In order to change a railing type we need to access its type parameters, we can either do this while we are in sketch mode drawing our railing (under "railing propeties") or we can select the object properties once the railing has been created and go from there.
Once I acces the element properties and the go into the "Type Properties", you will notice that there are two buttons that will call separate dialog boxes for "Rail Structure" and "Baluster Placement". The Railing Structure Dialog blox allows you to specify a profile family to be extruted along the horizontal length of the railing. What is neat about this dialog is that it allows you to insert as many "railing" components as you need using different profiles and different elevations.
So once you have the horizontal members the way you want them, then you can exit this dialog box and go onto the next one which is the "Baluster Placement". In the Baluster Placement dialog, you will find a similar aproach to describe the vertical members, begining and ending post. However, rather than using extruded profiles, this dialog actually uses 3D geometry famlies categorized as "baluster" (these are built or modeled using the Baluster.rtf family template.) Therefore keep in mind that you need to load the appropriate familes you need for your railing before you enter this dialog box (oops!)
On the upper portion under the heading of "Main Pattern" you can load many different common balusters that will appear within a period of repetition and space them accordingly. The bottom part labeled "Posts" Allows you to select different post for Starting, Corner, and Ending conditions. This gives you great flexibily to use different post for corners and ends.
By using different starting and ending posts you can also recreate stair railing used for ADA with different extensions at the start and end. :) Until next time.