July

31

2023

With five Revit plugins and an additional desktop application, including one plugin—IdeateApps—that come with 10 tools, we are often asked which of our products people find most useful. The truth is that there isn’t just one. We know that all the tools on our Revit plugins list are useful because we only develop ones that meet needs expressed by Revit users. 

  1. Useful Revit PluginsWe talk with our customers. Whether they have been with us since we first launched Ideate Explorer in 2008, recently partnered with us when we launched Ideate Automation to boost the power of our plugins, or anywhere in between, we talk with customers.
    • We take the time to understand their needs before selling them a product, and we follow up with them after they have had it for a while to make sure it meets those needs.
    • At the conclusion of every webinar we deliver, we ask attendees to tell us about any challenges they are having in Revit and if there are any features they’d like to see added to our products.
    • We track all calls that come into our Support team and note any issues that our products don’t currently address. Our Software Development team reviews all the data to determine if new functionality or even a completely new product is needed.
    • We work closely with a large group of beta testers who review our updates or new products while they are in the development stage, provide candid feedback, and then verify that everything works as expected before we launch them publicly
       
  2. Useful Revit PluginsWe are part of the Autodesk Community, which offers several ways to connect, find answers, share knowledge, build networks, and more, including the Community Forums, which are product discussion boards:
    • Revit Architecture Forum - Share knowledge, ask questions, and explore popular Revit Architecture topics.
    • Revit MEP Forum – Post questions and answers about Revit ducts, piping, plumbing, fire protection, electrical, and more.
    • Revit Structure Forum – Hear from users about how to use this tool to improve collaborations on structural design and engineering tasks.
    • Revit API Forum – Learn about this collection of programs and libraries that helps in building and integrating software to Revit to extend its functionality.
    • Revit Ideas Forum - Share ideas for future product features directly with the Revit team and collaborate on existing suggestions with peers
       
  3. Useful Revit PluginsWe know Revit. Our Software Developers, Support team, Business Development managers, and Customer Success managers know Revit. We are architects, engineers, designers, and others who worked in industry before joining Ideate Software. 

    We joined Ideate Software because we know and love BIM and Revit, and we want to help develop, sell, and support products that make them even better. 

Reasons our Revit Plugins are Useful

Here’s a quick overview of how our customers benefit from our addons for Revit. Architecture, engineering, and construction companies as well as owner-operators use our Revit addons to streamline activities, improve model health, and enhance model design. 

Ideate Explorer LotoQuickly find and delete incorrect, obsolete, and hidden problem items—even imported or linked DWG’s. Find, refine, and revise elements, including those that aren’t in the Revit project browser. This functionality dramatically decreases the amount of time spent on model management and enhances model performance. Ideate Explorer comes with four additional features that will contribute to you models staying in top working order:

  • Warnings Manager – Audit and address Revit warnings ranked by importance. Fix problems using tools in Revit while the Warnings Manager dialog box is open.
  • Navigate – Navigate through view-based elements; find unused sheets and views; find and filter legends, schedules, sheets, or views by category and/or keyword; and customize working environments without altering the project browser.
  • Query – Search within set parameters for elements like in-place usage, structure usage/area scheme, revisions, unused annotations, and design options. 
  • Filters - A dynamic, customizable, and rule-based method to quickly filter Revit model elements based on your specified parametric conditions.

 

Don’t work inside of Revit to verify and/or edit data one element at a time. Instead, use Ideate BIMLink to export the data you need to review into Microsoft Excel where you can quickly view and accurately manipulate massive amounts of data in seconds. You can then use Ideate BIMLink to import the verified or updated data back into Revit, and the model will immediately update.  

 

Ideate Sticky LogoShare accurate and formatted non-BIM data with your Revit teams by live-linking Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and PDF documents to the Revit file with Ideate Sticky. These “stickies” are easy to read, look nice, and can be easily updated within Revit when changes are made to the original files. Whether it’s building codes, consultant data, abbreviation lists, general notes, or any of the many other non-BIM data critical to a project’s success, you can be sure your team always has the current information. 

