To learn Revit quickly, you need to apply your experience with specific tools to your use case and figure out how and why they work together.
I have had the opportunity to use modeling and documentation tools in the interface through various updates and features. Here are 5 tips that have helped me learn faster:
- Start with 3-dimensional views
- Master the shortcuts of a specific area of interest
- Understand how to use families, annotations, and sheets
- Discover workarounds and time-saving tips
- Collaborate and share your work
Start a 3D model
Start by modeling something you know, even if it’s not for work or school. No matter how sketchy your first project looks, don’t spend too much time in a 2D viewport.
- Open floor plan of Level 1.
- Click the house icon in the Quick Access toolbar to open the 3D view.
- Go to the Views tab > Windows panel > click Tile Views (Shortcut: WT).
This way you can monitor both dimensions at the same time. I highly recommend understanding 3D views and their types.
A simple example might be your room or house. Focus on making the first model accurate using the standard out-of-the-box families and components.
Aim for a conceptual result first. The result will be a solid understanding of how Autodesk wants you to use this application, and there will be something to go back to and revise.
As knowledge grows, we notice how some tools can be related to niches and layers of the interface hierarchy.
- Basic: Annotations, components, and conceptual masses.
- Intermediate: Residential projects, sheets, topography, and rendering.
- Advanced: Shared parameters, PBR materials, and Dynamo scripts.
In order to get a feel for which niche is practical for your skills, work on at least one to three diverse projects.
Choose a niche and then learn the shortcuts
- Drafter (basic elements, annotations, schedules, views, and sheets)
- Technologist (project management, automation, collaboration, backup and purging)
- Visualizer (massing, rendering, animation, and Virtual Reality)
Use search engines and YouTube: type “tool name in Revit” into the search bar. Gradually discover a favorite niche and learn all about its tools.
Create one-press keyboard shortcuts for all your basic tools. I use keys 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. Your Move tool should be number 1 because it is the most frequently used command; number 2 is for Copy, number 3 for Offset, and so on.
Families, Annotations, and Sheets
Any component (doors, chairs, etc.) is a family. Parameters (dimensions, manufacturer, materials, etc.) define that family.
Families and their systems are the automation of drafting. Sheets and viewports are how our components come together to become integral. Annotations are elements we used to draft but now have in all sheets by applying them once in any viewport (levels, section lines, model lines, etc.).
Are view ranges confusing? Walls and foundation connections are out of control? Almost everything in Revit has a workaround. Chances are someone ran into this problem years ago and asked about it on a forum.
Search Google for “problem in Revit”, even if you think it won’t show up in the results pages.
I used to prefer design to grunt work, but the time I spent finding the right workarounds has saved me a lot of time and allowed me to design more freely.
Don’t miss out on BIM360 and the Autodesk Construction Cloud. These tools prepare you as a new user for an optimal workflow for maintaining, reviewing, and collaborating on Revit projects.
Watch Autodesk videos, choose a niche, and see how each tool enriches your workspace. Experiment with the software, then share it with others for complementary experiences.