Beginners Tips for Revit

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  • 7/31/2019 Beginners Tips for Revit

    1/ February 20

    Revit Architecture

    When you rst start using Autodesk Revit,it seems easy. Pick the wall tool, draw awall by picking two points, pick the door

    tool, place the door, then go see it in 3D. Wow! Tereare little things youll want to know. For example, you

    want to know how ar the door is rom the wall. Well, the tempo-rary dimension you see when placing it tells you, so no more step1. Now place the door, step 2, and move it 6 inches away rom thewall. When you switched rom the wall tool to the door tool, youdidnt change layersyou didnt even think about it. Is Ortho onor o? How about snap? No more o that.

    But as you continue and stop playing with your simple 3D house,you start working on a real project. Te aorementioned littlethings arent a thought anymore, but other little things are. Sea-soned Revit users have learned to cope, and now you can, too.

    Te rst project is a rustrating one because, as a new Revit user,you will be learning the program as you are working on your project.

    Even i you come prepared with great training, youll quickly nthat when you use Revit on a real project, not everything will wolike it did in your training sessions. On a real project, with real dealines attached, you might not have time to work through how to dthings correctly, or have the time to make a amily work at all. Youturn to detail lines or detail components and lled regions to mathings work. Te Annotate tab will house your go to tools.

    Tere will be many lessons learned in this initial project. At thpoint I suggest you sit down with the team and review what yocouldnt do, what you still need to gure out, where you cheatedand all the little things that caused rustration. I recommend gatering the team at the end o milestone submittals, because i yowait until the end o the project youll likely orget many o tlittle things you couldnt gure out.

    By reviewing, and documenting, these lessons learned a ew timthroughout the project, youll be able to help the next new team showing them what to expect and how to avoid obstacles.



    2012 by: Elisa de Dio

  • 7/31/2019 Beginners Tips for Revit

    2/9February 2012

    Revit Architecture

    In this article, I will share some simple things that can help yoube more ecient while you are still learning the sotware. For ex-ample, when I was new to Revit and on my rst project, I createdtoo many section views. For every area I needed to look at, I cre-ated a view. First lesson learnedI dont create section views justbecause I can. Now, I create a ew, move them around as needed,delete them once Im done, and create a new one when necessary.

    TERmInOlOGyAs with any new sotware, there are new terms to learn. For exam-ple, where there were once cell and block, there are now amilies,components, type, instance, loadall new terms when workingin Revit.

    Dont compare a Revit amily with something similar in anotherprogram. Learn to use these terms correctly so when you have toask an experienced Revit user a question youll be using appropri-ate terms.

    Remember that component and amily are similar, but notthe same. Family is the broad term while component is speci-ic to amilies you actually create. Remember that walls, roos,ceilings, foors, and stairs are not components; rather, theyare amilies.

    Youll need to understand Parameters and learn the dierencebetween type parameter and instance parameter. For example,changing a type parameter changes more than the one amily youselected, while changing the instance parameter changes only theamily you selected.

    An easy way to remember which parameter is instance is by look-ing at your properties dialog. Youll have this docked and youllsee that it changes oten depending on what you are doing. Whenyou select the element, the properties dialog will show the instanceparameters. o see the type parameters, you have to take one morestep: select the Edit ype button. Once you do this, you are editingmore than one element.

    OPTIOnSBARI you expect a certain tool to work a certain way or perorm aunction and nd that it doesnt, it could be because you arentchecking your options.

    Many tools in Revit have multiple options, meaning there are di-erent ways to use the tool. Tis is especially true or the Modiytools. For example, Scale allows you to scale graphically by choos-ing two points, or numerically.

    Another example is the Rotate tool. You can make a copy o anobject as you rotate it (see Figure 1). I you arent paying attention

    Figure 1: Options bar when rotating a wall.

    Figure 2: Home tab, when ceiling tool is initiated.







  • 7/31/2019 Beginners Tips for Revit

    3/ February 20

    Revit Architecture

    to the Options bar, however, youll add a step by copying the ele-ment then rotating it.

