There are two additional recommendations I would make to the Autodesk solution below: use a Generic Model inplace family, and the import can be placed on an additional Subcategory to allow for easier control over visibility in the project environment.

Here is the Autodesk solution:


You want to display cut 3D drawing models in section views. Revit displays the entire drawing without regard to cutting plane, both in section and floor plan views. 



Revit cannot currently display cut 3D drawing models in section views.


  1. In AutoCAD, run EXPORTTOAUTOCAD to export a DWG file.
  2. Import or link the DWG file into an in-place family.

Support page:
3D drawing is not being cut in section or elevation in Revit | Revit Products | Autodesk Knowledge Network

Have you ever wanted to copy a directory tree of family files to a single directory? Once you do this, you can load them all into a Revit instance in a single “Load Family” operation – just go to the directory and then Ctrl+A to select all, then click Open.

The following script will copy a directory tree to a single directory – essentially discarding the directory structure. It also filters by file type and only includes RFA files. Copy the code to Notepad, save as CMD or BAT.

dir “sourcedirectory” /A:D /B /S > tempListOfDirs.txt
For /F “tokens=*” %%A IN (tempListOfDirs.txt) Do (
If Exist %%A* (
XCOPY “%%A*.rfa” “targetdirectory” /Y /R
del tempListOfDirs.txt

Once you have a single directory of RFA files and have loaded them all into Revit, you could then use the categorizer to sort them all into directories by Category… its really an automated and free way to upgrade and sort your family library.

Note: I had previously posted a similar script using Robocopy at

What Revit Wants: Copy a Directory Tree “Flat” – all files into one folder, no subfolders

This code modified from:

Commerce Server Guy: Tree-To-Flat Copy Using XCopy

Can you change built-in parameters from Type to Instance based, and vice versa?  This post shows you can. 

The essence of the workflow is to

  • start a family with the desired template, 
  • add a value to the parameter, 
  • change the Family Category to something that doesn’t have that parameter built-in, 
  • switch the parameter to Instance, 
  • then change the Family Category back to the original

Read the more detailed version here:

(It is based on changing voltage parameter to Instance based for Electrical Equipment)

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

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

    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

    Have you struggled with the Show only if Instance is cut option in the family element visibility settings.  Was it grayed out?

    The following highlighted categories (wall hosted) have ‘Show only if Instance is cut’ option enabled, at the moment in Revit Architecture 2012.

    Structural Columns
    Structural Foundations
    Structural Framing

    Revit Sticky Notes: 2D Symbolic Line & ‘Show only if Instance is cut’
    (includes workaround)