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AUTHOR: Daniel Mertz

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Top 20 Helpful Tips & Tricks for Bluebeam Revu

Introduction to Bluebeam Revu

Bluebeam Revu is an extremely powerful tool for the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) community that allows users to markup, takeoff, organize, and collaborate PDF files easier than before. Annotating and measuring is now faster than before and the new studio features allow you to collaborate in real-time. 

Tools are only as good as our ability to use them. That’s why we want to help you power up your knowledge of Bluebeam Revu. This article is a Revu Tool Kit — a collection of useful tips, tricks, and keyboard shortcuts to supercharge your Bluebeam Revu workflows.

 

Top 20 Tips and Tricks for Bluebeam Revu

Here are some tips & tricks that will help you extract even more out of Revu.

1. Call out multiple areas on a drawing from a single comment

Place the Callout tool on the PDF, then right-click the arrow and select “Add Leader” to draw additional leader lines. Repeat the steps to point to multiple locations on your drawing.

Bluebeam Revu Tip #1

 

2. Apply markups to all pages

Right-click your markup and select “Apply to All Pages” to place that markup at the same location on every page in your document.

Bluebeam Revu Tip #2

 

3. Automatically auto-size text boxes

If you always want your text boxes to be perfectly sized for the text they contain, go to Revu> Preferences> Tools > Markup and select the checkbox “Autosize Text Box and Callout Markups”. Or use keyboard shortcut Alt + Z to auto-size a single markup.

Bluebeam Revu Tip #3

Bluebeam Revu Tip #3

 

4. View frequently used tabs and panels on a second monitor

Optimize your dual monitor workspace! If you frequently access tabs and panels like the Tool Chest and Markups List, you can click and drag them over to your second monitor so that they are always in view. Then you can also make them as large as you’d like.

 

5. Hyperlink your markups

To add a hyperlink to any markup, right-click the markup and select “Edit Action” from the context menu, then choose the hyperlink option. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + E.

Bluebeam Revu Tip #5

Bluebeam Revu Tip #5

 

6. Open Hyperlinked content in a new document tab

Clicking a hyperlink in Revu will take you from your current document into the linked content. However, if you’d like to stay where you are and open the link in a new document tab, simply hold down the Ctrl key while clicking the link.

 

7. Check if your PDF is a scanned document or an original vector file

For a simple way to tell if a new file is a vector or scanned, zoom into the drawing-think 800%+. If it begins to pixelate, it’s scanned. If it stays crisp, it’s a vector.

You can also try highlighting the text in a document. Vector documents will allow for text to be selected, whereas scanned documents will only recognize text if OCR has been run. Vector files allow you to snap to content to quickly get the most accurate measurements, so we recommend asking for vector files instead of scans whenever possible.

Note: Some vector content may not be selectable, such as SHX font.

 

8. Export PDFs to Word or Excel format

You can bring your PDF back to Microsoft® Word Or Excel®  by going to File > Export and then pick your preferred export file type. This is especially useful if you need to make any changes to a text-based document but only have the PDF version.

Bluebeam Revu Tip #1

 

9. Collaborate  with your project partner using Studio Project or Studio Sessions

To get started, click on the Bluebeam Studio icon on the Panel Access and create a new account. Once logged in, you can use Studio Projects or Studio Sessions. Studio Projects is a single centralized location to store documents in the cloud. Studio Sessions let project teams review, mark up, and update the same files at the same time, allowing partners worldwide to connect on the same set of documents.

Bluebeam Revu Tip #9

Bluebeam Revu Tip #9

 

10. Apply scales to your toolsets

Go to the Tool Chest panel, choose the toolset you’d like to create a scale for, and select Properties > Set Scale. This allows your tools to automatically scale in relation to any calibrated drawing or viewport they are placed in. For example, a symbol in a toolset configured with a baseline scale of 1″ = 1′ becomes proportionately smaller when placed on a document set to  1″ = 10′ scale.

Bluebeam Revu Tip #10

 

11. Translate markup text

To translate markups, go to Document > Translate Markups. Choose the original language and the language you’d like to translate to, then click OK.

If you need to translate text that is in the original PDF, you can either select the text and copy and paste it into a text box, then follow the translation process above. Or, follow Tip # 9 followed by the translation process, and the translated text will appear in your Markups List summary report.

