Smart Annotation is a Revit add-in developed to help automate the annotation and documentation process. It is designed using AI techniques and is powered cloud computing.
Due to the nature of documentation and the variety of options to document drawings, Smart Annotation is highly customisable and provides a user-friendly solution to the users to arrange and annotate drawings to their standards.
How to install
In order to install the application all the Revit products need to be closed first. By clicking on the “BIMLOGiQSmartAnnotation.exe”, Smart Annotation will be installed on all the Revit versions on your computer.
Click here to download the sample file for the tutorial.
You can use the tag and arrange button to simultaneously place and arrange all the tags in the view. Prior to using tag and arrange, you need to set your settings. You can create your settings for the tag types and preferred location of the tags in the tag setting form:
Once you create your setting, you can place your tags using the tag and arrange button:
After the tags are placed and arranged, Smart Annotation will assign colours to the tags as per below to make it easier for the user to QA the drawing:
- Default colour: Tag is located in an acceptable spot,
- Orange tags: Leader of the tag is crossing other tags.
- Purple tags: Tags of an object are grouped together.
- Red Tag: Smart Annotation could not find a suitable location for the tag.
In the Tag setting window, you can set the rules for placing and arranging tags. The “Tags and Arrange” and “Arrange tags” commands use the settings to place the tags as close as possible to their preferred locations set by the user in this window. The Tag setting user interface works as follows:
(1) Discipline tab
Elements in Revit are categorised into different disciples. By switching between the tabs, you can access the elements in the relevant discipline.
(2) Items to be tagged
In this section you can select the items to be tagged by ticking the box next to each item. If the element is not ticked, the other settings for that element will be greyed out.
(3) A symbolic view of the drawing
Here you can assign the tags to the elements and place them in their preferred spots. You can simply right click anywhere in this view and place any of the tags relevant to the element. Once you place the tag, you can drag and drop the tag to any of the spots you prefer. The grey area indicates the drawing margin. The drawing margin is the area between the crop view and annotation crop region.
(4) Types & Filters
By using the Type tab, you can specify which family type to be tagged (by the selected tag). You need to select the tag first and then on the right panel tick the family types you want to be tagged by this tag.
For example, in the snapshot below “Duct Fitting Tag_Bend: Duct Fitting Tag_Bend” wll be placed on the family types selected on the right panel only. Also, the preferred location of this tag is in the middle of the object. Smart Annotation will try to place the tag in the middle during the arrangement process, and if the tag cannot fit in the middle, it will move it around to find the best spot.
In the filter tab you can add more rules to place and arrange tags for ducts, pipes or cable trays. You can specify the minimum length of the object to be tagged. For instance, you may not want the duct less than 50mm to be tagged.
You can also filter the elements based on their direction along the Z axis. This option allows different tags for risers. For example, in the snapshot below neither the ducts less than 50mm nor riser ducts will be tagged.
(5) Tag properties
In the Tag properties section you can characterise how you want the selected tag to behave.
- Remove Null tags will not place the tags with empty values. This happens when the tag cannot find the relevant text in the corresponding element. Empty tags are indicated with a "?” mark on the drawings.
- Remove Zero tags will not place the tags with zero value.
- Alternate options is useful when you do not want every piece of a duct or pipe run to be tagged. These options will help you to avoid having too many tags and unnecessary crowded drawings.
- Tag rotation will determine the ordination of the tags. It has got three options:
- Auto: Tag ordination will be read from its associated object.
- Horizontal: Tag orientation will be always horizontal on the view.
- Vertical: Tag orientation will always be horizontal on the view.
For example, in the sample below we wanted the duct to have three different tags
Duct Insulation: To be removed if its value is zero. To be on every 3 pieces only and be placed on the top left of the duct. The orientation to be Auto and be taken from the duct.
- Duct Size: To be on every 3 pieces in the middle of the duct. With duct size we want the tag to be always horizontal.
- Duct Length: To be on every piece at the bottom right corner and we do not want to remove it if the tag value is zero.
The result will be as per below:
You can switch between different types by using the type drop down menu. This will help to keep the setting when you are changing the tags.
(6) Save template
- Name: You can switch between setting templates loaded into your project
- Save: To save your changes to your current template
- Save as: To save your changes as new template
- Import: To import templates
- Export: To export your current template
- New: Create a new setting from scratch
- Generate template: To create a template from your current view. If you have a view that is already tagged, you can use this option to create a template based on the same view. Please note the template generated here will need to be fine-tuned since a lot of rules are not consistent between elements.
(7) Elements that can be overlapped by tags
By clicking on the select button, you can select the elements that you want the algorithm to ignore when placing and arranging the tags.
For example, in the snapshot below, we allow the algorithm to place any tags on pipes, pipe fittings and plumbing fixtures.
AUTO ANNOTATE PANEL
Once the settings are set you can place and arrange your tags in this panel.
Tag and arrange
You can tag the objects using this command.
In Tag and arrange you can select to arrange all the tags or only the new tags. If you select the new tags only, Smart Annotation will not touch any of the existing tags on the view. Smart Annotation will find the new objects to be tagged and try to avoid the existing tags and objects and arrange the tags as per the settings from the user.
You can also select which setting template you want to be applied.
If you already have tagged your elements and you want them to be arranged as per your template you can use this command.
Delete empty tags
If you have tags on your view that are zero or empty and you want them to be removed, you can use this command.
Reset tag colors
As explained in the previous sections, the app will override the colors of the tags to help the user check the tags that are grouped, or the tags couldn’t find a good location. Once you fine tuned the drawing and you were happy with the results, you can use this command to reset the tags to their original colors.
Delete all tags
You can delete all the selected tags independent of their host element using this command.