Revit uses several different methods for setting the thumbnail orientation. For both the Windows explorer preview and then in the type selector in Revit.
It can be very frustrating if you have created your own Revit content only to find its presentation in either windows explorer or the type selector lets you down due to it being backwards, or in some cases upside down.
The process for correcting this is quite simple, but is often missed or overlooked.
Updating Thumbnail Windows Explorer
To update the thumbnail in Windows you can create a locked position 3D view in Revit. Create a copy of the default 3D view and rename to “Thumbnail”.
Position your Family as you would like to have it appear in Explorer and then, Click on the” Save Orientation and Lock View” from the View Control Bar at the bottom of the screen.
Next thing, we do a save as, and select the options button.
You can then set the thumbnail preview to your locked view. By setting this view as the thumbnail view we are able to make sure future changes to the default 3d view do not affect the thumbnail.
Updating the Thumbnail for the Type selector list.
Believe it or not the option to set the thumbnail in the save as dialogue box does no link to the Type Selector views in Revit. To set this orientation correctly we need to address the view cube.
Notice that currently the Family, according to the view cube is facing the back. Revit uses the view cube orientation of the family for its display in the type selector.
You can re-orientate the view cube by simply right clicking on it and selecting “Set Front to View” and selecting the view that best suits the front, or in this case “Back”. Changing the orientation of the view cube does not affect your design views.
By taking the time to change your thumbnail views you can help to create a consistent style and presentation for the families you create.