January

27

2021

There are so many things we cannot control. Spelling errors are not out of your control. Use IdeateApps to fix all the spelling errors in your Revit projects.

Did you know that Revit’s spell check tool only covers a small fraction of the potential spelling errors in your project? 

Ideate SpellCheck vs Revit

And speaking of improving in the New Year, we are thankful for our customers who help us improve. Last year Mike Johns, Senior Project Manager at Batson Associates helped us identify a performance problem with our Ideate SpellCheck tool. It turns out that a Microsoft Windows 10 update caused the issue. With Mike’s help we were able to identify the problem, test, and then publish a fix to keep our customers up and running smoothly. Mike told us that he “did not truly realize how nice Ideate SpellCheck was until I had to spell check three large jobs.” Thanks for helping us improve Mike!

Be sure to download the latest version of IdeateApps or the latest bundled product version to get the benefits of all new features and fixes for Revit versions ,2018-2021. 


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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January

21

2021

We send a sincere thank you to Paul Aubin, from Paul F. Aubin Consulting Services, for reviewing our Revit productivity solutions. With 30+ years of experience, Paul is an independent architectural consultant providing Revit software training and implementation services. He has authored many books, including Renaissance Revit, and has posted dozens of Revit courses and tips and tricks videos to LinkedIn Learning.   

Last month we posted the first part of Paul’s article where he talked about Ideate QuickSelect and Ideate Explorer. Here is the second part of Paul’s article where he talks about Ideate StyleManager.


Ideate Software Tools Have Enhanced my Revit Workflows

I have recently added Ideate Software solutions to my Revit installation and workflow. I find myself going to the Ideate Software tab on an increasingly regular basis. In these articles, I will share just a few of my favorite “go-to” tools. But first, if you are not familiar with them, Ideate Software makes Revit productivity solutions that are available individually or in bundles. They work directly inside of Revit and are accessed from their own Ideate Software tab on the ribbon. 

While I focus this article on Ideate StyleManager, the complete collection of tools offered by Ideate Software is worth your taking the time to fully explore. 

Ideate StyleManager

Ideate StyleManager offers unique functionality that becomes more valuable as your projects grow in complexity and size. Across the top of the dialog are a series of buttons that allow you to analyze several important standards items like Object Styles, Line Patterns and View Templates to name a few. Have you ever worked in a project where there seems to be endless line style or fill pattern definitions and many that are identical but with varying names? How do you even begin to clean this up? The answer is Ideate StyleManager! 

Each tab is similar. In the following example, I’ll consider Line Patterns. You start with a list on the left of all items in the project. Some of these will be highlighted in color. A question mark will initially appear next to each item. You can select any item in the list and get information about it on the right. But before you do, it is best to run an analysis. Select a group of items using the SHIFT and/or CTRL keys. I usually do the whole list, but it can sometimes take a while to process, so alternatively you can select just some items. But either way, give it a few moments while it processes. To do so, click the Analyze! button at the bottom. 

Paul Aubin - Ideate StyleManager
Figure 1 - Colors are used in the list to indicate duplicate items

After the analysis is complete, numbers will appear in the first column. These indicate how many times the element is being used. Items that list zero are not being used and can optionally be purged. Above the list is a collection of checkboxes that can be used to filter the list. These include: Used, Not Used, Duplicates, etc. 

The first time I used this tool, the colors confused me a bit. I was looking for a legend that defined what the colors mean. There is no legend. All colors mean the same thing. These are duplicates. Unique colors are assigned to each corresponding group of duplicate items. So, any orange item is the same as any other orange item. The same is true for any yellow item. It will match any other yellow item and so on. 

Another nice feature is the preview that appears when you select an item in the list. In the next figure, you can see a preview of the selected line pattern on the right side near the top. You also get a list of elements using this style.

Paul Aubin - Ideate StyleManager

Figure 2 - After you press Analyze, quantities appear on the left and information about the selected item shows on the right

Now here’s the best part of Ideate StyleManager. When you discover that you have duplicates, you can merge them! To do so, use your SHIFT or CTRL keys to select the duplicate items. (Make sure you analyze first). Then at the bottom, click the Merge button. A dialog appears with the names of the items you selected. You must choose one that you want to use. The other(s) will be replaced by the one you select. When complete, a dialog will display the results. 


Figure 3 - Merge selected items into a single style of your choosing!

If you have ever tried to clean up a project and the only tool you have the is the built-in Purge Unused command, you are going to love Ideate StyleManager. They recently added some new types to it, so the tool just keeps getting more robust with each release. 

That is all I have for you in this article. I hope you found those features exciting and worth a look. Ideate Software offers a free trial of their solutions. Browse this website to learn more and download them You can also subscribe to them online. 

Disclosure: I have been granted a license to the Ideate Software tools in exchange for my honest review of the software. The views in this article are my own.


Since Paul’s review of Ideate StyleManager, we have added even more tools to our collection of Revit styles that can be managed. Be sure to review our website for the latest updates and videos on these new features.

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January

18

2021

Every day, our Ideate Software Support team fields all types of questions from AECO professionals all around the world. 

I thought this was an interesting question about using Ideate BIMLink to rename Revit elements versus swapping one element for another. Ideate BIMLink is delivered with over 250 sample link definitions! These are available for use when you browse the library as you create a new link definition within your Revit model. 

This customer was using the “Project_Stds-Rename_Types” sample link. He had five different types of chairs, and he wanted to rename them all to “Chair Student-Medium,” because he ONLY wanted one type of chair within the project. However, when he tried to rename them all to “Chair Student-Medium,” he received error messages saying that Revit couldn’t make the change.

