UNIFI makes it easy for you to find content and load it into a project. There are four main ways to find content: search (by fields or Revit parameter data), browse, and saved searches.
Let’s say that you’re a designer and you’re looking for a Revit family to put into your project. In this case, you want to add a chair.
Search by Fields
The first way that you can find the chair family is by using the Search feature.
First, you’ll click on the magnifying glass in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
Next, you’ll type in “chair.”
The platform defaults to the most-recently searched library; however, you can easily edit default search libraries and channel subscriptions by selecting the grey box to the left of the search bar and indicating where you’d like to search.
Next, click on Search Fields. UNIFI will be looking for the word “chair” in its File Name, Family Type Name, Family Category, Material Class, and Tags. Uncheck as needed to not search those Fields. You can also search by Revit Parameter (which you’ll learn about in the next section).
Once you’ve confirmed the Library Selection and your search criteria, you can then press Enter to view your results or click on the Magnifying Glass to the right of the Search Bar.
If you click on the view icon in the upper right side of the screen, you can change how your search results appear. You can display your results in a Grid, Row, or Detail layout. In a Grid or Row display, you can view the metadata for your content results.
This tells you star ratings, tags, which libraries it belongs to, and more. If you need more information on this chair, you can click on the name to view more.
You can click on the tabs to view the different family types and their parameter data before bringing it into your project or even opening it in Revit.
Once you’ve confirmed that this is the family that you want in this project, you can click on the thumbnail image.
UNIFI then downloads that family from the cloud and loads it into your current Revit project.
It immediately puts you into the placement view in Revit to allow you to place the family into your project.
You can use your cursor to select where you want that family in your project.
Once you’re done, you can hit escape to return back to your search window
Search by Parameter Data
Another way to find content is by searching by parameter data.
You can conduct a granular search through Revit family data using the Search Revit Parameters feature.
With this feature, you can search for a specific parameter value or find all content where a specific parameter exists.
For example, select Search Revit Parameters just below the search bar.
Under Parameter Name, put “Voltage” and under Parameter Value, indicate that you want “120.000 V.”
And now you can view the results based on that parameter data.
Heads up–if you go to do a new search, it will automatically save the search parameters. If you do not want to search those parameters, select Search Revit Parameters and clear that content.
Let’s look at one more example. In this case, let’s say that you are an engineer and you’re looking for a pipe.
You’re going to type “pipe” into the search bar.
Remember that you can click on the title to review some of the parameter data. In this case, you know this is what you want, so you can simply click on the thumbnail image here in the search results and it will insert the family into your project.
Just like before, UNIFI has downloaded the pipe family from the cloud and loaded it to your current project so that you can begin modeling it immediately.
The main benefit of the Search function is that it allows you to find content in a variety of ways, such as searching for content File Name, Type Name, Category, Tag, and Parameter.
Common Industry Synonyms Feature
Another useful aspect of the search lookup is the Common Industry Synonyms feature. This prevents you from having to type in a specific word to get a specific result. For example, if you type in “AHU”, I’ll get the same search results as if you typed in “air handler.”
Let’s take a moment to explain the tagging system. Tags are a way to group content together using metadata. You can look at tags as a way to subcategorize your content, similar to subfolders, except each piece of content can be assigned multiple tags, which makes it easier for users to find content in multiple ways.
You’ll see that this air handling unit has the tags “Air handling Units,” “Air-Side Components,” “Div 23-HVAC,” “Healthcare,” and more. From here, you can click on a tag to find all content that share the same tag.
You can alternatively type in square brackets in the search bar. You’ll notice that UNIFI automatically auto-completes your search by giving you some options by listing all of the tags that exist in libraries as you type.
Healthcare-related content is exactly what you’re looking for, so you’re going to select that. You can also add additional search words within your Search Bar. If you type in “bed” after [Heathcare], it’ll search for content that contains both the tag “Heathcare” and the word “bed” in its file name or family type.
There’s also a helpful filter function that allows you to filter content by family category, star rating, and more.
In addition to your libraries, which are your internal content, you also have Channels, which are ways for other content providers to share their libraries with you. Providers such as Legrand, Herman Miller, and BIMstore.
These companies, whether they are manufacturers or bim content providers, share their own content with UNIFI users at no additional cost to you. To add a content provider to your UNIFI Channel options, you’ll need to access the UNIFI web portal. You can access it by clicking on the Globe Icon within the UNIFI app.
