Saturday, December 30, 2006

Notes to User - Family Editor

Would you like to put a note in your families that is just "read only" when used in the project only, like this perhaps?

Here's how:

Create the parameter
Use "Text" for the data type
Enter the value you want stored as text in the formula column
(Just make sure you wrap it with "quotation marks")

Like this:

If using nested families just make sure you do this in the final host family so you can still "touch" the parameter to connect it to its mate in the host.

Hope this helps!

Friday, December 22, 2006

New Build for Revit Building (20061202_0700)

From the Autodesk site:

This build, (20061202_0700), addresses several support requests concerning revit-based release 9.1 project files.

Support requests related to the following areas have been addressed:

Export of projects with linked RVT files to the 3D DWF™ file format
Occasional corruptions within default template files
“Cannot load element” messages preventing the ability to Save To Central
Behavior of dimension witness lines for cropped objects
Visual fidelity of objects when printing files with linked files
Door swings from linked RVT files that would not vector print or export
Selecting of level annotations
Anomalies invoked by exceeding maximum array size
Loading of families into local files


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Workplane Visibility Tips

Two subtle tips for those who like work with the workplane grid visible. If you do use it often you probably already know them?

First when you rotate the grid you'll find that the rectangle sketching option will be constrained to align with the grid. Also it will be easier to sketch and align to the angle of the grid.

Second if you are zoomed in on the grid, how do you select it? Zoom out so you can select the edge? Well you don't have to. Two ways:

One: click Tools menu > Select Work Plane Grid

Two: Click Workplane button > Click OK (selects the grid as a result)

Cadplan enters Phase "Beta" with Content Highway

As David announced on his Revit Beginner's blog , Marek Brandstatter announced that their Revit content application called Content Highway is now available as a beta release. Check it out and let them and us know what you think.

Italian Revit Blog

This blog, Progettare in ambiente BIM is the latest I've found out about on the international Revit scene. Check it out!

Options Bar Data Entry

When I use the Offset tool I find that I must take care when I enter a specific ofset value if I want to use the Tab key to select "A chain of Walls or Lines". I get similar result when I use the Pick Lines option while drawing walls or lines.

The issue seems to be one of focus, Window's focus. That is what programmers refer to when a text box or similar control has the applications attention. When the offset value text box on the options bar has focus, Windows thinks the Tab key should be advancing to another control on the interface. In this case it advances to the Numerical radio button. I have to click in empty space in the drawing window to get the Tab key to do what I want. This put the focus back in the drawing window and Revit gets to define what the Tab key will do.

So watch out for this in your workflow.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Patience is a Virtue

Yeah, tell that to me when I'm waiting for Revit to open up the first time. Another usual gotcha I run into in a class setting is trying to open Revit several times when you become convinced that Revit is not loading after you double clicked the Icon on your desktop.

When you double click the icon you get a little hour glass for a few seconds and then, poof!...nothing, no hint of Revit loading and you start thinking, "Did I really double click or was it a single click" and "Did I see an hour glass or did I imagine it?" So you double click it again and suddenly Revit appears again and shortly afterward another session appears and, if you aren't a lucky sort, so does an error about licensing.

This can be lots of fun when a classroom of 12 opens up Revit before I get a chance to warn them. One poor soul tried to open Revit twelve times before I interupted his efforts. At least the other eleven sessions opened up pretty quickly after the first....

So the moral of the story really is patience IS a virtue AND that hopefully Revit will get better at telling Windows what it is up to so we don't start to doubt ourselves!

Space Bar Gotcha - Visibility Graphics

[note: in 2009 versions I don't experience this issue, though it is still technically possible - Steve 09/2008]

I run into this every now and again. Revit user complains that all the model objects are off in a view or all the annotation...or imported files. They've tried all the usual suspects like Visibility/Graphics, Worksets, Phase/Phase Filters, Filters, Design Options and so on. They just didn't notice that every category in the Visibility/Graphics dialog (under one of the tabs) was gray and not selectable.

The question is how did it happen, surely it wasn't done purposely. Enter the good old Space Bar, pun intended. AutoCAD/ADT users are so used to tapping the space bar to start a command that they are hardly aware that they are still tapping it from time to time in Revit, that and Revit uses it for flipping or rotating some objects.

The trouble is that opening the Visibility Graphics dialog and immediately hitting the space bar unchecks the top most check box next to: "Show (Model,Annotation,Imported) Categories in this view". G That's what Windows assigns to the Space Bar for keyboard behavior when Window's focus is on a check box.



So don't let the Space Bar getcha!

Revit JOBS

I've added another blog called Revit JOBS. I mentioned this in an earlier post about HNTB looking for Revit talent. I've purchased the domain so that will take you to the blog site directly now. There are just two posts there at this time. Hopefully it will prove useful!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

AUGI Board of Directors

I've just been informed that my bid to become a member of AUGI's Board of Directors was successful. Voting began on November 28 at Autodesk Univerity and closed on December 15th. My new role with AUGI begins at the beginning of the new year and has a two year term.

I'm looking forward to being part of the leadership of AUGI and hope to make positive contributions that will benefit all AUGI members and naturally with my "Revit bias" I hope to continue to improve the experience for our Revit community at AUGI as well!

Wish me Luck!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Reminiscent of the old "Uncle Sam wants YOU!" signs??

