Revit Add Ins, Add Ons, and Plugins for Many Purposes
A BIM platform like Revit is a handy tool that helps with a wide variety of tasks for MEP engineers, architects, contractors, designers, etc. However, it’s also not the most convenient and user-friendly software in the world, and it can have all kinds of shortcomings in specific places.
Luckily enough, Revit as software can be extensively modified using all kinds of Revit add-ins, from both Revit’s own App Store (a separate category of the Autodesk App Store) and various third-party sites. These Revit add ons can do pretty much anything a basic Revit package cannot do, and it’s borderline impossible to list all of the potential features that can be realized with Revit plugins.
How to install Revit add-ins?
Installing Revit plugins is a rather simple process, as well – the process is pretty much the same as installing any other application on your Windows device. All you have to do is run an executable file of the plugin, and the install process should be straightforward. In this case, Autodesk Revit App Store serves as a centralized database of different plugins more than anything else – even though you can still download executables of Revit plugins from third-party websites.
Since many different Revit add-ins can only fit a specific use case or two, it’s rather hard to say that one particular Revit plugin is the best. However, it is possible to bring up a list of Revit add ons that, while subjective, can be used to cover many different use cases and feature sets.
We’re presenting our take on the list of Revit add ons – you can find our top 15 Revit plugins below. These Revit add-ons also come with a basic explanation of what they can do, so it would be easy to find Revit add-ins that fit your specific use case. These Revit plugins are in no particular order, and the only categorization we did to them is by sorting them into two groups – paid and free ones.
Starting with paid solutions, we can recommend six different examples of premium (paid) Revit plugins for different use cases:
Starting with a relatively simple feature is an app called Guardian – an effective solution to combat the human factor inside a complex BIM system. This Revit plugin allows administrators to create custom warnings for specific actions – be it deleting an important file or something else. Of course, Guardian can offer many other features, like password requirement for each such action, various mapping elements, and much more – but custom warnings are the cornerstone feature that users know Guardian for.
As with the previous example, Ideate Explorer is a Revit plugin that offers a plethora of different features and has one specific feature that acts as the highlight of the plugin in question. In this case, this kind of feature is Ideate’s Warnings Manager – a handy tool for providing a quick overview of your project warnings (walls overlapping, problems with geometry, etc.) and the ability to sort through them all. What Ideate Explorer does great here is allows you to color-code your warnings to quickly figure out which issues should be prioritized over others.
As the first reporting solution on the list, Revizto offers a variety of different plugins within its package – which also includes a Revit plugin. Revizto’s Revit plugin offers an unparalleled set of features for seamless collaboration between different instances. You can use it to track existing issues and create new ones, export models into Revizto altogether, schedule exporting as a process, and so much more. This allows all of the project participants to work within a single source of information, eliminating miscommunication and improving teamwork.
We have Enscape, a real-time rendering plugin that offers 360 panoramas and 3D/2D renders of existing models, moving towards a more unconventional Revit plugin. This can be used for many different purposes, but mainly for promotion via VR experiences. Enscape models can also be easily exported to Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets. Enscape also offers both a free trial and an educational license for universities – both students and teachers.
These last two examples will be relatively similar in many ways, but it’s still worth it to go over them separately. RTV Xporter Pro is a Revit plugin for a rather specific use case – it specializes in exporting and printing drawings in many different formats. You can schedule both of these processes in several ways, navigate the software’s user-friendly interface with no issues, and work with many different formats – PDF, DXF, NWC, DWG, IFC, or DWF(x).
As we’ve mentioned before, both RTV Xporter Pro and Xrev Transmit work in the same niche of exporting/printing documents. Xrev can also work with many different formats and supports the scheduling of these actions. What’s different about it is the ability to provide centralized management for all of your future exporting/printing settings, including settings for specific file formats, manual output settings, etc. It is worth noting that this option also has customizable permission settings. You can either allow everyone to change settings within this menu or leave it for upper management specifically.
These plugins are great and offer many useful features to add to your Revit experience. However, all of those are distributed using a paid model, either via subscription or one-time purchase. As promised, now that we’re done with the “paid” part of our top 15 Revit add-ins list, it is time to move over to the “free” part – and there’s no shortage of free Revit add ons, either.
