Revit Architecture 2013 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Adding columns


Revit Architecture 2013 Essential Training

with Paul F. Aubin

Video: Adding columns

Most buildings have columns in at least some locations, whether your project has one column or hundreds, the process to add them is fairly simple. Revit includes two types of columns, it includes architectural columns and structural columns. We can find those on the Architecture tab, on the Column button, here is Structural Column button and the Architectural Column button. Typically an architectural column is used to represent either a column wrap or a rough placement column that will then later be replaced by the structural engineer.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 57s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 14m 43s
    1. Introducing building information modeling (BIM)
      3m 0s
    2. Working in one model with many views
      4m 48s
    3. Understanding Revit element hierarchy
      6m 55s
  3. 54m 44s
    1. Understanding the different versions of Revit
      1m 19s
    2. Exploring the Recent Files window and the application menu
      5m 20s
    3. Using the ribbon and the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT)
      7m 12s
    4. Understanding context ribbons
      4m 43s
    5. Using the Properties palette
      8m 31s
    6. Using the Project Browser
      5m 34s
    7. Navigating views: Zooming, panning, and rotating
      5m 57s
    8. The basics of selecting and modifying
      9m 49s
    9. Accessing Revit options
      6m 19s
  4. 47m 6s
    1. Creating a new project from a template
      7m 42s
    2. Accessing a multi-user project with worksharing
      4m 16s
    3. Configuring project settings
      6m 33s
    4. Adding levels
      7m 40s
    5. Adding grids
      6m 23s
    6. Refining a layout with temporary dimensions
      6m 58s
    7. Adding columns
      7m 34s
  5. 1h 11m
    1. Adding walls
      8m 48s
    2. Using snaps
      6m 24s
    3. Exploring wall properties and types
      7m 37s
    4. Locating walls
      7m 27s
    5. Using the modify tools
      9m 32s
    6. Adding doors and windows
      7m 39s
    7. Using constraints
      8m 27s
    8. Adding plumbing fixtures and other components
      8m 39s
    9. Using Autodesk Seek
      4m 19s
    10. Using wall joins
      3m 0s
  6. 1h 11m
    1. Linking AutoCAD DWG files
      10m 59s
    2. Creating topography from a DWG link
      7m 43s
    3. Understanding CAD inserts
      7m 56s
    4. Import tips
      6m 49s
    5. Creating a group
      7m 10s
    6. Mirroring groups to create a layout
      5m 3s
    7. Creating Revit links
      5m 16s
    8. Rotating and aligning a Revit link
      7m 6s
    9. Establishing shared coordinates
      6m 5s
    10. Managing links
      6m 0s
    11. Understanding file formats
  7. 1h 13m
    1. Working with floors
      8m 57s
    2. Working with footprint roofs
      6m 22s
    3. Working with extrusion roofs
      4m 59s
    4. Attaching walls to roofs
      3m 17s
    5. Using the shape editing tools to create a flat roof
      6m 33s
    6. Working with slope arrows
      6m 0s
    7. Adding openings
      8m 33s
    8. Working with stairs
      8m 4s
    9. Adding railings to stairs
      3m 40s
    10. Working with ceilings
      9m 36s
    11. Adding extensions to railings
      7m 20s
  8. 48m 34s
    1. Creating a custom basic wall type
      10m 18s
    2. Understanding stacked walls
      8m 12s
    3. Adding curtain walls
      8m 17s
    4. Adding curtain grids, mullions, and panels
      10m 59s
    5. Creating wall sweeps and reveals
      6m 26s
    6. Exploring model lines
      4m 22s
  9. 47m 40s
    1. Using object styles
      4m 19s
    2. Working with visibility and graphic overrides
      7m 3s
    3. Using view templates
      6m 13s
    4. Hiding and isolating objects in a model
      6m 37s
    5. Understanding view range
      7m 7s
    6. Displaying objects above and below in plan views
      6m 35s
    7. Using the Linework tool
      5m 21s
    8. Using cutaway views
      4m 25s
  10. 21m 28s
    1. Adding rooms
      8m 15s
    2. Controlling room numbering
      6m 13s
    3. Understanding room bounding elements
      7m 0s
  11. 33m 13s
    1. Understanding tags
      9m 58s
    2. Adding schedule views
      7m 55s
    3. Modifying schedule views
      7m 12s
    4. Creating a key schedule
      8m 8s
  12. 58m 40s
    1. Adding text
      7m 29s
    2. Adding dimensions
      9m 6s
    3. Adding symbols
      4m 42s
    4. Adding legend views
      4m 51s
    5. Creating a detail callout
      8m 31s
    6. Adding detail components
      8m 52s
    7. Using arrays to duplicate objects parametrically
      7m 43s
    8. Adding filled and masking regions
      7m 26s
  13. 41m 29s
    1. Understanding families
      2m 37s
    2. Creating a new family from a template
      6m 29s
    3. Using reference planes, parameters, and constraints
      7m 52s
    4. Adding solid geometry
      8m 40s
    5. Cutting holes using void geometry
      5m 9s
    6. Adding blends
      6m 2s
    7. Completing the family
      4m 40s
  14. 38m 48s
    1. Adding sheets
      7m 44s
    2. Working with placeholder sheets
      5m 24s
    3. Aligning views with a guide grid
      5m 57s
    4. Outputting sheets to a DWF file
      6m 39s
    5. Exporting to AutoCAD
      5m 42s
    6. Plotting and creating a PDF
      7m 22s
  15. 2m 38s
    1. Next steps
      2m 38s

