Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Nudge Nudge Wink Wink

For Monty Python's Flying Circus fans this has an entirely different meaning than something Revit related...but it seemed so right...

I'm referring to the Nudge feature in Revit of course. Even seasoned Revit users seem to forget how useful this is. Specifically this feature allows you to nudge a selected item or items instead of using the move command or dragging it/them to a new location. All by just pressing those trusty Arrow keys on your keyboard.

Nudge isn't an arbitrary movement either. Based upon how much you are zoomed in or out Revit will use the Snap Increment to Nudge an exact distance. Revit will use a fraction of a snap unit when you change your zoom as well. If you wish to nudge a smaller or larger distance you can zoom in or out a bit. (see the default increments in the image)

Using the Shift key and one of the Arrow keys will nudge 10x the nudge without shift, go fartherer more quickerer...

So next time you need to tweak a piece of text, a viewport, a wall...well anything really...think Nudge Nudge Wink Wink??

P.S. I've added clarifications to the above text on April 22, 2006 because both Leonid Raiz and Irwin Jungreis (Revit's founders) provide invaluable insight in posts at the AUGI forum.

Friday, February 24, 2006

New Revit Blogger

David in Santa Barbara, CA has joined the blogging community. With articles starting in Janary this year, you can check out the tips and ideas he shares as he helps his firm implement Revit.

David's Revit Beginners blog

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Unpin Em All

When you have a number of pinned objects you can unpin them one at a time using the little Push Pin icon that appears for the objects. The only trouble is clicking the pin only unpins the one you clicked. The others just get deselected.

To unpin multiple objects you need to use the Modify ribbon/panel item Edit and choose Unpin. The default Revit keyboard shortcut for this is UP.

Happy Unpinning!!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Irreconcilable Differences - Revisited

As a follow up to the earlier issue I posted (Irreconcilable Differences). The inability to place these two types of objects using the Beam Command is limited to the command itself.

As a workaround for now, and allowing you to use the intended structural categorized objects and structural template based families, just drag a new instance of the truss family into the Drawing Window from the Project Browser to bypass the Beam Command itself. I wish I thought of THAT!

Thanks to Don Falkowski (Autodesk Revit Support) for chasing this one through and offering up a solution! It should be fixed in the next release, Thanks!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Vizconnect, The Network!

DISconnect the network to be specific.

During a recent session the conversation turned to the excessive amount of time it takes to export a 3D view to dwg so the Revit model could be used in Autodesk Viz or Max. This prompted a little experiment. Set up a 3D view of a model, export to dwg, took several minutes to complete. Do the same thing but this time remove the network cable (from your PC) before running the export, took several SECONDS instead.

Some anecdotal evidence suggests that having a network share of resources for Revit can contribute to this, such as the material libraries. As such the act of dis-connecting the network from the pc seems to resolve any such issue.

When you need to do this for a project with Worksharing enabled you might also consider using Detach From Central to isolate the work you do from the actual project.

This won't affect the export time but it will avoid having to Save To Central if you make any changes.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Phases, Views and Rooms

Don’t change the phase of a view after you have put room tags in the view.


Rooms are Phase Aware, meaning they belong to the phase of a view they are placed within. Switching the phase of a view that has room tags means you’ll find yourself either losing the room tags or getting copies of them in the selected phase. In either case you get new rooms in the selected phase.

If you ignore my warning, you’ll get an error message when you do that looks like this one. Don’t zip right past it without making sure you understand what will happen!
Choosing Don’t Copy Tags means that Revit will create new rooms in the phase selected but not attempt to place tags for them. The rooms that were already there (tagged) remain in the project but their tags are deleted.

Choosing OK means Revit will create new rooms AND create tags in the same location as the originals but in the phase selected. If no valid boundaries are found in this phase you’ll get the new tags but they'll complain they are Not Enclosed. Like the other option the previous rooms also remain in the project but their tags are deleted.

My advice? If you need to switch back and forth between phases make sure you set up views assigned to these phases first.

