The Revit MEP 2012 user interface is full of features designed to help you design and model efficiently. Some items are new, some have been modified, and some are the same as they have always been. The title bar at the top of the screen will still inform you of what file you are in and what view is currently active in the drawing area.
Options BarDespite the functionality of the ribbon with its contextual tabs, the Options Bar is still an important part of the user interface. This should be the first place you look when a tool or object in the project is selected. Though the number of options that appear may be limited for each command you use,
they are important to the task in which you are engaging. When placing Space objects, for example, pay close attention to the Upper Limit and Offset options to ensure proper space height.
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You can dock the Options Bar at the top of the screen, below the ribbon (which is the default location), or at the bottom of the screen, just above the status bar. Right-click on the Options Bar to change its docked position.
The Properties palette is a modeless dialog box that allows you to access the properties of items in your project. This feature reduces the number of mouse clicks necessary to access the properties of a model object or project component. You can dock the Properties palette to the sides of the screen, or it can float. If you dock the Properties palette to the same side of the screen as the
Project Browser, the two features will split the docked space, as shown in Figure 1.5.
If you do not have the Properties palette turned on, you can access it by clicking the Properties button located on the Modify tab or the contextual Modify tab of a selected object, or you can rightclick anywhere in the drawing area. The Properties palette will remain on until you close it.
When no object is selected in the model or in a drafting view, the Properties palette will display the properties of the current view in the drawing area. You can select a view in the Project Browser to view its properties in the Properties palette.
The top section of the Properties palette acts as the Type Selector when an object is selected or a tool is chosen for placing an object. When an object is selected, you can switch to the properties of the current view by using the drop-down list located just below the Type Selector, as shown in Figure 1.6.
Project Browser and Properties palette docked together12| Chapter 1 explorInGthe user InterfaCeThe properties shown in the Properties palette are instance properties. You can click the Edit Type button to display the Type Properties dialog box for a selected item or view. When viewing the instance properties of an object or view, the scroll bar at the right side of the palette will
hold its position when you move your mouse pointer away from the palette. The scroll bar will remain in position even when other items are selected in the model.
When you make a change to a parameter in the Properties palette, you can click the Apply button at the bottom-right corner of the palette to set the change. Alternatively, you can simply move your mouse pointer away from the palette, and the change will be applied.
view Control Bar
The View Control Bar is often overlooked, but it contains tools that are important to the display of the contents in the drawing area. There are a few changes to the View Control Bar in the Revit
MEP 2012 release.
The Visual Styles button now provides access to the Graphic Display Options dialog box. This dialog box has been updated with settings to control the visual display of the view. One of the new settings allows you to apply a transparency to surfaces in 3D views by selecting the Ghost Surfaces check box, as shown in Figure 1.7. The Shaded With Edges style is no longer
available in the Visual Styles menu. The option to show the edges of objects is now a check box in the Graphic Display Options dialog box.
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A new button has been added to the View Control Bar that enables you to save and lock the orientation of a 3D view. When a 3D view is locked, you can tag items in the view. You can zoom and pan in a locked view but you cannot orbit the model.
The button menu has options for unlocking the view, to allow orbiting, and for returning to the saved orientation. When you unlock a view, any tags applied in the view will not be displayed until it is returned to its saved orientation.
Another new button is for worksharing display options. This button contains a menu for controlling the display of worksets based on the settings defined in your project.
The Settings option on this button menu takes you to the Worksharing Display Settings dialog box, where you can establish the colors used for the various options of worksharing display.
You can apply colors to worksets based on who owns them, whether they are up-to-date, or simply by their name. Figure 1.8 shows the dialog box and settings for worksets colored by their name. Notice that, in the Apply Colors column, you can choose to show a workset’s color in the view by selecting its check box.
When you choose an option for worksharing display, a box will appear in the upper-left corner of the drawing area, indicating the option being displayed, as shown in Figure 1.9. These Figure 1.8Worksharing Display Settings dialog box14| Chapter 1 explorInGthe user InterfaCe settings take precedence over any view filters that may be applied to the view. If you override the graphics of a category in the view, only the changes to line weight will be applied (color overrides will not display).
