Tuesday, August 20, 2013


This has nothing to do with Princess Diana conspiracy theories.

One of the first questions asked by new users who come from an AutoCAD background is "what about keyboard shortcuts ?"  My stock answer is "Yes there are lots of them, and you can customise ... BUT ... in my view they are less important to you than they were with 2d drafting.  With BIM, the computer does a lot of the routine work for you, leaving you more time to think about design issues, to plan your work out.  With CAD it was all click, click, click, copy copy copy.  With BIM you spend more time choosing properties from dialogue boxes.  There is a different pace of working."

I still feel this is valid comment, but I am starting to think that I should make the effort to include a few more shortcuts in my regular repertoire.

currently I use

  • VG  =  visibility graphics
  • VH  =  hide category in view
  • EH  =  hide element in view
  • ZX  =  zoom extents
  • WT  =  tile windows
  • CS  =  create similar
  • SE, SI, SM, SC, SQ, SN  etc   all the more obvious snaps

Mostly the keys are close together, they work like acronyms (easy to remember) ... PLUS the "other way" of doing them is a bit too long winded.  CS is actually dying because it's just as easy to select something and nip up to the ribbon.  Even VG isn't as useful as it used to be.

A few weeks ago I discovered KS, which brings up the Keyboard Shortcuts customisation window, and I played around for a while.  One of the surprise discoveries was SZ (close loop when sketching) which has been the subject of tweets this week by Paul Aubin & Steve Stafford.  We have a "Revit Corner" on our display board at work and I was inspired to pin this up.

I also added the following customisation to my own setup.  Note my preference for double-hits.  This dates back to my own AutoCAD customisation phase which was at it's height around 15 years ago.  With the advent of icons, right click menus & higher-definition screens, my  enthusiasm for writing custom menus gradually faded.

RV = revisions
CV = paste aligned to current view
JJ     = export image (jpeg)

LL = symbolic line (and level)
OO =offset
SV =select all instances visible in view (SA already set to all in project)
PPP =select previous
SSS =snap off
TT =thin lines (also TL)
AA =align (not adjust analytical model)
DD =aligned dimension

The first 3 have definitely caught on.  Some of the others are just a click away, so why bother ?  In the end it's probably a very personal thing.  The human memory is a strange beast.  For some of the less accessible commands I already added them to the quick access toolbar. (new sheet, detail line, materials, object styles ...)

That was actually the topic of my very first post.     Post No 1


  1. Hi Andy,

    Great post! I'm sure you've come across my post on the topic, but thought it was worth a mention. Some people have found it really useful and others really annoying! http://betterrevit.com/add-ins/revit-keyboard-shortcut-add-in-released/

  2. Hi Mark, I did see your post, but I haven't tried out the add-in. I guess I'm one of those illogical people who shells out $6 for a sandwich but baulks at paying $5 for a bit of software :) Good to hear from you.


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