Join Brian Myers for an in-depth discussion in this video Introducing the user interface, part of Revit Structure 2013 Essential Training.
Let's start by reviewing the different areas of the Revit user interface. The first area that we need to know about is the Ribbon. The Ribbon goes across the top of the screen and it has all those different commands that we would typically use inside of the project, such as being able to draw beams or walls or columns. Also, it has tools that allow us to do dimensioning in text and make other kinds of modifications. Some of those can be found underneath these tabs going across the top, and in this case, I'm going to select on the Annotate tab. And the Annotate tab is there for any of the typical two-dimensional drawing kinds of things such as dimensions, line work, text.
If you are used to AutoCAD environment where you've been doing your drafting, there is this also option here for regions. This is very similar to hatch patterns inside of the program like AutoCAD. So, with this Ribbon going across the top, this is where you can find all those different tools and have them be available for you. The next thing that we need to about is going to be the Quick Access toolbar, and it's going across the top. The Quick Access toolbar has all those most commonly-used commands that you typically would use day-to-day. Such things as Open and Save. It also has Text.
That being said, maybe the tool that you'd like to have up there, the tool that you use everyday isn't currently showing up. Well, you can add them up there as well. In order to be able to do that, all you have to do is move over to the tab that has the tool you want to add. In this case, let's go ahead and try to add a Beam tool up there. So, underneath the Structure tab, you can just select on Structure, there is a option there for Beam. Now, don't left-click on it just highlight on it. Right-click and Add it to the Quick Access Toolbar. And now you can see that there's a nice little Beam tool up here, which is same tool that we had over here.
If for some reason you didn't want that tool, you want a different tool on the Quick Access Toolbar, all you have to do is right-click and say Remove from the Quick Access Toolbar, and it will remove that tool from that bar. The next area to look at is going to be the big R up here in the corner. In fact, that is where I usually call it. It's going to be the big R, but technically it's Application menu. And if you select on the Application menu, it allows you to do Saving, Exports Printing, all different stuff in order to be able to get out that final product.
Now, there's also have option here called Options. And if you select on Options, you'll see that there is a General section that has information such as saving, how often do you want it to remind you to save. There is options related to graphics, including what the background color of the program should be. There is even user interface settings, which allow you to change such things as colors. There is more user interface settings related to keyboard shortcuts. So, if you like to type in commands, you can customize those through there.
I'll go ahead and click on Customize, and you could see a list of the different commands, as well as the shortcuts that are associated with those commands. I will click on Ok to get out of this dialog box. And OK again. But to make a long story short with Options, it's there to be able to help you configure the software, so it displays and looks the way that you want to be able to use it. The next area is the Info Center, and the Info Center can be seen going across the top here. There's really two ways to know about an Info Center. First is this bar right here and I have a flashing cursor in it.
If you just click on the little flashing area here and then type in a command, like in this case I'm going to type in wall--but I could type in beam or column or anything along those lines--and then just hit Enter to that. It's then going to reach out to the Internet and it's going to find information related to that thing that you just typed in. In this case, it goes out to the Autodesk wiki and it finds information related to walls. It can also show you informational videos. It will take out to discussion forms in different areas that will give you more information about that kind of object that you have a question about.
And next I'm going to go ahead and close my browser down, and there is a big X that also shows up here on the Info Center. And this is for Exchange Apps that you won't get in here very often, but it's a very nice tool to know about because if you click on the big X here, it'll take you out to the Internet, and you'll see that it has a lot of free tools--or in some case paid tools--that you can select on, download, and install inside of your Revit Software, in order to increase the functionality of it. The next area to know about is going to be this bar right here that's been blank for most of this time and it's called the Options Bar.
Now, the Options Bar gives us different options based on the kind of command that we're currently activating and using it. For instance, if I select on Beam here underneath the Structure tab, it'll give us different options related to drawing a beam and the properties of that beam. If you want to be able to get out of this command, all you have to so is select on this button right here that says Modify, and it'll automatically take us out of the command, but it will also clear out the options, because there's currently not anything that would have an option related to it.
The next area is going to be the Properties palette right over here on the side. Now, the Properties palette works for two different conditions. One is that if you select a command, you'll see properties related to that command. And if we click on Modify, it'll take us out of that command, and you could see it sort of clears a lot of the information that was just in that Properties palette. Now, the Properties palette also will allow us to select on an object over here. And if we click on an object, we can then see the properties of that object over here underneath the Properties palette. And we can find more information about that object by just scrolling down here inside of the palette.
The next area underneath that is going to be the Project Browser. The Project Browser is right here, and if you click on any of these views-- in this case, I'm going to double-click, So, really quickly just double-click, left-click, here at the First Floor--it will bring up the first floor plan. And you could do that with any of the other views that show up here on the list. Such things in the Project Browser are going to be elevations and sections and details, and all that kind of stuff. Basically, if it's inside of the project, and you want to be able to view it, you probably need to go to the project browser in order to be able to see it.
The next area is going to be the drawing area, which we're all pretty much familiar with already because, well, that's where all of our drawing is taking place. Right now, it's where my First Floor is showing up at, but that's just called the drawing area, and that's where you can enter in the information. The next spot is down here at the bottom of the screen or near the bottom of the screen, and actually this is related to the view that you are currently in, and it's called the View Control Bar. What this does is it allows us to change such things just as the scale of the view, the properties of the view. So, maybe we see things in color, maybe we can see through objects if you want to, and all that is controlled on per-view basis.
Now, when I say on a per-view basis, what it means is if I come up here to this little box right here, right between the dash and the X, you can see that it's associated just with this one view. And if the view shrinks itself down, then the properties still are associated with this one view. If you want to expand this back up again, we can just click on that little box again, and it'll expand itself back up. Finally, the last area I want to point out is going to be the Status Bar, and that's down here at the bottom of the screen. And the Status Bar will ask you questions related to, "what is the next thing you want Revit to do?" In this case, it is asking, "okay, do you want us to select on an object next?" And you can do that by either hitting Ctrl or Shift or doing other things that it's telling you to do.
So, probably the most difficult thing about learning Revit is finding the appropriate commands. Actually, it is not as that difficult. It's just that there are many options available, and it takes a while to learn where everything is at. By remembering the basics that we've just covered, you'll be quicker in finding the appropriate commands when you need them.
- Controlling your view of a model
- Selecting, moving, copying, and splitting models
- Creating levels and grids
- Placing structural columns
- Creating custom walls
- Adding piers and pilasters to a foundation
- Reinforcing areas with rebar
- Adding beams, joists, and bracing
- Creating and modifying floors
- Using callout views for detail
- Annotating drawings
- Creating schedules and legends
- Printing sheets
- Importing CAD files
- Linking to a Revit model