Whether you are an urban designer, industrial architect, commercial architect, residential architect, or interior designer, chances are that you chose your field so you can be integrally involved in designing the look of structures and ensuring that they are both attractive and functional. The ability to express your creativity, be a part of new trends, see the fruits of your labor, and make an impact on your community probably contributed to your career path as well. 

Like many careers, the most desirable activities are often rounded out with some activities that are less interesting. For example, many architects at both large and small firms around the world get to work with Revit software, which allows them to create realistic 3D models, iterate and optimize designs, collaborate with people in other disciplines involved in the projects, “walk through” their designs with customers, and deliver constructable plans to construction crews. However, some Revit workflows interrupt the creative process because they are time consuming and tedious. Because time-consuming and tedious activities can cause the mind to wander, they often need to be done over and over again, frustrating the engineers, project teams, project managers, and customers.

Ideate Software Add-Ins for Revit

Fortunately, Revit users don’t need to spend their time and energy on repetitive activities. Instead, they can turn to Ideate Software. Since launching our first Autodesk Revit addin in 2008, we have focused our efforts on listening to Revit users, understanding their challenges, and developing products that address those challenges. Today, our suite of products includes Ideate Explorer, Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Sticky, IdeateApps, Ideate StyleManager, and Ideate Automation.

With our products, architects around the world have more time to focus on interesting activities while they create high-quality models that accurately reflect their design ideas. Their customers are happy because the models look good, perform well, meet regulatory requirements, adhere to style guidelines, and are delivered on time. The construction teams are happy because they get clear and accurate instructions they can follow to get to work quickly and keep the projects moving smoothly without having to stop for clarifications, deal with clashes, or correct mistakes. Building operators are happy because they get accurate as-built information they can use for maintenance and more. 

See Some Examples

In addition to developing top Revit add-ins, we are also known for providing outstanding support through numerous methods, including how-to videos and webinars, both live and recorded. These resources also serve as ways for prospective customers to see our products in action before they determine that they are well worth the investment. 

Here is a quick summary of each of our products as well as a link to a related video, so you can see the products in action. You can access hundreds more videos from our website.  

  • Ideate BIMLink – Export data from a Revit file to Microsoft Excel for fast and easy auditing and updating, then import the data back into the Revit model, which will update automatically.

    Three-Minute Demo Video:  Push "To and From Room" data into Door Tags
    Need to schedule and tag the “To: Room” and “From: Room” parameters? This can create challenges in Revit because it does not list system parameters for tagging. This video shows you how to easily do it with Ideate BIMLink. 

  • Ideate Explorer - Revit comes with a project browser. Ideate Explorer is a model browser that lets users get a full view of all elements in the model, find and delete incorrect items, revise elements, and deal with Revit warnings. 

    Nine-Minute Video – Top 10 Revit Model Auditing Workflows Using Ideate Explorer

    Large Revit models can be difficult to understand and manage, but not with Ideate Explorer, which has an easy to use interface that provides many tools to display, sort, filter, search, query, review Revit warnings, and fully understand the complex relationships of your Revit model. This video delivers 10 tips for everyone who uses Revit, and are especially important for BIM managers or project managers. 

  • Ideate Sticky – Elegantly connect non-BIM data from an Excel, Word or PDF document into Revit projects.

    Eight-Minute Introduction Video – Introduction to Ideate Sticky 

    The lack of a text editor in Revit makes organizing and formatting essential non-BIM data frustrating and time consuming. Watch this video to see how easy it is to use Ideate Sticky to manage the look and feel of text and other tabular data.

  • IdeateApps – This collection of 10 tools streamlines the tasks that Revit users perform most often. 

    Five-Minute Demo Video - Numbering Revit Sheet Sets with IdeateApps

    Watch this video to how to meet a common permitting checklist to include in the title block the sheet number relative to the total number of sheets in the permit set. 

  • Ideate Automation – This scripting solution runs time-intensive BIM tasks in the background while your staff does more meaningful work.

    Five-Minute Demo Video - Publishing to PDF with Ideate Automation 

    Learn how to use Ideate Automation to set up and schedule publishing to PDF from a single Revit model or many Revit models located on a computer or the Autodesk Construction Cloud. 

Read About How Architects use Ideate Software Add-Ins for Revit

We are proud that many of our customers share their experiences with Ideate Software addins. Revit users discuss how they benefit from our tools in the stories linked to below:

Ready to Learn More?

Browse our website to learn more about how Ideate Software’s Autodesk Revit addins 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 our addins for Revit, which includes Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, Ideate StyleManager, and IdeateApps for six months.

Stay Connected

Check us out on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.

