There is a big difference between a Revit user, and someone who has really mastered the software. The more you learn, the faster you get, the more you can learn! In this blog series, we will cover topics like:

  • Productivity Improvement through User interface tips and Keyboard shortcuts
  • View filters and View templates
  • Free addins
  • Some Dynamo
  • And More…

There are plenty of ways to do things in Revit… but we are looking for the fastest and best way. We want to maximise productivity and quality.

Targeting ‘Expert’ users so we will move quickly in general.

A lot of productivity gains come from user interface and shortcuts. Save 2 seconds every time, it all adds up quickly.

Try to take a few things away with you from this series that will save you time each and every day.

We will separate our tips and workflows into these major categories:

  • Productivity – faster ways of doing things
  • Workflows – better or alternative ways of doing things
  • Management – ways to better manage the Revit model

 

These tips were put together for a recent lab session using Revit 2018, and they are basically in note form along with steps to take in Revit.

The first post in this series is focused on setting up the Revit UI.

Setting Up Revit UI for Maximum Productivity

Note:

Please open Revit, and open the rac_advanced_sample_project.rvt

 

Please download and import the supplied KeyboardShortcuts.xml

KeyboardShortcuts

Productivity -> Double-click

In Revit Options, change default for Family to Edit Type:

Try double-clicking on a Door now.

 

Double clicking a Wall will automatically start the Edit Profile command

 

Productivity ->UI – QAT

Showing below the ribbon will allow you to add more tools.

Do this now.

 

Certain Revit tools should always live on the QAT. Add them now:

  • The Revit built in auto section box tool (since 2016)
  • Save and Load Selection
  • Set and Show Workplane – for quick 3D modelling
  • Manage Links
  • Dynamo
  • Dynamo Player

 

If you have a reasonable size screen, you could add somewhere around 20 buttons to the Quick Access Toolbar.

 

Some other easy productivity gains:

  • Filter
  • Align (but should really be a keyboard shortcut)
  • External Tools – NWC Export
  • Revitlookup,

 

My main workstation (2016):

 

Type Selector can be added to QAT:

Workset Chooser can also be added to QAT:

Productivity ->UI – Ribbon

Ribbon

Re arranging ribbon menus…

Hold down Ctrl and set it up like this:

Panels:

  • Undocking
  • Possible to set up tool palette on other monitor?
  • Re-docking back in place

 

Management -> Content Locations

Changing the home of your Revit content with NotePad++ and revit.ini

Management-> Renaming Places List in Open / Save Dialog

You need to find the PlacesOrderxDisplay value for a given entry…

In this Registry key:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit 2016\Profiles\AllAnavDialogs]

Easiest way is to export that AllAnavDialogs to .reg file, edit in Notepad, then Merge back.

Effect will be immediate in Revit.

Link

 

Note:

Please close and re-open Revit to commit the changes to UI (in case of a crash later)

 

Open the rac_advanced_sample_project.rvt

Navigate to 01 – Entry Level – Furniture Layout

Place some Furniture in the Lounge

UI Shortcuts -> Productivity

Right-click- Repeat

Right-click- Recent Commands !

Recent commands will also help ‘teach’ you the Keyboard Shortcuts:

 

Right-click Create Similar

I use this a lot – you usually have a similar object floating around and it makes sense to start the creation tool directly from that element

 

 

Right-click to get to Properties and Browsers – You can turn System and Project Browsers on and off quickly

  • Try turning PB and Properties on and off with right-click
  • Even inside the PB, you can switch Properties on and off
  • Good for minimal screen real estate

Sometimes you will want to duplicate a Revizto project, perhaps for archive or testing purposes, or to re-share it with a new team. This post shows you how to do it quickly and properly.

Here’s how:

  1. Start Revizto
  2. Load Full Cache by clicking Edit, then the yellow hamburger:
  3. Double-click to Open the Project
  4. Click Project and Save As
  5. Give it a new name
  6. If you want it to be a cloud project, you now need to Sync it to the cloud now. Currently it is just stored on your machine and the issue ids will not have populated. Just press Share, and then hit the Upload button at the bottom of that screen

That’s it, you now have a full copy of all 2D, 3D and issue information from the original Revizto project. You will have to invite new users to this project if you want them to be able to collaborate. Your existing project and users will be unaffected.

