Bluebeam Revu 2018 is Here!

We're happy to announce that Bluebeam Revu 2018 has arrived!  With this year's release, Bluebeam is positioned to be your global project partner, and their emphasis remains on developing intuitive, smart, and simple solutions for Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) professionals around the world.

At Bohdee, our focus is always on how you can use each new feature to work smarter.  We believe Revu 2018 is the best tool to maximize productivity, improve project predictability, and minimize project risks.  We'll clearly and concisely explain what's new and what's improved in the new Revu 2018 version so you can make an informed purchasing decision.  Email us if there's a specific feature you'd like more information on!


New and Improved Interface for Efficient Navigation and Fewer Clicks


The Right Tool at the Right Time - New Properties Tool Bar

Now instead of accessing properties from the File Access tab or from the side Panel, Revu 2018 gives you a dynamic Properties Tool Bar that automatically adds relevant information about your PDF file or Markup.  For example, when selecting a Markup, the Properties Tool Bar responds by instantly displaying property options such as color, line width, subject, etc.

That means instant click savings!

Revu 2018 Properties Toolbar

In addition to the new properties toolbar, you'll also notice the top menus display actual menus instead of switching between sets of icons.  This change serves two purposes: to maximize your screen space and to better organize functions under the appropriate command.  For Revu Extreme users specifically, we recommend checking out the Batch menu.  You never know, you might find some really great tools (like Batch OCR or Batch Link) to automate repetitive tasks!


Getting to Done Faster - Improved Panels

Revu 2018 comes with revamped panels for more efficient navigation.  Quickly click into File Access on the left, then with a single click from the right panel begin adding a new markup to your document.  As with previous versions of Revu, customization is king: right clicking on any icon allows you to attach it to the top, side, bottom, or detach it to a more convenient place.  Another great feature is the ability to zoom in or out with a simple slider to set the size of your Panel menu appropriately.  All of these new Panels options are designed to give you more control and flexibility with a cleaner feel.

Revu 2018 Improved Panels

To go into a little more detail specifically on the Markups List Panel, one of the key improvements there was to streamline column management.  Now in Revu 2018, when you open the Markups list by clicking on the icon, you don't have to spend time hunting for the gear icon to begin managing columns.  It's much more intuitive to simply expand the Markups List drop down and then hover over the Columns menu:

Revu 2018 Markups List - Column management


Custom Keyboard Shortcuts 

Believe it or not, this was one of the top feature requests from customers, and now it's here in Revu 2018!  The power is at your fingertips to remap any of the Revu Tools or Commands to any specific keyboard entry you desire.  For anyone looking to work more efficiently, keyboard shortcuts are a proven way to cut down on time spent scrolling and clicking.

Revu 2018 Custom Keyboard Shortcuts


Studio Enhancements 

In Revu 2018, the Studio interface works much more like Windows Explorer or Apple Finder, allowing you to access more files at once.  You can jump back and forth between multiple Projects and Revu no longer closes out the previous Projects.  Additionally in Revu 2018 you can check out multiple files in a tabbed browser style interface.

Revu 2018 Studio Interface Enhancements


Reduce the Learning Curve with Built-In Training

In-app Onboarding Experience

Right off the bat, the Revu 2018 welcome screen opens to an introduction splash screen with 3 options: a short 1 minute orientation to Revu 2018, an example floor plan document, and a training module, all within the Revu application.

Revu 2018 In-app tutorials

Click on Launch Revu Tutorials to enter the training modules and select a subject to begin learning.  This is truly an excellent addition to the software, especially for new users.  And if you're looking for additional Free Bluebeam Training Resources, click that link to find even more great, free guided video learning.

 Revu 2018 Tutorial Menu


Finally, we always like to highlight that Bluebeam Revu is used by 94% of top US contractors and 92% of top design-build firms.*  Bluebeam Software's ongoing commitment is to keep designing software that works better for you.  Keep those suggestions for new features and improvements coming!  Email us here at Bohdee or


So why wait?  Start a trial or buy now to take your PDF workflows to a whole new level.

Revu 2018 Value Proposition

* Top 50 firms by revenue, as reported by Engineering News-Record

PDF Form Creation and Digital Signatures using Bluebeam

Bluebeam Revu Extreme has all the functions you'll need to quickly and efficiently create PDF forms that include text boxes, buttons, check boxes, digital signatures, drop down lists, and more.

While anyone can fill PDF forms and sign using their digital signature with any edition of Revu (Standard, CAD, or Extreme), only Revu Extreme has the capability to create fillable form fields within a PDF.  In our opinion, it's one of the top reasons to upgrade to Revu Extreme.

To get started, there are 3 ways to access the Form Editor: Revu PDF Form Editor

  1. Click the Form menu, then click Editor
  2. Keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + F
  3. Add the Forms Editor toolbar by clicking View, Toolbars, and then checking the Form toolbar

 Revu Form Toolbar


Creating and Adding Forms

Using the Form Editor, we can click and add any of the following form field types.  Notice how a list of the form fields we've added automatically populates:

Revu Form Editor

Text Box - a standard field for storing  text, dates, numbers, email addresses, etc

Radio Button - used to give multiple choice selection options, and can be grouped together

Check Box - used to select or unselect a single option

List Box - used to select one or more items from within a scrolling list

Dropdown List - used to select one item from within a drop down menu

Button - used to initiate a programmed action in the PDF, such as: running a calculation, validating fields, importing data, or running a custom JavaScript action

Digital Signature - used to securely sign a document with an encrypted digital ID



Modifying Form Field Properties

While you're using the Form Editor, clicking any form field object will display properties in the side panel.  In the General properties, we can set the field's name, whether the field is visible when printed, and whether the field should be Read Only or Required.  The Appearance tab is pretty straightforward; we have many of the same customizations that are available for general markups that can also be applied to forms.  Further options are available that are unique to each form field type.  In this example we have options to add items to our Dropdown List in this sample Punch List.

Revu Form Properties


Check out Bluebeam's free workflow tutorial video on PDF Forms to watch these steps from start to finsh:


Digital Signatures in Bluebeam Revu

Bluebeam Revu makes signing documents digitally a breeze.  From start to finish, we'll show you the simple steps to create a secure and unique digital signature, how to manage and customize your IDs and signature appearances, insert signature fields into PDF documents, and lastly how to sign and validate your electronic documents.

  • Create a digital ID  

 If you don't already have an existing digital ID, or would like to create a new one, you'll start by clicking on the Documents menu, then Signatures, then Digital IDs.

Revu Signature Menu


In the Manage Digital IDs menu, you'll have the ability to manage and export existing IDs as well as create a new one.  Click the green + symbol to create a new digital ID.  Populate the fields with your information.  Especially important are the email address and password associated with the Digital ID.  These unique attributes are what define you as you.  Make sure to set a secure password that you can remember.  If you lose or forget the password, there's no way to recover that Digital ID and you'll have to start a new one.

Revu new digital ID

Now that we've created our Digital ID, the next step will be to customize how your Digital Signature appears when you sign a PDF document.


  • Customize your signature's appearance  

 Revu allows you to take control of your signature's appearance to ensure your digital signature looks professional and clean.  Navigate to the Manage Digital IDs menu by clicking on the Document menu, Signatures, then Digital IDs.  Click on the Manage Appearances button at the bottom to bring up the Appearances menu.

A common element people add to the their digital signatures to more closely match their physical signature is an electronic image of their handwritten signature.  Notice how in the example below, a scanned image of the handwritten signature is used by selecting the File button in the Graphic section.  Feel free to choose any of the text options you'll need in your signature and select whether you want the font size to scale automatically with your signature's size or be set to a certain preset size.

Revu signature appearance


  • Insert a digital signature field (Revu Extreme only)  Signature Box

 As we discussed previously in the Forms section, in Revu Extreme you can add a Digital Signature form field by using the Forms Editor.  Once the signature box is placed in the PDF, it can be signed digitally using the signature we created.

  • Digitally sign a PDF  

 Lastly, when we want to sign a PDF document, we will click on an unsigned signature field to sign it.  Notice how the mouse icon changes to a hand holding a pen when you hover over the field.  To sign, we'll need to enter our password for the Digital ID (you'll see a drop down if you are using multiple IDs) and add optional fields like a reason for signing and contact information.

Notice how in the signature menu we also have the options to create a new Digital ID and new Signature Appearance if necessary.

Once the password is entered, click OK to sign.

Revu Signing Digitally


Again, you can check out Bluebeam's free workflow tutorial video on signatures and document security here:


To summarize, you can use any Bluebeam Revu edition to fill and sign PDFs; however, only Revu Extreme gives you the ability to create form fields in a PDF.  

Finally, if you were looking for another reason to upgrade to Revu Extreme then the newest feature in Revu Extreme 2017, Batch Sign and Seal, might be the one that convinces you.  Quickly apply a digital signature, professional seal and date across a batch of multiple files without the hassle of opening and signing individual pages one by one.

Revu Extreme Batch Sign and Seal

For the best discounts on Revu Extreme, shop with us today!

