Family Browser:User Guide
- 1 Installation and Initial Setup.
- 2 Setting Up Family Browser
- 2.1 Family Manager
- 2.1.1 Content Manager
- 188.8.131.52 Layout
- 184.108.40.206 Collections
- 220.127.116.11 Groups
- 18.104.22.168 Tabs
- 22.214.171.124 Content
- 2.1.2 User Manager
- 2.1.3 Search Manager
- 2.1.4 About/Settings
- 2.1.1 Content Manager
- 2.1 Family Manager
- 3 Using Family Browser
- 4 Licensing
- 5 Family Browser Apps.
Installation and Initial Setup.
Download the latest release of Family Browser R2 From Here and save it to a location on your computer ready to install.
Family Browser r2 can except two arguments at install time. The format of them is:
- Database Path Location = DBPATH="PATH LOCATION TO DB FILE"
- Silent Install - "/qn ALLUSERS=1"
c:\test\Family Browser2017r2-02-02-01.exe DBPATH="V:\FBTest" /qn ALLUSERS=1
Will install Family Browser R2 silently and automatically point the end users machine to the pre-configured Database.
If a DB Location has been specified when the user next starts Revit Family Browser will automatically be License activated, and the Collections/Groups and tabs will be pre-configured.
You can create a batch file or Windows shortcut to run these arguments at install time.
NOTE: if you create a windows shortcut you will need to enclose the Target path in Double Quotes.
For example the target will look something like this.
"c:\test\Family Browser2017r2-02-02-01.exe" DBPATH="V:\FBTest" /qn ALLUSERS=1
Running Family Browser for the first time
On opening Revit for the first time after Family Browser has been installed you should see a floating dockable plane on the Revit UI similar to below (without content). If you don't see that navigate to the addins tab and click on the Family Browser icon to show it.
This can be positioned or docked into the Revit UI or placed on an another monitor. You can Hide Family Browser by either clicking on the "x" in the top right corner or clicking on the Family Browser icon in the addins tab.
The main parts of the Family Browser UI are:
1. The top bar where you can choose the Collection/Group selector which will change the available tabs. You can also access the Family Manager, About & Help tools from this section using the icons on the top right.
2. This is where your selected families will be shown including the types. From here you can drag/drop your content onto the Revit UI to load/place the family.
3. Tabs - Selecting different tabs will change the pre configured content that is available in Family Browser.
4. Search bar - where you can search through Family Name, Family Type, Category parameters or tags (by default it searches all these items)
Setting Up Family Browser
To setup Family Browser you need to run the "Family Manager". You do this by clicking on the Family Manager Icon (gear cog) as shown below - 1
The Family Manager is split up into 4 Tabs along the top.
1. Content Manager - This is where you setup Collections/Groups/Tabs and content and this is then applied to the Family Browser UI in Revit.
2. User Manager - This is where you can change the users from Admin to User status and also assign different Collections to different users. Refer to User Manager
3. Search Manager - This is where you can re index out of Sync Families back to the Database. Refer to Search Manager
4. About/Settings - This dialog will show you what version of Family Browser you are running and this is where you activate Family Browser from. You can also set User settings from here as well. Refer to About/Settings
This is where you setup Collections/Groups/Tabs and content and this is then applied to the Family Browser UI in Revit.
There are 5 main sections of the Content Manager.
1. Collection & Groups - This is where you add/modify the collections and groups.
2. Browser Tree - This is where you browse for files to add to the selected tabs in Family Browser.
3. Family Browser Preview - This area shows you what Family Browser will look like back in the Revit UI once you have configured it.
4. Database location - You can change the location of the Database at any time. The database contains all the structure and settings of the Family Browser.
5. Automatically Index Families - With this turned on when you add families to the Family Browser, the Family Manager will open the family and extract all the Family Type and Parameter information, and store that in the database for later use in searches etc.
What is a Collection?
A collection is a logical collection of Groups. Depending on your office needs, will determine your number of collection that are used. You may decide to have two separate collections for Imperial or Metric Libraries, or if you are a multi discipline firm you may have separate collections for Architectural, Structural MEP for example.
Collections can be assigned/unassigned to specific users, some some users may see 2 collections and other may see more in their Family Browser. A good example of this is having a collection for specific families used on a specific project. You would then assign that collection to just that user group.
Adding a Collection
Family Browser requires there to be at least one collection made. You can create as many as you like.
To add a collection, click on the button "Add Collection" from within the Family Browser Manager - > Content Manager tab.
