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In Revit Architecture 2011 Essential Training, author Paul F. Aubin shows how to create compelling architectural designs using the modeling tools in Revit. This course covers the entire building information modeling (BIM) workflow, from design concept to publishing. It 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 adding 3D geometry. Exercise files are included with the course.
In this lesson, we will look at two very important parts of the Revit user interface. The Ribbon is the primary interface for most commands and functions. It appears as a series of tabs across the top of the screen. Above it, on the left-hand side, is the QAT, or the Quick Access Toolbar, which provides shortcut icons to the most frequently used commands. In this lesson, we will look at the basics of interacting with these two important parts of the Revit UI, so let's start with the Ribbon. Ribbons are organized in panels. Panels are groupings of different buttons, and they have titles at the bottom and usually are separated by these vertical bars.
Each panel contains a series of buttons. The simplest form of a button is the basic push button. So our Door command, our Window command, these are very simple commands where they just do one thing: You click on them, and they run that tool. So those are referred to as just simply buttons. The next kind of command that we have, or the next kind of button we have, is called the dropdown button. So over here on the Model panel, we have our Model Group button, and if we click on that, it actually expands to reveal a small menu. So these are dropdown buttons. Beneath that menu, you'll have several different options.
The third kind of button actually combines the previous two. So if we look at our Wall tool, as a good example, we will see that the top half of the button actually is just like the Door or the Window tool, where you simply click on it, and you get that function. The bottom half is a dropdown button and reveals several other Wall-related tools. So you could see that across the Ribbon here there are actually several examples of the Split button that we have available to us. Most of the ones that we see here on this screen are organized vertically, where we are split with the default at the top and the dropdown at the bottom.
If I go over here to the Modify, in some cases you'll find a horizontally- oriented split button. So in this case, the default command, Cut, would appear on the left, and on the right, we would have our small dropdown, and that would reveal a few choices in the dropdown button on the right. Let's look at one other aspect of the Ribbon. If I click over here on the Annotate tab, we can see two unique Ribbon functions: the expandable Ribbon panel and the Dialogue Launcher. Let's take a look at the expandable panel first.
The expandable panel highlights when you put your mouse over it and when you click on this small little dropdown arrow, it reveals a variety of hidden buttons that were maybe not as frequently used, so they were sort of stashed away under this little expanded panel. But otherwise, each of these buttons functions the same as any of the others would. The Dialogue Launcher is just another form of button. It's basically a push button, but it appears right on the panel itself, and it usually has something to do with that panel's topic. So in this case, the panel was a Text panel, and when I click the Dialogue Launcher it actually launches the Text Properties window.
In this window, we could go ahead and make any changes we wanted to the properties of text. So I am going to go ahead and cancel out of there. The QAT, or the Quick Access Toolbar, sits above the Ribbon by default, and we can see it here, across the top of the screen. It has many of your default commands, like Open and Save and Undo and Redo. Now way over on the right-hand side of the QAT, there is a small dropdown menu, and this allows us ways to customize the QAT. So, for example, one of the simplest ways to customize is just to simply add another command to it.
In this case, I will choose the New command, right there off the top the list, and that adds the new icon over at the left-hand side of the Ribbon. Now if I would prefer to change the order of how the tools appear on the Ribbon, or add separators, or any other customizations, I can go all the way down to the bottom of this dropdown and choose the Customize Quick Access Toolbar command. So I can select commands, I can move them up and down on the list, I can add and remove separators, and I can even remove commands from the list altogether. At the very bottom of the dialog, we have this Show Quick Access Toolbar below the Ribbon command.
You will want to consider doing this if you add lots of commands to your Quick Access Toolbar, and you begin to run out of room at the top of your screen. When you click OK, you will see that this moves the QAT down below the Ribbon and gives you a little bit more space for adding commands. Another way you can add commands to the QAT is any command on the Ribbon you can right-click, and you will get an option that says Add to the Quick Access Toolbar. So if I wanted to add the Spelling command to my Quick Access Toolbar, it's as simple as choosing it there off the list. Now what I am going to is go ahead and go back to Customize, and I am going to just remove that command from my QAT, I am going to go ahead and remove the New command, and I am going to put it back above the Ribbon to kind of reset us back to where we started from.
Feel free to customize the QAT on your own screens, but for now I'll go ahead and leave it set to the Autodesk default. So most of the tasks you perform in Revit will begin on either the Ribbon or the QAT. These tools are intuitive and easy to use. Make sure you take a little bit of time to understand their functions and the nuances of their behavior to start your Revit learning experience off on the right foot.
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