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Thread: What are some uses for Excel in tandem with Revit?

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    What are some uses for Excel in tandem with Revit?

    After experimenting with the Dynamo node "Excel.WriteToFile" (I am in the process of learning Dynamo), I am now wondering what uses an architect may have for it. I am curious to hear any ways anyone has used Excel to improve their Revit workflow. I'm fairly experienced with Excel so I know its calculating abilities far exceed those of Revit schedules; now I'm wondering what uses those superior calculating abilities may have in architectural drawings and models.

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    Moderator Robin Deurloo's Avatar
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    I have used Excel-Dynamo to create Views and Sheets, so having it all laid out in excel and use Dynamo to create everything in Revit.
    Recently I used it to rename a lot of the stuff in my template, export to excel, some excel magic and back into Revit.

    But in general you could say that anything you do in excel that uses data from Revit that you have to manually type in now, could be done automatically with Dynamo OR in a schedule in Revit itself.

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    We use revit to generate schedules that contain construction codes used for estimating, and also that contain construction phase information.
    The estimator can then use those codes to create their prices from it in another software and more importantly for us
    the engineer can manage the construction phase information himself/herself which means that there is only one person responsible for the data.
    We then use DiRoots to push/pull the data between excel and revit and this saves us double handling the data and simply automagically fills out the revit database with the information that was created in excel. It means our engineers dont need to have their hands in a revit model to have an impact on the database.

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    Moderator snowyweston's Avatar
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    We send all our schedule work to Excel (via text mind) - rooms, areas, doors, windows, facade components, finishes, parking, etc... we will aggregate there, as well as elsewhere (i.e. BI) to establish relationships Revit doesn't do naturally (i.e. associated mass floors to masses, doors to groups, areas to groups, multiple file sources with union queries, etc) - which will almost always have involved Dynamo pulling in extra data parts on the export (since Revit doesn't expose all the things we need/want/like)

    We're not actually all that fussed on roundtripping after that - pushing information away from the model (as source) to output - but the certainly do use Dynamo to ingest incoming data sources to populate, place and/or manipulate the model.

    We once played with "project inputters" for people to work hands-off the model yet manipulate stuff - mostly for playing graphic equaliser with tower massing heights on masterplanning studies, but we just do that now hands on with Dynamo sliders and the like.



    As always, "where's best?" is one of the best questions to ask early on. Elaborate Excel work is all well and good until someone wants that data nugget tagged in a plan - and you've not actually anything to "hold" it (cue widget families!) - and that's all presuming someone not-so skilled in Excel hasn't gone in and borked your connections! Then there's the flipside; sure we can all throw a lumpen-but-live door schedule onto an A1 sheet (and I understand 2022 has enhanced working with schedules on sheets a bit) but what happens when someone wants it in A4? Or someone else wants to get at a column from the dataset to use as a datapoint elsewhere?

    That's where (and why we use) the interim .txt file always before & between Excel. Yes, the Dynamo node for .csv reading/writing is more "raw" - but that's kinda the point.

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    Below link is tutorial of using excel in dynamo and hope beneficial for you.

    <yeah thats not an URL we are gonna use>
    Last edited by Robin Deurloo; April 30th, 2021 at 06:54 PM. Reason: url removed

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    I know how; I'm asking why.

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    Thank you, all that info is helpful in leading me to plan how I use the software available to me (i.e. Revit, Dynamo basic text editors, and Excel). You've given a lot of info, so let me see if I understand the gist of what you're saying. From what I can tell, you're essentially saying:
    1. Excel is great for doing complex formula work, so plan early on how to incorporate Excel.
    2. Think about which categories would benefit from tabular and formula-driven data, then push those objects' data from Revit to Excel. (Or are you saying you do it the other way around, from Excel to Revit?)
    3. Dynamo nodes do good work that otherwise non-Revit users would do.
    4. Be careful how people use the Excel files and who uses the Excel files. Make sure people use the Excel files appropriately.

    Is this an accurate summary?

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