Monday, November 21, 2016

Manager's Monday - Opening a File

Welcome to Manager's Monday where I give a brief how to of tools and knowledge needed for individuals in a management position.

Today we talk about how to open a file.  Seriously, I'm going to walk through the steps about how to open a freaking file.  The reason this is a topic all on its own is because it encompasses the concepts of work sharing.  But before I dive to quickly into the depot end, let's stay simple.

Basically - to open a file, you go to the big R at the top left hand corner of the screen, you click on the carrot next to Open, you click on project, you navigate to the project & you open the file.  But wait!!  There is more you need to know...

There are three things you have to know before you can open a file.
1. Where the file is located.
2. What version of Revit the file is using.
3.  If the file is a workshared file or not.

Let's start at the top.  Where is the file??

Of course you can't open a file if you don't know where it is located.  Typically your BIM Manager has set up a decent folder structure and everything is pretty well located.  In most cases the Revit file would be located within the project folder structure.  This is all pretty easy cut and dry stuff for a one office, one city firm - but it can get pretty complicated if your firm uses multiple IT platforms or uses collaboration platforms like AutoDesk A360 Collaborate or Revit Server.

It is you BIM Managers job to set up & locate complicated jobs.  It is also their responsibility to communicate the project set up to the project team.  I have found that the easiest way to communicate where a file is located is by leaving a .txt file in the standard folder with the location as the file title.  If the file is on Collaborate or Revit Server stating the Revit release is also helpful to do here.

If the file is on Collaborate or Revit Server, you will only be able to access it through Revit.  If it is on the network you will see it in the Windows Explorer folders.  (Make note that copy clipping a file from the Network onto your hard drive does NOT make a unique file and this is those of the most common managerial mistakes.)

This takes us to our next topic: what version of Revit?

This is important because you don't want to accidentally upgrade a file.  No only can upgrading cause errors, it can also affect all the consultants, the contractor & all the sub-contractors.  This is because everyone must use the same version of Revit and you cannot "save down" a Revit file like you can an AutoCad file.  Once it is upgraded and saved, you either have to use an older file, or everyone in the project must also upgrade.  Just writing about this sucks, actually managing it is the worst.

Finally, the last thing you must know before opening the file - is the file workshared?

Worksharing is a term used to define whether a file is set up so that multiple individuals can work on it at once.  When Revit is set up to be workshared, it does not act like a Word file that gets locked when one person opens it allowing others only read only access.  A Revit workshared file allows multiple people to open the file and save to the file at one time.  I will go into this in more depth at a later time, but what is important in this conversation is that when you open a workshared file, you are actually creating a local cached copy on your hard drive.

If you want to open a file and work on the file, be sure that "make a new local" is checked at the bottom of the screen.  If you just want to do some printing, or look at a few views, then I suggest clicking "make a detached file."  This will make a completely distinct model from the main file & it will ensure you don't screw anything up.

And that's it.

1. Open correct version of Revit
2. Go to big R
3. Click on carrot next to Open
4. Click on Project
5. Navigate to project
6. Click on file with ONE CLICK (Do not double click)
7. Check "make a detached file", or open a local copy if you wish to make changes to the file.
8. Click open.

A simple eight step process - go Revit.

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