Have you ever wondered if there are API commands for addressing or automating Type Catalog information in Revit? A recent post from Jeremy Tammik covered some of this. In it, he discusses the difference between

  • the embedded MEP lookup tables (which the API can address using FamilySizeTable and FamilySizeTableManager), and
  • the legacy text file lookup tables, which are basically a specially formatted TXT file with the same name as the RFA.

The post is well worth a read, as he also references some useful resources in the Revit help and an AU class

 What about units in Type Catalogues? Quoting directly from The Building Coder:
Question: we’re trying to create type catalogue in txt file for Radiator family. We were trying to define a parameter in watt units, with no success. How to define header for this parameter?
Answer: Look at page 15 of Martin Schmid’s Autodesk University class handout on Creating Revit MEP Content for Engineering Coordination.
Here is a sample Exhaust Fan RFA and TXT file for you to play with.
They don’t use Watts, but should give the idea if you are not already familiar with type catalogues.
Also, the families guide provides a list of the parameter types, namely, for electrical_power: watts, kilowatts, british_thermal_units_per_second, british_thermal_units_per_hour, calories_per_second, kilocalories_per_second, volt_amperes, kilovolt_amperes, horsepower.

From original post at: http://thebuildingcoder.typepad.com/blog/2015/07/type-catalogues.html

So, you have received a RTE or RVT file (along with related CSV lookup tables) and want to upgrade it without getting the “One or more families in this project are missing .csv files” error…

For example, you may download a Piping Template (like this one from AUGI), and it comes with CSV files but you don’t know where to put them? Or you have received some other MEP template file from the wild, and you would like to upgrade and use it?

The thing with MEP content is that some of it is based on, or related to, Lookup Tables. These are text (CSV) files that contain type data, essentially making it easy to create and manage types without having to always use the Family Editor to do so. However, if these are missing, you will get an error message when you attempt to open or upgrade a project that needs them:

To fix this, you need to copy the required CSV files into the Pipe and Conduit subfolders of the Lookup Tables folder that matches the version of Revit that you are upgrading TO.

The key Project Browser tree entries are Conduit Fittings and Pipe Fittings:

If you have a Suite installed, you may find that these CSV files are duplicated in various locations, to provide support files for 3dsMax and Navisworks. Some of these paths are shown here:

You can browse to the above paths, and start to put together a “consolidated” or “combined” CSV Lookup Table folder, that you may want to maintain in a network location. Once you have collected all of the necessary CSVs, here is how you “install” them:

  1. Determine location to put the CSV files into (usually it will be near your Family Templates folder, a few example paths are provided below)
  2. Create a master folder of all required CSV files (you could maintain a consolidated folder in a network location)
  3. Copy these CSV files to the Pipe and Conduit folder locations (you shouldn’t need to restart Revit).
  4. Open the MEP RVT or template file that you wish to upgrade
  5. Any CSV files that are still missing are the ones you need to find, and put in the Pipe and Conduit subfolders as per steps 1-3.

You could script some of the above steps to aid in deployment.
Revit 2014 Lookup Tables default location:
C:ProgramDataAutodeskRVT 2014Lookup TablesPipe
C:ProgramDataAutodeskRVT 2014Lookup TablesConduit

Revit 2015 Lookup Tables default location:
C:ProgramDataAutodeskRVT 2015Lookup TablesPipe
C:ProgramDataAutodeskRVT 2015Lookup TablesConduit

NOTE: Massive amounts of CSV lookup tables in the default directory may result in slow Revit performance, particularly when starting Revit.

If you want to import Lookup Tables directly into families (and you are perhaps experiencing errors with nested families), this PDF may be of interest.

Finally, you can actually modify Lookup Table location using the revit.ini file, as described here. You could therefore point your Revit installations to a network location containing all of the required CSV files for your firm.

You can download content from Seek and other places online. Sometimes you will find a CSV file, sometimes you may have to export one as per the video below:

There is some related info at:

Feel free to comment if you have any other tips related to Lookup Tables…

From Darren Snook:
Essentially, 2 URL parameters are added to the family. The first is pathed to a csv file, which allows much easier editing than the text file. The second points to a batch script, which will copy the csv files to text files for Revit to use as the catalogue to load from.


Read more / via:
Revit @ Waterman: Type Catalogue Tips

Here’s a question though:  In 2014-world, does this scenario become a little different – as Type Catalogs can exist in the family?

There have been a few posts recently about how to fix Type Catalog errors.  If you use Russian Revit (particularly Web Update 2), the following fix will be useful (the key part is changing the file encoding to Unicode):

We find the folder for Russia, such as doors, inside we see two types of files *. RFA and *. TXT First, the actual file of the family, the second directory sizes. Here is a directory and have a problem! Open the text file the appropriate “problem” families, withNotepad:
Without changing anything, just save the file as … and change only the encoding to Unicode.
Resave the file over an existing one.
Before opening the file, do not forget to remove the check mark in the properties file read-only

via Translated version of

Borissofff: Cервис-пак для Revit 2012 (WU 2) и ошибка кодировки

I received the ‘Unacceptable list separator’ error while trying to:

  • load a family from file into a project, and
  • load types into the family from a Type Catalog.

I assumed the problem was to do with Type Catalog.  The family I was trying to load was from the ‘Australia’ default content – 

AustraliaStructuralFramingSteelCHS-Circular Hollow Sections (AS 1163).rfa

To fix this issue I followed these steps:

  1. Open the Family
  2. Export the Types to a Type Catalog file.  The exported Type Catalog should only include one type, but the syntax should be correct…
  3. Open the exported Type Catalog in Excel – as a comma-delimited file
  4. Open the ORIGINAL Type Catalog in Excel – as a comma-delimited file
  5. Copy the fields from the ‘Original’ default Type Catalog into your new ‘fixed’ Type Catalog (there may be more columns in the ‘fixed’ version, just Auto-Fill the other fields as necessary)
  6. In Excel, save the ‘fixed’ version as:
    Other Formats – CSV (MS-DOS)
  7. After closing the file, rename it so that .TXT is its extension.
  8. Use this fixed Type Catalog to load all of the types into the opened Family.