In this part I will take a look at error messages within a journal file. Journal files record every error message or warning that appears within the File.
This information can be used to find out what happened before the error message that may help to troubleshoot the problem. It also displays memory information in the file and helps to show if the message is related to memory usage.
I like using Notepad to look through a journal and simply use the Find tool to look for words like Warning or Error to see if I can find a message. There are also a number of third party free tools that you can use to make viewing a journal file a little easier. Tools like BareTail can help you to color code specific lines in a journal file to make it easier to read.
There is a lot of information stored in a journal file that can be useful. Through these four parts I have only shown a small portion of the information stored. These four primary things are the items that Product Support uses to help troubleshoot issues. You can use them as well. We request journal files to help us understand more about your problem and make it easier for you, instead of having to spend a lot more time and energy gathering all this information by other means.
I am often asked if you can use journal files to automate tasks or recover data. Unfortunately, this is not the best approach. Journal files are designed for troubleshooting, not for automation or creating data, thus there are a lot of problems that can occur. There are a lot of factors that go into this, but it is not something that Product Support would recommend. There are too many opportunities for creating additional problems then solving one. The Revit API and VSTA environment are much better tools to create geometry and creating automation. I highly recommend that you check out the another Autodesk blog The Building Coder that focus on the blogging about the Revit API from Jeremy Tammik if you are interested in this. Journal files are great for seeing what happened in a session of Revit so next time you have a problem, I encourage you to look at the journal file and see if you can find out what may be happening.