Okay, some of you might laugh at this tip, it’s so simple. But it took me a little while to figure it out, and I saw somebody else get tripped up by it just last night, so I know it’s not just me.

Ready? Here it is:

The Revit Properties palette is only active while your cursor is over it.

Simple, right? But this happened several times a day until I caught on: Select an object to modify. Click on a field in Properties. Move the mouse out of the way. Press Delete to erase the current value. Realize the object disappeared instead. Mutter at the screen. Undo. Repeat.

The explanation for this is that Revit tracks the position of your cursor to determine whether the Properties palette is active. Moving the cursor off the palette has the same effect as clicking Apply — sometimes it’s even faster than using Apply.

Now that I know this, I’m more strategic with my cursor placement. I’ll move it up or down to get it out of the way of the field I’m editing, instead of left or right. When I’m finished, a quick flick to the side applies the changes. (I also made the palette a bit bigger, to give myself more room to move.)

For me, this falls under the category of “small but significant” features: easy to explain and use, but no less valuable for their simplicity. I’m sure there will be plenty more of these features in posts to come!