San Francisco, CA, 2/3/2015-Ideate, Inc., a multi-decade veteran Autodesk Developer Network member and Autodesk Gold Value Added Reseller today announced the availability of a new Autodesk Revit add-in Ideate Software  solution, Ideate Sticky for Revit, designed to work with Autodesk Revit 2015 and Autodesk Revit 2014.

Ideate Software is a set of far-reaching Building Information Modeling (BIM) data management tools that help the Revit community clean up models, delete problem items, analyze files quickly, improve speed and accuracy in data flow, increase collaboration and overcome repeated workflow interruptions.

Ideate Sticky combines the ease and flexibility of Microsoft Excel spreadsheet editing with the convenience of pasting a sticky back note. This unique utility enables users to create and post Excel worksheet contents within the Revit project while matching the Excel table cell content, format, and style with highest possible visual fidelity.

"Revit schedules are the perfect tool to represent the data behind Revit elements, but until Ideate Sticky for Revit, organizing and formatting essential non-BIM data was frustrating and time consuming," says Ideate Director of Software Development Glynnis Patterson. "Ideate Sticky provides a live link to Excel inside of Revit, along with a convenient way to display tabular data inside of Revit. Our customers' needs for an ahead-of-the-pack text editor capability motivated our development of Ideate Sticky."

"More and more our Revit-using AEC customers need ways to present and share information for cross-discipline collaboration," says Bob Palioca, President, Ideate Inc.  "We are delighted to introduce Ideate Sticky, another important solution to help our customers succeed."

Ideate Software developers surveyed customers who tested Ideate Sticky about how many stickies they anticipated using on a per project basis. Dan Dankert, CAD/BIM Manager, Mead & Hunt, Madison, Wisconsin, answered, "10 to 30." Similarly, when asked about ways customers envisioned distributing Ideate Sticky within their companies, Nancy McClure, BIM Consultant, Aperte Design, San Francisco, California said, "½Network license available to all users," and Glen Walson, BIM Manager, Interface Engineering, San Francisco, California, said, "½distribute to all Revit power users... the individuals who do the most production work per team."

A non-commercial trial of Ideate Sticky software is available at http://ideatesoftware.com/download/. For more information, call 888.662.7238, or contact [email protected]

About Ideate, Inc.

Ideate, Inc. is a leading Autodesk Authorized Developer with 25+ years' experience in software development and specific focus on Building Information Modeling (BIM).  As an Autodesk solutions provider, Ideate has offered quality software, training, support and custom consulting services to the architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) industries since 1992. Headquartered in San Francisco, California and operating Autodesk Authorized Training Centers (ATCs) in California, Oregon and Washington, Ideate is recognized as an Autodesk Gold Partner for Architecture, Engineering and Construction, one of Autodesk's highest levels of authorization.

Ideate Software is a comprehensive set of far-reaching BIM data management tools. Ideate BIMLink powers the "I" in BIM, allowing users to pull data from an Autodesk Revit file into Microsoft Excel for fast and precise editing, and push the data back into Revit with equal ease. Ideate Explorer for Revit lets users search, filter, quantify and select to easily manage the 100,000+ elements in a Revit model. Ideate Sticky for Revit combines the ease and flexibility of Excel spreadsheet editing and the convenience of posting a sticky note. All three solutions help Autodesk Revit users solve problems in AEC workflows and help the Revit community leverage BIM to its fullest advantage.

Autodesk, Autodesk Revit and ATC are registered trademarks or 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 theirrespective holders.

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Ideate Software is proud to announce the launch of our newest Revit add-in, Ideate Sticky.

What's a Sticky?

Did you ever want to link an Excel file into a Revit project? Ideate Sticky is the answer.

The name "Sticky" harkens back to the ancient (i.e. late 20th century) technique of duplicating printed tables or details onto translucent adhesive-backed plastic film ("sticky back paper") and applying it to a drawing sheet.

Why did we create Ideate Sticky?

Back in 2009, we had an inkling that many of our clients were using or trying to use Microsoft Excel as part of their BIM toolkit.

Researching our past support issues, we confirmed that many of our clients were looking for tools that could connect an Excel spreadsheet with a Revit project. Looking closer, we realized that there was two broad use cases for these tools.

In late 2010 we released Ideate BIMLink , which handles the first use case - linking data in an Excel spreadsheet to the data in a Revit model. Think of this as using Excel to extend and edit the Revit building information model.