Bluebeam License Keys Not Working? 5 Things to Check

Are you having difficulty registering your license of Bluebeam Revu? Many people don't realize that Bluebeam's license keys are version specific. What this means is that any time you upgrade your license, they will issue you a brand new serial number and product key. After you install the new version, you'll need to make sure that you use your new license information to register your seat. 

In a nutshell, here's a checklist to run through if you aren't able to register your seat:

  1. Does the version you've installed match your license? If you are not sure which version you've installed, open Revu and go to Help>About. 
  2. Have you installed the correct edition (Standard, CAD, Extreme)?
  3. Are you sure that you've typed in the product keys correctly? We recommend directly copying/pasting from the license certificate to be sure.
  4. Have you used up all of your seats already? You can see how many seats are on a license by referencing the "Seats Allowed" field of your certificate. Keep in mind that Bluebeam tracks seat usage by registered devices.
  5. Are you sure you're connected to the internet, and that connection is working properly? You will need an active internet connection in order to ping Bluebeam's licensing server.

If you've been struggling to register your copy of Bluebeam Revu, hopefully one of the above suggestions resolves the issue for you. If not, you can find the contact information for Bluebeam's tech support team on their contact page here

How to Import Markups from Multiple PDFs

For those looking to import markups from multiple PDFs onto one master copy, Bluebeam Revu comes equipped with the handy Import Comments tool. This tool is especially useful for workflows such as design review, where multiple parties may be marking up drawings independently on separate copies. By leveraging Import Comments, you'll never have to waste any time copying or tracing other peoples' markups ever again. Let's take a look at how it works!

1. First, open up your master drawing that you want to import the markups onto. Then, open up the markups list by clicking on the small blue pull tab at the bottom of the screen.

2. Next, click the Import Comments icon at the top of the markups list. You will then be prompted to select which PDFs you want to import markups from. Select one or multiple PDFs, then click OK.

3. In a few seconds, all of those markups will be imported onto your master drawing. You will notice that all of the data in the markups list is imported as well.

The Import Comments tool is one of many features that make Bluebeam Revu a powerful solution to take processes such as design review paperless. In addition to the savings on printing and shipping costs, imagine the time savings from no longer having to manually duplicate markups or notes.

Bluebeam Tip: How to assign colors to markup statuses

A handy feature in all 3 versions of Bluebeam Revu (Standard, CAD and eXtreme) is the ability to assign statuses to markups in the markups list. You can also assign colors to these statuses so that your markups will automatically change colors whenever you set them to a particular status. For example, if you were performing punch using a PDF, you could set up your punch keys to change to green whenever you mark their status as "complete". This allows you to quickly visually reference which items have been completed, and which have not. Let's check out how to do this in Bluebeam Revu below.


1. Open up your document in Revu. In the markups list, click on the blue gear icon for "Manage Status".

2. Select the status which you want to assign a color. Click "Modify", set your desired color, then clock OK.

3. Now whenever you assign a status to a markup in the markups list, it will automatically change to the color that you specified. In this example, our punch key has changed over to green whenever we set the status to "Completed".


Overview of New Features in Bluebeam Revu 12

The enhancements in this year's version of Bluebeam Revu further empower users making the transition to a paperless office. Many of the features are designed to help you manage and organize your new trove of digital documents, better connect the office to the field, and collaborate more effectively with your team.  Let's focus on a few key areas of improvement in Revu 12:



Now that your company or organization is going digital, you might be starting to amass a digital labyrinth of documents.  Here's where getting organized can save you tons of time, and Revu 12 has improved document management features to help you work better.

-Sets 2.0

The new additions to Sets are all about helping you move faster through your multi-file projects.  Sets 2.0 is more flexible; toggle between list and thumbnail views, create hyperlinks that automatically redirect to the latest revision, or add files from a Studio Project to a Set.

-Batch Link

Unique to Revu eXtreme, Batch Link can automatically link entire document sets by file name, page label, or page region quickly and easily, condensing hours of painstaking work into minutes or seconds. 

-Automark 2.0

Enhancements to Automark allow users to create bookmarks and page labels by combining multiple page regions, such as sheet labels and sheet numbers, and then easily adding prefixes, suffixes and symbols. AutoMark also now works with files that contain non-searchable text, such as scans, so all PDFs can be put in order, regardless of how they were made.



By far one of the biggest advantages to digital documents is their portability.  When users can access their project files instantly onsite, then key information is integrated, shared, and used effectively in real time.