Still with me? Try a little example:

  • Start a new project using the default.rte Revit template
  • Open Floor Plan View: Level 1
  • Create four walls to form a single room, any size
  • Place a room tag
  • Create a room schedule
  • Set Phase to New Construction
  • Use fields: Room Name/Number/Area
  • Create another room schedule
  • Set Phase to Existing
  • Use fields: Room Name/Number/Area
  • Open Floor Plan View: Level 1
  • Tile the three views

  • Switch the phase of the view to Existing
  • Respond to the error/warning message with Don’t Copy Tags
  • Check results in view and schedules

  • UNDO
  • Switch the phase of the view to Existing again
  • Respond to Error/Warning with OK
  • Check results in View and Schedule

  • In either case you end up with rooms in both phases and you may not be aware of them since schedules show specific phases and by default when you create a schedule it uses the last phase in the list, so if you create a schedule and nothing shows up in it, check the phase!

    Can I Trust You?

    A common path for new Revit users is to import a dwg file and start tracing a project that got started in AutoCAD. Revit has a number of features that make this pretty easy to do. But just because it was drawn once in cad doesn't make it perfect or correct. I can't remember the last time I used a dwg file that didn't introduce some sort of error into the project I was involved in. What sort of errors am I talking about?

    The old they sure look lined up but they aren't problem for one. This one happens alot. Two lines that are on either side of a corridor, forming an opening look lined up but if you look closely you'll find that they are off by a tenth of an inch or less. So when you use the PICK option to place walls you get two segments that are off slightly. The ALIGN command will fix it quick but you'd have to notice it first.

    A sure fire hint that there is something wrong is when Revit doesn't offer a snap. If you pick an endpoint of a dwg line segment, move your cursor up to the other end and no SNAP icon is offered, BEWARE! The line segment is not aligned with the previous point.

    Another is the line is almost nearly exactly plumb or horizontal, or almost exactly a clean angular value. Such as 89.001 degrees or .003 degrees. Sketching a Revit wall or line over such a dwg source will generate an error message like this one.
    This simply means, "Gosh, this line is so close to a nice angle we thought we'd let you know that it doesn't make sense!"

    So the next time you start tracing a dwg file to start your Revit model, be a little skeptical and cynical about the dwg source, even if you did the work yourself. Been there, done that!

    Happy Tracing!!

    Friday, February 03, 2006

    A Little Flattery

    I read an article today about Tatjana Dzambazova, Autodesk Revit Building Product Manager. She impressed me the first time I met her with her energy and commitment to making Revit great! I hope you enjoy the article too! Oh...the article fails to mention that she only speaks seven languages, please don't hold that against her!


    By the way, we can help her do her job even better, as well as the rest of the team, by consistently logging our requests and support issues with Revit Support. She'll thank you for it! And you'll see the results in subsequent releases and builds!

    View Range and Floors

    I felt compelled to share a portion of a post in a recent thread (link below) from the Revit Forums at AUGI. Aaron Rumple, an Architect in St. Louis, Missouri and long time Revit user/supporter, provided the following insight about view range and how floors are treated or affected. See if you find it as interesting as I think you might? Keep in mind, this is part of one of several posts replying to a series of questions...

    Aaron wrote: It (a floor) shows in the Level 1 view because of a little known rule. Some objects show up when slightly below a level. This is the case of your floor. Floors will show up when they are below a bottom range from 0 to -4'.

    At -4' and below they then vanish. Yes, this is poorly documented and confusing. The original intent was to automate as much of the view setup as possible so that you wouldn't have to configure a ton of visibility settings. This works fine as long as a floor is a floor and not a footing.

    Typically, we would want floors of levels that step slightly to all show up in the same view as in the case of a sunken living space set down just a couple of steps. So Revit in its effort to speed the process can make things confusing when we use object in "non-standard" ways.

    I think this is a perfect example of why the Revit Community at AUGI is so great. Great questions and great contributions by the membership. Thanks to Aaron for the info!

    Here's a link to the recent thread. Keep in mind you should be logged into AUGI already to get to the post the quickest, otherwise, most likely you'll need to log in after clicking the link.

    New Revit 8.1 Build Posted

    The latest build (20060124_2200) for Autodesk Revit Building 8.1 was posted today. In her post at AUGI, Tatjana Dzambazova (Autodesk Revit Building Product Manager), wrote:

    The new build is primarily a service for the localized versions of Revit Building 8.1. There is one additional issue that has been resolved for the benefit of all users; the problem that the wall join on one end of a wall changes when the other end of the same wall is edited.

    You can download this latest build Build 20060124_2200