While it is true that picking one single best Revit plugin is near impossible – pyRevit is probably closer to this status than most. It is a well-known plugin in the community that offers a plethora of different useful features that make your Revit experience easier in some way or another. Listing all of the features of pyRevit would take quite a while, but it is worth noting that there are both apparent and pretty much unique features that you can find there. For example, Keynote Manager is a relatively common feature of pyRevit, and it is extremely useful since Revit keynotes are problematic with the basic toolset. As for the more unusual example, we have a tool literally called “Who did that??” – it allows you to see which user made what choices in terms of design and/or modeling so that there are no pointing fingers whenever an important element of a project is floating in the air inside of the model.
Color Splasher, on the other hand, is from the category of solutions that have been made for a single specific feature – color filtering, in this case. Color Splasher takes a cumbersome process of filtering particular parts of a project with specific colors and makes it much easier than with basic Revit toolset, with the ability to save, and load presets, automate color assignation based on a specific value of an element, and so on. It can be rather helpful with something like renovation projects, using colors to show which parts are old and which are new/would be new.
As the name suggests, FamilyReviser is another tool dedicated to a single niche purpose – management for Revit families, in this case. It can be used for both exporting and importing said families and to mark specific families with a suffix/prefix, navigate in the list of families by name, and more. It can also be used to create “worksets” from specific families, making it much easier to assign specific groups to a particular part of a project, and you can even create rules for said worksets. Unfortunately, it is common advice to recommend using worksets as little as possible to improve Revit’s clarity.
ProSheets is all about exporting Revit files. Contrary to Revit’s original capability, ProSheets can help add various parameters to specific file names, be it sheet number, date, project number, and more. ProSheets can also export Revit files into several different file formats and works with both CAD file formats (DWG, NWC, IFC, DGN, and PDF) and images (PNG, TIFF, JPG).
Isolate Warnings is even more specific to its purpose – it generates a 3D view of a model just to highlight models and parts that have reported a warning within a Revit system. It can be used to quickly overlook the entire project model to isolate problematic parts and go straight to problem-solving – since problem isolation is done automatically by the conveniently named Isolate Warnings plugin.
Another rather unconventional Revit plugin here is ParaManager, which exists solely to give users the ability to add parameters to multiple groups at once – a feature that the basic Revit unfortunately lacks. It is just one more way to shorten the time of or even wholly automate some of the more monotonous tasks that working with Revit brings.
Of course, not all Revit add-ins have to be made for one specific purpose. Solutions like BiMTOOLS, for example, offer a bunch of different features in a single package. Some of the features that can be utilized with this plugin are 3D PDF creation, selective tagging, element positioning, font type substitution, mounting parts copying, and more.
This is one of the few cases on the list that do not hint towards a possible use case of a plugin just from its name. COINS Auto-Section Box is a 3D-view management tool that can be used in many different ways but is mainly used as an improvement over the classic Revit Section Box feature, with features such as custom view arranging, section box arranging, capability to work with linked files, capability to create new views, ability to handle specific parts of a project differently (levels, grids, dimensions, tags, etc.), and more.
Getting to something a little more unconventional, there’s Revit Lookup – a Revit plugin with no executable to act as an installer. Its primary purpose is to offer users the ability to view the raw database, which is not something that your regular user might want. It is advantageous when it comes to locating read-only parameters and their values, which makes them more or less essential for the users of pyRevit, for example, and other add ons that offer the ability to write your functionality using some sort of a coding language.
How to delete Revit add ins?
As you can see, there’s no shortage of different Revit add-ins out there, both paid and free. And suppose you don’t like a particular Revit plugin. In that case, uninstalling one of these is not exactly complicated, either – although it is a bit more complicated than installing one. There are three main ways to do so:
- Deleting a Revit plugin as a regular application from your system (using Control Panel\Programs\Programs and Features, or Settings\Programs, depending on your Windows version). Please note that this feature was only implemented in one of the newer versions of Revit, so it might not be available for older plugins.
- Deleting a Revit plugin’s files is a more unconventional way of performing this process, but it is the only option for older Revit versions. Most of the time, the files you’re looking for are located in C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\Revit\Addins\, but it’s not a guaranteed path. Some variations of this path could be C:\%USERNAME%\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\Revit\Addins\ or C:\%USERNAME%\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\ApplicationPlugins
- Using an Autodesk Uninstall Tool to uninstall everything Autodesk-related from your system entirely. It’s not the most conventional way of uninstalling things, but it still works as an alternative.
This kind of rich market of Revit add-ins is beneficial for users since it raises the chances of anyone finding a specific solution for their particular use case. We hope our top 15 Revit add ons list was helpful for your Revit experience.