New in Revu 12, Capture gives users the ability to add multiple photos from the field or an image library to any markup. Within the Capture viewer, the embedded images are presented as a slideshow users can click through, and the photos display in PDF summary reports giving team members a whole new level of detail.  




Bluebeam Revu software has always been designed to save time and improve the way you work.  These are the powerful, yet simple enhancements that make your life easier.


This feature allows users to group related markups while still being able to edit and manipulate them individually.  There can be many reasons to group markups.  For example, Estimators may want to group similar types of takeoffs for a more organized report while also using grouped measurements to automatically calculate subtotals in the Markups list.  Oil and gas users can save time by organizing P&ID symbols into groups for easy placement and editing.

-Reduce File Size 2.0

Sometimes it can be a challenge to create leaner documents for the field or in order to send via email.  Reduce File Size now sports a new interface and an overhaul under the hood to improve performance and image compression.

-Measurement Enhancements

Improve speed and accuracy in takeoffs and estimations with the enhanced measurement tools in Revu 12. Now, all measurement markups calculate length, area, volume and wall area whenever possible.  Vertical and horizontal scales can be calibrated independently. Sort totals from the Markups list can be exported to CSV or XML and units can be converted between metric and imperial with the click of a button.


Optical character recognition (OCR) has improved performance on large format drawings in Revu 12.  A new menu of search optimization settings allows a user to capture more details from a scanned PDF, whether it's CAD originated or not.

How to edit text on a PDF using Bluebeam Revu

Many people think of PDFs as static documents, where text cannot be changed or edited. This is not an accurate assumption because in fact you can change text on PDFs quite easily, assuming that you are working with a standard TrueType font. In this tutorial, we will show you how to edit text on PDFs using the Advanced Text Editor feature in Bluebeam Revu. Please note that this only applies to PDFs that were generated on your computer with selectable text; this will not work with PDFs from scanned paper documents, even if you run OCR on them.

To access the Advanced Text Editor, you can go to the Edit menu, click the Content icon, then select Edit Text.

Alternatively, you can also turn on the Advanced Text toolbar for easy access in the future. This can be done by right clicking anywhere on your toolbar and selecting Advanced Text.

After you click on Edit Text, you can then click on the text you'd like to change and edit just as you would in a word processor such as Word. In this example, I'm going to change the word "Sent" below.

By simply hitting the backspace key, I deleted the word "Sent" and typed in the word "Received" to replace it. When you are finished making changes, hit the Esc key to exit the editing mode.

We've now successfully edited the text on this PDF! As you can see, PDFs are far from being static, unchangeable documents. Whether you need to fix a minor typo or significantly overhaul your document, this feature will be an extremely useful tool for you.

As you apply this to your own work, here are a few important things to keep in mind when using Bluebeam's Advanced Text Editor feature:

  • As stated in the intro, this is intended for PDFs generated on your computer (such as from Bluebeam's plugins or PDF printer driver). It will not work with scanned paper documents.
  • You will need to be using a standard TrueType font, this will not work with oddball, artsy fonts.
  • It also will not work with bolded or italicized text, only standard text. 


How to Hyperlink your PDFs in Bluebeam Revu

This post is part of a tutorial on how to turn scanned papers into navigable PDF documents.

In order to make a PDF document set as useful and user-friendly as possible, it helps to take the extra step to set up hyperlinks. Doing so not only benefits you, but everyone who will ever access or make use of that document. They will be able to simply click a link to jump directly to whatever information they need, rather than digging through pages of material hunting for it. Depending on the size of the document and how many people are using it, this could mean hours and hours of gained productivity.

With the introduction of Batch Link this year (available only in Revu eXtreme), you can generate potentially hundreds of hyperlinks automatically in a matter of seconds. However, if you want to create them individually it is still very straightforward.

Let's take a look at how to set up hyperlinks using Bluebeam Revu:

1. In the Markup menu, click on the green Hyperlink icon.

2. You can now click and drag to select the text or area you want to hyperlink. After you make your selection, a window will prompt you to select where you want this link to point towards. You can have the hyperlink take them to a specific page within your document, a certain view, or even an entirely different PDF altogether (make sure to have relative hyperlinks turned on when doing this). Of course, you can also link to a web URL as well.

Now your hyperlink is set up! Simply repeat this process to set up the rest of your document hyperlinks. It may take a little bit of extra time to set up, but you and everyone you share this PDF with will benefit from your efforts. Since hyperlinks are part of the standard PDF file format, anyone that you send the file to will be able to use your links, regardless of which PDF software they are using (Acrobat, Nitro, etc.). 