 

Ideate StyleManager LogoEliminate problems caused by copying/pasting data from one Revit file to another when styles associated with the original file get copied along with the data. This can clog up the model with incorrect information that can take a long time to remove if working in Revit. You have to remove it, because extraneous data can create model performance problems. With Ideate StyleManager, you can quickly analyze, merge, and delete non-standard Revit styles, and you can use it to see view filters applied to views and to clean object and line styles and patterns, text, fonts, parameters, and more. 

 

IdeateApps LotoStop spending so much time on tedious tasks in Revit that, when performed on large complex models, can contribute to mistakes, rework, and frustrations. Automate hundreds of common tasks with the 10 tools that come in the IdeateApps collection: Ideate SpellCheck, Ideate Align, Ideate Clone, Ideate ViewCreator, Ideate SheetManager, Ideate Annotate, Ideate XRay, Ideate ReNumber, Ideate SmartDelete, and Ideate QuickSelect

 

Ideate Automation LogoRun time-intensive BIM tasks silently in the background on this desktop application while you spend your time on more meaningful work with Ideate Automation. Start it manually or schedule it to run at a convenient time, even overnight. Ideate Automation can increase your productivity, eliminate the need to train staff on repetitive tasks, and ensure task outcomes are highly predictable, free of user errors, and standardized. Use Ideate Automation to: 

  • Export key Revit model health data
  • Create document issue records
  • Prepare COBie data drops
  • Generate quantity take-off data 
  • Generate regular, automated PDF exports
  • Deliver CSV reports on key Revit family and project metrics

Stay Connected

Learn more about our top Revit addons.

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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July

14

2023

Environmental Systems Design’s Digital Practice Leader Samir Abdelmawla delivered an engaging session called, “Arsenal of Revit Tools for the MEP Team” at the 2023 BILT North America Conference in Dallas, Texas. He featured several Revit add-on tools for the MEP team, and many of those tools were from Ideate Software!

“I am a strong believer of the tools developed by Ideate Software. A number of these tools are helping our engineers on their daily tasks. I am pleased to showcase how powerful they are for many MEP workflows and how easy they are to use,” said Samir.

Here is the information about Ideate Software tools that Samir featured in his presentation:

  1. Ideate Sticky 
    • Successfully get Excel spreadsheets to Revit
    • Starting with Revit 2020, Revit supported inserting PDFs to a model, however it only allows for one page at time. Ideate Sticky can place selected pages and maintain links to the source PDF.
      Environmental System Design - Ideate Sticky
       
  2. Ideate BIMLink – Edit various MEP data and schedules in Excel and then import the data back to Revit. Editing in Excel offers the speed of copy/paste, fill down/across, concatenate data, and easily search/replace.

    Environmental Systems Design - Ideate BIMLink

    Also, with Ideate BIMLink, users can create definitions from a wealth of provided Libraries by category or by schedule: Export the data to Excel, edit, then import it back to Revit. Ideate BIMLink highlights changes for review before making them in the Revit model.

    Environmental Systems Design - Ideate BIMLink
     
  3. IdeateApps
     
    • Environmental Systems Design - Ideate XRay
      Ideate XRay – Understand why a Revit element is not visible within a specific view.
      • Fix
      • Show how to fix
      • Get more information
         
    • Ideate XRay gives the options to:
       
    • Environmental Systems Design - Ideate ReNumber
      Ideate ReNumber – Use this tool to number Revit elements by:
       
      • Individual selection
      • Selecting a path
      • Numbering all elements within the active view
         
    • Ideate Align – Coordinate floor plans, legends, schedules, or any other view across multiple Sheets
       
  4. Ideate Explorer – Manage model warnings

    Environmental Systems Design - Ideate Explorer

Thank you, Samir! We are honored that you included our products in your presentation.

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July

12

2023

San Francisco, CA, July 12, 2023 – When appointed Information Manager on a major project that required weekly reports to demonstrate the development of Autodesk® Revit® models, Evolve Consultancy, a premier BIM consultancy in the UK, turned to a suite of tools, including Ideate BIMLink. Ideate BIMLink is a Revit productivity tool developed by Ideate Software, an Autodesk AEC Industry Partner and Autodesk Authorized Developer. 

Joseph Frame, an associate with Evolve Consultancy said, “Simplicity is the key. We need anyone to be able to produce and analyse these reports with a minimum of training, as quickly as possible. Ideate BIMLink gives us that ability.”

