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Top 10 Productivity Tips for Revit

Improve Your Revit Workflow and Build Models Faster

Revit has gained a lot of popularity in architectural design circles in recent years. The digital design software allows users to create models based on the principles of Building Information Modelling (BIM). This is a form of building design that focuses on sustainability above all else. The world is more environmentally conscious than it has ever been before. With a digital design software like Revit, architects can meet this need for creating sustainable projects.

Revit also offers several key features to users. You can schedule the elements of your project easily. Further, the software keeps track of all changes you make in a project. A change in one area gets reflected in all other views and schedules.

We imagine many of you will have used Revit at some point already. Perhaps you have even taken a Revit course to boost your knowledge. Still, there is plenty that even the most experienced Revit user may not know.

That brings us to these tips. Each of these pieces of advice will help you become more productive in Revit. You can improve your workflow and build models quicker.


Tip #1 – Using Internal Notes

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Most designers use internal notes in their projects. They allow them to keep track of changes. Further, design notes make models easier to view for people who haven’t worked on them. Many use them to make notes to communicate with team members working on the same project. As such, using internal notes is a common practice.

These notes build up with larger projects. By the end, you may find your views have tons of internal notes. This can make printing your models a hassle. You need to go through every note and delete it before you can print the model out.

You can avoid this issue using text types. In particular, the “invisible” type can help you out. Select all instances of text when you’re ready to print. Set the text type to “invisible” and print. You will have a model with no text on it at all. Even better, you can change the text type back again to bring the notes back up. This means you don’t have to delete them just to make a printout.


Tip #2 – Learn the Keyboard Shortcuts

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Keyboard shortcuts are there for a reason. They make your workflow faster by cutting down on the time you spend exploring menus. The most popular keyboard shortcuts involve activating and deactivating viewports in a project. Beyond that, there are many Revit shortcuts that can help you speed your work along.

For example, 'Ctrl + 1' will bring up the properties panel. This allows you to toggle the properties of an element you’re working on. 'RR' allows you to create a quick render of the model. This helps you to check if the model has any obvious issues that need fixing. You can use 'SD' to create a shaded edge, whereas 'CL' will activate the tool to add a load bearing column to your model.

This is just a very small sample of the keyboard shortcuts that Revit uses. There are dozens more. Learning all of them will help you work so much faster. If that seems like a lot of work, learn the shortcuts for the tasks you complete most often. Using them will soon become a habit and you will significantly speed up your model building time.


Tip #3 – Avoid Bad Clicking

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Double clicking a mouse is second nature for many of us. Almost every piece of software you use requires you to double click to open it. That muscle memory can come back to bite you in Revit. There are several times when you will want to avoid double clicking in this piece of digital design software.

Consider working with a “family” of objects. An unwanted double click can really mess up your workflow. It could cause mistakes that you have to waste time correcting. Happily, Revit offers a few tools to help you out if you can’t stop the clicking.

Head into the Options menu and select User Interface. Click on the Configure menu item to access Revit’s options for mouse clicking. From here, you can disable the effects of double clicking on a range of items. Setting the second click to “do-nothing” will save you so much time. You can dodge inadvertent clicks and not have to worry about how your muscle memory could play havoc on your Revit models.


Tip #4 – Use Scheduling to Your Advantage

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How do you see your Revit model? Is it just a model or can you recognise what’s happening under the hood? Behind every digital design software lies a complex database of information. The model you see before you is actually a visual representation of the information the database contains. This means you can make large changes by altering the database, rather than the model itself.

In Revit, you can do this using schedules. You will learn more about them on a Revit course. The key thing to remember is that Schedules represent different parts of your model. They are not reports, which means you can edit them as needed. You can complete a lot of time-consuming tasks quickly using schedules.

Let’s say you have a lot of columns in a model. You need to lower the height of these columns across the board. Changing every column in the model will take time. Instead, you can create a Schedule to do it for you. Create the Schedule and specify what you need doing and allow Revit’s database to handle the lion’s share of the work.


Tip #5 – Use Those Plug-Ins and Apps

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Revit has a huge community around it. It’s one of the most popular pieces of digital design software, after all. This means that developers create plug-ins and apps for your use on a regular basis. Picking through these plug-ins to find the ones that suit your work can go a long way towards making you more productive.