Edit and organize scanned PDFs using Bluebeam Revu

This post is part of a tutorial on how to turn scanned papers into navigable PDF documents.

When working with scanned PDFs, after reducing their file size and running OCR the next logical step is to organize them into appropriate document sets.  Just because your scanner created 500 separate PDF files for all of the pages you scanned in does not necessarily mean that's the way you'd like to keep them.

This may involve splitting multipage PDFs into separate files, combining pages from separate files, or both. Fortunately, accomplishing this task in Bluebeam Revu is a simple affair; let's take a look at a couple of different ways to go about this task.


Splitting up a multipage PDFs

1. In the Document menu, click on the Pages icon. In the drop-down you will see Extract Pages, click on that option.

2. You will then be able to extract all pages or a specific range. You can also adjust settings such as extracting the pages as separate files, using page labels to name those files, and more.


Combining multiple PDFs

1. In the File menu, select Combine.

2. You will then be prompted to select which files or folders of files you'd like to combine. You can also adjust settings such as including file attachments, or bringing over any existing bookmarks. After making your selections, click OK to start the process. Keep in mind that your PDF documents will be organized in the same order in which they are listed in this window.


Manually Arranging Pages in the Thumbnails Tab

In the Thumbnails panel, you can remove pages by simply selecting them and hitting the delete key. To change the page order, click and drag a page to its desired position. You can also select one or multiple pages and copy/paste them into a separate PDF by using either the right click menu or hot keys (Copy=ctrl+C, Paste=ctrl+V).

Now your PDFs are properly organized into relevant document sets! Once you've set up your document sets just how you like them, the next step is to make them easily navigable through hyperlinks. This can be accomplished by setting them up individually, or as a batch automated process with the Batch Link feature in Revu eXtreme version 12.


Use Bluebeam OCR to make scanned text selectable and searchable

This post is part of a tutorial on how to turn scanned papers into navigable PDF documents.

After you've scanned your paper documents into PDF, you will want to make the text selectable searchable. The good news is you can do this with the click of a button using Bluebeam Revu's OCR (optical character recognition) feature. OCR essentially scans the pixels on your PDF document to identify any text you have on there. You can run OCR on individual PDFs, or on an entire folder of PDFs at once through the Batch menu. There was a significant improvement to OCR with the release of Revu 12, so it runs faster and more accurately than ever.

Before we get started, keep in mind that you will need Revu eXtreme to use this feature. You can see a detailed feature comparison of the Revu versions here.

Another important thing to note is that while OCR is very good at identifying most fonts, it may have problems with some unusual or artsy types (ex: cursive script, old english fonts, etc). If your scanned PDFs are very low resolution and really grainy, that can reduce its accuracy as well. You may not always have control over what paper documents you get to work with, but whenever possible try to stick to common fonts and scan at a moderate resolution.

With those disclaimers out of the way, let's begin:

1. To run OCR on a single PDF, first open it up. Go to the Document menu, where you will see the OCR button. Click on that.

2. You will then be taken to a window where you can adjust the OCR settings to your liking, such as running OCR on a specific page range or the entire document. A handy setting to take note of is the Max Vector Size setting. This will make Revu automatically disregard anything over that size whenever running OCR, which will make running OCR on drawings go much faster. 

3. If you would like to run OCR on an entire folder of PDFs, you can run it as a batch process. Go to the File menu, click the Batch icon and the first option will be OCR. 

4. After selecting batch OCR, you will be taken to the next window where you can select your desired files. You can simply Add Open Files, or click Add to select other groups of files or entire folders of files to the batch OCR process. You can also adjust settings to run OCR on specific page ranges, odd/even pages, or only ones of a certain orientation (landscape or portrait).

5. After running standard or batch OCR, all of that scanned text is selectable and searchable, making it far more useful for us. If you would like to search a PDF for a word or phrase, you can jump quickly to the Search tab by using the Tab Access menu. The Tab Access menu is accessible by clicking on the orange down arrow found in the top left corner of Revu's interface. This is also a great way to quickly access any other tab you may need.

6. In the Search tab, input your desired text into the search field and click Search. Your results will be displayed at the bottom, and you can select them either one at a time or many at once.

4. Once again, you can do this with an entire folder of PDFs if you'd like. The process is going to be the same, except this time make sure you change the Search In field to Folder, instead of Current Document. After selecting Folder, you will be prompted to select the desired folder to run your search. 

In addition to simply finding instances of a certain phrase, you can also apply various settings to one, many, or all of the found instances. Examples would be hyperlinking every instance, highlighting them, or redacting all of them (such as removing social security numbers).