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Thread: Naming and organizing Shared Parameters

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    Naming and organizing Shared Parameters

    Hi,

    Over the years using Revit the naming convention of Shared Parameters have gotten inconsistent.
    The initial intent was to Group the Shared parameters by Building Elements – see attached screenshot.
    It has occurred to me that we have 3 different Groups for Framing members – Framing, Precast Beams, Precast Slabs (precast slab panels)
    Similar for Foundations where we have Bored Piers, Pad Footings.

    I have decided to bite the bullet and tidy this up, however would like to know if there is a best practice on for example:
    Grouping Parameters (categorise them)
    To what extent do ‘share’ the shared parameters across families: For example, the width parameter can be for both steel and concrete columns – but do you also apply the width parameters to pad footings etc?
    Do you have a ‘Generic’ Group where common parameters that can be used across multiple categories are saved such as width, height, length depth etc
    Is it any need to prefix the parameters to keep them organised or do you relay on that they are in different groups? For example, parameters for pad footings could be prefixed with PF_[name] etc.

    Also, do you follow a standard such as “Australian and New Zealand Revit Standards” or do set a standard for your office?

    Appreciate any comments.

    Thanks
    JH

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    Go download the DiRoots paramater manager and you will find this a much easier task also mate.

    https://diroots.com/plugins/paramana...it-parameters/

    It depends on your naming convention but mine is the following

    _OFFICENAME_CATEGORY_PARAM DESCRIPTION

    I try to keep it to 3 characters and putting an underscore at the front makes it sort to the top of the list of parameters

    example

    _RBG_FON_Footing Length
    (FON for foundation category) the category is pretty much optional as some parameters are multi category any way
    Last edited by Karalon10; January 21st, 2021 at 10:45 AM.

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    Moderator cellophane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jh75 View Post
    It has occurred to me that we have 3 different Groups for Framing members – Framing, Precast Beams, Precast Slabs (precast slab panels)
    Similar for Foundations where we have Bored Piers, Pad Footings.

    I have decided to bite the bullet and tidy this up, however would like to know if there is a best practice on for example:
    Grouping Parameters (categorise them)
    To what extent do ‘share’ the shared parameters across families: For example, the width parameter can be for both steel and concrete columns – but do you also apply the width parameters to pad footings etc?
    Do you have a ‘Generic’ Group where common parameters that can be used across multiple categories are saved such as width, height, length depth etc
    Is it any need to prefix the parameters to keep them organised or do you relay on that they are in different groups? For example, parameters for pad footings could be prefixed with PF_[name] etc.

    Also, do you follow a standard such as “Australian and New Zealand Revit Standards” or do set a standard for your office?
    I break mine out into what they are actually doing rather than use just a generic Width parameter. In your case, I would have separate groups for Framing, Precast Beams, Slabs, Footings, etc. Then name the parameters accordingly: Framing Width, Precast Beam Width, etc. It makes a lot easier later on to know what is going on and make modifications, especially when you start working with nesting shared families. I also tend to shy away from abbreviations, although I will shorten words: Window to Win, Casework to Case (CW can be curtain wall or casework and is confusing), and so on.

    I would also set a clear definition for how Length, Width, Height, Depth and to a lesser extent, Thickness, are applied in your families. In a conversation about SP I read once (I think it was on RFO but can't remember): A box has 3 dimensions: Length, Width, Height, and Depth. Since those terms are synonyms it can be confusing if you use Length in one place and Width in another. In plan, I use Width for the left-right dimension, Depth for up-down, and Height for the Z direction most of the time. Length is reserved for line-based families most of the time.

    As far as company prefix- meh. IMO there isn't any reason to do that. I can almost always tell if there is a parameter in a family that I didn't create just by casing and naming.

    There are also some existing threads on the topic; I like this one, in particular Aaron's advice:
    https://revitforum.org/showthread.ph...ll=1#post67786

    Fun hack: You can modify your SP file in Excel. Make sure you have a backup first (this is important) - every so often it will decide to completely break and your SP file won't be read in Revit. I do this to keep my though process in order, especially when creating a bunch of new parameters or trying to reorganize like you are doing.

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    One small thing to add to the conversation. It looks like Aaron and Gordon discussed it in that thread that was linked to. For shared parameters, I've started working a colon : into the name, following the prefix. Since you cannot use a colon in a project parameter, but you can in a SP, it is a great way to visually identify a SP at a glance.

