Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Family Editor, part of Revit 2017: New Features for Architecture.
- [Voiceover] The family editor has gotten a variety of new enhancements in this release, so in this movie, let's go ahead and take a look at several of these new features. Now I wanna start with reference planes. Now reference planes are the bones of any good family, so I am really excited about these new enhancements. Now, reference planes don't display in 3D views, so let me switch views here, and I'll go to a ref levle floor plan. And I have a lot of reference planes in this view, but I wanna just focus on these out here at the edges that I've created.
I've created these for the clearances around the pool table, so I wanna kinda create an object that represents the minimal clearance that's needed for this pool table. Now, the first new enhancement I wanna share with you is that previously you'd have to select a reference plane and then go over to the properties palette to name it, like right here. And I could still do that. Right clearance. But now, if you like, you can actually name the reference planes directly in canvas.
So you just simply click on the little indicator and type in the name. And this can certainly be a little bit easier, because you don't have to switch the focus of your mouse. Choose whichever method you prefer. You can still do it on the properties palette, but you can also do it directly, which I really like. Now, the feature I like even more is that we can finally create categories, subcategories, for our reference planes. So it's similar to creating different types.
What I've always done is I've varied the lengths of my reference planes, so this one's long and this one's a little bit shorter, and then this one's kinda in between. And I do that to establish a visual hierarchy between the different reference planes, particularly in really complex families where you have lots and lots of reference planes, it gets so busy that you can't really tell what is what. Well, now, what you can do is go to the manage tab, click object styles, go to the annotation objects tab, and select reference planes. And you can now add a subcategory.
So I'm gonna call this clearance, and give it a color. I'm gonna choose this purple color here. And I'll make it a dash line. You can change the line weight as well if you want to. Now, I'm gonna select these reference planes, and here on the properties palette, I can now choose that clearance subcategory, and it will assign them to that color and line type. So now it's much easier to distinguish the different kinds of reference planes from each other visually, as long as I go in and create a few logical subcategories.
I love this new feature, and I highly encourage you to use it, especially in complex families. Now, next let's get these dimensions all squared away. I've added the dimensions, but they're all sort of random right now. So I'm gonna select with my control key each of these four dimensions, and then, to label them with the new parameter, the interface has changed a little. Previously, the label drop down was here on the options bar, but it's now here on the ribbon. Furthermore, instead of opening the label list to get to new parameter, there's now a small icon right here to create a parameter.
Otherwise, it's very similar to the previous experience. So I'm gonna call this clearance offset. Now, here, I'm gonna make it a type parameter. It's already length and it's under dimensions. But here we could also optionally add a tool tip. And I like to use this as almost like a description for this parameter. So if you want your user to be absolutely sure what the purpose of this parameter is for, go ahead and put that tool tip in. Now let's look at where that's gonna show up.
If I go to family types, and hover over the clearance offset parameter, notice that right below it now it gives me that tool tip, which just makes for a much more user-friendly interface. Now I'm gonna go ahead and put in the minimum clearance here, 58 inches. I'll click apply. It'll flex that, so I can verify that it's working. And the other enhancements, you'll probably notice that this dialogue has changed a little bit. Up at the top, next to the type name, instead of a couple buttons to create a new type, rename, or delete existing types, they've changed them to these simpler icons.
Beneath that, we now have a search parameters field. Now, this particular family only has a few parameters, but if you had lots of parameters, you could start typing in a search criteria and it will simplify the list to make it much easier to find the parameter you're looking for. I'll click this X here to clear the search. Furthermore, you can now rearrange the order of the parameters, so if I don't want clearance offset to come first, I can use these move up and down buttons here to shift it around and move it down to the bottom. I could also sort it alphabetically or reverse alphabetically if I wanted to.
So that's gonna sort all the parameters, and then you can, you know, fine tune by moving them around. And all the buttons that used to be over here have now shifted over here and become these small icons, but they all serve the same functions as they previously did. So let me go ahead and okay out of here, and the next thing I wanna do is to actually create the object that's gonna represent my clearance. So I'm gonna go to my create tab and click on model line. I'm gonna make a rectangle, turn on the radius option, and set that radius to one foot, or one unit.
I'll snap from here across to here. It'll round off all four corners, and I'll go ahead and lock those icons in all four directions. I'm gonna highlight one, press tab, and click to select them, and instead of putting them on furniture, I'm gonna put them on the hidden lines category so that they show up as a dashed line. Seems a little bit more appropriate to me. Now, this next new feature is also among my favorites. So it's often necessary to constrain objects in the family editor that have curvature, and it can be a little bit challenging to do this.
In fact, I've done an entire course here in the library on that very subject. Well, now we have a new feature that makes this a snap. By selecting this curve that I've created, right here there's a new toggle join tangency option, and all I have to do is click those little tangent locks and now it will guarantee that those curves remain tangent to the straight lines. How easy is that to make sure that you keep that relationship? I love that new feature.
Really super handy. So now if we wanna test everything out, we can go to family types, go to our seven foot family, I'm going to change the clearance offset to 58, click apply, you can see that everything gets a little bit smaller, and all those tangets are maintained for me, I don't have to worry about them. I'm gonna go ahead and go back to my eight foot size and click okay. So very, very useful. Now the next thing is if I made those model lines, so if I go to my 3D view, they will display in 3D.
That's what I was after. But maybe I wanna allow for the option of being able to turn them off. So I'm gonna select all of those lines using my chain selection, next to visibility here, click the small little associate family parameter, click the new icon, and call this new parameter show clearance. Now it's a visibility parameter, I'll put it under graphics. And then I'll click okay. And okay again. Now it's currently turned on.
If I go to family types and I uncheck it to turn it off, it changes to gray and the dashed line goes away. Now this is what the family editor has traditionally done for visibility parameters. So you kinda just have to use your imagination here, and, you know, understand what it's gonna look like. Well, we now have another new feature down here, preview family visibility. So when I choose preview visibility on, it gives me this yellow border here, it displays preview visibility, and anything that's turned off gets hidden.
So this is a really easy way for you to visualize what the family is gonna look like without having to load it into the project and try it out there. I mean, eventually you will load it in the project, but it's gonna save you a little bit of time. Now the last thing I wanna show you here is that the filter dialogue has gotten a little bit smarter as well. So I've selected everything, and I've got solids, voids, loaded families. When I go to filter, it now distinguishes between the solids and the voids. Previously it didn't do that, it would just say other.
So this is really a nice enhancement as well if you wanna deselect the voids but keep the solids selected, it was very challenging to do that before. Now it's a lot easier. So I think the sum total of all these different little enhancements to the family editor really make the experience working in the family editor that much more productive, and I for one am super excited about them.
- Editing in 3D
- Using tags
- Modeling stairs and railings
- Rendering in Revit 2017
- Working with the Family Editor
- Using global parameters
- Adjusting elevation depth
- Exploring the new text editor