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    By Dennis Collin

    A type catalogue is a simple list with a range of type parameter values for a Revit family that has a considerable variety of sizes, usually a dozen or more options. Typical examples include Windows, Doors, Columns Beams and a wide range of MEP components too.

    The 'Windows_Plain_Composite' family located in the Windows folder of the UK Metric library is the example I will refer to and use here.

    No matter what disciple the catalogue relates to, the type catalogue is a text file with the same name as the family it accompanies. Sitting in the same directory as the RFA family file except it will have a TXT extension. To add extra options one could always add extra lines of text in a simple text editor like Notepad, but judging where to start typing  or which values to copy is not always obvious, especially with a large number of values with long entries, if you make any mistakes you can break the catalogue!

    Instead we could use Excel to add extra definitions like more sizes and other varying Type Parameters.  To do this take a copy of the TXT file, this is the type catalogue file. Taking a copy is advised just in case mistakes occur!.

    Start the Excel application

    We want to start a blank spreadsheet and import the shared paranmeters text file into it.

    We can do this by setting the following Opening and Import Data Options:

    • Open
    • Choose a Blank spreadsheet
    • DATA
    • From Text
    • Locate file
    • Import
    • Delimited
    • My data has headers
    • Comma only delimiter
    • Text qualifier none (check preview)
    • Next (few times)
    • Finish
    • Start at A1 range

    Hitting Finish will bring the catalogue in to an easily editable Excel Row and Column format.

    After performing the needed edits and additions

    Save the file out to CSV format (Comma Separated Value)

    Rename the extension(or copy to a TXT format)

    Remember to name the file the same name and put it in the same location as the family it relates too.

    (you might want to rename the old catalogue as FILENAME.OLD just in case!)

    Also ensure you close down Excel afterwards to remove any Windows File Locks

    Start Revit, and open a project and load the desired family, Revit will automatically look for the accompanying catalogue and will display the additional family types and modified parameters that you added from Excel.