Archive for February, 2009

Don’t forget to print (to PDF)

February 27, 2009

My coworker Jenna, who works on our Account Services team, shared an interesting email with me today. She’s working with a customer who is not only using Bluebeam to go paperless in the office, but at home as well.

Here’s an excerpt from his email to Jenna:

“One of the things I do is scan all my paper bills to PDF. I pay my bills electronically, and use the function in my online bill paying system to make PDFs of the payment confirmations. Then on the PDF copies of the bills, I use Revu to insert a hyperlink to link from the bill to the payment confirmation PDF.

I also scan most instruction books and associated paperwork that come with most consumer items to PDF. I use Revu’s markup tools to make notes, enter the serial numbers and all that stuff. Then I use Bluebeam to combine all documents pertaining to an item into a multipage PDF, complete with bookmarks to appropriate sections.

I’m having fun with Bluebeam. This is an awesome tool!” – Jack.

Wow. I must say, I’m really impressed by all the ways Jack is using Bluebeam to go paperless and stay organized. I mean, I like to think that my personal files at home are pretty well organized. But Jack most certainly puts me to shame!

Hmm…I think I know what I’ll be doing this weekend….

Are you like Jack? If so, tell me what types of documents and booklets you print to PDF, and what you do with the electronic files. And remember, to keep on PDF’ing!


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Bluebeam Wins 2009 Constructech Top Products Award

February 25, 2009

Guess what? Our PDF editor, Bluebeam PDF Revu, won an award today!

Constructech magazine has named Bluebeam PDF Revu a 2009 Top Product in its annual Top Products Award competition. Constructech magazine is a leading source of information on software and hardware solutions for the construction industry. Every year, Constructech holds the Top Products contest to recognize “the best technology currently available for commercial construction applications.” Bluebeam PDF Revu was named a winner in the 2009 Trusted Products category, for its innovation, usefulness to the construction industry, and expanding market share.

Bluebeam PDF Revu is the only PDF editor to win the Constructech Top Products Award this year.

Bluebeam PDF Revu is the proud winner of the 2009 Constructech Top Products Award

Bluebeam PDF Revu is the proud winner of the 2009 Constructech Top Products Award.

When Bluebeam wins an award, my coworkers and I usually celebrate by eating ice cream cake. My fingers are crossed that I’ll find a delicious cookies n’ cream concoction from Cold Stone Creamery in the kitchen this afternoon. Mmmmm!

If you’re as excited about this award as we are, please help us share the news by telling a friend or coworker. And remember, to keep on PDF’ing!


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Using the PDF Viewer – and other Bluebeam Profiles

February 24, 2009

A few days ago a customer called me and explained she had a problem. “I don’t know how,” she said, “But I somehow managed to get rid of all of Revu’s menu options. I can’t find them and I don’t know how to get them back.”

What happened to this users menu options? Read on to find out.
What happened to this user’s menu options? Read on to find out.

Now, I’ve been using Revu for quite a while. You might even call me a lifer. And because of this, I knew exactly what this user was experiencing. You see, she had unknowingly customized the Revu interface by switching from the Default Profile to the Viewer Profile.

“What’s a Profile?” you ask. Let me explain.

Revu includes various Profiles, which are basically just different configurations of the PDF editor’s interface. These Profiles are designed to provide users with easier access to the PDF editing and markups tools they use most often.

For example, if you’re a contractor and do a lot of takeoffs, you’ll probably want to use the Measurements Profile. This Profile highlights Revu’s takeoff tools by automatically displaying the Measurements tab each time you open Revu. However, tablet pc users will most likely want to take advantage of the extra real estate provided by the Tablet Profile, which only displays a few essential toolbars.

Now, back to my phone call. I explained Profiles to this user, and she loved the feature! I walked her through the steps of switching Profiles, and she tried a few out right then and there. In the end, she decided to go with the Legal Profile. It was perfect for her, because it displays all the text editing toolbars (which she uses), but doesn’t display the drawings and shape toolbars (which she doesn’t use).

Revu provides several Profiles for you to choose from.
Revu provides several Profiles for you to choose from.

So, what Revu Profile are you using? Do you have any suggestions for new Profiles for us to create? Let me know. And remember, to keep on PDF’ing!


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The Best Bluebeam Resources

February 20, 2009

You need information on Bluebeam, and you want to find it quickly. I completely understand. I want you to find answers quickly too. So today, I thought I’d share with you some of the Best Bluebeam Resources. These tools will help you get started, find answers and stay current with Bluebeam news.

Let’s start with my favorite, the Resources page. Aptly named, huh? Well, think of this page as your portal to Bluebeam PDF Revu bliss. It has links to the user guide, videos, tool sets and more. No matter how long you’ve been using Bluebeam, I guarantee there’s something on this page you’ll find useful.

