A Catalog family is a family that relies on a .txt file to define the values for certain parameters within a family. When loading the Catalog family into a Project file Revit® will automatically read the matching “txt” file and create the appropriate family types within the Project file, based on your selection. Catalog families do not save that much file size in my opinion. Their benefits are more about only having the relevant types listed in the Type pull down menu, within the Project file, if appropriate.

The .txt file will tell Revit® what values to apply to the various Type parameters within each family type so that the family types match the properties in the .txt file. A Type Catalog family is used when there are many types within a family and allows the Content creator to edit the defined values directly in the .txt file easily without even going into the Revit® family editor.


  • The Catalog .txt file must match the family name exactly and be in the same folder location as the family in order to work. E.g. Family Name: Sculpture_cat.rfa and Catalog File name: Sculpture_cat.txt
  • These families must be loaded into a project file using the “File> Load from Library> Load family “option.
  • The user does not have to load in all the types within a family and can select which they want to load from the menu list which is automatically displayed by Revit®.
  • You are not limited just to length parameter type, you can use text, yes/no and more. 
  • When defining a text or using a Yes/ No parameter then use this parameter type and unit format   ##Other##
  • Yes/ No parameter values are defined by a numerical value of  0 (Which equates to No)  or 1 (Which equates to Yes)
  • ‘_cat’ is a suffix naming conventions that I use to indicate to myself quickly that it’s a catalog family. See example below.


E.g. Family name: Sculpture_cat.rfa, Type name: Refers to sculpture type.

STEP 1    

Create a type Catalog file in Notepad where top row lists the relevant catalog parameters. The first parameter is always the Type name which is not entered by any identification, but is followed by a comma, thereafter followed by other parameters. Each parameter is separated by a comma with no space either side of comma. (You can use Excel to create csv file format to copy parameter value script)

Parameters are defined in the following format: Parameter Name##Parameter Type## Unit (If applicable)

See example below.

 STEP 2    

Associate values to each type (One type per row) See example below.

Catalog Family txt file


STEP 3    

Save the Catalog file as txt file.

E.g. Sculpture_cat.txt and must live in same folder as the Revit® family to work.


STEP 4   

When importing the Revit® family the following menu window (above) will pop up allowing you to select which types to import into the Project file.

 This example has a parameter called ‘Top cube’ which is a Yes/ No visibility control. It was defined in the catalog file with 0 & 1 values.

Catalog Family - Import



    • Thank you for the lovely compliment. I’m probably a bit burnt out from doing the ANZRS project in terms of ommunity service but it’s great to read that someone still gets value from my previous posts.

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