HNTB Architecture is looking for a National CADD Manager. With an initial primary focus on ADT support and training there will be a gradual transition over to BIM. Ideally based at the home office in Kansas City, the right candidate may be in a position to work out of their LA, DC or NYC offices.

If you are interested? You can send an email to pdavis at hntb dot com

[fix the at and dot accordingly 8-)]

Tell em Steve sent you... As of tonight I'll be posting any jobs I learn of or requests to find a job at Revit JOBS. This is a brand new blog space for this purpose, let's see if it proves useful?

RTC 06

Otherwise known as Revit Technology Conference 2006. Better late than never?

I left Los Angeles on October 23rd, Monday night, at 10:30 PM and arrived in Sydney on Wednesday morning at 6:00 AM. I lost one whole day in the process due to the magic of time zones. Much to my surprise I was quite refreshed after my 14.5 hour flight on a Qantas 747/400. The Qantas flight crews were the picture of efficiency right down the instructions to “do up” our seatbelts. I love the way folks outside the USA say things!

The event organizer was and is Wesley Benn, the owner, proprietor, chief cook and bottle washer for Benn Design. Here’s a shot of Wesley.

Wesley was kind enough to rise early enough to give me a lift from the airport and take a little driving tour of Sydney which included walking around the Sydney Opera House. It was unfortunate that I couldn’t get inside. I also realized that I didn’t bring a camera AGAIN! I seem to lack the gene that causes people to photograph things that happen in their life. If it weren’t for other families who do have this gene there would be no record of our children doing anything!

We visited his old office where he “made” me help him move a copier, remove some paint cans and do a little demolition on his signage. We then went to his new office where he again put me to work packing up computers for the labs, teach a couple clients Revit and well…not that last part. Car packed full of stuff we headed for the conference site, but for the brief stop to put some helium in one of his tyres. I had no idea that it is fairly common practice to put helium in tyres instead of air. It is apparently a very stable gas to use and much more reliable than air. (notice my Austrylian spelling of tires?)

The venue was the Shoal Bay Resort and Spa, which is located on the white sands of Shoal Bay in Port Stephens, New South Wales, Australia. You can review the conference schedule and the speaker biographies.

When I first started discussing attending this conference with Wesley we thought it would make sense to teach a class. One class became two, the first a family lecture and the second a mini session on massing. Since I was preparing a lecture for Autodesk University 2006 on the subject of Families anyway it made sense to preview or test or demo it on a smaller crowd very very far away right? Good thing too, because my ninety minute session ran forty five minutes over…with permission mind you…I gave them a chance to “run away”. Good thing we were only going to dinner and open bar afterward. Here’s a shot of me doing what I do best…blah blah blah…. And my power point humor 8-)

As conferences go it was very busy, yet very relaxed and a lot of fun with as much effort applied to making time for mingling. I did learn that even though Foster’s is "Austrylian" for beeear, Victoria Bitter and Tooey’s gets poured a LOT more!

One of the highlights of the conference for me was getting to finally meet my friend Bruce Gow in person, who is probably more widely known by his AUGI Revit forum moniker “BeeGee”. We’ve been friends from afar ever since getting to know each other via the internet and the old Zoogdesign Revit forum. It was nice get to sit and talk face to face!! Here’s a couple pictures of Bruce, one where he’s inspecting the inside of his eyelids or maybe he’s just blinking?? You decide…

Apparently after this first picture he figured out how to always stay with his back to the camera?

Here’s a parting shot of the conference attendees! Try to put aside a week and travel down under next time!!

It would be unfair to exclude the contributions of Marina Radosevic and Helen Benn for their tireless effort to organize everything. Also deserving of recognition for their hard work is the remaining leadership of the Revit Users Group Sydney. They are (Treasurer) Michael Juda, (Secretary) Adrian Esdaile, Rocco Raso and Toby Maple.

Okay one more…just what every Revit party needs! A circus performer trying to set himself on fire!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Write a Book…part deux

In my previous post regarding the book I left out two key pieces of information. First the book will be a comprehensive guide to using Revit. The title remains undefined at this time for a variety of reasons.

Second and most important, I am teaming up with my friend and Revit collegue, Bruce Gow. You may be more familiar with his moniker in the AUGI Revit forums, “BeeGee”. As a Revit trainer, consultant and practicing architect in Australia he will provide technical editing as well as be a contributing author. I'm enjoying working with him on this project.

As soon as Wiley/Sybex is able to prepare some preliminary information for posting at Amazon and on their own site it will be possible to pre-order the book.

There is another book underway now that is already listed on the Amazon site HERE or HERE that you might find interesting as well. Recognize the authors? These books are meant to compliment each other.

For those of you who have commented here and written to me, thank you for the kind words.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

"You Should Write a Book"...

Hello and thank you for your patience!!! I've been so busy that this blog has taken a back seat unfortunately. So what has managed to distract me?

First of all I attended the Revit Technology Conference in Sydney Australia the last week of October. I presented two topics, Family Editor and Massing. The trip was too short but a lot of fun and my friend and host Wesley Benn never ceases to amaze me. More info on this event in a future post.

Second, Autodesk University which just wrapped up this past Friday. I presented three sessions as I mentioned in an earlier blog post. More on this in a future post or two.

Third and the point of this post...during the last few years I've been told, "Steve, you should write a book". The folks at Wiley/Sybex thought so too, so I signed on the dotted line. I'll post a link to the pre-order page at Amazon in the near future. I'll post about my progress and sorry, no promises about actual release date, ha ha, just like software!!