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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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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Ideate Software is pleased to announce the availability of Ideate Explorer for Revit 2015. This recent Ideate Explorer for Revit update includes enhanced functionality customers have requested, including our top customer request, a modeless interface. NEW FUNCTIONALITY:

  • Ideate Explorer stays open while interacting with Revit (aka, modeless)!
  • Access to Revit Filters for easy customization
  • Create Similar added to right-click
  • ‹Ideate Audit› enhancements
  • Double-clicking controls improved for greater efficiency
  • Auto-hide to maximize your Revit screen area
  • Curtain panel placeholders removed
  • Performance improvements related to HVAC Zones

→ Watch the What's New video.
For questions about updating your Ideate Explorer, contact [email protected]
→To upgrade to 2015 or networked Ideate Explorer, contact [email protected]
→Still haven't tried a no-cost trial of Ideate Explorer for Revit? Download today!      


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San Francisco, CA, 12/18/2014-Ideate, Inc., a multi-decade veteran Autodesk Developer Network member and Autodesk Gold Value Added Reseller today announced the availability of Ideate Explorer for Revit 2015.1. This Ideate Software  solution includes enhanced functionality customers have requested, specifically a modeless interface. Now, users will be able to work in the Autodesk Revit and the Ideate Explorer for Revit environments at the same time.

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.

This recent Ideate Explorer for Revit update provides BIM and Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) managers, project leaders, facility managers, architects, engineers, and other users an enhanced tool for model auditing, power selection and model maintenance. With it, they can get a global view of model contents, and locate, isolate, modify and/or effectively delete unwanted elements from the Revit model.

Ideate Director of Software Development Glynnis Patterson says, "This new release lets our customers delve both deeply and seamlessly into their Revit files, since they can now work in Revit and Ideate Explorer at the same time. We make sure our BIM data management solutions are robust and our updates meaningful and frequent. This new functionality answers a No. 1 customer request."

Bob Palioca, President, Ideate Inc. says of the new Ideate Explorer release, "As our AEC customers ask for greater speed and fluidity in our Revit-based solutions, we respond. This point release is another leap forward in our ongoing commitment to our customers' success."

Customers who tested the new functionality offered comments on the most valuable aspect of Ideate Explorer to their workflows. Marcus Roman, Associate/Architect for NBBJ, noted greatest value in "Being able to quickly see elements in the model and identify errors." Andy Brahney, Senior Revit Technician at Ramboll UK said, "Being able to find which workset elements are on; this helps greatly with the QA process." And, Dan Dankert, CAD/BIM Manager for Mead & Hunt acknowledged, "Finding lost and incorrect objects."

Ideate Explorer for Revit carries a five star rating on the Autodesk Exchange Apps Store, and is available with a non-commercial free trial. For more information, call 888.662.7238, contact [email protected], and for support, 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. Both 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 their respective holders.

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Now that Revit 2015 has been published, many of our customers are starting to do their early prep work in advance of their official migration to Autodesk Revit 2015. In light of this work, here are a few simple spring cleaning tips for your consideration. Before You Migrate to Revit 2015... Family Audits
  1. Open your office standard family (.RFA) files created in the past one year.
  2. Launch Ideate Explorer for Revit.
  3. Review all contents and delete anything that surprises you.*
  4. Purge and then repeat to ensure nested content has been removed.
Template Audits
  1. Open your office standard template (.RTE) files.
  2. Launch Ideate Explorer for Revit.
  3. Review all contents and delete anything that surprises you.*
  4. Purge and then repeat to ensure nested content has been removed.

If you don't have time to review all your new content (hah!) then at least be sure to audit your templates,  Titleblock, and Annotation families. These often have non-standard lines and sometimes an import or unexpected raster image may sneak in. *Use Ideate Explorer's built-in audit filter to find the most common culprits.

A toilet and title block family as seen by Ideate Explorer within the Revit Family Editor

Upgrading a Revit Project to Version 2015

Important information from Autodesk about the upgrade process, new to 2015. Autodesk's best practices when upgrading your project. 

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


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