Using Revit in Viewer Mode as a Plotting Station

A question came up about the need for a self-standing Revit 2016 plotting station to generate PDFs. A firm did not want to tie up a standalone or network license when running off a batch of plots. I initially latched on the prospect of using the Autodesk’s Batch Plotting App, but realized right away its major limitations was that it was not a non-licensed self-standing product and worse did not print to PDF.

After a test, I concluded one possible solution for a plotting station that would not consume a license or require activation and keep production staff working would be to install a 30 day trail with the proper product key for your suite. After a 30 trail the seat will time out and using viewer mode will allow Revit to use plotting functionality. Since every install of Revit includes a Revit Viewer, any machine would give the production team the option to just view and plot the model without consuming a network license.

There are couple caveats to be aware of with this process.

  1. Every install of Revit has a Viewer mode launcher. Check in the Windows Application under Autodesk>Revit. On a non-Revit seat it’s possible to install a Revit seat with viewer mode setup that launches in a non-licensed viewer mode. See this link Installing Revit in Viewer mode. Installing “Free” Revit Viewer on any system.
  2. Printing to PDF is possible in viewer mode, but only if no editing of the project file has been performed prior to starting the plot.  In the event that a Revit project was edited and an attempt to plot after, a File Not Printed dialog will pop up and the printing/exporting capability of the Revit Viewer will not be available any longer…

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