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May 04, 2009


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I use a combination of 2 and 3 when necessary. I press the spacebar until its more or less how I need it, then I click to place, then I make the final rotation. I say leave it as is. I don't like option 1, not because its an extra click, but because its unnecessary if you leave it as it is today.

Thanks for listening.

Current behaviour is good - please do not waste time analyzing this - spend the time on the many wish list items already out there. I don't remember seeing this on a wish list.

I use option 2, which most users know about anyway, even new users.

But, this is an indication of Autodesk having their priorities wrong. You shouldn't be focusing on insignificant issues such as this anyway.

You should be focusing on questions about the Ribbon to get that fixed, or as Daniel has mentioned, other higher priority wishlist items.

Just on option 2, rather than changing the UI in an attempt to make things more "discoverable", why not make the UI more informative. Two ideas;

1. On the expanded ToolTip, why not indicate that a user can use the Spacebar to rotate an object before placement.

2. Use the already in-built help search at the top-right. When a command is run, Revit drops down from the search some relevant help topics that could provide some extended learning information.

For a Component object you might get;
- Components
- Loading Families
- Spacebar
- Flipping Elements

When the command is finished, the help topics list disappears.

Revit already has a Tooltip assistance setting in the Options, so the level of suggested information can be subdued for advanced users.

You can't use the UI to present the user with every possible command or option as has already been proven in 2010, but you can assist them in where to look should they choose to seek out more.

If you want to know the truth, I don't think I have ever used the "rotate after placement" feature. I use the space bar to rotate items after placement. If I need precision, I use the rotate command. You are correct, the snapping to nearby items is a relatively hidden feature, but I would blame that on documentation failings that should not be cured via UI.

Being able to pre-pick the point of rotation in the family would really help me, and can we use this with any inserted object instead of some?

I agree with Daniel and chad. I said leave it as it is. Take that time, have a vacation away from Autodesk, search your soul, clear your mind, and be creative, please

2 is well-known & useful. 3 is used and if others are needed then we would just copy as you suggested. I think you should leave 1 in there as it already there and other people may use it in their workflow.

no. 2 is well known as far as I am aware. I don't feel that this tool is over used and as you said was introduced out of specific circumstances. I have no problems as i do no. 3 and would rarely do number one anyway, so if there was no rotate button I wouldn't have an issue.

Although I use option 2 most of the time, option 1, which was problematic before the "listening" rotational input was added several releases ago, is a viable alternate in some situations. So now, click to place, then click-drag the center icon, click a start ray point, and finally rotate in the desired direction and enter an angular value on the keyboard.

But lets talk about the rotate command, itself. I am not sure it has ever made the an AUGI top ten, but I know improvements for this command have been much discussed and posted as a wish on at least one list (besides my own). In my opinion, the biggest problem is with the "click-drag the center icon" part. After selecting one (or many) objects to rotate, Revit has always assumed that the user wanted to rotate around the geometric center of the the object or group. In my experience, this is rarely the case, and thus requires a full zoom-out to find the little blue icon hiding somewhere in the view.

In my opinion, a better, more intuitive work flow would be: invoke the Rotate command, Revit [simply] changes the active cursor to the rotate icon, allowing the user to quickly zoom/pan/click to set the desired center, and then click the start and end ray points, or enter a value. Having to zoom way out, and search for the little blue icon has always seemed to me like an unnecessary waste of time.

Nice to see some effort to get feedback that is visible by all and can be tossed around with everyone. It should result in some more thoroughly thought out and developed features and fixes. It would be nice if you had a forum like AUGI that only Autodesk could start new thread to solicit feedback and users could subscribe to get notified that feedback is needed. Good luck in your test and I hope to see more open feedback avenues in the future such as this.

We don't do much column work let alone rotate them but I don't see anything wrong with the current functionality.

I use the space bar to rotate objects all the time, just yesterday I used it for about a hundred objects each aligned slightly differently and made a note to myself at what a great feature (and super easy to use) it was. I am aware of the "rotate after placement function" but never remember to use it, the spacebar is so much more convenient, and more accurate since it's aligning to objects already in the scene.

I agree with the posts above that an extra tool tip is all this function needs. Alternately you could ADD a rotate function to the right click menu when you right click on an object. Multiple right click menu's (like 3ds Max) would let you keep the current view related right click menu options and add a group of object specific right click options such as rotate and mirror (which are the two functions I use most after placing an object when the space bar doesn't get me where I need to be).

BTW, the space bar rotation feature isn't just useful for columns, I actually use it most for detail components. Also, for objects such as doors and windows which have the blue control arrows, space bar flips them... a very intelligent aspect of the feature.

Thanks for asking, we appreciate the great start.


Thanks for the answers and responses. It is very helpful to get this kind of response in a short time and I will try to make this a regular event.

Some comments:

-There is a chance some might have misunderstood parts of this post. The three options I outlined are not new designs but additional existing behavior. If this changes any answers just add another comment.

-Re: wishlist items. I wish I could have 100% control over what my projects are but it is the same as it is for many of you. This said I do take feedback and pass it along when appropriate. General feedback on the release is reaching the right people. I also represent Autodesk, and so don't want to discourage these comments, but will re-iterate that feedback around the post is most helpful to the task at hand.

