Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Print PDF Set with Hyperlinks from Revit

The inspiration for today's post comes from Mike Matheny's comment in yesterdays post on printing sheets in a specific order. Mike used to work with me here are LHB and also wrote this post on my blog a while back: To BIM 360 Design or Not!

When printing a PDF, Revit will add hyperlinks automatically. This is a Revit thing, not a PDF printer driver thing. Here is an Autodesk help topic on that: About Printing to PDF

And, because the Bluebeam add-in Create PDF button on the Ribbon is apparently not using its own Bluebeam-installed print driver, we don't get hyperlinks as Mike correctly pointed out.

Here are how Hyperlinks do work, when using a PDF print driver...

First you need to select a print driver, such as Acrobat PDF or Bluebeam. You also need to be creating a combined set as pointed out here.

When the PDF is created, the same links you find in Revit are now hyperlinks in the PDF file. For example, clicking on this section mark...

Jumps to this sheet and drawing in the same combined PDF file.

Even the level datum "targets" are hyperlinks to the corresponding floor plans - also just like in Revit. BTW, a black "target" in Revit means that level does not have a floor plan view associated with it.

In print Setup you can make the links blue when printing in color... this mimics what a lot of us are used to from browsing the web... blue text is usual a hyperlink to another web page.

Here is the same drawing printed with that setting turned off.

The Revit help article linked above talks about a linked "Table of Contents" but in my case the sheet index on the cover sheet does not contain hyperlinks. I am not sure what they mean... if you know please comment below.

And for a little trip down memory lane for those who have used Revit for a while... I have these image files from my first Revit textbook I started writing in 2002 on Revit version 4.5. That book still exists and is updated every year... it is this one.

Here is the print dialog for Revit 4.5 version .

And, here is the Revit 5.0 version which looks pretty much the same today. In fact, the 'tick' to make hyperlinks blue is even there... meaning, the PDF hyperlink feature was in there back then as well. If I remember correctly, Revit also made PDFs natively, you did not need a separate PDF print driver.

Fun stuff!

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  1. Hi Dan, thanks for the post. Do you know a way to add an automatically prefix and a suffix when I am printing a pdf sheet or batch? For example, for my "001 - Existing general layout" sheet I would like to add the project name as prefix and the revision number as suffix. Thanks in advance.

  2. Sorry, no I do not.I did a quick search and found something about a "Output file list" and it mentions adding a suffix but I cannot find that dialog anywhere. If you find it, let us know!

  3. Hi @David, it is possible to add a determined prefix/suffix to all the sheets you print if you use the Bluebeam print addin for Revit (and print each sheet as it's own PDF). I think a checkbox called 'Prompt for File Name' in the main 'Bluebeam Conversion Settings' dialog does the trick. However, for whatever reason, printing through the Bluebeam addon will not automatically include hyperlinks in the PDFs (as Dan discussed above).

    Also, I'm assuming your printing sheets individually, which is why you'd want to add a prefix/suffix. So you could also use this tool, which is free to download and a post-processor.


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