Recently, I have been asked this question a lot, “Can I rename Revit Families using Ideate BIMLink?”
The answer is yes! You can! So, I thought a blog post about this topic was overdue.
Ideate BIMLink ships with over 300 pre-defined link definitions, and many of these links deal with project standards and quality assurance.
Ideate BIMLink ships with hundreds of link definitions
The link QC_MC_Family_Naming under 07 Quality Control allows you to rename Revit families using Excel. NOTE: This link is filtering out names that meet a COBie requirement to exclude spaces in the name. You can remove the filter to see all families if needed.
You can also rename Type names using some of our other links!
You can also customize the link to include or not include specific family categories so that the Excel output matches your requirements.
Use the Filters tab to refine your selections further.
Once in Excel, you can use a simple formula to change the family name. In this example I’ve added a prefix to the family name. You should use Copy/Paste to move the modified results into the Family Name column, and you can then delete column E before importing if you wish.
This method will ensure that your Revit family data matches your company standard or a client’s specific standard in a matter of minutes!
Note: Only component families can be renamed. System family names are not editable, but you can rename the types using another of our link definitions.
This blog post has more useful tips and information about managing Revit families.
Renaming Revit families and types has never been easier. Ideate BIMLink can also be used for lots more project standard tasks, check our Training blog series. for more information.
Browse 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 (Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, Ideate StyleManager, and IdeateApps) 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.
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.
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.
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).
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:
The QTO tab contains all the raw data that Ideate BIMLink exports from the Revit model to Excel
The Summary tab has a spreadsheet that uses Excel pivot tables to convert that data into an easy-to-read QTO
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
The following steps outline how you can create consultant sheets from linked Revit models using Ideate BIMLink:
In Ideate BIMLink, start with a pre-configured link called 02 Sheets-Create_New:
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:
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:
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:
Once complete, export the information to Excel and open the Excel file to reveal the results:
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:
Once the data has been edited, save the Excel file and import the changes back into the Revit model using Ideate BIMLink:
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:
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).
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.
A nice question that came into our team concerned the ability to quality control dimensions within the Revit model. A customer asked if we could find all the overridden dimensions with one of our Ideate Software plugin solutions for Revit. In fact, we can review overridden dimensions in both Ideate BIMLink and Ideate Explorer.
The tool you choose might be dependent on the ultimate action you would like to take concerning the overridden dimension:
Included within Ideate BIMLink, we have a delivered a library link called QC-Dimensions. This link is setup to allow auditing for dimension overrides - this applies to single-segment dimensions only. You can also review and modify the Prefix, Suffix, and Value Override to make changes to a whole series of overridden dimensions.
The QC-Dimensions library link, located under Quality Control, allows you to manipulate the Value Override, Prefix, and Suffix via Ideate BIMLink.
If you are looking to completely remove the dimension override, then Ideate Explorer might be the better tool. You can use Ideate Query to first find the overridden dimensions, and then you can double click on each overridden dimension to modify or remove the condition.
Select on the Dimension Category within Ideate Explorer and then use Ideate Query to select those dimensions that have been overridden within the model.
You can double-click on each Overridden Dimension and then use Revit to toggle back to the actual value.
Please review this online Help topic for the specific steps for using Ideate Query to discover overridden dimensions as well as additional Ideate Query workflow examples.
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.
San Francisco, CA, April 12, 2022 – Ideate Software, an Autodesk® AEC Industry Partner and Autodesk® Authorized Developer, is pleased to present its latest customer spotlight, which highlights how JGMA benefits from Ideate Software add-ins for Revit. JGMA is a Chicago-based architecture and design firm with projects across North America, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East. Its professionals look at each project as an opportunity to influence civic life and transform communities.
Bringing Ideate Software to JGMA
Esperanza Health Centers. JGMA designed this fully accessible building utilizing forward-thinking design to attract and unite the surrounding community.
When Darya Minosyants Stefanovic joined JGMA as the Director of Technology, she brought extensive experience with Ideate Software tools for Revit. “My last employer was a strong user and advocate of Ideate Software products,” said Darya. “I came to JGMA knowing their power, and after a few discussions and demonstrations of how we would spend less time on tedious Revit tasks, the team was sold.”
JGMA subscribed to all Ideate Software products, and within just a few weeks, the team was experiencing significant benefits:
Ideate StyleManager – Darya uses this Revit plug-in tool to streamline the process of managing templates and ensuring projects are set up with company standards.
Ideate BIMLink – The architects and designers are digging into the functions of Ideate BIMLink for Revit. They immediately appreciated the fact that it enables them to quickly change worksets throughout a project and rename families.
Ideate Sticky – JGMA works extensively in MS Excel. They benefit from live-linking Excel spreadsheets to Revit projects, so the Stickies automatically reflect changes made to the Excel document.
Ideate Explorer – JGMA’s Senior Project Designer Ted Hogan has been advocating for the use of Ideate Explorer. As the team delves into the many ways it can help keep their models clean, they are using it get a broader understanding by isolating and previewing elements in 3D.
IdeateApps – So far, JGMA’s favorite tools from the collection are Ideate SheetManager, which they use to quickly clone sheets with similar properties, place views on sheets, and align views between similar sheets and Ideate QuickSelect,which makes it easy to find out why elements are hidden and resolve problems.
Read more about Ideate Software’s collaboration with JGMA.
About Ideate Software - Ideate Software, an Autodesk® AEC Industry Partner and Autodesk® Authorized Developer, empowers Revit users to gain unprecedented control over their data. Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, IdeateApps, and Ideate StyleManager were all developed to solve persistent problems in architecture, engineering, construction, and owner (AECO) workflows. Ideate Software solutions enable Revit users to save time, increase accuracy, improve project deliverables, and elevate design.
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