Way back in 2008, I was super excited about all things Revit and started What Revit Wants. I’m still super excited about Revit and BIM, and this is just a quick note to say thank you for all of your recent and ongoing support (like your replies here and here). What Revit Wants is not going away! We have had an interesting couple of weeks but we are back with more features than ever on a new web hosting platform.

Over on the previous host, What Revit Wants had received over 6.7 million page views! I’m really motivated to continue sharing with such a huge audience. I look forward to engaging with you on social media and via your comments too.

A little bit of housekeeping…

  • The main URL for What Revit Wants is now http://wrw.is/  If you have your own blog or site and you have linked to What Revit Wants, please update those links to the new site. Thank you so much!
  • While the Feedburner feed is currently still alive, if you do use RSS I recommend that you update your subscription to the official feed at http://wrw.is/feed/
  • You can follow me on Twitter @lukeyjohnson
  • We also have a Facebook page here.
  • Have a Suggestion about how we can improve What Revit Wants. Head over to this page and add a comment. Thanks!

And for the first time, What Revit Wants will be set up to send newsletters to subscribers. Look out for the first one in your inbox soon…

You may have seen the “extents greater than 20 miles (33km)” warning in Revit before:

Geometry in the file dwg has extents greater than 20 miles (33km). This may reduce reliability and result in undesirable graphic behavior. Click OK to continue, Cancel to exit import.
Extents greater than 20 miles (33km)

I have previously posted about ways to clean up DWG files, best and worst practice, and also how Revit deals with accuracy and precision of big models. The short list of steps to take in AutoCAD to clean up a survey DWG is:

  1. PURGE
  2. SCALE all objects to mm instead of metres
  3. WB – write block to a new file
  4. AUDIT
  5. EXPORTTOAUTOCAD (from a vertical product)

What if, even after all of the usual steps, you still have the ‘extents’ problem? And what if you can’t find the problem in a plan or top view in AutoCAD? That means that you have large Z extents. And you can even have large Z extents from some wayward Text objects with a Z value of like 35000 metres, which will trigger the same message in Revit.

How do we fix these? We need to directly edit the Text Alignment Z in AutoCAD. Here’s how:

  1. Select All Text with Quick Select tool

  2. Then change the ‘Text alignment Z’ value to 0. This also sets the Position Z to zero.

  3. Then either Save As or use the EXPORTTOAUTOCAD command to remove the proxy objects

Now the DWG should Link to Revit without error. Hope this helps some of you 🙂

If you want to Move Text to the Elevation corresponding with the text value, such as for a Civil elevation, you can use this command. With a Civil or other vertical product, start the special command:

  1. _AECCMOVETEXTTOELEVATION
  2. At the ‘Select text objects’ prompt, type All and hit Enter
  3. The text should have been moved automatically

Forum link

An interesting but sometimes blunt process that happens in firms is ‘ranking’ their Revit users by proficiency. There are various reasons to do this, and some of them make sense. In an ideal world, all of your Revit users are simply awesome and you have no skills problems. But yeah, real life ain’t that way is it?

So how do you go about it? And do you use those ratings primarily?

  1. To change how you run projects, or
  2. how you deliver training,
  3. or both?

I touched on the ‘Five Stages of a Revit User’ and the ‘6 Phases of a Revit User‘ in this post:
What Revit Wants: Revit users – Five Stages vs 6 Phases vs Hype Cycle

And KnowledgeSmart have shared a 3-tiered system here:
The KnowledgeSmart Blog: 3 Levels of Revit Proficiency

Personally, I think the success of Revit in your firm is likely more affected by culture and attitude. Are people being forced to implement something they don’t like or understand? That could be an uphill battle…

Check out this post for more on using Revit with the right attitude and mindset.

 

There have been different ways of accomplishing this over the years. Now, with Dynamo, I would use this simple two step process:

  1. Create a unique type for each Planting or Entourage element (as Height is a Type parameter)
  2. Randomize a list of values and write them into the Height parameter

It is super easy with Dynamo. Here is how you make the unique types (GUID from Bakery, Duplicate Type from Springs, SetType from Clockwork):

Then, just push the random values in, like this (the Set List node is in Bakery too):

My last attempt at this was here.

Under-slab insulation (fitted or fixed below a concrete slab) is a legitimate coordination item. Typically it is installed first on site, so other trades and services must fit in around it.

