Reduce Size of Revit Families

When creating Autodesk Revit families for use in Revit projects, it is very important to minimize the file size of the families so that they do not bloat the project.  Reducing family size is especially important when a family will be used many times in a project, although if a family is just used once or twice, the consequences of the larger size are not too significant.

The most common way of reducing file size is to Purge Unused information from the file.

  • This function is available from the Manage tab and the Settings panel.
  • If you select the Check All button, then select the OK button, most of the unused information in the file will be removed.
  • If you select the Check None button, then you can select only the items that you desire to remove from the file.
  • Unused nested family types will be removed, so if a nested family has 5 different types and 2 of those types are used in the file, then just the 3 unused types will be removed.

Unused Materials do not get removed when the Purge Unused function is utilized, so those need to be removed separately.

  • Materials are accessed from the Manage tab and the Settings panel.
  • In the Materials dialog box, select the unwanted material in the left side, right-click and select Delete from the context-sensitive menu.
  • Note that it is possible to delete a material that is actually in use.  Be careful.
    • An Object that has a deleted material assigned to it will default to a <By Category> setting.
    • A Category that has a deleted material assigned to it will default to not having a material assignment.

An often overlooked family file reduction method is to compact the family.  This can significantly reduce the file size of the family and should always be performed before utilizing the family in a project.

  • From the Application Menu (the big purple “R”), select Save As -> Family.
    • In the Save As dialog box, select the Options… button in the lower right corner of the dialog box.
    • In the File Save Options dialog box, place a checkmark next to the Compact File option.  Pick the OK button, then pick the Save button to save the file and perform the file compaction.
  • This option is only available after the family has been saved as least once before.

The above steps are in addition to keeping your Revit family streamlined and not including excess information.

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2 thoughts on “Reduce Size of Revit Families

    • Another trick to reducing file size is to do a SaveAs and save the file as a different name. Depending on what is going on with the file, I have seen this reduce the file to half the size. This can also not reduce the file size at all.

      If you need to reduce the file size more, you may need to reduce the amount of detail in the family. It is easy to over-model a family and show too much minute detail that will not ever really be seen. I don’t know what type of family that you are modeling and some families just really cannot be reduced any more without reducing the usability of the file.

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