Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Managing family parameters, part of Revit: Tips, Tricks, and Troubleshooting.
- [Voiceover] This week I have a few miscellaneous items for you in the Family Editor. And some of these are actually relatively new features in the current releases of Revit. So, let's take a look here. I'm going to take this 3D view of this little cabinet that I have open, this is just a Family file, and I'm gonna sort of pan that out of the way a little bit. And then open up the Family Types dialogue. Now, here in Family Types you can see I have a decent amount of parameters in here and there's several within each grouping. And when you start having a lot of parameters it can sometimes get a little bit cumbersome in the order that they're in might be a little undesirable.
And up until very recently, you really had no control over the order, it would just be in whatever order Revit decided to put them in. But now we have a few options available to us. So, the first is the Sort Order here. We can do either Ascending or Descending. So, I'm just gonna look in this Materials and Finishes area here. You can see I've got a Cabinet Material that's the letter C so if I do Ascending, notice how that pulls that up to the top of the list. Now it actually sorted all of the list, it does all of them. And you can also do Descending and it will kind of do the reverse, right? So, you can start with that to kind of get things maybe close to what you want and then if there are still some things you want to shuffle around you can fine tune it further.
Like, for example, this Finish parameter here, well, that's one of the built-in parameters and I can't really do anything with that, per se. It's not even really a Material parameter, it's actually just a text parameter. So, that's fine, I'm kind of stuck with it but I don't really want it to be right in the middle of my list. Well, now I can come over here and I've got Move Up and Move Down. So at least I can move it down and kind of put it at the bottom of the list and get it out of the way, right? So that's something that you can do with that.
Now, I can also use that Move Up and Down in any of the other groupings. So, for example, this parameter is being determined by a formula. So, you can't really edit that anyway so why not move that down to the bottom of the list as well, right? And that kind of shuffles things around. And, you know, maybe I want the Toe Height and the Toe Depth here, maybe I want those to move up, so I can move those up and I can start with the height or I could start with the depth. But the point is that using Move Up and Down or Ascending and Descending, you now can have complete control over the order that all the parameters are displayed in.
If you OK this and I'll create a New Project, and I'll just use the Architectural template. And I'll switch back over to that base cabinet, load it into the project, and place somewhere on screen. When I select this and go to Edit Type, you'll see that the order that we asked for is preserved when it gets loaded into the project. So it just makes for a little bit nicer experience on the user's end.
Okay, what else can we do? Alright, back here in Family Types is another issue that I want to point out. When you scroll down under Dimensions, this was a Casework Family so, like many of the built-in Family templates, there are certain features that are built-into a template to start off with. And you can't change those built-in features. And among them, for Casework, we have some Dimension parameters and if I select, say, the Depth parameter here, and I click the Modify tool, you'll see that everything is grayed out and it will tell me up here that this is a built-in parameter.
So, it's basically telling me sorry you can't edit this one. But, it turns out that if you're clever, you may not be able to modify the Name or the Discipline or the Type of Parameter where it's stored but Type and Instance actually is modifiable, you just have to know how to do it. So I'm gonna cancel out of here and I'm gonna go to the Ground Floor view within this Family. Now, this is not necessarily a great example for Casework because chances are you're gonna want these parameters to stay Type parameters when you're dealing with Casework.
But, just for the sake of argument, let's say that I wanted the width of this to stay a Type parameter but for whatever reason, I want the depth to be an Instance parameter. Well I can select the Depth right here and you will see up here on the Options bar that there is a little checkbox called Instance Parameter. And I can check that and now if I go back to Family Types notice that the Depth parameter now has the word Default next to it, indicating that it is an Instance parameter.
And so even though I wasn't able to modify it here and change it to Instances, you can see very clearly that it is set as an Instance parameter and I was able to achieve that fairly readily. Now, one last thing that's not necessarily a feature of the Family Editor, per se, but it's definitely a tip that I like to do. You might notice here that all of the dimensions in this particular family are actually measuring in inches. So I just like to point out that when you're working on a lot of Family content, don't overlook some of the obvious settings.
You're able to go to Manage, click on Project Units, and you can change the Unit Format to anything that you like. So in this case I changed my Casework Family to use fractional inches because most of the time Casework is measured in inches rather than feet. Now, if you're working in a metric file you can change it to millimeters or centimeters and do the same thing. In fact, one other little tip is that you can actually create a single Family that includes content for both imperial and metric.
So, what I'm going to do is go back to Family Types here, and I'm gonna create a New Type, and I'm gonna call this one 600 x 900. So, that is pretty much the same size as the one that was here, just in millimeters. And now all I have to do is come down to the different settings and change them to be millimeters. And now here's the beauty, you don't have to do any math at all.
I just type in 600mm and press Enter and Revit will do the math for me. And then for the width I'll do 900mm, for the height there it's 34 3/4, so it's about an inch shy of 900 so I'm going to put in 875mm, like so. Now, the other settings I'm going to leave alone but I'll just click OK there. You'll see it gets slightly smaller.
I'm gonna go to the Application menu, New, Project. I'm gonna click Browse here and back up to my metric folder, choose my default metric template, click OK, then I'm going to go back to the Base Cabinet Family, load it into this project, Project 2 now, and just sort of place it right there. Now, I accidentally placed the 24 x 36 so let me change that to the 600 x 900.
And now I will Dimension that to show you that the sizes are perfect. So, even though I did do 600mm for the width, the plan representation is a little wider than that because it's taking into account that little overhang and I didn't change those values. But I think you see that we're able to do that. If you need to create content that's useful for both imperial and metric users it's actually fairly easy to do directly in the Family Editor with a Single Family file.
NOTE: The exercise files for this course can only be opened in the most recent version of Revit (Revit 2017).