Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Swap out shared families and non-shared families, part of Revit: Tips, Tricks, and Troubleshooting.
- [Instructor] This video I want to talk a little family management, specifically, shared families versus non-shared families. So, sometimes, when you build your family content you will nest in other families to help you build the various parts and pieces. And the decision of whether or not to make those nested components shared or not is what I want to discuss here in this video. So I've got several pieces of casework here, on screen, and a couple of them are using nested families for the cabinet fronts. Now, the two that are doing that are the sink base here and the double door base next to it, and there's another instance of that over here.
So, the rest of them, the cabinet fronts are just extrusions built right into those families. Now, while that's certainly okay, the disadvantage of doing that is, if you want to change the design of the doors, you know, go from a flush door to a raised panel door, or a solid door, switch it out with a glass door, it's a little bit more work. Because you have to completely redo all of the geometry. But if you use a nested family for those cabinet fronts, then you can just simply load in a new version of the cabinet front, and swap out the original one that's there.
And it's a little bit easier, and then you can use that same one in several different families. So that's what I've done here. The only difference is, in this family, the double-door family, if we tab in, I can actually select the individual nested doors. And if I try to do that with the sink base, I can't, okay, it selects the entire family. So the difference is, here, the doors are shared families, so I can actually select any of the door fronts or the drawer fronts individually. Also, when we look at a schedule, those items will show up individually on a schedule as well.
So you can see all these cabinet fronts are coming from this and this instance of those two base cabinets. Sometimes that might be advantageous to have those as separate selectable items. So let's say that I wanted that behavior and I wanted that to be replicated for the sink base as well. So what that means I need to do is I need to select the sink base, edit the family, and then swap out these instances of the cabinet fronts with a shared version of the same.
So, to do that, I'll just simply select one of the instances, edit that family, and then, here in this family, I'm two levels deep now, all I have to do is check this box over here on the Properties palette for Shared. That makes this a shared family as opposed to a non-shared family. Now I just load it back into the base cabinet family. I'm going to clear the project file for the moment, and it will ask me if I want to overwrite the existing version, which I do, so I'll choose that.
And now, these three instances of that family are now the shared versions. So now I need to load this modified version of the base cabinet back into the project. So now, I want to make sure that the project file is chosen, and click OK, and again it will ask me if I want to overwrite the existing. Now I'll get a second overwrite message, because now that I have a shared family nested in there, it also wants to know what I want to do about the instance that already exists.
So, remember, this base cabinet sitting next to it already had a shared version of the cabinet front. So now we're bringing in a new version of the cabinet front that's also shared, and they both have the same name, and so Revit's saying "which one do you want?" You could bring in the one coming from the sink base. You could use the one that was already here in the double base, or you could just ignore both of those and use the one that's already in the project. Now, in this case, it honestly doesn't really matter. Any one of these three options would give me the same result because they're actually identical.
So, in this case, I'm just going to use the existing sub-component that's already in the project, and that gets applied then to my sink base. Okay, so that version of it gets applied to my sink base. Now, if I use my tab key over here, I can actually select the individual cabinet fronts now. So that's the advantage of having changed those to a shared family. If I look at the schedule again, now I have a few more instances here, and what I'm going to do is come over here to sorting and grouping, click Edit, and turn on Grand Total.
And you could see that I have 28 total pieces of cabinetry in here which includes all of these drawer fronts. Now if I pull this schedule down over here, and kind of put it onscreen in front of my 3D view, let's just sort of reposition some of those, you can actually click through these, and see them select there in the model as well. Right, so there they all are, including the three that are on the sink base. So, that is how you would take a non-shared version and replace it with a shared version.
Pretty easy, it's just a matter of checking the box and overwriting the existing. It's a little bit more involved if you want to go the other way. So let's say that I looked at that, and I looked at the schedule and I didn't like the fact that all of those door fronts were listing separately for some reason. Or, for whatever reason, I just didn't want it to behave that way. I still want to use the nested door, but I would rather it not be a separate item. In that case, what I want to do is turn off the shared behavior. Okay, so how do we do that? So it's back to this family. Now, I've already got it open so if I click Edit Family, it's just going to take me right back to that.
And, now what I want to do, is replace this back with a non-shared version. Now, again, we already have that open, so I'll just switch over here, and what do we do, right? We just uncheck Shared, right? Load it back in, okay, let's give that a try. Uncheck the project, check the family, and, unfortunately, Revit says "sorry you can't do that". So, it's not going to allow me to replace a shared version with a non-shared version in that it'll just display a few errors and then take me back to the file. Okay, so what we need to do is we need to do another step back in the base cabinet first.
So, I'll switch over here to the base cabinet, and what I want to do here is locate this family on the Project Browser. So if we scroll down in the Project Browser, expand Families, and expand Casework, there's the Cabinet Front family. All you need to do here is right-click and rename it, and just change the name slightly. I'll just add a number one to the end of the name. Now that I've done that, I can switch back to the Cabinet Front family that I've unchecked shared, load it in, and it will happily load in as a completely new family now.
And, in fact, it even wants to place itself, and you could place it if you wanted to, but we don't really need to place one so I'm just going to delete that. What we want to do instead is right-click Select All Instances, Visible in View, get all three selected and then come over here to the Properties palette and change them to the new non-shared version, which is right here, the one without the number one at the end. That now means that the cabinet front one is no longer being used so I can simply delete it. And now, I've replaced the shared versions with a non-shared version.
Now I can load it back into the project file, overwrite the existing, and this time, it will not prompt me to overwrite the nested version because it's no longer shared, so it doesn't need to do that. And if you go back to your schedule, my grand total now says 25 instead of 28, because I've removed those three instances of the shared family. Now if you want to remove these, then you just simply need to repeat that entire process on this family, and it would be the same exact steps. So, whether or not you want to go from non-shared to shared or shared to non-shared, the process is fairly straight forward.
It's a little bit more involved when you want to replace a shared family with a non-shared family, but as long as you know that trick about renaming it, it should work pretty fluidly.
NOTE: The exercise files for this course can only be opened in the most recent version of Revit (Revit 2017).
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