes less than one minute, updates take just a few seconds and the printed output looks identical to a Revit Schedule. That’s a minimum of a 9-minute savings per user per project per reload. With eight users, that brings the time savings to 72 minutes if each only uses it for one project. Based on standard billing rates and using Ideate Sticky to reload a schedule eight times on an average number of projects, our 25-pack license pays for itself in a month.”


Want to experience the time savings and quality improvements possible when using Ideate Sticky to connect non-BIM data from Excel, Word or PDF files into your Revit projects? Download a  free trial version today.

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