Very comprehensive pdf editing software - I'll never go back to Adobe!!!
I spend a lot less time posting changes and as-builts, but with much more professional results. I also love the time it's cut down on creating our punch lists and tracking the completion of those items.
I love that it can "read" my plans, and help me with my takeoffs. The search function can look for either words or symbols, and is incredibly useful when I'm looking for something specific.
The different user type profiles are tailored to show the tools and functions that someone in that role would be more likely to use the most. It's easy to switch between these profiles, even when viewing the same file, so no matter what or how many hats I'm wearing that day, it's easy to find the tools that I need for the job I'm doing.
The customizable tool box is great - I can use the existing tools, or create my own! These are handy for posting as-builts, as well as for doing take offs and estimates.
I love all the short cut keys!! Instead of using my mouse to select tool options, I can simply use the "G" key to take a "photo" of a certain part of my open file, or "C" to cloud an area. I use these frequently and it really cuts down the time I spend posting changes to our drawings.
There are so many tools, functions, and options, that you're sure to find everything you need for seamless and efficient construction drawing management!
At first, it was a bit overwhelming to use. There are so many tools and menus that it definitely took a little time to learn; however, Bluebeam offers hundreds of short "how-to" videos on many different topics. After watching these, and using the software for a few weeks, it got much easier.
2nd to none
Bluebeam compliments our takeoff program very well. It is very useful for generating individual files out of a large set that are uniquely named by the drawing number and name (or however you wish to name them), which then allows me to import those files into the program without the need for manually typing in the descriptions. Saves an inordinate amount of time at the start of a takeoff for each job.
There is no PDF program out there to my knowledge that comes anywhere close to this program when it comes to the construction industry. We have been using this program for 6 years now, and the advancements the developers have made have been fantastic. All of our estimators and project managers have at least Bluebeam Revu, some have Extreme. The text recognition for creating page labels/bookmarks is fantastic (has improved greatly over time). The Sets feature is top notch as well, particularly for keeping up with jobs that have numerous revised drawing sets. The takeoff module is quite powerful, although we do not really take advantage of it's full potential as we already had an on-screen takeoff program.
I honestly have not been a huge fan of the new look in the 2018 version, but that's probably just because I was used to the old look after years of use. Some of our users are overwhelmed with all of the options, buttons, and menus, but that's really just the nature of the beast with a program with so many tools.
Must have software for engineering companies
We use Bluebeam on a daily basis for the organization of drawing sets and reports. Bluebeam makes it possible to collaborate on project review with local and remote personnel. Bluebeam makes it possible to help reduce paper waste and to maintain project records for quality controls.
The robust features of Bluebeam make this essential software for engineering companies. Mark up and organize drawings, compare versions of documents, OCR capabilities, and online collaboration are just some of the many features.
Sometimes the icons are not as intuitive to me as they should be. Would be nice if Bluebeam would incorporate the Ribbon format that many other programs use.
Great software-Terrible customer service
The customer service-technical help is just horrendous. Their 'technicians' are just phone operators, many with very bad attitudes (if I worked for a company with these policies I'd be grumpy too!) but read on...
Anything beyond the very basics like opening the program or setting up menus are completely beyond their abilities. To make matters MUCH worse they have no escalation policy at all. Read that again; a SOFTWARE company has zero escalation policy. Who you get, regardless of whether they can actually answer your question, is who you get (I was TOLD this -it's recorded too- by an operator! If they don't know something (most of the time) they put you on hold for 5-10 minutes while they go ask someone who supposedly does. Invariably there is a follow up question (or more likely, they just have the wrong answer) and so they put you on hold for ANOTHER 10 minutes. When you ask to be transferred to the person they obviously keep putting you on hold to ask, you are rebuffed. Ask harder, in fact DEMAND to be connected to a qualified tech often enough and they will revoke your service contract. Read that again, if you complain too much they will FIRE YOU instead of fix their internal problems!
Eventually I was able to work out an 'email only' connection to a senior tech who actually HAS the answers, but by revoking my service, they also robbed me of my updates so I can't even benefit from all the work I've put into helping them improve their product.
