Revit Shortcuts – What you need to know

Revit offers a wide range of features to let you create your model. Each function is accessible through dedicated buttons with different icons. However, using these manual interactions is excessively time-consuming and inefficient. You can enhance your productivity and speed by using and learning the Revit Shortcuts, or even creating your own Shortcuts.

Almost every function in Revit can be attached to a Shortcut, you can think of functions in categories such as Annotations, Walls, Snaps, Modify tab, etc. Also, it is possible to add Shortcuts to functions from Add-Ins for example.

In this article, we are going to take a look at what Keyboard Shortcuts are and how to set up or modify Revit Shortcuts. Additionally, I will give some tips and tricks on using the Revit Shortcuts.

Revit Shortcuts Overview

Revit Keyboard Shortcuts are exactly what they are like, fast and convenient shortcuts that you can activate using your keyboard. When executing a command in Revit, you can use a keystroke consisting of one to five letters or numbers, with the last key executing the command. It is generally recommended to use a combination of two letters, two numbers, or a combination of both. Using a Shortcut with one letter or number mostly requires you to use the Enter or Spacebar key to execute because you probably have other shortcuts starting with the same character.

Many functions in Revit have a Keyboard Shortcut by default, but there are also a lot of features that do not have a default shortcut. You can modify the existing Shortcuts or add new ones to these commands. You can find the complete list with default keyboard Shortcuts in Revit here.

Using the keyboard Shortcuts in Revit will increase your workflow and productivity. Sometimes, finding a particular command in the user interface can be a time-consuming task, because it might be hidden in a pulldown menu, for example. Furthermore, it is taking away your focus from the task you are currently working on, which makes it inefficient. So in other words, if you execute a Shortcut by using the keyboard, you will save time and not lose your focus.


Did you know that there are special CAD Keyboards on the market that have programmable keys to assign commands and improve your productivity? Top 5 – Best Keyboards for CAD and Revit

Revit Shortcuts Rules

As I mentioned earlier, having keyboard Shortcuts that are easy to remember and execute would be beneficial. Ideally, these Shortcuts should consist of one to three letters or numbers. Nevertheless, Revit has a guideline for Shortcuts, which gives you more insight into what you can use. The guidelines are outlined below:

  • The keyboard Shortcut can consist of a maximum of five alphanumeric keys.
  • You can specify shortcuts with Ctrl, Shift, and Alt with an additional single alphanumeric key. (Ctrl + A or CTRL + SHIFT + A, for example).
  • You are allowed to add multiple Shortcuts for a Revit command.
  • You can add the same keyboard Shortcut to multiple functions.
  • You are unable to add or modify Shortcuts that have reserved keys (Ctrl + P: Print, for example).
revit keyboard shortcuts
Recognize Reserved Shortcuts by the grey display and angle brackets, <Ctrl + P>


When you use the Alt key in a Shortcut, you need to combine it with either Ctrl or Shift at the very least.

Does my Function have a Shortcut Assigned?

In Revit, you can check whether your functions have a Shortcut assigned already by hovering over the command and checking the tooltip. Make sure you enabled the Tooltip in Revit’s Options > User Interface Tab > Tooltip assistance > set it to Minimal at least.

In the Screenshot below you see an example of the Move command with a Shortcut assigned to it, which can be found between the parenthesis: MM. If you can’t find anything listed in the tooltip (after the command name), then there is no Shortcut assigned to the command.

revit shortcut assigned
Assigned Shortcuts can be found in the Tooltip of the Command

Keyboard Shortcuts

You can modify keyboard Shortcuts in Revit to your requirements. To add new shortcuts or modify the default ones in Revit, you can utilize the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog. There are primarily two main ways to open the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog by using the interface in Revit. The fastest way is by using the Shortcut: KS, who would have thought that?

Follow the steps outlined below:

1. Revit Options

  1. Open the File tab
  2. Click on Options
  3. Select the User Interface tab
  4. Click Customize… at the Keyboard Shortcuts parameter in the Configure panel.
keyboard shortcuts

2. Revit Ribbon

  1. Go to the View tab
  2. Click on the User interface dropdown menu in the Windows panel
  3. Select Keyboard Shortcuts
revit keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard Shortcuts Menu

Once you have opened the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog, you can modify the shortcuts for each command in Revit. In section [A], you can search and use a filter to find your command. Inside the Search field, you can enter a part or whole name of the command. The command list [B] displays any commands that match any part of the words you entered. Please note that the Search field is not case-sensitive.