To turn the Sun Path on or off in a view, you use the Sun Settings button. You can access the Sun Path settings by clicking the Edit button in the Graphic Display Options parameter of a view’s properties or from the Visual Styles button menu.
In the Visual Styles button menu, the Consistent Colors setting enables colors of objects to appear in a shaded view with the same consistency, regardless of the objects’ orientation to a light source. So when you are viewing the model in a 3D view, the color of all sides of an object looks the same. With the new Graphic Display Options dialog box, you can now add shadows
to a view that is set to Consistent Colors. The Realistic setting allows the rendering materials of objects to be displayed in an editable view. This setting works only if you have Hardware Acceleration turned on.
Take some time to explore the new visual styles by completing the following exercise. If you do not have Hardware Acceleration turned on, you can do so by clicking the Options button on the Application menu and going to the Graphics tab. You must do this prior to opening the Figure 1.9
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file. If activating Hardware Acceleration causes problems because of your video driver, you can choose not to activate it and skip step 5:
1. Open the Ch1_Project.rvtfile found at www.sybex.com/go/masteringrevitmep2012.
2. Click the Visual Styles button on the View Control Bar. Set Visual Style to Shaded. Zoom, pan, and orbit the view, and make note of the variations in color based on the model orientation.
3. Click the Visual Styles button and select Graphic Display Options. In the dialog box, select the Show Edges and Ghost Surfaces check boxes and then click Apply. Notice the change to the view. Deselect the Ghost Surfaces check box and click OK.
4. Click the Visual Styles button and change the style to Consistent Colors. Notice that the colors remain a consistent shade when you zoom, pan, and orbit the view.
5. Click the Visual Styles button and change the style to Realistic. Notice that the render material defined for the objects is now displayed.
6. Click any object in the model. If you do not already have the Properties palette active,
click the Properties button on the Properties panel of the contextual tab. Take some time to become familiar with the behavior of the Properties palette.
Status BarImprovements have been made to the status bar for Revit MEP 2012. The status bar not only reports information about a selected item and prompts with instructions for multilevel commands, but it also has an active workset indicator and design options indicator. The workset name is now displayed in front of its editable status.
Workset indicator Design Options indicator
You can access the Worksets dialog box by clicking the Worksets button next to the active workset window. You can switch between active worksets by clicking the window and selecting the desired workset. These are the same tools as found on the Collaborate tab, but having them
on the status bar eliminates the need to switch tabs on the ribbon to access them. This also eliminates the need to add the tools to the Quick Access toolbar (QAT). The Design Options window
displays the active design option, and you can access the Design Options dialog box by clicking the button.
The Editable Only and Press And Drag check boxes are located on the status bar. The Editable Only check box is for filtering a selection by only those objects that are editable in a worksharing environment, and the Press And Drag check box allows you to drag objects in the model without having to select them first. So, you can click an object and immediately drag it
when the box is selected. When the check box is deselected, you must first click to select the object, release your mouse button, and then click the object again to drag it. In some cases, you may want to deselect this box to avoid moving objects inadvertently when working in a crowded area of the model.
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You can access any editing requests by clicking the small button next to the active workset indicator. This will open the Editing Request dialog box, which displays any pending requests by others to borrow elements. This dialog box also displays any requests made by you to other users.
Next to the button is an indicator that shows the number of requests that are currently pending.
When a user places a request to edit an element that you own or are borrowing, you will receive a notification dialog box of the request. The request will remain in the list of pending requests until action is taken.
The Info Center is the portion of the title bar that gives you quick access to the Help menu or
information about Revit MEP 2012. The search window allows you to search for information about a topic.
You can easily access the Subscription Center by clicking the button with a key on it. Any topics found in the search window or listed in the Subscription Center panel can be added to your Favorites list by clicking the star icon to the right of the topic. Clicking the star button on the Info Center will list all your favorite topics. The Help menu is displayed by clicking the question mark button. Revit MEP 2012 has a web-based Help menu. You can access additional information by clicking the arrow next to the Help button, as shown in Figure 1.10.