Introducing the interface
Video: Introducing the interfaceWhen you first open a program like Revit, it can be a little bit daunting when you see all the buttons and controls and other settings flowing around the screen. So in this movie I'd like to just give you a quick tour. This is like the five minute tour that you get when you go to a friend's house. And they show you kind of where the living room is and the bathroom and the other things around the house so you can find your way around and feel a little more comfortable. Let's take our quick tour of Revit here, and we'll start in the upper corner here with the application menu. Often people will refer to this affectionately as the big R. So the big R is basically a File menu. You've got New commands, Open commands, Save, Save As, Print, commands like that. Any time you want to do any file in or file out, think big R. Next to that is the Quick Access toolbar.
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Autodesk Revit is one of the most popular building information modeling (BIM), solutions today. This course covers the differences between the various editions of Revit and shows architects and engineers who are new to the software how to use them. Learn how to choose a template; set up the basic levels, grids, and dimensions; and start adding walls, doors, and windows to your model. Author Paul F. Aubin also shows how to create views and documentation that clearly communicate your plans, import files from other CAD programs, and produce construction documents.
Note: The techniques shown in this course will work with any version of Revit, but due to backwards compatibility issues, the exercise files for this course will only work with Revit 2014. Unfortunately, we cannot downsave the files. Please see a Revit 2013 course for usable files.
- Understanding the different editions of Revit
- Setting up levels and grids
- Adding doors and windows
- Loading families
- Working with 3D views
- Dimensioning a plan
- Adding a schedule view
- Importing CAD files
- Linking to another Revit file
- Creating sheets
- Plotting a set of documents
- Generating a cloud rendering
Introducing the interface
When you first open a program like Revit, it can be a little bit daunting when you see all the buttons and controls and other settings flowing around the screen. So in this movie I'd like to just give you a quick tour. This is like the five minute tour that you get when you go to a friend's house. And they show you kind of where the living room is and the bathroom and the other things around the house so you can find your way around and feel a little more comfortable. Let's take our quick tour of Revit here, and we'll start in the upper corner here with the application menu. Often people will refer to this affectionately as the big R. So the big R is basically a File menu. You've got New commands, Open commands, Save, Save As, Print, commands like that. Any time you want to do any file in or file out, think big R. Next to that is the Quick Access toolbar.
So we've got New and Save and Undo/Redo up there, but we also have some of the most commonly used commands, things like measure and dimensions and text and so on. Beneath that, we have the ribbon. It's organized into tabs. We have Architecture tab, and Insert tab, and Annotate tab. Your tabs might vary slightly, depending on the actual flavor of Revit that you have. But what they all have in common is that, each tab just includes a collection of buttons. Usually, those buttons are grouped into a panel. So, for example, here, in the Architecture tab, we have a Build panel, which includes the most common building tools. And then a Circulation panel and so on.
And then you have your individual buttons on those panels. And so, this is very common in most software like Office or other programs, where all the commands are listed on the ribbon. Beneath the ribbon is this little gray bar, which is currently empty. So I'm going to click the Wall tool to show you what that might look like. If I were drawing a wall, you'll see the Option bar lights up with a bunch of options specifically for this command. You want to keep your eye on the options bar as you're working, because it will change frequently. Each time you run a different command, you'll get a different set of options.
If I cancel outta this command by pressing my Escape key and I click the Door tool instead, you'll see that I get slightly different options. So I'll escape out of there and the left-hand side of the screen I have two palettes. I have Properties palette and Project browser. Now these are the default locations for these palettes but you can move them around. So if you don't see them in this location on your screen, they are probably on your screen somewhere. If you don't see them anywhere on your screen, go to the View tab. Way over here on the right-hand side you'll find a user interface drop-down, and when you click on it, Project browser and Properties should both have a check mark in them.