Newly released Ideate Sticky handles the second use for connecting Excel and Revit - linking formatted text in an Excel spreadsheet to formatted text in a Revit project. Think of this as creating and formatting tabular text in Excel, then displaying the results on a Revit sheet.

Creating and linking a Sticky is somewhat akin to linking a DWG drawing into a Revit model - the information is created and stored in a file external to the Revit project, but the results are linked and displayed in the Revit project.

Ideate Sticky - Formatted Code Requirements

What will you Sticky?

Ideate Sticky can be used to display many types of non-BIM tabular text in Revit including:

  • building codes
  • specifications
  • general notes
  • consultant data
  • abbreviation lists
  • document issue records

How did we do it?

With lots of hard work! Ideate Sticky has been in development for over a year and builds on all the technology and knowledge gained by the Ideate Software team over the past 8+ years of developing add-ins for Revit.

Under the hood, a Sticky is actually a Revit schedule - with a twist.  The Ideate Sticky add-in creates an empty Revit schedule (i.e. a schedule with no body text) and then manages the cells, formatting, and text within the schedule header. The result? A lightweight, native Revit object that supports formatted tabular text as in Excel.

Ideate Sticky Help 

What are the features?

  • Excel spreadsheets rendered with native lightweight Revit schedules
  • Excel formatting preserved with high fidelity
  • Revit updated automatically or manually when Excel spreadsheet changes

How can I learn more?

About the Author

Ben Bishoff, Senior Software Engineer Ben has been a software engineer for over 25 years. With a Bachelor's degree in Physics, he has worked at several software companies developing applications for the AEC industry including Sage Timberline (construction accounting and estimating) and ArchT (architectural drafting for AutoCAD). He also worked at Microsoft creating AEC and other diagramming solutions for Office Visio. Ben has been with Ideate Software for over 8 years developing add-ins for Revit including Ideate Explorer and Ideate BIMLink.


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In participating in the several forums out there for Revit, we come across some interesting questions and workflow problems that Ideate Software can solve quickly and easily. Read on and watch the video to to learn how to select all elements still using a level in Revit, and know that you can safely delete a Level.

Question:  I have a Revit project with a rogue Level that needs to be deleted. I'm not sure who placed it or why or even if it still has elements that are associated with that Level. Is there a quick, safe, way to be able to select all elements that are still using that level?

Answer:  Ideate Explorer for Revit is the perfect tool to address this issue. See how in this video. You can see for yourself; download the Trial version of Ideate Explorer for Revit.

About the Author

Glynnis Patterson, NCARB - Director of Software Development
Glynnis is a Registered Architect and has worked within 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 worldwide, developing, and consulting on solutions to Building Information Modeling challenges. In her spare time Glynnis does volunteer work for eclcofnj.org and growitgreenmorristown.org @GVPinNJ


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Register here!

One of the largest time consuming tasks for an engineer, architect, or designer working on a Revit project is the time spent editing Sheet data to ensure the proper information is conveyed and included within the delivery set. Keeping track of sheet sets and revision issuances can easily consume an afternoon or more. In this presentation, Glynnis Patterson, Architect and Director of Software Development, will review the world of Sheets and Revisions for Revit users. 22 January 2015 6:00-7:00 pm Q&A to Follow

DLB Associates 265 Industrial Way W, Eatontown, NJ 07724

Learning Objectives: 

  • Review best practice strategies for organizing Sheets
  • Understand how Revision Clouds and Revisions interact with the Titleblock
  • Review strategies for managing issuances such as Permit Sets, Addendum, RFIs
  • Using Ideate Software tools, learn how to build a comprehensive Document Issue Record
  • Avoid common Sheet and Revision problems

Food and beverages provided by Ideate Software.

About the Presenter: Glynnis Patterson, NCARB - Director of Software Development Glynnis is a Registered Architect and has worked within 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 for eclcofnj.org and growitgreenmorristown.org. @GVPinNJ


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The term Carriage Return was originally coined after the lever mechanism used by old typewriters to return to the left and advance the paper to the next line.  In modern times, the concept seems to be used interchangeable between Line feed (LF) -the ASCII code (10) that move the cursor or a printer down one line (LF button in dot-matrix printers), followed by paragraph break or hard return.in current word-processing packages. Regardless of the terminology variation, when editing text notes or schedules in Revit you often need to add carriage returns. This is easily done by clicking the ENTER key.


