Over the years I have posted a lot of workflows for PDF creation and management, including the use of CutePDF Writer and PDF Creator. I’m also a regular user of RTV Xporter Pro, as it is the quickest and easiest way to generate PDFs from Revit, and its pretty affordable too.
To automatically create PDFs with automatic naming from RTV Xporter, you need a PDF print driver that supports automatic naming. Adobe PDF can do this with the correct settings, but you can also do it with the correct version of the free PDF Creator print driver. CutePDF does not support automatic naming. You need a PDFCreator version equal to or older than 2.5.3.
I previously posted about my large library of archived Revit blog posts. I then got a request from Mr Stewart to shed some light on how I automate the RSS to PDF process. It is a lengthy process, and I’m sure there are easier and better ways, but here is how I did it:
Set up a dedicated Google alias, for Reader and Gmail
Make a big RSS list in a specific folder in Reader. Mine is shared here. Share that feed folder from Reader.
If you want to print all the .htm or .html files in a folder, you could use the function in Internet Explorer that allows you to ‘Print All Linked Documents’:
To use this, you need to have a HTML document that links to all of the .htm or .html files in the folder. To automatically generate such a document, you could use this script (you will need to copy the text to a .cmd file, and change the ‘target’ to the folder you want to make a list.htm for):
Let’s say you have printed a bunch of PDFs to a folder, hopefully using one of the techniques described in my previous two posts (links below), and now you want to rename them to match the data exported from a Revit schedule? Part 1 Part 2
Here is one method:
Create a Revit schedule with all the data you need.
Export the schedule, such that you have a file like this one (view the sample)
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:
Install and run Advanced Renamer.
Click Add – Directory. Select Directory and click OK.
Click Add method – Add (this will obviously ‘add’ something to the filename of resulting files.)
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.
Click ‘Start Batch’ and you are done.
You can experiment with other ‘methods’ to do some more advanced renaming tasks.
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.
Download and install PDFCreator ( if you don’t have it already)
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.
Now, when you print from Revit, be sure to choose the options to ‘Create separate files…’
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…
Autodesk is getting very, very serious about DWFs. They will not replace PDFs overnight, but it is looking like DWF will become the exchange format of choice in the future. Particularly in the BIM / building delivery industry anyway.
Revit wants you to adopt this technology. Well, Autodesk does 🙂