Rename or Swap Revit Elements

The reason he received these errors was because the sample link definition “Project_Stds-Rename_Types” is based on the Type of furniture chairs that are loaded into the project, and Revit requires the name to be unique. Let’s say that Revit would allow the change. He would have five different chair types with the SAME name! That is not what he wanted.

The proper solution in this required workflow would be to swap the five chair types placed within the model for the type he wanted. 

Ideate BIMLink can easily do this!

Instead of a Type Link, he created an instance link that would show the Family and Type of each chair placed within the model. We can easily convert the Project Standards Type link to an Instance link by right-clicking on the link name and choosing “Convert Link.” This little-known short-cut will convert a Type link to an Instance link or an Instance link to a Type link.

Rename or Swap Revit Elements

After converting the Ideate BIMLink link definition, I renamed it to “Swap Chairs.” The key is to make the sure the Ideate BIMLink link definition has the property “Family and Type” and not just “Family Name” or “Type Name.” This will allow Ideate BIMlink to swap one “Family and Type” for another “Family and Type” for every instance within the model.

So, instead of renaming the chairs to the SAME name, what the customer really wanted was to consolidate all the chairs to one single Family and Type for the entire model. This was easily accomplished with Ideate BIMLink. Of course, using Ideate BIMLink to rename all families to a standard project naming convention is also a great use, it just was not the correct way to consolidate all chairs to the same name and definition.

When the Family and Type was changed to “Chair Student-Medium-Chair Student-Medium” for every instance, Ideate BIMLink swapped the correct furniture component for EACH instance of the chair within the project, thus consolidating all the components to one single definition.

Rename or Swap Revit Elements

If you want to rename components or swap components from one definition to another, Ideate BIMLink has the necessary tools to make both happen with ease!

This is a slightly older video on Structural Type Swapping with Ideate BIMLink, but the workflow and concepts are still very much valid for all types of Revit components.

Please be sure to review this important online HELP topic for utilizing Type Swapping with Ideate BIMLink.

Check out the other posts in our Ideate Software Support Series.

Browse 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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January

13

2021

San Francisco, CA, January 13, 2021 – Ideate Software, an Autodesk® AEC Industry Partner and Autodesk® Authorized Developer, is pleased to announce its collaboration with DIALOG, a Canadian firm that provides architecture, electrical engineering, interior design, landscape architecture, mechanical engineering, planning and urban design, and structural engineering services.  

To help their multi-disciplinary teams leverage their diverse perspectives to tackle complex challenges together, DIALOG uses top technology tools, including five Revit applications developed by Ideate Software.

When talking about Ideate Software products, Ross Salikhov, Technologist, Mechanical Engineering, DIALOG, said, “I mainly use Ideate BIMLink and Ideate Explorer, and both are a must for me as a serious Revit user.” He continued:

  • “Ideate BIMLink is irreplaceable for finding/reviewing/revising parameters. It has saved me days if not weeks of work.”
  • “I use Ideate Explorer as a more sophisticated Revit filter, because the native Revit filter is very limited.”

“Like DIALOG, many of our customers are realizing that subscribing to all our products puts solutions to common Revit challenges at their fingertips,” said Glynnis Patterson. “Streamlining workflows, even those performed only occasionally, means more time available for more valuable and more interesting activities.”  

Read more about this collaboration and see photos of two of the DIALOG projects that received Awards of Excellence in 2020 from the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects. Visit DIALOG learn more about the firm.

To experience how Ideate Software tools can help you streamline your Revit processes, download trial versions or subscribe online.
________________________________________

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, Ideate StyleManager and Ideate Dashboard for Autodesk BIM 360 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.

Autodesk, Revit, and BIM 360 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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January

5

2021

The first-ever online Ideate Software user group meetings took place in December. We were delighted to meet online with our customers from the UK, APAC and Americas regions and get creative about BIM data management together. 

The sessions featured BIM professionals that talked about how they have incorporated our Revit solutions into their workflows. 

  • Michael Hartley - RambollMichael Hartley, Technical BIM Manager at Ramboll UK, leads the roll-out and implementation of Ideate Software solutions within his company. “We’ve noticed a huge difference since using Ideate [Software] tools over the past year. We’re only going to get more efficient. The more we learn from them, the more we use them.” Michael presented a Navisworks clash workflow
     
  • Robert Bell - StantecRobert Bell, BIM Manager at Stantec, manages numerous BIM projects across multiple offices. One problem he encountered was “How can we generate dependent views for all our required discipline-specific views? We need each view to have the proper box and naming.” Hear Robert talk about the solution he found. 
     
  • Steve Deadman - Pollard Thomas EdwardsSteve Deadman is the Head of BIM at Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects. “We’ve been using Revit and Ideate [Software] for a long time. I’ve been using Ideate tools for many years, so I’m a big fan.” Steve presented tips and tricks on three of our solutions – Ideate SmartDelete, Ideate Clone and Ideate SheetManager (part of the IdeateApps collection) and Ideate Explorer. Watch his presentation.
     
  • Yong Tan - DES Architects and EngineersYong Tan, Senior Associate at DES Architects and Engineers, shared how Ideate BIMLink enables him and his colleagues to coordinate structural analysis data from RAM into Revit Structure. Watch Yong’s presentation.

The User Groups’ discussions also included topics such as:

  • New solutions from Ideate Software
  • Ideate StyleManager enhancements
  • Images vs. Schedules for Ideate Sticky
  • Feedback and Q&A

Many thanks to all those who attended our inaugural user groups meetings. 2021 will see an increased number of such events, as we seek to become increasingly connected with our customers all over the world.

To receive future user group notifications, please complete our registration form. We look forward to hearing and learning from you.

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