Wow, Revit 2015 is setting some serious records for updates!

Here is the direct link to the Update Release 14 for Revit 2015 R2:

and non-R2:

Autodesk Revit 2015 R2 Update Release 14 Readme


Enhancements list (not live yet…)

Just a reminder on how this works, in the off-chance that you are confused…

2015 Products
Use the Enhancements link from


2016 Products
Use the Autodesk App Store


2017 Products
Use Autodesk Desktop App


Yes, there are exceptions to these rules, but it should get you headed in the right direction.

(insert obligatory Revit 2017 blog post here…)

The annual Revit release schedule can become very tiring. Also challenging is the fact that you will probably not start running real, big, live Revit 2017 projects for around 6 months, so all of this new features noise will be a distant memory by then. However, it is good to be aware of the new abilities in the software, so that you can (possibly) stop using outdated workarounds and start using the software in the way Revit 2017 Wants.

By now, we should all be focusing on getting more useful data into our models. In accord with that aim, these are my top 3 new features:
1) Keynote Legends are better – Use Keynotes!
When a keynote legend is set to By Sheet, Revit takes into account whether a keynote is visible in the view as a result of View Range settings, Design Option settings, or Depth Clipping/Far Clipping settings.

2) Combined parameters in Schedules – Use the Data you Have!
Combine parameters in a schedule to display the values in a single cell. You can specify a prefix, suffix, sample value, and separator to display with each parameter. See Combine Parameters in a Schedule.

3) Schedule view templates – Templates are Good Revit
View templates for schedules and assembly views: To simplify the reuse of schedules, create a schedule view template. Schedule view templates include parameters for Fields, Filter, Sorting/Grouping, Formatting, Appearance, and Phase Filter. If the model contains RVT links or design options, Visibility/Graphics Overrides parameters are also available. See About Schedule View Templates and Create Assembly Views and Sheets.

The Help file:
Help: New in Revit 2017

The 1 minute video:

The playlist:

Steve’s big post:
Revit OpEd: Revit 2017 – New Features and Enhancements

Top 5 from Sean David Burke:
Five Standout Features from Autodesk Revit 2017 | Architect Magazine | Software, BIM, Construction Software, Design Workflow, Architecture, Autodesk

The Revit Kid Top 3:
Revit 2017 – My 3 Favorite new Features |! – Tutorials, Tips, Products, and Information on all things Revit / BIM

Tim Waldock’s Revit 2017 posts (very thorough as usual):

Problems (these are the Not So Good Things) so far:

Licensing, and the ability to switch from Network to Standalone after installation:


via Autodesk 2017: Changing From Standalone to Network | Microsol Resources Blog

Other posts:

Navisworks 2017 New Features are summed up here:
BIM 360 Glue + Navisworks 2017: Reinforcing Construction Collaboration

If you cut a sloping pipe in Revit, you can override the lineweight using Linework tool (or Visibility / Graphics) easily, because you are dealing with a model element. However, if you cut a ‘flat’ or horizontal pipe in a Section or Elevation, Revit assumes you want the nice system-related cut symbol for that Pipe and you can’t easily override the Cut Lineweight with a Linework tool.

What you need to do is turn off that default Symbol in Visibility / Graphics, and then you can successfully override the Cut representation.You may find that by turning off the Drop or Rise option, the symbol isn’t shown and the Linework tool will be active for the cut lines of flat pipes:




Using some Visibility parameters and a simple formula structure, you can use a Revit family to store a collection elements and then selectively show them by using a single lookup value. This allows you to drive many visibility states (programmatically) through the modification of a single instance parameter value.

In the case below, I created a Annotation family and multiple Yes/No visibility parameters, which I applied to Lines:


Then, I make a VisibilityEnum integer parameter, and set the Yes/No parameter formulas to a given integer:


You can also use Greater Than and other operators to show items that are visible across multiple visibility states:


In the project environment, you only need to set one instance parameter to change visibility states:


Finally, with some inventive use of Excel and Dynamo, you can drive this visibility parameter programmatically, even mapping the visibility state to the owner view of the family instance in Revit:


These are simply direct links to be able to access the trial download for 2017 Autodesk AEC products, you will still need valid serial numbers if you wish to activate.


You will be interested to note that on first launch, this splash screen may pop up:


Live links:
Revit 2017 Part 1 | Part 2
Revit LT 2017 Part 1 | Part 2

Building Design Suite Ultimate 2017

Pro Tip : Architecture and designing professionals can access their essential designing software such as Autodesk remotely at a ease of a single click by loading it into cloud with hosted virtual desktop from CloudDesktopOnline and access it remotely on preferred device(PC/Mac/android/iOS). Visit to know more about cloud products suitable for you.


