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Bluebeam Revu automatically tracks all markups and markup metadata in the Markups List. The Markups List features several built-in columns that can be used to sort and filter markup information. In addition to working with the built-in columns, Revu allows you to create custom columns to track additional information and streamline workflows – such as performing estimation.

Revu lets you create multiple custom columns that can perform various functions. One useful way to use custom columns when working on quantity takeoff is to create both a Choice column and a Formula column. When used together, these two custom columns can automatically calculate total material cost. This is just one of many ways that custom columns can be used for estimation and takeoff.

This article will outline how to create custom columns for quantity takeoff using the Markups List in Bluebeam Revu 20. The following examples are taken from x64 Bluebeam Revu 20 eXtreme edition, but the functionalities are available in all versions of Revu.

The Markups List is always the bottom panel of the Revu interface. Select the Markups List button to open the panel.

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The Markups List lists all the markups on the PDF, with the columns displaying additional markup information. Built-in columns can be turned on or off to adjust what markup information is shown.

To adjust the Markups List columns, select Markups List > Columns. A drop-down menu will display all of the built-in columns that can be turned on or off. To edit any existing columns or create a new custom column, select Manage Columns.

Access markup tools and place text box tool in Bluebeam Revu 2019

The Manage Columns window features two tabs: Display Order and Custom Columns.

Display Order will list all available columns, allowing you to show or hide them from the Markups List.

To create a new custom column, select the Custom Column tab. From this tab, you can import and export existing custom columns into and out of Revu, modify them, or create new ones. Select Add to create a new custom column.

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From the Add Column window, you can choose what type of column to create, give it a name, and select options for it.

There are 6 types of columns that can be created, all of which perform different functions.

Custom Column Types

  • Checkmark: a column with a checkbox that can be checked yes/no

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  • Date: a column that allows you to choose a date variant
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  • Number: a column with a number field that allows you to type in number, currency, or percentage variants
Change navigation defaults by holding down Ctrl key in Bluebeam Revu 2019
  • Text: a column with a text field
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  • Choice: a column with a drop-down menu of user-defined selections

  • Formula: a column that calculates field values with a user-defined formula

There are a variety of different ways to perform quantity takeoff using a Formula column in combination with other custom and built-in columns. Formula columns work by allowing you to set up an expression using variables from other columns, such as Length, Area, or Height. The column will then automatically calculate according to the expression and variables selected. 

One useful way to use a Formula column is to set up an equation to calculate material costs. This can be done by inserting an expression that takes a measurement variable, using a built-in column, and multiplies it by material cost, using a custom column. 

The following example will demonstrate using a Formula column in combination with a Choice column. The Choice column will be used to select a material type with a specific price point; once selected, the Formula column will multiply that price point with the overall room length, giving a total material cost.

Before beginning to create a formula column for quantity takeoff, it’s important to have a good idea of what you will be calculating. In the following example, I will be taking the Length column and multiplying it by the Material Choice column. The Length column is built in and already available, but I will need to create the Material Choice column before I can create the Formula column.

Creating a Choice Column

For my first custom column, I’ll create the Material Choice column. I’ll name this column Material and choose Choice from the Type drop-down menu.

The Options section allows you to add the choice items that will appear within the column drop-down. Select Add to add a new choice item.

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Each Choice item can be given a name, subject, and numeric value. Assigning a Subject to a choice item means that that choice will only be available to markups with the corresponding Subject. Assigning a Numeric Value to the choice item lets you apply a number variant to each choice, such as the base price point for a material type.

For my Choice column, I will create 3 choice items representing different types of flooring material: Carpet, Hardwood, and Tile. As I’m focusing on flooring materials, I will make the subject of each choice item Flooring. Each choice item will be assigned a different numeric value to represent the material’s base price.

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Select OK to complete the Choice column.

Creating a Formula Column

Once the Material Choice column has been created, the Formula column can now be created. Select Add to create a new column. 

For this column, I’ll name it Material Cost and choose Formula from the Type drop-down.

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In the Options section, there is a dynamic Expression field. This is where we will place the formula that the column will be using, and variables will appear as drop-down selections as they are typed in.

For my formula, I’m multiplying Measurement by Material Type, so I will type Measurement*Material into the expression field.

The Format drop-down menu lets you choose from Normal, Currency, or Percentage. As this column will be calculating costs, I’ll select Currency. Next, you can choose settings based on your preferred currency type. I will keep Decimal Places set to 2 and the Currency Symbol set to Dollars.

Select OK when finished.

With both of the takeoff columns created, select OK. Both the Material and Material Cost columns will appear in the Markups List. Now, going through the Flooring markups, different material types can be chosen for specific markups using the Material column. Once a material is selected from the Material column, the Material Cost column will automatically fill in with the total material cost.

Creating a Choice column and a Formula column is just one example of a custom takeoff column that can be created using the Markups List in Bluebeam Revu 20.

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!


  1. Isher Kaur

    Is it possible to have a column for multiplying price and cumulative measurement for each duct type/floor type?

  2. Brad Giessing

    Is there a limit on custom columns?

    • Lauren Hecker

      Hi Brad,
      I have not yet run into a limit for custom columns. Bluebeam should be able to handle the creation of as many custom columns as you may need.


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