July 31, 2014

Batch Adding Shared Parameters to Revit Families

I’ve given several presentations now on the topic of Revit data management and in particular on the use of shared parameters and one of the consistent questions that I get is, “how can I push lots of parameters to Revit family files (.RFA)?” For those of you that are on Autodesk subscription, there’s a tool that does just that, though it’s a little difficult to find and navigate through. Here’s a recent link from Autodesk that mentions the tools, though surprisingly it omits this particular feature from the list.

After you locate and install the Revit Extensions you will find the tool hidden on the Extensions Tab under the Tools button. It’s called “Shared/Project Parameters” from the pull-down, but when it’s launched it will open a dialog that says “Shared Parameter Converter”. 

This image shows that I am asking the tool to read all of the .RFA files found within my “11 Specialty Equip” folder and that I am going to read particular parameters from my Shared Parameter file and push them into these families. The modified families will then be copied into a new folder called “Updated Specialty Equip” and the results of this work will be included in my “!test” folder as a log file.

The Shared Parameters Converter Dialog From
Revit Extensions (2014/2015)
In this example my goal is to transfer two new shared parameters into these families. The Configuration dialog looks like this: 

Shared Parameters Configuration Settings
To confirm that this worked, I then loaded all families into a single blank project file (.RVT). Revit supports multi-select for this process. You can also drag-drop from Windows.

Using a blank template file, load the modified families for review.
The results confirm the existence of these new parameters, but now I want to fill out the values. I can use Ideate BIMLink to complete this task. 

Editing the parameter values with Ideate BIMLink
and then importing back into the test file. 
Once the families are cleaned up, you can right-click from Family Browser to export them back to the desired folder location. 

Pushing multiple parameters to multiple Revit family files is a powerful function that is made possible by the Revit Extensions tool. Before you alter your families in this way you should be sure to consult with your BIM team and also to review whether the parameters truly need to be specified within the families themselves. You can read more on that topic, here: I ♥ Revit Parameters Part 1: Should It Be Shared?

About the Author

Glynnis Patterson, NCARB – Director of Software Development Glynnis is a Registered Architect and has worked within the BIM industry since 1998. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, she has worked as an architect, educator and construction site manager. Glynnis is currently the Director of Software Development Services at Ideate, Inc. and continues to work with AEC clients worldwide, developing, and consulting on solutions to Building Information Modeling challenges. In her spare time Glynnis does volunteer work for eclcofnj.org and growitgreenmorristown.org. @GVPinNJ