Revit TotD – 2.3.2012 | No School like the Old School

Finally here. The post you’ve all been waiting for: how to get PDFs into your Revit model! Yes, I posted a nice little OpEd on how I feel about people who are whining about Autodesk not putting PDF support into Revit and it apparently stirred the hornets nest a bit. I can’t say I wasn’t looking for a reaction, but I can say I was surprised at where the reaction went. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that this is the best way to go about putting PDFs into your Revit model. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that it’s the only way to be done; I’ve been using Revit too long to know that there is no ONE way to do anything in Revit. However, like everything else posted ont his site, I will tell you I’ve found this to be the best method for bringing information from a PDF into my Revit projects.

If you’re completely lost as to what this is all about, check here, here and finally here before continuing.


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(For some reason fullscreen is not working on these 2 videos, you can click on the the links below each video to view in full screen)

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“… and hopefully that puts to rest the point I was making with my original post. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you again for the next, BIM Tip of the Day!” Sorry about that, I hit my 5 minute limit on Jing, hopefully to be remedied soon.

So in today’s T[hought]otD I’m basically just going to break down and compare some different methods of bringing information in from a PDF into a BIModel: Info via PDF > Image, Info via PDF > DWG, and Info via PDF > Revit.

Some important points I’ve made in the video:

  • Method: Bring info into model via image
  • Method: Bring info into model via PDF > DWG
  • Method: Bring info into model via
  • No method will be 100% accurate.
  • All methods require due diligence in checking the information.

So the question now remains, were the comments that were made that started this whole fiasco due to talking about 2 completely different things? I was referring to people wanting to bring an entire building plan in from a PDF to trace from. Maybe the Cudds was referring to older CAD details? I’m unsure but I honestly can’t imagine anyone truly believing that tracing an image to be more accurate that reconstructing the documents  through pure Reviteering muscle! Even if it were just a CAD detail wanting to be brought in, why would we prefer a PDF over a DWF? If it’s a portable document we want to bring in, why not at least ask the factory for support on their own portable format instead of asking them to incorporate another company’s standards in commercial use?

That’s all for today. If I get enough interest I’ll create a more detailed series on the workflow I used to get these drawings in to Revit. Until then, thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you back for the next, BIMTotD!


.Carl Gibson