The Resources Page if full of helpful information.

The Resources Page if full of helpful information.

Looking for product or company news? Then subscribe to the Bluebeam News RSS Feed. This is a great way to find out about software releases, reviews and other information as it’s posted on Or you can sign up for our monthly email newsletter, the Bluebeam Insider. Either way, you can’t lose. Both contain relevant information to keep you up-to-date on our product and company.

Are you on the list?

The next resource is a tool for those who manage their company’s Bluebeam license. It’s called the license key lookup page. Enter in some license information and automatically receive a list of registered computers. What a great tool for tracking who’s using Bluebeam! The license key lookup page isn’t published on our website. So if you’d like the link, you’ll have to email me to request it.

The best of the Best Bluebeam Resources, however, won’t be found on the web. You’ll find it on the other end of the phone. Yes, I’m asking you to give us a call to share your questions and feedback. I promise we’ll answer, or at the very least call back the same day. And we’ll be helpful and friendly. So go ahead, put us to the test. Call us at 626-296-2140 or 866-496-2140 toll free. Press 1 for Sales and 2 for Support.

Let me know if you find these resources helpful, or if there’s some thing else you’d like to see on our site. And remember, keep on PDF’ing!


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A Snippet on Snapshot

February 18, 2009

Today my coworker Sasha brought doughnuts to work. I love doughnuts, especially maple bars.  So I quickly headed on over to the kitchen to claim one.

As I passed by one of the conference rooms, my coworker Joel was walking out. He works in tech support, and had just finished hosting a web demo for a user. He immediately started telling me how he was using the Snapshot tool.

First, let me give you a bit of background info. Snapshot lets you copy any portion of a PDF, such as a logo or a symbol. The copied content is saved onto your Windows clipboard. Then, you can paste it back into a PDF or another Windows file.

Use Snapshot to copy any portion of a PDF.

Use Snapshot to copy any portion of a PDF.

Apparently, the user Joel was working with had become a Snapshot Pro. It was interesting to hear how many different ways he uses Snapshot. He uses it to create photos, add images into emails – the whole nine yards. He even takes Snapshots of symbols, pastes them back in the PDF, and saves those markups in the Tool Chest.

“We should make sure users know how useful Snapshot is,” Joel said. “Okay,” I replied. “I’ll blog about it…just as soon as I get myself a doughnut.”

So here it is – a snippet on how Snapshot can be useful to you. So check it out, and remember to keep on PDF’ing!


PS – I did get a maple bar, and it was delicious.

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A New Bluebeam Tool Set

February 16, 2009

Bluebeam has a new flowchart Tool Set for you! It’s available on our Resources page and contains 33 symbols commonly used in flowcharts and diagrams.

Use this Tool Set to make flowcharts in Revu.

Use this Tool Set to make flowcharts in Revu.

I know – I was surprised to see 33 different symbols in it, too. But our graphics designer, Brian, assured me they’re all relevant symbols…and that he didn’t add random shapes just for fun.

For those of you who are not familiar with Bluebeam’s tool sets let me explain…

To import the Tool Set, click the link on the Resources page to download a zip file. Then open it up and double click on the Tool Set .btx file. Just like magic, the Tool Set will automatically load into Revu.

Remember, each symbol in the Tool Set is an annotation. That means you can customize its color, line style, font and other properties settings. Once you place and customize the symbols, I suggest connecting them with Revu’s line, polyine and arrow tools.

If you want to learn more about Tool Sets, read about creating your own Tool Sets or watch a video about using the Tool Chest.

One last thing before I go. At least half of the Tool Sets on our Resources page, including the flowcharts, were requested by customers. And we obliged. So if you have any ideas for new Tool Sets, send them my way. And remember to keep on PDF’ing!


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That Facebook PDF – They Should Have Used Bluebeam

February 13, 2009

Did you hear? Earlier this week the Associated Press revealed Facebook’s internal valuation, which was much less than previously believed. How did the super sleuths at the AP find this figure? They came across a PDF of a court document that appeared to have been redacted. But since someone made a serious redaction failure, the AP was able to use copy and paste to discover Facebook’s real value.

I know what you’re thinking – “What’s redaction?” Let me explain.

PDF redaction is a tool for permanently removing sensitive data from a PDF file (think social security numbers, credit card numbers, etc.). To the reader’s eye, a redacted area of a PDF simply looks like the words are covered with a black box. But redaction does so much more. The tool actually removes that data from underneath the black box and the PDF content stream. This means, once something is redacted from a PDF, it’s gone for good.

In the case of the Facebook PDF, someone made a BIG boo boo. Instead of using a real redaction tool, they just covered up text with colored boxes. Ergo – the text was still in the PDF, just hidden behind annotations. That’s why the AP was able to use copy and paste to discover Facebook’s real value. Now, for what it’s worth, I don’t care what Facebook’s actual value is. I will still log on daily to throw sheep at my friends.

