Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Rotate Tool

When we start the rotate tool the first task is to decide if the origin of the rotation is correct. Revit usually places the origin at the center of the extents of the selected elements. Put another way it's rarely where we really want it, but then how could it really know what I want. We've got three techniques to choose from to put the origin where we want it:
  • Place button (Options Bar)
  • Space Bar (equal to clicking Place button)
  • Click + Drag the origin icon.

Using the Place button or Space bar we just have to click where the origin ought to be. Using Click + Drag we need to click on the origin icon (left mouse button), click + drag it to the correct location.

Once we're satisfied with the origin we can enter a specific angle value on the Options Bar and press the Enter key. The rotation uses a counter-clockwise rotation from 0 through 360 degrees. Entering 45 degrees will cause this wall to end up like this. To get the reverse we just provide a negative value instead.

If we prefer a more visual approach we can rotate by defining an angle with two clicks. The first pick/click defines the start ray of an angle and the second the end ray. If we know the angle value we can just type the value after the first click (start ray), the listening dimension that appears when we move our cursor away from the start ray will accept the value. If we are attempting to rotate elements based on other elements then we just need to click on them with the start and end ray pick/clicks.

An often overlooked option is Copy, located on the Options Bar. This turns Rotate into Rotate AND Copy. Just remember to check the box for Copy before you make your last Pick/Click to define the angle of rotation. Edit: Andreas reminded me in a comment that we can activate the Copy option by pressing the CTRL key. Lot's of subtle options for just one little command eh?


Danny Jones said...

Love the space bar tip! Thanks Steve!

Andreas Dieckmann said...

Note that when defining the angle by clicking you can also switch to copy mode by holding down the ctrl key.

Greg@L2D said...

It would be great if when creating a family you could specify the rotation location within the family!

Peter in Maryland said...

Back in 1956, I wrote to Autodesk complaining about the rotation basepoint:

"Flaw #83. When rotating a fitting or valve, Revit does not attempt to use one of the connector points as a center of rotation – this should be the default, not the centroid of the assembly. Do some studies: How often is the centroid of the assembly the correct point of rotation? It’s likely far less than 1% of the time for all users in the universe."

For OOTB components, autodesk could make some attempt to select a logical basepoint - with parts and fittings, the insertion or connection point should be first, then cycle to the end, mid, other end. Obviously, for a length of wall, it may not be so obvious, but at least the program could ask "Basepoint?", so we wouldn't have to have a tutorial on something so bloody simple.

Thanks, anyway, for providing one.

Peter Tranberg said...

Great post...
Quick tip to Peter in Maryland:
Select the object to rotate and use the Shortcut (R3) then Revit automaticly asks for Center of Rotation.