Categorizing Revit families


Revit families always seem to be a “hot topic” discussion, and there’s a lot we need to understand in terms of how they are created and how they will function once loaded into a project environment.

While there’s probably more to discuss than could ever be covered in one single blog post, let’s start by talking a little about Revit family categories. The selection of a Revit family template is a critical first step that occurs when we initially launch the creation of a new family file. We are prompted to select one of Revit’s pre-defined, out-of-the-box family templates:



Selecting a family template


These templates lay the groundwork for a number of different things, but probably the most important is that it will determine what the family category is from here on out. The category is a defining trait that controls the organization, (potential) visibility, graphic representation, and scheduling behavior of the family once loaded into a project environment. Choose wisely because – as you might imagine – your selection of a family template will inevitably have downstream ramifications.

And what if we’ve chosen incorrectly, only to realize later that our family should have been categorized otherwise? Not to worry; at any point in time we can modify what the family category is. We simply need to edit the family, enable the “Family Category and Parameters” dialog, and redefine the family category.



Enabling “Family Category and Parameters”



Redefining the family category


However, be aware that although the family category can be changed at any point in time, if we’ve selected a template that defines the family as any sort of “hosted” object, this is something that cannot be undone.

So, it is worth mentioning here that just like we might brainstorm or develop a plan of attack for establishing a Revit project file, we also need to put some thought towards “planning” the family files we create as well.

Happy Revit-eering.

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