BILT Speaker

BILT Speaker
RevitCat - Revit Consultant

Sunday 22 December 2019

Revit 2020 Install Postscript

I recently tried to install the latest SP2 update to Revit 2020, and had some difficulties:

The dialogue box above did not give sufficient information about which file it could not modify - but it is apparently part of the unpacked install files.
The problem was nothing to do with Administrator privileges.

The advice I received from Autodesk was to do a full uninstall of Revit 2020, and then reinstall.  It turns out that may not have been necessary - but it did eventually work . . . .

Hard Disk Space

My computer has a solid state drive (SSD), which used to be very expensive, hence it is only 200Gb.  That means that disk space is valuable - not an uncommon situation.  This is apparently of no significance to Microsoft or Autodesk - every version of their software consumes more and more disk space.  200Gb gets eaten up very fast by their software, but also by their upgrade/install process.

Space Junk

Each time that Windows has an upgrade, it often demands at least 10 or 20Gb.  Autodesk is not much better.  What this means is that I frequently need to remove junk files that have been installed or are part of the installer software.

  • The Revit 2020 download is 12.2Gb
  • When unpacked it expands to 15.7Gb
The unpacked software has many files for various different languages.  Having chosen English as my install language, I assumed that the installer would have no use for any of the other languages.  Wrong!
I like to keep a copy of the unpacked installer file on the disk, in case I need to fix or reinstall.  In order to minimise the "Space Junk" I often remove all the other language folders from the installer (but I keep a full copy elsewhere, just in case).

During the reinstall process that I had to go through recently, I discovered that Revit actually does need some of those different language files - it will not proceed until you put them back into the install folders.

  • It needs some dll files from every single language folder
German dll files missing (and all the 13 other languages)

  • It needs every single rfa Steel Connection family template  from every single language folder
Czech Steel Connection Family Templates missing

  •  It needs all of the Sample files, even if you choose not to install any content.

371Mb of sample files

  • There are 761Mb of Steel Connection family template files in your installer.  If you delete any of them, any future re-install will fail.
761 Mb of Advanced Steel Connection Family Templates

Installed Files

  • There's 1.37Gb of steel connection files installed, whether you want it or not.
1.37Gb of Advanced Steel Connection Files

During the install process you can stop Revit from including MEP Fabrication - but you have to actively search for the settings and disable them (Default is to install).  It seems that you cannot stop it from installing Advanced Steel - and if you try (like I did), your install will fail.

What this means is that you have all those unwanted 14 language files and MEP/Advanced Steel files in your installer (several Gb);  And then you get exactly the same files installed in C:\ProgramData\...   its  "Double Space Junk"

If you ask me, this is very sloppy programming from the people handling the install software.  I believe that this is outside the control of the Revit team - but it sure as hell makes life difficult for the end-users.  If one person at Autodesk had written some more careful code that checks your chosen install language, and only uses that language to install the relevant files - just think how much disk space would be made available around the world.

All the hard work by the Revit programmers trying to speed up Revit is being undermined by the Installer team who are slowing down your computers.

As it is, we all need to spend time removing unwanted files.  Or we have to buy more hard disk space - not so easy if you have to retrofit a laptop with SSD.

If you need 700Mb space in a hurry, and you don't use 'Revit Steel Connections', look right here:
C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\Revit Steel Connections 2020
Remove all the languages except your own (which will be about half of the whole lot)

(NB. Be careful! and make sure you have a backup somewhere before you start removing Space Junk - its at your own risk).

Edit:  If you don't want all these different language files to be installed, please vote for Dave Plumb's Revit Wish over on the Autodesk Revit Ideas website:
Stop Installing Other Languages

Monday 9 December 2019

Internal Origin Visible in All Views in Revit 2020.2

For anyone thinking of upgrading to Revit 2020.2, here is some advice to avoid a bit of pain in the upgrade process:

Autodesk have introduced a new feature in the point release Revit 2020 SP2 that should really require a database change (but does not do so):

Expose internal point of origin

This is a marker that indicates the true origin of the project (internal coordinates 0,0,0), which may be different to the 'Project Base Point' if that has been moved.

It is indicated by a 2 or 3 axis  X,Y,Z symbol in red, green and blue

  • The symbol cannot be selected;
  • It will cause you problems during 'Zoom to Fit' if it is outside your building;
  • It also shows up outside your view crop boundary - more Zoom issues and irritation;
  • It can be hidden/shown in Visibility Graphics, as a subcategory of Site.

This is a useful feature, as we sometimes need to find out where that point is - however, it will initially add confusion to anyone who does not already understand the coordinate system in Revit (as there will now be a third origin point to deal with).  

The real problem with it is 'Visibility' and in the upgrade process that you make to get to 2020.2:

Upgrade Process

  • If you upgrade from Revit 2018 (or 2019) directly to 2020.2, the internal origin will be OFF by default in all views (which is good).

  • If you upgrade the project to 2020 or 2020.1 then subsequently open it in v2020.2, the internal origin will be ON in all views - this is a total pain. Even though it won't plot, it is annoying. 
  • Even worse - it will be visible in all newly created views, including 3D Iso and perspectives.
The reasons for this:
  • The upgrade process from 2018/2019 to 2020 (or 2020.1) does not know about the new feature so it does nothing to prepare for it.  
  • There is no upgrade process from 2020.1 to 2020.2, so the software cannot do anything to the files and view settings. 
  • The upgrade process from 2018/2019 to 2020.2 does have a component built in that hides the new subcategory in all views.
Autodesk really should have put this new feature in a major annual release, and not in a point release, as it will create a lot of extra work for users.


So, my advice is to go straight from v2018 or v2019 to 2020.2 - then you won't have an issue.
i.e. make sure you have SP2 installed on all 2020 computers before upgrading any projects to any version of 2020.

Interestingly, I created a new project in 2020.2 from the Autodesk supplied 2020 (Aus) project template and the internal project base points are OFF in all views.  I was not expecting that to happen as the template was pre-2020.2.  There must be something in the software that deals with this issue when creating new projects?

Too Late

If it is too late, and you already have some projects in 2020 or 2020.1, then you need to turn off the subcategory in all those views . . . . .
  • It is not so bad in View Templates, but its annoying
  • Individual views is a total pain - see below for automation
  • Create view templates that will hide the subcategory in all NEW views (especially 3D);  edit the Type properties of any 3D view and set the view template to be applied as a one off to all new 3D views.


One option is to track down some code to hide the new subcategory in all views - either Dynamo or an API.

There is also an issue with the paper clip being removed from the Project Base Point symbol. 
For more information on this, refer to Revit OpEd Blog

Steve Stafford of Op Ed has also tracked down various Dynamo options for turning off the internal origin:

NB. I have not tested any of these Dynamo scripts, but others have (with comments):
OpEd Dynamo Graph
OpEd Dynamo Redux
Follow Up with a later Dynamo script

Autodesk really ought to fix this properly, but it seems that it is not possible for them to put anything into a point release, as that does not actually upgrade the project files.  And if it did, what would happen when you opened an upgraded file in 2020 or 2020.1?

[Edit.  John Pierson of Parallax Team has very generously given us a free tool for hiding all those pesky internal origin symbols in a project in 2020.2.  Its on the Autodesk App Store:
Internal Origin Hide-ifier

Thanks John for picking up after  Adsk's dog! ]