Monday, September 24, 2012

Nowhamsayin? Nowhamsayin? Nowhamsayin?

Some very important announcements!

1. Mastering Revit 2013 ships internationally as of today in 6 languages! Thanks to Willem (fearless editor) and the entire team at Wiley / Sybex for making this happen! Link here.

2. We're jumping on the iBookstore bandwagon.  The "Mastering Revit Architectural Series" are intended to be specialized and focus around single topics. Think of these as the Mastering Revit "singles" based on the Mastering Revit "LP". And priced accordingly. It's available as of today in 32 countries!

The first effort is "Architecture Daylighting Analysis" (link) for $1.99 for 38 pages of goodness. We really hope you'll check back as we add more topics to the Mastering Revit Series!

And now….the moment you've all been waiting for (drumroll please)...

3. David Light has agreed to join the Mastering Revit team!


Mr. David Light (pictured above) or affectionately referred to by the authoring team as "D-ROC". He'll be creating the mix-tapes and wearing the gold chains in the his new role of "Technical Editor". Check out his LinkedIn profileWe're really glad to have Dave join the team for a number of reasons.

First of all David is a Revit guru. And in addition to his blogging and twittering - he has a way better accent and even raises his eyebrows a lot when he talks. Revit/Accent/Eyebrow combination gives him an air of authority and royalty that quite frankly, James, Eddy and I lack.

Second, he doesn't mix his drinks. So after a few unlucky souls apparently turned to moonshine during RTC 2012 and ended up doing dive bombs into the pool - David could be seen calmly collecting wallets, watches and iPhones all the while mumbling something about how "Uncle Fagin would be ever so proud."

And finally, although David doesn't like to admit it - his second cousin twice removed from his great uncle's ex-mistresses niece's brother's first wife's great granddaughter's godmother is none other than Kate Middleton. Yes - that Kate Middleton.

The points of this last facinating detail is two-part:  

1) The Middleton family was happily allowed to settle a long-standing gambling debt by allowing the Light family to crash…errr…attend Kate's wedding. And while you couldn't hear it if you watched the ceremony on TV, David's son Elliot dropped a whole box of LEGO right in the middle of the vows (although truth told, it was David's box of LEGO). Note Dave in the distance photo-bomping the nuptials:

WeddingCrasherBut most importantly?

2) As soon as Kate picks up the cell phone (keep trying Dave!) the Mastering Revit authoring team is quite certain she'll pleasantly agree to write the Forward to next years Mastering book! All the more timely considering the U.K. march toward all things BIM. At least that's what David assures our editor, Willem.

And speaking of our editor Willem - one word of advice for Dave: the contracts are for USD$ - not British Pounds. The difference? Big Mac vs. MacBook Pro!

So please join us in welcoming David Light, Technical Editor to the Mastering Revit 2014 team!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Zoom To Awesome!

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Not only is today Friday - or better yet - Saturday (Hi Australia!).

Not only is there a cold beverage of your choice waiting for you at the end of another long week spent hunched over a hot processor.

You are all about to have access to the finest, most useful, most glorious kick-ass-ness of a Revit Add-In in the history of Building Information Modeling:


Zoom To Awesome

Testing is complete. This add-in kicks an infinity of ass. If Chuck Norris used Revit - this would be his favorite tool. Caution: you may smack your forehead with your open palm after using this amazing tool just one timeYou will wonder why you didn't think of this. You will wonder why no one at the Revit factory has thought of this. 

You will demand this functionality be included with Revit.

Don't say we didn't warn you.

- End User License Agreement (EULA) - 

By installing the "Zoom To Awesome" Revit Add-in, you agree to be bound by the following Terms of Service (TOS):

1. You agree to #FF Don Bokmiller (@dbokmiller), Elier Ramirez (@TBD - Sheesh!) and yours truly (@philread) on Twitter.

2. You agree to provide at least one of us with an adult beverage during AU2012.

3. You agree to Twitter/email/Facebook/crosspost/etc the download link to your fellow Reviteers in order to give them a sense of childlike joy and wonder (#ZoomToAwesome).

4. You agree not to pester us if you install this add-in and something goes horribly, inexplicably wrong (even though Don and Elier assure me this is completely unlikely to happen).

Okay, ready? Hyperventilating? Tunnel vision? Here we go!

Steps to success:

1. Download, unzip and install "Zoom To Awesome":

2. Open your favorite Revit project and look around - like the floor plan in this sample project. There sure is a lot of stuff. Hey - there's a tiny toilet in the distance. Pick the object:

Screen Shot 2012 09 20 at 9 29 42 PM

3. Go to the Add-Ins panel, select External Tools and Select "Zoom To Awesome":

Screen Shot 2012 09 20 at 9 29 20 PM

4. You will be immediately transported to the selected object(s) that remain selected for your convienence: 

Screen Shot 2012 09 20 at 9 29 58 PM


But wait - there's more!

  • Works in 2D and 3D!
  • Works on geometry, tags, text, detail components and more!
  • You can even map a keyboard shortcut ("ZX" rocks!)

Why waste your time innaccurately zooming in and out with a scroll wheel?

Why use the Zoom In Region tool in order to select something when you can zoom to it by selecting!

Happy Friday! And a very special shout out to Noah Beach for his much appreciated programming assistance!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Stupid Easy

Dictate icon


If you're using OSX Mountain Lion (10.8), you'll know that Dictation and Speech had a nice upgrade. Now it actually works most of the time!

First of all - you can quickly customize enabling via Preferences. There's a couple of preset shortcuts to switch it on via a double keystroke. Tapping the selected key twice will bring up the dictation icon at your cursor location. After you finish speaking simply press the return key. If you want to cancel - just press the ESC key.

Screen Shot 2012 09 04 at 12 13 14 PM


Dictation and Speech isn't useful for whole message dictation. On the other hand - dictating an IM or single sentence works really well.

So what's really to like? Spelling and Searching.

For spelling, imagine you're happily typing a message and get to a word that you're stuck on to the point that your hopefully-close-enough effort still isn't close enough. When this happens, get unstuck by tapping the shortcut key twice and simply speak the word. Speech and Dictation does a really great job of filling in the blank and you're on your way.

For searching, simply place your icon in the search bar of your preferred web browser, double-tab the shortcut and ask your question. Then tap the return key to initiate the search once the translation is complete.

Overall, Dictation and Speech often seems like an answer to an infrequently asked question. But when it's useful - it's really pretty cool!