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Fun with Revit and Mail merge

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    Fun with Revit and Mail merge

    We all know Revit gets kind of ugly when we want things to "talk" across categories. (Stuff knows its in the Room, but the Room doesnt know what Stuff it has... at least, not without the API). Then we have things like wanting to make individual sheets for individual project rooms, and how that means Duplicating a lot of schedules, Filters, and on and on.

    Well, we figured we would explore using Revit for what its great at: Authoring all the data. So every bit of information (sans the product and finish images, which come from manufacturer literature) are generated inside Revit, and we have a prepackaged Schedule that gets loaded in the project, and then Exported to Tab Delimited. The images themselves get named a specific way, and saved in the correct directory, according to Type Mark-Image Type.

    The schedule Sorts (first) by Type Mark, (then) by Room name, which gives us a hokey schedule listing C01-Room 1, C01-Room 2, C01-Room 3... But this is where Excel excels, for lack of a better joke. So a few simple formulas in an Excel Template, and some formatting, and it generates one 8.5x11 for every type of Furniture piece in use, automatically. It pulls in the data from the model, the counts per room from the model, and the images according to their file name and location. It generated about 200 sheets in a matter of seconds. The nicest part about it, is it recognizes that "Width" may be any one of 4 standard office parameters, based on the type of content, and it can concatenate them with ease.

    Weve started a similar process for Room Data Sheets, that uses three exports (The room schedule export, the Equipment schedule export, plus the Room View exports (export to image), and it compiles entire buildings worth of sheets instantly. Then when things need to update, were one (or three) quick exports away from updating all 300 sheets of the book.

    Excel must be the craziest software ive never had a chance to play with. Props to the psycho next to me for working his end as he has. Mail merge is a thing of beauty.
    Attached Files
    Aaron "selfish AND petulant" Maller |P A R A L L A X T E A M | Practice Technology Implementation
    @Web | @Twitter | @LinkedIn | @Email

    #2
    Very interesting what you have done with Excel. I would have thought of doing this by exporting the model to an Access file (.mdb) and then creating a report sheet from Access. The images would be in additional fields in the same database table. I haven't done it yet, but I think that would be another alternative.
    Freelance BIM Provider at Autodesk Services Marketplace | Linkedin

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      #3
      SWEET!!!! I am definately going to try to replicate this...
      Martijn de Riet
      Professional Revit Consultant | Revit API Developer
      MdR Advies
      Planta1 Revit Online Consulting

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        #4
        It could definetely be done in Access too, Alf. We dont use Access here though, so we went this route. Its very quick to reproduce, we did this in about a day.
        Aaron "selfish AND petulant" Maller |P A R A L L A X T E A M | Practice Technology Implementation
        @Web | @Twitter | @LinkedIn | @Email

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          #5
          That's pretty slick, but way above my pay grade. I have no idea how you got what you got. Once again, Aaron, you make me feel like a noob. :laugh:

          How do you come up with this stuff??
          Dan

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            #6
            This one wasnt me. I was complaining about lack of cross category functionality, and how i wanted an API function to assemble sheets with many schedules filtered down to specific things, to circumvent this problem. The guy who sits next to me, however, is an Excel and Data Management genius. He insists that getting the modeled data out of Revit is the complicated part, and his part in Excel is super easy. He wrote a few lookups, formulas, concatenates, and pivots, and out it came.

            He makes me feel like an idiot. But its definetely a team effort. The RDS one is way more cool, but its not done yet.
            Aaron "selfish AND petulant" Maller |P A R A L L A X T E A M | Practice Technology Implementation
            @Web | @Twitter | @LinkedIn | @Email

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              #7
              It is super cool

              Originally posted by Twiceroadsfool View Post
              This one wasnt me. I was complaining about lack of cross category functionality, and how i wanted an API function to assemble sheets with many schedules filtered down to specific things, to circumvent this problem. The guy who sits next to me, however, is an Excel and Data Management genius. He insists that getting the modeled data out of Revit is the complicated part, and his part in Excel is super easy. He wrote a few lookups, formulas, concatenates, and pivots, and out it came.

              He makes me feel like an idiot. But its definetely a team effort. The RDS one is way more cool, but its not done yet.
              is it possible to have some tutorials on the same for us newbies.

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                #8
                ho.
                lee.
                crap.

                :bb:

                The little bit I know about Excel only tells me that I don't know much about it. It is insanely powerful if you know how to use it.
                Revit for newbies - A starting point for RFO


                chad
                BEER: Better, Efficient, Elegant, Repeatable.

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                  #9
                  I am most impressed with this final sheet you created and would love to know how to do this as I am not advanced in excel. I assume the product image you insert manually in excel per room but the materials is imported automatically ? Would love to know more about this process. Thanks for the post...

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                    #10
                    Nothing on the sheet is imported manually on a room by room basis, the entire thing is handled by the mail merge. The formatting itself is just the formatting of the template. Im crazy short on time right now, but hopefully one of these days Cory (my wild collegue with the excel skillz) and i can do a writeup on it. It just requires some standardization.
                    Aaron "selfish AND petulant" Maller |P A R A L L A X T E A M | Practice Technology Implementation
                    @Web | @Twitter | @LinkedIn | @Email

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