The Web Portal will open in a browser window. Select Subscriptions from the left side of the screen.
You’ll then be able to subscribe to various channel subscriptions.
An advantage our content has over our competitors is that UNIFI Connect content has been vetted by our QA/QC team to ensure content is modeled accurately, is parametrically clean, and compact in file size. Using UNIFI Connect content can save you time in creating new families for Content Requests as the geometry is clean, leaving you to focus on customizing the data for your company standards.
Another way to find content in UNIFI is by using the browse feature.
Click on the folder icon in the upper left hand corner.
Here you’ll be able to view all Company Libraries and Channels. Go to libraries and click on the “Architecture” library.
The main benefit of the browse feature is that content is automatically grouped by model category, so there are no subfolders to sift through.
From this screen, you are seeing all content that is in this library. It’s important to note that you didn’t have to create these as subfolders. For Revit families, UNIFI automatically groups them by the model category.
As you probably noticed, UNIFI stores multiple file types here, so if it’s a different file type other than a Revit family, it will be grouped by file extension such as 3DS, Doc, DWG, or PDF.
Now click on the “Materials” category.
You’ll see here that the materials are grouped by material class.
You’re going to click on Wood for your project.
There are quite a few materials in that class. You can use the star ratings and tags to help you determine if this is the material you want.
You can also click on the name of one item and view even more information. You can view material properties such as surface patterns and cut patterns, appearance, and even some physical and thermal properties.
To add this material to your project, you simply click on the thumbnail image. Similar to UNIFI prompting you to place other types of content, once you load a material, UNIFI will automatically load it into an active Revit project.
You can also find content through Saved Searches. The saved search feature increases efficiency for yourself or your team by allowing you to create predefined search criteria so that users no longer have to type in search queries with complex filters or remember how to find content by browsing through libraries and model categories.
First, we’ll show you the advantages of using Saved Searches and then we’ll show you how to set it up.
Start by clicking on the saved search icon on the left side of the screen. Notice that you have Company Saved Searches and your Saved Searches. Only Company Admins can create Company Saved Searches.
Under Company Saved Searches, click on Architecture, and then Fire-Rated wall.
This is a saved search where the admin has identified a set of families here that are maybe less intuitive to find using the other search methods (for example, there isn’t a fire-rated wall tag or the title doesn’t include the words fire-rated wall).
An admin has pre-identified which libraries this applies to, filtered categories, excluded items, and more. This prevents your team from having to remember which library or which model categories certain families belong to or even which tag to search for.
How to Create a Saved Search
There are two different methods that you can use to create a Saved Search.
The first method is by saving directly from a search. To get started, click on the magnifying glass icon on the left side of the screen.
From here, you can create a search query that gets you the specific results you would look for and could then save that search criteria for future use.
Let’s say you want to search for content with the DIV 23-HVAC tag.
The results of this particular search include system families, drafting views, and models. But maybe you’d like to narrow your search a little more. To do this, you could add “piping” to your search query.
That narrowed the results considerably, showing all piping content that is tagged with Div 23-HVAC.
If you need additional filters applied to the file name, you can narrow your search by selecting the filter button on the right side of the screen.
You can then type in additional search words in the Filter Name section. For example, you could type in “cross” and the results will narrow even more.
But what if that narrowed a little too much? You can type in an additional name (in this case, let’s type “elbow”) and now UNIFI will find content that has either cross OR elbow in it.
You can also filter by star ratings, as well as family category. You can click on Family Category and either scroll down to find the specific Family Category you want or even start typing what you’re looking for. Let’s say, for instance, that you are looking for drafting views. You can begin typing “Drafting Views.”
And now you’ve modified your search to look within only Drafting Views.
You can hover over each image to view the details to ensure that you’ve included the correct content.
Once you’ve filtered your results sufficiently, you can click on the floppy disk icon on the top right of the screen to save your search
You can then give this search a name. UNIFI has already completed many of the other fields based on your search parameters
You can define which libraries in particular you want to search. For example, if you find searching all libraries a little too expansive, you can select only the libraries you’d be interested in.
You can then select the group this search is for. All groups ending in “(Company)” are accessible to all within your company, those without “(Company)” are your personal saved searches. It’s important to note here that only admins can create Company searches.
For example, let’s say that you’re saving a “Piping Details” search, but don’t really have a piping group. To create one, click on the Plus sign next to the Select Group section.
