Picture this. You are quickly approaching a deadline on a project and there is still a lot to do before submitting your drawings for review. You are looking all over the place for content that you can grab and drop into your Revit model. You look at other Revit projects, the internet, or your hastily create your own content. At this point you do not even care how you got it, how it's named or how it's organized in your model. As long as it works and conveys intent, everything is fine, right?

Now that you have met your deadline and things have settled, you proceed with the next phase of your project. As you continue to develop your model, you quickly realize that you cannot find any of the content that you have loaded into your model because of the way the families have been named and organized. Out of frustration, you either try to load the family again or you continue to find similar content, making the model more and more complex.

Perhaps this situation sounds a little familiar, right? I know that I have been guilty of this in the past, especially when deadlines are approaching and there is no time to manage the Revit model. Thankfully, we have a quick and simple solution for managing Family names and data using Ideate BIMLink. Using the method outlined below, you can quickly rename your families and update family data, to meet your office standards and make them easier to find. Once your families are well organized, you have the option of exporting the newly renamed families to your project directory or to another location for shared usage.

Below is an example of families that are improperly named, which usually leads to difficulty in finding content within a model.

Improperly Named Families

Use the Project_Stds-Rename_Types .Link file that ships with Ideate BIMLink as a starting point for renaming and editing project families.

Use the Project_Stds-Rename_Types .Link file to start renaming and editing project families.

Once you have selected the .Link file, you can add and/or remove Type Based parameters that you want to edit. In this example, we are only interested in editing the Family Names and Type Names.

Add and/or remove Type Based parameters that you want to edit.

If you are interested in removing any categories from the Multi-Category list, you have the option of doing so before exporting to Excel. In this example, we chose to keep all of the family types, including the System Families.

Editing the Multi-Category List 

Before exporting to Excel, you have the option of sorting your data so that it is pre-sorted when you open the Excel file.

Sorting Parameters

If your current Family Name and Type Name parameters have the improper use of upper and lower case lettering, you can use a feature in Excel called Proper. Using Proper will make the first letter of a word uppercase and the rest of the letters will be lower case. If you want everything to be UPPERCASE, you can use the Upper feature. Once you have set up one of the cells, simply fill down to complete the Proper feature. You can then copy-clip the column of Proper cells and paste-special under the family and (and Type name) to replace the old names with the Proper names.

Ensuring Proper Case

In the example shown below, we have added a CSI division number prefix to the family name. We first added the correct CSI number in a column off to the side (column E) and then concatenated (using & for Concatenate) the CSI column (column E) with the Family Name column (column F). Since we do not want the CSI number to increase by 1 for each cell that we fill down, we must put a $ in front of the cell letter and another $ in front of the cell number. When we fill down, the CSI division number will not change from cell to cell. Once you have set up one of the cells, simply fill down to complete the Concatenate feature.

Concatenate, CSI and Family Name

Once you have completed the fill, simply copy-clip the column of concatenated cells and paste-special under the Family Name to replace the old names with the concatenated names.

Copy & Paste Family Names

When you Excel file has been completed, saved and closed, you can return to Ideate BIMLink and Import the recently saved Excel file. Review the Import Link dialogue box for any errors and warnings, then click on Import. Close out of BIMLink to complete the import process.

Review Errors and Warning

As you can see from the image below, our families are nicely named and organized. At this point, you can Export your entire Component-based Family Library to your project directory or to another location of your choice. 

Result: Organized Families

Managing Revit Families to have a streamlined and well organized model will save you a lot of time, money and hassle. While the example shown focused on renaming Component Based Families, you can also dig deeper by editing System Family Type Names and Type Based Parameters as well. Once your families are well organized and edited, you have the option of exporting the newly renamed component families to your project directory or to another location for shared usage. For additional Family editing tips and tricks, see our video on the Family name editing process.


About the Author

Sash Kazeminejad - ACI, LEED AP AEC Senior Application Specialist Sash brings proficiency in Autodesk solutions including AutoCAD and Revit Architecture to Ideate customers. His industry experience includes project management, BIM Management, and design for Architectural firms in California, Montana and Oregon. He is LEED accredited professional and is on track to achieve California licensure with Oregon to follow. In his academic life, Sash was awarded a variety of college scholarships, earned a BA in Environmental Design, a MA in Architecture from Montana State University (MSU) and taught Building Information Modeling courses at MSU Gallatin College. As a Revit Architecture Autodesk Certified Instructor, Sash provides Revit Architecture training and support for AEC firms. @sashpdx



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