In addition to the Search field, you can use the Filter to narrow down the search area. When you use the Search field and Filter, the Assignments will only display commands that match both criteria. The filter contains four main categories:

  • All: Shows all Commands.
  • All Defined: This shows you all already Defined Commands.
  • All Not Defined: This displays all Commands that are currently not defined yet.
  • All reserved: Shows all Commands that are hardcoded in Revit software and which you cannot modify.

You can also filter on a Revit tab, for example, the Architecture tab. In this case, you can see all Commands that exist in this tab, including Windows, Walls, Levels, etc.

keyboard shortcuts dialog
Keyboard Shortcuts dialog in Revit


To sort the list in alphanumeric order, click on the column headings: Command, Shortcuts, or Paths.

Add or Remove Keyboard Shortcuts

Once you have located your Command in the Assignments section, you can assign a key to it by following the steps below:

  1. Select the Command from the Assignments section
  2. Enter your preferred key sequence
  3. Click the Assign button

To remove a Shortcut key, select the Command > Click on the Shortcut on the Shortcuts column > Click Remove. Optional: to remove multiple Shortcut keys, press the Ctrl button while making your selection.

revit shortcuts
Assign or Remove Shortcuts in the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog

After you have finished modifying the Shortcuts you can click OK to apply. If you accidentally click the Esc, Close, or Cancel buttons, a Warning dialog will notify you that changes are not saved. In this case, you can still click Save Changes or Discard if needed.

save changes

Import Revit Shortcuts

In Revit, it is possible to import keyboard Shortcuts from a text (.txt) or .XML file. This feature becomes beneficial when your colleagues have well-thought-out shortcuts and wish to share them with you. I also utilize this function every year during the company’s migration to a newer release of Revit.

You can find the default installation folder of the Keyboard Shortcuts under: %APPDATA%\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit XXXX

To import a Keyboard Shortcut file in Revit, follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Open the Keyboard Shortcut dialog by using the shortcut: KS
  2. Click on Import > Import Keyboard Shortcut File dialog opens > Choose Files of type: .XML or .txt
  3. Navigate to your Keyboard Shortcut file > Click Open
import revit shortcuts
  1. A warning dialog asks you to choose from two options, Merge or Overwrite existing Shortcuts. Select your preferred option.
merge or overwrite
  • Merge with existing Shortcut settings: You can choose this option to merge existing Shortcuts with the imported ones. In short, your list retains the existing Shortcuts while new ones are added.
  • Overwrite existing Shortcut settings: You can use this option to overwrite existing Shortcuts with the imported ones. All current Shortcuts will be lost and not preserved.

An alternative route to add Keyboard Shortcuts is to replace the .txt or .XML file directly into the folder: %APPDATA%\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit XXXX. Please take note that when you import a Shortcut file from within Revit, Revit will also place the Keyboard Shortcuts file into this folder. The file will be renamed to KeyboardShortcuts - Date / Time of import.

keyboard shortcuts file
After importing, Revit automatically places the Keyboard Shortcuts file into the folder

Export Revit Shortcuts

You can also export Revit Shortcuts through the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog. The output of this export is an .XML file. You can save this file to any folder you like and use it as a backup file, or share it with your colleagues. Furthermore, you can use the exported file to open in spreadsheet software like Excel for additional organization purposes.

To export a Keyboard Shortcut file in Revit, follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Open the Keyboard Shortcut dialog by using the shortcut: KS
  2. Click on Export
  3. Navigate to the desired folder to save the file
  4. Enter a File name for your Shortcuts > Click Save
export revit shortcuts


You can make a PDF or hardcopy from the .XML file allowing you to keep it for quick reference and expedited learning of your shortcuts.

