by John Flanagan
The Revit Interface
The Revit interface is a toolbar based setup. Unlike AutoCad, you will not be entering commands. You will typically select your desired function from Revit’s contextual Ribbon. The Ribbon contains Revit Architecture tools in a series of tabs and panels as shown in Figure 1. Selecting a tab displays a group of related panels. The panels contain a variety of tools grouped by function.
Fig 1: Revit’s Launchpad – The Contextual Ribbon
The Revit Workflow
Revit is a draw, then modify, program. You don’t have to draw precisely the first time; you can simply select an object, and alter the temporary dimensions that will appear. These temporary dimensions will not print unless you hit the toggle switch on the bottom of them to make them permanent. You can select the value, type in a new value, and Revit will update your wall spacing, distance to a door, etc. This is a slightly different way of thinking as compared to other typical architectural programs. Navigating drawings however is similar to other architectural programs, scroll wheel for zoom, and hold down the wheel to pan.
Also notice the many grips that appear when objects are selected. These sometimes flip orientations, change justifications, lock/unlock positions, etc.
The Project Browser will be the way to move between drawings in Revit. Remember however, that any change made on any drawing will update the rest of the set, because you are constantly making changes to one base model or database to which the rest of the project references. Simply double clicking on a drawing name will take you to the appropriate level or elevation. Likewise, you can add/delete/rename drawings in the typical right-click fashion.
Additional things to note include; normal commands like move, copy, mirror, rotate, align, etc. are always located on the modify panel of the ribbon. Also pay attention to the ‘Sketch Modes’ of various commands. You must ‘finish sketch’ to go back to altering different parts of the model. The ‘Attach’ function is great for making crazy roof forms and then simply sending your walls up to meet wherever they would intersect that form. Frequently, use the ‘window’ panel on the View Tab Ribbon and ‘close hidden windows’ to speed up the program, for these tend to pile up when moving around different views. Also use the ‘3d’ button on the quick access toolbar to start modelling using the 3d views found within the program. Try out using the ‘tab’ key for group selection methods. Lastly, check project units on the Manage Tab of the Ribbon.