Optimizing Loads from the Revit Library

August 27, 2010

As many of you seasoned Revit users know you make repeated trips to your Revit Library when working on a project.  This is a time consuming operation, navigating through the directory structure, reduces your production efficiency. 

To reduce this time consuming process the first step will be to make sure Revit points to your Library.

To set the program to look at your Libaray location select the,
Purple ‘R’ > Options > File Locations Tab > Places > Imperial Library
Then just set the path to you upper level Revit Library Folder by clicking in the path field to the far right.


The next step in optimizing your Revit project is to put the most commonly used families in your Revit Project Template.  These would be items that would be used on every project like titleblocks, tags, typical details, etc.  I would recommend removing all items from your template that are not otherwise required to create the skeleton project.

You may have noticed that when you load a family you can only load multiple items from a single directory folder forcing you to have to drive back down through your directory structure when you need to load another item from a different folder.  Sometimes I think I spend more time getting to my Library content than doing the project.

One strategy is to build a Library (Project Type) Family Folder with duplicates from your main Revit Library.  For example you might have a Burger King Restaurant Folder that would contain all the typical objects used in a Burger King copied from your main Library.  Open the folder, select all contents and load to your template.  Of course if you haven’t upgraded your Library 2010 versions to your Revit 2011 you might as well take a coffee break as the program will have to update all your content during the load operation.  I’ll cover updating your Library content later.  The down side of this approach is that your Library size will grow quickly and whoever is managing the Library will need to revisit these Project Type Folders to update any content that has been updated in the main Library.  Also upgrading your Library to a new version will take additional time but that is an automated process which only requires machine time.

A software approach to accessing your Revit Library can be found in the Kiwi Family Browser a nice little add-on from our brothers, almost down-under in New Zealand, that pulls the Library Directory structure forward into the Revit application and provides visual icons for the family objects.  It takes some time to initially set up but once done it appears you can migrate the configuration to other systems. 

Enjoy Carl

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