Revit Architecture 2013 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Plotting and creating a PDF


Revit Architecture 2013 Essential Training

with Paul F. Aubin

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Video: Plotting and creating a PDF

Printing from Revit is actually very similar to printing in other Windows programs. The most common way print is to just generate paper output from a traditional printer or plotter. You can also do digital output to PDF files. That would happen in the Print dialog as well. Now I should mention that PDF is not built into Revit, so if you want to generate PDFs, you actually have to have a PDF plotter. You could have Acrobat or Bluebeam, but you have to have that installed on your system first. So I'm in a file here called Plotting, and I'm looking at the A101 floor plan sheet.
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  1. 1m 57s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 14m 43s
    1. Introducing building information modeling (BIM)
      3m 0s
    2. Working in one model with many views
      4m 48s
    3. Understanding Revit element hierarchy
      6m 55s
  3. 54m 44s
    1. Understanding the different versions of Revit
      1m 19s
    2. Exploring the Recent Files window and the application menu
      5m 20s
    3. Using the ribbon and the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT)
      7m 12s
    4. Understanding context ribbons
      4m 43s
    5. Using the Properties palette
      8m 31s
    6. Using the Project Browser
      5m 34s
    7. Navigating views: Zooming, panning, and rotating
      5m 57s
    8. The basics of selecting and modifying
      9m 49s
    9. Accessing Revit options
      6m 19s
  4. 47m 6s
    1. Creating a new project from a template
      7m 42s
    2. Accessing a multi-user project with worksharing
      4m 16s
    3. Configuring project settings
      6m 33s
    4. Adding levels
      7m 40s
    5. Adding grids
      6m 23s
    6. Refining a layout with temporary dimensions
      6m 58s
    7. Adding columns
      7m 34s
  5. 1h 11m
    1. Adding walls
      8m 48s
    2. Using snaps
      6m 24s
    3. Exploring wall properties and types
      7m 37s
    4. Locating walls
      7m 27s
    5. Using the modify tools
      9m 32s
    6. Adding doors and windows
      7m 39s
    7. Using constraints
      8m 27s
    8. Adding plumbing fixtures and other components
      8m 39s
    9. Using Autodesk Seek
      4m 19s
    10. Using wall joins
      3m 0s
  6. 1h 11m
    1. Linking AutoCAD DWG files
      10m 59s
    2. Creating topography from a DWG link
      7m 43s
    3. Understanding CAD inserts
      7m 56s
    4. Import tips
      6m 49s
    5. Creating a group
      7m 10s
    6. Mirroring groups to create a layout
      5m 3s
    7. Creating Revit links
      5m 16s
    8. Rotating and aligning a Revit link
      7m 6s
    9. Establishing shared coordinates
      6m 5s
    10. Managing links
      6m 0s
    11. Understanding file formats
  7. 1h 13m
    1. Working with floors
      8m 57s
    2. Working with footprint roofs
      6m 22s
    3. Working with extrusion roofs
      4m 59s
    4. Attaching walls to roofs
      3m 17s
    5. Using the shape editing tools to create a flat roof
      6m 33s
    6. Working with slope arrows
      6m 0s
    7. Adding openings
      8m 33s
    8. Working with stairs
      8m 4s
    9. Adding railings to stairs
      3m 40s
    10. Working with ceilings
      9m 36s
    11. Adding extensions to railings
      7m 20s
  8. 48m 34s
    1. Creating a custom basic wall type
      10m 18s
    2. Understanding stacked walls
      8m 12s
    3. Adding curtain walls
      8m 17s
    4. Adding curtain grids, mullions, and panels
      10m 59s
    5. Creating wall sweeps and reveals
      6m 26s
    6. Exploring model lines
      4m 22s
  9. 47m 40s
    1. Using object styles
      4m 19s
    2. Working with visibility and graphic overrides
      7m 3s
    3. Using view templates
      6m 13s
    4. Hiding and isolating objects in a model
      6m 37s
    5. Understanding view range
      7m 7s
    6. Displaying objects above and below in plan views
      6m 35s
    7. Using the Linework tool
      5m 21s
    8. Using cutaway views
      4m 25s
  10. 21m 28s
    1. Adding rooms
      8m 15s
    2. Controlling room numbering
      6m 13s
    3. Understanding room bounding elements
      7m 0s
  11. 33m 13s
    1. Understanding tags
      9m 58s
    2. Adding schedule views
      7m 55s
    3. Modifying schedule views
      7m 12s
    4. Creating a key schedule
      8m 8s
  12. 58m 40s
    1. Adding text
      7m 29s
    2. Adding dimensions
      9m 6s
    3. Adding symbols
      4m 42s
    4. Adding legend views
      4m 51s
    5. Creating a detail callout
      8m 31s
    6. Adding detail components
      8m 52s
    7. Using arrays to duplicate objects parametrically
      7m 43s
    8. Adding filled and masking regions
      7m 26s
  13. 41m 29s
    1. Understanding families
      2m 37s
    2. Creating a new family from a template
      6m 29s
    3. Using reference planes, parameters, and constraints
      7m 52s
    4. Adding solid geometry
      8m 40s
    5. Cutting holes using void geometry
      5m 9s
    6. Adding blends
      6m 2s
    7. Completing the family
      4m 40s
  14. 38m 48s
    1. Adding sheets
      7m 44s
    2. Working with placeholder sheets
      5m 24s
    3. Aligning views with a guide grid
      5m 57s
    4. Outputting sheets to a DWF file
      6m 39s
    5. Exporting to AutoCAD
      5m 42s
    6. Plotting and creating a PDF
      7m 22s
  15. 2m 38s
    1. Next steps
      2m 38s

