In Bluebeam Revu, markups placed on the PDF will be added to an annotation layer separate from the original PDF drawing. These markups will become a part of the PDF, but they will not be part of the underlying PDF content. This allows for markups to be easily selected, moved and edited without affecting the original PDF content.

Markups can be moved from the annotations layer to the content layer through flattening. Flattening markups will make them a permanent, unchangeable part of the PDF. This is especially useful for creating templates and ensuring that shared PDFs remain unedited. 

This article will outline how to flatten markups in Bluebeam Revu 20. The following examples are taken using x64 Bluebeam Revu 20 eXtreme edition, but the functionalities are available in all versions of Revu.

Markups can be flattened all at once or individually.

Flattening All Markups

Once you are done adding markups to a PDF, you may want to flatten all of the markups on the page before sharing the drawing to ensure that your edits stay intact.

To flatten all of the markups on the page at once, select Document > Flatten Markups.

Calibrate the scale for measuring in Bluebeam Revu 2019.

The Flatten Markups dialog box will open, allowing you to customize the flattening process:

Calibrate the scale for measuring in Bluebeam Revu 2019.
    • The Files section lets you add additional files and choose specific pages to flatten. Markups can be flattened as a batch process by adding additional files, if needed.
    • The Options section lets you choose which types of markups you’d like to flatten on the page. Checked markup types will be flattened and unchecked types will not. By default, all markup types currently on the open PDF will be checked to be flattened.
    • Under Flatten, you can choose further options of which markups will be flattened in the process:


      • All Markups will flatten all markup types selected, regardless if any are hidden due to a filter in the Markups List

      • Exclude Filtered Markups will exclude any markups that are currently hidden due to a filter in the Markups List

      • Currently Selected Markups will flatten only markups that were selected prior to using the Flatten too
    • The last section of the dialogue box lets you choose how the desired markups will be flattened:


      • Allow Markup Recovery (Unflatten) allows you to unflatten the markups if they need to be edited in the future. If this option is not checked, flattening the PDF will be permanent and irreversible


      • Flatten to Layer will flatten the markups to a specified layer. Existing layers can be selected from the dropdown list, or markups flattened to a new layer by entering in a new layer name


      • Show Properties in Popup will have the flattened markups properties appear in a popup when hovered over


      • Flatten Capture Media as Attachment will flatten any Capture markups as a summary report attachment 

With all desired options selected, press Flatten.

Once flattened, the markups will become a part of the underlying PDF content. Markup information will no longer display in the Markups List and the markups on the page will no longer be able to be selected or edited.

Calibrate the scale for measuring in Bluebeam Revu 2019.

Flattening Selected Markups

Although you can choose which specific markups to flatten when opening the Flatten Markups dialogue box, markups can also be flattened individually without having to go through the whole flattening process. This allows you to flatten markups using default settings, which is generally a faster process.

To flatten individual markups, first select all of the markups you wish to flatten. Right click on a selected markup and choose Flatten from the dropdown menu. This will flatten only the selected markups using default flattening settings.

All non-selected markups will remain unflattened.

Calibrate the scale for measuring in Bluebeam Revu 2019.

Unflattening Markups

If you had checked Allow Markup Recovery when originally flattening the markups, they can be unflattened if you need to make any further edits.

To unflatten markups, select Document > Unflatten.

Once unflattened, the markup information will once again be available in the Markups List and the markups can once again be selected and edited as needed.

It is generally a good idea to always allow for markup recovery unless you are completely certain that no further edits will need to be made in the future.

Calibrate the scale for measuring in Bluebeam Revu 2019.

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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