I recently stumbled across the fix for an issue that has annoyed me for ages.

The problem we had was that Revit would always crash when tearing off any ribbon panel. This issue affected two of our high end Vista 64 bit Workstations. I had tried many things to fix the issue, all to no avail. So, are you ready for the solution?

Both of these workstations were running a pre-release version of Service Pack 2 for Vista. The Windows desktop had the following text imprinted on it – Build 6002 – Evaluation Version. I determined that this note referred to a Release Candidate of Service Pack 2, and not to the actual licensing of Vista itself. The fix is as follows:

  1. Uninstall Service Pack 2. (Go to Control Panel – Programs and Features. Then click ‘View Installed Updates’. The update is labeled as Service Pack for Microsoft Windows (KB948465). Once this was uninstalled, I could now tear off the ribbon panels successfully, with no crashes.
  2. To put Service Pack 2 on, you can use a couple of methods. After removing SP2, I allowed Windows Update to install updates. However, this did not reinstate SP2 onto my system.
  3. I then downloaded the Service Pack 2 package for 64 bit, and installed it. Finally, I was back at SP2, and my ribbon panels would still tear off without any crashing!

Please note that this process will probably take a couple of hours. However, I am very happy that I can now tear off the Workplane ribbon panel – it is very handy to have that panel always visible.I guess I better contact Autodesk now and notify them of the fix…this Service Request has been open since 23 June 2009!

You can now download a ‘Customer Questions and Answers’ document from Autodesk, relating to the Autodesk Software Download process.

It is available at this link, but you will need to login to Subscription to access it. If you don’t have Subscription or can’t be bothered logging in, you can access the same document at this link.

So, why is Autodesk making software download the default delivery method? According to the document:

“By making new product releases available for download, Autodesk is making it possible
for Subscription customers to immediately begin using the most current version of the
software as soon as it is released.
And, making software download the default upgrade delivery method reduces the
environmental impact of producing and shipping materials worldwide. If all Autodesk
Subscription customers downloaded their software instead of ordering a boxed shipment
with physical media and packaging, together we would reduce carbon emissions by
almost 80 percent, or the CO2 equivalent of driving 1,670,733 miles (2,688,784
kilometers). That’s like driving a mid-size car around the world 67 times.”

And what if your Subscription runs out?
“19. Will I be able to access software downloads on Subscription Center after my
Subscription contract expires?
There is a grace period of 30 days after your contract(s) expires, during which time you
can access the download pages and the Request DVD/CD link.”

If you are a Autodesk Subscription customer, you should login to the subscription site and check out the new product download page.

You can now download the current release as well as the previous release of the software from the subscription site.

“To download the current release of your Autodesk software, select the product title below. To download previous releases of your software, select the Previous Release tab and then choose a product title.”

You can also view a log of how many times each item has been downloaded.

So now you know HOW you will be able to get 2011 – the next question is – WHEN?

I hope that you found my previous post on batch printing with automatic naming helpful.

But what if you want to add a prefix or a suffix to all PDFs in a set? Some firms like to add the current revision or issue date as a suffix to each individual sheet. This can be accomplished easily with the freeware program Advanced Renamer. It is available in both portable and installable versions.

Here is a few simple steps to add a suffix to all PDFs in a specified directory:

  1. Install and run Advanced Renamer.
  2. Click Add – Directory. Select Directory and click OK.
  3. Click Add method – Add (this will obviously ‘add’ something to the filename of resulting files.)

  4. Set the options for the Add method: Type the text you would like to add, select index 1, ‘backwards’ and Apply to Name. This will add the specified text to the end of all filenames in the directory.

  5. Click ‘Start Batch’ and you are done.

You can experiment with other ‘methods’ to do some more advanced renaming tasks.

After reading The Revit Clinic post about Plan Regions Wall Cleanups, I was reminded of a similar problem I had with Plan Regions and Wall Hatching. I had a problem where the hatching would disappear from a particular wall. I had figured out that it was related to the Plan Regions, because if I deleted the Regions, the hatching would show.

