Understanding Revit User Interface

by | May 1, 2020 | elearning, Revit, Tutorials

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Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

User Interface is a system of communication between you and the software. You communicate your intention of what you want to do and the software responds to your command.

  • There is a Command or a Menu area
  • and a Work Area

Command Area is typically composed of Text Menu and a series of icons. Each icon represents a command to perform tasks.

The work area is where you work. This could be writing text, like in a word processor, or a drawing in AutoCAD.


Revit User Interface

Revit uses the typical windows user interface that you may be familiar with. Some of the menu systems that Revit uses are similar to other windows software. There are many others, that are specific to Revit.

Out of the Box, Revit has 8 distinct zones.

1Quick Access Toolbar
2Ribbon Menu
3Drawing Area
4Type Selector
5Properties Palette
6Project Browser
7View Control Bar
8Status Bar

Revit Home Screen

When you start Revit, you will get to see Revit Home screen, like the image here on the right. This where you can start a new Model or open existing model etc. You can get back to this, anytime using the Revit Home Button. You can always get back to this home screen anytime, while working on a model, by clicking on the Home button revit-home-button


Quick Access Toolbar

Quick Access Tool Bar is where you have access to frequently used commands. This is customizable and you can add or remove commands as per your needs.

Ribbon Menu

Ribbon Menu is where you see icons. The text labels are TABS. Each tab is dedicated to tasks, that may be related to a discipline, such as Architecture or Structure, while others are related to a set of tasks. Each TAB is also sub-divided into Panels.


Options Bar

Options becomes active only when we’re modeling an element, the options bar displays different modeling options related to the element we’re modeling.

Type Selector

Type Selector is “Context Sensitive”. This implies, that it changes its content based on elements you want to model or select an element that you need to change.

The Type selector is a Drop-Down, that lists various related elements. Type Selector also has a Search Bar, that lets you search for elements


Properties Palette


Much like the Type Selector, Properties Palette too, is Context Sensitive. The content of this palette is dependent on what element is selected. When nothing is selected, the Properties Palette shows View Properties and displays Parameters that affect the view you are in. If an element is selected, the palette displays parameters that affect the selected element. Changing these parameters modifies the element

Type Properties

Type Properties are parameters that affect the element type. All instances of this type of element will change by changing the parameters here. For example, the image here on the left show’s properties of a 230mm Brick wall that is plastered on both sides. Changing properties here will change all this type of walls in the entire model.

You need to be very careful when changing any properties here, as making changes here may change elements, that you did not want to change. If you want to make a change, such as a Wall thickness or material, you must always duplicate and create another Type. To do this, click on the Duplicate button as indicated by the number (2)  – type properties image. On duplicating, give the new element a meaningful name, such that anybody else can identify and understand the element type, just by its name.


Edit Structure


 To make changes to an element assembly, such as a wall, we select Structure as shown in Figure-8, button 1.

Make sure, you are making changes here only after you Duplicate the element.

Project Browser

A Revit Model comprises 2D, 3D Views, Schedules and so on. One can navigate and switch between different views, just by clicking on a view name. Each view has its own specific properties such as scale, Discipline, etc. These views can be duplicated and each of the duplicated views could have different properties


View Control

Almost at the bottom, are a series of buttons on View Control Bar. This is where we can change the scale of a view, change detail level, add shadows, and so on.

Status Bar

 Status Bar provides information about what is happening, for example, when you print, the status bar provides you information about what is being printed. The status bar also provides you hints and tips about what to do, when you select a command.


Ashit Goyal

Ashit is a Practicing Architect in Noida, Delhi NCR. Ashit has over 35 years of professional experience both in India and overseas. Ashit has been passionate about technology implications for Building Industry Professionals and has been consulting in BIM Services for the past 12 years.

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