Quantity takeoffs and estimations may be the most important part of any building project. Ensuring that takeoffs and cost estimates are accurate is critical to creating competitive bids. Revu makes both taking measurements and using those measurements to complete takeoffs extremely easy, once you learn how to use the tools they supply you with. For those who are looking to start estimating with ease, here are 5 ways to use Bluebeam Revu for takeoffs and estimation.

The following examples were taken using the 64x Bluebeam Revu 2019 eXtreme edition, but all functions (with the exception of Quantity Link) can be performed in all versions of Bluebeam Revu.


1. Use the Measurement Tools

Revu comes loaded with a variety of measurement markup tools to provide solutions for estimating needs. One you calibrate a scale for your drawing, you can begin taking accurate lengths, areas, volumes, and various other measurements with ease. 

To access the measurement markup tools and calibrate a scale, you may want to open up the Measurements panel. From this panel, you can select a preset scale, enter a custom scale, or calibrate your page by selecting two points on your document where the scale is known.

Calibrate the scale for measuring in Bluebeam Revu 2019.

Once calibrated, you can now use the measurement markup tools to take lengths, perimeters, areas, volumes, and other measurements with just a few clicks of the mouse. The measurement will appear boldly on the drawing and will be kept track of automatically in the Markups List.

Using the measurement markup tools in Bluebeam Revu 2019

2. Track measurements using the Markups List

Speaking of the Markups List, this panel allows you to keep track of and work with the measurements on the drawing through the use of built-in columns. The markups list features a large variety of built-in columns, including measurement specific columns such as Length, Area, Depth, Height, and Count, among many others. These columns will display the amounts for each measurement placed on the drawing, and even give a total amount for measurements of the same type – allowing you to quickly see your total area or total length to assist with estimation. By utilizing the markups list, you will automatically have all of your measurement information in one place, with no extra work needed from you.

Use the Markups List to track measurements in Bluebeam Revu 2019

3. Create Custom Columns to assist with takeoffs

Continuing with the Markups list, along with allowing you a variety of useful built-in columns, you also have the ability to create custom columns that can help create estimations for takeoffs. Some custom columns that could be created could assign responsibility to different Subcontractors, keep a list of materials or model numbers, or even estimate total labor costs. By creating a Formula column, you can even add in a formula expression to have Revu automatically run calculations based on the measurement data.

One example of utilizing the Markups List for estimations is to create a Choice column called Material, giving you the option to choose from a variety of material types with different price points for each measurement. In concurrence with this column, I could create a Formula column called Material Cost, which will automatically fill in with the total cost of each measurement, taking into account the material chosen. This is just one example of the many ways that custom columns can be used to expedite the estimation process.

Create custom columns in the Markups List for estimation in Bluebeam Revu 2019

4. Export Markup List data to Excel

For those of you who are more accustomed to working with Excel, at any time, you can export Markup List data to Excel, allowing you to edit the data and perform further calculations as you would any other .CSV file. Having all of your markup data in Excel, from the measurement totals to any material costs, you can use Excel functionality to perform further takeoffs and easily share this takeoff information with project partners that don’t use Bluebeam Revu.

To export markup data to Excel, select the Summary button in the Markups List panel and select CSV Summary. Once created, this data will automatically open up within Excel.

Export markup list data to Excel using a CSV Summary in Bluebeam Revu 2019

5. Use Quantity Link to link markup data to Excel

Beyond just exporting markup data to Excel, Bluebeam Revu eXtreme lets you take this functionality even further with Quantity Link. This feature allows you to seamlessly link measurement totals from PDFs to Excel templates for streamlined bid calculations using your own predefined formulas and formats. The Excel spreadsheet will then automatically transfer totals from the PDF, even as you are continuing to do measurements.

To use Quantity Link, you will want to start with a template or layout for your measurements within Excel. Once your template is set up, you can right click on a cell to connect the template to your PDF drawing. Quantity link will automatically pull those measurement totals from the PDF to Excel, and will continue to update even as you add additional measurements on your PDF. Using Quantity Link, it’s never been easier to keep track of your measurements for takeoffs and estimation.

Using Quantity Link to link Markups List from Bluebeam Revu 2019 to Excel

If you’re interested in learning more about using Bluebeam Revu for quantity takeoff and estimation, consider signing up for a Bluebeam Revu Advanced training course. This virtual training course features live demonstration and hands on exercises so that you will know the exact steps required to begin performing accurate takeoffs and estimation within Revu.

Find the next Bluebeam Revu Advanced training course here.

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 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!


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