Removing a Collection
To remove an existing Collection, select the collection that you want to remove and then click on the Remove Collection button from within the Family Browser Manager -> Content Manager Tab
This will also remove all pre configured groups that are associated with that collection along with all the pre configured tabs that are associated with those groups. It will NOT remove the Family Data from the Database as that data could also be assigned to another collection/Groups/Tabs
Renaming a Collection
In the Collection/Group pane double click on the Collection name you want to rename. This will put it into edit mode where you can rename the Collection.
Reordering a Collection
Content coming soon
Assigning a Collection Metric or Imperial
Collections can be assigned to be a Metric or Imperial collection or Both. If you assign a collection to be Imperial and you open a Metric project, in Family Browser UI group selector the Imperial Collections will not show. Visa versa with Metric Collections. By default when you create a collection it is set for both.
Right mouse click on the collection that you want to assign and use the options there.
What is a Group?
Like Collections are a logical grouping of Groups, Groups are a logical grouping of tabs. Groups can me multi levels deep.
Family Browser requires there to be at least one group per Collection.
Adding a Group
To add a Group,
1. Select a Collection that you want to add the group to OR select the group that you want to add a sub group to.
2. Click on the button "Add" in the group panel from within the Family Browser Manager - > Content Manager tab.
Removing a Group
To remove an existing Group, select the group that you want to remove and then click on the Remove button in the group panel from within the Family Browser Manager -> Content Manager Tab
This will also remove all pre configured groups that are associated with that group along with all the pre configured tabs that are associated with those groups. It will NOT remove the Family Data from the Database as that data could also be assigned to another collection/Groups/Tabs
Renaming a Group
In the Collection/Group pane double click on the Group name you want to rename. This will put it into edit mode where you can rename the Group.
Reordering a Group
What is a Tab?
Like Groups are a logical grouping of Tabs, Tabs are a logical grouping of Revit content. Revit content can be in 3 forms.
1. External RFA families 2. System Families extracted from selected templates 3. Drafting Views extracted from selected templates
Tabs can contain any mixture of the 3 types of content above and from any number of locations. They can also have pointers to one "Live" folder for RFA families. Live Folder are explained here.
Adding a Tab
Adding a Tab can be done in two ways.
1. From the Family Browser preview pane, select the collection and group that you want to add the tab to and then click on the "+" symbol in the bottom right corner. This will add a tab called New tab.
2. From the Family Browser preview pane, select the collection and group that you want to add the tab to, and then in the Family Selection Pane locate a folder that you know has Revit RFA content in. Clicking on the Folder checkbox will pop open a dialog that allows you to "Create a Tab From Folder" and gives you the option to rename the tab at create time.
Removing a Tab
From the Family Browser preview pane within the Family Manager, move your mouse over the tab you want to remove. A small Red "X" will appear on the right hand side where you can click to remove the tab.
Renaming a Tab
From within the Review Preview pane in Family Manager double click on the tab name. You can then edit the name from within that dialog.
Reordering a Tab
From within the Revit Preview pane drag and drop the tab that you want to re order to the position you want it placed in the Revit UI.
What is Content?
Content is what you see is the Family Browser Palette in Revit. You find the content that you are wanting and then Drag/Drop that onto the Revit canvas to load and place the content. There are 3 types of Content.
1. RFA External Families - Drag/Drop onto Revit, Family Browser will first check to see if the family has been previously loaded. If it has been it will use the loaded family and place it. If it is not loaded it will first load the family into Revit and then put you in placement mode.
2. System Families - Drag/Drop onto Revit Family Browser will first check to see if the system family has been previously loaded. If it has been it will use the loaded system family and place it. If it is not loaded it will first load the system family from the template location into Revit and then put you in placement mode.
3. Drafting View - Family Browser will check to see if a drafting view of the same name exists. If it does it will rename it and then load from the template location the drafting view you ave dropped onto Revit. Once all loaded it will open that view.
Adding RFA Families
Adding System Families
Adding Drafting Views
What is a live Folder?
Change User Rights
Assign User to Collections
Re Sync Families to Database
From the "About/Setting" dialog you can see the currently running Family Browser version and the license status, along with settings and the ability to activate Family Browser. This dialog can be reached from the main Family Browser UI in Revit by clicking on the "About" icon or by clicking on the Settings/About tab in the Family Browser Manager dialog.
Family Browser/License Info
This section of the dialog shows the version of Family Browser running and the subscription days left along with the current activation key. If the Installed version is different than the Latest available version a link will appear to the current version for download.
Global User Settings
These settings are for all users connected to the Data Base. If a user is not an Admin these settings disabled.
1. Show Family Count on Tabs - Turning this on will show how many families are contained within each tab once you select the tab.
2. Show Refresh Icon - Turning this on with show a black Refresh icon on the family browser icons if the family is out of date with the information contained in the Data Base for that family. This icon will appear if a family has been open and saved even if there was no change at all.
