Revit Architecture 2011 in Depth: Part 1
by Lachmi Khemlani
This software review takes a detailed look at Revit Architecture 2011 in two parts, starting here with the application's user interface and conceptual design capabilities. —Editor
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Updates to the User Interface
The 2010 release of Revit will primarily be remembered for the dramatic change to the user interface of the application, which was vociferously criticized by many long-term Revit users in several Revit forums and blogs. While I personally liked the new ribbon interface and defended Autodesk's decision to implement it, it was clear that too many users had issues with it for Autodesk to ignore.
In the 2011 release of Revit, Autodesk has attempted to respond to users' criticisms with a number of enhancements to the interface. All the tools are now represented by full-size icons and their locations are more consistent, making them easier to find and reducing the amount of switching between the ribbon tabs users need to do to carry out a task.
The Home tab has been expanded to also include the Opening tools, which were earlier located under the Modify tab. Each tab on the ribbon now has the Modify tool located first, making it easier to find as it is the same position on every tab.
The Modify tab itself has been substantially overhauled by including all the modification tools at exactly the same positions, whether an element is selected or not. When an element is selected, the contextual modification commands related to that element simply get appended to the end of the Modify tab. This has the advantage of making the Modify tab more constant and reducing ribbon update time as well as flicker.
Another major interface change in Revit 2011 is the introduction of a modeless Properties Palette that allows element information to be quickly viewed without needing to select a command to open up the Properties dialog. In the 2011 interface, the Properties Palette is docked by default on the left above the Project Browser, but can be repositioned anywhere else or docked on the right of the interface.
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This article is excerpted from "Revit Architecture 2011" by Lachmi Khemlani, copyright © 2010, with permission of the publisher, AECbytes.