Sunday, April 18, 2010

Streamlining Local File Creation – GUI (v5)

With the launch of Revit 2011, I finally completed the application I started and stopped back in January 2009 when Revit 2010 was still in Beta. I wasn’t sure this approach still had value due to Revit’s new native ability to create local files directly from the Open dialog. Having had a very busy couple of months following the release of Revit 2010 and after some changes in my workplace, this fell on the sidelines. Believing that this was still the most efficient way to work in workshared projects, it was time to Git-R-Done!

The application was mostly re-written to incorporate a GUI option. I have always favored the shortcut approach because it is a much faster way of working with local files as compared to navigating to your project folder every day. Adding a sidebar link to the Open dialog works quite fast in addition to Revit’s functionality of automatically creating a local file, however depending on the method used to add such link, naming it is a whole other issue! Not to mention the inability to organize locals into different project folders and doing other types of checks in the process.

The drawback of the previous app. was decentralization and the fact that you had to manually create a shortcut, remember how to do “switches” for different options, etc. So the new version takes all that out of the equation. The new version is meant to be located in one place: on the network or your local drive with a shortcut to the executable on your PC. You simply navigate to find your Central File folder and then right-click on a Central file to pick one of three options (or double-click to launch the default). Most settings have been pulled out of the script and into settings.ini, such as default options, links and paths. The app. automatically creates the desktop shortcut for the project and option chosen (you can uncheck the option to create the shortcut if desired). Next time you will be able to launch this shortcut to perform the same actions without the GUI.

The launcher has been tested on Vista Enterprise (x64) and Windows 7 (x64), but should also function properly on XP. It works with Revit 2009, 2010 and 2011. If you’re still on 2008 you’re nuts, but you should be able to use this app. anyway!

The other notable enhancement is Build Checking. Now only the machines with builds older than the project’s build will be warned and once they are upgraded, the message goes away automatically. This data is written in projects.ini which is created either in each central file folder or a centralized location of your choice. Here’s an example warning (not the final 2011 builds):

BuildChecking 

So just click on the image below to download it from the AUGI forum post (free membership required). Feel free to add comments to this post or to the Documentation page and hope you find it useful!

Revit Make Local

Special thanks go to David Kingham and James Vandezande for openly sharing their AHK scripts, solutions and ideas!


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4 comments:

iyyy69 said...

Haven't tried it, but it sounds great. I know one guy in our office just "refuses" to get his head around the whole central/local file concept - manages to mess it up every single frickin time (can you sense the frustration I have with him?) - anyway, something like this might help (well, not sure anything can help him at this point, but I guess it wouldn't hurt ;-) ).

p.s. Awfully generous of you to share - wouldn't hurt for you to start asking for a few bucks donations or something for your efforts?

Dave Baldacchino said...

Thanks for your kind words. Hmmm maybe I'll start a collection box/hat :)

Honestly, most of this was done through open sources and lots of in-kind & free help. So I get a lot of satisfaction out of knowing someone benefits from my efforts. That's enough "payment" for me.

This app should make your life easier with that user. All they need to do is double click a desktop shortcut in the morning! If they screw that up too, please send me their name so we'll black-list them from future employment opportunities haha!

HarryC said...

How do I get a copy of this file. The link to the AUGI forum post is broken.

Dave Baldacchino said...

Sorry for the late reply. The AUGI forums are back and the links work as before. You can download from there.

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