This means it needs to be modelled by someone, which can be a headache in Revit. The slab soffit (underside of slab) often moves up and with concrete beams and pads. If you have access to editing the structural model, you may look for a way to incorporate slab insulation into the floor items themselves. However, this still does not work well for the vertical faces of a slab setdown.

To solve these, I created two families:

  1. A line-based, face-based Generic Model family that can be simply placed and stretched
  2. A 4-point adaptive component for irregular shapes. After placement, the four corners can be selected and moved into place.

You can download them here:

Slab Insulation shapes

And this gif shows the rectangular version in action:

Archvision have a new beta 3D RPC creator service available. You can upload a 3D file and the service will generate a 3D RPC. Place this in the correct location, and you can use that RPC directly in Revit.

Prepare an obj file following these steps.

  1. Just head over to http://labs.archvision.com/ and login with your Archvision account details.
  2. Then you should be able to access the ‘Creator’ at https://creator.archvision.com/
  3. Hit Create RPC
  4. Fill out the fields and hit Create

There are a few more steps from here, but I will refer you to this page that will give you more details.

Basically, you will need to consider the detail and quality of your content, as well as its purpose. Do I have highly detailed content that I want to render? The above will likely be quicker than modelling in vanilla Revit family geometry, and the result will be lightweight. However, aside from overall size it will be more difficult to handle any kind of parametric modification of the content.

BIM documents and files are often linked into each other, such as consultant links in a contractor Revit model, or plain NWCs appended to a master NWF Federated coordination file. In each case, the BIM application will try to find and open the linked files when opening the host model.

However, this only works if the pathing is predictable (ie. ‘the file is on C drive in folder MODELS’), and the typical situation is that you are running a corporate LAN that gives secure access to one or more mapped network drives (J drive or H drive or L drive). The problem is that your corporate LAN isn’t typically accessible via the cloud. A number of products exist to try and solve that problem, such as Citrix ShareFile.

But what about Box? It has a reliable, proven infrastructure and apps for all of your main devices. Its scalable and essentially secure. But… What about the mapped drive problem?

As part of our work at Virtual Built, we come across problems and provide solutions for this kind of issue all the time.

Here is how you can share BIM via the Box cloud and retain file pathing:

The first thing you will need is a common drive letter that can be applied to all of your computers and workstations. Sometimes, you may already have a secondary drive installed, perhaps with a drive letter of E. What we are going to do is point the Box Sync app at a subfolder of E drive, and then all the members of the team will use E:BOXBox Sync as the ‘root’ for all shared documents and models.

First problem: what if we don’t have an E drive? Well you can trick your system into thinking that you do…

  1. On C drive, make a root folder called C:E_DRIVE
  2. Right click this folder in Windows Explorer and enable Sharing
  3. After sharing is enabled, you can ‘map’ the local folder as a drive. When mapping, use the local computer name with two backslashes, followed by the folder name.

Shared

 

Mapped drive to local folder

Now, we install Box Sync 4. After install, you will have one opportunity at first run to set the storage location. We choose to use E:BOX as the folder…

That is basically it! Now, Box Sync will sync your models and projects from the cloud. When you set up your models inside that root folder (E:BOXBox Sync), then the Revit links and Navisworks NWCs will all be able to ‘resolve’ properly on each system that you set up in this way. Then, when you save changes in that location they will then be synced back up to the cloud and down to your team, all automatically.

This structure can also be used to share Dynamo Packages among your team:

Important Note! There are a few big things to consider:

  • This does not give simultaneous modification access, such as for a Revit central file. If you and someone else modify the same file, Box will probably save two versions with your username appended.
  • You may be essentially opening up Local PC Access to the data in your Box folder (because it is no longer in a Windows-controlled appdata location). So be aware of the implications of this…

Box tip: You may also want to check your Logs folder for some big files:

boxsynclogs.png
Originally publish Mar 02, 2016 at 19:37 by Luke Johnson

As usual, these will typically be trial links. You will need appropriate serial numbers to activate, obtained from Autodesk.

AUTODESK 2018 DIRECT DOWNLOAD LINKS

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Also refer to forum, where these can be found:

https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/installation-licensing/autodesk-2018-direct-download-links-until-available-on-virtual/td-p/6998450