Building Design Suite Premium 2017

Navisworks Manage 2017

Navisworks Simulate 2017

Advance Steel 2017

AutoCAD 2017

AutoCAD MEP 2017

AutoCAD Design Suite Ultimate 2017

A while back, Alex Gore contacted me to ask me a few questions about my experience with Revit. Its interesting to read through what I thought almost three years ago. In some ways, it is a motivational piece about sticking with Revit, but there are tips and recommendations sprinkled throughout. There is a great deal of What Revit Wants in here, if you have the time to skim through it.

After almost three years, what still makes sense? What hasn’t happened (yet)?

Read on to read part of that interview here (Ed. note, I have reformatted some of the content):

When you are approaching creating a project in Revit, what sort of questions should you be asking yourself? What mindset should you be in?
You really do need to pause at that moment before hitting ‘New’ to make a new project in Revit.

  • What sort of project will this be?
  • What is the timeline and project program?
  • Are we under severe time pressure, or can we set this project up to be something that is ‘solid as a rock’ in terms of best-practice BIM?

The right mindset is important.

Try not to stress too much about the software. Revit can seem daunting at times, but in the end, it is a tool for accomplishing work. You are in control of it, not vice versa. At various points in the project lifespan (including those formative moments when you are setting up a model), you will have to ask yourself:

  • What is the best way to accomplish the project goal?
  • Do you need to model everything in 3D?
  • Is it more important to set up smart parameters for scheduling and tagging – perhaps making the model super intelligent but not necessarily super detailed
  • Will you be the only staff member on this project, or do you need to determine some way to logically divide the modelling tasks between users?
  • Are you going to go through many sketch iterations and rapid changes early in the project, and do you need to track these (think Design Options)?
  • Is the model ever going to be a deliverable, and does it need to comply with any particular standard – either an internal one, or perhaps a BIM standard enforced by some regulatory authority?

What mindset or thought process is counterproductive to working in Revit?
There a few that immediately come to mind. Some questions and thoughts are actually a waste of time and emotional energy, like:

  • Why can’t Revit do XYZ, it was easy in AutoCAD!
  • I wish I didn’t have to use Revit (this is just demoralising, if you are using Revit, there is obviously a good reason – so get on with it)
  • I don’t need to understand how Revit works to use it properly (if you say this, you are never going to master the software)
  • If I can’t do it in Revit, I’ll just use Sketchup (or AutoCAD, or whatever software you feel ‘comfortable’ with)

You really need to commit to using Revit. Yes, it can be a difficult learning curve. The initial excitement quickly wears off, as you are faced with numerous choices you don’t really understand, and this long list of “I don’t know how to do this” tasks. But you will learn. You have to. Revit is not going away – it is becoming more widespread every day. Just be happy that you are sitting there using Revityou have been given a great opportunity for learning and advancement. But you need to be open-minded, quick to listen and learn and ask questions, and slow to give up. Stick with it, you won’t be disappointed. All the little bits and pieces will start to come together and ‘click’ in your mind, trust me.

If you were teaching someone Revit what outline would you give them? What would you tell them to learn first, second, and so on..
I think one of the best ideas is to take an existing set of CAD documents (preferably from a building that you have drafted), and redraw that building in Revit. You have the advantage of knowing what the building looks like and how it goes together – you just have to try to recreate that in the software. Don’t be too stressed about making every little graphic element look the same between the drawings, but do try to use good modelling technique from the start. Model elements on the appropriate Category and using the appropriate tools. When you are starting out, at least make an effort to fit in with how the program is ‘supposed’ to function. You can start to bend and break these rules later, when you understand the pros and cons of what you are actually doing…

After doing some basic modelling, I would recommend spending some time doing some tagging and scheduling. Experiment with things – what can you tag, what can’t you tag? How can you manipulate information in Schedules, total certain columns, export to Excel. I think its important to expose yourself to the fact that elements in Revit have ‘intelligence’. Sure, you can see them in 3D. But the real beauty and power of Revit is that everything is linked together to the underlying data related to an element.

What is a Revit trick, shortcut, or way of doing something would you wish someone would have told you long ago?
I’ll give you four:

  • don’t ignore the save reminder, no matter how annoying it may seem
  • using a circle / arc as the outer part of a void form (to save time)
  • the ability to save inplace families as component families
  • Adaptive families are far more powerful and useful than you may think

What is the most common mistake you see in revit models or building revit content?
In the form of a rant – If something is a wall, use the Wall tool. If its a floor, use a Floor. If its a benchtop, use Casework. I may seem to be labouring the point, but one of the most frustrating things that I consistently see is the complete misuse of one Revit tool or category, when a better and more appropriate option already exists!

As far as content goes, I think the biggest mistake is over modelling or making super detailed models. Trust me, from time to time I am guilty of this. But it comes back to setting a content goal – what is purpose of this content? If it is just to fill up a schedule, use the most basic form you can get away with. If something is unnecessarily detailed, it can really slow a project down.

