A great way to gain efficiency in Revit is to use keyboard shortcuts. These are typically two-letter command aliases that you can key in to execute your favorite commands more quickly. Most Windows CTRL+ shortcuts also work in Revit, and in the case where a commonly used command does not have a shortcut, you can add your own.
- [Instructor] This week I want to take you back to basics and talk a little bit about keyboard shortcuts. Now, if you've already discovered that you can do keyboard shortcuts then fantastic, keep working with those but if you haven't then stay tuned here because I'd like to show you a few of my favorite shortcuts. Now, for demonstration purposes, I'm simply going to open the Sample Architecture Project that comes with Revit. If you don't see it here in your recent files, you can go to File, Open, and then Sample Files and you're looking for the rac_basic_sample_project and open that up.
If you don't have access to the rac basic sample project, then just open any file that you have on your system, it really doesn't matter for this demonstration what file you have open on screen. So, I'm going to go to the level one floor plan here just as a starting point and let me just show you some of the basic keyboard shortcuts, right? So, things like the wall command, the door command and so on. So, if I want to draw a wall, I can go find the button on the ribbon or I can just simply type the letters WA and then when I do, you can see that I'm in the wall command. Now, nice thing about keyboard shortcuts is you don't even have to cancel the current command to go onto the next thing you want to do.
If I want to add a door to this wall, I'd just type DR, that runs the door command and now I'm in that command and it canceled the wall command first before it started the door command. Now, how did I know that wall was WA and door was DR, right? Let me cancel out of this command and it's quite simple to find out which commands have keyboard shortcuts, which ones don't. Just hover over the buttons on the ribbon and look next to the name. So, if there's two letters in parenthesis next to the name, that's the keyboard shortcut, so there's your WA for the wall command, here's DR for the door command, WN for window, CM for component, and so on.
Now, it's very important that you only type the two letters and not the enter key. Let me demonstrate. If I type WA for wall but then I follow it up with enter, notice how I don't get wall at all, I get the door command. What's going on there, right? I type WA enter, ended up with door. Well, what actually happened was WA executed the wall command but then when you pressed enter, canceled the wall command and it ran your last command which happened to be door in this case 'cause that's what enter does. So, in a way, enter is a keyboard shortcut for whatever you did you last, right? So, if you want to run the same command again, you can just simply press the enter key but you want to use that caution, though, when you're doing a keyboard shortcut, don't follow it up with enter because you're going to get unexpected results.
Now, if I keep moving across the ribbon here, you'll discover some commands that don't have letters in parenthesis next to them, like Roof by Footprint. That means that it doesn't have a keyboard shortcut but what if you wanted it to have one, right? I do a lot of roofs by footprint, I want to have a keyboard shortcut for that. You can customize the keyboard shortcut list and add your own. How do you do that? Well, you go to the view tab, User Interface, and you'll look for the Keyboard Shortcuts command and, interestingly enough, Keyboard Shortcuts has a keyboard shortcut, KS, so if you want you can choose the command here or you can just simply type KS.
So, what I recommend that you do is search for the command or the shortcut that you're interested in. So, for example, if we type in the word roof, this verifies for us that Roof by Footprint, in fact, does not currently have any shortcut. So, what do we want to use for that shortcut? I don't know, maybe RF. So, I'll search for that and if we kind of scroll through here, I'm not seeing any shortcuts come up for the letters RF, so we should be okay.
So, I'll go back and I'll put in roof, select Roof by Footprint, come down here to Press new keys, type RF, and then click Assign. That's it. I've now added a keyboard shortcut for the Roof by Footprint command. So, if I type the letters RF, notice that that takes me into the Roof by Footprint. I'm not going to create a roof in this case, so I'm going to click the cancel edit mode and get out of that command but it's really that easy to add your own keyboard shortcut. Now, if you decide you no longer want that shortcut, you can go back to Keyboard Shorts, I just typed KS, I can type in roof again and select it and what you want to do is actually select the shortcut itself and then you can click Remove to remove that shortcut.
