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Revit Architecture 2011 has been released. I know I’m a bit late to cover this, but I hope this is still useful for you. There are many good enhancements in this new release. I’m quite impressed with the development by Autodesk team. I will cover them in separate posts. In this post, I would like to cover about the interface enhancements. That what you are going to see first, right?
The Properties Palette
AutoCAD users have been familiar with properties palette for years. Now, Autodesk introduce properties palette in Revit 2011. The reason why this feature is brought into Revit interface, is to provide easier and faster access for the users to change instance/view properties. You might remember that you need to open view properties dialog when you need to change the view properties. You also need to open instance properties dialog to change any instance properties. With properties palette, you can change them without needing to open any dialog box. You can see the changes immediately without having to click apply or OK and close the dialog box.
The downside of this palette is, people might feel the palette take more of their view area. At least, if you let the palette at the default position, above/below the project browser, you might feel it’s more difficult to find the views in the browser. Especially when you work on high-rise building. Probably you should consider to use dual monitor, so you can get more screen space. I choose to move and dock the properties palette to my right screen.
However, I do find this palette is very useful. One interesting thing I could do now is simply select multiple category elements, and choose the appropriate category from category selection. Without having to filter the elements, I can choose the category. And if necessary, I can switch to other category and make necessary changes. Yes, you can do that in AutoCAD too. But having it in Revit feels a bit different.
The Quick Access Toolbar
Quick access toolbar is not really a new feature. Autodesk enhanced this feature in 2011 release. Now we can manage the quick access toolbar further more.
I’m not a fan of quick access toolbar, however, if you rely heavily on quick access toolbar, you may like it. If we see in Revit 2011, we will see more tools added in the quick access toolbar. I’m not really sure why. But probably this will encourage users to find out whether they can add more tool there or not. At least I had several questions about it: “Can we add more tools in quick access toolbar?”. They didn’t ask that when they saw it in Revit 2010!
Just to remind you, you can add any tool to quick access toolbar (also in Revit 2010) by right clicking the tool you want, and choose ‘add to quick access toolbar’ from context menu.
What? The ribbon changes again? Yes. Not completely, only some tools are moved so they can be accessed easily. You don’t need to worry, the tools should be easier to find. You may need to get used to it, but I believe it’s worth it. The major changes is for modify tools.
Modify Tab in Revit 2010
Remember that you had modify tab in Revit 2010? When you select an element, then Revit will open contextual tab. For example modify walls tool.
If you need to align, trim, or edit the wall join, you need to open the modify tab (click image to enlarge).
Modify Tab in Revit 2011
In Revit 2011, modify tools are placed more consistently. Modify tab now is the last tab in Revit 2011 ribbon. When you select an element, the modify tools remain on that tab, and Revit open another group on the right side. The group will have panels with modify tools related to that particular element. Just one tab now (click image to enlarge)!
This is also small but nice enhancement. Now you can modify keyboard shortcuts within Revit interface. You don’t have to edit the shortcut list using notepad like you used to. You can access keyboard shortcuts editor by accessing view tab> user interface panel> keyboard shortcuts.
You can change the shortcut in a dialog box. And I think this is easier to understand than the old one.
You can also import and export your shortcuts to an xml file. Or import your old shortcuts from txt format.
In Revit 2010, the render tool only available in view control. Now we can also access it from view tab> graphics panel. I remember that I had a hard time to find it in Revit 2010 when I first use it. I believe that’s why they now add it to the ribbon.
The Status Bar
Now you can switch between worksets or design options by accessing the status bar. I think this is quite nice, remembering that we need to switch between tabs in previous version to do that (click image to enlarge).
There are many enhancements that involve ribbon tabs. I feel that they do improved, but this also means that there are many complaints about the ribbon. Now they are moving or adding tools around so we can access them easier. It is interesting to see how the ribbon will be developed.