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10 Content Search Tips & Tricks

Searching your content right from Revit is at the heart of Kinship. Here’s a look at 10 tips and tricks to help you get the most out of it.

Anyone who uses Kinship knows that it helps you find the right content quickly and easily from within Revit. Content search in Revit was the very first feature we ever developed, and it’s still the one that most captures people’s attention when they learn about Kinship.

The core of Kinship’s content search is the simple act of typing what you’re looking for and getting instant, accurate and tailored results. It’s that google-like experience of finding exactly what you’re looking for in seconds without having to fill in fields, click on options or navigate a hierarchy.

Over the years, however, we’ve added many new features and there is now a lot more to our search than first meets the eye. Here’s a look at 10 tips and tricks to help you get the most out of it.

1. Fuzzy search

Kinship uses a “fuzzy search” to find results that mostly match what you’re looking for. This means you can find content with alternative spellings or different types of punctuation. It also helps you get the right results even if there are typos in your search or in the family data.

Example: Searching for “center” will return results that include both the US spelling as well as the UK spelling of “centre”.

Kinship fuzzy searchSearching for "centre" shows results with both "centre" and "center".

2. CamelCase search

For better or worse, a lot of BIM naming conventions like to utilize CamelCase syntax. And sometimes you may not know or remember whether a certain term is written in CamelCase or not.

Searching for terms in CamelCase format in Kinship searches them both in CamelCase and as separate words.

Example: Searching for “ButterflyValve” will return families that are named “ButterflyValve” or “Butterfly Valve” or even “Valve Butterfly”.

Kinship CamelCase searchSearching for "ButterflyValve" returns results in CamelCase and as separate words.

3. Partial string search

You can still find a full word even if you've only entered part of it. This is useful for searching compound words or content with naming conventions that combine several different words together.

Example: Searching for “waste” will find content with the term “wastewater”.

Kinship partial string searchSearching for "waste" returns results where "waste" is part of a larger word.

4. Use quotation marks for exact matches

When you know precisely what you want to find, you can search for an exact match by surrounding your search terms with quotation marks.

Example: Searching for “Valve Butterfly” will only return results where those two words occur together in that order, as opposed to also showing results that include either term.

Kinship search without quotes can return results with partial matchesKinship search with quotes for exact matches only.Search results for "Valve Butterfly" when searching without quotes (left) and with quotes (right).

5. Specify parameters and values

Kinship indexes all of your content’s parameter data for search, including both parameter names and parameter values. Some of the standard, built-in Revit parameters are automatically searched every time, while other parameters are only searched if you explicitly search for them.

You can search for specific parameter names by with the syntax “[Parameter Name]:”

Example: To find any content with the parameter “Fire Rating”, you can search “FireRating:”.

You can also search for specific parameter values by using the format “[ParameterName]:[ParameterValue]”.

Example: You can find all content with a Fire Rating of 60 Minutes by searching for “FireRating:60Minutes”.

Kinship search for parameters and parameter value combinations.Searching for content with a "Fire Rating" parameter and then with a Fire Rating of "60 Minutes".

6. Require specific search terms

When you enter multiple keywords in the Kinship search, it will look for content that contains one or more of your search terms. While Kinship will prioritize results that match all or multiple keywords, it may still show results that do not include all of them.

As an alternative, you can force Kinship to only show results that include a certain keyword by putting a “+” in front of it.

Example: Search for "bend MJ x PE DI +150" to only show content that includes the number 150, for example to isolate Class 150 bends.

Kinship search without any required termsKinship search with a required termSearch results without "150" as a required term (left) and with "150" as required (right).

7. Find similar content

If you select an element in the Revit Project Browser or in your active view, and then call up the Kinship Search, you’ll immediately see content from the same category.

Kinship search for similar contentSelecting a wall and calling the Kinship search shows other content in the Walls category.

8. Remember your latest results

The Kinship add-in includes some options for customizing your search experience. One is to show your last search if you open the search again within 5 minutes.

If enabled, your most recent search and the associated results will display as soon as you open the search. This works even when switching between different projects in Revit, which is especially useful if you need to load the same content into multiple models.

To access this option, go to File > Options within Revit, click Kinship in the left-hand menu and then check the box for “Show latest history if within 5 minutes”.

'Show latest history if within 5 minutes' menu screenshot from Kinship

'Show latest history if within 5 minutes' menu item in Kinship

9. Remember the search window position and size

Another option you can enable through the above menu is to “Remember window position and size”. This means that when you open the search, it will always appear where you last positioned it on your screen(s) and with the same dimensions if you re-sized it by dragging the edges.

This is handy if you like to keep the search in a particular place on your screen or when working with multiple monitors.

'Remember window position and size' menu item in Kinship

'Remember window position and size' menu item in Kinship

10. Keyboard shortcuts

When working in Revit, you can quickly pull up the Kinship search by typing 'KL' on your keyboard. No seconds wasted navigating the Revit ribbon!

With the search box open, you can also go back in your search history by hitting the up arrow on your keyboard. This lets you avoid having to re-enter searches and helps with double checking previous searches. You’ll be able to access all searches from your current Revit session.

That’s a wrap for now. While our aim is always to get you the content you need with a simple search, these 10 tips should set you up to work even smarter, faster and easier with Kinship.

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