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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People often think of Revit for architects and engineers who use it to test design ideas, translate conceptual designs into BIM data, optimize building efficiency, create realistic renderings, and prepare documentation with the details needed for construction teams to build the designs. 

The benefits don’t end when the documents are passed from the architects to the contractors. In fact, the benefits of having Revit models of planned buildings or structures continue through the construction phase and even through the owner-operator phase. 

In this blog post, we focus on Revit and the construction industry. We will address how it is used by owner-operators in a future post.

Because the BIM process automates many challenges faced by companies in the construction industry, several governments have mandated the use of BIM for government projects to save time and money through better planning, designing, and management of buildings and infrastructure. In countries where BIM is not mandated, many construction companies are choosing to implement BIM anyway, because they are watching their competitors who follow BIM processes automate activities that help them gain competitive advantages in terms of win rates and successful project completions. 

Revit and the Construction Industry

Because Revit is the most popular BIM tool in the world, it is safe to say that as BIM usage spreads throughout the construction industry, the use of Revit will increase as well. Construction companies that use Revit will realize several advantages, including:

  • Ideate Software for the Construction IndustryClearer Communications with Architects
    Realistic 3D models created in Revit dramatically reduce any delays caused by misunderstandings about the architect’s design. The documentation includes all the parameters and shapes of the structural elements, part details, and systems such as plumbing, electrical, and HVAC, which the contractors can reference throughout the construction project.
  • Better Stakeholder Communications
    With the integration of cloud technology, project data can be accessed from anywhere, allowing project managers to keep their teams and other stakeholders current on project status.
  • Revision Management
    Change happens, even when the architectural drawings have bene finalized. The client may have a new idea, supply chain issues may impact product availability, or manufacturers may make changes that need to be addressed in the design. Contractors that use Revit can make changes in the existing model, recalculate parameters, and confirm that the new designs don’t negatively impact other elements. 
  • Accurate Materials Lists
    Ordering too much material, not ordering enough, or ordering the wrong material are common problems with construction teams that cause cost overruns, delays, and frustrated teams and clients. Construction companies that use Revit can minimize waste and reduce costs by using Revit to automatically calculate the required amount of resources and the budget.
  • Stability Testing
    Revit software can be used by contractors to detect structural flaws by assessing the stability of foundations, systems, fixtures, materials, and more. This pre-construction step helps confirm that an architect’s design can be successfully and safely built, potentially saving a tremendous amount of time and money. 
  • Clash Detection
    As designs change, the risk of clashes increases. Hard clashes, when two components occupy the same space, and soft clashes, when an object encroaches into the tolerance space of another object, can create a huge amount of rework if not found until after construction has started. Revit users can easily detect clashes in designs and generate clash reports that engineers can use to fix the problems, saving time, money, and the contractor’s reputation. 

Ideate Software Add-ins for Revit and the Construction Industry

We develop Revit plugins for architecture, engineering, construction, and owner-operator companies around the world:

Here are some videos with demonstrations of how to use our software for specific construction workflows:

  1. Leverage Revit coordinate data for VDC to bring new levels of quality control and efficiency
    See three examples of how Revit coordinate data can support both pre-construction and construction tasks to improve your project’s bottom line.

  2. Streamline VDC Tasks
    Dive deeper into methods of streamlining VDC tasks by watching the recording of this 30-minute webinar.

  3. Review issues with construction sequencing 
    Watch this four-minute video to see how a project scheduler, who doesn’t know how to use Revit, can use Ideate BIMLink to export Revit data into Excel to enter or edit data, and then import the updated data back to Revit, which can create 4D models that construction teams can review for issues and opportunities. The video includes final steps for Navisworks users.

  4. Get comprehensive quantity data with a 2-step quantity takeoff 
    Watch this three-minute video to learn how to harness the power of pivot tables and Microsoft Excel when performing quantity takeoff tasks in Revit. Also learn how to expedite the creation of a formatted quantity takeoff. The example in the video show how to use the Ideate BIMLink sample file template, created in Excel, to get comprehensive quantity data in two easy steps.

    For a FULL list of Ideate BIMLink videos for Construction and Facilities, please see the following link:  Ideate BIMLink for Construction and Facilities
  5. Keep all team members up to date on critical ancillary information
    See how live-linking important Excel, Word, or PDF documents, such as work orders, safety reports, and insurance certificates can ensure your team has quick access to current information, so they can respond to requests quickly and correctly.

