There's a multitude of reasons to switch to Bluebeam Revu from Adobe Acrobat, ranging from increased functionality, ease of use, and cost savings. However, for those who aren't already familiar with Bluebeam, all of the information out there on the internet can be a bit overwhelming. To help make things easier for you, we've put together a list of the top 10 reasons to use Bluebeam Revu instead of Adobe Acrobat. Unless otherwise noted, these features can be found in all 3 versions of Revu (Standard, CAD, eXtreme). Let's start the countdown!
Revu comes with a variety of different default profiles which will optimize your interface for different workflows. You aren't limited to just these profiles though; the entire interface is customizable. Display the tools you actually use, hide the ones you don't care about, and set up your toolbars exactly the way you like them. Once you've gotten everything set up to your liking, you can save these settings as a new custom profile. If you'd like to share these profiles with other users, you can easily export them for emailing or saving to a team network drive. For other users to import your profile, it's as simple as just double clicking on the file.
Creating and customizing markups in Revu is extremely easy, but you don't want to have to keep re-creating the same markups again and again. This is where the Tool Chest shines, allowing you to create custom toolsets where you can save those markup tools for future use. Just like profiles, tool sets can be exported and shared with other users. This not only cuts down on wasted time from various team members recreating markups, but it also helps tremendously with standardization. You can create color-coded markups for specific subjects or workflows (blue for electrical notes, green for plumbing, etc.), for different teams, or whatever makes sense for your uses.
As you're making notes on a document, the markups list provides an easy way to keep track of all of your markups in an interactive spreadsheet-style interface that you can sort and filter. Like the rest of Revu, you can customize the columns in the markups list however you prefer. In addition to simply toggling certain columns on or off, you can create custom columns with drop-down options or formula calculations. You can then use these to assign statuses, set material types, perform takeoffs, and more.
Let's say that you've emailed a drawing to multiple people, they've added their markups and then sent their copies back to you. If you'd like to import all of those markups from the separate PDFs onto your master copy, "import comments" allows you to do so with a few clicks. You will never have to waste any more time tracing or recreating other peoples' markups, you can simply import them right onto your own drawing. You can find the import comments tool along the top of your markups list after you've expanded it.
When you are working with multiple versions of drawings, it can sometimes be difficult to determine exactly what has changed between revisions. Having to visually scan between drawings to find differences is not only time consuming, but also leaves plenty of room for human error.
Bluebeam offers two different methods of document comparison to solve this problem; firstly, you can "overlay documents", which produces a light table effect with color coded revisions stacked on top of one another. Also, there is "compare documents", which automatically compares drawings pixel-by-pixel and adds clouds around all of the differences. Either of these methods will allow you to find the differences between drawings far more quickly and accurately.
The concept of searching within PDFs is not a new one, but with Revu you can not only search for text, you can also search for symbols in your drawing. It will even catch these symbols if they are rotated, a different color, or have lines passing over them. Once you've generated your search results, you can highlight them, hyperlink them, count them, and much more. There are many different applications for this, such as quickly hyperlinking all of your details or performing quantity takeoffs.
If your document doesn't have page labels properly set up, quickly navigating to the correct page you need can be difficult. Until recently, if you wanted to update all of your labels it was a long and manual process of typing them all out, page by page. AutoMark allows you to automatically rename all of your page labels by using bookmarks or a page region (such as the page numbers at the bottom of your sheets). In Revu 12 this feature was further refined by letting you select multiple page regions, as well as setting prefixes and suffixes.
Batch Link is only available in Revu eXtreme, and we feel is probably the most compelling reason to invest in that version. As we outlined in our prior blog post, it allows you to automatically batch create hyperlinks using file names, page regions, or page labels. Setting up hyperlinks in your document is tremendously helpful not only for you, but for anyone that ever uses it. It makes navigation much faster and easier, especially if you're working with large document sets.
All 3 versions of Revu come with direct plugins for the MS Office Suite (Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Outlook, etc) that add PDF creation buttons right into your menu ribbon. Revu CAD and Revu eXtreme also provide plugins for AutoCAD, Navisworks, Solidworks, Revit, and SketchUp Pro. Batch creation of high quality, vector-based PDFs has never been easier!
All versions of Revu come with free access to Bluebeam Studio, their collaboration platform. You have unlimited storage space, can upload any file type, are able to have up to 500 simultaneous users marking up a PDF, and best of all you can even collaborate with users that don't even own Bluebeam. You can simply invite them to join your Session or Project by using their free PDF viewer, Bluebeam Vu. As long as they're working within Studio, that free viewer unlocks the full suite of markup tools to allow the user to fully take part in project collaboration.
All of the above are compelling reasons to make the switch from Adobe Acrobat over to Bluebeam Revu. The fact that Revu costs substantially less than Acrobat is just icing on the cake! Also, since PDFs are an ISO standard file format, you don't have to worry about compatibility issues when moving over to Bluebeam.