Bluebeam Revu Tip #11Bluebeam Revu Tip #11

12. Draw perfect lines, squares, and circles

A longtime favorite: Hold down the Shift key to draw a perfect line. square or circle when using the relative markup tool.

 

13. Quickly make copies of your markups

To quickly create a copy of any selected markup, hold down the Ctrl key, then click and drag the markup to the side. If you’d also like to paste it in the same place on another PDF, copy the markup and use Ctrl + Shift + V when you paste on the new page.

Blue Revu Tip #13

 

14. Hide the Panel Access

To minimize the Panel Access and have access to more screen real estate, click on the blue bar. Simply click on the blue bar again to bring it back.

Blue Revu Tip #14

Blue Revu Tip #14

 

15. Share Studio Project file links

Share a file from a Studio Project with anyone by using Share Link, which will provide a link that you can send to your collaborators. Simply right-click the file in your Studio Project and select Share Link.

The file can be password-protected and set to expire either at the end of the project or after 24 hours. As long as the link is valid, it will always contain the latest version of the document that has been updated within the Studio Project.

 

16. Adjust color on your PDF

This is a great option for CAD drawings! Go to Document > Color Processing to change the colors of PDF content. Color processing can also convert colorful PDFs to monochrome or grayscale.

Blue Revu Tip #16

Blue Revu Tip #16

 

17. Access the internet within Revu

Did you know that you can open a web page within Revu? Simply right-click next to your current document tab and select WebTab from the context menu.

Blue Revu Tip #17

 

18. Color-code your markups according to the status

Did you know that you can give markup statuses, such as approved or rejected? Then you can easily visualize the status of markups by color-coding them so that the colors change automatically as you change the status of the markup. This works really well with Punchkeys.

To color-code, a markup, go to the Status column in the Markups List, click on Manage Status, select a state (such as approved, rejected, etc.), and then select Modify to choose a color for that state.

Blue Revu Tip #18

Blue Revu Tip #18

 

19. Copy Spaces across multiple pages

Spaces, the feature in Revu for defining regions of a drawing, can be copied across other pages and files in Revu. This is a great way to save time from individually recreating each space if you are working on files with duplicate floors, such as health care or hospitality projects.

Go to the Spaces panel, right-click your selected Space name in the list and select “Copy”. You can also select multiple Paces in the list by holding down the Shift key while making your selections, and then choose Copy. Paste it into your selected document.

Blue Revu Tip #19

 

20. Quickly calculate area measurements within Spaces

You can get area measurements directly from Spaces. Just right-click on the Space and select “Create Area from Space.”

Blue Revu Tip #20

 

CUSTOMIZE KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

Revu keyboard shortcuts can now be customized! So you can remap existing Revu shortcuts to match similar functions in other programs you already use or add new shortcuts to create your own personal list of frequently used commands. New customizable shortcuts include batch tools, sketch tools, cut content, erase content, and lots more.

How to create custom keyboard shortcuts

Select Revu on the Menu bar and click Keyboard Shortcuts. In the Keyboard Shortcuts window, select the tool or command you want to shortcut, enter the keystroke in the Shortcut field, and click Add. To use a shortcut already assigned to another tool, click Reassign.

All shortcuts listed in the Revu menu system will be automatically updated once a new shortcut has been assigned, making them easier to find and remember.

 

MOUSE NAVIGATION

KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS

Ready to try Revu?
Click here to get your free 30-day Bluebeam Revu trial today.

Want to purchase your Bluebeam Revu licenses?
Go visit our Online Store.

If you have any questions about Bluebeam, please contact bluebeam@microsolresources.com.

 

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Work Anywhere with Bluebeam Revu

Architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) are fast-moving industries. An era of rapid digitalization is upon us, and it’s more important than ever in this globalized economy to leverage that technology toward smarter, easier collaboration. Here are some tips to get the most out of collaboration and communication so you can work anywhere with Bluebeam Revu and be more efficient and productive—allowing you to focus on what really matters: getting the job done.

A blueprint for better collaboration

Bluebeam - Communication

90% of construction professionals surveyed say it’s important to collaborate digitally.

Collaboration can be an intimidating word. But really, it all boils down to communication. The construction industry is changing at a rapid pace and, along with it, the technology we use to build our world. But don’t let the abundance of options out there bog you down. What you really need are tools that make communication easier. That’s especially true in a global economy, where architects, engineers, and builders often work together on one project across continents and time zones.

