We’ve all been there. You want to invite a team member or colleague into a Bluebeam Studio Session or Project so you can collaborate or share files, but they don’t have Revu yet. What to do? Well, they can use Vu!
Vu is Bluebeam’s free PDF viewer which lets users view and print PDF documents, fill out and save PDF forms, and best of all, collaborate with others on documents in real time using our cloud-based collaboration solution, Bluebeam Studio! BTW, did we mention it’s free?
There are two sides to Studio: Studio Projects and Studio Sessions. This article will help you figure out which of these is best for the collaboration needs of your team, and how you can participate in both as a Vu user.
Studio Sessions are for PDF-based online collaboration. While in a Studio Session, Vu unlocks many of the markup and tool set features normally reserved for licensed users of Revu. You can take measurements to verify dimensions and add comments, callouts, symbols and many other markups to a PDF to communicate your thoughts, ideas or concerns to others participating in the Studio Session with you.
How Does a Studio Session Work?
While in a Studio Session, there is no need to check files in and out. All you need to do is click on a PDF to open it even if other users have the same PDF opened. That is the beauty of Studio Sessions. This is real-time collaboration, baby! All users in the Session can markup and collaborate on the PDF and everyone can see what others are adding or have added. There’s also a Record that captures user activity, including the user name and what they added, modified or removed from the PDF.
Can Other Attendees Modify My Markups?
A user’s markups are fully protected by his unique Studio login, so only the user who added a markup can edit or remove their own markup. You don’t need to worry whether someone is altering your markups – they can’t.
What If I Lose Internet Connectivity?
All markups are added in real-time and uploaded to the cloud as you add them to the PDF, so there’s no need to worry if your Internet connection drops and you lose connectivity to the Session. Your markups are safely stored in the cloud in the Session. Vu will even remember what PDF(s) you had opened and will restore them for you automatically, so you can pick right back up where you left off once Internet connectivity is restored – how cool is that?
Studio Projects is Bluebeam’s simple document management system that lets you store many different file types— including PDFs, Microsoft Office files and images— in the cloud. Keep in mind, while using Vu to access a Studio Project, the PDF files in the Project can only be viewed – markup is restricted. However, if there is a PDF document in the Project that you need to add markups to, you can ask the Studio Project owner (the person who sent you an invite to the Project) to add the PDF document to a Studio Session.
How Does the Studio Project Owner Add a PDF to a Session?
This is a simple task for the Project owner. They just right-click on the PDF document and add it to a new Session. Once the PDF is added to a Session, the Vu user can access that Session as before, using either an invitation link or the Session ID number. Just like we talked about earlier, the markup capabilities of Vu are unlocked while working on PDF documents in a Studio Session.
Can I Work With Other Project Files Stored in Studio Projects?
Other file types in the Project, like Excel spread sheets and Word documents, can be checked out and edited locally, such as in Microsoft Office, and then checked back in to the Project.
To work with non-PDF file types:
- Right click on the file and select Check Out. The file will now be listed in the Pending Changes section of the Project with a red check mark next to it.
- Right click on the file again and select Open. This will open the file in the native Microsoft Office application.
- Edit the document in the Office application and save your changes as you normally would in Office.
- Now go back to the Studio Project and right click on the file listed in the Pending Changes Select Check In from the menu. During the check-in process, you will be prompted to add any comments. These comments will be added to the documents Revision History. To view the Revision History, right click on the document and select Revision History.
That’s it! Your changes are now uploaded to the Project.
Please remember these tasks are only for non PDF documents because PDF markup and editing in a Project is restricted when using Vu. Use a Studio Session instead to markup PDF documents.
But wait! What if you lost Internet connectivity while you had an Office document checked out? Good news – Studio has you covered. As long as the document was checked out and listed in the Pending Changes section, you can finish your changes and simply check the file back in when your connection is restored. Just because you’re using the free viewer, doesn’t mean we don’t have your back!
For more information about using Bluebeam Vu to access Studio, check out the full tutorial.