But, back to the topic at hand – redaction. If you need to permanently remove text or images from a PDF, don’t just cover it with a black rectangle, redact it! Bluebeam PDF Revu has a redaction tool. It’s pretty straightforward, but if you have any questions about how to use it, by all means, call or email us (that includes our friends at Facebook). And remember to keep on PDF’ing!


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A New Bluebeam Program for Schools

February 12, 2009

I have great news for our friends in education.

No, we’re not giving away free cases of ramen noodles. Sorry to get your hopes up. But, we have expanded our academic purchasing program. We’re now offering reduced pricing not only to students and educators, but administrators and staff, too. Admit it – discounted licenses of Bluebeam are way better than dehydrated noodles and shrimp.

You can find pricing and purchasing information at our Bluebeam Store for Education.

I was really excited when our sales team told me about this new program. I’ve heard so many interesting stories from educational users: teachers using Revu to grade assignments, facilities departments converting CAD files to PDF, students using Revu on tablet pcs to take notes and even organizing thesis research.

Now everyone at a qualifying school can benefit. And of course, I’m looking forward to hearing more stories from these users. So if you have a student, teacher, administrator or school staff member in your life, let him or her know about Bluebeam’s new academic pricing. And remember to keep on PDF’ing.


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3 Cool Tools in Revu

February 10, 2009

One of my responsibilities at Bluebeam is to demonstrate Revu at trade shows – lots and lots of trade shows. It’s actually kind of ironic, because I really hate flying. But I digress. Every time I’m at a trade show, it never fails; someone will ask me “So, what makes Bluebeam different from Adobe?”

I love this question.

You see, when I talk about how we’re different from Adobe, I get to demo some cool features, and show how Revu makes it a lot easier to edit PDFs than “you know who” does. So today, I thought I’d share with you 3 tools in Revu that I think are really cool.

Cool Tool #1 – The Tool Chest

The Tool Chest is a proprietary feature that let’s you save custom markups across sessions, so you can reuse later with just one click. This means you don’t have to recreate markups and change their properties settings every time you need to use them – how cool is that?

You see, the Tool Chest is comprised of various Tool Sets – portable files that you can import, export, save to your hard drive or email – that contains your custom markups. It’s really easy to create your own Tool Set, too. I made one. It has my signature and some different colored check boxes, because I tend to fill out PDF order forms a lot. And it also has a screenshot of Yoda, you know, just for fun.

Ive saved some helpful (and fun) annotations in my Tool Set.

I've saved some commonly used (and fun) annotations in my Tool Set.

All joking aside, the Tool Chest really can save you a lot of time. In fact, it helped this user speed up document review by 60%. Check it out!

Cool Tool #2 – The Markups List

The Markups List is a tool that tracks all comments made on a document, in, you guessed it, list format. It captures information such as the markup type, color, author, date/time, page number and more.

Track, sort, filter and summarzie comments in Bluebeams Markups List

Track, sort, filter and summarzie comments in Bluebeam's Markups List

But the coolest thing about the Markups List is that once you have a document with comments, the possibilities are endless. Import and export comments from other reviewers, summarize to CSV, XML or PDF, filter, respond and more. Here are some creative ways customers use the Markups List:

  • Creating punch lists for construction projects by importing in all comments, creating a PDF summary, and appending it to the original PDF – with hyperlinks.
  • Quickly changing properties settings for multiple markups. For example, if you need to change all your red text markups to blue, you can go to the Markups List, sort by markup type, multi-select the red text markups and change them to blue.
  • Creating a CSV summary of measurement annotations, and performing additional calculations in Excel.

Cool Tool #3 – Flattening

Have you ever marked up a PDF, sent it off and had the recipient call you and say your markups didn’t print? Well, the recipient is probably viewing and printing the PDF from Adobe. And for some reason, Acrobat defaults to printing the document only, not the document and comments. Smart, huh?

Of course, you could tell this person to just download and use Bluebeam, but I realize it isn’t always kosher to tell others (i.e., really important clients) what software to use. So you need to prevent this situation from happening in the first place. Don’t worry; we’ve already got a plan. Our Flattening feature makes your markups become a permanent, unchangeable part of the file. This means when you email it out, you can rest assured that your markups will print, even if the PDF is being printed from Adobe. You can even Unflatten later to make markups active again, so you can edit, move or delete them.

Of course, there are a lot of other cool things that differentiate Bluebeam from Adobe (ahem, price, cough), but these three features – the Tool Chest, the Markups List and Flattening – are some of my favorites. So tell me, what do you think about these Cool Tools? What other features would you add to this list? And remember, keep on PDF’ing!


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