It’s sometimes impossible to have all the stakeholders sitting down in the same room, which is why it’s critical to take advantage of benefits like the Studio capabilities in Bluebeam® Revu®. Studio allows collaborators across the world to “sit down” in a meeting and talk with each other. All while looking at the very same document on their computer screens, in real-time.

A recent survey by Construction Manager Magazine of nearly 200 AEC professionals found that fewer than 20% of respondents were confident in their company’s ability to collaborate throughout the BIM process. Yet, 90% of the professionals said it’s highly important to collaborate digitally. Studio in Revu helps bridge the gap, allowing firms to enhance project collaboration. Give your people the tools they need to succeed.

Bluebeam - Access Anywhere Anytime

95% of respondents in the Construction Manager survey says it’s important to be able to work whenever, wherever.

It’s vital that team members can access the most accurate data, anywhere, anytime. From the office to the airport, the job site to the hotel room, 95% of construction professionals surveyed in Construction Manager said they need access that fits their schedule, so they and their teams can be efficient and effective. This can be especially important to the new generation of workers, which has grown up surrounded by mobile technology. With the US construction industry facing serious labor shortages, you’ll need to do everything you can to attract the right talent.

Revu makes drawings, documents, and data accessible anywhere, anytime, on tablet or laptop, in the field, or on the fly. Plus, you save money on printing and shipping costs and don’t have to worry about where to store unwieldy drawings or reading an elevation beneath layers of grime, coffee stains, and pencil edits. Being able to work on the go often shaves weeks and even months off of project schedules. One US firm saved 2-3 weeks of design reviews using Bluebeam Studio Sessions, which allowed simultaneous drafting and designing. Using Bluebeam profiles, markups, toolsets, dashboards, and Studio Sessions, the company also provided a much better end
product for owners.

Bluebeam - Single Source of Truth

Rework, on average, accounts for 9% of total construction costs. On a $5 million project, that’s $450,000.

Working from a single, reliable data source means that everybody on your project can access the most current, up-to-date information. Let’s face it: though it’s often a messy process, we’re all used to emailing important information back and forth—whether that’s
project updates or the latest version of a drawing. But it’s all too easy to lose track of things, and that leads to confusion, lost time and, in some cases, rework.

Having a single source of truth, such as a document set edited in Revu where all changes are tracked and logged, means that project partners can access the most up-to-date information without having to fish through long email threads. Building projects that cost millions of dollars are simply too valuable to risk having people on the wrong page, making changes to a floorplan, or estimating takeoffs from an out-of-date document.

Whether you’ve got a staff of two or 200, you know how miscommunication can throw a wrench into schedules and budgets. A Navigant Construction Forum research perspective entitled “The Impact of Rework on Construction & Some Practical Remedies” showed that rework, on average, accounts for 9% of total construction costs. On a $5 million project, that’s $450,000 that didn’t have to be spent. Having a single source of truth helps you find errors before they become costly.

Taking the next step

If you’ve made it this far, you’re on the right track. The future is clear: firms that collaborate effectively will prosper. Those that maintain data siloes will face increasingly smaller profit margins and uncertainty. According to the McKinsey Global Institute Digitization Index, only agriculture and hunting are less digitized than the construction sector, which means digital collaboration in AEC is lagging behind too.

While there’s a lot of room for improvement in the way the AEC industry collaborates, there’s also reason to be optimistic. After all, now you know these essentials for improving collaboration within your organization:

⸺ Access anywhere, anytime
⸺ Single source of truth
⸺ Communication

You also understand that better collaboration can lead to faster project delivery times, reduced rework, and great profits. Are you ready to take the next steps? Revu is the leading technology solution that sets the standard for project efficiency and
collaboration for AEC professionals worldwide.

Bluebeam Revu - Desktop

Revu offers:

  • An effective solution bridging the gap
    between the job site and the office.
  • Best-in-class markup and editing capabilities.
    Bluebeam Studio for document management
    and real-time collaboration anywhere.
  • Repeatable, customizable processes that make you more efficient.
Go to bluebeam.com/trial/microsolresources to download a free trial today.

 

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Top 8 Things to know about Bluebeam Enterprise Licensing

Bluebeam is the best-in-class PDF markup and collaboration tool that is used by architects, engineers, and contractors throughout the lifecycle of a building project. With Revu you can compare documents, do estimations, submit RFIs and plans for approval, and a whole lot more—all in the same software.

