By Martha Hollowell
It is that time of year again… Spring is here (at least in my part of the world) and so is the latest version of the Autodesk Revit software. Each year Autodesk smooths out any kinks in the software, improves existing tools and adds new tools that improve productivity and accuracy. This year is no different, with several user interface and selection upgrades, significant changes to modifying schedules, a new exploded view tool, and discipline specific enhancements to architectural stairs and railings, MEP systems, and structural reinforcement. This article looks at several of the user interface and selection updates that impact all flavors of the Revit platform. We have included these updates and many more in each of our Revit training guides that are out now.
To save screen space, you can now dock the Properties and Project Browser palettes on top of each other, as shown in Figure 1, and then use the tabs at the bottom to switch between the two. If you are using the Autodesk Revit MEP software, you can also add the System Browser to this group.
Material Browser Updates
The Material Browser and Material Editor are combined in one dialog box with tabs identifying the various options. You can sort the materials by class as shown in Figure 2. The dialog box has also been simplified with options to show or hide the Library list and collapse the Material Editor panel.
Non-Rectangular Crop Regions
Non-Rectangular Crop Regions answer a request that has been made by numerous users. Instead of having to work with complex masking regions on top of a rectangular callout you can now sketch a callout or modify plan, elevation, and section crop regions so they follow the contours of the portion of the building that you want to display, as shown in Figure 3.
Another update that makes it easier to work in the Autodesk Revit software is the ability to modify how elements are selected. You can now specify whether or not you can select linked files, underlay elements, and pinned elements. You can also set the option to select elements, such as walls, floors, and roofs by face, rather than just by the edge. The Drag elements on selection option can also be toggled on and off using this interface. These tools are available in both the Select panel under the Modify command or on the lower right of the Status Bar as shown in Figure 4.
While at first glance none of these enhancements look like big changes, they add up to a more functional and adaptable way of working with software that is already a pleasure to work with.