Thursday, May 19, 2016

Tags Dimensions and Linked Files

I've mentioned this subject in the past. I'm writing to bring it up again and to focus on how Revit deals with tags and dimensions differently when we apply them to elements that are in linked files.

First as a reminder, when a linked file changes and a user reloads that link in their Local File other users are not necessarily seeing the same version of the Linked File. That's because reloading a link is a local change, a personal action, that doesn't get passed along to the Central File when we use Synchronize with Central (SwC).

Let's imagine User A has reloaded a linked model and they've placed tags on doors and rooms that they observe are now present in the link. User A uses SwC to share this new tagging effort. Now User B, who already has a Local File open, decides to use Reload Latest or SwC to share something they've done or see what work other users have contributed.

It's important to note that User B did NOT use Reload in Manage Links or via right-click on the linked file in the Project Browser FIRST. As a result User B gets the warning in the next image. Don't be confused by the mention of Coordination Monitor which can be confusing. It can make us think we're dealing with something that has been involved with the Copy/Monitor tools.


The Tags are Orphaned, they've lost their relationship with the linked file's elements they are supposed to identify. You can see one tag is highlighted in orange in the image above. In the next image we can see what the floor plan really looks like in the linked file (and what User A sees). It's not quite the same as what User B thinks it looks like is it?


Let's now imagine that User A continues to work by adding the dimensions you see in the image above too. After they finish doing that they use SwC.

User B now decides to use SwC or Reload Latest, AGAIN without using Reload on the linked file. Their reward is a larger collection of warnings (see next image). The first three warnings are dedicated to the dimensions User A added to their Local File. There are no equivalent elements in the version of the linked file that User B sees so Revit's only recourse is to delete them ... or ... choose Cancel ... which is actually a better choice. If User B cancels and then Reloads the linked file first that will eliminate the warnings entirely.


The remaining warnings are focused on the newly orphaned door and room tags that can't find their parent elements. If we select one of the orphaned tags we can either use Pick New Host or Reconcile Hosting. The former will need us to pick a door to associate the tag with. The latter will open the Reconcile Hosting browser which shows us everything that has been orphaned so far. We can select individual items and right-click to use Pick Host or Delete the tag if that's a better choice.


Keep in mind, once this orphaned status occurs it sticks. Merely reloading a linked file afterward isn't going to fix it. We'll be forced to deal with Reconciling Hosting. In some situations it might be faster to delete the tags and use Tag All to place them all over again.
This might be an opportunity for an enterprising developer to write a routine that looks at orphaned families and picks the closest possible host?
My recommendation, if you MUST use tags and dimensions on linked files?

Develop the habit of reloading the necessary linked files BEFORE using SwC or Reload Latest.

If you get the warning messages in the images above, use CANCEL. Make a note of the elements the warning(s) is(are) focused. Most likely the warnings are being issued because you need to use Reload on the linked files first.

I'd also consider a moratorium on applying tags or dimensions to linked elements while the link is being changed aggressively. For example, if we know that the link is going to undergo some massive redesign we should just agree to stay away from tags and dimensions until it settles down again.

It's also a good idea to let other people know that you have changed an integral linked file so they can all use Reload (link) to catch up together.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Create New Local is Disabled

I've written about this in the past, like THIS ONE. Today I noticed another circumstance where the option is disabled even though it shouldn't be. When we browse to open a project we can click on a file listed among the contents of a folder. If we do that then Create New Local is enabled and checked by default. At least that's true if other circumstances are not preventing it, like those described in my other post.

What I saw today is that if I choose to type some of the file name in the file name field Windows will supply me with a list of file names that begin with those letters, cool Windows behavior. If I select the correct file using that list then Create New Local sleeps through the effort and fails to become enabled.

Want to see it happen?


Monday, May 16, 2016

My Ongoing Saga of Autodesk Desktop Application

This poor half blind, lame in one-leg, incontinent piece of software continues to amuse and aggravate me. Twice in the last two weeks it has let me know I'm missing some updates.

Amusingly and aggravatingly ... they've all been installed already.

So I indulge it and try to install them again thinking that will help it see better. Nope ... sure enough ...the application that needs the update figures out it is installed already.


Typical response for all four items...

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Wish - Revit Safe Mode

I'm echoing something I heard David Baldacchino suggest, good idea Dave. Revit will crash from time to time. Sometime it isn't because of something I've done, it tracks back to an add-in I've got installed. It can be a bit of a hassle to disable add-ins to rule them out.

It would be handy if there were a way to start-up Revit in safe mode - add-in free so to speak so it can run on its own and help us diagnose an issue.

Speaking of Wishes - Autodesk started a new community forum called Revit Ideas to post this kind of thing. It allows us to Vote Up an idea so those that many of us really like can rise to the top. Potentially this can help them focus on things we really want and are (hopefully) expressed well enough to pursue.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Keyboard Shortcuts

These are the fastest way to start a command or tool in Revit. No amount of user interface customization we can do or Autodesk can give us will beat them. My problem with them is my ability to remember them. Yesterday in a discussion with some other people I did a quick count and came up with 24 that I could remember without any real effort. Today I managed 31 so I'm seven smarter today! Oh, up to 33 if you count the ones I remember have alternates.

How many do you remember??

The Keyboard Shortcuts I remember today (the winners) are...(bold are ones I use constantly, which helps)

Viewing
ZZ(ZR) (Zoom Region)
ZA (Zoom All to Fit - all open views)
ZF (Zoom to Fit - active view)
ZS (Zoom Sheet Size)
ZO (Zoom out 2x)
WT (Window Tile)
XX (Close Hidden Windows - custom)

Snapping
SM (midpoint)
SE (endpoint)
SI (intersection)
SO (snaps off)

Visibilty
VG (VV) (Visibility/Graphics)
VR (2017 View Range)
HH (Temp/Hide Hide Element)
HI (Temp/Hide Isolate Element)
HR (Temp/Hide Reset)
IC (Temp/Hide Isolate Category)

Editing
CO (Copy)
TR (Trim - Corner)
TS (Trim - Single Element - custom)
SL (Split Element, with Delete Inner Segment option checked a lot)

Creating Stuff
WA (Wall)
DR (Door)
CM (Place Component)

Annotation
DI (Dimension Aligned)
TG (Tag by Category)

Miscellaneous
MD (Modify)
RL (Reload Latest - worksets)
CTRL+C (copy to clipboard)
CTRL+V (paste)
CTRL+X (cut to clipboard)