Smart Browser© is a free Revit® extension for quick locating Revit families in external libraries

Compatible with Revit® 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2011, and Revit® 2010!


Our desire is to spread the Smart Browser among as many people as possible, so they can benefit by saving time and reducing frustration. – The AGA CAD team

Over 10,000 Revit users worldwide are already using our Smart Browser. We welcome every Revit user to join our community in using our software!


Frequently asked questions about Smart Browser


Q: When I select “add new families from your computer or server” and choose the folder that I used for all my 2012 families, it seems to go through them and upgrade them all to 2013.

Is this correct? If so, does it replace those files or copy them? I wanted just to add the reference to that folder, so if I needed to use a family, the reference was there and a subsequent upgrade would happen just to that chosen family.


A: When you select “Add New Families Folder from your computer or server” it doesn’t upgrade families into 2013 version.

After pressing “Start”, it creates an XML file that later will be used in Smart Family Browser. During the new XML file creation the extension opens every family from the library, reads all its information (types, parameter names, parameter values, category, host type etc.) and creates a picture (PNG) and 3D (DWFX) files (if selected in configuration). But it doesn’t save families to the new version. It just opens, reads information and closes the family. That’s it!




Q: Could it be possible to specify or choose thumbnails of each family without opening it?


A: Thumbnails are usual PNG files that are saved in the predefined location:



In order to change thumbnail files you have to go to the catalogue where those thumbnails are located and copy your own PNG files. Then new PNG files must be renamed. Name of PNG file must be the same as a family name:




Q: The website says that Smart Browser is now free, but the licensing info says trial version. Is it a full free version?


A: Yes, it is a full free version. No worries.



Q: What if we have multiple library locations? Can we add more paths to one XML file? 


A: Yes, you can have multiple locations. In order to have it you do not need to change “Browser Data Storage Location”. Just select other location under “Add New Families Folder from your computer or server”. In this case one XML file will have data from two libraries:



Q: It's taking a long time on my computer to do the first synchronization!


A: During the new XML file creation the extension opens every family from the library, reads all its information (types, parameter names, parameter values, category, host type etc.) and creates a picture (PNG) and 3D (DWFX) files (if this is selected in configuration). Creating XML file can take a considerable amount time ( from 0.5 hour to 24 or 36 hours), which depends on the size of the library. In order to achive faster processing, it is recommended to use a fast computer to create the initial XML file.  You can batch process folders by selecting individual folders or sub-folders and then adding more folders later. Also it’s not necessary to create 3D (DWFX) files during first synchronization. Please note that creating 3D (DWFX) files can significantly increase the database creation time.



Q: What about older file formats?


A: The XML creation process does not save the families, so they will remain in the older format. You can save families to the current Revit version using Smart Browser Pro.



Q: How can I share my library with other company users?


A: If your library is used by your whole company and it is located on a server, you don’t need to create XML files for each computer. You have to make the first XML file with a full path to your library though the network. Please use UNC pathing to point to the server and folder (i.e. //server1/revit/library). Next, it is required to change the path on every computer to point to the XML file on the network.



Q: I noticed the creation of DWF and PNG files in the library folders – can this be done in a separate folder structure?


A: Yes, please select the folder where PNG and DWF files are placed under “Families thumbnails and 3D DWF files location”. This can be placed into a network server by multiple user access:






Q: What I have to do if I have changed my families or added new ones?


A: In order to updates the library after any family changes you need to select “Synchronize” at the bottom in “Browser Options”. Then all indexed Revit family files will be checked and re-indexed into the database.

If you have added new families to the library then please press “Start” in “Browser Options”.

If families were modified with Smart Browser Pro then you don’t need to do any synchronization. Families will be automatically updated in Smart Family Browser.


If you have any questions, please contact as at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .