Unacceptable list separator when loading Family Types FIX

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.
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Paul F. Aubin
12 years ago

Have you run into any issues exporting type catalogs and having Revit fail to recognize the "Cost" column? I was working on a Family last week. Added some cost data. Exported the Type Catalog, edited in Excel, and tried to resave and use as a Type Catalog. Each time, Revit fails to import the Cost column. Even when I simply export and try to immediately import back in. Seems to be a bit buggy to me, but wanted to see if anyone else had the issue before reporting. Thanks.

12 years ago

I'm using Revit Architecture 2012. I have the same problem with a "window family".
1.- First, Revit allows me to create the catalog successfully
2.- When I try to load the family, I get the following message: "Invalid column unit type: ", then "Could not parse column header: Cost"
3.- After the messages, Revits loads all "Family Types". No catalog screen to choose.
4.- The parameter "Cost" under "Identity Data" group, is not available to Modify or Remove. So, I'm stuck.

Can anyone help me?

revit training
9 years ago

So Many Thanks for Solving my problem..I was stuck in the same problem and your tips help me out to solve it.

Geoff Jennings
1 year ago

The list separator error is usually caused by the encoding of the .txt file. The “UFT8” and “UTF-8 with BOM” has embedded characters at the start of the file. Older version of Revit will generate the ‘Unacceptable list separator‘ error during loading of a .txt catalog file. Revit 2020 and prior versions have different restrictions than Revit 2021-current. To overcome the error, I find it as best practice to open the .txt file in Notepad and then resave the .txt as an “UTF-16 LE” encoded .txt file. This format seems to work in all versions of Revit and also allows… Read more »