So, it's just as easy to remove a shortcut as it is to add one. Now, there's shortcuts for all sorts of things that you use every day like the various zoom commands. Now, of course I'm sure most of you just roll your wheel and drag your wheel to zoom and pan and I do the same but you're probably also aware that there are several other zoom options on this little fly out over here on the navigation bar. Well, when you hover over these, they don't give you any keyboard shortcut. Now, to actually see the keyboard shortcut, you'd have to actually hover over the icon which means it only shows you the shortcut for the last zoom that you used which is, you know, makes it a little tough to learn those but actually it's a lot easier than that.
If you look at the list of names there, they all start with the letter Z and then it's just the first letter of the next word. So, ZR is Zoom in Region, ZO, Zoom Out, ZF, Zoom to Fit, ZA, Zoom All, and ZS for Zoom to Sheet Size. Here's ZR, here's ZO, ZF, and so on. So, very easy to not only learn but to use your zoom shortcuts. I'm going to run the wall command again and I'm sure you've seen plenty object snaps, we've got end points, intersections, mid points, and so on.
Well, what if you're having trouble getting the snap that you really want? Like, maybe I want this midpoint but it keeps trying to give me an intersection and it's a little tricky. I mean, I could probably stick with it and get it to give me the midpoint but if I want to be sure, I can type SM. That will do a temporary override and force this command to only look for midpoints so the next thing I click will be a midpoint and then after that it'll go back to all of the defaults. Now, did I just happen to know that it was SM? No, those are very easy to learn as well.
If you go to the manage tab and click the Snaps command, all of the object snaps are listed here in the middle and over here in the far right column you see all of their keyboard shortcuts. They all start with the letter S and then it's just the first letter of the name of the snap, so SE for end point, SI for intersection, and so on. Now down here's an interesting one, Close, SZ. So, the way this works is if I type WA and I'll start drawing some walls and if I type SZ, it'll just find the first point I started at when I began this wall command and then I can simply click to close that shape, so it's a real easy way to kind of close the shape in on itself and find that original location.
So that's kind of an interesting little snap there. Now, at the moment I have just two windows open, I have these level one floor plan in that original sheet with the 3D views on it, so let me open up a couple more views here, maybe a south elevation, maybe this stair section. I could use switch windows to go between those different views if I wanted to but you can also use the keyboard to toggle through the open windows very quickly. So, if you use control tab, it's going to cycle throug all of the open windows.
So, hold down your control key and then press tab and now I'm in the elevation and now I'm back in the floor plan and now I'm in the sheet and then back to the section. Now, if you keep going and you miss the one you want, do you just keep going around again until you get back to the front? Well, you can actually do control shift tab to go in reverse order. So, control tab, I'm at the section, control shift tab, I'm back to the sheet, right? So, you can go back and forward just by whether or not you do the control or the control and the shift, so it makes it very easy for you to kind of cycle through the open windows.
All of the windows shortcuts will work as well, so thinks like control O for open, control N for new, control P for print, cut, copy, and paste, so if you want to copy something, you can control C, if you want to cut it, you can control X, you want to paste whatever you've copied or cut, you can do control V and then click to place it. You change your mind, you can do control Z to undo. You want to change your mind again, you can do control Y to redo.
So, control Z to undo, control Y to redo. And then perhaps my favorite of all is closing the current file, that's control W. Now, of course, I've made some changes, so it's going to ask me if I want to save those changes, so that's up to you, you can say yes or no. In this case, I'm going to say no, not save those changes, and that closes the current file. So, that's definitely one of my favorite shortcuts and actually a recent addition to Revit. So, if you've been using shortcuts already then congratulations, maybe I exposed you to one or two that you didn't know about.
If you haven't been using shortcuts then I encourage you to start doing so, explore the interface, look for as many shortcuts as you can and remember that if you want to add your favorite commands that you use frequently, if they don't already have shortcuts, just go to KS, keyboard shortcuts, and add them to the list.
NOTE: The exercise files for this course can only be opened in the most recent version of Revit (Revit 2017).
Skill Level Appropriate for all
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