Getting Started Guide

The two exercises below are designed to introduce some of the primary uses of Ideate Automation. In the first exercise we will create a combined PDF file from two selected Revit files. Next, we will use Ideate Automation to create a report on the families that are loaded into a Revit project.

Before you begin, you should confirm that your setup can meet these requirements:

Exercise #1 — Create PDFs 

In this exercise we will use the script called “AUT-Export-Combined_PDF-List” to automatically generate a single PDF for two different Revit files.

Revit combined PDF output via Ideate Automation

Manage Revit Files

Before we use Ideate Automation we need to identify the Revit files we want to use. This helps Ideate Automation learn which Revit version to start for each file when used later by a task. We also need to ensure that the selected files have a Revit sheet set already defined.

Edit the Revit sheet set

  1. Launch Revit 2023 and open this sample file: C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit 2023\Samples\rst_basic_sample_project.rvt
  2. From the File menu, select Export>PDF
  3. From the PDF Export dialog, change the “selected views/sheets” option to “Set 1” then pick the edit button as shown above. This sheet set has a name, but does not yet have any selected sheets. Pick all of the sheets from the list, then pick “Save current set” and then “Select”, and then “Close” to save this information in the file.
  4. Next, use Revit>Save As to save this modified file to your desktop or other location.
  5. Close Revit completely.
  6. Launch Ideate Automation, which runs outside of Revit and can be found on your Desktop after installation.
  7. Select Manage at the left then pick the Local Models option at the top.
  8. Next, pick Add Files and browse to add these files:
    • Select the file you just saved
    • Add this file also: C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Revit 2023\Samples\rac_basic_sample_project.rvt. 

Define a List

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.

  1. Select Create 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.
  4. Select the Browse button next to the variable for Revit Files, then use the Version filter as shown below to filter on 2023.
  5. Select only the file called rac_basic_sample_project.rvt. This file is important because it has a predefined sheet set.
  6. Select the Browse button next to the File Path variable to create a new .txt file to contain this one Revit file in a list. Call the file “My PDFs”, then select Next.
  7. Select Save and Run to create the .txt file. 

filter local files

Create PDFs from a List

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

  1. From the Home page, select the New button to create a new task.
  2. From the Automation Scripts folder, select the folder called 01 Publishing, then pick the script at the right called “AUT-Export-Combined_PDF-List”.
  3. Review the description of this task below, then pick Next.
  4. Set each of the required variables for this task as follows:
    • Revit File List — pick the file you created called “My PDFs”
    • Export Folder — pick a location to place the pdf
    • Sheet Set — this must match the name of a previously saved Sheet Set in the Revit file. For this selected file, use “Set 1”
    • Leave the last two variable as-is and 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, 2-page PDF file located per your input on item #4 above. 

Update the List

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

  1. From the Home page, select the original task called “Generate Revit File List”, then pick Clone. This will start a similar task while giving you the option to change the variables.
  2. Within the Revit Files variable, select the red x to remove the previously included file.
  3. Select Browse to add the recently saved file called “rst_basic_sample_project.rvt”
  4. Change the Append File option to True. This will update the existing list to include this new file, then select Next.
  5. Select Save and Run to update the .txt file.

Clone the Task

Now that our list of Revit files includes two files we can repeat the previous task called “AUT-Export-PDF-List-one project”.

  1. From the Home page, select the previous task called “AUT-Export-PDF-List-one project”, then pick Clone.
  2. We do not need to change any of the variables because the list of files has already been updated. Select Next.
  3. On the Confirm Tasks Selection page, edit the Task name to “AUT-Export-PDF-List-My PDFs”. TIP: You can also use Repeat, instead of Clone here, the difference being that with Repeat the task will not let you change anything, including the task name. 
  4. Ensure that Revit is not open, then select Save and Run.

Congratulations, you have just created 2 combined PDFs, each in their own folder. 

Revit combined PDF output via Ideate Automation

Exercise #2 — 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 large model Revit health. 

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) and will be in 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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