Using Ideate Annotate

This section covers the basic functions of Ideate Annotate, one of the tools found within the IdeateApps collection of Revit productivity tools. Ideate Annotate is dedicated to displaying annotative elements so that their unique requirements can be easily validated or modified to support your Revit documentation needs. The list of elements supported by Annotate is defined to include any element that belongs to only one view. For this reason, datum elements, such as grids, levels, section markers, callouts and reference planes are excluded from Annotate. Elevation marks are supported and include some special handling to accommodate this unique annotative element. 

For information on the unique workflows supported by Ideate Annotate, please also see: Review Annotation Issues and Browse and Edit Annotation

Topics in this Section

general functions of Ideate Annotate


The Display drop-down controls the scope of annotative elements displayed, with options of Active View, Entire Project, Placed Views and Sheets, and Current Selection. For example, in the image above the list of elements is being limited to the Active View and we can see that there are 430 detail lines in that view (hmm…I wonder why?).

The display option called “Placed Views and Sheets” includes:

Revit annotation displayed on placed views and sheets only

Sort by

The Sort by drop-down has options for Category and View. As shown above, the View option on the Browse tab organizes the results into either Views, Sheets, or ???, the latter option is used for Elevation Marks which may exist on multiple views/sheets. This list of elements reflects all annotation elements that are visible on sheets.

On the Review tab, the option to Sort by View also has broken down the Views into  <On Sheets> and <Not On Sheets>. The <Not On Sheets> content is either elements that are on a view that is not on a sheet OR a parent view that includes a dependent view that is on a sheet. 


The list of annotation elements can also be further refined via the Filter drop-down. In the first release of Annotate, the only filter is called “Tags” which will help isolate the elements to only those that belong to a tag category. Our team would love your input on other Filters that would be useful, please email us at [email protected]


The search tool bar will isolate the selection set to only include elements that have the search term found within one of these fields: Category, Family, Type, Name, Level, Text Value, or Tag Text. The search supports multiple terms (in any order) and also the use of quotes “” to look for terms in a specific order. Looking for Column 5a? Just type “5a” into the Search bar. If the column is tagged with the Mark value, you will be able to use Annotate to quickly zoom to a view where the tag can be seen.


general tools within Ideate Annotate

There are several tools available along the top of the element list and also found within the right-click menu. See below for the tools shared by both the Browse and Review tabs: XRay, Delete, and Refresh. Information about tools that are unique to Review tab are detailed in: Review Annotation


Ideate XRay is integrated into Annotate to help users find annotative elements that are in a view but are invisible.

To use this option, select one element within Annotate. If the element is visible in a view you can double-click on the element to open the view and zoom to it (some versions of Revit require using the double-click 2x). If the reason for the invisibility is that the element is hidden in the view, Annotate will display a message offering to temporarily show hidden elements. If the annotation crop is active in the view and the element is not hidden, the option to turn off the crop will be offered instead. In the case where the zoom does not appear to work then the reason for the invisible element is unclear and this is where XRay is most useful. Select the element and choose the XRay button or right-click option to learn more.


The Delete button and right-click option are offered within Annotate as a safer way to delete elements. When used, a prompt message will display a list of currently selected annotative elements that will be deleted when/if the Delete button is confirmed. If any non-annotative elements are selected they will be excluded from the list and will not be deleted. In the image below, for example, a selection window was used to pick both model and annotative elements. The total selection count, noted in both Revit and in Ideate Annotate at the bottom right, is 15. However, Annotate ignores the model elements, and lists only 3 elements. When Delete is used, the dialog displays only these three annotative elements.

Selection state in Ideate Annotate for Revit


Annotate will change the display of elements as needed when the project or view is changed. When new annotative elements are added, or are deleted without using Delete then the Refresh button can be used to update the list.

Expand / Collapse

The list of elements within Ideate Annotate exist within a ‘tree’ or folder structure that can be expanded or collapsed to see more or less. You can use the right-click menu as shown below to control the state of the ‘tree’.

general functions of Ideate Annotate

Element List

The main body of both the Browse and Review tabs displays the list of annotative elements. Within the list you can select elements, zoom to elements, and review common properties.

Select Elements

To select elements on the Browse tab, pick one or more of the check boxes. Any element that is part of the selection set can now be modified within the Revit environment while Ideate Annotate remains open. This means you can change line styles, filled region types, etc. to match your corporate standards or find all revision clouds per their issuance number. 

On the Review tab elements are also grouped according to their respective issues, and for this reason, they may be listed multiple times within the same list. For this reason the selection method is a little different. On the Review tab, touch one or more element names to make a selection. In the case of multiple issues with the same element, each instance of the selected element will highlight in the list.

Zoom to Elements

On the Review or Browse tab, double clicking on a view or sheet name will open that view. Double-clicking on an element name will cause Annotate to try and open a view where the element exists and then zoom to that element. In some cases the element may be invisible, in which case XRay can be used.

Review Common Properties

When an element or set of elements is highlighted within Annotate, those elements will display within the information pane at the bottom of the list. This enables you to browse element properties before they are added to the selection set within Browse. In the example below, there is one door tag in the Revit selection while information about the highlighted material tag is displayed at the bottom. 

Highlight is featured in the information pane

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