Whether you are a novice or expert Revit user, you likely noticed the many different types of parameters: Family, Project, Shared, and Global Parameters. Here is a review of the differences between each parameter and some good applications for each parameter type.
Family Parameters are parameters that are created within the family editor and can be used to drive data or constraints within a family. A Family Parameter cannot be used in a schedule or tag; they only appear in the family properties.
Figure 1: Family Parameters Properties dialogue box.
- A good application for this type of parameter is driving a dimension that constrains geometry or to view information within your project that needs to work in the background.
Project Parameters are similar to family parameters but are created within a project instead of a family. A Project Parameter can appear in schedules and can be assigned to any family category within the project, however; they are unable to be tagged.
Figure 2: Project Parameters Properties dialogue box.
- A good use for this type of parameter is when you need to extract information from families. The benefit of this type of parameter is that this can be pushed to all elements of the family category without opening each family and creating a family parameter.
Shared Parameters can be Family and Project Parameters, but unlike the Family and Project Parameters, a Shared Parameter can be shared between projects and families. They are also the connection between a family and an annotation tag family or a schedule within a project allowing the information to be tagged or scheduled in a project. Shared parameters can be data, dimensions, or any other Type of Parameter currently available.
Figure 3: Project Parameters Properties dialogue box (Shared Parameters).
Figure 4: Shared Parameters Properties dialogue box.
In Revit 2016 R2, Autodesk introduced Global Parameters. Global Parameters are contained within a single project, and unlike a Project or Shared Parameter, they are not assigned to a specific family category. Global Parameters are not Type or Instance-based either. However, they can be associated with a Type or Instance Family, Project or Shared parameters.
Global parameters can be found under the Manage tab in the Settings Panel. This will open the Global Parameters dialogue box where the parameters can be edited, created and this is where values are associated with the global parameter. A global parameter is made up of the Parameter, the Value and if needed a Formula.
Figure 5: Global Parameters Properties dialogue box.
Global parameters can be very useful within a project and have the power to assist with geometry constraining and driving data global within a project, allowing this information to be controlled in a single location. Some examples of how global parameters can be used are:
- Creating a parameter for a piece of data that gets feed into multiple categories or family types. For example, if you a door or window that needs to be scheduled to a certain area of the building. Yes, you could go in and type that area into the family parameter in each instance or type of the door but with a global parameter, you only need to associate the global parameter to the building area parameter and then if you need to change the name of the building area, you can change it in the global parameter and it will affect all the families it is associated to.
Figure 6: Global Parameter associated with a text field project parameter.
- Creating a parameter that is associated with a dimension as a label. This can be used to assign a constraint that needs to be modified or controlled throughout the project. An example of this is a door offset from an intersecting wall or the distance between two objects. Then this dimension can be modified in a single location. A formula can also be associated with multiple global parameters.
Figure 7: Global Parameter associated with a dimension as a label.
Figure 8: Global Parameter used to drive geometry in a formula.
Here is short video of using Global parameters to drive data and constrain geometry.
As newer releases of Revit become available, the availability and growth of these Global Parameters will likely increase. Hope you enjoy them, and please let us know you are using them in the comments below.
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