Bluebeam has a management portal to keep tabs on all licenses. It shows how many users, which edition, who is using it, if they are active/unused, allocate, etc. This is Bluebeam’s “Enterprise licensing” system. It essentially opens an umbrella, and any license under that umbrella can be seen and managed within the Enterprise Portal. It does three main things:

  1. The Enterprise system will ping computers every 15 days to see if they have been used. If they have been used, it will leave the license. If it has not been used, it will release that license, to now be used by someone else.
  2. Access to the portal to login, monitor, and release licenses when needed.
  3. It also gives you a 5% overage on installs (i.e. company has 100 licenses, they can install up to 105). This is really for temporary installs or a “buffer” on license installs. Meaning, you can install and get new users up and running while not having to worry about the finances.

Enterprise is a system that can be added to any active/current license on maintenance. It is renewed every year like maintenance, to keep the management functionality active.


1. How does Enterprise Licensing work?

An Enterprise License is a special license key of Bluebeam Revu designed to help manage computer turnover. It does two things:

  1. Automatically releases registered computers that have failed to communicate with our licensing server for 15 days.
  2. It provides a temporary 5% overage of the total number of allowed installations.

In other words, once a machine takes up a seat by registering to an Enterprise License, it will periodically ping Bluebeam’s Licensing Server to confirm that it is still active. If the machine fails to communicate with the server for a period of 15 days, it will automatically be released from the license key, freeing up the seat to be registered to another machine. The 5% overage, or cushion, allows for the lag time between re-imaging workstations or releasing inactive seats. If you exceed the overage allowance, an “exceeded licenses” warning will appear, and further installations will be restricted.

The benefit of Enterprise Licensing is that there’s no longer a need to manually uninstall or release seats from workstations that are being transferred, phased out or re-imaged, which ensures that your licensed seats are fully utilized. You can view or manage your Enterprise License at any time through our web portal, the Bluebeam Gateway


2. What are the Administrator capabilities for Enterprise Licensing?

  • Access to the Bluebeam Gateway
  • Count active Revu users versus available seats
  • Manage multiple seats through a single interface
  • Invite additional Administrators to assist in managing active users.

3. How do I know if I have used all my licenses? Is there a charge for going over?

With an Enterprise License, you gain access to the Bluebeam Gateway, a web portal for viewing and managing both Enterprise and Open Licenses. The Bluebeam Gateway allows you to view how many seats of each version and edition you own, how many computers, or “seats,” are registered to each license, and which computers they are.

As long as your total number of registered machines per edition does not exceed the total number of seats allowed plus the 5% overage allowance, you are good! If you are approaching or exceeding your limit, you can purchase additional seats or unregister licenses from computers as needed. Any new seats purchased may take up to 24 hours to update and appear in the Gateway.


4. I logged in to the Bluebeam Gateway and I can’t find what I’m looking for.

We’ve recently consolidated individual licenses into single accounts tied to organizational domain names to provide a simpler and more customer-friendly experience. Please reference our support article for more information.


5. Why can’t I access the Bluebeam Gateway with my existing login information?

As we strive to provide better customer experience, we’ve created Bluebeam ID, which allows users to seamlessly access multiple Bluebeam applications, including Bluebeam Gateway and Bluebeam Studio. To get you set up, we’ve sent out an email to the Gateway admin listed in our system to create a Bluebeam ID. Please remember to check your spam folder. If you can’t find the email or are still having trouble, please reference our support article.


6. What is a Bluebeam ID (BBID)?

Bluebeam ID is the log in that allows you to seamlessly access multiple Bluebeam applications, including Bluebeam Gateway, Bluebeam Studio, and Bluebeam Drawings*. If you already have a Studio account, you can use the same email address and password for your Bluebeam ID. If you do not use Studio, you can use the email address associated with your existing Gateway account to create a Bluebeam ID.

*Drawings is optimized using the United States National CAD Standard® (NCS).


7. How do I qualify for Enterprise Licensing?

There are a couple of requirements for Enterprise Licensing. First, your licenses must be consolidated into a single license key by-product. Second, your annual Maintenance must be current and maintained. Please note, Enterprise Licenses are not intended for Citrix or other terminal server environments.


8. How much does Enterprise Licensing cost and how can I find out more?

For information about Enterprise Licensing, contact us at bluebeam@microsolresources.com.

Ready to try Revu 2019? Click here to get your free 30-day Bluebeam Revu trial today.

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