Getting Started Guide for Ideate Automation

The two exercises below are designed to introduce some of the primary uses of Ideate Automation.

Before you begin, confirm that you meet these requirements:

In both exercises, we will use the following Revit sample files

Once you’ve completed the Getting Started Exercises and want work with your own Revit files, consider using Ideate Automation to Create Detached Models first.

Exercise 1 — Create a combined PDF file

In this exercise we will use the script named AUT-Export_PDF_Combined to automatically generate a multi-page .pdf for each of two different Revit files.

Follow the steps below.

1 | Review View/Sheet Sets in Revit

2 | Define a List of Revit files

3 | Create PDFs from the File List

4 | Update the File List

5 | Clone the Task

1 | Review View/Sheet Sets in Revit     

Before we use Ideate Automation for exporting to PDF, we need to open rst_basic_sample_project.rvt in Revit 2022 or newer, and review the Default sheet set conditions.

Read more about how to Work with View/Sheet Sets for Export in Autodesk Revit Help.

Edit the Revit sheet set

  1. From the Revit File menu, select Export → PDF
  2. The PDF Export dialog opens where you will make the following selections:
    • Export Range, pick the option to export Selected views/sheets.
      • Notice that there is a default value called adsk 360.
    • Change the option to Set 1 and pick the edit button.
      • This Sheet Set has a name, but does not yet have any selected sheets.
      • Pick all eight sheets from the list, then pick Save current set and then Select, and then Close to save this information in the file.
      • Set 1 is now the default sheet set for this file.
  3. Next, use Revit Save As to save this modified file to your desktop or other location.
  4. Close Revit completely.

2 | Define a List of Revit files     

Before we create a task to create the PDFs we will define a list of one or more Revit files. This list will be used within the PDF creation task. Read more about how to Use a Revit File List.

Task Script Selection

  1. Open Ideate Automation from the desktop shortcut and select Create from the menu bar on the left to start a new task.
  2. From the Automation Scripts folder, select the folder called 01 General, then pick the script called AUT-Generate_Revit_File_List from the Scripts window. 
  3. Review the description of this task below, then pick Next.

Task Script Variables

  1. Select the Browse button next to the variable for Revit Files, then select the Local Models option at the top.
  2. Ensure the drop-down list is set to <Recent Revit Files>.
  3. Select the file named rst_basic_sample_project.rvt
    • This is the file that you changed above and saved a copy of after adding eight Sheets to Set 1.
  4. Select the Browse button next to the Txt file: variable
    • This creates a new .txt file that will be referenced by Ideate Automation to determine which model(s) to act on. 
    • Name the file MyRevitFileList.txt, then select Next.
  5. Select Save and Run to create the .txt file. 

3 | Create PDFs from a File List     

Now that we’ve create a list (of one file) we will use that list to set and run a PDF export task.

Task Script Selection

  1. From the Home page, select the New button to create a new task.
  2. From the Automation Scripts folder, select the folder called 03 Publishing, then pick the script at the right called AUT-Export_PDF_Combined.
  3. Review the description of this task below, then pick Next.

Task Script Variables

  1. Enable the Use File List checkbox.
  2. Revit File List: Choose the .txt file named that was created in the previous step MyRevitFileList.txt
  3. Export Folder: Choose the folder that you would like to save the .pdf export to.
  4. Sheet/View Set (Optional): We changed the default set to Set 1, so if we leave this blank, it will use that value and export all 8 sheets.
    • For this exercise, manually enter adsk 360 for the selected sheet set.
    • Select Next.
  5. On the Confirm Tasks Selection page, review all variables and note that the Task name is editable. 
  6. Edit the Task name to AUT-Export-PDF-List-one project
  7. Ensure that Revit is not open, then select Save and Run.

The result of this task should be a single, 4-page PDF file located in the Export Folder that you chose in step 3. 

4 | Update the File List     

Now that we’ve successfully created a pdf from a text file listing one Revit file, we will update the list and then repeat the task to generate PDFs from multiple Revit files.

Task Script Selection

From the Home page, select the original task called AUT-Generate_Revit_File_List MyRevitFileList, then pick Clone.

Task Script Variables

  1. Revit Files: Select Browse to add the second Revit file named rac_basic_sample_project.rvt.
  2. Ensure the Append to File: option is set to False.
    • This will overwrite the existing list to include this new file.
  3. Click Next to continue.
  4. Select Save and Run to update the .txt file.

5 | Clone the Task  

Now that our list of Revit files includes two files we can repeat the previous task.

  1. From the Home page, select the previous task called AUT-Export-PDF-List-one project, then pick Clone.
    • Knowing that both files contain a sheet set named adsk 360, we could leave this value as-is and the task will run successfully. 
    • For this exercise, we leave the value blank so the default sheet set from each file will be used.
    • Pick Next to continue.
  2. On the Confirm Tasks Selection page, edit the Task name to AUT-Export-PDF-List-My PDFs.
  3. Select Save and Run.

Congratulations, you have just created 2 combined PDFs, each in their own folder. Notice that the combined file for rst_basic_sample_project has the sheet set name “Set 1” as shown below and contains the (8) sheets you selected at the beginning of this exercise.

Revit combined PDF output via Ideate Automation

Exercise 2 — Create a Family Report from RVT

In this exercise we will use the script called AUT-Families-RVT to automatically generate a report of the Revit families that are loaded within a selected Revit file. An example of the output is shown below. This kind of family report can be invaluable when assessing the health of larger Revit models. 

This exercise assumes that you have completed Exercise #1 above.

sample report of family data from a Revit file via Ideate Automation

  1. Launch Ideate Automation, which runs outside of Revit and can be found on your Desktop after installation.
  2. Select the New button from the Home page to start a new task.
  3. From the Automation Scripts folder, select the folder called 02 File Auditing, then pick the script at the right called AUT-Families-RVT.
  4. Review the description of this task below, then pick Next.
  5. Set each of the required variables for this task as follows:
    • Revit File — pick the previously added file called rst_basic_sample_project.rvt
    • Export Folder — select your Desktop or other location
    • Leave the File Name variable as-is and select Next.
  6. Ensure that Revit is not open, then select Save and Run.

The resulting file will be found at the location specified in the task (step #5); it will be a time-stamped .csv file similar to the one shown above.

Related topics: Schedule a Task and Create a Health Check Report

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