December

29

2020

This was an interesting year, to say the least. When the stay-at-home orders were issued, we got all our office-based employees set up to work from home and ensured everyone had the time needed to take care of new, unexpected, and potential challenges that came from living during a pandemic. Fortunately for us, we have practiced the ‘art and science’ of working remotely for a good number of years. 

Once the work-at-home aspect was sorted, we decided to intensify our efforts of developing, delivering and supporting products and services that simplify the work of Revit users around the world, all the while keeping our team connected and motivated through activities such as virtual coffee chats.

We are grateful for what we achieved together this year. We connected with existing customers, welcomed new customers and met with potential customers – all virtually. We documented it on our website. Check out our blog posts, recorded webinars and short how-to videos for details. Here are some highlights: 

Developed New Products and Services

Implemented Feature Requests into Existing Products 

Gathered and Shared User Feedback

Participated in Industry Activities and Events

Published Thought Leadership Pieces

Like most people, we are happy to put 2020 behind us, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that we are incredibly grateful to our team, customers and BIM community members that added positive light to this year. 

Cheers!
 

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December

21

2020

We are pleased to report the results of our August 2020 survey in which we asked BIM Managers and BIM Leads from around the world how often their office and staff use Ideate Explorer

In this blog post, we share information on the tasks they reported performing at various times throughout a project. We have already posted with the results about the tasks performed daily and tasks performed weekly

Ideate Explorer is a comprehensive Revit model browser and Warnings management tool, as opposed to the Project Browser that comes with Revit software. Revit professionals use Ideate Explorer to keep their models clean and accurate, decrease the time they spend on model management, increase the accuracy of their models, and reduce file size.

Ideate Explorer Tasks Performed at Various Times Throughout a Project

Ideate Explorer Tasks Performed at Various Times

Calculate Your Financial Return on Investment

In addition to improving the quality of your Revit models and freeing your users to focus on more valuable activities, the time saved by using Ideate Explorer can result in large financial savings. To help you convert the time you can save into dollars, we developed this ROI calculator. Enter a few data points to determine the approximate amount you could save by using Ideate Explorer instead of the functions within Revit. 

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Check out our Ideate Explorer ROI web page for other ways in which our clients use this powerful Revit add-in application to save time and money. 

Contact us if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you. 

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

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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December

17

2020

We are pleased to report the results of our August 2020 survey in which we asked BIM Managers and BIM Leads from around the world how often their office and staff use Ideate Explorer

In this blog post, we share information on the tasks they reported performing weekly. Here’s a link to the post about tasks performed daily. Keep an eye out for the third and last post in this series, which will be on tasks performed at various times during projects. 

Ideate Explorer is a comprehensive Revit model browser and Warnings management tool, as opposed to the Project Browser that comes with Revit software. Revit professionals use Ideate Explorer to keep their models clean and accurate, decrease the time they spend on model management, increase the accuracy of their models, and reduce file size.

Ideate Explorer Tasks Performed Weekly


 

Calculate Your Financial Return on Investment

In addition to enhancing the quality of Revit models and freeing users to focus on more valuable activities, the time saved by using Ideate Explorer can result in large financial savings. To help you convert the time you can save into dollars, we developed this ROI calculator. Simply enter a few data points to determine the approximate amount you could save by using Ideate Explorer instead of the functions within Revit. 

Learn More

Check out our Ideate Explorer ROI web page for other ways in which our clients use this powerful Revit add-in application to save time and money. 

Contact us if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you. 

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

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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December

15

2020

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.   

Here is the first part of Paul’s article where he talks about Ideate QuickSelect and Ideate Explorer. We will post the second part about Ideate StyleManager in January.


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 on Ideate QuickSelect and Ideate Explorer in this article, the complete suite of Revit solutions offered by Ideate Software is worth your taking the time to fully explore. 

Ideate QuickSelect

Let’s start with Ideate QuickSelect. This is a very simple but highly useful tool. Whenever I deliver beginner level Revit training, element selection is one of the first things we discuss. Editing in Revit (like any graphical software package) begins with a selection of elements onscreen. The software offers many ways to do this directly with your mouse and various modifier keys on the keyboard. Such methods are fine for simple selections. However, when you need to make a more complex selection, it can sometimes be challenging and/or time consuming using the native tools. For example, let’s say you have a large plan and want a selection containing only doors and windows. You can box select (with a window or crossing selection), and then filter out all categories except Doors and Windows in the Filter dialog. This is effective, but it limits you to selecting by category only. For example, if you only want some of the doors, you must be much more strategic about your initial selection (to avoid the ones you don’t want) and then filter from there. The other out-of-the-box method that is quite handy is the right-click option to select all instances. This is effectively “select by type.” Right-click an element and then using this method, select other element of the same type as the one selected. 

But what if you want to select two types, but not a third? And what if getting that initial selection just right to avoid the ones you don’t want is too tricky? Or what if you want to add to or remove from the selection later without manually CTRL and SHIFT clicking? These are the times when Ideate QuickSelect comes in. 

