Family Preview Manager

Using the Family Preview Manager

The Family Preview Manager can be used to set default preview images (thumbnail). It works on components, detail items, annotations and most other Revit families that are stored externally to project. Preview images are used both by Windows to show a thumbnail in Windows Explorer and by Revit when viewing the properties of a family.

Note that some families do not support thumbnail previews such as profiles.

The previews can be set up in the following ways:

On the “CTC Software” tab, in the BIM Manager Suite ribbon, the Family Preview Manager button will be located in the Free Tools panel.

Family Preview Manager Interface

FPM can process the current family or a file/folder in batches.

Family Preview Manager Interface

Options has the settings which determines how the previews are created.

Family Preview Manager Interface

General Settings

General Settings defines how all families will be processed.

Appearance Settings

In addition to setting the default, it is possible to specify different settings by categories. This is especially helpful for families which differ in display such as doors (preview in elevation) versus mechanical equipment (preview in 3D from top left).

The Default Appearance options are analogous to Revit’s view type (View Angle equals plan, reflected, elevation and 3D), display styles and detail level properties. The settings chosen here will be used for categories which do not have an Appearance Template defined.

Family Preview Manager Interface

Appearance by Category has functions to create many “templates” to apply to categories of families.

Family Preview Manager Interface

To define appearance templates, first create one by clicking on the “New Appearance Template” tool button:

Family Preview Manager Interface

Choose the desired options in View Angle, Display Style and Detail level:

Family Preview Manager Interface

Finally, give the template an appropriate name and click OK to save it.

In the categories section, search for the door category and expand it in the list. To use the defined appearance template for all of the host types in the category, first, select it then the appearance template Finally, click the right-pointing arrow:

Family Preview Manager Interface

Select individual host types if desired. View types remaining in the category/type list will use the Default Appearance settings:

Family Preview Manager Interface

To save the configuration for later use, Browse to a folder and give the settings file (“*.fpmsettings”) a name.

Batch Processing Files

To add multiple families for processing, choose them individually or entire folders by using the appropriate buttons. Here, a folder was selected. Each of the families contained in the folder and subfolders are added to list for processing. The family’s current preview image is displayed (as it was when last saved).

Family Preview Manager Interface

Overwrite Family will save the family after processing.

*USE CAUTION! Revit will upgrade the family if it is being processed in a version later than it was last saved!*

Choose a location to save a copy of the family after processing. This will not modify the original but it will not re-create the same folder structure. Therefore, it is recommended to copy the families first and then choose to overwrite.

Click Process to begin:

Family Preview Manager Interface

When processing is complete, a log will show successes or failures.

Clear the list and add the folder chosen as the new location to view the result. Family Preview Manager will display the preview as it was set.

Family Preview Manager Interface

NOTE: Windows Explorer may not show the same preview image under some circumstances.

Related Tools

Family Processor


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