In Bluebeam Revu, you are able to compare differences between two similar documents. This can be especially useful for comparing original drawings with their revisions. There are two tools available for this process: Compare Documents and Overlay Pages. Compare Documents works by highlighting changes between the documents with cloud markups. On the other hand, Overlay Pages layers both documents on a page in different colors. This allows the changes to display in color, while the rest of the document stays desaturated.

Both tools allow for quick and easy comparisons – as long as the documents are the same size. However, you might need to compare two different sized documents. For example, you might receive a revision of a single room that you need to compare with the original site plan. Thankfully, Bluebeam Revu has accounted for this issue with the Align Points tool. With both Compare Documents and Overlay Pages, you can align points to ensure the documents match – regardless of size.

This article will cover how to use align points for the Overlay Pages tool in Bluebeam Revu. The following examples are from Bluebeam Revu 2019, but the functionality is the same for all program versions.

Accessing the Comparison Tools

First, open up Bluebeam Revu with the two documents you wish to compare. In my example, I have two PDFs displaying parts of the floor plan. On the right I have the original floor plan, and on the left I have a revision of one of the restrooms. These documents are different sizes – the revision is 8.5×11 in. and the original plan is 42×30 in.

Align points to compare documents of different size in Bluebeam Revu 2019

To use a comparison tool, select the Document menu. Here, you’ll find both Compare Documents and Overlay Pages. You can align points using either tool, but for this demonstration we will use Overlay Pages.

The Overlay Pages dialogue box will open. In this window, you’ll see both open documents listed – each designated with a different color. These are the colors of the layers that will overlaid within the process. The main thing you will need to do here is make sure that each document has a different color associated with it. This should be the case by default.

With Overlay Pages open and the documents added, you can now align points for comparison.

Align points to compare documents of different size in Bluebeam Revu 2019

Using Align Points for Overlay Pages

Within the Overlay Pages window, select Align Points. A dialogue box will appear to prompt you to choose 3 points on each of the documents to align them. You will need to select the same points in the same order on both documents. When aligning points, it generally works best to choose the corners of the area you need to compare.

Align points to compare documents of different size in Bluebeam Revu 2019

In the full floor plan, I’ll zoom in and select points along the edge of Women’s Restroom 254. Then, I’ll try to select the exact same points in the same order within the revision. It’s a good idea to zoom in here to get the most accurate results possible

After selecting the points on both documents, press OK.

Align points to compare documents of different size in Bluebeam Revu 2019

The Overlay Pages tool will run, and a new document will open. This Overlay document will place both drawings on top of eachother as different colored layers. The black lines within the overlay will represent areas where there were no changes. The green and red lines, on the other hand, will show where there were changes. When aligning points for comparison, the overlay might not be as clear as it is with two similarly sized documents. However, the tool still is able to compare the differences between an original plan and its revision.

Align points to compare documents of different size in Bluebeam Revu 2019

Because this document features layers, you can explore it further using the Layers panel. In the Layers panel, you can switch the visibility for each layer to see both the original and revised document on its own.

Align points to compare documents of different size in Bluebeam Revu 2019


Bluebeam Revu offers several tools to compare differences between documents. The Compare Documents tool will highlight changes with colored cloud markups. The Overlay Pages tool, as seen above, overlays the two documents on top of one another, showing any changes in color. If you need to compare two different sized documents, you can still use both Overlay Pages and Compare Documents. Using the Align Points tool, you can match the documents to ensure the comparison works every time – regardless of document size.

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 and virtual Bluebeam Revu training 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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