-Many of these comments in this post are fantastic in explaining what is useful and why.

-Re: Ribbon work. I have a lot of data and feedback on the 2010 ribbon implementation. Since this post is very helpful I will see about posting some ideas to address and confirm those issues. Perhaps we can verify areas of focus and explore possible solutions. Stay tuned.

Re: Futures forum. I think this is a great idea and there is internal discussion around this. It is tricky to discuss new work without an NDA but we'll try to work it out. For now we can leverage the blog a bit or AUGI.

Thank you all again.

I have used it for placing things such as chairs around a round table (sure I could have also used an array command) or placing lights in an odd ceiling plan but simply relying on the spacebar would be just fine although I do really like the suggestion of having tool tips appear that tell me I can use the spacebar to rotate, that would be VERY helpful.

I rarely use rotate on placement, but that's really due to the shortcomings of the rotate command, rather than any particular workflow issues. I think the best workflow situation is using the spacebar to rotate during placement; this is one of the first things new users are taught, so its discoverability is a non-issue for us (we think it's ok for people to have learn without the software holding their hands).

I do want to echo the responses about the shortcomings of the rotate command in general: click-and-drag to change the base point prevents access to specific snaps, and one cannot pick a base angle to start the rotation from. Most users come from Autocad, and when basic tools such as rotate are more powerful in the old tool than in the new supposedly new tool, users get frustrated. Mirror could use serious attention, too. Fundamental editing tools are our bread-and-butter everyday use of the software.

If Autodesk does leave rotate-on-placement as-is, I would at least like to see it remember its last-used state. When someone has a desired way f working, and they have to manually initiate it every time, that is really frustrating.

Must admit I hardly use it too because of the one pick afterward restriction. Re the rotation point: I think if the element is a single item like a user family then Revit should sense the "Defines Origin" set in that family as the default rotation/base. It's the automatic bounding box concept that makes this feature un-useable. OK when it is in the Rotate command for a selection set of elements with no common base but not a specific element.

Users in our office intuitively figured out #2 because of the space bar's functionality for flipping doors -- aligning columns to an angled grid is evidently a mentally related task to flipping a door or wall :-D

Option 1 falls out of the Ribbon's new mental model -- keep that one too. Option 3 is the "manual" option which seems to me a keeper as well.

Keep them all!

When placing multiple columns on angled grids (grids not at 0 or 90°), our users go down two roads:

1 - column tool remains active, at each column placement users tap spacebar
2 - first column is placed, rotated, then the copy tool is used for placing the remaining columns


Squeaky wheels get the attention, right? :-)

WES, I'm not sure about that 100%.
I agree that most people would prefer to always place it rather than always have it in the center. However, as Rich says in the post above yours, If we could define an "Origin Point" when we create the Family, I'll bet that would take care of most of the need to move the Rotation Point. For Instance, a Wall Mounted Toilet is always going to rotate about it's center line at the wall.

I'm in agreeance with Rich. The origin defined by the Define Origin parameter of Reference Planes in a family should be used.

The behaviour of the placement and then rotation of an object is quite inconsistent. Lets say the insertion origin is in the bottom left corner for an object, but when you use the "Rotate after placement", the rotation axis goes to the center of the object.
It's hard to understand why this would have even been programmed this way in the first instance?

But Wes also has a good point. When you need to rotate a selection of objects, there needs to be a better way to locate the axis. This request has been around for years.

These are the UI improvements the community have been requesting to improve productivity, not a bling UI. This is one of the reasons why the UI hasn't been received well, because Autodesk has failed to improve on it, by not implementing old suggestions such as the above.

Hey, as long as we're at it, I've always wondered why you can see the actual object when you place a family, but when you go to Move or Rotate, all you get is the Bounding Box. Huh? Why can't we see the full graphics of the object(s) we're Rotating real-time?

I say leave all three as is, there is too much concern about "discoverability". We teach our users the space bar, the ones who want to continue to use it, other don't.

I think it would be more useful to be able to start placing a component, and define a consistent rotation, so if I want to place 3 desks, all rotated the same way, let me define rotation and have it "stick" while the place command is still active.

Getting a bit off topic, with rotation point locations, but the way I look at it... insertion point and rotation point are two different things. Ideally the rotation point and insertion point could be parameterized so that they could be located with some intelligence with respect to the geometry, parameters, and constraints. Also both should be definable in all three dimensions. I have a wall hosted family that refuses to obey my elevation insertion definition.

all 3 have their place
+ you should be able to Pick the Rotation axis
and...Why can't we have Move, Rotate,Copy Align etc in the Right Click Menu is this an outdated UI Thing???

-Re: wishlist items. I wish I could have 100% control over what my projects are but it is the same as it is for many of you.

Erik: I understand you work for others. But again, I must state that the functionality of the ribbon relative to the rotate command should not be your biggest concern at the moment. Tell your boss.

RE: "I must state that the functionality of the ribbon relative to the rotate command should not be your biggest concern at the moment."

This is an assumption. Many of us are working very hard at looking at the issues identified to develop a solution. This was mentioned in my comment above. I know I think about it constantly. It will just take a bit of time.
What any of us post or even visible features in a release don't always reflect internal efforts but I will try to focus more on these issues soon to get feedback on ideas.

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