In today’s fast-paced world, efficiency is key to staying ahead in any industry. In AEC, most projects have a set time frame in which you must complete the work. Beyond enhancing productivity, you will also need to maintain the quality of your work. Juggling quality and efficiency can often be difficult, but Bluebeam Revu features a variety of tools to help you do just that. With Revu, you can get your work done faster, without sacrificing the work itself.

In this article, we will take a look at 10 ways to increase work efficiency using Bluebeam Revu. The following examples are from Bluebeam Revu 2019 eXtreme. However, these features are available in all versions of Revu.

1. Create Profiles

The Revu interface is highly customizable. In the main workspace, you can turn toolbars and panels on or off and even move them around within the interface. Within the Tool Chest, you can adjust exactly which tools and toolsets appear. In the Markups List, you can customize the displaying columns and even create custom columns. Revu allows you to create a variety of unique interface configurations with Profiles. With Profiles, you can adjust the displaying layout for different workflows.

If you need to perform a variety of tasks within the program, it may be a good idea to create a few unique profiles. For example, you could create a Quantity Takeoff profile with easy access to the measurement tools and columns. Or you could create a Punch profile, with tool sets hosting different punch keys for walkthroughs. Instead of having to search for the specific tool you need, you can create a Profile to give you quick access to it. With Profiles, you can ensure that your needed tools are within reach at any time, for any workflow.

To create a new profile, start making adjustments to the Revu interface. You can turn toolbars and panels on or off, and move them around in the interface. With the Tool Chest, you can turn tool sets on or off and create new unique toolsets. Lastly, within the Markups List, you can adjust the displaying columns and create custom columns and statuses. Once you have made changes to the layout, you can create a new Profile by selecting Revu > Profiles > Manage Profiles. Select Add to create a new profile and give it a name. You can create as many Profiles as needed for your different workflow needs.

How to create and use profiles in Bluebeam Revu 2019

 2. Use the Keyboard Shortcuts

Revu has a variety of keyboard shortcuts that allow you to quickly switch between tools. In the menu bar, you will see keyboard shortcuts listed next to the associated tools. Keyboard shortcuts will also display in a tooltip when you hover your cursor over a tool in the toolbar.

Keyboard shortcuts allow you to switch from one tool to another with ease. Rather than having to search the Menu Bar whenever you need a new tool, you can access it immediately – with just one click.

To view a list of the keyboard shortcuts available in the program, select Revu > Keyboard Shortcuts. Here, you can change the keyboard shortcut for any tool. If the tool you need doesn’t currently have a shortcut, you can also assign a custom one here.

How to create and use profiles in Bluebeam Revu 2019

3. Use the Snapshot Tool

Bluebeam Revu’s Snapshot tool allows you to copy and paste underlying PDF content. With snapshots, you can create a markup from buttons or symbols already on the PDF. Once taken, you can resize, recolor, and even save Snapshots to the Tool Chest for reuse. You can paste Snapshots taken on one PDF to other PDFs as well.

This can be especially useful when creating drawings from scratch. If you need to place a symbol or image from another PDF, you can use the Snapshot tool to quickly copy and paste it. This will save you a lot of time that would otherwise be spent replicating these images. Instead of having to create them from scratch, you can copy and paste them using Snapshots.

To use the Snapshot tool, select Edit > Snapshot. Drag the cursor around the image you want to copy, then right click and select Paste to paste the snapshot. If you need to recolor the Snapshot, right click on it and select Change Colors. In the Tool Chest, the Snapshot will appear in your Recent Tools. You can then move it to another tool set to save it for reuse.

How to create and use profiles in Bluebeam Revu 2019

4. Customize Existing Punch Tools

If you’re using Revu for punch walkthroughs, you will most likely need to use punch symbols. Instead of creating these from scratch, Revu provides a variety of preinstalled punch tools by default. You can find these punch tools within the Tool Chest when using the Field Issues profile. Here, you’ll find a variety of common Carpentry, Electrical, and Plumbing punch symbols.

However, you may need to use a punch tool that is not already available. Instead of having to manually create this tool, you can simply customize a preexisting tool. You can change the text within a punch tool and save it as a new tool within the Tool Chest. Customizing pre-existing punch tools can save you hours of time when working on punch walkthroughs.

​To customize a punch tool, place it on the PDF, double click on the text, and replace it with the desired text. To change the name of the tool, you can adjust its Subject using the Properties toolbar. You can then add the new punch symbol to a tool set by right clicking on it, and selecting Add to Tool Set.

How to create and use profiles in Bluebeam Revu 2019

5. Reuse Markups

If you need to use the same markup tool over and over again, the Reuse Markups option can save you a lot of time. By default, when you place a markup, the cursor will revert to Pan mode. This undocks the markup from the cursor – meaning that you will need to select the markup tool again to reuse it. This can quickly become annoying, especially when you need to keep using the same tool.

When using the Reuse function, the markup will stay docked to the cursor after each use. You can continue to place the same markup over and over, without having to reselect the tool each time. By cutting out that reselecting time, you will have more time to focus on the rest of your work.

