Autodesk Revit: The Project Browser explained

Introduction

As you develop your project within Revit, you are going to create many different assets. These assets will typically include Floor Plan views, Elevations views, Section views, Schedules, Perspective and 3D views, etc. As you work with your project you will be constantly switching between these views. You will need to rename some of them. You will probably want to duplicate some of them in order to create new views. The Project Browser is your interface with all of these assets.

Unit Agenda

  1. All your Project Information in one place!
  2. Navigating the information contained within the Project Browser
  3. Docking the Project Browser
  4. Toggling the display of the Project Browser on and off

Video Tutorial:-

All your Project Information in one place!

Let’s say for example you are going to design a new School. You would create a new Revit Project. This project file would have a .RVT file extension. So somewhere on your local hard drive or network drive you are going to create a new Revit file called NewSchool.RVT. Obviously you will give it a name that is more meaningful! With regards the BIM (Building Information Model) that you develop for this school, all the various views, schedules, sheets, etc; all reside inside the single project file (NewSchool.rvt). You do not create separate files for plans, 3D views, details, etc. This single file approach makes it really efficient to navigate around your project. Open your project in Revit and you have everything there in one place! Think of the Project Browser as being very similar to Windows Explorer on a PC. You use Windows Explorer to find your way around the various folders and files that you have created. You open files, rename them, copy and delete them , etc. The Project Browser is very similar- it’s just that you are working with Views, Schedules, Legends, Details, etc- all within your project.

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In the image above I have shown the location of the Project Browser by highlighting it with a red boundary. The title bar (at the top of the Project Browser) will say “Project Browser – <project name>” with the name of your current project file displayed instead of <project name>.

Navigating the information contained within the Project Browser

Let’s now take a look at the Project Browser in detail and how we navigate around it.

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As your project gets larger and more complex, you will generate an ever-increasing number of assets. No two projects will ever be the same with regards exactly how many views you create or how you’ve named them. However, there is still an underlying commonality with regards how the Project Browser is organised and used. With reference to the image above:-

  1. Group Name: In this case, I have pointed to the “Floor Plans” Group Name. The thing to note is that Revit creates these Group Names- you don’t! New Group Names are created automatically by Revit if needed. For example, you create a new Section view- Revit will automatically create a new Group Name “Sections” and place you view in that Group. Other Group Names in the image above include Ceilings Plans, Elevations, Families & Revit Links.
  2. View Names: These are the individual views that you create. You can almost think of these as individual files in Window Explorer. You can rename these views, delete them and also duplicate them. We will look in detail how to create new views and duplicate existing ones in Module 6. Please Note: The Active View (ie the one that your cursor is focused on) is always shown in BOLD (as in our example here)
  3. View Names: This is another view- just note that this one is not in bold- ie it is not the currently active view in the workspace.
  4. Expand/Collapse Groups: Each group can be either expanded (to show all the views it contains) or collapsed (to just show the Group Name itself). Simply click on the “+” or “-” symbol next to the Group Name is order to expand or collapse it. This facility is really useful as your Project Browser starts to fill with many different views.

Docking the Project Browser

Just as we saw with the Properties Palette (in the previous Unit), the Project Browser can be docked in various locations within the Revit application window. It can also float above the workspace and (like the Properties Palette) be docked on a second monitor.

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In the image above you can see that the Project Browser in not docked, but floating.¬†Getting the Project Browser to dock where you want it to can be frustrating to start with. In the associated video for this Unit, I’ll show you how to dock the Project Browser with ease.

Toggling the display of the Project Browser on and off

Again, as with the Properties Palette you will almost certainly want continuous access to the Project Browser whilst you are working in Revit- you can’t easily navigate around your project without it! But what if you’ve accidently closed it? Well, to get it back just right-click in the drawing area (the main part of the screen)….

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…..which will make a floating context menu appear. Towards the bottom of the menu you’ll see Browsers. Hover over this and a fly-out will appear- choose the top option: Project Browser.

Key Points

  1. The single 3D model and all the various views generated from that reside in a single .RVT file for any given project
  2. The Project Browser allows to you navigate between your different project views, as well as rename, duplicate and delete them
  3. Group Names are created automatically as and when they are needed.
This tutorial is taken from "The Complete Beginner's Guide to Revit Architecture" FREE online course.
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Posted in Autodesk Revit.