    Jon

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingjosiah View Post
    One small thing to add to the conversation. It looks like Aaron and Gordon discussed it in that thread that was linked to. For shared parameters, I've started working a colon : into the name, following the prefix. Since you cannot use a colon in a project parameter, but you can in a SP, it is a great way to visually identify a SP at a glance.

    Jon
    I know i said the same in that thread, but: I don't use colons anywhere. At the time of that discussion, i had inherited a bunch of parameters that had colons in the name, and was in the very slow process of getting rid of them.

    Currently, all of our new parameters (Shared or otherwise) are ALL CAPS, and underscores go where we WOULD use a colon, if we were going to. For instance, if i wanted to write WIDTH: PANEL GLAZING, it ends up being WIDTH_ PANEL GLAZING.

    I use all caps and spaces are allowed, for the normal User Facing parameters. There are some parameters (Shared and Family) that are reactive parameters (being driven by formulas) and i tend to name those as CamelCaseWithNoSpaces.

    I still dont subscripbe to the generic "WIDTH" concept, since WIDTH means a ton of different things, for different objects. Our Parameters groups are broken in to what Library they are for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Twiceroadsfool View Post
    I know i said the same in that thread, but: I don't use colons anywhere.....
    I didn't mean to imply that you were promoting the colon -- simply that you discussed it I personally like using them *because* they can't be used in a project parameter, whereas an underscore can. It's a quick clue to those interested that it is a SP and not a PP. We try to limit the use of SP's unless necessary. I do not use any characters in parameters that could be used in an arithmetic formula.....that's just yuk.

    You mentioned that you encountered issues with the colons. Can you share what i might want to watch out for? I haven't come across any issues as of yet. Thx.

    Jon

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    Its an "issue" for me that you CAN use a Colon in some cases (Shared) and not in others (unshared). It means having to maintain two standards, for no good reason. And i dont want to put a Colon in, simply to tell people the parameter is Shared. Now i have an ADDITIONAL thing to enforce, on top of remind users "what am i doing wrong that i cant place the colon here" when they are trying to make a non-shared parameter, and they cant.

    There just isnt much (any) upside, to me.

    Mileage will vary, of course.

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    Hi,

    Thank you for you input – appreciate it.
    The Parameter Group name is currently Capitalised ie Bored Pier, Framing Concrete.
    However, we have been inconsistent with naming of parameters as some have a prefix to identify the group - some parameters don’t.
    At this stage I am leaning towards prefixing the parameter as this will make it easier to identify the parameters when added to a schedule etc.

    Thank you Karalon for the plugin suggestion.

    Also, I was concerned with using a space in the parameter name but reading the thread there shouldn’t be an issue to use parameters name with spaces in formulas.

    Where do save the Shared Parameters file? We have revit libraries for the different revit version BUT the shared Parameter file is saved in the root
    Library
    - Shared Paramater File.txt
    - Revit 2020 Library
    - Revit 2021 Library

    As the SP file is being updated it has to either be renamed or is it best saved with each different library for the different Revit versions?


    Thanks
    JH

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    Quote Originally Posted by jh75 View Post
    Hi,

    Thank you for you input – appreciate it.
    The Parameter Group name is currently Capitalised ie Bored Pier, Framing Concrete.
    However, we have been inconsistent with naming of parameters as some have a prefix to identify the group - some parameters don’t.
    At this stage I am leaning towards prefixing the parameter as this will make it easier to identify the parameters when added to a schedule etc.

    Thank you Karalon for the plugin suggestion.

    Also, I was concerned with using a space in the parameter name but reading the thread there shouldn’t be an issue to use parameters name with spaces in formulas.

    Where do save the Shared Parameters file? We have revit libraries for the different revit version BUT the shared Parameter file is saved in the root
    Library
    - Shared Paramater File.txt
    - Revit 2020 Library
    - Revit 2021 Library

    As the SP file is being updated it has to either be renamed or is it best saved with each different library for the different Revit versions?


    Thanks
    JH

    We keep a company default SP file in the library and copy it to the project folder for each new project. Any (new) useful parameter can be added to the default file later.

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    We organise them like this:

    Shared parameters "SP_Width_"Element" for example "SP_Width_Frame", "SP_Length_Mullion"
    if it is a text parameter "SP_Reference_Detail" and so on..

    Family parameters "FP_ and the same naming"
    Project parameters "PP_ and the same naming".

    I found this to be the most intuitive way of telling parameters apart as well as keeping things tidy.

    Hope it helps!

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