Category: Revit, User Interface

Common Revit UI Issues: Part 1

It can be extremely frustrating having to deal with Revit user interface (UI) issues while trying to learn Revit. Or, it can be very difficult to learn Revit when part of the UI is not even available! I’ve helped people before that had closed a portion of the Revit UI and didn’t even know it. In this post, I want to address how to resolve some common Revit UI issues as well as share some UI tips. If you are just getting started with Revit, then you need to read this!

To begin, let’s cover some basic Revit UI terms. I think it’s very important to go by the Revit UI terminology that Autodesk uses. That way everyone is on the same page, and it matches the Revit Help system and tooltips. If everyone calls various UI components whatever they want, then it can be difficult when they start to help new users or try to help each other with a specific workflow.

Now that we’re on the same page, let’s look at some common Revit UI question that I get often.

In Revit, I closed the Properties palette. How do I get it back?

There are two UI controls for the Properties palette. First, on the Modify ribbon, there is a Properties panel on the far left. You can click Properties to toggle the Properties palette on and off.

Additionally, you can switch to the View ribbon, and then in the Windows panel, expand the User Interface button and select Properties. When a checkmark appears, that UI component will be available in Revit.

In Revit, I closed the Project Browser. How do I get it back?

To restore the Project Browser, switch to the View ribbon. Next, in the Windows panel, expand the User Interface button and select Project Browser. Once again, when a checkmark appears, that UI component will be available in Revit.

Additionally, check to see if the Project Browser and Properties palette have been combined. When combined, tabs will appear at the bottom to switch between the two.

The Properties palette or Project Browser is floating (un-docked). How do I dock it to the side of Revit?

Docking the Properties palette and Project Browser can be difficult as it takes a bit of a “feel” for how they behave. In other words, it is not as simple as click this and then click that. Essentially, you click and drag on the title bar and move it to the side that you want to dock it to. When your cursor is near the side, a preview of how the panel will dock appears. Once the preview appears like you want it to, release your left mouse button.

For the Properties palette to appear above the Project Browser, first dock the Project Browser to the left side. Then perform the same action with the Properties palette, but drag the title bar over the title bar of the Project Browser and adjust until the preview appears as half of the left panel. This will produce the configuration that Revit has “out of the box”.

This workflow is difficult to put into words. To get a better sense for how this works, check out the video below.

Combining the Properties Palette and Project Browser

If you wish, you can combine the Properties palette and Project Browser. Then each will fill the entire panel on the left and you can use the tabs at the bottom to switch between them. To begin, undock either the Properties palette or Project Browser. Then with one docked, click and drag the title bar of the other over the title bar of the one that is docked. When the preview appears along the entire panel, release your left mouse button. You will then have two tabs at the bottom that you can use to switch between the two.

How do I reset the Project Browser and Properties palette in Revit?

If you are having major issues with adjusting or docking the Project Browser and Properties palette, you can simply reset them. For Revit 2019 through the most recent release, follow these steps.

1) Open a File Explorer on your computer and enter “%APPDATA%” into the address bar

2) In the AppData > Roaming folder, navigate to Autodesk > Revit > Autodesk Revit {Release Year}

3) Locate the RevitUILayout.xml file and delete it. Or save a backup copy in another location and then delete it. I recommend deleting it based on the following observations during testing:

* Simply renaming the file does not reset the Project Browser and Properties palette based on my testing.

* Changing the file extension as recommended by Autodesk did reset the Project Browser and Properties palette during my testing, but a new RevitUILayout.xml was not created to save future changes.

4) Close Revit and then reopen it. When you do, a new RevitUILayout.xml file will be created and the Project Browser and Properties palette will be reset.

For Revit 2018 and earlier, take a look at this article on the Autodesk Knowledge Network.

https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/revit-products/learn-explore/caas/sfdcarticles/sfdcarticles/How-to-reset-the-Autodesk-Revit-ribbon-toolbar-and-browser-to-default-settings.html

Since this post is getting rather long, I’ll stop here and create a part 2. In the next post I will cover additional Revit UI issues.

It can be extremely frustrating having to deal with Revit user interface (UI) issues while trying to learn Revit. Or, it can be very difficult to learn Revit when part of the UI is not even available! If you are just getting started with Revit, then you need to read this!

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