Tag Archives: command line

Adventures in Typing

There are some old habits that will probably never die with me. The one I want to blog about this time is typing. If you are an old-timer in AutoCAD (back in the pre-Windows era) you will remember that the two popular ways of getting a command into AutoCAD involved either this:

or this:


For you who don’t know what the latter one is, I refer you to this article.

I personally liked the first one UNLESS it involved a lisp routine or some other multi-chain of events that did something. It is beyond the scope of this blog to explain that! 🙂 The keyboard coupled with the command line was my biggest pal. As a matter of fact, for those still unsung AutoCAD, I would HIGHLY recommend looking at the command line. It tells you what it expects. And especially with release 12, you just start typing in something that autocomplete/lookup function will do the rest for you! I have fond memories in AutoCAD of typing in L for Line, CO for copy, etc. One of my AutoCAD pet peaves was when a user would sit there staring at the toolbars, ribbons, whatever to draw a line for an inordinate amount of time. For goodness sake, type L!!!!!

ANYWAYS, When  I jumped over to Revit, one of the first things that I looked for was good old L for Line. OOPS! Not there! Or is it? Revit DOES come with a keyboard shortcut set, but it might not be what you are expecting if you are looking for the same keyboard shortcuts as AutoCAD.

In Revit, if you type KS from the keyboard, you will see a window pop up with all kinds of useful information:

In this dialog box, you will see the commands filtered  by how they appear on the ribbon. So, to find out how to draw a line in Revit, type LINE in the search bar. It will find all occurrences of line based on the filter. I found the one that I use a lot using the Annotate filter. DL for Detail Line. Of course, if you are a die-hard AutoCAD user, you can change the DL to L. But! Here is one thing that you AutoCAD faithful-converts-to-Revit need to know:

Remember when I said to type KS above? What would be the very next thing you AutoCADies would do? I’ll give you a pictorial hint 🙂

DON’T DO IT!!! You will become frustrated wondering why your command doesn’t work. In Revit, pretty much all of the keyboard shortcuts are two letters.When you press enter, you are effectively canceling out that typed in command. And Revit knows what you are typing, so when you type the second letter it knows. Like a filter, if you will. But, once again, if you REALLY want to change the DL to L, you can. You WILL have to hit the return key for single letter commands.

While we’re taking about good old days using AutoCAD, here is something else that is missing from Revit:

The Command line! Or is it?? It is there, but not really as you would expect it to work. Look at the bottom left of your Revit screen. While using a command; in my case placing a duct, look at the bottom and observe what it is asking you to do? Isn’t that what a command line does?

So, I hope this helps you as it did for me.