Monday, April 18, 2016

Revit 2017 - Combine Parameters in a Schedule

This is the often requested ability to concatenate parameters values into a single column. The schedule Properties dialog has seen some cosmetic changes, note the new Combine Parameters button.

We see the new smaller buttons replacing the larger and clearer buttons of old. I also get the New and Modify buttons confused with each other ALL the time. When we use Combine Parameters the dialog looks like this for a Room Schedule.

This is combining width and height into a single size parameter for a Door Schedule.

Another very interesting possibility is to combine different parameters for the same values when different families are displaying the same information but have different parameter names, because they came from different family creators. Here's combining three versions of width parameters into a single column, three families using three different shared parameters for the same thing, you can see I left each parameter's name in the heading.

I found it interesting that I can even combine parameters assigned to different Types of Parameter, like length and text. This is an example where I've combined two text parameters and one length parameter all intending to say the same thing, however impractical it will be to deal with the units of that mixture, or lack thereof.

This means we can create a VAV Schedule based on different families from different manufacturers and combine their different manner of Horsepower (or similar) parameter value into a single column. VERY interesting!


Brenda said...

This is NOT a Concatenate tool. It does not work in a formula, must be rebuilt in every new schedule and is not parametric. There is a difference between combining text in a column of a schedule and actually concatenating parameters.

Steve said...

I knew as I wrote concatenate that someone would call me out for using it that way.

It's literary license on my part.

I believe the reason that it (true concatenation) isn't currently possible is that resulting information (from a calculation) has no permanent place to live in the database. The Calculate Parameter can live in a schedule and tag now because it only occurs in play, in the schedule or tag. It isn't stored within the Database table for the associated element(s) so it can't be called on ad hoc.

It's like a query and report combined, which is what a really schedule is, if we compare it to an application like MS Access. Now a tag can behave the same way. Neither are calling on a stored valued in the database to just display, they (Revit) are calculating the value themselves, on the fly.

If/when they put some energy into working out what underlying database changes need to done in order to calculate and store these live values we'll get true combination of data. Perhaps Global Parameters will lead to that happening sooner than later.

craig barbieri said...

Hi Steve,
Does this feature, or anything new in 2017 for that matter, change the shared parameter file such that it would prevent an earlier version of Revit from using the same Shared Parameters file?

Steve said...

No, a shared parameter file created using 2017 (as the editor) can still be used by an older version.

Peter in Maryland said...

Related to schedules: There seems to be a Row Resize tool, but it doesn't appear top do much. Also, when one floats over the tool, the dialog says: "Enter a row height for the row in the Resize Column dialog"

Does this button have any function? Or is it user error, once again?

Steve said...

Peter - Row Resize works when you customize the header portion of the schedule. Data row height is define by the font and built-in logic that we can only influence with font choice and height.

This post describes customizing the header to create a table of data.

SARAN said...

Is this possible to have this concatenate tool inside Revit family to merge two or more text parameter

Steve said...

Saran - Nothing has been built into Revit to allow that to happen in the Family Editor but there are other ways to combine parameters through 3rd party tools. Perhaps you can just display the separate parameters in the project together either with a tag that combines them or in a schedule or both.

Steve said...

AAlbery - No. More or less, calculated values aren't stored somewhere as a permanent record. It's like RAM in your computer. Turn it off and what is stored there is gone. It gets re-calculated when the schedule is opened and if elements are changed (related elements).

See my previous reply to Saran regarding exporting/importing data as a possible solution.