It is hands down the most powerful PDF editor available today. As of v. 2018.6 they have fixed MOST of the issues that made it crash (but not quite all) and I can operate this software for an average of 9 hours a day without too much cursing at the screen. Takeoff is WYSIWYG and once you learn the product, very adaptable to whatever way you like to work.
Another terrific feature is the 'slipped plans' feature where you can slipp addendum plans together with existing plans and transfer all of your current takeoff without loss. No other takeoff software allows this kind of functionality. The ability to automatically generate 'links' within the drawings (from flags to the correct page indicated by the flag) is also very valuable. Other programs DO provide this, but Bluebeam is much more accurate and faster.
The exporting function. Only allows limited functionality (.csv .xml .pdf and print) and Nemetschek refuses to work with us to provide access to the API so we can truly integrate the takeoff with our ERP system. It functions but it could be SO much more.
The tech help was TERRIBLE! First, they refuse to help unless you grant them remote access to your machine ( I won't). Then they cant actually do their job. See below for a full description;
I can't live without Bluebeam
I honestly love Blue beam I was only using Adobe about 5 1/2 years ago and my supervisor made me start using Bluebeam and told me you will learn to love and not be able to use anything else, well he was right.
I love being able to mark up documents, measure them, sign them all in once place. I use bluebeam every hour of the day and it makes my job easier.
I don't like when their are updates that are taking place and it causes me to not be able to use some functions or certain features stop working correctly due to the update needed.
Necessary in the Construction Industry
I have used this software everyday since joining the construction industry. Like every software there are glitches, however the benefits MAJORLY outweigh the pitfalls.
Every day I am learning about a new feature that makes life even easier in the industry. Love their takoff capabilities, measuring, stamps, and just the general fact that I can view PDFs and manipulate them. I have had VERY few complaints over the many years I have used this software.
Like all softwares, there are glitches. One bummer is the lack of integration on android phones. There was also an issue with integrating the software with an apple update; this was resolved fairly quickly though.
Beats Adobe Acrobat!
I have been using its professional version for at least 12 months. I am very happy with the performance. It gives me freedom and swift access to all the tools needed for modifying any document. It is a very beneficial software for any Architecture/Planning/Construction/Engineering Organization.
The flexibility that I get to edit the pdf file is just awesome. I can do whatever I want to the pdf. It helps me with drafting RFIs, Submittals and giving corrections on drawings to subcontractors. Whether its adding sign, edit content, add photos, mark drawings, make corrections.. you name it, I can do it!
The only limitation is, It cannot convert or edit DWG files. Sometimes I need a quick fix with AutoCAD file but this software doesn't have the capability to convert/import/export CAD files. This makes it BIM incompatible.
takes PDF making to a new level
bluebeam has made it easy to collaborate among our team members and communicate project related tasks all in one place.
bluebeam creates/edits PDF's in a re-imagined way. the tools and functionality are limitless. the studio version makes it easy for an entire team to collaborate on one PDF and mark up revisions as needed.
you must all be working in the same year version of the software to use studio. sometimes when a file is too big, it will slow down the software and become virtually unusable.
Untrustworthy Developer - Dropped the ball
Brings a lot of features and functionality missing from Acrobat. To my knowledge, no other PDF software is geared towards the A+E market. I wish there was another one out there so that these guys didn't have a monopoly on the market. It has given them a sense of invincibility that has led to stagnation and a lack of genuine support for their customers.
I've been using Revu for about 8 years, 5 of those on Windows. The last 3 are at my most recent job, and when I found out that Bluebeam had created a Revu for Mac, I was quick to push our company to adopt. I even gave a lunchtime presentation to show everyone some of the really powerful features I had come to know and love from the windows side.
Playing with the trial version of 1.0, though, I quickly realized that a ton of features were absent from the windows version. I went ahead and gave the presentation anyway, though and with some convincing, we bought seats for everyone.
It became clear within the first week of using the software, though, that it was incredibly slow. So slow as to be unusable. It took several seconds to render every page... considering that we regularly deal with 100+ page architectural sets, this made the program worthless in a lot of cases. What's more we really felt the lack of some features from the windows side, many of which were so basic that it's laughable that Bluebeam decided not to invest in them. You can't crop pdfs for instance.
