Custom Project Browser Organisations in Revit

 

A question that comes up quite a lot is “How can I better organise the Project Browser in Revit, to suite the way that I (or my Team) work?” For those just starting out in Revit, The Project Browser is the “Explorer” panel that lists and organises all your Views, Sheets, Legends, Schedules, etc; in your current Revit Project.

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By default, the Project Browser is organised by simply sorting and grouping the Views, Schedules, etc; by Family and Type. This can clearly be seen in the above screen shot. All the Plan Views are grouped together. All the 3D Views are grouped together. All the Schedules are grouped together. And so on.

So how else would we want to organise the Project Browser? Well, what if we wanted Revit to lump all the Views that are currently placed on Sheets, together? Or how about we want all the Existing Phase Views in one group and all the Proposed Phase Views in another? If you’d like to take control of how Revit organises these elements, you’re in luck! Revit contains a very slick method of allowing you to set up various “Browser Organisations” and switching between these with ease.

The panel where you control this is a little hidden away, so let’s find it now. First switch to the View menu…

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The last Ribbon Panel on the View menu is “User Interface”…

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If we click on the User Interface button, we will now find what we are looking for- that is the “Browser Organisation” settings…

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If we go ahead and click on this, we finally get to see the panel where we can customise how our various Views and Sheets are organised….

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You will notice in the Screen Shot above how there are two main Tabs…. “Views” and “Sheets”. This is so that you can define seperate Organisation “schemes” for your Views and Sheets- allowing them to be Grouped and Sorted independently of each other. By Default the Organisation Scheme is set to “all”. You will notice that there are some pre-set Schemes loaded into the project for you- ie “Discipline”, “Not on Sheets”, etc. Go ahead and tick each of these boxes in turn and “Apply”- and just see how your Project Browser responds. You can always switch it back to “all” if you’re not happy / confused with the results.

The real fun begins when you start creating your own Browser Organisation Scheme from scratch. Let’s say that you want to organise your Views into Groups, depending on who’s actually produced them. To do this we first need to add a new custom Project Parameter to our project. This parameter is required in order to hold the value of the persons name (or initials) for each View- thus allowing Revit to have something to Group & Sort by.

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To add my new Project Parameter, I go to the Manage menu (1), select “Project Parameters” (2) and then choose “Add” (3) from the floating “Project Parameters” panel. I’m going to call my new Parameter “Produced by” (1) and it’s going to be of a “Text” type (2). This allows me to store text values in my new Parameter. And finally I need to add this new Project Parameter to the “Views” category (3).

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OK. Se we’ve now produced a new Project Parameter by which we can store text values on a “view by view” basis. All we need to do now is set up a new Browser Organisation Scheme which utilises this new parameter. So all the way back to the Browser Organisation control panel and select “New”. I’m going to call my new scheme “Produced by”…

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I don’t want to Filter out any of my elements, I just want to Group/Sort them in a different way- so I ignore the Filter tab (1) and switch to the Grouping and Sorting tab (2). The first parameter I want to sort by is my new “Produced by” instance parameter (3). I then want to Sort and Group by “Family and Type” (4)- this is so that all the Floor Plans are still bundles together, all the 3D’s are together, etc….

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I don’t need to Sort and Group any more than this, so all of the other drop-down’s can be left set to “None”. In now just need to OK this and Apply this particular scheme and we’re good to go. Once we do Apply this scheme, you’ll notice the Project Browser changes to…..

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Notice the Question Marks at the head of the View groups. Revit is displaying these because we currently have no values stored in the “Produced by” parameters, for each View. So, I’m going to take a typical Floor Plan and add my name to the “Produced by” parameter. To do this, I just need to select the View and then find the correct parameter in the Properties Palette…

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I’ll now go and chose another Floor Plan View and defined that it was produced by Joe Bloggs. Again, I just use the Properties Palette and type the value “Joe Bloggs” against the “Produced by” parameter. Once these two values have bee set, let’s take a look back at the Project Browser…

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You will note that Revit is now starting to sift out the plans into two separate Groups depending on who produced them. You will of course need to go through each View and assign an appropriate value to the parameter. Obviously this is done much more easily at the time of creation of each view. Hopefully you will see that the sky really is the limit with regards to how you want Revit to organise your Views and Sheets. It just takes a little creativity and the use of some custom parameters.

 

If you’re new to Revit Architecture, you may be interested in my freeComplete Beginner’s Guide to Revit Architecture84 part video tutorial course.

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