Friday, November 22, 2013

Change Parameter from Type to Instance

It's fairly well known that we can change length parameters from type to instance via the Options Bar trick. What is less well known is that we can change other parameters too. I was trading a couple emails with Jose Fandos of Andekan about Manufacturer and Model being Type parameters. He shared a trick in a past blog post. His post explains how to change system parameters from type to instance. We refer to it now as the Vegas Trick because we were attending Autodesk University in Vegas when the subject came up at the bar.

In response to reading a post at AUGI I was curious about doing this for system parameters that Revit groups under Identity Data. Practically all family categories have those built in. That seems to make it impossible to do the switcharoo that Jose wrote about in his blog post, which related to an electrical parameter. However Jose noticed that in Revit 2013 the category Profile > Split Profile doesn't have identity data parameters. Fwiw, in 2014 they've changed that, in fact there is no "Profile" category or Split Profile" sub-category at all in 2014. I was trying to pull it off in 2014 and it took his refusing to be boxed in thinking to try it in 2013.

The process looks like this (using Revit 2013):
  • Starting in the category you really need
  • Add a value to each parameter you want to change
  • Switch to category Split Profile
  • Parameters become editable
  • Change each to Instance
  • Change back to the correct category
  • Now you can control them by instance
If you're interested you can DOWNLOAD Revit 2013 version of a Specialty Equipment family that has been altered this way for Manufacturer and Model.

Keep in mind that we'll still get warned (editing a schedule) that the changes we make to the parameter will affect many instances of the type.


Matthew Peterson said...

Know of any workarounds for us using 2014? Or can we make changes to 2013 families and upgrade them to 2014 with the changes still intact?

Steve said...

That's the essence of the post, doing it in 2013 to get access to the parameters and then upgrading to 2014, if necessary. Obvious, it won't help for 2014 families since we can't save backward.

Brian Binkley said...

Steve - is it possible to do the exact opposite? For some reason, the description parameter under Identity Data is an Instance parameter for my exit sign family and I'd like to change it to a type parameter. I'm struggling to get past that parameter being greyed out.

Steve said...

Sorry, I don't know without trying it and I don't have your family. Since the trick in the post requires opening the family in Revit 2013 if yours is newer then that's ruled out. Also messing around with the family category on a family that is either done or far along will likely cause some other problems that might be insurmountable.