If you were passing by a student in a hallway and you could only impart 30 seconds of Revit wisdom on them, what would you say?
Revit geeks are generally better paid and more employable than those with a Phd in Architecture. If you want to succeed in Revit, take the time to get to know it properly. Spend time reading up on best practices. Subscribe to blogs and Twitter accounts of professional Revit users. And some student-specific wisdom – its fun to learn how to model crazy and organic forms in Revit, but in a real office, you might spend about 5% of your time doing that. Over 80% of your time will probably be spent using Revit on a real building. So try to learn how a building actually goes together. Go on site visits. Do some construction labouring. If you know how a building is built, and you know how Revit elements are related to real-world building elements, you will go far.

Where do you see the future of Revit, what is it’s significance, and potential?
There is a lot of talk about 3D printing, CNC, direct to manufacture modelling. And I do think things will continue to head that way. I guess one of the big unknowns is “how much will Revit end up doing”.

I’ll try to explain – Microsoft Word is a great tool. It has been around for many years, and has gone through many many versions with features added to each version. But in the end, it is still just a word processing tool. You need Excel for spreadsheets, Outlook for emails, Powerpoint for slideshows, and so it goes on. So where will Revit end up? AutoCAD is a great drafting tool – fast, accurate, powerful. Its 3D engine is very strong. And yet there was room for Revit to develop, grow, and now flourish.

Will Revit become an ‘all in one’ building model management tool? I actually hope that it does. I would love if it became the vehicle for all building elements and systems to be created, integrated and linked together. I want things to become simpler – I want to deal with less pieces of software, not more.

A few things need to happen – cloud integration and Revit needs to become a reality. Something that is fast, user friendly, reliable. Is part of the solution to use hosted Revit in a Citrix type environment? Perhaps, but there are performance problems with that at the moment. Revit Server is good, but requires a certain commitment in terms of setup and maintenance.

Helping people understand the BIM Building Information Modeling industry – REVIT FAMILIES AND COMPONENTS


Let’s face it, sometimes Shared Coordinates can be a pain. Issues may arise when trying to make small adjustments to very large numbers, and that comes up in other places in Revit too. In some cases, using “Specify Coordinates at a Point” has almost no effect, and you need to resort to workarounds like these.

In Revit, if we follow certain steps in a certain way we can solve these issues. It may seem a fiddly, but if you want to fix coordinates on an existing model, perhaps one of these methods will work for you.

Method 1 – Transfer Project Standards, Project Info
This transfers the ‘location’ data of a Shared Site…

On a real project, you will probably have a control model you can use in the workflow below. The control model needs to have some lines showing at the desired Project Base Point position, probably in a Linked View, as well as a SITE fixed named site that has the ‘correct’ shared coordinates.

  1. Open one of your models to fix
  2. Go to a Plan view
  3. Link in the COORDINATES file Origin-To-Origin
  4. Set Linked view – COORDINATES
  5. Turn on Site – Project Base Point
  6. Select it and ‘unclip’
  7. Transfer Project Standards (from the link) – Project Info
  8. Choose ‘New Only’
  9. Go to the Location – Site dialog box
  10. Set the SITE fixed to ‘Make Current’
  11. Delete your old SITE, and rename SITE fixed to SITE (we have now replaced the shared site coordinate info with that from the control model). Now, to get a moved PBP in the right spot for the project
  12. Back in Floor Plan view, slightly drag the unclipped PBP away from the two green lines (the pbp position in the control file), then move it back to exactly that point
  13. PBP should now be fixed


If this doesn’t work, you may try
Method 2 – neutralizing coordinates and re-Acquiring

  1. Select your PBP, unclip it, rightclick and “Move to Startup Location”
  2. Link in a new, blank RVT such as a NEUTRAL_COORDINATES.rvt and Acquire Coordinates from it (this resets coordinates)
  3. Save your file (your PBP should report 0,0 coordinates)
  4. Link in the control model PBP RVT
  5. Acquire coordinates from it
  6. Delete it (yes)
  7. Re-link it again (this is to get around a Revit bug, that sometimes ‘shifts’ the linked model after acquiring coordinates)
  8. Save your host file (shared coordinates are now set correctly, and the PBP can be moved into place as below)
  9. Select your PBP, unclip it, and move it to the location from the control model. You may need to set up a plan view that has PBP switched on, and view range all the way down to AHD 0.00.

Both of these methods are somewhat involved, but they may be useful to you in those situations where “nothing else works”.

This might pop up in your Application Manager soon…


Update 2 for Autodesk Revit 2016 Release 2
Update 2 for Autodesk Revit 2016 Release 2 Readme

R2 download link

New build numbers for Revit 2016 R2:

Enhancements list is live at:

non R2 download link: