Revit Bulk Unit Conversion Addin

One of the most downloaded files here at Revit.AU is the metric conversion journal script. Despite the obvious downsides of journal scripting, it works about 98.27% of the time.

Based on feedback, the problems with the current journal conversion script are mostly due to user error, but occasionally even when the user followed the steps correctly, a problem would crop up that would stop the process in it’s tracks.

Because of this, one of my goals when learning how to use the Revit API has been to replace this journal script with a fully fledged addin. In my opinion, the biggest benefits seen by developing an addin to perform unit conversions are:

  • User-friendly interface
  • Ability to convert to both metric and imperial in the same tool
  • Automatically closes most popup dialogues
  • Handles sub-folders of files without issue
  • Much, much faster


If I’m honest, I regret my choice of benchmarking method, a much smaller dataset would have done the job.

I rounded up 500 families totaling 169mb and ranging in size from 248kb to 1.5mb comprising of both 2D annotation and detail items as well as 3D components from architecture and MEP disciplines. I ran the same set of families through both the journal file conversion method and the addin conversion method, recording the total elapsed time for each.

I also used two different hardware configurations were in the benchmark tests; an i5 8400H with 32gb RAM and a 512gb NVME SSD and a i7 7820HK with 64gb RAM and a 1tb NVME SSD. The tests were run on Revit 2018.3 on both machines.

I hit the go button and decided to get some breakfast. This is going to take a while.

2 hours and 3 minutes later on the i5 8400H, the journal script failed on family 366. Repeating the same test on the i7 7820HK reached the failure point in around 1 hour and 40 minutes.

The addin, on the other hand, churned through all 500 families without error in 14 minutes on the i5 and 12 minutes on the i7.

Call it commitment or call it stupidity, but I also decided to time how long it would take to change the content in a single family manually to really showcase the power of automation, even if it’s on a tiny scale.

Manually updating a single family to change everything that the addin changes took 7 minutes and 18 seconds.

Of course, you normally wouldn’t change everything that the addin does, but we all love an apples to apples comparison. If you’re feeling like you need some extra excitement in your life, based on 7 minutes and 18 seconds to change a single family, manually updating 500 families will keep you busy for almost 61 hours!


So far, I have processed close to 5000 different families from a range of different sources across all versions of Revit from 2017 to 2020 without a single error.

And let’s face it, although 365 of 500 families were processed with the journal, I couldn’t complete my automation without an error.

Couple the reliability of the addin with its ease of use and as an end user, you should have a vastly improved experience compared to the journal script.


So if converting files between metric and imperial is something that you do, you can download the addin for free here:

Think this tool is worth something? Consider donating to support the operation of the site and the development of further tools in the future.

Removing Revit Line Patterns with C# Macros

Sometimes you might encounter an element within Revit giving you grief.

Recently for me it was a line pattern that had been transferred across from an old template. I didn’t want to spend the time to re-create all the old line patterns in a new template, but that time ended up being lost troubleshooting a fatal error.

Lucky for me that the line patterns were named so inconsistently in the old template or I wouldn’t have even discovered the problem; an unexpected benefit to others not being as meticulous as I can be I suppose.

One by one, I check each line pattern I had imported and discovered there was just one causing the problem. I couldn’t change the pattern definition. I couldn’t rename it. I couldn’t delete it. No matter what I did, Revit would crash.

An audit? No. What about a purge? Still no love.

So what do you do in this situation? I ended up turning to the API to obliterate the pesky line pattern. Dynamo is great but you can make a fantastic toolset based around C# macros and it’s a great way to learn the basic of coding with the API.

public void DeleteLinePattern()
//Get the current document
UIDocument uidoc = this.ActiveUIDocument;
Document doc = uidoc.Document;
my problem line pattern started with a certain prefix, 
so the method i am using is to search for line patterns with that prefix
update your code to prefix that you're looking for
var collector = new FilteredElementCollector(doc)
	.Where(i => i.Name.StartsWith("PREFIX")).ToList();
	List<ElementId> ids = new List<ElementId>();

//Start the transaction that will modify your document
	using(Transaction t = new Transaction(doc,"Delete LinePatterns"))
			foreach (ElementId id in ids)
		catch (Exception)
	TaskDialog.Show("Delete LinePatterns","Deletion complete");

I’m still waiting to hear back from Autodesk as to if I am still at risk of the model becoming corrupt in the future, but in the current state I’m pretty happy as I can continue working without issue.

As you can probably tell, this is quite a simple macro and the API is capable of doing much more. If you’re interested in learning the Revit API, check out these resources on the web

Harry Mattson’s Boost Your BIM

Harry’s Udemy Courses

Danny Bentley’s Channel on Youtube

Jeremy Tammik’s Building Coder

Revit API Docs Online

Autodesk “My First Revit Plugin”

Free C# Courses

ItzAdam5X on Youtube for learning general C# concepts