If they don't, you can check them and they'll come back again and you can move them wherever you'd like them to be. I'm going to leave them in the default positions, as you see over here on the left. The properties palette is just that. It's a palette that we use to access the properties of objects that we have selected on screen or objects that we're creating. And the Project browser is a place where we see all of the views in our project organized. Our plans, our sections, our elevations. And you just simply double-click on a view when you want to open it up, and work in that view. And we briefly looked at the Project browser in a previous movie.
Now, at the very bottom of the screen is a Status bar and the thing you want to be looking for there is little messages from Revit. So, you can see right now the current message says, Click to select and TAB for alternate. So, it gives you helpful information as you're working, so as your mouse changes position on screen, the message might change. So you can see that as I highlight different elements on the screen. I'm not clicking. I'm just moving my mouse over them and they're highlighting, I'm getting different messages. So it's just a feedback mechanism that Revit uses. Over here on the right-hand side of the View window is a small little toolbar that is grayed out, if your mouse is far away from it. But as your mouse gets closer to it, it brightens up and becomes more bold. Now it includes navigation tools.
So what I would like to do right now is show you how we can navigate onscreen. So I'm in a floor plan and it's kind of far away and I'd like to zoom in a little bit closer. There are several ways that you can do that using the drop-down menu right here on this toolbar. The default is to zoom in a region. But you could see there' re several other options here. So I'm going to click right on that icon. Zoom in a region. And that will give me a little magnifying glass. And all I have to do is click and drag a rectangle and it will zoom in on that rectangle.
And so, I can get a better look at what I'm seeing. If I click it again, I can zoom in even closer. And let's say I want to back up one step. Well, then I would just change tools. I would go to this drop-down and say Previous Pan and Zoom. If I do it a second time, (SOUND) it would keep going back again. Now, let's zoom in maybe on this location here. And then, I decide I want to see the entire screen again. Well, if I open that up, that is the Zoom to Fit command.
We have other options here like Zoom Out(2x), which I think is pretty self-explanatory. And we even have a really interesting one here called Zoom to Sheet Size, which basically looks at this scale down here at the bottom of the window, eighth inch equals a foot in this case. And it zooms the screen to match that scale. If I take a look at roughly how big everything is here on screen, and if I were to change the scale (SOUND) and then, click this command again, you'll see that it zooms in much closer if it was quarter inch.
And if it was sixteenth of an inch, it zooms out a little bit further. Notice that the scale that you have the drawing set to, I'm going to go back to eighth inch, will have a big impact on the way this Zoom to Sheet Size command will work. And that just gives you a rough idea of what it will look like when you print the drawing out. Now the final way that you can zoom and pan is probably the easiest way and the most user friendly way and that's to use the wheel on your mouse. If you roll the wheel down, Revit zooms out.
If you roll it up, it zooms in. It zooms in or out around the point where your cursor is located. So if I move my cursor closer to this column and zoom out, it stays centered on that column. If I move it next to this table, it zooms in on that table. You don't have to click anything. Just move your mouse there and zoom in or out, and it will focus on that location. If you hold the wheel in and drag, you keep the magnification constant and you just pan the screen.
So you can pan by dragging. You can zoom by rolling. And so those are some ways that you can navigate around the screen, and there's your quick overview of the Revit interface. And so, hopefully, those two will help you feel a little bit more acclimated, a little bit more comfortable, in working in the Revit environment.
Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Up and Running with Revit .
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- Q: Will Revit 2014 files work in a previous version of Revit? Will the exercise files for this course work in Revit 2013?
- A: Revit file formats are not backwards compatible. A new file format is introduced with each new release. Newer versions of Revit can open older version files without issue. However, files will be upgraded to the latest file format during the initial open. Once saved in the current version, there is no way to save them back to a previous version. Therefore, it is important to consider this issue carefully and discuss it with all project team members before beginning a project. For example, it is not possible for the architect to use a newer version of the software than the consulting engineers and vice-versa. All members of the team must collaborate using the same version/file format. This course was authored using Revit 2014. Therefore, its exercise files can be used with any flavor of Revit (Architecture, MEP, Structure, or LT) 2014 and later. Files cannot be opened with versions 2013 and prior.
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