  6. Publish project PDF information on a consistent and repeatable basis
    Ideate Automation is a scripting solution that is designed for use with Ideate software solutions such as Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Apps, and  Ideate StyleManager. It can also be used without Ideate Software solutions to report on Family information or publish information from a series of Revit models.

Learn More

Visit www.ideatesoftware.com to learn how Ideate Software Revit plugins for architecture, engineering, construction, and owner-operators help users save time, increase model accuracy, improve deliverables, and elevate design. Give them a dry by downloading trial versions or purchasing the “get to know us” bundle for access to Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer, Ideate Sticky, IdeateApps, and Ideate StyleManager 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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Revit users and BIM managers need to understand Revit project health. Often the project data metrics (warnings, in-place families, annotation, model groups, and views not on a sheet) are time consuming to collect and quantify. Unaddressed issues pile up over time and can take a long time to track and correct.

Ideate Software, with the use of Ideate Automation and Microsoft Power BI, created an automation script and Power BI template to address Revit model health issues.

For BIM managers looking to visualize curated details of their Revit model health, such as the project data metrics, and wanting to visualize these metrics in Microsoft Power BI, Ideate Software developed a Power BI template.

Ideate Warnings Manager - Power BI Template
With this Power BI template, BIM users can understand the following Revit model issues:

  • Project Information including total Revit warnings and warnings per file size
  • Revit Warnings over Time
  • Top 5 Warnings as defined and managed by Ideate Explorer
  • Model Groups
  • Views Not on Sheet
  • Average Annotation Issues per Sheet as defined and managed by IdeateApps>Annotate
  • CAD Imports (with Details)
  • In-Place Families (with Details)

For more details, and step-by-step instructions visit the Help file.

Current Ideate Automation subscribers can request the Power BI template files by contacting [email protected].

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

David Haynes, Director, Ideate Software
David is a project management certified professional. Before joining Ideate, David had his own architectural practice and was president of a commercial design-build construction company for 15 years. A graduate of the University of Arizona, he has worked as an architect, contractor, and developer, and he was a national construction manager for a national retailer. David's current passion at Ideate Software revolves around how data influences AECO business decisions. 

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As a company that develops Revit software plugins, we love Revit. We think you should too.

BIM is Awesome

Many Ideate Software employees have been involved in architecture and engineering for several decades, so they remember the days of creating designs with pencil and paper. 

The move from there to BIM within a career is almost overwhelming; seeing what used to take days come to life within hours really can seem like magic to those of us who have been around for a while. And our newer staff members are just as enthusiastic about where BIM is going as the more experienced ones are about where it has been. 

Revit is the Best BIM Tool

While you may know that Revit is one of the top BIM tools in the world, you may not know why it is better than all the rest. Here are a few reasons:

  1. Unified Database
    All the data needed to generate a Revit model is kept in the same database, and that database is updated anytime the model is modified. No longer do team members need to search for data through numerous project files.
  2. Scheduling
    Revit schedules are used to report the information in the model in a tabular format. Scheduling, which can be one of the more time-consuming tasks in the architectural design process, is greatly simplified with Revit because the schedules automatically update as changes are made to the model, ensuring they are always in alignment.
  3. Collaboration
    With Revit, several users can work on the model at the same time. Users push the work they do to the central model while pulling changes made by colleagues into their local copy. This not only speeds the process, it also exposes clashes that can be mitigated in the design phase rather than when the structure is being built.

  4. 3D Renderings
    There are a lot of programs available that provide 3D visualization outputs, but those from Revit are truly realistic. With views from any angle or perspective, architects can “walk” customers through early designs to point out large and small details, incorporate customer feedback into the next version, and quickly iterate until the customer sees that their vision is accurately reflected in the design. Design options can also be easily explored. 
  5. Parametric Modeling
    Parametric modeling lets you specify the key parameters of your project and make changes interactively, with the model automatically updating. Revit employs parametric modeling in the form of families. Everything in Revit is part of a family; some are integrated into the software, others are accessible through libraries, and others are created from scratch.
  6. Cost Estimating
    Accurate cost estimating is vital to the success of a project. Revit can be used to develop a detailed construction cost estimate in various ways. 
  7. Consistent Documentation
    Using templates that come with Revit or storing custom templates within Revit means you can deliver consistent construction paperwork across all your projects. Consistency contributes to clarity, which helps eliminate frustration caused by confusion. 