The ENTER key breaks a text note.
Carriage returns in Schedules are a different story. Pressing the ENTER key while editing a cell in schedule would not create a carriage return, but close the edit mode of a cell. The widely known workaround is using the shortcut CTRL+ ENTER.
The CTRL + ENTER key combination would create a carriage return.

While CTRL+ENTER does work, editing the cell  to add the desire break is really cumbersome.  The schedule view would never display stacked lines, only single lines. The up and down arrow keys won't jump the cursor to the paragraphs below, nor the PgDN or PgUP.  The only way to make edits across multiple paragraphs is by dragging the cursor to the right or left and clicking the forward or backspace as many times as needed to get to the appropriate character.


Dragging a selection of text to the cell border would move the cell string to a different paragraph line.

The drop down arrow selector on right side of the cell will reassign the text to either one of the paragraph and delete the rest. CTRL+ENTER would assign for each paragraph an independent choice.   Do not use or you will have to retype the entire text note.

Do not use the drop down arrow selector in a multi-paragraph note. It will keep a single paragraph and remove the rest.

Troubling as it is, while editing multiline cells is possible, you cannot add an empty line at the end of the paragraph. The CTRL + ENTER combination at the end of a paragraph in a cell will not create a carriage return, a major formatting drawback and a long standing feature request½ or is not?

We researched the issue and found a workaround reported by some users who were able to add an empty line by adding the ASCIII 'empty space character' code at the end of carriage return. (CTRL+ENTER followed by ALT+0160).  I was, for some reason, unsuccessful to make it work, at least on my installed RAC 2015 R2 version.

But one way I make this work (or faking it to work?) is by adding a parameter that creates an invisible narrow column with enough character values to force the return. Here is the workaround:  I created a new parameter of the integer type, added a number of characters equal to the number of lines plus one, and reduce the column width to a single character.

Create a blank space at the end of a cell, add a parameter that create a narrow invisible column with a number of characters equal the number of lines plus one, and change the column font color to RGB 254-254-254.
RGB Color 254,254,254 will never print.


To make the column invisible, change the font color. Changing the color to true white directs REVIT to display it in Black, therefore, change color to RGB 254,254,254 which is technically a grey color so light that it would ever print.

For lengthy schedules with various paragraph lines per cell, this method would be somewhat tedious. The task, though, would be far easier if we could make the edits in Excel. Using Ideate BIMLink, you can export the data to an Excel Spreadsheets and add the 'invisible' characters there.

Edit all your keynotes descriptions in Excel, making sure you add manually the 'carriage return' where needed. In Excel, the carriage return is added manually using the ALT+ENTER combination.

The idea is to create populate the 'invisible parameter' with a total number of characters that equal to the amount of line spaces in a cell plus one.

The process can be automatized using Excel formulas.  The formula parameters is explained below:


Counts the total number of characters in a cell
=CHAR (10)
The Excel function of the 'line feed' (carriage return) symbol
Delete all the 'line feed' symbols in a cell (substitute them by 'nothing')
Count the total number of 'line feed' symbols in a cell


The final formula to create a value that equal the amount of line spaces plus one is as follows: =POWER(10,LEN(C2)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(C2,CHAR(10),"")))*10 -If the number of line spaces in a cell is 2 = 100 - If the number of line spaces in a cell is 3= 1000 - If the number of line spaces in a cell is 4 = 10000½ etc. The data can then be reimported into Revit, forcing the 'narrow' column to wrap and giving you that magical carriage return space. Watch a video on Carriage Returns on YouTube.

About the Author

César Escalante - AIA, CCCA AEC Application Specialist
César is a licensed Architect with more than 12 years of experience leveraging architecture, design, and construction technologies in the AEC industry. He has an extensive expertise managing, implementing, and supporting all facets of BIM, IPD, and VCD workflows that includes the use of mobile and cloud technology during design and construction. César has played an instrumental role deploying successful strategies for multidiscipline coordination of large, technically complex, multimillion dollar projects. An innovative thinker, he is recognized as a leader at the forefront of BIM technologies, and he is a passionate educator. César is a LEED accredited professional and a Certified Construction Contract Administrator. He is currently a member of the buildingSMART alliance and the National Institute of Building Sciences. @VCDwhiz


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