• Set the subcategory of ALL geometry in nested and host families.
  • Don’t create too many overly complicated subcategories. Keep it simple. Avoid naming that is too specific that forces you to create another subcategory for something that is essentially the same thing. For E.g. “Access Hatch” and a separate category called “Air returns”. Perhaps a subcategory that can be used for both is better suited. E.g. “Mechanical Rep”.
  • Make sure when using line styles that you choose the correct subcategories from the Type pull down menu. E.g. Windows [Cut] vs. Windows [Projection].
  • Make sure not to make spelling mistakes when using Family Subcategories across a range of families because it will import each variation separately into your Project file or Template. Consider creating an Excel spreadsheet of all approved subcategories and copy and paste text to ensure the name is identical in all families across your library.

Here is an example of what happens when several families are imported into a Project file using similar – but not identical Family Subcategories. This makes editing and creating View Templates a nightmare because it becomes very time consuming to work out which Subcategories belong to which families.

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



Before creating Office standards in regards to Sub categories or Object styles allow me to suggest that you first establish what office View Templates you will be creating. The Project View Templates can be used to control or override any of the custom subcategories in the Project file or Office Template file and are likely to dictate what categories need to be created.

  • STEP 1 – Before creating any family subcategories first define what elements need to be visible or overwritten in specific views or on certain sheets, within the Project file environment. Determine your data output.
  • STEP 2 – Determine what View Templates you will need in your Project file/s to enable you to manipulate the visibility and display graphics of the Family subcategories to achieve the required output in STEP 1.
  • STEP 3 – Once you have determined what you want to see on various sheets that could be controlled by View Templates you can work back from there. Create office standards of typical subcategories that you wish to have control over in the Project file through Visibility Graphics. Use these standards consistently.

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


  • I recommend that you avoid controlling visibility of elements through detail levels such as Coarse, Medium or Fine, where possible, ESPECIALLY in 3D views. It becomes time consuming and frustrating to edit geometry when it appears inconsistently through views. Most of the time I find controlling the geometry in this way is not usually necessary. I have seen this done for louvre families to avoid dense line work in small scale 3d views, however, creating a louvre subcategory would be my preference to enable me to switch it off through Visibility Graphics, giving me more flexibility and graphical override options.
  • Avoid using wire frame as a view setting when creating families because it can become a nightmare when it comes to editing.

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