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Watch the Online Video Course Revit Architecture 2013 Essential Training
10h 27m Beginner Aug 02, 2012

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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.

Topics include:
  • Introducing building information modeling (BIM)
  • Adding levels, grids, and columns to set up a project
  • Creating building layouts with walls, doors, and windows
  • Modifying wall types and properties
  • Working with DWG files and CAD inserts
  • Adding rooms
  • Adding curtain grids, mullions, and panels
  • Using cutaway views
  • Generating schedules and tags
  • Adding callouts such as text and symbols
  • Understanding families
  • Outputting files, including DWF and PDF files
Revit Architecture
Paul F. Aubin

Plotting and creating a PDF

Printing from Revit is actually very similar to printing in other Windows programs. The most common way print is to just generate paper output from a traditional printer or plotter. You can also do digital output to PDF files. That would happen in the Print dialog as well. Now I should mention that PDF is not built into Revit, so if you want to generate PDFs, you actually have to have a PDF plotter. You could have Acrobat or Bluebeam, but you have to have that installed on your system first. So I'm in a file here called Plotting, and I'm looking at the A101 floor plan sheet.

If I just kind of zoom in a little bit, we've got our nice title block here, and you could see that it's just a typical floor plan, like so. Maybe I'm ready to print out a progress set and send it off to a recipient. So I'm going to go to the big R here, the application menu, highlight the Print button, and there are actually three options here. Now, Print Preview I think is pretty self-explanatory. That would just do an onscreen preview before you click OK and print. That's usually a pretty good idea if you're not sure that everything is configured correctly, because it'll help you save a lit bit of paper.

Print Setup has a variety of settings. We're going to look at those. And we could go directly to that dialog if we wanted to, but it turns out there is a Print Setup button in the Print dialog as well, so it'll be a little easier to just go directly to Print and get to the setup, and we can do everything in one screen. At the top of this Print dialog is the plotter. This is the device you're going to print to. Now, in my case, I'm printing to Adobe PDF, and as I said, you have to have something like that installed. Your device will vary, so just choose off the list whatever plot device you want to use for this exercise, and it has to be one of the printers installed in your system.

If you're doing a digital plot, like a PDF, then the file area will be available. And you can configure your path and file name there, but it's going to prompt you for the file name anyway, so usually I just ignore that. If you're printing to a hardcopy device, like a laser printer or a plotter, this will all be grayed out. In the Print Range area you have three options. You have current window, the visible portion of the current window, or the selected views and sheets. Now, if I move this out of the way, current window would do the entire sheet. Visible portion, because I've zoomed in the background, would only do the part that I can actually see onscreen right now.

