Bluebeam Revu is well known within the AEC industry as a project collaboration and efficiency solution. With all of the tools available to you in the application, it may be difficult to determine what features to utilize to ensure that you’re able to work both as swiftly and efficiently as possible. For those of you looking for where to begin in getting your work done quickly, here are 10 tips to increase your work efficiency when using Bluebeam Revu 2019.
1. Create Profiles
The Revu interface is highly customizable: you can move around the toolbars, turn tools and panels on and off, and even choose which menu bars stay on display. These unique interface configurations in Revu are known as Profiles, and a good practice when working in the program is to create custom profiles for each of your workflows. By creating a custom profile, you can determine which tools and panels display, which tool sets are available to you in the Tool Chest, and which columns appear in the Markups List. Using profiles, you can ensure that all of your tools are easily accessible, and you don’t have to spend additional time creating custom tool sets or custom columns. Instead, once set up, your profile will give you access to everything you need to get your work done quickly.
Once you have customized your interface, toolsets, and columns, you can create a new profile by clicking on Revu > Profiles > Manage Profiles and selecting Add.
2. Utilize the Keyboard Shortcuts
Revu features a number of keyboard shortcuts that allow you to switch between tools with just a click. Keyboard shortcuts are displayed next to the associated command in the menu bar dropdowns, and can also be found when you hover your cursor over a specific tool in the toolbar. By utilizing the keyboard shortcuts, you can switch from cloud markups to stamps, from single view to Multiview, and from Pan to Select without having to navigate through the program. If you aren’t content with the keyboard shortcuts that Revu provides you with, you can also customize them to make sure you’re able to access every tool you need using the key of your choice.
You can view and customize the keyboard shortcuts by selecting Revu > Keyboard Shortcuts.
3. Use the Snapshot Tool
Along with the large variety of Markup tools that can be placed on PDFs, Bluebeam Revu also has a powerful Snapshot tool, allowing you to copy and paste underlying PDF content. Snapshots can then be resized and recolored, or even added to a Tool Set for convenient reuse. Using the Snapshot Tool, you can utilize any buttons or symbols that are already on your PDF, and reuse them over and over again via your tool set. This can be especially useful for sketching. If you are looking to place existing symbols or buttons multiple times on a PDF, using the Snapshot tool can drastically reduce your work time by allowing you to copy and reuse the image over and over again without needing to manually replicate it.
To use the Snapshot tool, select Edit>Snapshot. Drag a box around the image you want to copy, then right click and select Paste to paste the snapshot. The Snapshot will appear in your Recent Tools, and can be moved into other Tool Sets for easy reuse.
4. Customize Existing Punch Tools
If you’re using Revu for punch walkthroughs, you will most likely need to use Punch Symbols. Revu features a variety of preinstalled Punch Tools for common Carpentry, Electrical and Plumbing issues from the Field Issues profile, but there may be times that you need to use a punch tool that is not provided. Instead of having to manually create a new punch tool, you can customize a preexisting tool by simply changing the text and saving it as a new tool in the Tool Set. Utilizing pre-existing punch tools and customizing them will save 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. You can then add the new punch symbol to a tool set by right clicking on it, and selecting Add to Tool Set.
5. Reuse Markups
If you find yourself needing to place the same tool over and over again on a PDF in Revu, you may quickly become annoyed at the extra time it takes to select the same markup tool again and again after each placement. For this reason, Revu has a Reuse function that will allow you to place the same markup to a PDF multiple times without needing to reselect it. By cutting out that reselecting time, you will increase your project efficiency and have more time to focus on the rest of your work.
To enable the Reuse function, select Tools>Reuse. Now, the markup tool you are using will stay active on your cursor after you’ve placed a markup, letting you place the same markup again and again without needing to reselect it.
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 Counts, a measurement markup tool that allows you to keep a running tally of items in a PDF. You could manually apply Counts by selecting each item in the project plan, but you’ll quickly find this to be both tedious and time consuming. Revu offers a solution to this: by using the Visual Search feature to find each item you’re looking for, you can quickly apply a count to every search result. Within seconds, you can apply counts to all the items needed for your bid, saving you tons of time that would be spent manually counting.
To apply a count using Visual Search, select the Search Panel. While Visual Search is selected, click on Get Rectangle and take a snapshot of the item you want to count. Once you have your search results, select Check All to check all search results and select Check Options>Apply Count Measurement to Checked. All of the search results will be counted, giving you a running tally of the number of items found in both the Markups List and the Measurements Panel.
7. Email PDFs Within Revu
A useful time saver that Revu provides is the ability to email PDFs directly from within the program. In the past, if you wanted to share a PDF you’ve been editing with the rest of your team, you would need to save the PDF to your computer, open up an internet browser to access your webmail, and wait for the file to attach before you could send it off. With Revu, you can quickly send PDFs without even needing to open another application. By using Revu’s Email feature, with just a few clicks, you can send your PDF to your team in seconds, freeing up your 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) and will open up the program with the PDF already attached. All you have to do then is enter your recipient’s email address and press Send.
8. Use the Image From Camera Tool
Speaking of ways to save time that would be spent opening applications and attaching files, Revu also allows you to place images directly on a PDF using your webcam. Using 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. Normally, you would need to use your phone to take a picture, wait until you have internet access, upload that photo onto your computer, and then upload it onto your PDF. With the Revu’s Image From Camera tool, you can take and attach an image immediately, turning what may have been hours of work into mere seconds.
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 and you can take a picture and attach it to the PDF by selecting Use.
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 – such as for a specifications sheet that has changed drastically mid-project. Although Revu does have PDF editing tools, if you need to make large changes to the text of a PDF, it may be easier to convert the PDF into a word document for streamless text editing capabilities. In Revu, you can export any PDF into a word document that can be edited within Microsoft Word in seconds using the Export tool. This tool can also work in succession with the Bluebeam PDF Printer: once your document has been edited, you can convert it back to a PDF just as quickly. Using both Export and Bluebeam Printer, it has never been faster to make text edits to PDF files.
To use the Export tool, select File>Export>Word Document>Entire Document. Save the document (it will be saved as a .doc file, as it’s being exported to Microsoft Word). Microsoft Word will automatically open the document, and you can edit it as you would any word document. 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 be prompted to save the document, and this time it will be saved as a PDF. Once saved, the newly edited document will open back up in Revu.
10. Use Batch Tools
When working with multiple PDFs, you may find the need to run the same processes on these PDFs over and over again. If you were to do all of these processes or edits individually on each PDF, it would be a tedious process that could take hours of time. Thankfully, Revu eXtreme features a variety of Batch tools that allow you to apply them to multiple PDFs at once. All of the Batch tools can be found under the Batch menu, and include Batch Link, Batch Slipsheet, Batch Print, and many others. By utilizing the Batch tools, you can turn hours of editing work into seconds, greatly increasing your work efficiency.
Batch Tools are only available in Bluebeam Revu eXtreme. To access the Batch Tools, select the Batch menu. All of the listed tools allow you to run a tool or process on multiple PDFs at once.
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Lauren Hecker is a Bluebeam Certified Instructor and teaches Onsite Bluebeam Certified Courses, virtual Bluebeam Basics and Advanced courses, and custom onsite or virtual courses. To see her next open enrollment course, please visit our calendar. To schedule an onsite or custom course, please contact us!