Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Selecting objects, part of Revit 2018: Essential Training for Architecture (Imperial).
- [Instructor] One of the most important skills for you to master in Revit and any graphics program is selection. Before you can modify any element, you need to make a selection of those elements. So being able to do that quickly and efficiently, and more importantly, to be able to control exactly what you select, is going to be a very powerful and very useful skill to have. So make sure you practice each of the techniques that we talk about and get very comfortable with them. So we've done a few basic selections in some of the previous videos, but let's kind of run through the whole collection of selection techniques here now. The easiest way to select something is to just simply put your mouse on it and click.
So if I want to select this single wall over here, I just simply click on that wall. Now, one thing that you need to know about the way selections are built in Rivet is, every time you click, you're starting a new selection set. So if I come over here and I click this second wall, notice that it deselects the first wall and creates a new selection set of the second wall. Now, that's also true for deselecting elements. If I come out here in empty, wide space and I click, notice that that will actually deselect the current selection.
Why is that? Well, if each time you click you're building a new selection, and you click an empty space to select nothing, then nothing replaces the existing selection of something. So that's the way to think about it is each time we click, we're creating a new selection. But, if you down at the status bar at the bottom of the screen, lower left hand corner, it says click to select, which we just did, tap for alternates, we'll do that shortly, Control adds and Shift unselects. So with Control and Shift keys, you're able to modify a selection to either add or remove from it.
So let me start by selecting a wall again, and then let's say I wanted to select another wall, what I want to do before clicking this second wall is hold down the Control key. That will put a small little plus sign next to the cursor, and that means that I'm adding to the selection, and I can select another wall. Keep the Control key held down, and you can keep adding walls to the selection as long as you'd like. Now, if I realize that I selected too many walls and I want to remove one from the selection, once again, I can use a modifier key. So this time it's going to be the Shift key.
And you'll see a small minus sign appear next to the cursor, and now I can deselect any elements that I don't want selected. And then once again, if I decide I no longer need this selection, I can click an empty white space which will deselect the elements. But there's two other ways that you can clear a selection. So let's say I had these two walls selected and I want to clear that selection. You can just simply use the Escape key on your keyboard, and that will clear the selection. Or if you have a selection of elements, you can also click the Modify tool, and that clears the selection. So you really have three different ways that you can clear the selection: the escape key, the modify tool, or clicking an empty white space.
Alright, so that's the basic basics of selection. Control adds, Shift unselects. So now let's talk about the Tab key. So it says Tab for alternates, so what does that mean exactly? Well, I'm going to move my mouse over this door right here, right next to the strike side of the door. Now it's going to highlight the door onscreen. Also I should note that right now this is not selected, this is just prehighlighted. If I move my mouse away from the door, it's not selected. The only way the door becomes selected is if I actually click on it to make the selection. Okay, so let me deselect that door.
So I'm going to highlight it again. Well what if it wasn't the door that I wanted selected, what if I wanted the wall that the door is in? Well, I could certainly move my mouse over, but let's just say for the sake of argument, that I didn't want to move my mouse or that it's too cluttered, what could I do instead? Well, this is where the Tab key comes in. You're going to press the Tab key and the prehighlighting will jump to the next eligible selectable element. Now, I said press the Tab key, don't hold it down. If you hold down the Tab key, you're going to get this like strobe light behavior, and that's not at all what we want.
So let me kind of move away to reset everything, highlight the door, press tab, that's going to highlight the wall, and assuming that's what I want, I can click to make the selection. So the correct sequence is: highlight, tab, click. So the tabbing always comes in the middle. You might tab once, you might tab two, three, four, five times, but it's always highlight, then tab, then click. So when you see the selection that you like on screen, that's when you're going to click. Now, that's a way to tab through various alternate elements. I could do the same thing right here.
Highlight the wall, press Tab, now it highlights the vanity, press Tab again, it simply goes back to the wall. If I move my mouse slightly, it'll jump over to the shelf. Press Tab again, it goes back to the wall. So sometimes you just move your mouse slightly and you can actually change what is being tabbed through. Now there's another really powerful way to use the Tab key and it's called chain selection. So let's talk about what chain selection is. I'm going to highlight this wall. And then I'm going to press Tab. Now notice that it reached down the endpoints of the wall, and if it found another wall touching the endpoint, it highlighted that as well.
Now, assuming that that's the selection I want, I would click, and it actually selects both of those walls. I'm going to clear the selection by clicking an empty space. Now, when I highlight and I tab, notice that it is not selecting any of the walls that form T-intersections. So we're not getting the walls on either side of the toilet room. We're not getting the wall at the closet, we're not getting either of the exterior walls. Because all of those intersections form T-connections. In order for it to be a chain, it has to form an L-connection, or in another words, an endpoint to endpoint connection.
