Monday, April 14, 2014

Reducing Family File Size

We can use Purge Unused on a family as well as a project, assuming Revit finds anything that it thinks can be purged. A family can inherit size from imported CAD data and nested families too. Importing and exploding a CAD source file will add object style sub-categories, line patterns, materials, fill patterns, text styles etc. There may not be any in the family right now but if you didn't create the family from scratch yourself and know everything that it went through until you noticed its size, anything is possible.

I ran into some families recently that were all more than 15 MB each. I first used Save As to create a new family with a new name. This reduced the file size quite a bit. Then I used Purge Unused and between both actions the biggest final file was about 600 KB. If you use Save As on a file and it only decreases in size by about 10 KB then it's about as small as it can get. That's been my observation.

If I really want the original file name to carry on, I just rename it to something like MyFamily-temp.rfa and then rename the original and rename the new one to use the original name again. The key part is the Save As to a different name initially. I've never just overwritten the original though technically I suppose I could do that. I prefer to keep a copy of the original intact, just in case.


Dave Baldacchino said...

The smallest possible family file size is obtained by loading the family into a project and saving the family out from there. This tip was contributed by Autodesk Support years ago after I couldn't get a completely empty family down to an acceptable file size and they explained (if memory serves me right) that some history information was inside the family and by saving it out of a project, it would leave all that behind. Lo and behold, the family went from over 1MB to around 200Kb.

tucker_arch said...

I have found loading families into a project, editing from project and then preforming a Save As can further reduce a file size. I usually don't preform this step, but did on our door library to pull size down even more.

Matt Taylor said...

Editing a family from your project model brings a bunch of materials, line patterns, and fill patterns into the family. As does saving the family from the project model.
Removing these items further reduces the file size. As does using the 'Compact File' option in the save-as dialog.

I avoid editing families from the project model - it takes too long to clean them up.