Ideate Software is the Best Revit Software Plugin

You may say we are biased, but we’re not the only ones saying that our products are great. Here are a few examples:

Customer Reviews on the Autodesk App Store

  1. “Why these application functions haven't been replicated, bundled or brought out into Revit itself astounds me. They simply transform the process of using Revit from a data perspective entirely into one that is 100% more automated, feasible and enjoyable.”
  2. “Ideate's suite of tools is indispensable at our firm. There are so many tasks that are made more efficient, and many tasks that would just be flat out impossible without these tools. Ideate does a fantastic job at listening to their customers and they implement suggestions and feature requests quite rapidly. I have been using their products for more than 6 years and highly recommend all of them.”
  3. “The Ideate suite of tools are one of very few tools I've come across for Revit that do exactly what they're supposed to, without spamming your toolbars with useless gizmos.”
  4. “I recommend every firm within AECO that uses Revit to invest in the Ideate Software Bundle.  Not only does the software make Revit users more efficient within the program, allowing for advanced communication with Revit itself, it also has a user interface that is second to none.  All Ideate applications are essential for every Revit user to be able to utilize on a daily basis - BIMLink for interaction with Revit data through Excel, Sticky to bring in static Excel data to a Revit sheet, Explorer to analyze the model in an advanced way, etc.”

Success Stories

We are pleased that companies in all disciplines and across the world have taken the time to share their experiences with Ideate Software through success stories, blog posts, and webinars. Access information about them all via the Case Studies filter on our blog posts

Our most recent success story is about Evolve Consultancy, one of the UK’s premier BIM and design consultancies. Evolve uses Ideate BIMLink to populate Revit models with COBie (Construction to Operations Building information exchange) data to satisfy ISO 19650-2 requirements. Read more and see screen shots here

Here’s a short video about another company, HLW, and why they recommend Ideate Software tools:


The Ideate Software Difference

Visit our website for details of each of our products. Here are highlights:

Ideate Explorer – Dramatically decrease the amount of time spent on model management and enhance model performance with this Revit software plugin. 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. Included with Ideate Explorer are three features that also help you keep your models in top working order:

  • Warnings Manager – Audit and address Revit warnings ranked by importance and fix problems using tools in Revit while the Warnings Manager dialog box is open
  • Navigate – Navigate through view-based elements to find unused sheets and views; find and filter legends, schedules, sheets, or views by category and/or keyword; and customize work environments without altering the project browser 
  • Query – Search within set parameters for elements like unused annotations, design options, in-place usage, structure usage/area scheme, and revisions

Ideate BIMLink – Instead of working inside of Revit to verify and/or edit data one element at a time, you can use Ideate BIMLink for Revit. Import to Excel where you can easily view and manipulate large amounts. Once the data is updated, you can then use Ideate BIMLink for Revit to import Excel data back into Revit, and the model will immediately update.  

Ideate Sticky – Share accurate and nicely formatted non-BIM data with Revit teams by live-linking a Revit file to Excel, Word, and PDF documents. These “stickies” look nice, are easy to read, and can be easily updated when changes are made to the original file.     

Ideate StyleManager – Problems frequently occur when data is pasted from one Revit file to another and the styles associated with the original file get copied along with the data. This can clog up the model with incorrect information that can take a long time to remove if working in Revit. It’s important to remove that data, otherwise it can cause model performance problems. With Ideate StyleManager you can quickly and easily analyze, merge, or delete non-standard Revit styles. You can also use Ideate StyleManager to see the view filters applied to views and to clean object and line styles and patterns, text, fonts, parameters, and more. 

IdeateApps – Repetitive Revit tasks performed on large complex models can contribute to mistakes, rework, and frustrations. The 10 tools that come in the IdeateApps collection streamline hundreds of common tasks. Descriptions of their functions are in their names: Ideate SpellCheck, Ideate Align, Ideate Clone, Ideate ViewCreator, Ideate SheetManager, Ideate Annotate, Ideate XRay, Ideate ReNumber, Ideate SmartDelete, and Ideate QuickSelect

Ideate Automation – Run time-intensive BIM tasks silently in the background while you do more meaningful work. Started manually or scheduled to run at a more convenient time, Ideate Automation increases productivity, eliminates the need to train staff of repetitive tasks, and ensures task outcomes are highly predictable, free of user errors, and standardized. 

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. 

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.


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