It’s comforting to stay with one software version for a while. You know what works and what doesn’t work. Your mouse knows where to click on each menu with nary a glance from you. Trouble is, a year becomes a couple years, and before you know it, you’re using a six-year-old version and spending precious time each day on workarounds and rigmarole. But what if . . . you embrace the new version of Revit now and spend that time playing fetch with your dog (after you Google the word rigmarole)?
In developing version 2019, Autodesk incorporated user ideas and suggestions to make this the latest and greatest version by modernizing the user experience.
- There are now tabbed views for using a secondary monitor. You can take your tabbed views and drag them to a secondary monitor to view your project layout the way you want to view it. [And, hey, if you’re not doing this, treat your hardworking self to that second monitor – they’re more economical than ever!] When you log on for the first time, you’ll notice that the interface changed for the application menu. You don’t have your big application menu anymore. But you do still have your resources and your project and families.
- The versioning features allow for a new naming convention for your different versions (so you know not to upgrade a specific file – a horror none of us wants to relive). This is shown in the “Open” dialog box (which is the best way to open your projects in Revit for the audit and now for versioning as well). The new naming convention allows you to minimize the length of names, since you don’t have to include the version anymore. It shows up on the Start screen and is something we’ve been requesting for quite a while.
- Docking and tiling are improved. You can switch between tiled views and tabbed views. AutoCAD and Revit users know that, to control a palette, you have to grab it by the banner or the title bar. Views are tabbed now, so you can just tab through them instead of switching back and forth with accelerator keys on the keyboard.
- Palettes are easier to dock. It used to be hard to get them back to stacked. Sure, we still wish for right-click capability, but now when you drag them, a blue shaded box pops up to show you the placement of the palette itself – high or across the top. This ties in with tab views. You can drag title-to-title or banner-to-banner. When you see the blue shaded box, the tabs show at the bottom. It takes a little bit to figure out the best way to make this work. To get them stacked right on top of each other, it’s title to title. It’s all new in the 2019 version, so if you have a little experience moving these around, it’s something you can do to give you the most real estate on your screen.
- Views usability is improved. Another Revit enhancement is to three dimensional views (perspective view, ortho view). The orthographic view gives you a nice clean rendering shot – a better look to the model. If you switch it on the view cube (with a right click) you can switch to a more perspective view from ortho. This is a new option for you to show your clients 3D models.
- Starting with the ortho view, you can also see your levels now in 3D. Since we now have them available, we’ll find more and more uses for this feature. For instance turn them on for setting your scale. When you set your levels in 3D, they actually show on the plane – so you can see the planes in three dimensions when you’re working with the levels. Annotation works the same – the datum heads – and you can turn on the data. By the way, some of you may be wondering about a stack option for fractional dimensions, but it’s not available yet. When you’re in a perspective view, levels may not show up very well, but in the ortho view you’ll see them just fine.
- If you delete a level – and that’s something you should never do, right? – if it has geometry associated with it, a warning box pops up to tell you the number of elements and views that will be deleted. (Maybe it should have a skull and crossbones background…) The warning tells you what’s going on before you make a mistake like that. Always ask before you delete a level. And always read the warnings – don’t ignore them.
- There may not be a way to update all the rendering asset files at the same time yet, but updating one asset at a time does give you an opportunity to catch mistakes and document and track problems.
Now, you may decide to explain these modern Revit improvements to your dog to see if he loves them. But chances are, he just wants to hang out with you for a while and fetch a stick, leaving the improved, more immersive Revit 2019 experience – without the rigmarole – to you.