IMAGINiT Utilities for Revit: Journal Reader (Part 1)

Welcome to my first blog in a series of blogs that I will be doing for our IMAGINiT Utilities for Revit. I am excited to show you all the 57 unique tools within our utilities. The first utility I will showcase is our Journal Reader which I will cover in two parts.  

Part 1: What Is a Revit Journal File?

Note: This blog does not describe how to fix specific Revit errors, but how to navigate the journal files.

Imagine this scenario, you have a corrupted Revit file, you have tried recovering and auditing, but the file is still not opening in Revit and you’ve reached out to technical support (either IMAGINiT or directly with Autodesk). The tech has requested the Revit Journal file to help with diagnosis, but you may want to learn what exactly the techs are looking for in the journal file, what secrets they hold, and what information you can glean from it to provide to support early in the process to help speed up diagnosis and reach a resolution.


The Basics:

The journal files in Revit are .txt based files that are generated automatically every time a Revit session is started.

Journals reside under the local appdata folder on the local machine, for example: C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit 20xx\Journals).  Example below:

With ‘USERNAME’ being the name of the Windows profile, and ‘Revit 20xx’ being the release year (2023, 2024, etc.).

The journal folder contains several types of files:

Journal.xxxx.txt – the journal used for diagnostic purposes.

Example of a Revit journal .txt file located in the ‘Journals’ folder.

Journal.xxxx.worker.text – records document save/change/load events, records what APIs have been loaded and other system information which is also found in the main journal file.

Journal.xxxx.xxxx.dmp – memory dump file, stores data that is dumped from memory.

Journal.xxxx.abbrev – ABBREV file format copy of the journal, contains same information as the .txt version.

Dump.xxxx.txt – text based dump file.


What’s in the journal file?

Within the file, the journal is organized by events according to timestamp. The events are in ascending order with the first events at the top of the journal and the last events leading up to the closing of the application at the end of the journal.

Typically, these events will appear as:

1.      Memory availability and usage.

2.      Initial date/timestamp of the start of the session when recording in the journal begins.

3.      The release version of Revit.

4.      Resource / API initializations and memory usage.

5.      Loading UI components.

6.      Loading external resources / plugins / add-ins.

7.      Other API application events such as registering document change, central model changes. 

8.      DirectX information.

9.      Other Revit graphics information.

10.  Module load events, cloud configuration events, and operating system information.

11.  Actions within the UI – such as creating worksets, opening views, editing families, sync/save events.

12.  The end of the journal typically then shows unregistering APIs, closing document events, ending services, and existing the program. 

When diagnosing a technical issue from the journals, a tech will want to be able to see, based on the information above, if:

1.      There was enough memory available to launch the program.

2.      If the program was updated to the latest build.

3.      Any plugins loaded successfully, if the behavior is suspected as being attributed to a plugin, the journal will show which ones are loading.

4.      If the behavior is a graphics issue, the tech will be able to see the DirectX information, this can be used alongside the dxdiag file generated from DirectX. The tech will also be able to see the other related graphics information from Revit.

5.      The tech can glean operating system information, can compare that against Windows update history to see if the latest security updates have been applied.

6.      During the configuration events, the tech can see which domains are being accessed from the internet, this can be crossed checked against exclusion or exception lists within a firewall or anti-virus application.

7.      Actions within the UI will be the bulk of events for Revit sessions lasting more than a few minutes, this is where the bulk of errors will be recorded and where a tech would typically spend the most time looking through.


Some users will read the journals using notepad, word, or notepad++. IMAGINiT customers however will have access to our own ‘Journal Reader’ tool. See Part 2 of this topic 

About the Author

Scott Green

Scott Green is a Senior Applications Expert with IMAGINiT under the Building Solutions team. Scott focuses on Autodesk products, primarily with Revit, Autodesk Construction Cloud (ACC / BIM 360), and AutoCAD. Scott previously was an Enterprise Technical Support Specialist for nine years at Autodesk before joining us at IMAGINiT. Scott's other areas of expertise includes Navisworks, ReCap, and Tandem.

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IMAGINiT Utilities for Revit: Journal Reader (Part 2)
IMAGINiT Utilities for Revit: Journal Reader (Part 2)

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