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Updating Graphic Family Definitions

Monday, July 19th, 2021

While working on a Design Master Electrical for Revit project, you may need to modify one of your one-line diagram graphic families. There are two methods you can use:

  • Modify using Edit Family: This method is faster and easier, but the changes usually will not carry through to the base graphic families for your company.
  • Modify in the oldest supported Revit version: This method is more involved but ensures the changes will be available for other projects. The reason this method is needed is explained below.

Design Master Graphic Families in Revit

The default Design Master graphic families were created using Revit 2018. If you use a newer version of Revit on a project, temporary families compatible with that version will be created based upon the 2018 families. If a 2018 family is modified, Design Master will update the temporary family definitions to match.

Because Revit does not support backward compatibility, it is strongly recommended you do not save changes to graphic families unless using the oldest available Revit version supported by your company and Design Master (visit the Electrical RT System Requirements page for a list of supported versions). If, for example, you made changes to a transformer graphic family using Revit 2021 and saved those changes to your company’s customization folder, you would no longer be able to use that family in Revit 2020 or older.

Method 1: Modify Using Edit Family

Using the Revit Edit Family command, you can quickly open and edit the family, then reload it into the project. This method is recommended for one-time changes that need to be made for the current project.

The process is the same as for any other Revit family:

  1. Select the graphic in your drafting view and run the Revit Edit Family command.
  2. Make the changes to the graphic.
  3. Run the Revit Load Family command.
  4. When prompted, select Overwrite the existing version and its parameter values.

Any instances of the graphic in your drafting view will update to reflect the changes. When you close the family, do not save.

Method 2: Modify in the Oldest Supported Revit Version

This method ensures the modified graphic family will be usable across all of the Revit versions used by your company.

First, modify the family by following these steps in the oldest supported Revit version:

  1. Open the graphic family you want to modify. To see where your graphic families are located, run the User Options command.
  2. Make your changes to the graphic family.
  3. Save your changes.

You will then need to update the graphic family definition in your current project by following these steps:

  1. Run the Revit Load Family command and load the graphic family.
  2. When prompted, select Overwrite the existing version and its parameter values.
  3. Run the Insert Create command.
  4. Define and insert a device that uses the graphic family. The other settings are not important.
  5. Run the Calculate Whole Project command.

The other devices using the graphic family in your project will update to reflect the changes. If you don’t need the device you created in Step 4, you can remove it from the model and one-line diagram using the Delete from Model command.

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