Tip of the Day

Revit TotD – 2.7.2012 | Somewhere to Start Families 2.2

Yes! I’m really going to start this back up. A post here, A post there. Maybe one in between. Either way, I’ll be trudging through this series as well as posting the occasional impromptu tutorial post. In the meantime, I’m going to just leave the text that I wrote over 9 months ago and just let it go from there. It’s actually quite short and is just another large step on the way to understanding families. Enjoy, comment and see you for the next one.

Well, I thought all this preliminary explanation that is leading up to family creation would bore everyone, but I’ve never had so many hits on my site! This is awesome! I thought I was going to make the next one a preemptive strike on modeling and get down and dirty with some geometry creation but seeing these stats kinda makes me think I should just chug along; those who are looking for geometry creation will be back in good time.


BIM TotD – 2.6.2012 | EOH

If you don’t know by now, I’m a KS junky… that’s Keyboard Shortcut for you mouse clickers (try it, try typing KS in Revit to see what happens!). So it occurred to me that I should share another quick KS that I use quite a bit.


A personal preference of mine is to halftone objects that are being called out in an enlarged plan. This makes any dimensions or tags that are in that area pop out and become more readable against those objects. So as you can imagine I do a lot of half toning of individual objects. To prevent pulling my hair out in trying to get certain categories grouped or any fancy trick like that I usually simply halftone the individual objects using element overrides.

Believe it or not, there is actually a KS for this already provided in Revit: “EOH” If it’s not already in yours, maybe it should be. Simple to add. Search for halftone in your KS dialog and look for the highlighted command below.


That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to seeing for the next BIMTotD



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.


[kml_flashembed movie=”http://cre8iveThings.com/jingPlayer/jingloader.swf” allowfullscreen=”true” fvars=”content=http://cre8iveThings.com/revit/video/TotD-1224-PDF1.swf”/]

(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)

[kml_flashembed movie=”http://cre8iveThings.com/jingPlayer/jingloader.swf” allowfullscreen=”true” fvars=”content=http://cre8iveThings.com/revit/video/TotD-1224-PDF2.swf”/]


[kml_flashembed movie=”http://cre8iveThings.com/jingPlayer/jingloader.swf” allowfullscreen=”true” fvars=”content=http://cre8iveThings.com/revit/video/TotD-1224-PDF3.swf”/]



“… 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

Public Apologies…

I want to start this post by getting straight to the point. Mike Caudle, I apologize for coming across as harsh in my response to your comment on the PDF post.  Was it intended to be serious? No. Was it meant to be satirical. Not so much. Sarcastic, definitely. Humorous, for sure.  The problem with digital media of course is that you can’t read facial expressions in text, and hearing sarcasm via printed word is like having a mechanic diagnose your engine over the phone; it just don’t happen. So for coming across in a manner as unintended as it was taken, I apologize Mike.



That being said, I also want to apologize to anyone else who has been offended by the “dramatic” posts that have been appearing lately. I made a decision to let my blog be my voice on what I feel is happening not only with the projects I am involved with but also with what I see happening in the industry. Fortunately, that means I’m going to be posting my opinion on several things. Unfortunately, that means I’m going to be posting my opinion on several things… see what I did there? I can’t ask everyone to enjoy or agree with my opinion, but I can request that it be discussed in an honest protocol; if I seem out of line with what I say in regards to how it works in real life, feel free to post something, start a discussion, LET IT BE KNOWN THAT I AM WRONG!!! However, know that if you reply, there’s a good chance I’m going to respond. Most likely in a manner similar to your response


I certainly do not wish to lose readers just because my opinion is against a majority of my readers; even though I think if you’re more than a reader but also a watcher of the videos you already know I’m a fairly sarcastic SOB. However, I also feel that the things I have to say need to be said. They help other people know they’re not the only one out there thinking the same thing. They help people do their job better; and I know this for a fact. So I will continue doing so at the risk that I lose some of my readers.


Oh, and Mike: I know you said you’re not going to be reading any more, but the next TotD will be devoted to you, sir! (so if you know Mike, please let him know when it is published since he won’t know that it has been published.)


Till then…

.Carl Gibson

Stop putting info in your BIM model!!!

Someone recently told me I need to find the balance between modeling and drafting. I asked them why and their response was “I’M AN AUTOCAD USER DON’T QUESTION ME!”.. no seriously, I have no clue what their response was because I stopped listening once I realized that the reason they didn’t want to model things was because they didn’t know how. So in response to those people who think that modeling is a waste of time, but can’t justify it other than “It takes too much time” (so does a good scotch, but you wouldn’t really want to skimp on that would you?) I have created the following…

Image source Hyperbole-and-a-half

Revit TotD – 1.26.2012 | Moving Walls, One End at a Time

Yo dawg, I heard you like Revit tips! So I have another one for you. You know how you can move everything in Revit a specified distance? Well, everything except the objects that you want to move a specified distance, obviously. I mean, this IS Revit after all. Well, today I aim to reduce that list of immovable objects by a few.



This one is pretty easy to overlook, seeing as about 85% of the Revit population would rather blame Revit for sucking than learning to use the Tab key. We’ll use walls in this example but you can use this on just about anything with a tab-able “shape handle”, you just have to know where to find them. I’ll give you a hint on where to start.

