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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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How do you duplicate a count onto a floor of identical information?
To duplicate a count onto another floor of identical information, first select the counts that you want to duplicate, right click on one of them, and select Copy. On the page you want to place them on, go to the Edit dropdown menu and select Paste in Place. The count markups will be placed in the same location as where they were copied.
Can you Dynamic Link Custom Columns into excel? IE Squares of Roofing after slope factor (choice column) used to a formula column of roofing SQ w/ slope factor?
Once you have created a custom column it will be available to be linked into Excel through Quantity Link. Just make sure you create the custom columns before you use Quantity Link.
Is there a training video on linking custom columns to excel?
We don’t have a training video for it but we go over both creating custom columns and linking them to Excel with Quantity Link in our Bluebeam Revu Advanced course. You can find more information about this course here, and find our next training course on our calendar here.
Is it possible to group counts and length items to create a combined kit that can be saved into my tool chest? (Similar for grouping mark ups but for measured items only)?
Hi Joel, there is unforunately no way to group measurement markups in this way. The best way to do this (or at least the closest way) would be to use a Count markup with either the Height or Depth captions displaying. This wouldn’t be able to be used to take length measurements, but if you already had the measurements, you can enter them in to the Count measurement using the Units dropdown in the Properties toolbar. You can have the length measurement (using either the Height or Width field) display along with the Count by selecting the Show Caption button in the Properties toolbar and turning on the measurement that you added.
Is there a way to add up all of your measurement takeoffs in excel
The best way to do this would be to use the Quantity Link tool, which will automatically track measurement takeoffs taken in Revu within Excel. You would then need to add a Formula column in Excel to add up all of the measurement cells. You can find more information about how to do that here: https://support.bluebeam.com/blog/quantity-link/
Is there a way to have a column in the markups that adds all the lengths together, instead of seperate?
This can easily be done by creating a Formula type custom column, which will allow you to set the formula to calculate the sumation of other columns in the Markups List. Here’s an article that covers some of the basics of creating a custom formula column: https://www.taradigm.com/how-to-create-custom-columns-for-quantity-takeoff-in-bluebeam-revu-20/
Is there any way to group the elements?
If I have an element in two sheets, is there any way to continue counting and make a total sum and not different elements?
Also, is there a quick way to resume counting without right-clicking and resuming count?
It takes me back to where the last count ended and on large sheets, I waste time looking for where I would count the new element.
Unfortunately, you can not group counts across multiple pages/sheets. The best way to track the total sum of these elements would be to look at the Total cell of the Count column in the Markups List (as long as the two sheets are separate pages in the same PDF).
As for your second question, I haven’t found another way to resume counting without right clicking.
is there a way to quantity link to markup legends? I use bluebeam to track work complete each week for various projects. I have built custom markup legends and saved them as toolsets. the legends show quantities of various measurement unit qtys based on current status or stage of completion assigned. I haven’t found a way to link the mark ups in the way I have them formatted and shown in the legends.
Good question. Unfortunately, there is no way to do this. Quantity Link will link to the individual columns within the Markups List – and although the Legend visually displays the markup list data, it has no measurement data associated with it within the list. The best bet to make this work is to set up a template in Excel that matches the legends you’ve created, and then link the needed columns to the PDF.
I’m happy to assist you with this further if you need more assistance, just let me know!