If you have any questions, reach out to us. We are here to help you understand and use our add-ins for Revit

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View templates are a key and vital part of any Revit project. View templates control the ‘look and feel’ of your printed (exported) output as well as 2D documentation. 2D pdfs are still very much the accepted contract documents. So, you want to make sure that all your drawings are consistent and look identical. View templates manage this very well. But what about managing the view templates themselves? There is no way to do this easily within Revit.

Within Ideate BIMLink are many pre-defined link definitions that look after standards and model health within models, including links that manage views. You can assign view templates to views using the Views link definition that ships with Ideate BIMLink:

Bulk Assign View Templates to Views
Bulk Assign View Templates to Views using Ideate BIMLink

There are also a number of links that deal with view templates themselves:

Link Definitions for View Templates
Link Definitions for View Templates  

Using our Project_Stds-View_Templates link definition, it’s possible to review the properties of each view template and make edits to multiple templates at once such as turning on and off the properties included within each template. 

This link can be used to edit all the properties shown in yellow below (with any of your view-specific custom parameters) but cannot be used to dig into any property that has an Edit… button within the dialog. This means that you cannot, for example, edit the settings within the V/G Overrides RVT Link. You can control whether the V/G Overrides RVT Link settings are applicable for the given view template.

Editable Properties within Ideate BIMLink
Editable Properties within Ideate BIMLink Shown in Yellow

Managing View Template Properties with Ideate BIMLink
Managing View Template Properties with Ideate BIMLink

For a more in-depth analysis, Ideate StyleManager can provide information on where the view templates are being used. You can also delete and merge view templates using Ideate StyleManager

Refer to our Ideate BIMLink ‘how to’ guide for more information.

For additional training tips, check out our Training blog series

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 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.



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About Autodesk Revit Software

Revit software is the most popular BIM software used by architects; structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineers; designers; and contractors to create, edit, and review 3D models. It’s used to:

  • Model 3D shapes, structures, and systems
    • Start from scratch or convert 2D models to 3D
    • Create photo-like representations of structures or systems
    • Identify clashes early in the design stage
  • Streamline documentation work
    • All model data is kept in a single database
    • Changes made in one place automatically update throughout the model
    • Monitor, review, and share information on changes 
  • Unite multidisciplinary teams in a unified project environment with specialty toolset that empower:
    • Architectural designers to focus more on creativity and innovative designs by using Revit to easily iterate design ideas and then document, coordinate, manage, and deliver architecture projects
    • Structural engineers to save time, reduce risk, and minimize errors by using Revit to design, detail, analyze, and document structural systems through all stages, from pre-planning through maintenance
    • MEP engineers to reduce headaches down the road by using Revit to model, analyze, and iterate system designs that support better performance and sustainability
    • Construction teams to increase productivity by working from accurate drawings of constructable structures

Feature Requests from Revit Users

Autodesk’s mission is to “empower innovators with design and make technology so they can achieve the new possible.” To do this, they must listen to the users of their technology, and they do. One way they listen is through Autodesk Community, a place for software users to connect, find answers to questions, share knowledge, build networks, and more. The Autodesk Community offers many ways to connect, including community-led webinars, a Community Voices vlog, and Community Challenges. The Community places for people to ask questions, get help, and share knowledge are the Community Forums, or product discussion boards. To make it easy to find topics of interest, Autodesk has separate forums for each of its products. Revit users can go to: 

  • Revit Architecture Forum
  • Revit MEP Forum
  • Revit Structure Forum
  • Revit API Forum
  • Revit Ideas Forum

The Revit Ideas Forum is where users can go to share ideas for future product features directly with the Revit team and collaborate on existing suggestions with peers. At the time this blog post was written, there were more than 43,000 posts in the Revit Ideas Forum. To simplify the process of contributing to and finding posts, Autodesk has three main tabs on the page: Hot Ideas, Top Voted, and Latest Ideas, and they have all posts sorted into more than 30 categories, including Architecture, BIM Management, Collaboration, Construction, Documentation, Mechanical, Modeling, Multi-Discipline, and Visualization.  

Ideate Software – Essential Revit Plugins List

We at Ideate Software know that we create essential plugins for Revit because we actually address challenges expressed by Revit users. The Revit Ideas Forum is one of the ways to learn about what’s important to Revit users. We monitor the site regularly, paying attention to the ideas that get the most “votes,” which are ways for Revit users to express their agreement with the original post. Armed with that information as well as information we get from discussions with Revit users from around the world, we decide which ones to focus on, and then determine if we can add functionality to an existing product or develop a new product.