In the customer success story published by Ideate Software, Joseph Frame and Francesco Pirritano, a consultant with Evolve Consultancy, share the steps they follow to:

The process of reporting starts with a custom link created in Ideate BIMLink to extract the necessary property values from the model.
  • Use Ideate BIMLink to select the required properties and categories to be included in the report
     
  • Export that data, which includes data from linked Revit models, to an Excel spreadsheet
     
  • Calculate the number and percentage of elements against each key performance indicator
     
  • Create a summary sheet to show the progression of how the models are developing over time

Francesco Pirritano said, “Ideate BIMLink allows the selection of multiple Revit categories, including both system and loadable families into the scheduled export, something not possible with Autodesk Revit multi-category schedules.”

Read Spotlight on Evolve Consultancy for details and screenshots.

Visit www.ideatesoftware.com to learn how Ideate Software add-ins for Revit help users save time, increase model accuracy, improve deliverables, and elevate design. Give them a try by downloading trial versions or purchasing the bundle for access to Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, IdeateApps, and Ideate StyleManager for six months.
 


About Ideate Software - Ideate Software, an Autodesk AEC Industry Partner and Autodesk Authorized Developer, empowers Revit users to gain unprecedented control over their data. They developed Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, IdeateApps, and Ideate StyleManager to solve persistent problems in architecture, engineering, and construction, and owner-operator (AECO) workflows. They developed Ideate Automation to boost the power of their Revit plugins by running time-intensive activities in the background.

Autodesk and Autodesk Revit are trademarks of Autodesk, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries.

Microsoft Excel is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders.
 

 

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July

5

2023

One of the best places to get started with learning Ideate BIMLink is a Room Finish Schedule. If your Revit project has more than 30 rooms and more than four (data-input) columns, using Ideate BIMLink can significantly reduce the time it takes to review and edit your room data by allowing your edits to happen within Excel. The sheer volume of data makes this Revit task unwieldy. Despite the addition of “Freeze Header,” Revit still has a long way to go to achieve the ease-of-use found within Excel.

When you export your Room Finish data to Excel via Ideate BIMLink, you get these benefits:

  • Fantastic editing functions within Excel! Today I’ll highlight three of my favorites.
  1. Format as Table
  2. Autofill
  3. Find and Replace
  • More control of the Room Phase and Design Option properties
  1. Unlike Revit, Ideate BIMLink data exports do not limit the room list to one specified phase or design option 
  2. Being able to edit all Room data across multiple phases at once will save you time in your complex projects
  3. As this blog series continues, we will explore these and other powerful uses of Ideate BIMLink
  • Most importantly, you can hand off the Excel file generated via Ideate BIMLink to anyone on the project team for editing, regardless of their Revit skill set.

The example I’m using here is based on the Snowdon Towers Sample Architectural model that comes with Revit 2024. Everything shown here is supported as far back as Revit 2021 at the time of this post. All the Scheduled fields shown in the Schedule Properties in our example are built-in Revit parameters. 
Ideate BIMLink - Room Finish Schedule

Here’s a cropped example of the Room Finish Schedule as viewed in Revit. 

Room Finish Schedule - Revit

Now let’s get this information out to Excel!

There are three methods for creating links with Ideate BIMLink. We’re going to use what I think is the easiest, Create from Schedule.

Simply open Ideate BIMLink, choose “New,” then “Create from Schedule” where you can browse or search for the Room Finish Schedule, and the click “Next.”

Ideate BIMLink - New Link
 
After reviewing the Link Properties, pick “Done.” You’ll be returned to the Ideate BIMLink home screen where you select the newly created Link and click “Export” to save and open it in Excel.

Room Finish Schedules - Ideate BIMLink

Now that the Excel file is open, let’s have a look at my favorite editing features.

Format as Table

This one click is the most powerful thing you can do to any Excel file that has been exported from Ideate BIMLink. 

With cell A1 as the default selection when Room Finish Schedule.xlsx is opened, pick Format as Table from the Styles Tab in Excel to give your table headers (parameters) drop down-functionality!

Format as Table

The ability to filter and sort parameter values is nearly endless. Good luck getting a Revit Schedule to work like this!

Autofill

Revit typically limits us from editing more than one value at a time in a Schedule View. Once in Excel, use Autofill options to easily copy multiples and sequences up and down columns with ease.

