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!

Top 3 Reasons to Buy Revu eXtreme

Those of you considering a Bluebeam purchase (or upgrading your existing license) may be wondering which version (Standard, CAD, eXtreme) will be the best fit and value for your everyday work. With the release of Revu 2016, we believe the case for buying Revu eXtreme is more compelling than ever. Here are our top 3 reasons that we think you should make the upgrade to Bluebeam Revu eXtreme:


1. Batch Link

This feature has been included since the release of Revu 12, and from our experience has been the biggest driver for customers to make the jump to eXtreme. You can check out the link above to see it in action, but in a nutshell it allows you to automatically hyperlink your document sets together in a matter of seconds. You can set up Batch Link to hyperlink terms found in the file name, page labels, or a page region (such as your page numbers in the bottom corner of your sheets). This is a tremendous time saver not only for you, but everyone that will ever use that document. Think of how many different parties interact with a document set over the course of a project!

2. OCR

If you are making the push to go paperless, OCR is an extremely useful tool. This is because it allows you to scan all of those old paper documents cluttering up your office to PDFs, then make that text selectable as if it were generated right our of MS Word. This is very important because you will be able to run searches for what you are looking for, as well as hyperlink the text to make it more easily navigable. Bottom line, it makes those scanned PDFs more accessible and more useful.

3. PDF Form Creation

Most likely you've encountered PDFs with fillable form fields in your everyday life, whether at work, filling out insurance forms, or doing your taxes. These not only make forms easier to fill out, it also makes is much easier to collect the completed information. Revu eXtreme allows you to set up these PDF forms from scratch, complete with text boxes, drop-downs, checkboxes, buttons, and more. Once you've completed your PDF form, anyone that has at least a PDF viewer can complete it (even Adobe Reader).


Bluebeam continues to add time-saving features into each new version of Revu Extreme.  In addition to our top 3 mentioned above, we are so impressed by the intelligent automation of Batch Slip Sheet.  What's not to love about running a single, easy batch process for large document sets that auto-matches new revisions to their correct originals!

So visit our store today and make the upgrade to Revu 2016 today!

Bluebeam Revu Extreme boxshot

Why you should mark up your CAD drawings in Bluebeam instead

Bluebeam Revu CAD and Revu eXtreme both offer direct plugins to AutoCAD, which allow you to easily convert drawings to PDF. However, with the ability to mark up drawings and add notes natively right in AutoCAD, some users may find themselves wondering what the benefits are of doing so. There are several distinct advantages of working in the PDF format using Revu, which we will explain in this post.

Firstly, a big advantage to working in the PDF file format is that anyone will be able to open it; everyone has Adobe Reader on their computer at a bare minimum. You can also open PDFs on your tablet, phone, etc… you do not need high end hardware or familiarity with CAD software to view and interact with the file. You can even create 3D PDFs, which allows you to share 3D models as well. PDFs are an open ISO standard format that everyone can open and most people are familiar with using.

Secondly, Revu comes with free access to Studio, their free cloud collaboration platform. This allows them to upload any file type into the cloud (doesn’t have to be PDFs), with unlimited storage, and share them with anyone they’d like… even if they don’t own Bluebeam! They can simply join using the free PDF viewer, Vu. This is tremendously helpful to centralize your documents and make sure everyone always has access to the most current documents, wherever they are. It also keeps your documents from being locked into a proprietary platform; they are open to whomever you'd like, regardless of software investment. 

Lastly, you can create custom markup toolsets in Revu for whatever tasks you are doing, and save them for future use. These toolsets can be exported out to other users or entire teams, so that everyone is standardized and can work more efficiently. Users will get up and running much faster, and will never have to waste time re-creating the same markups over and over.

We hope that we've convinced you of the value in working with PDFs! Bluebeam Revu CAD and eXtreme both make it easy to batch print your CAD drawings to PDF with their built-in plugins. 

Bluebeam Revu eXtreme & Batch Link: A Game Changer

We're huge fans of Bluebeam Revu eXtreme, and have always thought that features such as OCR, form creation, redaction, and scripting have justified the additional investment. With the introduction of Batch Link this year, a feature exclusive to Revu eXtreme, the case for upgrading has never been stronger. This feature is a true game changer for anyone looking to automate the process of creating hyperlinks and making their drawing sets more easily navigable. Don't just take our word for it, watch the video below to see it in action (don't worry, we'll wait for you to finish).
Are you impressed yet? We certainly were! Using the Batch Link feature in Bluebeam Revu eXtreme, you can automatically search for terms by:
  1. File Name
  2. Page Region (for example, if your sheet numbers are always in the same page location)
  3. Page Labels (which are easier than ever to set up, thanks to Automark 2.0)
Batch Link is probably the most compelling reason yet to make the upgrade to Bluebeam's most full featured edition, Revu eXtreme.