Tools4Revit – Smart family browser

Smart browser – Free family browser byTools4Revit is a useful tool which can be used to organise and sort your Revit families into categories. If you are anything like me and store all your families in the same folder in a rather organised way, then this tool is definitely something which you should look into. Over the course of about 5 years I have built up a huge catalogue of over 1000 families.. You can imagine how hard it can be to find what you want, especially if you weren’t so careful naming it in a way it could be easily recognised. The Smart browser will arrange your families into the following categories: Generic models, Furniture, Windows, Curtain panels, Detail items, Mass, Specialty.

Step 1 – Go to the Tools4Revit site and download the free family browser. & Install 

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Step 2 – Open Revit – SB available for 2011, 2012 & 2013 – You will notice a new tab in your Revit ribbon called ‘T4R: Create/Modify’ Click on this tab and then click on ‘Smart browser’ you will now have to register your trial and then activate your product. You will receive an email with an activation code once your registration has been accepted and activated. 

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Step 3 – Once you have installed and activated the add-in you will now be able to start adding your Revit families into the browser. Click on ‘Smart browser’ and then ‘Browser options’ a dialogue box will now appear. Head to the ‘Add new family folders from your computer or network’ field and click on ‘Browse’ you should now navigate through your computer and find the folder where all your Revit families are stored. If you have them stored in many different folders you will have to add each one seperately, so consider copying and pasting all your families into 1 folder.

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Step 4 – Once you have found your files, click the start button. Consider whether you want to create 3D .dwf files and click / untick the box as appropriate. You will now see the process of the families being added. It will take some time depending on how many families you have and also the speed of your computer. The first time I added my families it took around 30 minutes as there were so many. This time would be dramatically decreased on a fast computer. Once the process is complete you will see the following dialogue box appear. (I’ve only added 53 this time just to use as an example) 

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Step 5 – Now all your families have been added. Open the family browser by clicking on ‘Smart browser > Family browser’ you will now see a catalogue type window which pops up with all the individual categories and families added. Notice that the top section are the families which you have just added filed into categories, and underneath that are some sample families provided by CGTrader. 

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You can now load any of your families in to your project simply by clicking on them, and then click ‘Load family’ there are also some other useful options in the family browser application, such as being able to view all the parameters and information about the specific familes as shown in the image below. It is also possible to ‘Edit family’ and ‘Load type’

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You will also notice the red ‘Sell’ button. This will open up a window to a CGTrader portal type environment where you can buy and sell your Revit families with other users. I have not tried this and am not interested in selling my families to public users, but it might be useful for somebody. In conclusion, I feel T4R Smart browser is a very simple and useful program for anyone with a large amount of Revit families, it quickly sorts and categorises making it much easier to view and edit your families. 



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About Ben Malone

Information Manager for BIM.Technologies in London

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