Ideate QuickSelect combines the best of the filter and right-click methods into a single modeless dialog. It lets you make selections from the active view, your entire project or even from an existing selection (like Filter). Best of all, it lists all elements in their familiar hierarchical tree starting at Category and progressing through Family, Type and even Instance. You simply expand your way down the tree and check the boxes at any level to select. 

Paul Aubin Review

Figure 1 - Select items by checking the boxes next to categories, families, types or even instances

Additionally, as you expand each branch you will see the quantity of elements at that level (even before they are selected). If you expand the branch all the way, you will see each instance listed. If you double-click on an instance shown, the active view will zoom to that element. 

If you choose the “Entire Project” option from the Display drop-down at the top, and then double-click an element, an appropriate view will be found and opened to display the element (if it is not visible in the current view). Furthermore, changing the Display options at the top will not drop the selection! So, any elements already selected in the list will remain selected. Naturally, this could be a little risky when using the “Entire Project” option, so I recommend caution or sticking with the “active View” display option most of the time. 

Ideate Explorer

Want even more control over your selection? Try Ideate Explorer. Ideate Explorer has all the features of Ideate QuickSelect plus other tools useful for auditing the project. I won’t dig into all its nuances in this article and will instead remain focused on selection. (However, there are excellent videos on the Ideate Software website that cover the complete functionality of Ideate Explorer and all the other Ideate Software tools). Ideate Explorer adds sorting and filtering to the selection. This means that you can choose from several other sorting schemes rather than the default of Category. 

But what I like best is that you can use Filters. Now these are Revit View Filters that we are talking about here. So, if you have configured Filters to use in your Visibility/Graphics Overrides, they can be used in Ideate Explorer to assist in selection! 

For example, in the next figure I have a project with many elements in the Site category. The left side shows that there are 1,510 such elements in the project. However, I have added information to the properties of many of these elements and a corresponding filter that lets me customize their visibility in certain views using that information. Using that same Filter in Ideate Explorer (shown on the right), you can see that it limits the selection to only 473 elements. This makes it very easy to select exactly the elements needed and leverage all those carefully crafted Filters you may have in your projects. By far one of my favorite selection tricks available in the Ideate Software tools. 

Figure 2 - Using Ideate Explorer, you can use your Revit display Filters to assist in selection

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

Keep an eye out for the second half of my article where I will talk about Ideate StyleManager. 

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

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December

9

2020

Localization is the industry’s technical term for making software solutions user-friendly to people in other countries. This kind of effort always includes translation but can also include ensuring that any examples used are relevant, particularly as they relate to governmental or industry standards or requirements. During the COVID-19 lockdown, the Ideate Software development team decided that investing in an effort to become more connected with our far-flung customer base would be a great project for us to undertake. 

We can’t travel but we can try to speak each other’s language. Knowing that Google Sheets has a translate function, we thought, “how hard could this be?” 

We began our journey by taking a look at how our software looked in other languages. Did you know that Revit is available in English, French, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, German, Spanish, Russian and Czech? You can easily change the language of your Revit as described in this Autodesk article. Setting the language to Japanese was a real eye-opener for us and made us appreciate the challenge facing our Japanese customers. The image below shows the Revit interface when language is set to Japanese. Guess which tab is the Annotate tab??

Revit in Japanese
 

Our polyglot Support Manager, Jan Sako, quickly reviewed the Google Czech translations and saw one of the many challenges in front of us…a Sheet can be both a bed sheet or a drawing sheet. This would clearly NOT be a simple task! 

Translation Help from Japan, France, and Mexico

We decided to tackle Japanese as a way of teaching ourselves about the process of localization and were extremely lucky to find two people to help us through this first phase. Yuki Scharf, AEC Technical Specialist with Autodesk in Japan and Yoshimoto Oishi, of Archi-cube in Japan graciously agreed to help us translate both Ideate StyleManager and Ideate Sticky into Japanese. They patiently waded through our English ‘text strings’ and helped us understand when our language usage was unclear. The benefit of this work was not only that we were able to deliver a Japanese version of two of our solutions, but also that we understood better how to make our products more consistent and clear, even within our own native language. It was a humbling experience. 

After completing this process for Japanese, we then also iterated it for both French and Spanish. Many thanks to Julie Bismuth, Director of Consulting and Training with our long-time partner CAD UC who assisted us with the French translation. Special thanks to Alejandro Rodriguez Garza, owner and director of BIM Consulting Services of A4BIM and founding partner of AMIBIM outside of Mexico for his help with the Spanish translation.

This work is clearly just the beginning of our localization journey. We intend to continue to work with our partners and customers around the globe to improve our offerings and make them easier to use, particularly for non-English speakers. Ideate StyleManager 2.0 was released in November 2020 and can be downloaded here. This version contains our work in translating into French, Spanish and Japanese. We welcome all feedback! 

If you are an Ideate Software customer and interested in providing feedback for our future translations into Chinese (CHS) or German, please let us know. If you are an Ideate Sticky customer and your language is Japanese, French, or Spanish, please let us know if you’d like to test-drive Ideate Sticky in your language.

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