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Properties Plus Plugin

This plugin is a more featured version of the standard Properties Palette. If you select multiple groups and/or types of geometry, this plugin will provide you with a breakdown of what has been selected, as well as allow for the bulk renaming of groups and group instances.
1 - First we will look at the properties of a door group from our main model. Re-open Encode Campus Sample Model.axm and go back to the Eye Level – Long Alley scene. To start utilizing the Properties Plus plugin:
  1. 1.
    Open the Properties Plus Palette by clicking on the property with a ‘plus’ symbol icon.
  2. 2.
    Make sure that Update on Selection Change is checked.
  3. 3.
    Select one of the double glass door groups, named Door, on the right side of the alley.
  4. 4.
    Under the Selection Count area, Total Objects tells us that we have one (1) object selected.
  5. 5.
    Just below that we can find more information on what types of objects have been selected. In this case, there is one (1) group selected, but that group has four (4) instances somewhere in the model.
Note: Checking the number of instances of the selected group can be very handy to prevent accidentally changing multiple elements when you actually only wanted to change the selected element, but forgot to make it unique first.
2 - This plugin allows us to edit a group or group instance’s name without having to go into group edit mode, and rename multiple instances at once. As we learned previously, every group has a name, but every instance of that group can also have a unique ‘instance’ name. Since there will most likely be many types of doors in this model, we want to give this group, and some of its instances, more specific names.
  1. 1.
    With the first glass Door group still selected, add another Door group to your current selection by holding Shift or Ctrl and single-clicking on the other double glass Door group near the first.
  2. 2.
    Notice that now, the Properties Plus Palette has updated its Selection Count to show that there are two (2) instances selected, but still only one (1) unique Family (AKA group) selected. (Even though this plugin is using the term Family, which should be familiar to Revit users, in this context it means the same thing as a FormIt group.)
  3. 3.
    Under the Group Family area, update the Name field to be Doors – Double Glass Storefront. This will update the name group’s name for all instances, no matter where they are or whether they are currently selected or not, without having to double-click and edit the group.
  4. 4.
    Since these two instances are both doors into the Groove Coffee area, lets rename just these two instances by entering Groove Coffee Door into the Name field under the Multiple Group Instances area.
Note: In the standard Properties Palette, there is no way to rename multiple instances of a group at once. This can be extremely handy when you want to rename tens or hundreds of instances with the same name at once.
Note: If you mouse leaves the palette, you will no longer be able to edit the selected textbox. This is true for all palettes, so make sure to keep your cursor within the palette boundary while editing anything inside of a palette.
3 - Now if you select a Groove Coffee glass door or a different glass door and look at their properties in the regular Properties Palette, you will see that the name of the Group has been updated for every instance, but only the Groove Coffee doors have their instance Name property updated from its default value.
4 - Finally, let’s look at how this plugin sorts different types of elements:
  1. 1.
    Quickly draw a Line (L), Rectangle (R), and Cube (Alt + B) anywhere you would like in the model. These will be temporary, so their precise location is not important.
  2. 2.
    Re-open the Properties Plus Palette if it was closed, and then press Crtl + A to select all visible elements in the model.
  3. 3.
    Look in the Selection Count area, and notice that the selected elements are separated into Edges (lines), Faces, Bodies, (3D shapes made of faces and edges, like the cube), Groups, and more.
Note: This plugin also detects Vertices, which can be created using another plugin called Generate Vertex. If you would like to experiment, install the Generate Vertex Plugin and repeat the steps above.