One way we improve our software and its related documentation is through feature requests and feedback from our customers and prospective customers. Afterall, our customers use Ideate Software tools daily to resolve data editing and management challenges; they know what our software does, and they know what they would like it to do. We learn so much when we talk with them about their workflows and through our beta testing program.

We were recently approached by a customer with questions about how to use Ideate Explorer to identify which Revit families are contained within certain groups, which is part of their model and template auditing process. The solution we recommended was to use Ideate Query, which is a powerful selection refinement feature inside of Ideate Explorer.

The process for identifying families contained within groups is simple:

  • Use Ideate Explorer to select entire family categories and/or individual families
  • Click the Q button to launch Ideate Query
  • Isolate the selection by the Model Group: Name and Family Instance: Name. This will take the entire selection of families and break them down by the Group Name and the Family Instances that are inside of those groups. Shown here is an example of what this selection may look like (click image to enlarge):

  •  After identifying the groups and families in question, make the selection that you wish to learn more about and isolate those elements for further review, as shown here (click image to enlarge):

To learn more about how you can use Ideate Explorer and Ideate Query to review families within groups, be sure to review this brief 5-minute video on this process.

To learn more about Ideate Query, please check out this Help topic: Using Ideate Query 

If you are an Ideate Software customer interested in participating in future beta test programs, contact [email protected] for details. 

Visit our website for more information on our Revit productivity tools. Give them a try with a free trial version, or subscribe today

About the Author

Sash Kazeminejad - AIA, LEED AP - Customer Success Manager
Sash earned his Master of Architecture from Montana State University and is a California registered architect, LEED Accredited Professional. He has extensive experience in project management; BIM management; design for architectural firms in California, Montana, and Oregon; and leading classroom and online BIM training. He provides consulting, sales, support, and training solutions to AECO customers around the globe. Find Sash on LinkedIn.


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San Francisco, CA, 04/15/2020 – Ideate Software, a veteran Autodesk Developer Network member, is pleased to share how San Francisco-based architectural firm WRNS Studio uses Ideate Software tools.

“We’ve been working with Ideate Software for years,” said Jason Halaby, Architect & BIM Manager at WRNS Studio. “Each one of their products tackles specific challenges we face with Revit software. They help us save time with a variety of model tasks, freeing up time for our designers to do what they do best, innovate and design.”

WRNS uses Ideate Software’s Revit productivity solutions in the following ways:

  • Ideate StyleManager - “Ideate StyleManager is our go-to tool for model cleanup at project milestones. Revit does not provide easy access and manipulation of certain classes of elements, such as LineStyles, Object Styles, Filters, etc. With Ideate StyleManager, we can find unused or duplicate styles and merge or delete them – this provides a level of model cleanup that was not previously possible.”
  • Ideate BIMLink - “Increasingly our model data is becoming a part of our deliverables. Ideate BIMLink gives us an easy way to manipulate model data efficiently in Excel and bring it back to Revit. Door schedules, Finish schedules, Sheet indexes, Type management schedules are commonly edited with Ideate BIMLink at WRNS.”
  • Ideate Explorer - “Without Ideate Explorer, Revit is not a fully functional BIM authoring platform. WRNS relies on Ideate Explorer’s detailed selection filtering, query tools, and warning manager for many of our model management tasks, which include finding in-place families, auditing worksets, filtering selections by type, finding and resolving warnings, and generally providing a more transparent window into the model database.”
  • IdeateApps - “We use Ideate Renumber extensively to number rooms, doors, parking stalls, and other elements. Ideate SmartDelete is critical to our workflow during the documentation phase because it helps us determine where model changes will impact documentation views. Ideate X-Ray is great for troubleshooting those tricky visibility issues. And Ideate SheetManager is a great alternative to the Revit Project Browser for finding and manipulating views and sheets.”

WRNS Project: Sonoma Academy

Read more about WRNS and Ideate Software. 

About Ideate Software
Ideate Software 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.

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.

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


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The latest updates to Ideate Explorer are here! 

Ideate Explorer has been updated for use with Revit 2021 as well as 2018-2020, and it includes new customer-requested improvements such as support for updated Revit elements, additional parameter searching via Ideate Query, enhanced deployment support for Warnings Manager, and improved integration with BIM 360. Licensing support for Remote Desktop has also been added for standalone licensing.

