Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the Properties palette, part of Revit Architecture 2016 Essential Training (Metric).
- In this movie we're going to talk about the Properties palette. The Properties palette is one of the primary interface elements that you use to manipulate objects both while you're creating them and then after they're created when you want to make changes to them in your model. Properties palette, by default, is located on the left-hand side of the screen just below the ribbon, but it can actually be located in other parts of the screen as well, so yours might be in a different location, which is fine if that's your preference. If you don't see the Properties palette at all, then what you're going to want to do is come over here to the View tab, and using the User Interface dropdown make sure that you put a check mark right here to display that Properties palette.
So it is actually possible to hide it, but I wouldn't recommend doing that. So let's look at ways that the Properties palette will help us while we're working. The first way that you're going to interact with the Properties palette is when you're creating new objects. So, for example, if I come over here to the Architecture tab and click on the Wall button, now don't worry too much about the specifics of the Wall command just yet, we're going to talk about those in a future movie, but when I look over at the Properties palette you're going to see there's some settings that pertain to the wall I'm about to draw. So I'm about to draw a generic 140 mm wall and if I begin clicking points you can see that I'm creating segments of that wall.
Now let's say I wanted to change some of those settings to something else. Well notice that the Properties palette has grayed out. So while you're drawing walls you can't make the change, but if you want to make the change you just simply press the Escape key one time, that will cancel the current draw action but keep you in the Wall command and notice now that all the Property settings are available to manipulate. So I could open up the type selector here at the top and choose a different size wall, like maybe this Generic 200 mm wall and then I could continue drawing and you can see that those walls are slightly thicker than the other ones.
To get all the way out of the command, you can press Escape twice, or you can just simply click this Modify tool right here and that will cancel out and get you back to a zero state. So that's manipulating the Properties palette while you're drawing new elements, but what about elements that already exist in your model? Well, to see their Properties you just simply select them. So, for example, if I select this exterior wall over here on the left-hand side of the plan notice that the Properties is now displaying that particular wall. So that particular wall is an Exterior - Brick on Mtl Stud, it's set to the Wall Centerline, it's at Level 1.
You can see the various properties that are associated with that object. Right here is another small dropdown menu and it says currently Walls (1). So what that's telling me is two bits of information. It's telling me the category of the selected object, which is Walls, and it's telling me how many walls I have selected. Currently just one. Now we can manipulate this existing object in the same way that we did when we were drawing new ones over here. For example, if I opened up the type selector and chose my Generic 200 mm wall, notice that that wall will get a little bit thinner in place, right where it is.
Now assuming you wanted to not actually keep that change, you can undo it. So I can just come over here to the Quick Access toolbar and click the Undo command, or you can press Ctrl-Z and that will restore it to its original state. Now remember that I had Walls and it said quantity 1? Well let me select that same wall again, hold down the Ctrl key and I'm going to select a second wall. Now the control key is how you add to your existing selection. As long as it's held down it will add other objects. Now we're going to talk about lots of way to select in future movies, but for now we'll just use that simple method.
Notice the only difference on the Properties palette is the quantity right here in parentheses, it says 2. Everything else is the same. Brick on Mtl Stud, Wall Centerline, Level 1, because these walls share the same properties. Now you certainly could open up the menu and make changes to that selection, but I just want you to really pay close attention to that quantity and here's the real important reason why. I currently have two walls selected, but what if it said five walls or eight walls or ten walls and I thought I only had two? When you make a change, anything you do here is affecting the entire selection.
So you really want to be cautious of that because you might be modifying objects that you're not aware of. Let me show you an example of that here in the South Elevations. So if you come over here to the Project Browser, double-click the South Elevation, you're going to be looking right at an elevation view of this model and I'm going to roll my wheel slightly to zoom in on this window. Now if I select that window you can see that it's a Casement window, it's at Level 1, and it currently has a Sill Height of 915 mm. Well let's say I wanted to move that window. Let's put it at 600 mm.
Well notice nothing's happened yet. When you make a change on the Properties palette you actually have to apply that change. Now there's two ways to apply it. You can either use this Apply button right here, and that will apply the change, move the window down, or let's say I wanted to put it back to 915, shifting your mouse away from the Properties palette will actually apply the change. Now the program is called shifting focus, so if I shift focus off of the Properties palette back to the drawing window, it will apply the change for me automatically and that was actually what was happening back in the previous view, in the floor plan view, when we were applying a different type.
By moving the mouse away it was automatically applying the change. Now as I talked about just a moment ago, if you select more than one element with the control key, in some cases if the elements aren't the same kind of element, you might see different things happen in the Properties palette. Now in this case, they're both windows, so we still get quantity of 2, but you want to be cautious here because it says Multiple Families are selected, and what does that mean exactly? Well let's say that I just went ahead and made a change here. I'm going to pick a fixed window, maybe this size right here in the middle, and you can see that that's a pretty dramatically different change from what was there a moment ago.
Now that may be your intention, but it may not. So this is where the caution that I was giving you a moment ago is to pay attention to the quantity and what you actually have selected because the change you make on the Properties palette is going to affect the entire selection. So let me go ahead and undo that and I'm going to return to the Level 1 Floor Plan. And I'm going to show you one last example of a Multiple Selection and what you want to be aware of here. Suppose I select a toilet. The category for that is Plumbing Fixture and quantity of 1. Now I could hold the Ctrl key and select a second toilet and it's still Plumbing Fixtures now quantity of 2.
But what happens if I hold the Ctrl key and I select an item that's not a Plumbing Fixture, like this wall? Well now the filter selection is going to change to Common, telling me that these are the properties that these multiple categories share in common and really it's is just comments. So about the only thing you could do to walls and toilets at the same time would be to add some comments to them. However, what I want to point out here is this filter is actually a dropdown list. So by keeping the selection active on screen, all three elements are still selected, you can actually reach in and focus your edits on different categories within that selection.
So here's the two plumbing fixtures and I could make changes. Here's the one wall and I could make changes. And then also, you actually have access to the floor plan itself. So without losing the selection, if you wanted to make a change to the floor plan, change its scale or its level of detail, you could switch to the Floor Plan itself and get access to those settings as well. So as you can see, the Properties palette is a very powerful interface element that allows you to manipulate objects, not only as they're being created, but after they've been created within your model and make changes not only to individual objects, but to large collections of objects all at once.
And just really play close attention to those subtle little nuances that appear on that Properties palette because it can make a big difference in the kinds of edits that you've got.
Paul also shows advanced techniques for modeling stairs, complex walls, and partially obscured building elements, as well as adding rooms and solid geometry. Finally, discover how to annotate your drawing so all the components are perfectly understood, and learn how to output sheets to DWF, PDF, or AutoCAD.
- Understanding BIM and the Revit element hierarchy
- Navigating views
- Creating a new project from a template
- Adding walls, doors, and windows
- Adding plumbing fixtures and other components
- Linking AutoCAD DWG files
- Rotating and aligning Revit links
- Working with footprint and extrusion roofs
- Adding openings
- Adding railings and extensions to stairs
- Creating stacked and curtain walls
- Hiding and isolating objects
- Adding rooms
- Creating schedule views and tags
- Adding text and dimensions
- Creating new families
- Using reference planes, parameters, and constraints
- Plotting and creating a PDF