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now
please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Revit Architecture 2013 Essential Training
10h 27m Beginner Aug 02, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Find out how to create compelling architectural designs using the modeling tools in Autodesk Revit software. In this course, author Paul F. Aubin demonstrates the entire building information modeling (BIM) workflow, from creating the design model to publishing a completed project. The course also covers navigating the Revit interface; modeling basic building features such as walls, doors, and windows; working with sketch-based components such as roofs and stairs; annotating designs with dimensions and callouts; and plotting and exporting your drawings.

Topics include:
  • Introducing building information modeling (BIM)
  • Adding levels, grids, and columns to set up a project
  • Creating building layouts with walls, doors, and windows
  • Modifying wall types and properties
  • Working with DWG files and CAD inserts
  • Adding rooms
  • Adding curtain grids, mullions, and panels
  • Using cutaway views
  • Generating schedules and tags
  • Adding callouts such as text and symbols
  • Understanding families
  • Outputting files, including DWF and PDF files
Revit Architecture
Paul F. Aubin

Adding columns

Most buildings have columns in at least some locations, whether your project has one column or hundreds, the process to add them is fairly simple. Revit includes two types of columns, it includes architectural columns and structural columns. We can find those on the Architecture tab, on the Column button, here is Structural Column button and the Architectural Column button. Typically an architectural column is used to represent either a column wrap or a rough placement column that will then later be replaced by the structural engineer.

A Structural Column is typically used to actually represent material that's really holding up the building. So let's start with the architectural columns and take a look and then we'll see how that ties in later with the structural columns. So I'm going to choose the Column Architectural command, and let's take a look at a few of the settings before we get started here. Like many other commands, that takes me to my Modify tab, Place Column. I've got some settings here on my Options Bar and I've got some additional settings here on the Properties palette, so let's take a look at a few of these.

Usually you want to start by looking at the Type Selector. So in this case, this particular template that we started our project from includes three sizes: a 24x24, 18x18, and 18x24. So I'm going to stick with the default, 24x24. There's a few other settings here, we're going to talk about Room Bounding in a much later movie, but Moves with Grids is a setting that we definitely want to make sure is selected, because that will take advantage of these column grids that we have placed in our file. Now if you watched the previous movie, we laid out all the column grids and positioned them and now we're going to take advantage of those as the locations for our columns.

Now you don't have to place your columns on grids, you can place them freestanding in space with a simple click. But if you place them at the intersection of two column grids, those will highlight and I'm going to click the Modify tool and cancel out of there, select this grid line and move it, and what you'll notice is that moves the column along with it. So I'm going to undo that with Ctrl+Z, I'm going to select these two columns and delete them, and that's the basic behavior that we're looking for.