    COnTExTuAlTABI you see a green tab, you are in a command. Lets say you begin aroo or ceiling and then switch to the Home tab to nd everythinggrayed out (see Figure 2). Tat happened because you orgot tocancel. So whenever you see a green tab, remember to go back andcancel or nish what you started beore you move on.

    Tere are other times when you are placing a component thatisnt specically hosted. Here, too, you have options. When you

    try to place a component annd it wont go where you wait or you cant see it, remember check your Contextual tab (sFigure 3). You may have to chanto Workplane.

    TABkEyAnDSPACEBARWhen placing elements, yound the tab key and space bar oyour keyboard very helpul. Tspace bar allows you to fip or cycthrough dierent placement anglbeore you place the element. Fexample, when modeling a wai you have the location line set exterior and where you start twall needs to be mirrored, hit thspace bar and the wall fips. Whplacing a desk, i you need to rtate it, hit the space bar and throtation begins, typically every 9degrees. Depending on where yocursor is, it will also rotate eve45 degrees.


    ShORTCuTSAnother lesson youll denitewant to learn concerns keyboashortcuts. Tese are very simpto use: two keys, no Enter. Yocan set them to your liking and ttooltip (see Figure 4) that appeawhen you hover tells you what thshortcut is. Using keyboard shorcuts is a smart way to use Revit.


    TOOlBARQuick access to tools you use rquently will save you a lot o tim

    For example, why go to the Anntate tab every time you want to use the dimension and tag toowhen they are readily available on the Quick Access oolb(QA)? Te great thing about the QA is you can customize I theres a tool you use oten, but not oten enough to have a keboard shortcut, place it in the QA by right-clicking over it, shown in Figure 5.

    RIGhT-ClICkInGDierent modes will bring dierent commands, or shortcuwhen you use the right-click menu.

    Figure 4: My avorite, not a Revit deault: XX or close hidden windows.

    Figure 5: Right-clicking brings up the option to add to the QAT. In this image, youll see that I havealready added the Change Type to my QAT. I dont have to go to the Properties palette to fnd it; I staynear the ribbon.

    Figure 3: Contextual tab, when placing a generic ace-based component.


  • 7/31/2019 Beginners Tips for Revit


  • 7/31/2019 Beginners Tips for Revit

    5/ February 20

    Revit Architecture 2012

    For example, in the project browser, you can place a amily withouthaving to scroll through all the amilies listed in the Componentstool (see Figure 6). Also, i you need to place an element suchas a door, you dont want to go to the ribbon and select copy. In-stead, you can select the door, right-click, and select Create Similar(see Figure 7).

    COmmunICATIOnWhen using Revit, youll begin to communicate more with yourcoworkers. In an environment when you are the sole user o a leand nobody else is responsible or it, you dont really need to com-municate with someone else on the team until youre done. Youcan nish a whole foor plan, detail sheet, and so on without evertalking to anyone. Tere may be les reerenced in that others areediting, but it will not change the work you are doing.

    But in Revit, there are relationships among objects that requireyou to communicate. You may not be able to nish the detail othat column cover i the column urring isnt modeled correctly yet.

    I the walls representing the column urring are Generic, and notset to an oce standard wall type, you will have to ask what thecolumn urring wall will be in order to detail it.

    More requent communication is the one change that many newRevit users dont anticipate. Te end result is that youll come toknow your teammates a little better. Tis is a good thing.

    Te more you use Revit, the more lessons youll learn. Youll dis-cover other shortcuts and eciencies along the way. I hope thisarticle makes a ew initial Revit rustrations go away.

    Elisa de Dios is BIM Manager/Pro-duction Coordinator and Associate orAC Martin, Los Angeles, CA. In her

    15+ years in architecture, Elisa hasdone projects or healthcare, retail, oodservice, and K-12 schools. She enjoysdrating, space planning, and being a

    Job Captain and Construction Ad-ministrator. Elisa has helped developstandards or diferent architectural

    rms, and sel-employed contractors.At AC Martin she implements, trains,and supports staf with BIM technol-ogy. She helps lead the Digital Prac-tice Committee to keep up to date with

    current technologies in the industry.Sh