Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the ribbon and the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT), part of Revit Architecture 2013 Essential Training.
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In this movie we're going to take an overview of two very important parts of the Revit user interface; the ribbon and the Quick Access Toolbar. Now the ribbon is the primary interface for most commands in Revit and it's located across the top of the screen in this location here. Now as you can see there are several tabs; Architecture, Structure, Insert, and each of those contains different series of buttons. Now right above the ribbon is the Quick Access toolbar or QAT, and this can be thought of as really like a shortcut menu if you want to think of it that way.
So let's look at the ribbon in a little bit more detail. So we have various tabs, now the specific tabs that you have in your interface might vary slightly depending on the settings or the exact version of Revit you have, but you can see here I have Architecture and Structure and Insert and Annotate, and if I click on any of these it does change which commands are available, I'm going to click back over here to Architecture. Each ribbon tab is broken into panels, we've got panels like Build and Circulation and Model, and these are just convenient ways to group commands that are similar to one another or that are related to one another in some way.
And then finally on each of these panels we have a collection of buttons. Now buttons come in a few varieties. So the simplest kind of button is a button that you just simply click and it just does one thing, examples would be Mullion or Door. Okay, you'll notice that when I highlight it, it just highlights the single command and if I clicked it. it only does one thing. Contrast that to a command like Model Group. Model Group, when I highlight it you'll notice there is a little tiny arrow right here, and if I click it, rather than just running a command like the Door command would, it actually pops open a small menu. So we call this a dropdown button.
So then you go in and you choose one of the commands off this menu. Now most of the buttons are actually a combination of the two, so we call these split buttons. Wall is a good example of that. The top portion of the Wall command is just a simple pushbutton, if I click it, it just runs that command. If I click the bottom half, I get a dropdown menu, so the same button is actually in two pieces and they call it a split button or I like to sometimes call it a combo button, because it can do one or the other. Here are some other examples, this one is oriented horizontally, the left-hand side is the default, the right-hand side is the dropdown.
Floor command is the same way. There's the Floor command, if just click it, or I can click the dropdown and get the other commands. Now I should point out that a lot of people get in the habit of using the dropdowns regardless of whether or not they wanted the default command or not, like for example with the Wall command is there any difference between clicking here, and I get the Wall command, I'm going to press Escape, or clicking here and choosing this first item off the list, Wall Architectural? No, there is no difference whatsoever.
The only difference is, it took me two clicks to get there the second time versus the one click. Now if you get in the habit of doing it that way, it's not that big of a deal. Some people prefer seeing all the choices they have available to them before they choose which one they want to click. I'm just simply pointing out that if you know that you want the default you can go right to that button instead of using the dropdown. Now there's two other little items that I want to point out to you on the ribbon, one is an expandable panel, as you can see here under Room & Area. What this signifies when you see this small little icon here and it highlights in blue, is that there are some buttons hidden away under this expandable portion of the panel, so the panel expands out and then you can see there is additional commands under here.
The other interface item I have to switch tabs to show you, I'll go over here to the Annotate tab, and if you look at the Text panel it doesn't highlight, but notice here there is this tiny little button that has like a little down-pointing arrow to it, we call these dialog launchers, and when I click that it brings up some sort of a dialog, thus the name dialog launcher, so usually when you click those little icons, it's going to be some sort of a dialog with settings that relate to the commands in question on that panel.
So I'm just going to cancel out of there without making any changes. Just be on the lookout for those very subtle little icons there that are sometimes stashed away on the panel titles themselves. Now let's direct our attention to the Quick Access Toolbar. You can use the ribbons exclusively to execute all of your commands. You don't have to use the QAT at all. However, the QAT is there because there are certain commands that you use frequently and it might be a little bit more convenient to go directly to the icon on the QAT than it is to switch tabs all the time.
So if you prefer you can do that and you can see here that a lot of the standard commands are here, we've got Open and Save and Undo and Redo and some of the other commands here, you can simply click them and they function exactly the same ways they would accessing those commands in other locations. Like right here on my Annotate tab, here is the Text command and there is the exact same command right there on the QAT, that's just an example. Now at the very end of the QAT is a little dropdown, and we can use this to customize the Quick Access Toolbar.
Now most commands that are eligible to be placed here are already here, you can see New is the only one that's not included, and if I just simply choose that, it adds the New command to the start of the Quick Access Toolbar, so that's a really easy way that we can customize what we see there. Now for more customization potential what you do is you open up that dropdown, and you come down here near the bottom and choose this command here, customize the Quick Access Toolbar. This brings up a dialog that would allow me to select commands, move them up and down in the list, I can move it down or move it up.
I can add separators, I can remove commands, so if I decided I no longer wanted the New command to be on the QAT, I can simply select it, click this X right here, that removes it, and when I click OK it disappears off the list. The other way you can add commands to the QAT is to simply right-click the command on the ribbon and you can choose this command here Add to Quick Access Toolbar, and if I do that you'll see it will add that icon to your QAT and make it available on the list. Of course it adds it to the end, so if you want to move it around, then you would return to this Customize command to move it around.
Now if you do that a lot and you add a lot of commands to the QAT, you're going to see here, you're going to run out of room pretty quickly. So the last thing I want to show you is, you can right-click anywhere on the QAT, and you could say show the Quick Access Toolbar below the ribbon. It will move it from here, drop it down here and now you have all the space to work with. I'm going to right-click this command again, remove it from the QAT, and I'll right-click again over here and show it above the ribbon just to reset myself. Feel free though to make whatever customizations you find appropriate.
So most of the tasks you perform in Revit will begin with a tool either on the ribbon or the Quick Access Toolbar. We'll get into the specifics of all the various tools in later movies, but I just wanted to start us off on the right foot by giving you a quick overview of these critical interface items.
- 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