33 Basic Tools for Getting Started in Revit

Dan Edleson has worked as a Designer, Project Manager and BIM Coordinator for over a decade and is a co-founder of Stereo. Dan says his “33 Basic Tools for Getting Started  in Revit” will make you dangerous.

image of building 33 Basic Tools in Revit

33 Basic Tools in Revit

When I graduated college I had a hard time getting a job in an architecture firm because my undergrad degree was not “architecture”. I interviewed with about 25 companies who all told me to go back to school. The only way I was able to get my foot in the door was to tout my knowledge of AutoCAD. Except I didn’t know AutoCAD. I did what many people do and taught myself using YouTube videos and other online resources.

There was a lot of great information out there, but it always seemed to overlook one very basic concept that was crucial; HOW DO YOU DRAW A LINE?!? It took me several weeks of troubleshooting and Googling until I finally figured out how to do the most basic of commands in AutoCAD. After that I was indeed able to get a job at a firm, and then went back to school on my own terms two years later.

This post is for people trying to get started in Revit and dealing with a similar predicament. Here I will cover only the most basic commands and show you how to do just enough to get going, whether on your own or at that job where you might have oversold your skill set. Once you start getting enough reps you will start to answer your own questions out of necessity. There’s going to be some major omissions from this post (Stairs, Rooms, Detail Lines) which will be covered in other posts. There is so much to learn, it’s important to understand basic modeling before taking the training wheels off.

This post is going to deal with four things: the Primary Toolbar, the Properties/Project Browser, the Graphic Display Bar, and the Quick Access Bar. Without further ado, let’s get to it!

1. The Primary Toolbar – We are going bare necessities here, and there is a lot of noise on this main toolbar we want to ignore for now. We are going to focus mostly on the Architecture and Modify tabs, but will look at a couple commands on the Insert tab as well.

Architecture Tab

A lot here is useful but we are just focusing on the Build and Datum sub-menus. Let’s break it down into those subsections and briefly explain each relevant tool. Note that Revit has this great thing for some of the more significant tools where if you hover over the tool a demo video plays. Super helpful for illustrating what I am saying here. Also, avoid the little arrows that signify drop down menus. That’s more advanced stuff you don’t need right now.

For the complete Stereo blog click here.

Dan specializes in converting scan data to Revit models and can be reached here.

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