February 6, 2023


February 6, 2023

Revit or AutoCAD? This is a question that crosses the minds of both students and professionals who are already in the market, so it's only fair to understand the difference between both software.

With an increasingly competitive job market, understanding what is the best tool for project development can make the difference if you are looking to stand out from your competitors!

But do you know the difference between AutoCAD and Revit? What are the advantages of each program and which one best fits your workflow? If you still have these doubts, this publication was made for you!


In the civil construction segment the use of specialized software is nothing new, but without a doubt AutoCAD, and more recently Revit, are the most popular among professionals in the field.

As much as both programs are used for project development, it is important to understand what they are and how they can help us develop projects quickly and accurately.



Revit is a software that works with the BIM (Building Information Modeling) process, generating an accurate 3D simulation of the constructive elements of our project.

Created by Revit Technology Corporation (formerly Charles River Software), it was acquired by Autodesk in 2002, the same company that developed AutoCAD.

With Revit, it is possible to develop architectural and structural projects, as well as complementary projects such as hydraulics, electrical, air conditioning, lighting, etc.

Its work environment offers the advantages of 3D modeling, but allows you to generate all the documentation in 2D, in addition to the possibility of extracting quantities of all specified materials, transforming your project into a construction database.

Even with an intuitive interface, it is important to have prior knowledge of architecture or engineering, as the tools simulate the real elements of a building.



AutoCAD is a software that works with the CAD (Computer Aided Design) process, offering resources for drawing any type of 2D geometric shape, but it also has some resources for 3D modeling.

Created by Autodesk in 1982, AutoCAD is one of the oldest software used in designing projects, and it was one of the first programs that participated in the transition from drawing from the drawing board to the computer.

As it is a graphic representation software, its tools are based on simple geometric shapes such as lines, arcs, polygons and circles, which when combined allow you to draw from simple to more complex projects.

As one of the first and most traditional 2D drawing software, it ended up becoming a prerequisite for any professional who wanted to work in the construction industry.



Both Revit and AutoCAD are excellent tools for developing projects, but as we know there are different types of projects, each one with its own peculiarities.

At Revit we can develop any type of project aimed at civil construction, from simpler solutions to complex projects involving multiple professionals and different disciplines.

As Revit was designed for the development of architectural and engineering projects, you have greater precision, not only graphic but also technical, since we have tools designed for the development of a building.

Walls, floors, roofs, doors and windows are just some of the many tools that Revit offers, allowing you not only to accurately simulate such elements, but also extract quantitative or even the values of each of these elements.


In AutoCAD we have great freedom for the elaboration of any type of drawing, since the software was designed to replace the drawing board as a tool in the technical drawing process.

As it is a “digital clipboard”, AutoCAD allows the elaboration of any type of drawing, technical or architectural, offering resources such as organization by layers, annotation tools (texts, dimensions, leader lines, etc.) among other features.

AutoCAD serves very well for studies and small projects, where quantitative information can be obtained manually or through a spreadsheet, for example, Excel.

But to know which software best fits your workflow, let's understand these differences a little more.



AutoCAD was a software that dominated the market for many years, becoming not only a reference but also a prerequisite for acting in the field of architecture and civil construction in general.

But today we have a change of scenario, where Revit has been taking more and more space in the civil construction area, and is becoming a synonym for project development.

Even with all the impact that Revit has been causing in the market, it is still very common to find companies using AutoCAD, so these are two software that are in great demand by offices and architecture companies.


The best way to understand the differences between Revit and AutoCAD is to compare their key features, where you can decide which software can best meet your needs.


Organizing a large number of tools in an intuitive way is not a simple task, but Revit manages to do it very efficiently.


The main tools are organized at the top, in the menu called Ribbon, which organizes by subject, separating the tools in different tabs.


To be able to access the different views of your project, we have a tab called Project Browser, which organizes all the views of your project in a hierarchical way.

We also have a tab called Properties, which displays both the current view and the selected object's information.


As for the workspace, we can access multiple views that are organized into tabs. In addition, we can separately control the display pattern of views at the bottom of each view.


In AutoCAD it is no different, the expressive volume of tools is very well distributed in its interface.


Just like in Revit, we have a ribbon menu that organizes the tools by subject, grouped in different tabs.


As for the work area, we have two spaces to develop in our project, the Model being the main work area (with a black background) and the Layouts where we organize the printing of the finished project.



Revit offers tools totally focused on the area of architecture and civil construction, allowing the elaboration of projects that are fully aligned with the professional's reality.


Since the Revit tools simulate the real elements of a building, they must be correctly configured, which requires specific knowledge in the areas of architecture, engineering and other sectors of civil construction.

In AutoCAD, the tools are totally focused on graphical representation, which in turn is based on technical drawing, where we have geometric drawing resources, annotations, layers, etc.


As they are technical drawing tools, they are simple but very efficient resources for the elaboration of any type of drawing.


The process of modeling your project within Revit is very versatile, as you are 100% of the time preparing a project in 3D, but it is built using 2D views.


This modeling process offers very fine control of the project, after all, we have access to views from every possible angle of a building.

This even allows you to generate sections, views and any other information that contributes to the development of your project.


In AutoCAD, as it is a software for technical drawing, the modeling takes place through geometric shapes, where we have complete freedom to represent any type of geometry.


Modeling is performed through the combination of simple geometric shapes, where we can design both in 2D, and we can also access 3D modeling resources, changing the work area.


Though simple, 3D modeling capabilities also offer endless possibilities for representing your design.



When talking about which platforms Revit can be installed on, it is currently exclusive to the Windows operating system, which ends up being sad news for Mac users.

AutoCAD, on the other hand, has its traditional version for Windows and an exclusive version for MAC, which has a different graphical interface, but offers the same tools.


At first it may cause a bit of awkwardness, but with a little use you will get used to this new layout on MAC.


Autodesk works with the system of annual licenses for both Revit and AutoCAD, which can be paid in annual format or monthly format.

Another factor that can impact the value is LT licenses, which are versions of Revit or AutoCAD with a smaller amount of tools, but offer a more attractive value.

Remembering that because it is an American company, the value of the dollar has a significant impact on values, so to check the updated price, you can access the products website at the links below:




Choosing between Revit and AutoCAD may not prove to be a simple task, as both software offer very efficient features for project development.

Revit offers us a work environment with tools totally directed to the development of architectural, engineering and other complementary projects, proving to be an excellent work tool.

AutoCAD, even with tools aimed at graphical representation, offers a lot of freedom for the development of quick preliminary studies and simple projects.

In the current civil construction scenario, Revit presents itself as a much more complete tool, but in an ideal scenario the combination of Revit and AutoCAD can prove to be an excellent workflow.

It's up to you as a professional to decide which tool best suits your needs.


Mastering software for project development is a prerequisite for any professional who wants to stand out in the job market, so it is very important to choose well what will be your work tool.

Both Revit and AutoCAD offer great tools for design development, so it's important for us to know their main features and understand which ones can best suit our workflow.

Another essential item for any professional is to have a good collection of models on hand to use in their projects, so get ahead using Blocks' family library, which has a huge catalog with weekly updates!

Join the Blocks Family!

The author of the article

Luis André
Master of architecture, product designer and professor. Sharing professional content from leading architectural software for 10 years.
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