Librarian

Description

Librarian

The Librarian is a multi-functional tool panel designed as an extensible took kit for every-day Revit use. The primary function of the Librarian is of course to organize and provide insights into the library of Revit Components that one uses. While Revit has an excellent Project Browser interface and accompanying search functionality, peering into the properties of the components without actually loading or opening them is sometimes challenging. The Librarian attempts to solve this problem by providing additional insights into components that are not only loaded into the project, but components that may existing in external libraries as well. In fact, the 'Reprocessing' feature of the Librarian allows users to gain more or equivalent insights into the properties of components residing in external libraries to those residing within the active project. When loading components from external libraries, the Librarian ensures that on the type selected by the user is loaded into the project rather than loading all types as is normal when loaded without the Librarian. Please note that the Librarian works only with loadable families. System families will need to be placed using native Revit methods.

Stats

In addition to organizing component libraries, the Librarian is able to give statistical insights into your projects performance. For example, the time take to open, save, and synchronize are displayed in the 'Stats' tab of the application.




Features

Group Components

The Librarian groups all components by the component's Category. Below is the complete listing of all available groupings:

  • By Category
  • By Revit Version
  • By Last Updated
  • By Parent Directory Name
  • No Grouping

This app does allow components built in different Revit versions to coexist within the same library. However this arrangement is not recommended as the Reprocessing component of the app will not work if the library contains components that are upgraded to a later version.




Preview Family Properties

Clicking on the thumbnail of any component will launch a pop up containing a preview image of the component and a listing of parameters associated with the component. Please note that all types of a particular family will be listed. The only exception to this are libraries that have been 'Reprocessed'.




Placing Families in a View

Below are the steps to place an instance of a family in a view:

  • A : Select the text area of the component
  • B : If this is the first time the family is being loaded into the project, a prompt to load family types will appear
  • C : The previous step will display a list of all Types within the component. Please note that all types may not be visible if the library containing this component has not been Reprocessed
  • D : Select the appropriate type and move the cursor to the view to place the component. The escape key be pressed to withdraw from the component placement mode



Adding a New Library

A new library may be a sub folder within an existing library or a stand-alone folder containing Revit family files of the format '.rfa'. The user is required to provide a unique name for this library and navigate to the location of the library within the local computer or on a network.




Reprocessing a Library

When a new library is added to the Librarian, the Librarian scans all the component files in the library folder and sub folders to extract component names, preview images, and parametric information. However, this quick scan does not usually gather type information about the components and many times fails to obtain the preview image as well.

The reprocessing routine opens each component and extracts the requisite data for display to the user. The family meta data is stored in a database file in the user's windows roaming profile. This database file can be transferred from one computer to another to avoid running the reprocessing function in multiple computers.




Project Stats

The project Stats tab is a resource to track project performance on the basis of the time taken for the project to open, save, synchronize, element counts, and view counts. Although there is no thumb-rule to define good versus bad performance, the statistics give a good sense of the data added to the project over time. Additionally, element and view counts provide clues to where the user can look to trouble shoot and optimize the project file's performance.
The Summary Dashboard also includes a search function for quicker location of data.



Known Issues

  1. The Librarian relies on cached databases to display component information. These databases are created when libraries are created and updated when libraries are re-processed. The default location of these databases is C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Librarian\ If the Librarian does not have permissions to write to this folder, then the Librarian cannot function as documented. Users will be provided with error messages that indicate library creation failure.
  2. Family names should not contain forbidden characters listed by Microsoft for windows file names. These characters include:
    • < (less than)
    • > (greater than)
    • : (colon)
    • " (double quote)
    • / (forward slash)
    • \ (back slash)
    • | (vertical bar or pipe)
    • ? (question mark)
    • * (asterisk)
    See https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/desktop/fileio/naming-a-file for a complete list of forbidden characters.
  3. Families residing the in the current document cannot be re-processed. Hence, some of these families may not have a preview image.
  4. If the app panel does not show up at start, hide the panel using the 'Addins > RUtilities > Hide Panel' icon and then show the panel again.



App Customization

SpiceTools Technologies offers further customization of the App on request. Customization may include custom messages when opening files based on any standard conditions such as filepaths, Revit Versions, Usernames, build numbers and the like. Please contact our support alias for more details.