To enable the Reuse function, select Tools > Reuse. Now, select a markup tool and place it on the PDF. The markup tool will stay connected to the cursor. Now, you can continue to use the same markup tool without having to reselect it each time.

How to create and use profiles in Bluebeam Revu 2019

6. Use Visual Search to Apply Counts

If you’re using Revu to provide a bid for a project, you may find the need to apply Count measurements. Count is a measurement markup tool that allows you to keep a running tally of items in a PDF. You can manually apply Counts by selecting each item in the PDF – but this tends to be tedious and time consuming.

To assist with this process, you can use the Visual Search feature. With Visual Search, you can run a search for the items you need to count and quickly apply a Count markup to all search results. Within seconds, you can apply counts to all required items, saving you the time that would have been spent manually adding counts.

​To apply a count using Visual Search, select the Search Panel. With Visual Search selected, click on Get Rectangle and take a snapshot of the item you want to count. Adjust your search options and press Search. Once you receive the search results, select Check All to select all results. Then, select Check Options > Apply Count Measurement to Checked. A Count measurement will be added to each search result. Within the Markups List and the Measurements Panel, you’ll see a running tally of the counted item.

How to create and use profiles in Bluebeam Revu 2019

7. Email PDFs Within Revu

A useful time saver that Revu provides is the ability to email PDFs directly from within the program. In other PDF editors, you would need to save the document, open up a browser, and attach it to an email to share it with others. With Revu, you can send PDFs without even needing to open another application. Revu’s Email feature will allow you to share documents in seconds, giving you more time to continue working.

To email a PDF within Revu, select File > Email. This tool utilizes the locally installed email client on your computer, such as Microsoft Outlook. The email client will automatically open up with the open PDF attached. Then, all you have to do is enter your recipient’s email address and press Send.

How to create and use profiles in Bluebeam Revu 2019

8. Use the Image From Camera Tool

Speaking of sharing data and attaching files, Revu also allows you to place images directly on the PDF using your webcam. With the Image From Camera tool, you can capture a photo and attach it to your PDF immediately. This can be particularly useful when working on the field, where Wifi connectivity may not be up to par. Without this feature, you would need to use your phone to take a picture, and then wait until you have internet access to share and upload it to the PDF. With the Image From Camera tool, you can take and attach an image immediately.

To use the Image tool, select Tools > Markup > Image > …From Camera. You will have to have a webcam attached to use this tool. The webcam will open in Revu. Using your webcam, take a picture and attach it to the PDF by selecting Use.

How to create and use profiles in Bluebeam Revu 2019

9. Export PDFs to Microsoft Word for editing (and use Bluebeam Printer to convert them back)

When you’re working on a text heavy PDF document, there may be times that you need to edit text. Revu does offer a few PDF editing tools, but these are only good for small changes. If you need to make a lot of changes to the PDF’s text, it may be easier to convert the PDF to a word document. In Revu, you can export PDFs to a variety of different file types and programs – including Microsoft Word. Once in Word, you can adjust the text, format, and layout of the document.

After making the needed changes within Word, you can use the Bluebeam PDF Printer to convert it back to PDF. The Bluebeam PDF Printer is a print driver that is installed within the program. This print driver allows you to turn any document type into a PDF using the program’s Print tool. With text edits made, you can get this document back into Revu by printing it as a PDF. Using both Export and Bluebeam Printer, you can make text edits to PDF files in no time.

To use the Export tool, select File > Export > Word Document > Entire Document. In the Windows Explorer, save the document. Microsoft Word will automatically open the document, and you can edit it as you would any word file. When you’re happy with your changes, you can convert the document back to a PDF by selecting File > Print, and selecting Bluebeam PDF as the Printer. Once again, you will save the document. Once saved, the newly edited document will open back up in Revu.

How to create and use profiles in Bluebeam Revu 2019

10. Use Batch Tools

When working with multiple PDFs, you may need to run the same processes over and over again. Performing these functions to each PDF individually would be a very lengthy and tedious process. To assist with this, Bluebeam Revu features a variety of Batch tools. Batch tools allow you to apply tools and processes to multiple PDFs at once. With Batch tools, you can compare,link, and digitally sign all of your PDFs at once. By utilizing the Batch tools, you can turn hours of editing work into seconds.

In Bluebeam Revu 20 and below, Batch Tools are only available within the eXtreme edition. In Bluebeam Revu 21 and up, Batch Tools are included within the Complete license type. To access the Batch Tools, select the Batch menu. All the listed tools allow you to run processes on multiple PDFs at once.

How to create and use profiles in Bluebeam Revu 2019


In the AEC industry, project efficiency is the key to success. You will want to be able to complete your work quickly, without sacrificing quality. Bluebeam Revu is a powerful tool for managing both productivity and quality. With its wide variety of tools and shortcuts, Revu can help you finish your work faster – without having to change the way that you work.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please use the comment section on the bottom of this page, and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog to get more Bluebeam tips & tricks directly in your inbox!

Lauren Hecker is a Bluebeam Certified Instructor and teaches onsite and virtual Bluebeam Revu training courses. To schedule an onsite or custom course, please contact us!


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