August 27, 2015

New features › OCR › Revu 2015 ›

Bluebeam Revu 2015.5 Update Released

Bluebeam Software has officially released a minor version update to Revu 2015.  Here are 3 ways to get your hands on Revu 2015.5:

1. If you are currently using Revu 2015, you can download 2015.5 for free via Bluebeam's Updates Page.
2. If you have Revu 12 or earlier, and have a current maintenance contract, you can request a free upgrade here.
3. You can also purchase an upgrade from our store.

We'd like to highlight some of the improved functionality in the new version, and as always, we're here to answer any of your questions about Revu.  Just send us your inquiry to  We'll be breaking down the benefits of the new Extreme Open Licensing in another post soon!


Tablet Interface - Improved User Experience

When Revu is opened on a supported tablet, such as a Microsoft Surface Pro 3, it converts to "Tablet Mode," which optimizes the software for stylus and touch screen input.

Added Support for Revit 2016 and Navisworks 2016 (CAD and eXtreme versions only)

Revu 2015.5 adds PDF Plugin compatibility into the Revit and Navisworks (Manage and Simulate) versions.

Added Text Input Support for OTF and Unicode Fonts

Revu now supports text input with OTF fonts. It also adds further support for viewing, inputting and editing Unicode-based CJK mixed fonts, such as Arial Unicode MS and MS Mincho font sets.

Added OCR Support for Chinese and Japanese Documents (eXtreme edition only)

Revu 2015.5 now supports the recognition and processing of PDF files containing Chinese and Japanese text images through OCR.

Word and Excel PDF Plugin Improvements

PDF creation and conversion of Microsoft Word and Excel documents has been further optimized, improving hyperlink placement, graphic accuracy issues, and overall performance.

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).


Tutorial Series: How to turn scanned PDFs into organized and navigable document sets

In this tutorial series, we will show you how to use Bluebeam Revu to turn scanned PDFs into lean, organized, and easily navigable document sets.

There are many reasons that companies choose to go paperless; cost savings is certainly a big one, as is not having to store and manage a large quantity of bulky paper documents. Another big factor is being able to easily edit and navigate these document sets. What good are all those stored records if it's impossible to find what you need, after all?

The first step that most people will take is to scan all of those old paper documents into PDF. This is an improvement over paper, but it does not address the issue of organizing those documents and making them easily navigable. Also, depending on sheet size and resolution they can end up with large files that take up lots of space and are cumbersome to share.

Following the steps below, you will find step-by-step instructions to guide you down the path towards being paperless. Let's get started!

Part 1: Use the Reduce File Size feature to compress scanned PDFs into leaner, smaller PDF files. It is best to do this early in the process because all of the other steps will benefit.

Part 2: Run OCR (optical character recognition) on your scanned PDFs. This will make your scanned text selectable and searchable.

Part 3: Organize your PDFs into manageable document sets by splitting or combining pages. You can also easily drag, copy, and paste pages in the Thumbnails tab.

Part 4: Set up hyperlinks to make your PDFs user-friendly and easily navigable. You can hyperlink to various pages within a document or to completely separate PDF files. You can set up your hyperlinks individually, or create lots of them automatically via the new Batch Link feature in Revu 12.

    Enjoy! You have successfully turned a stack of papers into an electronic document set that is easily navigable, searchable, and shareable. Your coworkers, the environment, and your sanity thank you.