Bluebeam Revu offers a variety of tools to peform quantity takeoff and take measurements of a PDF. For one, the Calibrate tool lets you set a scale for the page even if a scale is not listed. And then there’s the Dynamic Fill tool, which allows you to take multiple measurements of a set area. Once you have learned to use the measurement markup tools, it’s useful to create a custom tool set for them. Tool Sets allow you to save customized markups for reuse. Any measurement tool can be saved to a tool set, letting you use it again with just one click. Corresponding legends can then be created from tool sets to track measurement data.

This article will cover how to create a custom tool set and legend for quantity takeoff in Bluebeam Revu. The following examples are from Bluebeam Revu eXtreme 2018 – but the process will be the same for all versions of the program from 2018 on.

Adjusting Markup Properties

First, you will want to open up a marked up PDF. In this example, I have placed an Area Measurement on the page using Dynamic Fill. With measurements placed,  you can customize them using the Properties panel. To adjust the properties of the markups, right click on the markup and select Properties. You can also open this panel by selecting the gear icon in the panel access bar.

You can customize both the visual properties and metadata for the markup. Under the General section, you can adjust the Subject and Label. The Subject field allows you to organize and group your markups together in the Markups List. For this markup, I’ll set the Subject to Flooring – this will allow me to group it with other flooring markups later on. The Label field allows you to add text to the markup along with the measurement. For this markup, I’ll set the Label to Hardwood – so I know exactly what material is being estimated here.

Under Appearance, you can adjust the visual appearance of the markup. Here, you can adjust the line, text, and fill color, and even add hatch patterns. Adjusting the appearances of measurements is useful to differentiate them on the page. In this example, I will set my hardwood flooring markups to have a blue fill with an opacity of 20. I’ll also add a diagonal hatch mark and adjust the text color to blue.

Dynamic fill measurement tool used to take area in Bluebeam Revu 2019

Creating a Custom Tool Set

The Tool Chest allows you to save customized markups for reuse. This allows you to place additional markups with the same properties, without needing to customize them again. The Tool Chest is accessible from the chest icon in the panel access bar. The Tool Chest features different tool sets, allowing you to organize your tools by type. By default, there will be a tool set at the top of the Tool Chest called Recent Tools. The Recent Tools toolset will display all markups placed on the PDF most recently. It’s from here that we can find the markup that we had just customized. Tools in Recent Tools will clear out once you close the program. To save this tool for reuse in another session, we will need to save it to another tool set.

To create a new toolset, select Tool Chest > Manage Tool Sets. In the dialogue box, select Add. Then, give your toolset a name and press OK. A window will open, asking you to confirm the file path. Press Save and the new tool set will appear within the Tool Chest. You can now move your tool from Recent Tools to the new tool set by dragging and dropping it. This will save the custom tool for reuse. Continue to place markups, customize them, and add them to this tool set until it has all the tools you need. For quantity takeoff, this toolset will save you a lot of time that would be sent placing and customizing needed tools.

Dynamic fill measurement tool used to take area in Bluebeam Revu 2019

Creating a Legend from a Tool Set

With a custom toolset created, we can create a legend from the tools within it. Legends in Bluebeam Revu work like legends on a map. As you place markups on the PDF, the legend will track them and their associated details. This legend is dynamic – as you place additional tools from the tool set on the PDF, the legend will adjust in real time. Before creating the legend, you will want to have at least one markup from the tool set on the PDF. This will ensure that the legend has some data to display.

To create the legend, open up the Tool Chest again. Select the gear icon next to your custom toolset, and select Legend > Create New from the dropdown menu. The legend will attach to your cursor, and you can click on the PDF to place it.

Dynamic fill measurement tool used to take area in Bluebeam Revu 2019

With a legend placed, it can be customized to display the information needed. To adjust the legend, select it and open the Properties panel. Under Appearance, you can adjust the font, title, and columns that display. For my legend, I will change just one thing – the Description. The Description field allows you to choose what markup data displays under that column on the legend. By default, this field will display the markup’s subject. For my legend, I will set the Description to Label. This will display my entered Labels under the Description field instead. I had chosen to set my Labels as material types. With Labels selected, my legend now displays material types along with the measurements.

Dynamic fill measurement tool used to take area in Bluebeam Revu 2019

With the legend placed on the document, it will track all markups from the related toolset. As new markups and measurements are placed, the legend will adjust in real time to match. 

Dynamic fill measurement tool used to take area in Bluebeam Revu 2019

With a custom tool set and legend created, you can now track and organize all measurements placed on the PDF. We can now perform quantity takeoff and estimation on our drawing with ease.

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 Revu tips & tricks directly in your inbox!

Lauren Hecker is the instructor for the Bluebeam Revu Essentials and Advanced courses. To see her next open enrollment course, please visit our Bluebeam Revu training page. To schedule an onsite or custom course, please contact us!


  1. James

    So how can you automate calculating the floor area within the door sweep? Your tool works well for an automated fill where you do not have an actual drawing file to pull from, but your flooring areas are incorrect. It would be more accurate to manually select an area, including the door sweep in the calculated area

    • Dylan Harvey

      Hi James,
      Good question! You can extend the dynamic fill into the door sweep by simply continuing to drag the tool into that area; for brevity and shorter GIFs, I chose to leave the door sweeps out. 🙂


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