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Find out how to create compelling architectural designs using the modeling tools in Autodesk Revit software. In this course, author Paul F. Aubin demonstrates the entire building information modeling (BIM) workflow, from creating the design model to publishing a completed project. The course also covers navigating the Revit interface; modeling basic building features such as walls, doors, and windows; working with sketch-based components such as roofs and stairs; annotating designs with dimensions and callouts; and plotting and exporting your drawings.
In this movie I'm going to look at exporting to DWF format. DWF stands for Design Web Format, and it's a highly compressed vector-based file format that you can use to deliver, essentially, digital plots of your files to outside recipients. It's a great file format to use when you want to share your data with folks that are outside the firm. Maybe they need to do review, but they don't want to edit anything. The DWF file format is a read-only format but maintains all of the data in the file, so the recipient can still query objects and select objects, so it's a very powerful file format to use.
So I'm here in a file called Export to DWF. And I am in a sheet view right now, but you can actually export your DWF files from any view, as we'll see here in a moment, so let's go to the Application menu, big R. We'll go to the Export, and then right here we'll choose DWF/DWFx. Now DWF is the traditional Design Web Format, and the newer version is DWFx. Okay, so I'm in Export dialog, and at first glance it's only showing me the one sheet that I happen to be in, so it's a little misleading because you can get the impression that you have to do these one sheet at a time.
That's actually not the case. If you look over here at this Export dropdown, we're currently set to Current View/Sheet Only, and that's why we're seeing only the current sheet. So it filters out everything out of the list, but you can actually get a complete list here of a variety of things, and you do that by choosing this Export dropdown and choosing In session view/sheet, and when you do that, that gives you a second set of choices. And here, from all these choices, we can populate the list with more items. So I'll start with the three at the bottom. Views in the model, this is all of the views on your project browser.
So you could see them all listed here, and you could just check the ones that you were interested in including in your export. You've got Sheets in the model. Same kind of a thing except now it's limited to just the sheets. Or you could do a little bit of both. So if I want to, I can go directly to one of those items and choose the items I want and then move on to the next step. But these three items at the top here that all end with the word Set allow you to actually save a selection of views or sheets and call them a set and then you can use that set the next time you want to export.
So if I wanted to use that feature, I would click this icon right, New Set. I want to call this Permit Set. Click OK. That's going to display the entire list again. It went to the All views in sheets in the model. I'm going to switch to sheets in the model, just to filter that list a little bit, and then I'll do Check All. And that's going to be my Permit Set option, so it's going to include just the sheets. So I'm going to click Next, and that takes me to a File > Save dialog, and I can choose the name I want to put it in.
Now it's actually a name prefix, you can see right here. The file type is going to do a DWFx, and the naming, you have a few different options here, manual or automatic. I've got to be honest, I don't like any of the naming that it does, so usually what I do is I accept the default here and then I rename the file when it's done. Sorry to say that that's actually the best way to do it. So I'm just going to accept all those defaults right there. Let me save it to my desktop. Click OK and it will do the exporting. So after a few moments the process will complete, and what that did was it created this separate DWFx file.
Now there's a few ways you can view this file. A DWFx is actually viewable directly in Windows 7 using the native XPS Viewer, but it really just lets you view it and print it, so it's a pretty minimal way to do it. If you want a little bit more access to the data in the file, if you want to actually be able to select the objects, if you want to be able to zoom and pan around in the file, then you want to download the free Autodesk Design Review software. Now when you install Revit, Design Review gets installed automatically, so you should already have it on your system, so I'm going to switch over to Design Review.
So I'm here in Autodesk Design Review, and I'm going to go to the Open icon here at the top of the screen, and I'll go to my desktop and there is my Export to DWF file. Now I haven't renamed it yet, but if I was in keep this file, like I said, I would probably rename that, put the date and the name or something like that. So when it opens what you'll get is is a panel over here that lists--you've got Thumbnails or List view. I'm in the Thumbnail view and it lists out all the contents in this file, so in this case all the sheet. So you could see each of the sheets is listed here, and a simple click on them will switch to those sheets.
Another way you can navigate is, if I go back to my floor plan here, notice that if I put my mouse over a section head it actually says CTRL+click to follow this link, so I'll do that, and that will actually take me in this case to the A301 sheet, where those two sections are located, so that's really handy. Now on this toolbar across the top here, you have a variety of tools. You can zoom and pan. Right here is Pan. You can drag the sheet around. Here is the Zoom, and I can click and hold that down to drag, or I can use this zoom window, like so, and zoom in.
If I use this tool right here, the Selection tool, I can actually select the objects in the view, and you'll see that the properties appear over here on this Object Properties panel. Now it kind of pops out and then it goes away, so if it goes away on you, you can just highlight over here. And you could see all of this information was preserved about that file. If I click on the railing, I get information about the railing, if I click on roof, the information about the roof. So this is why viewing the file in the Design Review software is a little bit nicer choice than just opening it directly in Windows, because you wouldn't get access to those features.
So one last thing is if we come over here to the tabs, we've got a Markup & Measure tab. And Design Review actually includes a robust set of markup tools, so if the recipient is reviewing the file and wants to make some comment and send it back to me, they can cloud an area and then put a little text note on there and say "check this area" or what have you, and that becomes a very powerful way for us to communicate back and forth with these recipients who are not necessarily using Revit. So the DWF file format is a very robust and feature-rich file format and coupled with the Design Review Software, allows us to share our Revit designs with recipients who may not be using Revit, and yet preserve the integrity of our design because they will be working in a read-only version of the file, but can still make comments and communicate back with us over what their thoughts are on the design as it progresses.
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