Autodesk Revit: Moving Elements

In this Autodesk Revit tutorial I am going to show you different methods available to you for moving elements within your model. You may wish to watch the video version of this tutorial first…..



In order to demonstrate the differing methods of moving elements, I am going to use a very simple model- 3 walls, a door and a desk….

First of all let’s just move the door along the wall to the right….

The first method I am going to show is quite simply to “drag and drop”. Hover over the door with your cursor, click and hold the left mouse button and (whilst continuing to hold you mouse button down) move your cursor along the wall. The door will follow your cursor. Simply release the mouser button to place the door in it’s new location.


If this method does not work for you it is probably because you have the “Move by dragging” option toggled off. Take a look at the bottom right hand side of the Revit application window. You will see a row of small icons. Near the centre is an icon of a cursor and “Move” Symbol…..




Make sure this icon does NOT have a red cross against it. There may be times when you actually do NOT want to (accidentally) drag an element from it’s current position- this is exactly what this icon is for, so you can toggle the facility on and off as required.

OK, let’s look at the second method of moving elements. For this example we are going to move the desk. Go ahead and select the desk…..


Notice how the ribbon changes to give you a context-sensitive “Modify Furniture” menu. Go ahead and select the “Move” tool. Notice on the Options Bar that you have the facility to “Constrain” the movement of the element to the vertical and horizontal axis…..



This “Move” tool works on the principle of displacement- by that I mean you choose a starting point and then an end point and Revit moves the element the same distance & angle as the path between the two points. So let’s pick the start point- I am going to choose a corner of the desk….

Now as I move my cursor to the left, I see a dashed bounding box that acts as a ‘preview’ with regards to the desired location of the element once it has been moved. Quite simply, the dashed rectangle on the end of your cursor shows you where the desk will move to once you do the 2nd click…..


Go ahead and click a second time to set the new location of the desk…..


Alternatively, instead of a second click to place your element, you can also just type in a value you wish to move the object by. So you would click on the corner of the desk as the starting point- just as we did before. You would then move your cursor to set the DIRECTION you want the element to move in- and then simply type a numeric value on your keyboard and hit “Enter”. Revit then move the element that specific distance, in the direction you set with you cursor……

Just before we finish this tutorial, I want to mention moving hosted elements. As you know by now some Revit elements rely on others to act as their hosts. A great example of this are Doors. Just be aware when you move a hosted object that there needs to be a host in the location you wish to move the element to- in order to receive it.

In the example below you can see that I have tried moving a Door (which was hosted in the wall on the left) over to the right- past the end of the wall. When I try to locate it here (in free space!) notice how I get an Error Message explaining that there is now wall for Revit to embed the Door in to- i.e. there is no host to receive the hosted element. The 2 elements involved in the Error message (the wall and the door) are highlighted in orange by Revit……


The third and final method of moving elements is known as the “nudge” method. You simply select the element you want to move and then use the CURSOR KEYS on your keyboard to “nudge” it either left, right, up or down in the active view. This is the most simplistic method of moving an element- it is not very precise at all, but does have it uses.


Key Points

  • Move an object by hovering over it, click and hold you left mouse button, move the cursor to the new location and release.
  • Move an object by using the “Move” tool to displace it- a “2 click” operation- Start and End points can be on the object itself- but do not necessarily need to be
  • Finally, you can simply “nudge” an element left, right, up or down by use of your keyboard cursor keys. Simply select the object and nudge away! There’s no need to use the Move tool with this method.
This tutorial is taken from "The Complete Beginner's Guide to Revit Architecture" FREE online course.
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Posted in Autodesk Revit.