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).


How to Reduce PDF File Size

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

One of the many features improved in Bluebeam Revu 12 was the "Reduce File Size" feature, which does pretty much exactly what it sounds like. For anyone who works with PDFs, this feature is tremendously helpful in keeping your PDFs small in size and quick to render.

If you are working with scanned PDFs, embedding images, working with lots of layers, or all of the above, you may have noticed that your PDF files can become large rather quickly. Nearly everyone that works in an office has had the unpleasant experience of being sent or trying to send a massive PDF file; it takes forever to download, and almost as long to open it. Don't be that guy!

Thankfully, every version of Revu has the Reduce File Size feature. Let's see how to use it:

1. First, go to the Document menu and click the Process icon in the toolbar. The first option in the drop-down is Reduce File Size.

2. If you are using Revu 12, you will see this simple slider interface allowing you to scale compression and file quality retention. For those users on older versions, you will instead be taken directly to a menu where you can manually tweak individual settings. If you are a Revu 12 user and want to manually adjust these settings, click on the Edit button.

3. In the Edit menu you will be able to manually adjust all of the various compression settings and see how this will affect your output file. Once you've set everything the way you'd like, click OK and Revu will start the file compression process.

Voila! That bloated PDF is now lean, mean and ready for bikini season (or emailing to grateful coworkers). This feature is an absolute lifesaver for folks struggling with large file sizes.


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.