Reset Revit Shortcuts

If you have made any mistakes in your Revit Shortcuts and do not have the default Shortcut file available, you can reset them. You can do this by going to this folder: %APPDATA%\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit XXXX and delete the KeyboardShortcuts.xml file. After you restart Revit, it will reset the Shortcuts. When you modify a Shortcut, Revit will automatically place a new Shortcut file into the folder.

reset shortcuts
Delete the KeyboardShortcuts file to reset Revit Shortcuts

Use Revit Keyboard Shortcuts

As mentioned earlier, you can execute commands by pressing a particular keystroke in Revit. The last key of the Shortcut triggers the function. But did you know that you can check the status bar to track your matching Shortcuts?

Whenever you start the keystroke of your Shortcut, the status bar indicates the first matching Shortcut with its attached command. To cycle through additional matching Shortcuts, you can utilize the status bar combined with the arrow keys on your keyboard. To cycle through, press the down arrow or right arrow key, and to cycle backward, use the up arrow or left arrow key. You can execute the command shown in the status bar without finishing the remaining keys, by pressing the Enter or Spacebar key.

status bar
Cycle through additional matching Shortcuts by using the arrow keys

If you do not have additional matching Shortcuts for the pressed keys, the status bar will display nothing. This also applies to Shortcuts starting with keys such as Ctrl, Shift, and Alt.

ALT User Interface Shortcuts

Revit has the possibility to let you use predefined ALT-Shortcuts as an alternative for your mouse cursor. This kind of hybrid method allows you to navigate through the user interface of Revit.

In my opinion, this is not very efficient because it requires you to use multiple keystrokes instead of executing the command straight forward. Besides that, the dropdown menus still require you to use the tab and arrow keys to pick a command. You can follow the steps below to use ALT-shortcuts:

In this example, I demonstrate the Shortcut for placing a Window family through the ALT method.

  1. Open a view to work > Press the ALT button to toggle the Shortcuts
  2. Enter the number(s) to activate a command from the Quick Acces Toolbar, or letter(s) to open a tab. In this case, pressing [A] will open the Architecture tab.
  3. When the tab is opened you can enter the letter(s) for the command. In this case, pressing [N] will execute the Window command.
alt shortcuts
ALT Shortcuts to navigate through the user interface of Revit

Tips and Tricks

Last but not least, here are some additional tips and tricks to enhance your efficiency when working with Shortcuts in Revit.

  • You can use the enter key to repeat your last command (also used in Autodesk Autocad).
  • When having multiple views open, you can fast-cycle through the views by using the Ctrl + (Shift) + Tab buttons. You can add the Shift button for reverse cycling. Note: You can also change the switch order to the previously opened tab by going to the Options in Revit > Select History order.
view switching
Change View switching order in Revit Options
  • When you place elements or sketch lines in Revit, you can use object snaps to align with existing geometry. Revit Snaps allow you to place geometry more precisely and save plenty of time, increasing productivity, especially while using the Keyboard Shortcuts. For more information, I recommend reading this comprehensive article: Revit Snaps – Everything you need to know.
  • You can add Shortcuts to third-party Add-Ins commands or to your custom-made Dynamo tools via the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog.
plugin revit shortcuts
Custom-added Shortcut to a Dynamo Tool in Revit
  • You can control most of the tools that contain options in the Options Bar of Revit by using the Shift or Ctrl button. When executing a command, hold the Shift button for Constraining or Multiple Alignment, and hold the Ctrl button for Copy. For the Rotate function, you can use Spacebar to place a new Center of rotation. To rotate or flip objects while placing them or after they have been placed, you can also utilize the Spacebar.
option bar
Selection of Revit commands with options that you can control by Shift and Ctrl button


When Revit Keyboard Shortcuts do not execute or trigger any command, you can troubleshoot the issue by verifying if your keyboard language is set to ENG. You can switch the keyboard language using the Windows key + spacebar combination to cycle through the available options.

Wrapping Up

Revit has a lot of functions for creating a model. These functions are accessible through buttons in the user interface. Using these buttons by manually clicking them can be very time-consuming and inefficient. By learning and utilizing Shortcuts in Revit, you can significantly enhance your productivity.

You can assign a Shortcut to almost every feature in Revit, including Revit Snaps and functions from Add-Ins. Make sure you back up your Shortcuts and remember that you can share them with your colleagues and migrate them to newer versions of Revit.

I hope this article helped you to understand how Revit Shortcuts work and how to set up and modify Shortcuts. If you have any questions, tips, or tricks I did not mention, feel free to leave a comment.

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