Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Bluebeam Revu is a tool that’s been around for several years now to aid in the manipulation of pdf documents – hear a little bit about it here and why I insist on using it.
My commission when you buy it.
Uh yeah, there’s not one. Just trying to get my readers to be the best in class!
The other product.
The other product, and it has plenty of followers too, is Adobe Acrobat. But, as I’ve traveled North America extensively in the last five years, I just see it less and less in the construction sector.
collaboration, love it!
What is so great about Bluebeam?
Well, to be honest, Adobe Acrobat may do these things too, but I’ve just been growing with Bluebeam and doing the following that maybe you didn’t know about:
- A. Studio – there is a feature called Studio which allows you to share out documents to other users. Everyone can access the documents you put up in the Bluebeam Cloud and then “check them out” one at a time to make markups. When the pdf is checked back in you can see others’ markups. You can even filter out these markups if needed.
- B. Sessions – this is a true real time collaboration. I can markup the drawing at the same time you are, and each of us can see each other’s work within seconds. It’s not live to the second, but it puts in markups each time you complete one (so it takes just a few seconds).
- Cloud storage – the documents you use in 1A and 1B above are accessed by team members on the Bluebeam Cloud (there’s probably a formal name for this). I’m starting to use this as storage instead of my Google Drive. You can also store non-pdf documents there and check them in and out like the pdf’s.
- Toolbox – for takeoff in estimating, or in job execution, there is a toolbox you can use to quickly do counts, areas, and lengths. Each of your taken off items falls to the bottom of the screen in the Markups List and you can export to Excel with one click.
- Digital Signature – there’s a signature function to allow you to digitally sign your documents.
- Apply a stamp – I have to use my professional engineer’s stamp often and I can drag it in and stamp documents, and sign them quickly and easily.
This software is like all the others, it does 1,000 things and I know how to do just a small fraction of things. I get better at it every day and recommend it highly to my readers in the construction and engineering fields.
Ok, how about the price?
Seems that when I bought it five years ago it was about $200. I just bought one Standard New Perpetual License for Windows for $391.36 in June 2021. This included the maintenance for $24.75. I’ve not really used the tech support but like to buy the maintenance just to get the updates.
Well, you just read it – I talked the whole time about my experience(s). I’ve been so impressed with it lately, hence this article. We tried the collaborative function (Studio and Sessions) about three years ago and it just didn’t seem to work too well. Now it works great, and we can put things up on their server “for free”. It’s much easier to use than Google Drive because Google and Microsoft don’t play well together. I’ve tried to use Google Sync to retain all of my Microsoft documents, but it’s been a disaster. This Bluebeam server doesn’t fix that, it’s just another tool in my tool chest for getting quality work out to quality clients!