Type in the group name (in this case “Details”) and then select Ok.
You can also add new filters, thus making sure that you only have content that is rated 3 stars or more if you so choose. You can also identify particular categories, file types, and even original authors. You can also modify the search so that you are only looking at your favorites.
You can automatically exclude certain items by indicating which tag you want to exclude.
You can also create a default sort for the search results. You can sort alphabetically or based on popularity (in other words, how often it’s inserted in your company).
Lastly, you can put a particular image to this search.
Once you’re done, click Save in the upper right corner of the screen.
The benefit of saving from a set of search criteria like this is that the fields are already filled out based on your search.
The second way to create a saved search is to click on the floppy disk icon on the left hand side of the screen.
Decide whether you want to create a Company Saved Search or a Personal Saved Search. If a Group does not exist that you’d like to save your search under, select the plus (+) icon on the top right of the screen to create one.
After your Saved Search group has been selected, select the gray box with the “+” to create a new saved search.
Here you’ll have a blank slate to enter all of your search criteria.
When finished, select Save in the top right of the screen.
A great use of a personal saved search is to house all of your Favorited content. Favoriting content is different than giving it a Star Rating. When you Favorite a piece of content, that is unique to the user. If you want others on your team to know the content is preferred, you’ll want to utilize its star rating shown to the left of the image.
There are two ways to favorite a piece of content. The first is to right click on the name of the object.
Right clicking on the name of the content, gives you some quick select options such as Add a tag, Download, Favorite, and more.
The second way to favorite a piece of content is to left click on the name of the content.
Next, click on the heart icon in the upper right corner. This method may be preferred if you need to also review any of the parameter data or file history before favoriting the content.
To access your favorite content, go to your Saved Searches section by clicking on the disk icon on the left side of the screen
If you set up a saved search for your favorites, this is where you could easily access it. If you haven’t created one, here is how you can set it up. First, click on the appropriate tab for where you’d like this saved search to go (whether it be under Company Saved Searches or under your Saved Searches).
Next, select the plus sign in the upper right corner of the screen
Then enter a group name. We are going to call this one “Favorites.” You could also create a Favorites search under any other group. For example, if you wanted to include your favorites for all architecture content, you could put your favorites search there. In this case, we are creating an entire group devoted to favorite content. Once you’ve entered in the group name, click Ok.
Click on Favorites to expand that new group
Next, select the plus sign (+) to create a new search
Now you’ll want to enter in a search name. In this case, let’s call this one “Favorites.”
Put a star in the Search Term section so that your search finds all favorites.
Next, select which libraries you want to search, or you can even search for all of them. You can also search channels as well. In other words, you can access all of your favorites throughout everything.
And then check the box that says Favorites Only.
Now select Save in the upper right corner of the screen
And that saved search is now listed under that saved search group.
What this also allows you to do is since you have this broad search category, you can now duplicate it for different types of content. For example, if you wanted to create a search where you see your favorite casework, you can duplicate this search and modify the search criteria to view only casework. Or you could duplicate this search and modify it to see door favorites. And so on. To do this, right click on that search and select Duplicate.
You could then select Categories.
And then you’d simply select the categories focused on the types of content that you want in this particular search.
Making a Personal Saved Search a Company Saved Search
Saved searches are automatically saved as personal saved searches. To make a company saved search, you’ll need to be a company admin.
It takes only a few quick steps to create a company-wide saved search.
First, click on the floppy disk icon on the left side of the screen.
Then select My Saved Searches.
Click on the group name that your search is saved in.
Next, right click on your Saved Search.
Now heads up–if you want to create two different searches that have slight variations (for example, one client of ours had one saved search for interior hollow metal doors and another saved search for exterior hollow metal doors) you can duplicate the search here and make those slight tweaks. In this case, we are not going to duplicate the search, we are just going to select Edit.
From the Select Group section, select the appropriate group with “(Company)” in parentheses.
Then click Save in the top right of the screen.
And now your Saved Search will appear in the Company Saved Searches section.
So let’s quickly recap the four search methods that allow users to easily find content in the cloud and load it into their project.
- The standard search helps users find content by File Name, Type Name, Category, and tag.
- You can also search Revit Parameter data to find a specific parameter value for all content.
- Browse allows users to find content that is automatically grouped by model category, without having to sift through subfolders.
- Saved searches prevents users from having to type in search queries with complex filters or remember how to find specific content.