One of the most common themes of my discussions with people about Bluebeam is that they wish they could add just one important feature that would make their workflows much more efficient. My response is usually that it is already there.
Often their eyes get big and they say, “Really?” And more often than not, these features are within the Status Bar. The Status Bar’s visibility can be toggled on and off with the F8 key. You’ll find several different buttons and dropdown menus at the bottom right of your screen (default).
The grid feature is the first of the buttons (hotkey: shift + F9). This turns on a visible grid within the document. The grid spacing is ¼-inch each way and cannot be altered. The grids don’t print or have any interactions with content or markups—they’re just visible guides. However, they can be snapped to by toggling the second button.
Snap to Grid
Selecting this button will highlight it, which toggles on the ability to snap to nodes of the grid. You can draw objects or move objects such that their nodes will snap to grid nodes.
Snap to Content
Toggling this button means that you can draw new markups or move markups such that the markup’s nodes will snap to the embedded content. “Content” refers to embedded lines, curves, nodes, etc., within the document itself (not markups). Flattened markups are considered as embedded content and can be snapped to using this feature. Documents plotted from CAD are perfect examples of documents with embedded content.
Snap to markup
Toggling this button allows markups to be moved or drawn such that their nodes will snap to other markups. “Markups” refers to “unflattened” markups within the document. Flattened markups become “content” for the purposes of the snap feature. This is a fan-favorite of CAD users.
This feature allows you to repetitively use the same markup tool until you hit the escape key or right-click. Usually, to draw multiple lines you would press “L,” then click to start, click to stop; then you have to restart the process with pressing “L” again. But if the Reuse feature is enabled, you just keep clicking to draw lines until you’re done. Drawing each line becomes two actions instead of three, which adds up over very repetitive tasks.
The sync button is actually a dropdown menu with two different options. The sync feature allows multiple windows of Bluebeam to maintain the same view—when one pans or zooms, so will the other(s). This works with multiple monitors, split-view tabs within the same window and multiple tabs in different windows.
Document: Selecting this option from the dropdown menu makes it such that not only is the view on the page synced, but when you navigate to a different page, it does likewise in the other window(s). For example, I often review multiple versions of the same document of the same length to compare changes. This allows me to pan, zoom or change page and seamlessly see both versions simultaneously. It tracks the PDF page number, even if the documents are different lengths. So a 14-page document can be compared to the first 14 pages of an 18-page document, but moving to pages 15-18 of the second document will keep the first document at page 14.
Page: This option doesn’t allow the page to change in the other windows when the page changes in one window, but still zooms and pans. The Status Bar, viewable with the F8 key, is home to several powerful tools. Each of them brings massive potential time savings or increased accuracy. I sincerely hope that you discover a new favorite feature within the Status Bar.