Anyway, when bluebeam for mac 2.0 came out, we bought in thinking that we'd be getting all of the features that we were missing along with performance improvements. Turns out they decided to revamp the UI with almost 0 feature inclusions. The performance of page rendering was significantly improved, which was helpful, although page thumbnails now no longer load.
Makes life much easier for a project manager
Great Its like once you go Bluebeam you never go back.
Its my go to software when editing pdf's and reading through reports etc.
I like its ability to read and navigate and edit PDF's with easy and precision. Bluebeam has thought of everything when it comes to going through a PDF.
There are tons of incredible features that help make my life easier.
It is a bit pricy and its doesn't do much more than edit pdf's (unlike adobe cc suite which edits pdf's in all kinds of ways)
There are so many features I havent used 95% of them... so i dont even really know the software that ive been using for almost a year.
The Third Hand
We have designers that draw projects with a different program. Once that project is drawn, it gets sent to all the personal that need to look at it and use it for their specific tasks. BlueBeam makes it so I can get my notes and my measurements fast and easy. For example, when I am with a client making siding selection, I can add the note right on the plan with there Text tab. Simple and easy. When they want to change a window location, neat, crisp lines can be drawn to show were it should go. Bluebeam also helps me daily when I receive PDF documents from vendors or suppliers.
It is my go-to program to look at and edit PDF's. When one has to measure something, its easy to use and easy to give accurate information to the project managers, vendors, & suppliers. Easy to add notes and clean up PDF's to make them look and say the things you want. Like the fact my toolbox is saved and can be used over and over. While I was filling this out, a sub called and asked a question about a plan. I used Revu to answer the question because its quick and easy to get the information they are looking for.
Learning the way the Revu works takes time. Once you figure it out, its great though. I had to have someone else that had used Revu before set up my toolbox and headers because trying to do it myself was taking so long. Mostly that is my own fault but getting a program tailored to yourself should not be hard to set up.
There is not much I don't like about the this program.
Number one tool for collaboration with others
Overall I recommend this program to use with large groups of team members who you need to collaborate with on a project that requires review of documents, specifically construction related documents or drawings. It is easy to use for basic tasks such as marking up drawings to produce digital redlines.
This is a good tool for making drawings available for review by others, in and outside of your company. Even though I am in the design field and could mark up digital redlines easier in a more robust program, this software is simpler and easier for those who are not as adept with working on the computer or making redlines. The program tries to offer many different “tools” (pen, line, polygon, highlighter, text etc) to allow you to use whichever is easier for the user, which I think is what works best for this software when I make a drawing review available to 50+ people with all varying levels of comfort working on the computer. The other major bonus is having the redlines and comments from those 50+ people on one set of drawings rather than receiving separate hard copy and pdf drawing sets from each of them. This software can also be used outside of the “bluebeam session” and just for quick tasks like overlaying two different images, or reducing the file size of a pdf, or bundling separate PDFs.
The weak point for me is twofold. First, having the ease of copying over comments from an old drawing set to new drawing set is cumbersome. There are settings you can ask the drafters picking up redlines to use, like setting the status of a markup to “complete” or “rejected” however I have found it is difficult to ask all team members to use this feature when collaborating in this software, and the burden to sort through thousands of markups is left to myself. The other issue I have with this software is that it has set itself up to be a competitor of adobe programs, but the functionality of the tools are much lower than that of adobe PS or IL. I often find myself in the middle of a task I thought I could do quickly in bluebeam and get frustrated and have to restart the task in an adobe program.
Bluebeam Revu is to construction professionals what Excel is to finacial professionals
More than any other software package, Bluebeam is by far the most valuable to me in my daily work. Thanks Bluebeam!