3. Show Revit Version Icon - Turning this on will show an icon on the Family Browser icon indicating what Revit version the family is.
4. Show Live Folder icon - Turning this on will show an icon on the Family Browser icon indicting of the family is from a live folder.
5. Default New User Type - Any new user connecting to the database for the first time is assigned a user type defaulting to this setting.
6. Limit Search Results - Searching will stop as soon as it reaches this number, and then display the results in the Family Browser Search tab.
Alternative Library Paths
This dialog is accessed through the Global Settings in the About Dialog.
It allows you to set alternative paths to where your Family Browser Library is stored.
For example you may have a laptop that when plugged to the network looks at the network for the Family Browser files, but when unplugged will automatically look at a local file path that has the content cached. Also handy of you are replicating a DB across multiple offices with each office having a unique UNC path.
You can have as many paths as you want. Family Browser will attempt to connect to the first path, but if that is not found will then try the next path until it is successful. You can remove paths by selecting the row and pressing the delete key on the keyboard.
Floating License Options
Floating License Options can be accessed from the about dialog -> "Floating License Options" button.
Here you can set The inactive time and License file full threshold.
If the Family Browser palette has been inactive for a greater time than the inactive time and the license file is above the file full threshold, then Family Browser palette will automatically close and release the license for other users. The user will be notified of this closure with a popup.
Personal User Settings
These settings are for the current user.
1. Tabs right or Left handed - This toggle swaps the tabs from the left to right and visa versa
2. Show Favorites Tab - Toggles the users Favorite tabs on and off.
3. Icon Size - Default is 85. This setting controls the icon size on Family Browser. With HD monitors this settings should be increased.
4. User Searches - Opens a dialog where the user can remove existing search history strings.
Clicking on this button will allow you to activate Family Browser. Please refer to this section for more information -> Activating Family Browser
Floating License Viewer
This button will only show if you are an "Admin" user and you are connected to a Floating License XML fie for license activation.
Using Family Browser
Activating Family Browser
Activating Family Browser for single license or floating licenses is exactly the same other than two minor differences.
To start the activation process open the Family Browser About Dialog and click on the activate button. (1)
From the below dialog (2), choose what type of activation key that you bought from the Kiwicodes web page.
This will start the Family Browser license wizard which will step you through the process. Click on the activate button. (3)
Click on the activate online button (4). If you are not connected to the internet you will have to use the offline activation process. Contact us for details on how this is achieved.
Paste your activation key (5) that would have been emailed to you at purchase time, and then click n the activation button. (6). If you connect to the internet via a Proxy Server you will have to enter these details by clicking on the Proxy button.
If you have a single license key, once a successful activation has occurred, the license wizard will display the finish button. Skip through the next step in this guide.
If you have selected a floating license, you will be presented with the below dialog. Make sure the default output is XML (7). Select a folder that is shared, and has full Read/Write access to that Path. (8) Then click on the Register button. (9) Once a successful registration of the XML has occurred, the license wizard will display the finish button.
NOTE: If you have an existing floating license XML setup for FB r1 make sure this path is exactly the same as what you setup for previously. Both FBr1 and FBr2 use the same XML file.
Once you close the License Wizard you will be asked to restart Revit.
At this time the activation code and XML file location is saved within the shared Database. When users connect to this Database Family Browser reads this information and automatically registers/connects to the floating license. You only need to do this activation once. Family Browser will take care of it from that stage on wards when Revit starts up.
Family Browser Apps.
Family Browser Apps are small application add-ons to Family Browser, that we are currently developing, that are in a state that can be released to the public for general testing and feedback. They can be future planned additions for Family Browser or they may be independent clients requests for features that may not be relevant to the main client base of Family Browser.
Depending on feedback, these apps may be fully integrated into the base Family Browser product. Depending on the users permissions they may not be available to non Admin users.
The main Family Browser App page can be access by clicking on the App icon as shown below.
Below are the Apps that are currently being developed or are available.
Multi Tagger allows you to select multiple families at once and apply/remove tags to those families in bulk.
File Pather allows you to modify the file path to families contained in the Database. This will allow you to take an existing DB ie FB 2017 DB and upgrade it to a FB 2018 DB as long as the families are in the same directory structure but under a different root path.
Family request allows users to request the admins to add certain families to the Family Browser setup, and let them know where to place it and why. This allows the Admins to check if the requested family complies with the office standards before it is made available to Family Browser users.
Status: Coming soon!
User Manager Pro
User Manager Pro will be a replacement for the current User Manager in the Family Manager. It will include the ability to selectively add users to the database and remove them, along with the ability to add/remove from collections and also edit their user settings.