The fix posted by Ryan Duell today actually fixed my problem as well. After I set each Plan Region’s Cut Plane to match the host view Cut Plane – the hatching showed correctly! Before and after images are below.

Adjusted Plan Region Cut Plane to match host view Cut Plane:

Have you ever wanted to copy the text from a Windows Dialog, for use in training, blogging or other support related tasks? Then you should check out the free SysExporter. It is available in installable or ZIP standalone versions, and there is also a 64-bit version.

This program allows you to browse the text of dialog boxes from a vast range of windows. And as you can see in the image above, you can even extract information from Revit dialog boxes. I am sure that function could prove very useful for a lot of you.

For example, I quickly grabbed this list of worksets from SysExporter. I copied selected items using ‘Tab delimited’ format. Pasted to Excel and then copied into this window:
String Value
(Not Editable) CONSTRUCTION DETAIL ACAD LINKS 12893
(Not Editable) EGRESS PATHS 10583
(Not Editable) FHR hose lengths etc 10807
(Not Editable) GRIDS AND SETOUT 8797
(Not Editable) HIDE Admin RVT link 10573
(Not Editable) HIDE Entourage People 19332
(Not Editable) HIDE Ext Main Ceiling Level 14103
(Not Editable) HIDE Furniture PRESENTATION 14727
(Not Editable) HIDE Internal Detail Elements Battens etc 17850
(Not Editable) HIDE K BLOCK LEVEL 9062
(Not Editable) HIDE Lower Basement Level 9995
(Not Editable) HIDE Main Audience Level 12393
(Not Editable) HIDE Main Entrance Level 11410
(Not Editable) HIDE Mechanical Kitchen Plans 17273
(Not Editable) HIDE Old Stairs for Removable Seating 11357
(Not Editable) HIDE Planting and Trees 11854
(Not Editable) LIGHTING 1 Workset 17893
(Not Editable) MASSES hidden by default 9993
(Not Editable) REMOVABLE SEATING 9791
(Not Editable) REMOVABLE SEATING 3D RVT LINK 17883
(Not Editable) Room separation lines 5829
(Not Editable) Shared Levels and Grids 103
(Not Editable) Working HIDDEN 8934
(Not Editable) Workset1 0

Interesting post over at BIM + Integrated Design. It includes 14 Rules for Living In, Out and Around BIM.

My blog has dealt with ‘What Revit Wants’ in more than a few posts over the last few years. So I found it interesting that one of these 14 points (in particular) gives Revit a personality:
Ask yourself: If I was the model what else would I do? What else can I provide that others may need? Your original intention for your model may have been to use the model for one thing – but what if you also used it for a rendering? For an animation? As a database to run energy applications?….
and so on.

The whole post is quite thought provoking – I think I may need to have a glass of wine and ponder it further…

Sometimes you will want to produce a large set of PDFs where each drawing sheet is in its own PDF file. You also want the PDFs to be automatically named and created. There are a number of ways to accomplish this – here is the simple way that I use.

  1. Download and install PDFCreator ( if you don’t have it already)
  2. Download the following ini file: pdfcreator settings
  3. Open the PDFCreator application
  4. Go to Printer – Options, and then ‘load’ the settings from the ini file you downloaded (use the little folder at the top of the window to load settings), then hit ‘Save’ at the bottom of the window.
  5. Now, when you print from Revit, be sure to choose the options to ‘Create separate files…’
  6. When you click ‘Print’ in Revit, each sheet will be sent individually to PDFCreator. PDFCreator will then use the View or Sheet name (as per the REDMON_DOCNAME_FILE setting) to Autosave the PDFs to a specified folder – the above ini file uses C:TEMP_PLOT by default.

You can tweak these settings to your own individual taste – you may want to change the Autosave folder, for example.
Revit wants you to work efficiently, and it wants you to maximise the value of the data inherent to the BIM model. In this case, we leverage the View/Sheet name to automatically name the PDF files.
But what if you want to modify the filenames – perhaps adding a prefix or suffix to all PDF filenames? Well, you will just have to subscribe and wait for the next post…

Go to Part 2