  1. Hover over one end of a wall, and continue hitting TAB until you see Workset:Category:Family:Type:Shape Handle

  2. Select the shape handle.
  3. At this point you can simply enter the dimension by activating the temporary dimension, or…
  4. …you can start the Move command.
  5. Now you can move the end wherever you see fit, or even type it the length you wish to move it.
  6. “Tadaaaa” – WALL-E

Now, this will of course only drive slightly more insane since it will constrain to the workplane that the shape handle in question is already constrained to, but it is a great way to avoid making that reference plane, dimensioning it then using the align tool. Use it however you feel, but remember, with great power come great responsibility; use it wisely!


Thanks again for stopping by. I’ll see you next time for yet another, RevitTotd! Till then,



Revit TotD – 1.24.2012 | How to get PDFs from consultants into Revit

This was an interesting question brought to me often from all sides of the firm; administrative, marketing, project management, specs, etc. “Can Revit bring a PDF into the project?” Now, there’s probably two reasons you are here reading this article right now. 1) You REALLY don’t want to use Autodesk’s native format, DWFx for some stupid reason. 2) You were too lazy to ask your consultant for an AutoCAD, or heaven forbid a Revit, file to coordinate from. Cause let’s face it, you didn’t REALLY think I was about to tell you how to bring a PDF file into Revit… did you?.. You did? I pity you.

Why is it that you would rather bring a PDF that is basically an encapsulation file of whatever format it’s actually in (ie: jpg, gif, txt, etc) instead of just bringing in the image, text or whatever it is? I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve been asked if PDFs can be brought in to Revit to find that the user was trying to import a PDF of a cad file!!!… !!!!!!! REALLY?! GET THE CAD FILE!!!


Is it a SOPA violation? I’ll let you decide. It’s really in regards to some major changes coming up regarding RevitTotD. In attempt to become a more involved blogger I’m going to be making a few changes around the shop. For now, I’m concentrating my latest project which has kept me quite busy recently! Until then, know that I haven’t completely disappeared and DO plan on making some new posts in the near future!



Revit TotD – 12.13.2011 | Quick Shortcut Share

Protip #… oh I forget. Change your keyboard shortcuts for the folowing:

Select All Instances: In Entire View - SSA
Select All Instances: Visible in View - SA

Cause let’s face it, every time you hit “SA” you meant to select everything in that view! 😉

More to come, even if it is small things like this. I making a come back, promise!

RevitCity chat… INSIDE OF REVIT!

Um.. again.. kinda. This one is much less user friendly because of the authentication protocol that has to happen on RevitCity.com’s side. However, it IS possible! Here’s how!

  1. If you haven’t already, go read this post and read the first 4 steps to create the module (or the whole post if you want a chat connection to RevitTotD.com’s chat also!)
  2. In Revit, go to the Manage Ribbon > Macro Panel > Manage Macros
  3. Click Application tab at the top. This ensures you have the Macro anytime you open Revit.
  4. Select the Chat Module and then choose Create > Macro on the right.
  5. Name this something like the following, and be sure you have “Macro In:” set to the module you just created.
  6. Clicking OK will launch the VSTA interface.
  7. Add a Window Form. (Project > Windows Form)
  8. Name it frmRevitCityChat, click Add.
  9. From the Toolbox on the left, add a Toolbox > All Windows Forms > Web Browser. (If the toolbox isn’t showing, click View > Toolbox) Do this by simply dragging the Web Browser into the form you just made. You know it has added if you see a scroll bar in your form now and a white background instead of a grey background.
  10. Double click the Title bar that says “frmRevitTotDChat” and the code view will open. Make you code look like this:

    Public Class frmRevitTotDChat
    Private Sub frmRevitTotDChat_Load(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles MyBase.Load
    End Sub
    End Class

  11. Go to the ThisApplication.vb tab and find the line that start with “Public Sub RevitTotDChat()” and make it look like this:

    Public Sub RevitChat()
    Dim myFrm As New frmRevitChat
    End Sub

  12. Run the Macro, Hit Stop, Close VSTA.
  13. Double click your new macro. You’ll need to expand the size of the window, until you see the Username and Password forms. Fill that in (you will need to register first if you are not a RevitCity.com user already) and click Login.
  14. Close that window and open the Macro Manager again. Select the macro we just made and click Edit.
  15. In the Project Explorer on the right, double click “frmRevitCityChat.vb
  16. Double click the Title Bar that says “frmRevitCityChat” and edit the URL to read like this instead of what is there:

    Public Class frmRevitTotDChat
    Private Sub frmRevitTotDChat_Load(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles MyBase.Load
    End Sub
    End Class

  17. Run the Macro, Hit Stop, Close VSTA.
  18. Double click the macro again. This time you’ll see the Chat form. You will need to resize the window to see the whole thing. See you there!

Now, there are a couple of issues with this. Any command key (ie: shift, tab, delete, etc) that you have set up as a Shortcut Key will not work in the text input but instead will try to start the revit command it is tied to. This includes Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V for copy pasting, but you can still use right click copy/paste method. Also, it appears as though Private Messages will not work properly using this (which some veteran users may find comforting). Enjoy!

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