Revit Interface and Terminology

Revit Interface, Terminology, and Sketching

If you are new to the Revit Architecture environment, this introduction is a good start. Here is a terminology of the various Revit Architecture tools and function.

  • Tutorial 1

Revit Interface

When you open Revit Architecture, you see a window that looks like the image shown here.

Working through the exercises, you will be performing functions such as:

  • • Using the menus.
  • • Using the design bar tools to add things to the project.
  • • Using the toolbar tools to modify things with Copy, Move, Align, and Split tools.
  • • Using the project browser to change views or set views current.

Menu System:

Click the menu item to view a list. Many of the menu functions have flyout functions as well.


Revit Architecture includes a series of tools on toolbars immediately below the menu system. In Revit Architecture, these toolbars provide access to common functions such as New, Save, and Print as well as modify functions such as Copy, Move, and Trim.

Design Bar:

The design bar is the area on the far left of the Revit Architecture drawing window. The design bar contains most of the tools to add components such as walls, doors, windows, desks, and chairs, as well as schedules, tags, and section or elevation marks.

design bar

The design bar has many tabs. Each tab such as Basics, View, Modeling, and more, appears as a rectangle with the title on it. Each tab contains its own set of tools. Change to a different tab by left clicking the tab.

Options Bar:

The options bar is where you adjust properties of the objects as you are drawing them. You can also use the options bar to modify an object’s properties after it is in the project. The options bar can be confusing to some new users. Appearing immediately below the toolbar, it may look like just another toolbar. Image bellow shows the options bar while adding a wall.

The contents of the options bar are fluid. What appears on the options bar is determined by the command/tool you are currently using.

The image shows the options bar with while adding a door. As you are learning Revit Architecture, pay attention to the options bar. It provides a convenient location to modify the common properties of the tool you are currently using.

Revit Architecture Workflow"

This section describes adding objects, using the design bar and the options bar in sequence. When you add an object to the project, you pick an object to add from one of the design bar tabs (area 1). Before you click in the drawing window, you set the variables in the options bar (area 2). Then proceed to use the tool in the drawing window (area 3).

This is a general rule, and as you become familiar with Revit Architecture, you may find it easier to add the objects directly into the drawing window, skipping the options bar and modifying the elements after. As you are learning, at least look at the variables presented on the options bar as you use the design bar and the toolbar commands.

Status Bar:

At the lower-left corner of the screen is a portion of the window that is the status bar. Again, as a new user you may find it beneficial to watch what is happening at this area of the window. The status bar serves two purposes.

The first function is to alert you to what you do next. This works while you are adding objects such as a wall, as well as when you are using the other tools such as Copy, Trim, or Align.

The second function is to alert you to what you are selecting. If you are not in a command and you hover your cursor over an object, the status bar displays what that object is. If you have several objects in the same location, you can use TAB to cycle through the objects at that location.

Workspace View Bar The Drawing View menu is also located near the bottom-left side of the screen just below the drawing area. The Drawing View menu provides access to some of the view’s properties such as intended plotting scale, detail level, and the Hide/Isolate Objects in Current View functions.

Project Browser"

The project browser is located between the design bar and the drawing area.

The project browser is the navigation control of the project. Each view of the project is listed in a tree organization. You access these views by double clicking the view name. Below the views are listed the families (building component definitions) that are currently loaded into the project for you to use.