Have you ever tried to access a tool or command that is supposed to open a Revit dialog box, but the box/window doesn’t appear and it seems to lock your software? Believe it or not, in many cases, the dialog box/window is open, but it’s caught in purgatory or dead man’s land, so it does not appear on your screen.

Recently I ran into this problem using the Pantone Color Picker dialog box in Revit. I was demonstrating how to change the color of an element to a class. When I picked the [PANTONE…] button, my cursor began to spin and Revit appeared to lock up. Unfortunately, I was in a mode where I could not troubleshoot what was going on, so I had to shut Revit down with [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[Del].

After doing some research, I stumbled upon a blog post written by a former Ideate colleague, Shruti Harve. In 2011, she explained the problem and how to fix it.

Here is what is going on:

If you work with multiple monitors and/or switch back and forth between a projector, the conference room television, and a second or third monitor, various dialog boxes in multiple software programs pop up on these other video sources. When you change the video sources and access a tool/command that opens the dialog box, the dialog box may not appear. This problem is caused by the window/dialog box getting “stuck” outside of your current video configuration…aka purgatory.

Here is how to fix it:

  • After accessing the tool/command to open a dialog box/window, press [Alt]+[Spacebar], then press M, then press any arrow key on your keyboard. This will “stick” the dialog box/window to your cursor.
  • Move the mouse around until the dialog box/window is placed where you want it located.

This is an oldie but goodie Windows trick… Now to get back to using my Pantone colors.

Visit our Ideate Software blog for more tips and tricks. For more information on our Revit software add-ins that help customers get the most out of their Revit software, visit the Ideate Software website or contact your authorized Ideate Software partner.

About the Author

Ron Palma, AEC Application Specialist

Ron has 25+ years of experience in the architectural industry as a drafter, designer, lead project designer, trainer, and a CAD manager implementing Autodesk Architectural Solutions for residential design firms. His instructional accomplishments include: Autodesk Certified Instructor (ACI), trainer, support technician, educator at Portland and Clackamas Community Colleges, as well as a U.S. Army certified instructor. Ron holds a BA in Instructional Design suma cum laude. He is a member of the Oregon Army National Guard, where he is a First Sergeant of an Infantry Company specializing in training and mentoring soldiers in their careers, and he has been deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Resolute Support. Ron is a published author and continues to write professional technical training manuals and shorts for AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, and Revit. As an Autodesk Certified Instructor and Revit Architecture Autodesk Certified Professional, Ron provides Revit Architecture and AutoCAD training and support for various AEC firms. Find Ron on Twitter.