So sometimes you want to just do a little check plot of a little small area. You zoom it first and then use the visible portion, and you can send that to your laser printer and it would be just that little area. Those methods are fine for a quick plot, but usually you're probably do this one right here, Selected views/sheets. And when I click this Select button, it'll give me the complete list of views and sheets that are in my project. I'm going to do the dropdown here. Notice that it only says in session.

So over here we've got Save and Save As buttons. You can actually save groups. So let's say that I had this like this and I wanted to save that as, and this is Set 1. When I click OK, that's going to appear there. I'm going to Check None and what I actually want to do is uncheck Views, check all the sheets here, and I'm going to save that as, and I'm going to call this Permit Set, and click OK. So now if I Check None and I display everything, here is the way that works.

If I do Set 1, it checks those boxes. If I do Permit Set, it checks those boxes. So it's a really quick way to restore some selection of sheets that I want to print more than once. If you need to, you can reverse the print order. Collate, that depends on your plotter. This is where we can get to the Page Setup dialog again. So I'm going to click that. As I said, we could either get it right off the Application menu or we can get it here. You've got a lot of the standard choices you would expect. I'm plotting on an E1, so I probably want to choose that size there.

Landscape or Portrait, most of your sheets are probably organized landscape. You can center the plot on the sheet or you can offset it from the corner, and there's a few different options: No Margin, Plotter limit. You'll have to do some experiments on your printer to see which is the best choice to make sure you're not cropping anything off on the edges. If you do Fit to page, it's not to scale. Usually it's better to go zoom and set it to 100%. If you're printing on E-size sheet on a laser printer, then you could do Fit to page because it would reduce it down to the extents of an 8.5 x 11.

Otherwise, if you're doing the full- size sheet here, you want to do zoom 100%. You can choose your quality options, whether or not you want to print in color or force everything to black lines. Vector or raster processing, do some experiments to see what you get. It really doesn't matter too much with 2D drawings, but in 3D drawings this can make a difference. Finally, I want to talk about some of these settings down here, because these are some useful settings. There are four options here that start with hide. If your object is not one of those four elements, it prints.

Sometimes I get the question in Revit, can we make this non-plot or can we make that non-plot? The answer is usually no, unless it's one of these four things. So reference planes can be hidden with this checkbox. Scope boxes and crop boundaries can be hidden with those check boxes. We didn't talk about scope boxes, but we did talk about crop boundaries. So if you recall the movie where we did a detail callout, we had a little crop box around the detail. If we hadn't hidden that crop box, we could check this box here and it still wouldn't print.

Now, this is one of my favorites right here, Hide unreferenced view tags. Look here in the background where I've zoomed in. This is a referenced view tag, because it says 2 on A301. This is an unreferenced view tag, because it's not on a sheet yet. If I check this box, it'll display this section head and print it; it'll hide this one. And I think that's really handy, because you don't want to print this set with this section mark in here and then your contractor calls you saying "where is this section? I don't see it anywhere in the set." So it just avoids that confusion.

Then finally if your plotter is having a hard time printing halftone, you can tell it to use thin lines instead. Any of these settings you can save and give it a name so that if you use the same collection of settings again next time, you can choose it off the list. And a lot of firms will actually add items to this list like full size plot, half size plot, and so on, and they'll create one for each of the different devices in the office. So sometimes you'll see a really long list there. Let's click OK. And then if I wanted to go ahead with the print, I would just click OK. In my case, that would prompt me for a bunch of PDF names.

I'm actually going to just close the dialog. Likewise for you, if you're printing along with me, if you actually want to print it out and hold the paper in your hand, go ahead and click OK. Otherwise, you can just click Close here to finish without actually printing. The nice thing about the Close box is it remembers all the settings. So if I configured everything but then I changed my mind and I'm going to print later, I don't have to start over again; it'll remember all the settings that I've done. So as you could see, printing from Revit is very similar to printing in other Windows applications. You go to the Page Setup dialog and configure any settings specific to your print device or the particular plot you're trying to make, and then when you're ready, you just click OK and wait for the prints to come out.

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