RevitLookup and RevitPythonShell

RevitLookup is a handy tool for interactively exploring Revit BIM databases. If you want to get anywhere with Revit API programming, you should look into RevitLookup. You should also be reading the RevitLookup's author Jeremy Tammik's blog The Building Coder!

The standard RevitPythonShell InitScript contains a section dedicated to RevitLookup:

import clr
from Autodesk.Revit.DB import ElementSet, ElementId

class RevitLookup(object):
    def __init__(self, uiApplication):
        for RevitSnoop to function properly, it needs to be instantiated
        with a reference to the Revit Application object.
        # find the RevitLookup plugin
            rlapp = [app for app in uiApplication.LoadedApplications
                     if app.GetType().Namespace == 'RevitLookup'
                     and app.GetType().Name == 'App'][0]
        except IndexError:
            self.RevitLookup = None
        # tell IronPython about the assembly of the RevitLookup plugin
        import RevitLookup
        self.RevitLookup = RevitLookup
        # See note in CollectorExt.cs in the RevitLookup source:
        self.RevitLookup.Snoop.CollectorExts.CollectorExt.m_app = uiApplication
        self.revit = uiApplication

    def lookup(self, element):
        if not self.RevitLookup:
            print 'RevitLookup not installed. Visit to install.'
        if isinstance(element, int):
            element = self.revit.ActiveUIDocument.Document.GetElement(ElementId(element))
        if isinstance(element, ElementId):
            element = self.revit.ActiveUIDocument.Document.GetElement(element)
        if isinstance(element, list):
            elementSet = ElementSet()
            for e in element:
            element = elementSet
        form = self.RevitLookup.Snoop.Forms.Objects(element)
_revitlookup = RevitLookup(__revit__)
def lookup(element):


What this does is define a global function lookup that will open up the "Snoop Objects" dialog from RevitLookup with the element passed. In fact, you can pass ElementIds, lists of Element objects or just plain integers, that are converted to ElementIds - obtain these from the Manage->IDs of Selection command in the Ribbon. Since the Document also derives from Element, you can inspect it too!

Here are some fun things to try, assuming you haven't removed anything from the standard InitScript:

Select an element in the BIM, start an interactive Python shell and type:

>>> lookup(selection[0])

You should see something like this:


If you don't have RevitLookup installed, you will instead get a message like this:

lookup(selection[0]) - not installed


>>> lookup(1157058) # make sure this is a valid ElementId!

will result in something like this:

lookup(selection[0]) - not installed

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