Upgrade versions 2018, 2019, 2020 or install the new 2021 version, and you’ll be on your way to decreasing the time you spend on model management, increasing the accuracy of your models, and reducing file space. Below are highlights of the enhancements. Get all the details in our online Help file

Highlights of May 2020 Updates
  • More to Explore:
    • Enhanced keyword search algorithm 
    • Support for new Revit 2021 elements including:
      • Infrastructure for Direct Shape elements
      • Linked PDFs

        Ideate Explorer May 2020 Updates

Download the new version today. 

Thank you to all our customers who provide feedback throughout the year and through our formal beta testing program. It’s because of your ideas that we are able to continuously deliver tools that address Revit users’ data management needs. 

If you have a feature request, please let us know. 

About the Author

Glynnis Patterson, NCARB – Director of Software Development
Glynnis is a registered architect and has worked within the building information modeling (BIM) industry since 1998. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, she has worked as an architect, educator and construction site manager. Glynnis is the Director of Software Development Services and continues to work with AECO clients worldwide, developing, and consulting on solutions to BIM challenges. In her spare time, Glynnis volunteers for the local high school and with growitgreenmorristown.org. Find Glynnis on LinkedIn.


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Did you missed this webinar? If so, I recommend you take just 30 minutes and watch the recording. You’ll hear three people from the ZGF Architects Design Technology Team talk about the following topics:

  1. How they approach absolutely huge projects (......millions of square feet) like Google, Expedia and Expensify
  2. How planning over the past several years helped them successfully transition their people from the office to remote home-working to comply with the Covid 19 shelter-in-place orders
  3. How they supplement Autodesk Revit software with tools, including those from Ideate Software, to build the complex geometries needed for their ambitious designs

ZGF project for Google - Interior remodel of the hangar where Howard Hughes stored the Spruce Goose

I was pleased to welcome the following people from ZGF:

•    Andrew Cocke, Design Technology Manager
•    Dane Stokes, Design Technology Specialist
•    Trevor Taylor, Associate Principal

Trevor said, “Ideate Software products are central to our toolkit. We particularly use Ideate BIMLink and Ideate Explorer. They're the MRI and CT scanners of our toolkit; they help to get inside the Revit model.”

Providing an example, they talked about a project with 1,500 parking spaces that needed to be sequentially numbered and labeled. The team used Ideate BIMLink to export the data to Microsoft Excel, where they easily sorted, numbered and labeled the spots. The project, which had been budgeted for three days, took less than 30 minutes.

“Focus on using the right tools,” said Trever. “If you only have a sledgehammer, all your projects will end up looking like rocks.”

Visit our website for more information on our Revit productivity tools. Give them a try with a free trial version, or subscribe today. 

About the Author

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.

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We are pleased to share how Lemay, an award-winning architectural firm, uses Ideate Software tools.

Jean-Marc Demeo, Gestionnaire BIM Principal at Lemay said, “Our teams are motivated by design challenges. You can see, hear and feel the energy as they work together to explore options and create solutions.”

Lemay project: Bellechasse Transport Center

To help them stay focused on creative thinking, Lemay provides the best technology, including Autodesk Revit software and Ideate Software applications. 

“The Ideate Software portfolio is awesome. Our teams are really happy with the tools,” said Jean-Marc. “Ideate Explorer is a strong and stable tool we use every day and Ideate StyleManager has been a huge game changer for many people in our company.”

Here are some ways in which Lemay uses Ideate Software tools:

Ideate Explorer

  • BIM Coordinators in charge of quality control use Ideate Explorer to get a quick view of a model and its current state
  • Staff saves time by using Ideate Explorer to easily find specific items / families that they know are in a project 
  • Everyday Revit users address model warnings fast and efficiently by using the Warnings Manager component of Ideate Explorer 

Ideate StyleManager

  • BIM Coordinators love using Ideate StyleManager to understand the use of filters and to wipe unused ones
  • Staff uses Ideate StyleManager to find duplicate linestyles, fill patterns and other styles, and to merge them

“Our goal is to develop software that solves persistent challenges with Revit software,” said Glynnis Patterson, Director of Software Development. “We’re always happy to hear from well-known and well-respected companies like Lemay who trust our products to help them achieve their goals.”

Read more about Ideate Software and Lemay. 

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