Autofill

While Autofill is super helpful, be aware that it won’t work if you have applied a filter to any of the column headers. A perfect example of that would be in the previous step where we filtered the Levels column to show only L2 and L3.

Find and Replace

When it comes to making wholesale changes for issues like typos or in this case, changes to a finish that affects many rooms, Find and Replace is your friend.

Find and Replace

Make sure to expand the ‘Options’ when using Find and Replace to get the most benefit.

We recommend that all Revit users have access to Ideate BIMLink to expedite the review and editing of Revit schedules and Room Finish Schedules are a great place to start. You can download a trial version of Ideate BIMLink and try for yourself.

In my next Training blog post, I’ll expand on this theme and cover the benefits of Revit Key Schedules.

For additional training tips, check out our Training Blog Series.


About the Author

Jason BaillyJason Bailly, Training Manager
Jason brings 20 years of experience in the architecture, engineering, construction, and owner-operator space with past roles including customer success manager, digital practice specialist, digital design principal, and application manager. At Ideate Software, he develops and leads training courses for customers and the internal technical sales and software development teams. When not working, Jason enjoys spending time with his wife and children as well as mid-century modern architecture, road racing vintage two-stroke motorcycles, and landscaping


 

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June

30

2023

Every year, Autodesk adds new features and functionalities to Revit software, and this year is no exception. This year’s enhancements include interface modernizations and upgrades that will help users:

  • Design more creatively
  • Document more efficiently
  • Manage projects more effectively in BIM

Here are 10 Examples

  1. Dark Theme – Interface enhancements that allow users to work more comfortably and intuitively
  2. “My Insights” Panel – Aggregates usage data and finds workflow trends to help users quantify common commands and keystrokes; offers ideas on how to streamline design tasks  
  3. Interdisciplinary Imperial and Metric Template – Replaces discipline-specific templates
  4. Sample Content – Provides a learning resource and a good examples of documentation best practices 
  5. Toposolids – Improves the quality of site designs
  6. Enhanced Visualizations – Enables architects and designers to tell a more compelling story
  7. Auto Sync with Twinmotion – Live links Revit and Twinmotion
  8. New Capabilities for Energy Analysis – Simplifies workflows when working in linked architectural models in Revit 
  9. Enhanced Electrical Load Analysis Capabilities – Supports the use of demand factors and manage load sets for non-coincident backup equipment loads
  10. Powerful Rebar Documentation Features – Allows detailers to create more complete shop drawings 

Ideate Software’s Top Revit Plugins

One reason Ideate Software tools are at the top of Revit Plugins lists is because every year, when Autodesk releases their new version of Revit, we quickly align our software to the new version and deliver meaningful enhancements. Most enhancements are based on user requests, and all are tested rigorously, so users can upgrade to the newest version of Revit with no issues and jump right into the new functionalities to streamline Revit workflows and improve the quality of their Revit models. 

Ideate Software Product Descriptions and Recent Enhancements

Below is information about our products and recent enhancements. For video demonstrations, check out our What’s New playlist on YouTube.

ABOUT IDEATE EXPLORER

Where Revit comes with a project browser, Ideate Explorer is a model browser that makes it easy for users to: 

  • Find and delete incorrect, obsolete, and hidden problem items, including DWGs
  • Find, refine, and revise elements, even those excluded from the project browser

Ideate Explorer includes these valuable features: 

  • A Warnings Manager that allows users to easily review and manage Revit warnings with ease. It:
    • Allows the user to rank warnings based on importance
    • Notifies users when high ranking warnings appear in the models
    • Enables users to fix problems using tools in Revit when the Warnings Manager dialog box is open 
  • A Navigate function that allows users to steer through the view-based elements in a Revit project and customize their browsing experience. It is used to find unused sheets and views and filter legends, schedules, sheets or views by category and/or keyword. It is also used to customize working environments without altering the project browser. 
  • A Query function that can be used to search within set parameters for elements such as unused annotations, design options, in-place usage, structure usage/area scheme, and revisions. These query functions can now be saved and used multiple times via our Dynamic Filters.