So let me return to my Column tool, go to Column Architectural, and let me point out one last thing before we place all these columns. Here on the Options Bar we can actually control the height of these columns as we're placing them. The default is the height, but we can also do the depth in terms of a structural column, and the default behavior is to go up to Level 2. Now if you look at my Project Browser I'm working in a floor plan called Level 1, so my column is going to start at Level 1, and it's going to go up to Level 2.

But if I wanted to, I could make them go up to the Low Roof or up to the High Roof. I could even make them unconnected, which would make this setting available and I could type in a manual height for these columns, but in this case I want to make sure they're going up to Level 2, the level up above, and then let me just zoom in slightly here, and it's as simple as highlighting the intersection of the nearby column grids and clicking. Let me zoom in even closer and show you one other really nice benefit of working with architectural columns.

They will automatically sense the presence of nearby walls and merge in to the wall material. As I place these columns, you're going to see them merge in and marry with that wall material, making a very nice clean presentation to the view. So let me just continue all the way around the file here, and let me click the Modify tool to finish the command. So I now have an architectural column at each grid location, and once again those grids are controlling the position of all those columns, so later if we need to make any kind of a change we can do so with confidence knowing that all the columns are going to go along with any change we make to the grids, let me do Ctrl+Z to undo that.

Like I said, these represent the column wrap or the enclosure that's surrounding the column, but typically there's going to be some sort of structural steel or some other structural material within those columns. So if I go to the Column tool and choose the Structural Column, these are going to behave in much the same way. If we look at the choices that we have available on the Options Bar, Properties palette, and ribbon, we have a lot of similar choices. We have our dropdown here on the Type Selector which gives me two different size columns, I can create a W10x33 or a W10x49.

We could certainly create other sizes if we wanted to, we would have to load in a different family to do that, I'm going to talk about loading families in a later movie, so for now we're just to work with the two sizes that are here by default. The Structural Material is listed here and there is some connection information, and so forth. So slightly different settings, I have a little bit more to do with structural usage, but otherwise similar behaviors. We have the Height parameter here, where we're designating the height and up to Level 2, just like we saw with the architectural columns.

Now what I want to point out here, the one really unique feature of structural columns that's really handy is, the multiple Placement options here on the ribbon. We can either place structural columns at the location of the architectural columns or we can place them at the intersections of the grids. Now in this case, we get almost the same result in both cases, I want to use the At Columns feature in this case, I'm going to click that. I can make a Window Selection around my entire plan, and before I let go, notice that it's only highlighting architectural columns, so this feature is built-in to only sense where the location of the architectural columns are, and when I finish that selection, you will see a piece of steel ghosted in at each of those locations.

If I'm satisfied with that selection I can use this green Finish check box right here, click that, and finish the selection, and place the remaining columns. Now if I prefer, I can use this At Grids feature and the way this works is, when you select grid lines it finds the intersections between those grid lines and will place columns at each of those intersections, and again if I click Finish I will get a column in each of those locations.

Now I'm going to cancel out of the command, and I'll show you one last thing here. If I select the structural columns, they have direction, if we zoom in a little bit, because of the eye shape they can either go vertically or horizontally, we didn't really have to worry about that with the architectural columns because they were square. You can quickly rotate the columns along their own center point simply by tapping the spacebar, so if I tap the spacebar on my keyboard you're going to see those columns rotate in 90 degree increments.

So that's a really handy way to control the orientation of those columns. In this movie we looked at both architectural and structural columns. Typically the structural columns are going to be used for the actual structural material, what's physically holding up the building. The presence of architectural columns is optional, it can be used as column wrap enclosures or they can actually be used as temporary stand-in locations for the columns that are later replaced by your structural engineer. The exact workflow is a matter for the team to decide but both columns share the behavior that they are attached to the column grid and if the column grid lines move it takes the columns along with it.

There are currently no FAQs about Revit Architecture 2013 Essential Training.

Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed Revit Architecture 2013 Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.