When setting up View Filters in Revit, you can only select Filter parameters that are ‘commonamong the Categories that you have ticked… If I haven’t lost you yet, here is a quick way to build a View Filter that uses a custom parameter (like a Shared Parameter) and works across all possible Categories.

  1. Firstly, add the Shared Parameter to all Categories using Manage – Project Parameters
  2. Create a new Filter
  3. Tick one of the top Categories in the list, and choose your desired Shared Parameter as a filter criteria
  4. Now, start ticking the categories to apply this to one by one…
  5. As you go down the list, Revit will occasionally give this prompt: “The selected set of categories requires that the filter criteria be reset
  6. When you see this message, click No, and then move on to ticking the next Category
  7. In this way, you retain you Shared Parameter as a Filter Criteria for as many Categories as possible…

Once again, we just have to know What Revit Wants 🙂

Following this tweet from Sean:

(which was in response to my post about the Revit Category Guide.)

I was tempted to use the IFC roundtrip method to make some Road families in Revit.  So, here they are for download:

You can’t Schedule or Tag them normally, but you can use Material Tags, modify the Category and Subcategories using Object Styles, and view them in the Project Browser.

As always, use these “unsupported” methods with care…

Here are some similar posts:
Convert All Masses (including in-place Mass) to Generic Models via IFC

You can break Revit by making Room families

In-place and Component families of Stair and Railing Category

Having repeatedly asked and searched for a detailed, up-to-date and accurate Category Guide for Revit to no avail, I have decided to start one as a simple shared Google spreadsheet.

The purpose of this is to capture all of the unique properties of each Category, so they can be quickly viewed and understood by Revit users at all levels.

The document can be viewed at:

I have selectively invited a few top Revit users to contribute.  Please let me know if you want to help out with editing the document.

A while back, RevitCat got me thinking about the rules associate with family swapping in Revit.  Here are a couple:

  • You can change the Category of a family (using Edit Family, Load into Project) with a particular name, and all instances of that family will also (obviously) change Category.  Obviously, there are certain restrictions to this process (for instance, you can’t switch to Mass category or from Mass category without some kind of hack).
  • You can swap a family of a certain Category for a totally different family of the same Category using ‘Reload’ in the Project Browser, or ‘Select All Instances’ and then just changing the instances in the Type Selector.

Unless you can reverse engineer this bug, you will have to essentially follow RevitCat’s advice – to change just a single Type of a Family to a different Category, I would probably Edit the Family (from the Project Browser), save/rename it, load it, Select All Instances of the Type you want to switch, change it to the renamed version, and then use the method from the first bullet point above.

In response to:
RevitCat: Changing category of just one type in a Revit family

Another interesting point from his post:
If you plan to change categories of a family, it will appear to wipe out the sub-categories – but actually they are still there, hidden away;  they may show up in the project listed under the old category in Visibility Graphics.

From time to time, I export all of the families in a project and add it to our Library as a ‘snapshot’ of where our families were at during that project.  However, Revit still does not export the families into folders by Category (there used to be an add-in that did this).

Happily, a new free tool from Kiwi Codes will take a folder and then sort all of the RFAs into folders by Category for you!

  1. Download (need to submit email as per image below). 
    You can also download it from Autodesk Exchange. (direct link)
  2. Install
  3. Run from Revit

    I did a test run of this on about 200 families – it sorted them in a couple of minutes.  If you don’t know how to export families from a Project, just go:

    1. File – Save As
    2. Library
    3. Family
    4. All families

    From their website:
    This tool takes all the families located in the specified folder and sub folders and organizes them into Category named folders in the target directory.
    Family Categorizer | Products | Kiwi Codes Solutions Ltd

    Heads-up via
    Family Categorizer | AEC-APPS

    EDIT 2 – I have received confirmation from the Director of Kiwi Codes that the tool is “totally Free and not time locked …”

    EDIT – While the website clearly states ‘This tool is free’ (see image above), I received the following by email:
    Thank you for your interest in Family Categorizer and downloading the 21 day trial. We hope that you see the benefits that Family Categorizer will bring to your business like others worldwide are reporting.

    EDIT Current category guide post:

    In Revit, some families have Cut Dominance, some are Cuttable, and some respect various View Range rules in various ways.

    These behaviours may further be affected by the Family Template that they were created from, whether they are Hosted or non-Hosted, whether they are Shared or not Shared.

    Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a document that went through each Family Category and described its unique properties!  I have asked Autodesk for this before, but to no avail (SR# 1-9298685321 – The help file does not describe the unique properties of each Category).

    Andy Milburn shares my feeling on this matter:
    … I wish I know where to find a clear explanation of all these rules.
    Shades of Grey: CUT ! CUT ! CUT !

    What about the Families Guide?

    I may not have all the answers, but I have posted many times about the differences between certain Family Categories.  See some links below:

    Cuttable vs Non-cuttable Family Category Properties

    View Ranges (and TOLERANCES) Explained *REPOST*
    Things like –
    Walls shorter than 6 feet (approximately 1.83 meters) are not cut, even if they intersect the cut plane, and
    There are a few categories for which an element located above the cut plane but partially below the top clip is shown in plan. These categories include windows, casework, and generic model. These objects are shown as viewed from above.

    Project Family Category Type Instance
    which Categories do not have Types, or which Category has Types but no Instances?

    Making unhosted components like unhosted Doors and Windows

    Create a Component Family with Category set to Walls (or other system family category)
    Yes, it is possible.

    Plan regions have no effect on Topography – workarounds

    buildz: Wall Trimming Method
    Cut Dominance in action

    Awesome post to Wikihelp by Ping Jiang, Software Quality Assurance Engineer, Autodesk.

    The short version:
    basically when the old stairs upgrade to Revit 2013 and mix with new stairs in the project, we just need to simply uncheck the visibility of ‘above’Riser Lines and Riser Lines, then the representation for them will be almost exactly the same [as pre-2013] in all the views.

    Read the complete and detailed guide at:
    Stairs Representation During Upgrade – WikiHelp

    Here is a little gift to all my readers.  The link below allows you to download a 2012 version RVT project that contains In-place and Component versions of families that are of the Category ‘Stairs’ and ‘Railings’.
    Download link

    Revit does not allow this to happen out-of-the-box, so you can be sure that this hack is not best practice, and it won’t be supported by Autodesk.  Use at your own risk!

    Having said that, if you know what you are doing, these families could be quite useful to you.

    Revit Family Stair Category

    RFA Railing Category