Bluebeam Revu allows users to take accurate measurements from any PDF plan. For users in the AEC industry, this is especially important, as accurate quantity takeoffs are critical to creating a successful bids. In order to do this, you will first want to calibrate the page to set an accurate scale. This article will cover how to calibrate a page scale and use measurement tools, such as Dynamic Fill, to quickly take measurements on the PDF.
In this example, I am using Revu eXtreme 20. I have also configured my own profile, so if you are following along you may be seeing a slightly different user interface.
In order to work with measurement markups, you need to be marking up a PDF with an architectural drawing drawn to scale that already includes at least one measurement as a reference. In my example below, I have circled in red the measurement I’ll be referencing.
To access the measurement markup tools, select the Measurements Panel, the Measure menu under the Tools in the menu bar, or the Measurement Toolbar – if your profile is configured to display that. All three sections are circled in red below.
You will first need to calibrate your page before any measurement tools can be used. This will set a scale for the overall document and ensure that measurements are accurate. There are two ways to set a scale: you can either input in a scale or calibrate the page. It’s generally recommended to calibrate the page, as this will ensure an accurate scale even if the document had been resized. The Calibrate tool can be found in the Measurement Panel, the Measurement toolbar, and the Measure menu. Below, I have circled all of the calibrate tools. When selected, you will be prompted to calibrate the measurement tool by selecting two points on the page.
In this example, I already have a measurement included on my drawing telling me this wall is 30 feet. You will want to find a measurement like this, and click on both ends of the line after selecting the Calibrate option. A dialogue box will open asking you to enter the length of the the line in question.
In the dialogue box, enter the length of the line as it appears on the page. In this case, I’ll enter in 30 feet.
After clicking OK, your page should be calibrated. You will be able to track this scale in the Measurements panel and in the corner of the Revu workspace – which I’ve circled below. Before starting to take measurements, it’s recommended to first test the calibration to ensure it us correct. This can be done with the Length measurement tool, found in the Measurements panel, menu, and toolbar. Just like calibrating the page, select two points to place a measurement.
After selecting two points, Revu will generate the measurement based on your calibration. As you can see, the measurement matches the original reference. This lets us know that our set scale is accurate and we can continue taking further measurements.
We can now continue to take measurements using the variety of measurement tools available. Bluebeam Revu features tools that take most standard measurements, including length, perimeter, area, and volume. Additionally, these tools allow you to even take measurements of complex spaces, allowing you to select points along a specific space and even convert lines to arcs when needed.
One of the most versatile and popular measurement tools available in Bluebeam Revu is Dynamic Fill. Dynamic Fill speeds up the measuring process considerably and removes a lot of tedious steps. To access Dynamic Fill, select the tool from the Measurements panel, toolbar, or menu. The Dynamic Fill toolbar will automatically open.
To use Dynamic Fill, you’ll want to find a closed space on your drawing. If you have a space that is not closed, you can select the Add Boundary (circled in red below) and select two or more points where the space is open. Double click once you are happy with your boundary line. This will place a temporary boundary in the selected are to close the space.
To calculate the area of a space using Dynamic Fill, click on the Fill option and Area measurement option in the toolbar. Your cursor will become a small green circle.
Click and drag anywhere within the closed space. A green color will “fill” from your cursor, highlighting the closed space. Make sure to continue holding until the space is filled.
Once the space is filled, you can release the cursor. Make sure not to drag the cursor outside of the perimeter of the space or you’ll need to re-do this process.
If you are satisfied with the selection, click on Apply in the Dynamic Fill toolbar. The green color will disappear and will be replaced by a red line on the perimeter of the space, with points determined by the fill. The area of the space will also be calculated, based on your selection and the calibration you had set earlier.
The measurement tools demonstrated in this article barely scratch the surface of what’s possible using Bluebeam Revu. For a full demonstration of all of Bluebeam Revu’s measurement tools and how to use them, we recommend attending our Bluebeam Revu Advanced training course. This course will outline how to use the measurement tools, along with the Markups List, to create, track, and manage estimations on your project plan.
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Lauren Hecker is the instructor for the Bluebeam Revu Basics and Advanced courses. To see her next open enrollment course, please visit our calendar. To schedule an onsite or custom course, please contact us!