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One of my fellow staff members was recently doing some work in AutoCAD (after using Revit), and he said something quite profound:

“It’s a way of thinking, isn’t it”

And it really is. Using Revit properly is not a matter of ‘why can’t Revit do xxx’, its a matter of ‘why does Revit do xxx this way?’ And there is usually a very good reason.

Keep cultivating the Revit ‘way of thinking’!

So you are using the ‘grips’ to try and stretch instance parameters on a family, but it is a pain – sometimes they snap, sometimes they don’t, you can’t dial in a certain value to ‘move’ the instance parameter…and when you try and ‘align’ that instance to something, the whole family moves!!! What to do?!?

Revit wants you to ‘Tab’ select the Ref Plane inside the family. Now you can use the ‘move’ command to move that instance element accurately. The process again – you have a family with an instance parameter. Use Tab to select the Ref Plane associated with the instance parameter. Now hit ‘Move’ (or your Keyboard Shortcut :-), and you can put that ref plane exactly where you want it.


Got this great tip from Aaron Rumple:

Revit has a nice GUI, and it is okay to use the mouse at times.

But to truly be productive, you must use shortcut keys! This is vital for commonly used commands.

I have set up my shortcut keys to primarily use my left hand – in this way I can have one hand on the mouse at all times. If you assign only one key to a shortcut (in the Keyboard Shortcuts file), you can then use that command by pressing ‘spacebar’. For example, open your Keyboard Shortcuts file, then set the shortcut ‘C’ to ‘Copy’. Restart Revit. Now, to start the copy command, just press C-Spacebar. Very fast indeed!

Another example – you want to edit two objects, but your view is obscured. First, set the shortcut key for ‘Temporarily Hide Element in View’ to ‘TE’. Set the ‘Reset Temporary Hide/Isolate’ to ‘AR’ (and restart Revit). Now, when attempting to edit just a few objects, select them using Ctrl, then press T-E. You now have a clear view of these objects. When you have done what you need to, press A-R.

Revit’s very nature inspires us to be productive. So, increase YOUR productivity by giving Revit what it wants, and use Shortcut Keys!