Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Revit Viewer

Yes it still exists.

I've been doing some work with Autodesk as a Revit Mentor helping users navigate their 30 day trial. One of the recurring themes is, "I only need Revit to view other peoples models. How do I do that?" In the old days a version of Revit that lacked a license turned into viewer mode. At times that proved a bit dangerous because a user could lose a license (network issues or internet access) while working on a model and find themselves in Viewer Mode and unable to save work they ordinarily could, should be able to.

To counter that situation we now have a separate application that is Revit Viewer. It's installed alongside Revit, wherever you decided to store it on your computer. In my case it's listed like this when I search in Windows 10. FWIW, I don't put any icons on my PC's desktop so that's how I start everything, click on the Window...type a few letters, launch an app. It's the illusion of an uncluttered mind! My actual desk...well that's a different matter...


When you run it you'll be greeted by this message before it will finish opening and let you open a project.


It is worth stressing that the limitations the dialog above describes kick in as soon as ANY change is made. I frequently hear, "I can't print in Viewer mode". That happens when you change the model, to which they reply, "I want to print using a different titleblock, I switched to a different one".

Yeah, that's a change...

It doesn't matter how minor or subtle a change is, the key word is change. If you move a tag, add a dimension, put a view on sheet, change a view's scale, a view's detail level...yeah those are all changes. Trying to print (or save/export) afterward will cause Revit to pop up the dialog above again. If you get the dialog, use Undo until the action you want will work. Most likely you'll have to undo everything you've done just after opening the file.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Autodesk Installation and Updates Exercise Survey

Autodesk staff are reviewing the terms that are used for software installation and applying updates. They are looking for our help by performing a set of exercises that should take less than 15 minutes to complete. Your responses will help them organize and more clearly describe things that are delivered as part of the installation or update process.

Would you like to help? START HERE

Revit 2017 - Text and Character Map Use

I mentioned the other day that a user had shared with me some difficulty using symbols from Character Map (charmap). Autodesk has written a Knowledge Base article about. Hopefully the first service pack (Update Release...whatever they call it this time around) will fix it.

Read the article at Autodesk.

If you'd like to watch an Autodesk Screencast video and the thread at the Autodesk Community Revit forums CLICK ME.

Fwiw, in my testing I'm not having any difficulty with inserting symbols via the ALT codes or copy/paste. There must be a bit more subtlety to the issue.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Autodesk Insight 360 Survey

I have no idea how many readers of this blog are active users of this product. Just in case...

The Autodesk Insight 360 team has put together an industry marketing survey. The survey itself is HERE and THEIR BLOG POST provides more information.

What's in it for you? Take the survey, enter your email address and you’ll be entered to win one of ten (10) $50 Amazon gift cards. The survey closes on the 31st of May.

If this product is part of how you do your work take the survey now so you don't forget. If it isn't then consider taking the survey anyway; offer up your insight regarding why you don't use it now (see what I did there?).

Revit 2017 - Filters and Reference Planes

Filters have been expanded to see Reference Planes.


You're probably aware that Reference Planes don't have many parameters, just these three instance parameters: Scope Box, Name and Subcategory. They don't have any Type Parameters because they aren't defined by types like grids or levels for example. If we examine the Filters dialog and see how those three parameters play out as criteria we'll find they don't.


The More Parameters... or Browse button to its right are tempting but we still can't create parameters associated with Reference Planes.


This makes it rather difficult to actually use a Filter for Reference Planes, criteria based filters anyway. We can select them (Reference Planes) first and create a Filter based on selection but that's not really much different than using Visibility/Graphics to turn them off or override their appearance.

While it makes for an enticing item in the list of what's new it will only serve to frustrate you if you pursue it. It's a shame that we aren't offered at least the Name parameter to use in a filter. It looks like the critical path for this feature wandered into the weeds and got stuck in some quicksand.

I'm sure we'll take good advantage of being able to differentiate them from one another and control their visibility using Visibilty/Graphics and View Templates despite this situation.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Revit 2017 - Calculated Values in Tags

This addition permits us to do the same thing to tags that we've been using in schedules. For example, in a tag I'd like to show the difference between the client required area and the actual area of a room. That wasn't possible without some export/import or Dynamo shenanigans. Now it is possible, right in a tag.


This starts in the Edit Label dialog via a new button, then it is the same as the dialog we've seen in Schedules.


Since these can be used in schedules and tags, and it has to be done separately for each use, it probably makes sense to document all of the formulas we use so they are easily harvested for another project. Build them into a template and there is less need to do that at all. Regardless it wouldn't hurt to have a Drafting View set aside with the text versions of all the formulas we use stored there. That way a simple Copy/Paste operation can harvest a formula to use in a tag or a schedule or both.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Revit 2017 - Align Padlock and Wall Core Centerline

If you think you're going crazy because no padlock appears when you try to align and lock a Wall by its Core Centerline, you're not crazy (not about that anyway). Revit 2017 seems to have gotten distracted and doesn't turn on the padlock when using Align on that portion of a Wall. Damn that's subtle!! They are on it though. I imagine it'll be fixed once an Update Release (Service Pack) is made available.