Top 10 Advantages of using Bluebeam Revu over Adobe Acrobat

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!


1. Customizable Interface and Profiles

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. 


2. Tool Chest

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.


3. Markups List

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.


4. Import Comments

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.


5. Compare Documents

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.


6. Visual Search

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.


7. AutoMark

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.


8. Batch Link

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.


9. PDF Creation Plugins

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!


10. Studio

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.

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

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.

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.


    Bluebeam PDF vs. Adobe PDF: Is there a difference?

    How is a Bluebeam PDF different than an Adobe PDF? If I create a PDF with Bluebeam and send it to someone who doesn't have it, will they still be able to open and view it correctly? These are questions that anyone considering a move to Bluebeam Revu will be pondering. Naturally, there are concerns about compatibility when running in a mixed environment, or working with people who are running other types of software.

    The short answer is that a Bluebeam PDF is the same as an Adobe PDF, there is no difference. This is because as of 2008, PDFs are an "ISO Standard" file format, meaning that it doesn't matter which software you use to create or view a PDF, it's going to look the same. If I create a PDF in Bluebeam and email it to an Adobe user, they will be able to open and view it exactly as I did in Bluebeam. So if all PDF files are the same, why should you use Bluebeam instead of the many other PDF software vendors out there?

    The key thing to keep in mind is not creating PDFs, it's how you are able to use it once you have it. Especially for AEC and technical users, Bluebeam is going to have far more features and functionality designed for your specific workflows; tool sets and visual search are prime examples.

    For more information, check out our breakdown of the top 10 reasons you should use Bluebeam Revu instead of Adobe Acrobat.