Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Revit Toolbars

I have been thinking about Revit and speed. What makes one user quicker than another? That led me to all the customization I used to do to my AutoCAD environment. I also watched a Revit youtube video the other day the guy keyed everything in. He didn't go to the ribbon for a single thing! Kind of like me when I run AutoCAD. It was fascinating to watch.

So, I set out to customize my interface to break myself of the ribbon and build a bit of speed.

Keyboard short cuts will have to play a big part of laying off the ribbon, and I posted on Revit short cuts for Old People a while back. 

But, I need something else. Something like the old tool bars Revit used back in the day.

My solution was to edit the crap out of the Quick Access Toolbar by right clicking on any tool I need and selecting "Add to Quick Access Toolbar". Then I moved the QAT below the ribbon by clicking the down arrow at the end of it and choosing "Show Below the Ribbon". Finally I Minimized the ribbon to panels to produce the following.

I can't guarantee it will make anyone else any faster, but I have noticed that weening myself off the ribbon has made me "Feel" faster. Today that is all that counts.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Filter the Project Browser by Discipline

The Project Browser is just too darn big for me. Not it's physical size, it's all the data. Scrolling through the never ending list of views, schedules, sheets, legends, blah, blah, blah, I am wearing my mouse wheel out. The image below shows a shared MEP model and just the top portion of views.

No matter your discipline, you have to scroll through the others to get to your work.....

Unless of course, you right click on "Views (Discipline)" at the top of the Project Browser and select Browser organization.

Then pick the "Edit" Button.

In the dialog that pops up, you can now filter by discipline.

Then there you go, nothing but Electrical.

This would seem to be great, but when a Mechanical opens the model, they will not see anything but Electrical. I am waiting for the Project Browser to be user specific. I am also waiting to win the lottery.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Delete Revit Backup Files - Everywhere!

If you know me, you know I am the opposite of a hoarder when it comes to electronic files. I love deleting things. It just brings me joy to delete data. So, Revit's need to create backups, just bugs me. It does not feel like good file maintenance to have all kinds of backups everywhere, and a bit dangerous when newbies open these files by mistake.

So once again, DOS to the rescue. Place this text in a batch file and save it in the root directory that you want to clean up.
del /s /F *.0*.rvt
del /s /F *.0*.rfa

del /s /F *.0*.rte
This will delete all the backups of projects, families, and templates in the root and every sub-folder that follows. Double click the BAT file and your work is done.  the /s tells DOS to delete files that meet the criteria in sub-folders, and the /F tells DOS to go ahead and delete locked files. 

To see what you just deleted and the word "pause" to the last line like this:
del /s /F *.0*.rvt
del /s /F *.0*.rfa

del /s /F *.0*.rte

If you want to know what you are deleting before you delete it. this this.
dir /s *.0*.rvt
dir /s *.0*.rfa

dir /s *.0*.rte


All of this works for me because a great IT department means I can restore old files at any time. If you don't have the same confidence, act accordingly.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Tags That show Imperial and Metric Units

I got question from long time friend last week asking if it were possible to tag a duct with imperial and metric units. He needed the tag to show  as
 12x12 (300x300)

On the surface it might seem impossible. The units for a Revit project are one or the other, but you can beat this by creating a special Tag family. For this tag start with the Generic Tag.rft template and categorize it as a Duct Tag. Add three labels in a row; SizeHeight, and Width. Use the Prefix and Suffix columns to add the open and closed parenthesis. Now select the Height parameter in the Edit Label dialog. Use the icon at the bottom with the image of the hand over the pound sign to change the format by un-checking "Use project settings" and then setting the units to Millimeters. Do the same for Width, and you have a mighty fine duct tag that will show imperial and metric units at the same time.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Look Familar... hmmmm

You probably know this already, but I didn't until I looked up at a recent visit to Autodesk's offices in San Francisco.

If I ever invent a software, when it is time to design the box. I am just going to take a picture of the ceiling. It turned out great Autodesk. Bravo!

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Revit Shortcuts for Old People

I'm older than I used to be. A long time ago, I used AutoCAD and maintained a quick speed, thanks in large part to custom key-ins. Most of my AutoCAD key-ins were just a single letter, which Revit is not %100 thrilled with. Revit will play ball with a single letter key-in if you delete every other key-in that starts with that same letter. 

So, here are the key-ins I created for myself that maybe no one else will ever care about, and the classic AutoCAD commands they remind me of.

A    Align 
B    Split Element (Break)
C    Copy (Copy)
D    Duct
E    Delete (Erase)
F    Trim/Extend (Fillet)
G    Group
H    Filled Region (Boundary Hatch)
I     Link Revit (Insert)
KS   Keyboard Shortcuts
L     Detail Line (Line)
M    Mirror (Mirror)
O    Offset (Offset)
P     Pipe
Q     Synchronize (Quick Save)
RC   Revision Cloud
RP   Reference Plane
T     Trim/Extend (Trim)
X     Ungroup (Explode... yeah, I know)

Do yourself a favor though, type KS, and customize your own key-ins.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Valves Inherit Pipe Line Types

It is nice when you add a valve to a pipe in single line and it inherits the color of the pipe. It's not so great when it also inherits the line type of the pipe when that line type is hidden. You get something that looks like this.

You can override the graphics in view of each of the valves to force the line type to continuous, but you are probably better off just creating a filter.

This one looks for all the pipe accessories in a view, then applies a solid override to the lines.

Done and Done.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Get PLT files from Revit

It's a crazy world sometimes. Like when you create a wonderful Revit model and your client wants PLT files as the deliverable. Here is how to do it.

  1. In the Print dialog, check the box for Print to File. You need to select a printer that doesn't already print to file by the way.
  2. Click the Browse button to indicate where the file should be saved.

3. Change the Files of Type to Plot Files.

That was a lot easier than I thought.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Looking for AUGIWorld Revit MEP Authors

I am looking for Revit MEP authors who would like to contribute to AUGIWorld Magazine. I know I have readers that have something to share, so pitch me your ideas and let's see if you have what it takes to get your mug in the pages of AUGIWorld. 

Articles should cover a Revit MEP topic, be around 2000 words, and be something, well something you would like to read.

If you are up to the challenge, please email me at