When you need to use a shared parameter within a piece of content, but you don’t have the original shared parameter file, you can export the parameters directly from the content.
- [Instructor] This week I want to discuss some strategies for working correctly with shared parameters and shared parameter files. Now let me briefly tell you what a shared parameter or a shared parameter file is, just in case you're not aware. When you're creating custom content, either within projects or within the family editor, and you create your own custom parameters you can create those parameters as what we call shared parameter. Now what a shared parameter is is quite simply a parameter that can be used in more than one project or family, thus the name shared.
So it can be shared among multiple projects or families. And if you set them up correctly the major benefit of using shared parameters is that they can appear in tags and in schedules. So I have a simple example here on screen where I have two pieces of Casework and if we look over here at the Schedule what you'll notice is the first item is displaying the Width, Depth, and Height, and several materials, while the second item is also displaying Width, Depth, and Height, but it is not displaying any materials.
Now before you make the assumption that maybe the second item just doesn't have any materials assigned to it, let's switch back to the 3D View and I'm going to change the shading to Consistent Colors, and as you can see, both pieces of Casework kind of change to this sort of tan color. So they both do have materials assigned to them. And another way that you could verify that would be to select one of these items and go to Edit Type and you'll see that the Material entries are in fact listed here. So the problem is not a lack of material assignments, the problem is the way the material parameters were configured.
So we don't have the problem with Depth and Height, by the way, because those parameters are built into the Casework category. So any time you have a built-in parameter in Revit it will automatically appear in schedules or tags without any further effort from you. So built-in parameters are really the best kind, because they just do everything we need them to do without any effort. However, we can't expect that every parameter we'll ever need will be built-in, so we do need to create our own custom parameters from time to time and the shared parameter method allows us to create parameters that fully participate across the project, both within schedules and within tags.
So now that you know what we're looking for, let's figure out how we can fix this problem. So what I want to do here, my goal is to get these materials to appear on this Schedule. In other words, I want to take this item right here and I want to replace the parameters within that family with the shared parameter versions of the same. So how would we do that? Well, of course, as you might expect, you would select this family and then go to Edit Family. Now this opens up the family in the Family Editor and then I'll go to Family Types.
And then here's the Material parameters, and let's just pick the first one here, Hardware Material, and down at the bottom I'm going to click the Edit Parameter icon to edit it. Now you can see the problem at the top, this is currently a Family parameter, which means it cannot appear in schedules or tags. It tells you so right there. Now right below that it says that a Shared parameter can appear in multiple projects or families and can also be tagged and scheduled. So I want to switch this to a shared parameter. Now when I do that the Select button will become available and I'll need to select a shared parameter from my list.
Now when you clicked the Select button if you get a dialog that says that you don't currently have a shared parameter file loaded, then that's your first step. You're going to need to load a shared parameter file. So I'm going to Cancel out of here and just quickly show you how to do that. So if I cancel out of all of that and I go to the Manage tab here and click on Shared Parameters, you can click the Browse button right here to locate your office standard shared parameter file, or if you don't have one, you can click the Create button here to create a brand new one.
If you create a new shared parameter file the next step is to add a group to it. So a shared parameter file groups the parameters into named groups. And it doesn't matter what you call those groups, you can call them anything you want, but you need at least one group in order for the shared parameter file to be valid. So if you're creating your own click Create, give it a name, put it somewhere in your hard drive, and then click New Group, and give that a name as well. Maybe something like Casework parameters. All right, so I'm going to Cancel out of here, and back to Family Types, select my Hardware Material, Edit it, Shared parameter, click Select, and notice that my shared parameter file only has the Rooms group.
So beneath that I only have two parameters. So clearly I don't have a Hardware Material to choose here. So I'm going to click Edit, this puts me in the same location that I just showed you a moment ago, and what I want to do is create a new parameter, but before we do let me create a New group for it. Seems to me to make a little bit more sense to put my Casework parameters in a Casework group. Then I'll click New, and call this Hardware Material.
Now make sure that you change the material type from Length to Material, because otherwise it won't function properly. This is a Material parameter. Now I could keep going and add the other two, but what I want to show you is this is actually the wrong way to do it. So I'm just sort of demonstrating it, so that you can see it with your own eyes, but this is not the right way to do it. So I'm only going to create the one and I'll OK out of all of those dialogs. Now at this point to demonstrate that that's the wrong way to do it let me load it back into the project, Overwrite the existing version of the family, and then reopen the Casework Schedule.
And as you can see, the Hardware Material does not appear. Now once again, I've already shown you that if we edit this family and look at its Family Types it does have something assigned to Hardware. So the problem isn't a lack of material assignment, the problem is that now what we have, if we scroll down here and we Edit the Fields of this Schedule, we actually created another version of the Hardware Material. And if I add that to the Schedule, kind of move it up there, notice that I have two Hardware Materials, they both have the same name, which makes it even more confusing.
And if we click OK now we've got this problem. So I now have two Hardware material columns, and one of the families is reporting in one column and the other one in the other column. Now the reason I'm showing you this is to emphasize just how important it is that you maintain only one shared parameter file. If you have more than one shared parameter file, like I've just done here, it doesn't work. Because each shared parameter file creates a unique identifier for each parameter, so the name is actually not that important, what's important is that unique identifier that Revit assigns to it behind the scenes that we don't see.
All right, so let me undo this. I'm going to go to my drop down here and undo back to where I loaded the family. That will remove the work I did in the Schedule and that will replace the original version of the family that we started with. Now I still have the family open in the background and we'll come back to that in a moment, but let me show you the correct way now to get these parameters that I need. The parameters that I need already exist in the piece of Casework on the left, so I'm going to select that piece of Casework, edit that family, and then here, if I go to Family Types, there's the Parameters.
So let me select the first shared parameter here, Cabinet Material, go to Edit. Now you can see it's already established as a Shared parameter, however, a moment ago we had only the Select button available, but notice next to that there's now an Export button that's also available. When you have a shared parameter in a piece of content that does not exist in your currently loaded shared parameter file the Export button will become available. And when you click it it will just simply tell you it's going to export that shared parameter to your existing shared parameter file and create a group for it called Export Parameters.
So I'm going to go ahead and click OK and then repeat that for the other two Material Parameters. Now I can close this family, no need to save it, because I haven't done anything to it. Meanwhile, I'm going to switch back to the other family, and now all I need to do is replace the three family parameters that are in this family with the shared versions that we just exported. So I go back to Family Types, start at the top here, go to Edit, change it to a Shared parameter.
Notice that the Export button is grayed out here, because in this case we're switching it to a Shared parameter for the first time. We're going to select this, there's that Export Parameters that it created, and then I'll click OK. Do the Door and Drawer next. Shared parameters, Select. And then finally, the Hardware.
Now at this point you could save and close the file. I'm going to simply load it back into my project, Overwrite the existing, and now when I open the Schedule notice that all of the materials are filled in correctly and in the proper columns. So the trick there that's very important is understanding that one single master shared parameter file is what's required. Now this means that the right way to do shared parameters is to have a single file for not just you, not just for your current project and your current families, but for everybody in the office, and in fact, everybody in your organization.
So even if your company has multiple locations around the country or around the world ideally you'd all be sharing a single master shared parameter file to avoid the problems that I just walked you through. So if you have that one master shared parameter file then everything should function correctly and you'll have only a single copy of each parameter that will be categorized correctly and appear correctly in schedules and in tags.
NOTE: The exercise files for this course can only be opened in the most recent version of Revit (Revit 2017).
Skill Level Appropriate for all
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