If you want to ever re-load a changed family back into a Project file it is important that the family have a type name in the family file. I will assume that you already know how to create Family types and why they are used but here are a few tips and some of the mistakes I have seen along the way when reviewing or developing an office system that I think are worth mentioning.

  • Determine what ypes will be needed and how the drafters may need to modify a family in the Project/s. This is important because it is not always best practice to force users to create new types every time they want a different size. E.g. – In project housing where standard doors and windows are always used I would create size specific types within a family, but in a designer apartment project I would consider having width and height as instance parameters and the types would refer to other conditions. E.g. Frosted Glazing/ With Louvres etc.
  • Use the Type name to clarify choices for your drafters. Avoid type names that are a repeat of the family name.

Note: If you don’t create a type in a family Revit® will automatically duplicate the family name as the type name in the Project file when loading it into the file. E.g. Awning window: Awning window (Which is pointless and ineffective)

  • Avoid Type names that can become superseded if you are looking for long-term system sustainability. (E.g. Microwave Oven: 500 x 450mm ) If the supplier changes the size you will have to create a new type and so you are limiting your re-loading benefits to update Project files.
  • A tip I have learnt that I think is a useful one is to use “Type 1” as a type name to communicate to the documenters that there is only one option to choose from.
  • If you have more than 5-6 types in a family you should consider a catalog family instead.
  • I prefer to use sentence case for family names and type names instead of all uppercase. It is quicker to scan. Avoid wordy type names. Keep the naming simple but clear and try to avoid abbreviation where possible.
  • If size is appropriate in a type name then I suggest that you add length identifiers (w,d,h) behind every measurement. E.g. “500w x 450d x 500h”. At the risk of stating the obvious choose a direction identifier and stick with it! I have seen “width”, “length” and “depth” being used erratically in families in many offices which has caused needless confusion. If you prefer “length” to ”width” that’s fine…. Just be consistent.
  • I like to format all my sizes by Width (Left to Right) x Depth (Front to Back) x Height (Bottom to Top) I have wasted much time when fixing other user’s families just because the basics weren’t applied and the family author constantly swapped the direction of width and depth around, often within the same family file. This is poor practice.

© Copyright Reserved by Michelle Louw (Excerpt from My speaker notes at National Revit Technology Conference 2008.)



Using a prefix to assign a folder location for a set of families can be very useful, especially for the drafting team when they are not familiar with the office folder structure. Something as simple as a two letter prefix can make all the difference in helping them locate a family on the server.


  • Be Consistent in your naming convention
  • Keep it simple and short. Avoid abbreviations.
  • Avoid names that can easily be superseded. Specific sizing can be problematic, or referring to manufacturer.
  • Consider Prefix naming convention as shown. (Font case for prefix is ideal if CAPS)
  • Provide sufficient information in the family name to enable drafters to make intelligent, quick choices about which component to use. This applies to Type name too.
  • Don’t get lazy and start naming families with a numerical suffix. E.g. Awning Window 1

© Copyright Reserved by Michelle Louw (Excerpt from My speaker notes at National Revit Technology Conference 2008.)