By Dennis Collin
Managing and sharing system families is always a bit of a challenge within a Revit Environment. Families have no link with the original defining file and need to be manually loaded and redefined to bring them up to the latest standard. When there are many component and system families that need transferring from another project or from many locations, it becomes apparent that the standard out of the box functions are rather limited.
Fig 1. A library project, holding a range of different wall families
The transfer project standards command is one way to transfer system families, view templates etc. between projects. However, it is limited in that you cannot be more selective in which types of family from a certain category can be transferred. It’s a case of either all or nothing, leaving it to the user to then purge out families that aren’t required.
Fig 2. Using the built-in transfer project standards command is a bit limited in functionality
Alternatively, users could just copy and paste desired elements, thereby transferring the required family settings into their current file. However, this is a rather crude method and there is a risk of corrupting the original library files. Also, this method will not work with certain elements like view types, view templates or other embedded styles.
Fortunately, Revit does have a range of plug-ins that can make certain tedious tasks much more bearable. The TransferSingle add-in addresses many of Revit’s out of the box shortcomings on the transferal of families.
It is a free application on the Revit App store and can be located here: https://apps.autodesk.com/RVT/en/Detail/Index?id=1090472181312958476&appLang=en&os=Win64#
Easy to install and to use, it offers three main functions. Firstly, a bulk component family loader, where a series of target folders and individual files can be selected and loaded into the current project.
Fig 3. Mass Load Family Function
Options are available for the selection of sub folders and where families already exist to overwrite or ignore.
The second function is a bulk family exporter where users can mass save all or some of their component families from a project file to a series of folders and subfolders, with the option of a category prefix on the file name for easy reference. Again, options are available for the overwriting or retaining of previous family versions.
Fig 4. Mass Save Family Function
The third function is the transfer of system families and styles between projects. Expanding on the built-in function giving users more flexibility on which type of family will be transferred from a certain category between files.
Fig 5. Improved Transfer Project Standards
My only minor gripe with this plug-in is that it creates its own tab ‘JOTools’ whereas it would make for a tidier environment to place it in the standard add-ins tab. I’m sure though this will be addressed, along with more functionality on parameters in a future release.
In summary though, this plug-in is a definite must have for any Revit user. I would like this level of functionality to be introduced as standard, rather than having to trawl the Apps store to complete my Revit toolset. It is getting to that time of year again when a new batch of Autodesk software will be available to users. Hopefully the new version of Revit will incorporate many of the useful tweaks the developer community currently offer as standard functionality. Fingers crossed!