Here's a recording of a one-hour webinar in which Richard Taylor, Ideate Software’s Technical Evangelist, highlighted feature requests addressed by Ideate Software

Here are links to the blog posts referenced in the video. Within each blog post, in addition to providing step-by-step workflow instructions, we link to the related feature requests on the Revit Ideas Forum, so you can see how our features granted a “wish” made by Revit users that Autodesk has not addressed:

  1. Duplicate a Revit sheet while creating new views or swapping existing views of the sheet 
  2. Control the view title alignment when aligning or swapping views on a sheet 
  3. Ease the documentation process with the help of the sheet and view tools 
  4. Easily find elements that may be hidden in the Revit model 
  5. Renumber almost any Revit element with intelligent rules and various methods for selection 
  6. Implement a fully functional Revit spell checker that checks all sheets and views plus schedules 
  7. Audit Revit models and select elements more easily 
  8. Quickly review and fix Revit warnings to ensure a well performing model 
  9. Manage, analyze, merge, and purge complicated Revit styles  
  10. Live link Excel, PDF, and Word documents into your Revit project

An Overview of Ideate Software Revit Plugins

Below is the top Revit plugins list of tools developed by Ideate Software:

  • Ideate Explorer – Revit users want to spend more time on interesting design activities. Ideate Explorer helps them do this by dramatically decreasing the amount of time they have to spend on model management. They use it to quickly find and delete incorrect, obsolete, and hidden problem items—including imported or linked DWG drawings—as well as to find, refine, and revise elements, even those not included in the Revit project browser.

    The following three features that are included with Ideate Explorer add additional value to the Revit plugin: 
    • Ideate Warnings Manager – Audit warnings that are ranked by importance and fix the problems using Revit tools while the Warnings Manager dialog box is open
    • Ideate Query – Search in parameters for elements like unused annotations, design options, in-place usage, structure usage/area scheme, and revisions
    • Ideate Navigate – Navigate view-based elements; find unused sheets and views; find and filter legends, schedules, sheets, or views by category and/or keyword; customize work environments without changing the project browser 
  • Ideate BIMLink – You can use Ideate BIMLink instead of working in Revit to verify and/or edit data one element at a time. Export data to Excel where you can easily view and manipulate large amounts of data easily. Once the data is updated, you can then use Ideate BIMLink for Revit to import data back into Revit, and the model will immediately update.  
  • Ideate Sticky – Revit users appreciate the ability to share accurate and nicely formatted non-BIM data with Revit teams by live-linking Excel, Word, and PDF documents into a Revit model with Ideate Sticky. These “stickies” look nice, are easy to read, and can be updated easily when changes are made to the original source documents.     
  • Ideate StyleManager – Pasting data from one Revit model to another often causes problems because information associated with the original files get copied along with the data. This clogs models with incorrect information that can take a long time to remove if working in Revit. Not removing the information is risky because it can cause model performance problems and documentation errors. With Ideate StyleManager, it’s easy to analyze, merge, or delete non-standard Revit styles. You can also use Ideate StyleManager to see the view filters applied to views and clean object and line styles and patterns, text, fonts, parameters, and more.
  • IdeateApps – Reduce the change of mistakes, rework, and frustrations by eliminating the need to perform repetitive Revit tasks on large complex models with the 10 tools that come in the IdeateApps collection:  Ideate SpellCheck, Ideate Align, Ideate Clone, Ideate ViewCreator, Ideate SheetManager, Ideate Annotate, Ideate XRay, Ideate ReNumber, Ideate SmartDelete, and Ideate QuickSelect
  • Ideate Automation – Do more meaningful work as Ideate Automation runs time-intensive BIM tasks silently in the background. You can start the script manually or schedule it to run at a convenient time, even during non-working hours. Our customers add Ideate Automation to their toolbox to increase productivity, eliminate the need to train staff on repetitive tasks, and ensure task outcomes are highly predictable, free of user errors, and standardized. 

Learn More

Browse our website to learn more about how Ideate Software’s top Revit plugins 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 our addins for Revit, which includes Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, Ideate StyleManager, and IdeateApps for six months.

Stay Connected

Check us out on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.

If you have any questions, reach out to us. We are here to help you understand and use our Revit plugin solutions. 

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Those of you responsible for maintaining or verifying data and documentation quality in your Revit models will find the recording of this webinar valuable. You’ll learn about our six Revit add-in solutions that can streamline your QA processes of implementing Revit model standards and your QC processes of fixing problems that occur within a Revit model either as they happen or as part of a review process. You’ll also see demonstrations of common workflows for each of the Ideate Software solutions:


This webinar was held on 01-31-23 for the Americas region. A similar one was held on 02-15-23 for the EMEA region, and one was held on 04-27-23 for the APAC region.  