You can find apps and plug-ins for almost any task. Some help to build the software’s library of resources. For example, there are plenty of textures and objects you can add into Revit via apps. Other plug-ins help you to convert models and elements created in other digital design software to the Revit platform.

You won’t need to use every plug-in or app that you find. Attempting to do so would just slow your workflow down. However, it pays to spend some time exploring your options. The right plug-ins for your project will speed things up considerably and help you get even more out of the Revit digital design software.


Tip #6 – Have the Right Hardware

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Revit is an Autodesk software. This is a bit of a badge of honour. As an architect, you know that the software has a dedicated support team behind it. Revit highlights this with regular updates. As such, it has become one of the best digital design software around.

All of that is a given. But, it’s not always going to be the software that causes issues when working in Revit. You need to pay some consideration to your hardware too. Trying to use Revit on poorly configured machines will lead to all sorts of issues. You may run into problems related to compatibility or find that more advanced versions of the software push your machine to its limits.

You can get around this if you invest in a good workstation. Autodesk actually helps out here. The company certifies hardware than can run its digital design software. Invest in a certified workstation and you will run into far fewer bugs and issue than you would when working on a non-certified workstation.


Tip #7 – Using Temporary View Properties

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Revit has always made use of View Templates. Templates take on an even greater role in the newer versions of the digital design software. You can now add several properties to the temporary view. Revit allows you to access these temporary views and the related options in the View Control Bar.

Among the options is the ability to suspend your view template for a little while. This allows you to change View Properties to see what effects they have on the model. You can deactivate the suspension once you’ve finished, which brings the previously used template back into focus. You can use the View Control Bar to essentially restore a temporary state back to what it was before you started playing with properties. It is something of an “undo” button for your temporary views.

This ability to reverse your temporary view properties to their original settings also allows you to apply different templates to a model. You can quickly activate and deactivate a template so you can see your model in several views.


Tip #8 – Use the Cloud

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Let’s face it. The BIM files you create in Revit can get huge. While it’s a great digital design software, it will start to get bogged down as your projects go on. Large file sizes lead to longer loading times. This problem gets bigger when working with a scattered workforce. You need to keep everybody on the same page and ensure all have access to the BIM files. Failure to do this leads to latency, which lowers the team’s productivity and the software’s performance.

That’s where the cloud comes in. Using the cloud, you can bring all of your BIM files together and offer your team fast access to the files they need. You cut all of the time out of transferring files from office to office.

This boost will benefit workers regardless of where they are. On-site workers can see changes made to files as they happen. Remote workers can quickly adapt to the changes you make in your BIM files. The time saved allows you to get even more out of this digital design software.


Tip #9 – The Select Previous Option

This one is an absolute lifesaver. Picture the scenario. You have just spent an eternity selecting all of the items you need to apply a big group change to. Click after click, you select the items carefully and haven’t made a single mistake at all. Happy with your selections, you sit back and get ready to go to work.

You change your view. In doing so, you click off your selections and every element gets deselected. We imagine a few of you who have done this are already wincing. You now need to go through the whole painful selecting process all over again.

With Revit, you don’t have to. The software keeps track of the selections you make. If you accidentally deselect your elements you should right click and choose the Select Previous option. This will bring them all back to you. The keyboard shortcut of 'Ctrl + Left Arrow' also works the same way.


Tip #10 – Performing Tasks across Several Views

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Isn’t it always the way that the most boring tasks you need to complete get repeated across all of your views. Something as simple as applying a new view template can get time-consuming when you have to repeat the process a bunch of times. The same goes for changing a property across all of the views.

You don’t have to do this for each separate view in the Revit digital design software. The Project Browser means you only need to do it once. All you have to do is hold the Ctrl button so you can select several views at once. Now you can edit properties across all of them using the Properties option.


The Final Word

We hope that everybody reading this has learned at least one new thing about Revit. With this knowledge at hand, you can improve your workflow and create better models faster using the software.

ArchiStar Academy is here if you need more in-depth help. We offer an array of courses that will help you understand all you need to know about Revit. From the basics of using the software through to advanced information, we have you covered. You can master Revit in no time with an ArchiStar Academy Revit course.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Archistar Academy today if you have any questions.

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Posted on 20 Jan 2020

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