I have been using BB Revu PDF software since 2010, when I switched from Adobe Professional. Revu is designed for construction personnel. I use it for reviewing documents and drawings, marking up, sketching, quantity take off, illustrating, presentations, flowchart and Org Chart creations - just almost everything. I convert word documents to PDF for reviewing. I add bookmarks as way-finder through large documents such as Specifications, Reports and Specifications etc. For drawing reviews or study, I compile large packs of PDF drawings into single PDF with drawing numbers visible under Bookmarks. With Revu you can have 2 (or more)drawings opened on your screen, from within the combined pack or separate files, for comparing eg Elevations and Sections or plans or details. Sometimes I use the auto compare feature in comparing updated drawing with an older version where the differences will be highlighted. The Search feature is extremely useful and I use it a lot in finding references in Specifications Codes and Reports etc. The Spaces feature is really good and impresses hugely when included within presentations. Signature feature also excellent. I use the Add Ins for Outlook, Word, Excel and CAD regularly. I find the Help Section and Bluebeam University incredible. The Developers really put themselves in the place of the "normal" user and provide excellent vide demos of all the features.
File sizes generated in marking up and sketching tend to be quite large. There are ways to reduce the file size but they do not work all the time - sometimes they increase the size.I have tried a few times to engage design consultants in the use of the Studio feature for real-time online collaboration without success. This is however is not the fault of the Studio feature - its just that the designers did not have the software.
Far superior than Adobe for construction
Suited for construction work, not just documents. It lets me do so much so easily. I can overlay drawings and find where things have changed. This works for contracts too. I can overlay the pages and see if the sub revised the document at all. I can easily markup drawings without any CAD experience needed. I can create forms from PDFs.
It takes a little while to learn the program because many icons are unfamiliar at first. And because it can do so much, there are so many icons. But I was able to customize my layout so it narrowed down my available icons to just the ones I use regularly. It's only a con for the first month of learning the program. Same for creating forms. As you start to work with it, you learn the tricks to making them easily, but at first it can be difficult. Most of the functions are similar to Adobe, but the one that I had to get used to was copying pages from one document to another. I used to open two separate Adobe windows and then click and drag pages from one into another. Revu only has one thumbnail view pane available at a time, so I had to modify my steps by copy and pasting pages from one document into another.
Very Good Functionality and Good Overall Performance for the Money
Our estimating team switched to this from planswift and we've had more people get on board who were doing paper takeoff. While there were definitely some pains with transitioning once we got used to the new layout we came to appreciate some of the additional features Revu has to offer. I would say planswift is a bit quicker for doing small quick takeoffs, but when we do larger jobs and especially jobs with breakouts Bluebeam starts to pull ahead. The biggest timesaver (and reason we switched) is that Revu makes it much easier to hand-off from estimating to sales (due to the fact that it uses pdf/excel files and the fact that it has the spaces feature that allows sales to provide more detailed info/schedule products by room).
In addition, it is much easier to use than Adobe Acrobat (or any dedicated takeoff software) for quickly making comments/marking up PDF's for customers. Also, have to commend them for making changes based on customer feedback that greatly improved the takeoff process.
Lots of different functions (construction takeoff/room scheduling, document mark-up/review, document creation)
Customization for different users/tasks through profiles
Excel export of markups/takeoff
Cheaper than alternative takeoff software
Easy to share with others (uses .pdf files)
Ability to transition from takeoff to room schedule through spaces feature (big time saver for us as we do lots of air device takeoff)
Easy to combine/compare revised drawings to old drawings/takeoff.
Takes a while to get up to speed on compared to other takeoff software (all the features can get overwhelming)
Takeoff functions are not as polished/fast to use as some dedicated takeoff software (although the latest update fixed some of this)
Certain PDF's can take long to load/render (rare problem, but very difficult to work around when it happens)
Lengthy enjoyable experience with this software.
My overall experience was stellar. To import plans was so easy and other softwares this is not the case. Many other software would take 2-4 additional steps just to import blueprints. Where as Bluebeam is basically one step. The software runs rather fast with hardly resizing delays , I have used similar softwares after acquiring Bluebeam and on the same computer I experienced resizing delays on the similar software, where Bluebeam had no issues.
The most important part of this software was the complete ease of use. With no experience with estimating software, I was able to jump right in and get to work without any training, videos or someone else to teach me the basics. The original layout and key icons made everything simple but necessary.