Browse our website to learn more about how Ideate Software add-ins 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 the Revit plugin solutions Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, Ideate StyleManager, and IdeateApps for six months. 

About the Author

Richard TaylorRichard 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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Recently, a customer was using our Ideate Automation script: “AUT-Export-Combined_PDF” and ran into a timeout error during the export process. Our timeout for this workflow was set to two hours. As a result, we changed the timeout to four hours for the latest release. 

This also sparked a conversation around the factors that impact the export to PDF time. Here is a short list to help you troubleshoot your model before exporting to PDF:

  1. Views Far Clipping and Depth Clipping Parameters Aren’t Managed
    Showing too much of what you don’t need in a view increases the time it renders it for the view, therefore impacting the time it takes to print, especially if the clipping setting is set to “No Clip,” which means that it’s infinite, and you are at risk of showing more than what you need.  

    Here are the settings you can manage to control this:
  • Depth Clipping: Plan Views and Plan Callouts 
  • Far Clipping: Elevations, Elevation Callouts, and Sections
    Note: Far Clip Settings for Elevation Callouts can either be independent or same as parent view, however, Sections and Elevations are inherently independent.  

To manage this, you can utilize Ideate BIMLink to audit your Views clipping options. Ideate BIMLink has a link definition named “Views” you can use as a starting point and add the necessary parameters. In this case we need “Depth Clipping” and “Far Clipping” 

You’ll notice that the clipping values are 0,1,2:

  • 0 = No clip
  • 1 = Clip with line
  • 2 = Clip without Line

“Far Clip Settings” is another parameter we can investigate. There are two options as indicated above, Same as Parent View or Independent. 

  • 0 = Independent
  • 1 = Same as parent view

When managing Views, it’s important to also understand the differences between Detail and Floor Plan Callout. Here is a knowledge-based article from Autodesk for your review: Understanding the differences between details and floor plan callouts in Revit LT

  1. Views Far Clip Offset Isn’t Managed
    To manage this parameter in BIMLink, you need the “Far Clip Offset.” You can go ahead and add it to your Link Definition. When far clipping is set to clip with or without a line, you can control the Far Clip Offset. You can audit your model by reviewing and editing the distance so that it’s not showing too much information for that view. 
  2. Depth Cueing is Enabled for the View
    This property can be managed with “Depth Cueing: Show Depth.” If this is enabled for a view, it will take longer to print and it rasterizes the image. 
  3. Views with Shadows Turned on
    If shadows are turned on for a view, it takes longer to print as it rasterizes it, much like Depth Cueing. Unfortunately, there is API limitations to access this data, but it’s on our roadmap once Revit makes it accessible. 
  4. Views Detail Level
    The rule of thumb for Views detail level is that the majority should be set to Coarse level of detail. Use Medium or fine level of details for detail only. To manage this, you can utilize the “Detail Level” parameter and add it to the “Views” BIMLink Link Definition. 
  5. Number of Views on Sheet
    Using the BIMLink Link Definition “Views,” you can use the property “Sheet Number” to investigate how many views are on the Sheet. Sheets that contain a lot of views take longer to print. 
  6. Views with CAD Links that aren’t clean
    A dense CAD file on a view increases printing time. Cleaning CAD links before linking them into the Revit model is a general rule, however, there comes times where you miss a few layers or want to do a quick merging or deleting layers. You can use Ideate Style Manager; Navigate to Object Styles and check Imported Styles. Scroll to the DWG file you’re looking to clean. You can analyze, merge, and delete certain layers.  

    You can also check if there are any CAD Links or imports in your project to begin with. You can utilize the Ideate BIMLink definition “HC-Imports” and go to the Filters tab and delete “Is Linked” filter to list all CAD Links and CAD Imports in the project.

As you see, there are many factors that impact the time it takes to export to PDF from Revit. With this short list and the proper tools, you can audit your model and find your Export to PDF from Revit culprit! 

For additional training tips, check out our Training blog series.

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 the Revit plugin solutions Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, Ideate StyleManager, and IdeateApps for six months. 

About the Author

Nivin Nabeel, Customer Success Manager, Americas

Nivin has a background in architecture, visual arts, and computer science and has extensive experience in managing and manipulating BIM data, developing and implementing BIM standards and workflows, and applying BIM workflows to ancillary project components for improved efficiency. Before joining Ideate Software, Nivin worked at several architecture and design firms where she learned about Ideate Software products, used them, advocated for them, implemented them, and trained others on how to use them. She earned her Bachelor of Architectural Science degree from Toronto Metropolitan University. Follow Nivin on LinkedIn.

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