Customising the Revit Project Browser – Part 1

I work with companies of all sizes, from small construction firms to large architectural practices. Each has their own set of BIM standards and formats of exporting.  They all run projects in Revit differently. And yet these companies, all designing and building very different types of construction, all share a common problem: organising, sorting and searching views.

Even a simple house type can contain upwards of 50 views in the project browser. Being able to manage this ‘list’ into subfolders based on their type, scale, drawing number or a custom parameter is a must!

There are two methods to customising a project browser.

BROWSER ORGANISATION
DEFAULT BY PARAMETER BY VIEW TYPE
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You can really struggle to format the project browser on larger multi-user project – the browser becomes unwieldly very quickly. This is the first of two approaches on how to modify this.

METHOD 1 – BY PARAMETERS

This method is a parameter-driven option, so ideally you should have experience with parameters before trying this approach.

Here’s an example of a typical project prowser, out of the box:

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The first step is to add a project parameter. Access this button from the manage tab. You’ll need to add the parameter to both the Sheets and the Views objects as shown below. Group this under Identity Data.

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You now need to create a custom Browser Organisation to utilise the new parameter. Go to the view tab, select user interface and then choose Browser organisation.

Simply create a new Views Browser Organisation and give it an appropriate name.

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When you choose to edit the organisation you have just created, you are greeted with the option to sort, group or filter the views within this group. Select Group by Family & Type and then by View/Sheet Folder.

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The next step is to do the same for the Sheets. Create a new Sheet Browser Organisation, give it the name By Folder.

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This time you only need to group by View/Sheet Folder.

To apply the new Browser Organisations you have just created, simply right click on the root of the Views/Sheets and select type properties.

Revit 2014 users: Choose Browser Organisation and then select edit.

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Change the type to By Folder and apply.

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Your project browser should now look something similar to the one shown below. All the Views and Sheets appear to be in one folder called ???

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This is the default location for Views which have not been assigned to a subfolder.

To start creating folders, simply select (or multi-select) a view

In the Properties box, Under Identity Data you should see your new parameter. Simply type the name of the folder which you would like the view(s) filing under in this field.

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You should now see the subfolder in the browser has been created and the views moved from the ??? area to the new folder.

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The parameter is of course schedulable and can be added as a field to an existing Drawing list/View list.

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The end result is a Project Browser with custom subfolders as shown below.

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Deciding how to sort the project browser and how keep it organised shouldn’t be done by a single user on a project-specific basis. It should be a decision you make as a business, so everyone benefits.

This kind of content makes up our Standards and Management course. This workshop is specifically for lead users and managers to run through a checklist of what should go into a company template file. The quality of this file will go a long way to determine how successful your implementation of BIM will be. A well-made template will ensure quick gains in productivity and avoid constant reworking. We consistently show these tips to our experienced Revit customers who, afterwards, always say, “I wish we had this built into Revit from the very beginning!”

Watch this spot for Part 2 of this post – Customising the Revit Project Browswer by Type Properties.  (Don’t worry, it’s a lot easier!)  And please contact me at aaron.perry@cadassist.co.uk if you want a PDF version of this blog.

More information on how to boost productivity by customising Revit, check out Cadassist’s Revit Standard and Management training: http://tinyurl.com/oqkgeua.  

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