The first major issue I incurred was learning how to compile all of the data at the finish of gathering the take off( sq ft measurements) this portion of the software was slightly less user friendly when it came to compiling the lists of rooms/areas with the details .eventually after some months of use I began to become familiar with the steps of the software sorting the sq feet and labeling the areas
BlueBeam is a MUST for Construction!
I can't say enough good things about this software using it in the construction industry. I have used multiple different PDF editors but nothing comes close to as how good BlueBeam is. There is not much of a learning curve and you can learn the basics very quickly. It goes about as advanced as you would need and can do almost anything.
Marking up blueprints is straightforward and easy to do. There are multiple different callout shapes and easily input the tag on it. You can have a favorite toolset on a window for the most frequently used items such as your stamp, signature, check mark, etc... Once you collaborate the blueprint you can measure dimensions, surface, and volume.
Bluebeam integrates into most other software such as browsers, Microsoft Excel, and word. It has a quick button in these programs to easily convert it into a PDF inside of Bluebeam. If it does not have integration with the software you can print something and use Bluebeam as a printer to convert it into a PDF inside Bluebeam. You can even set spaces and do punch lists as well.
Everyone I work with loves with the product and nobody has a bad thing to say about it.
The only complaint I have been able to come up with but I'm sure it is user error is that my customized toolbar keeps reverting back to the default. I have locked the toolbar and messed with it but randomly every now goes back. I am unsure why this happens and is pretty frustrating when it does. Other than this no complaints.
Excellent PDF mark-up software with time-saving features and intuitive UI. Easy to use and learn.
There are several features that make this software very useful in engineering and project management. When marking-up PDF drawings or diagrams, the ability scale dimensions and measurements within the software is valuable. Many of the features included with the software are familiar to other software commonly used in the industry, and required no special training to use. I jumped right into using Bluebeam without any training or research, the user interface is that intuitive. Combining, converting, extracting, e-signing, and marking up PDF files has become a simple task which saves a tremendous amount of time. The feature to "lock" or "unlock" amendments to documents with the "flatten" feature is a nice touch.
Sometimes when converting MS Word docs to PDF using Bluebeam creates anomalies or unwanted formatting changes in the converted/output PDF file. This can be irksome for large documents, as QC of hundreds of pages to ensure document was converted to PDF accurately is sometimes necessary. Usually this only occurs with MS Word docs that use MS features that are not commonly used in document formatting or content. Regardless, peace of mind and confidence in formatting conversion would be nice to have, though this issue is also common to other similar software suites.
Easy to use. Lot of functionality.
Quickly and easily edit PDFs. More powerful and functional than most of the basic PDF applications available. Merge documents from a Windows Explorer window.
Bluebeam has a lot of buttons and features out-of-the-box. The default layout is intuitive. Quickly and easily add text, highlights, shapes, callouts, and lines to PDFs. The buttons for rotating the page are readily available. Taking snapshots/copies, cropping, and other editing functions are easy. Bluebeam has measurement tools so you can easily get dimensions off of plans. There are tons of keyboard shortcuts and "toolboxes" that allow you to perform repetitive tasks quickly. Customize stamps to create signatures or other repetitive text like "Reviewed By..." or dynamic shop drawing stamps (like "Make Corrections Noted"). Flatten tool allow you to lock your edits into place. Security features are also available.
Bluebeam also allows you to merge/staple multiple sheets together and further manipulate pages within a document.
Bluebeam provides a lot of functionality, but depending on your needs you may be able to use something cheaper and less functional. You should weigh your need for a tool like this. The "Staple" function for combining files within a Windows Explorer window/menu could be a little simpler. It currently brings up a dialogue box that is overly complicated and not intuitive. Other software like Adobe Acrobat allow you to do this much easier with only a few mouse clicks.
Long Time Bluebeam Revu User - Best Day to Day Software I use
Like I said, I could not function on a daily basis without the use of Bluebeam. I have been a daily user for just about 3 years now and I couldn't say enough good things about this software solution and I know it isn't just the Construction Industry that utilizes this software. Anyone can!! Highly Recommend!!