Now, sometimes you might use your Tab key in a situation that looks like a T-intersection, but it's really not. And I've created the situation like that over here by the entrance to the condo. Notice that I have one wall here, and a second wall here. So even though it looks like a T-intersection, I've actually got endpoints there, which means that if I highlight this wall, press the Tab key, it will go from endpoint to endpoint and it will keep going around the entire perimeter of the floor plan highlighting this chain of walls.
Now that's incredibly powerful and becomes a very easy way for you to select a bunch of walls that form, say the perimeter of a building. Now, here's something even a little bit more interesting. Without clicking my mouse yet, I'm going to move my mouse slightly. And notice that that actually changed the chain selection to select the two inside walls on the left side of the closet, rather than the two outside walls on the right side. So, by again, moving the mouse subtly, you can change what the tab is seeing, and then you can click to make the selection.
So once again, it's highlight, tab, click. Now let's do one more. I'm going to put my mouse over this door. I'm going to press Tab, and it's going to go to the wall. I'm going to press Tab again, and it's going to do the chain of walls. One more time and it'll get a different chain, and then finally, one more time and notice that it's highlighting the outline around the building, but this time it's only one side of the wall. And that's because if I click, that's actually a floor element. So sometimes there are actually lots of elements in the same location and you might have to tab multiple times to get to the one you want.
So if you just pay attention to what's being highlighted, then you can stop tabbing and click when you see the item that you need. Alright, so that's the Tab key and it's an incredibly powerful and useful way to select. It can be a little frustrating at first if you get out of sequence, whether it's highlight first, or tab first and so on, but don't give up. It's definitely worth mastering this technique. So just remember, highlight, tab, click and you'll get it. Now let's look at a couple other selection methods. All these methods are great, but usually you're going to want to select things quickly.
Now, using the Control and Shift key is a pretty slow way to do it. It turns out that if you click and drag, you can create one of two types of selections. If you drag to the right, you get a solid box, and that's what we call a window selection. And if you drag to the left, you get a dash box, and that's what we call a crossing selection. So let's see those in action. I'm going to start here at the left, and start dragging to the right. Hasn't highlighted anything yet. Hasn't highlighted, oh, there it's highlighting the tub. Now it's highlighting the toilet as well.
Now the vanity and the door. So, a window selection has to completely surround an element before it will highlight it. 'Kay, so notice that if I move just slightly, I no longer get the vanity, but now I surround all of them and I let go, and I get that selection. Now if I only wanted the plumbing fixtures, I can use all these techniques with one another. So I can hold down the Shift key and just deselect the door. So it's going to be faster to make a window and just deselect the one or two that I don't need than it would be to Control click each of them individually.
Now what if I go this way? Well now, anything that the crossing window touches will be selected. So you see how I don't have to completely surround the toilet or the door or the shelf in order for it to be selected. And then once again, I could use Control to add to the selection, I could use Shift to remove. In fact, I can even use Control and Shift to add and remove other windows and crossings. So using both of these methods, you can build complex selections.
And then again, I'll click an empty space to deselect. So, windows and crossings are usually going to be a faster way to build the selection. You start off by selecting the overall vicinity of what you want, and then you fine tune it with the Control and the Shift. But there's one more way that you can make your selection more quickly. I'm going to select everything on the right hand side of the plan. Now, I've got more than I want selected. Let's say I was only interested in the equipment in this selection, or possibly the equipment and the doors in this selection.
I could sit there with the Shift key and deselect all of the individual walls, but that's going to take a while. If you look at your ribbon, you'll notice that there's a Filter button available right here. If I click that, that displays the filter dialog and it lists out each category in my current selection with a quantity of elements that are currently selected. And what I can do here is just simply uncheck any of the categories I'm not interested in. So if I uncheck walls and windows, for example, and click apply, notice that it will deselect those elements, getting me much closer to the selection that I'm looking for.
You could continue to deselect, or you can even clear the entire selection and then just check the one or two categories that you're interested in, and completely change the way the selection looks. So as long as you're in this dialog, you can check and uncheck boxes, and then when you're satisfied, click Okay and move on to the next step. So as you can see, there's a lot of ways to make selections and you're often going to use a combination of techniques with one another, so it's worth spending the time to master each of the techniques I have shown you and make sure that you're very comfortable with each one so that when you're working day to day in Rivet, you can make your selections much more efficiently.
First, get comfortable with the Revit environment, and learn to set up a project and add the grids, levels, and dimensions that will anchor your design. Then author Paul F. Aubin helps you dive into modeling: adding walls, doors, and windows; using joins and constraints; creating and mirroring groups; linking to external assets and DWG files; and modeling floors, roofs, and ceilings.
Paul also shows advanced techniques for modeling stairs and complex walls, adding rooms, and creating schedules. Finally, discover how to annotate your drawings so all the components are clearly 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