May 2023 Enhancements to Ideate Explorer

Ideate Explorer now includes the ability to create and save dynamic filters using expanded Revit properties exposed within Ideate Explorer that are not always available with the out-of-the-box Revit user interface. Users can search elements throughout a Revit model based on their parameter values, including parameter values in related data tables. Because this filtering system is dynamic, when parameter values in a model are updated, the list in Ideate Explorer will update as well. 

Learn more and watch a demonstration:

ABOUT IDEATE BIMLINK

Verifying or editing massive amounts of data in Revit can be incredibly time consuming. It’s easy with Ideate BIMLink. This powerful Revit plugin allows users to export the data they need to verify/update to Microsoft Excel, use its powerful editing capabilities, and then import verified or updated data back into the model. Whether you need to check to make sure naming conventions comply with customer standards or update a product manufacturer’s name, Ideate BIMLink is the tool. 

May 2023 Enhancements to Ideate BIMLink

New features include the ability to:

  1. Create new shared project parameters
  2. Create shared and unshared family parameters
  3. Push parameter standards to multiple models
  4. Batch edit the material assignment and thickness value for compound walls, floors, ceilings, roofs, and slab assemblies

Learn more and watch a demonstration:

Watch our What’s New video for information on the other enhancements to Ideate BIMLink capabilities:

  • Support for MEP pipe and duct elevation properties
  • New support for sheet and view sets 
  • The ability to manage family type properties that may vary across family types
  • The ability to edit the bounding boxes of views
  • The ability to create new worksets 

ABOUT IDEATE STICKY

The limited text editing functionality in Revit makes it difficult for project managers to organize and format non-BIM data that their project teams need. Ideate Sticky overcomes this issue by combining the familiar flexibility of Adobe PDF documents, Microsoft Word documents, and Microsoft Excel spreadsheets with the convenience of a sticky note. This Revit plugin live-links non-BIM data into a Revit project, and when the source document is updated, the linked “sticky” automatically updates. 

Enhancements to Ideate Sticky

Recently, Autodesk updated its Desktop Connector from version 15 to version 16, which changed the location and path where non-Revit files are stored within the Autodesk Construction Cloud (ACC). The latest version of Ideate Sticky is compatible with both versions. 

The improvements to the Autodesk Desktop Connector solve a long-standing problem with the non-Revit data stored on the ACC not being actively refreshed. The latest version allows you to choose which folders are actively updating, which ensures that files linked via Ideate Sticky and stored on the ACC will be the most current. Ideate Sticky has a new “Show” button on the main dialog that highlights the selected sticky within the active view. 

Another enhancement reduces the initial size of the Ideate Sticky dialog on start-up, reducing the time it takes for Ideate Sticky to open. 

ABOUT IDEATE STYLEMANAGER

Pasting data from one model to another can create issues when style information associated with that data automatically transfers as well. With Ideate StyleManager, users can easily analyze, merge, or delete non-standard Revit styles more reliably, quickly, and accurately than possible with the built-in Revit style management system. 

May 2023 Enhancements to Ideate StyleManager

Ideate StyleManager can now expose both Family parameters and Nested parameters within the Family Editor environment, making it much easier to standardize parameters within Revit content. We’ve also introduced Quick Analysis and In-Depth Analysis options to increase performance.  

ABOUT IDEATEAPPS

IdeateApps is a set of tools that enhances the functionality of Revit. With it, Autodesk Revit users can access and manipulate the data in their models with greater ease. Designed to take on common challenges identified by people who use Revit daily, these Autodesk Revit add-ins automate repetitive tasks and streamline workflows, freeing time for more interesting and valuable activities.  

May 2023 Enhancements to IdeateApps

  • Ideate ReNumber
    • Skip a number within a numbering sequence by just selecting the element again
  • Ideate SpellCheck
    • Support added for using SpellCheck within the Revit Family Editor environment
    • In the Project environment, you can now choose which views to spell check
  • Ideate ViewCreator
    • Enhanced existing ability to automatically copy plan-based views to multiple levels by adding support for copying schedules from one level to many
    • When using the Rooms View method:
      • You can now choose rooms located in a Revit linked model
      • You can clone 2D linework and annotations if selecting a sheet to clone
      • We’ve added support for using more than one plan or ceiling plan view
  • Ideate Annotate
    • New text align and distribute features
    • Additional issue reporting functionality
    • Watch these short videos for details:
       

Stay Connected

Learn more about our top Revit plugins.  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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