Top 8 Autodesk Revit Tips and Shortcuts

Learning these 8 top tips and shortcuts can make meeting project deadlines ten times easier and more effective.

1. Say Goodbye To Accidental Clicks

Accidental double-clicks on a component family can ruin the moment by taking you straight to the family editor. You can either slow down your mouse clicking speed or adjust the Revit settings so it does what you want it to do. Go to the User Interface tab within the Revit Options menu, “Customise” the Double-click Options for families and select your preferred option:

"Edit Type" (recommended)

"Do Nothing"

"Edit Family" (the default - not recommended)

2. Beware of the Free Stuff

Adding in components that work with your BIM drawings shouldn't be hard, but trying to use components from manufacturers and other sources that don't understand your job and expecting them to all work, is insane. It sounds great until you realize that they:

a. Aren't all written with the same standards and you spend 20 hours reworking it all at the last minute.

b. Don't play nice together.

c. Are not designed to be re-purposed, locking you into something that may not be right.

Useful tip: Such independent trusted resources as RevitWorks brings all Revit users a huge variety of families and libraries that do not try to promote any particular product or manufacturer. They are designed specifically for the user and are proven to work and ready-to-use upon acquisition. Their products are usually a perfect fit for various requirements and are also consistently setup to be easily re-purposed.

RevitWorks families and libraries are logical, intuitive, and easy-to-use. They are a smart way to save time and increase the efficiency of the output. Architects, Engineers, BIM managers and consultants, as well as documenters, give RevitWorks their best reviews. Download free preview versions here or schedule a call with Grant & Alex to discuss your requirements.

3. Be Smart About Selecting Objects

It’s so easy to select objects you didn’t mean to, especially when doing a window or crossing selection with your mouse. Get to know and use your selection methods to prevent you selecting things you don’t want to. These tools are available in the handy position down on the bottom-right hand of your screen:

Select Links: Turn off! Once your link is in position, turn off so no more selecting the link by mistake.
Useful tip: Don't forget to pin the Link as well otherwise you can still move it using the align command.

Select Underlay: Turn off! Except for the odd occasion where you actually want to move an underlay element.

Select Pinned Elements: Turn Off! Except where you actually want to un-pin the element or investigate its properties.

Filter: When using your mouse to select by window or crossing, always use the filter button to ensure that you haven't erroneously selected elements you weren't expecting to. Filter them out.

4. Turn off “Drag Elements on Selection”

Turn it off, please just turn it off! Having it on is extremely dangerous; it makes it way too easy to move elements by mistake, especially when you are using your mouse to do a window selection.

5. Take advantage of Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard Shortcuts are the fastest way of telling Revit what you want to do. Learn the Revit default ones and/or setup your own. Get to it from Revit Options “User Interface” tab or the “View” ribbon “User Interface” pulldown.

Useful Tip: To find your command name quickly so you can assign a shortcut to it, hover over the relevant command icon on the ribbon, it's “Revit” name is displayed in the tool-tip. Then you can easily search for it within the Keyboard shortcut dialog.

6. Take Advantage of the Object Snap Shortcuts

You can use <TAB> to cycle through the snaps, or you can zoom in and hover close to the point you are trying to snap to, but why not use a keyboard shortcut to get what you want immediately? They are always accurate and a lot faster. The ones that come with Revit are really easy to remember: “S” then the first letter of the object snap you want:

SE   (Snap-to-Endpoint)
SI    (Snap-to-Intersection)
SM (Snap-to-Midpoint)
SC  (Snap-to-Center)
ST  (Snap-to-Tangent)

7. Enjoy the Constraints

Putting constraints on elements within your model is a great way of telling Revit and other team members about relationships between elements that need to be maintained.
However, these relationships are hard to visualize, especially for other team members who didn’t create them in the first place. Who hasn’t got a warning or an error message telling you that the constraints aren’t satisfied or you can’t make a certain modification?

Using the “Reveal Constraints” display mode – located on the View Control Bar at the bottom of each view - allows you to visualise clearly what constraints are in the Revit model.

8. Use Cool Rendering Technology

Technology and resources regarding rendering is leaping ahead fast, what you can do today in minutes would take hours, if not days as recently as 5 years ago. Keep abreast of the technology and use it.

For full Revit, subscribe to Enscape for your rendering, walkthroughs, design decisions and client presentation – it’s amazing and a no-brainer. If you don’t (or only have Revit LT) at least create panoramas through your Autodesk Cloud Rendering subscription – Check out the RevitWorks Café we did recently showcasing some of our RevitWorks Lights:

Grant Taylor

Alex Page

Grant Taylor and Alex Page are the founders/directors of RevitWorks Ltd. We have over 55 years combined experience in documentation, developing documentation processes and training within the construction industry.

We started using Revit within real-world projects in 2003. When we craft our RevitWorks content we consider the whole process that BIM requires; from preliminary design to completed documentation and ensuring data can be reused to benefit the whole BIM team.

Our primary motivation is to create products that enhance the working practice of all Revit users.

If you'd like to put the power of RevitWorks to work in your business, book a time to chat with Alex or Grant by clicking the button below.
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