Thursday, September 10, 2015

Purge Unused - Categorical Wish and Dynamo

I wish we could choose a single category or several individual categories while using Purge Unused. The dialog defaults to selecting everything that is not used. It's normal to have things that just aren't used yet. That means a generic application of Purge Unused on everything will eliminate things we need, just haven't needed them yet.

I'd like to be able to click the Check None button and the check a box next to a category or categories.
I think the default presumption for Purge Unused should NOT be everything selected. We should have to deliberately do that using the Check All button instead.
It would be a lot faster than working through a long list of families and the unused types. Ideally (even ordinarily) the list wouldn't be long but I've seen some lists that go on and on...

For what it is worth, we can select a category and use NUM LOK + * to expand the whole branch of that category. Then we can select the first and last types in the branch followed by clicking OK to Purge Unused. It just takes a while for the list to respond when there are a few thousand types...yeah I know...that's a lot!

Regarding Dynamo

I pinged Julien Benoit about this and using Dynamo. In response he was kind enough to send me the graph below.

At the moment it leaves behind a Family with no types if the purging process eliminates types and there were no types in use. Given how quickly he responded to my question WITH an attachment, no complaints here! Thanks Julien! Check out Julien's blog while you are at it.

Friday, September 04, 2015

Friday Wish - IDs of Element on Modify Context Ribbon

As a quick follow up to yesterday's post about using the IDs of Selection tool, I find myself wishing that the button for it would show up on the Modify Contextual ribbon tab when elements are selected.

Yes I know I can assign a Keyboard Shortcut to it... assuming I'd be able to remember it...

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Finding Families - IDs of Selection

When we need to track down a family that might be loaded into one or more project files we can use master schedule project that includes links for all the relevant project files. If one of the project files already has links to all the others then we can just use that one for this instead.

A schedule focused on the relevant category that also uses the option Includes elements in links can be quite useful.

It can help us track down which models and how many there are in each of them. A little clever use of the Filter tab in the schedule can be a big help. Once we've figured out where the family is we can deal with each of them in each project.

We can search through the Families branch of the Project Browser and then use the right click option for Select all Instances in Entire Project.

Now I can reach for IDs of Selection.

Revit provides a list of Element ID numbers for each family.

It is not unusual for the list to be quite long so I often reach for Notepad (or better still Notepad++...which reminds me I need to install it on this new PC). I use CTRL+C to copy the element IDs to the clipboard and then CTRL+V in Notepad. Notice the commas between the Element ID numbers.

In Notepad I can be selective about which ones to start examining more closely. I just select one or more of the element IDs and then use Select Element by ID (CTRL+C and CTRL+V again in reverse).

Notice the instruction in parenthesis (in the image below)? It says to use a semicolon between the numbers but Revit used commas earlier. Odd.

...and...believe it or not, this is the reason I decided to write this post... commas work too. Yeah, that's definitely subtle.

As for the element hunting and selecting process, I'll be interested and waiting to see what sort of Dynamo approaches pop up in comments.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Temporary View Templates

View Templates are quite useful and potentially powerful when they are allowed to be aggressive, placed in charge of Views. To make a View Template the Boss we just need to assign one to a view via its View Template parameter.

Using the Right Click option to Apply Template Properties does not a boss make. It just applies the template settings but then leaves the view open to abuse.

When we do take advantage of placing a View Template in charge of views we bump into this Boss and its rules whenever we want to change the way the view looks. Normally that's good because the View Template is preventing arbitrary changes. In the following image I've mocked up structural walls and separate Veneer walls because I want to accentuate the structural wall in plan views (a common request). It also allows for fussy exterior finish changes (though these are hardly fussy).

In the plan view I've reduced the intensity of the veneer walls. When we need to change the way a view looks and it has a Bossy View Template we can use the Temporary View Properties button on the View Control Shortcut Bar. Usually it is sufficient to click Enable Temporary View Properties. Notice the other choice; Temporarily Apply Template Properties.

If we often find ourselves needing to apply the same kind of override to certain views it makes sense to create a View Template for that and then use it to apply an override to the view, like this next image. I've changed the appearance of the veneer walls to make them stand out; so it is easier to adjust them.

I created a Filter that is looking for a specific value in Type Comments. I picked that because it was easy for this example but it could be any parameter you like, as long as it sets the element(s) apart from others.

I also made another Filter to change the wall the other walls look so they don't compete graphically with the veneer walls as much as they would normally.

When I'm done adjusting the veneer walls I just need to click Restore View Properties and the Boss is back in charge.

Next time you find yourself using Temporary View Properties and Visibility/Graphics to tweak a view again, for the same reason as the last couple times, consider creating a View Template for it.

Transparent Elevations and Large Coordinates

Back in December 2011 The Revit Clinic shared a post called Interior Elevations and Large Coordinates in the Project. It's worth echoing it again four years later.

It boils down to this. If you link a DWG file that has geometry that extends beyond Revit's 20 mile threshold then you may find elevation views (or section views) look transparent. In 2016 I find that some views just stop responding to Visual/Graphic Style settings at all. If you remove the offending file the problem goes with it.

It is necessary to clean up and reduce the size of the offending file so that the threshold is not crossed. I shared this list in the past, in particular consider using the WBLOCK technique.
  • Import multiple Survey files individually (don't nest them as xref's)
  • Purge everything you don't need, purge again
  • Use Wblock if you can't get Zoom Extents to focus on just the relevant portion of the site
  • Remove Named UCS (Revit only wants the World Coordinate System)
  • Set UCS (User Coordinate System) to WCS and Plan to WCS
  • If the survey isn't oriented to WCS, North is "up", have the civil engineer/surveyor change their file first
  • Identify a specific location within the relevant part of the survey, put a marker, identify its coordinates, better still make those coordinates easy to use, even clean numbers.
  • Make sure everything actually aligns correctly in AutoCAD first, no point setting it up in Revit if it doesn't work there
  • Once you get a working first survey file, pass it back to the surveyor so they know what you need in the future

That might be a lot of fortunately there IS an easier fix. Just make sure the offending DWG file is NOT visible via Visibility/Graphics in views that are acting up. It should restore normal behavior.

I prefer elevations that aren't see thru. Watch out for those surveys folks.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Title Bar and Recent Files List

Galen shared this User Interface quirk with me the other day. He thought of my Dept. of Subtle and thought this qualifies. I agree.

When you decide to turn off the Option: Enable Recent Files page at startup the Title Bar seems to lose its will to show the software name and version.

It's happy to do so when it is enabled. Galen sent me this screen capture of Revit 2015.

My quick test shows it's happens in Revit 2016 too. It seems the lack of an active window to display shuts off the title bar's information. Certainly subtle and not a big deal really, just quirky.