Bluebeam is not only a construction industry standard now, it is a necessity!! I use this software on a daily basis and could not function without it. Some people look at it as a replacement for Adobe Acrobat as just a simple PDF viewer but it is so much more than that. I use it to dimension drawings with it's calibration tool, you can extract specific pages from large document packages mark them up and send them out, their OCR feature is something that I know our Project Engineers and Project Managers use all the time as well and that is just a start of what it can do. Highly recommend!! Worth every penny!!
The cons is simply that there is a learning curve to know how to utilize all of the features it offers. I still learn something new everyday and I have been using it for 2-3 years now. They have great training videos on the website that walk you through Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced features that I would highly recommend.
Bluebeam is an easy to use PDF viewer with tons of features that make it an all around awesome tool
I have found that Bluebeam can do so many things that I almost don't need to use other software. Previously i used a whole slew of programs to complete various tasks similar to what I mention above but with Bluebeam I have discovered that many of these tasks can be completed in Bluebeam eliminating the need to switch between other software as well as saving costs for software that becomes redundant when weighing the uses of Bluebeam.
I love how versatile this software is I use it daily for almost everything that I do as a project engineer. I use it for creating RFI, reviewing submittals, rough take-offs, viewing and marking up drawings, and much more. For each of these tasks Bluebeam has tools that make the process easy, quick and accurate.
I have a hard time finding things that I don't like about Bluebeam, one thing that I have found difficult with Bluebeam is while it has many tools and options it is to the point where it is almost too many tools and options. I have been using the software for close to three years now ona daily basis and I still am learning about the tools and how best to use them. The basic principals and working of Bluebeam is still quite simple but getting into their advanced tools and uses does take an investment of time and practice.
I consider Bluebeam Revu a necessity for my engineering work.
Overall I think Bluebeam Revu is a wonderful program. It is easy to use and difficult to make mistakes that aren't easily fixed. I think it is a necessity for anyone dealing with official documents, editing PDFs, and working in the architectural/construction industry.
There are so many pros about this program. My favorite tools would be the calibration tool for verifying and editing architectural plans, the stamp and markup tools for approving and commenting on official documents, and the comparison tool for overlaying revised documents to see design changes. I love that Bluebeam Revu is simple yet sophisticated.
One con is that whenever I lose network connection, my stamp folder loses the path to my stamp folder. It would be helpful if there was a way to save the default stamp folder so when I regain connection it will automatically connect. Another issue is with flattening. It would be nice if there was a password or something users could share with a team in order for everyone in the team to have access to flattening and unflattening. Perhaps there could be a way to choose whether to only have the user who flattened be able to unlock it or to give access to teams.
There is nothing better than Bluebeam for PDF editing...!!!!
I am using this great software for some designing works. I can simply edit all my designs as per clients requirements and make them perfect with absolute easy.
There is no doubt that Bluebeam Revu is the best software available at the market today for viewing and editing PDFs. Software is fairly easy to handle and learn. Free versions are available for use. There are so many editing options, tools and functions are available. PDFs can be converted to word files with high accuracy.
I absolutely have nothing against the bluebeam revu. Files with macro details takes some times to load and zooming. But that is acceptable.
The best PDF markup tool for the A&E industry
It makes checking drawings and communicating changes a lot easier. The markup tools are much better than any other similar software I've tried.
I'm constantly amazed by how many features bluebeam has packed in.
The markup tools themselves have a lot flexibility. Being able to scale drawings and generate dimensions and areas is a huge plus. Creating new elements and adding them to your tool chest for future use is also a nice feature to have.
The OCR tools are fantastic helping us create bookmarks and labels to navigate large PDFs. We also routinely use the hyperlink tool to create linkable details that make navigating a large drawing set even easier. (I believe this feature is available only in the "Extreme" version). There is also an option to take two versions of a document and compare changes between two versions.
Beyond that being able to use blue beam sessions to collaborate with your project team on common markups is a great bonus.
I would really like the software to have the ability to create preset profiles that automatically set defaults for markup styles and colors.
Great PDF Editor
Good price, easy to use. I had been using this software for almost two years, and when it was time for me to buy a PDF editor and after testing a couple, I had no doubt to go for this.
It seems a bit slower to start than acrobat but that didnt stop me from buying it