It seems that more and more the whims of the building department are running headlong into the limitations of the Revit plotting tool and causing WAY too much effort in getting the set out the door. Here's the background on the printing problems causing me headaches:

a) Revit prints the sheets by alpha-numeric order, which isn't always helpful, though re-numbering the Sheets Number with Ideate BIMLink is an easy solution to this problem.

b) The subscription Batch Print tool allows you to change the print order, but it has no concept of saving those settings (huh?).   You can have this tool for free on your Autodesk Subscription site.

c) Quite often building departments are requiring the total number of sheets to be listed on the set (A.K.A. plot stamp) and yet labels in Revit don't supported calculated values; see image

Revit, total number of sheets, permit set, customization
Total Number of Sheets Display

Revit Preparation Work:

  1. Create a Shared Parameter that is text-based.  I am using one called "OneofSheet" which will hold a text string that will print "
  2. 1 of x" where x is the total number of sheets in the set.
    Parameter Properties, One of Sheet, Revit,  Ideate, BIMLink
    Parameter Properties - One of Sheet
  3. Open your title block family, create a new label and then load and add the new Shared Parameter to the label.  In the image above the label is shown circled in red.
  4. Save the title block family and then load it into your Revit project.
  5. Within your Revit project, use the Project Parameters dialog to load the new Shared Parameter into your project environment.  If you haven't done so already, edit your sheets to use this updated title block family.  NOTE:  You'll want to do this in your template eventually.

Ideate BIMLink Work:

  1. Load the Sample Link called "Sheets_Review"
  2. Add the new Shared parameter to your link and delete any unnecessary properties; see example, below.
  3. Export the data to Excel.
  4. Sort the file by Sheet Number and then by Appears in Sheet List, by placing your cursor in cell A1 and then from the Data tab, select Sort.
    Sort by, sheet number, sheet set, appears, Excel, BIMLink, Revit, display total number of sheets
  5. Decide which sheets will be part of the set.  You might want to delete all that are identified as "FALSE" for the 'Appears in Sheet List' property.  Delete the row of any sheets that are not part of the set.
  6. Build a formula that combines the increment of the sheet with the total number of sheets.  You can save this Excel file, with the formulas, for re-use for this or other projects, making it easy to update this for future deliverables.  Example:  =COUNTA($B$2:B2)&" of "&COUNTA(B:B).  In this formula the COUNTA counts anything unless it is blank and column B is assumed to be the Sheet Number property.
    Build a formula, Excel, BIMLink, Revit, save for later,
    Build a Formula in Excel
  7. Use Ideate BIMLink to import the modified Excel data and now all your sheets are properly 'plot stamped.' Hopefully we've now freed up your afternoon and made your trip to the Building Department a pleasurable one! 

About the Author

Glynnis Patterson, NCARB - Director of Software Development
Glynnis is a Registered Architect and has worked with 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 across the nation, developing, and implementing best practices solutions. In her spare time Glynnis does volunteer work and builds Lego projects. @GVPinNJ