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Bluebeam Trick: Handwriting to Text Comment on Tablet September 2, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu.
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Handwriting recognized automatically when using the pen tool on a tabletThe Pen tool is often used on tablets to make notations as it is much easier than keyboard input when walking a jobsite. Handwritten notes are common markups on field documents, but did you know you can turn handwriting to text automatically?

When using the Pen tool you can have Bluebeam automatically recognize your handwriting before placing the markup. It places the associated text in the comments column of the Markups list for you. To turn this on, adjust your Revu preferences for your tablet.

Go to Preferences (Ctrl-K)| Select Tablet | Check the Auto Recognize Text box
Auto recognize handwritten text in Bluebeam Revu

This option only appears if you have a tablet PC, touch screen or tablet device attached to your computer and is unchecked as the default in Bluebeam Revu. If you use a Surface Pro or other tablet PC you’ll want to change this today.
It works best with hand printed text.

The sensitivity is for pressure sensitivity when using the pen or highlight tool. Pressing down firm produces a thicker line. Note that not all tablet devices support pressure sensitivity.

This comes in handy when you don’t have a custom punch symbol with the specific description you need. You can then lasso multiple markups together like a punch symbol and the pen markup and group them together, or in my case above, the arrow and the pen markup.

If you liked this tip you might also like:
Bluebeam Revu iPad tips: Adding audio, video and perform field measurements

Bluebeam Tip: Line Styles in all Shapes and Sizes August 28, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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Custom Line Styles in Bluebeam RevuIn our previous post, Complementing CAD, the architect had dotted lines to display the path of travel. So what if you need something more elaborate? Bluebeam Revu has many line styles but did you know you can create your own?

Line Styles for paths, roadways, pipelines, fencing, railways, boundaries and borders are often used in illustrations and appear on construction plans. Custom line styles can be applied to Arrow, Ellipse, Line, Polyline, Rectangle, Polygon and Cloud markups. Use the custom Line Style editor to make your own custom line styles.

Custom line styles can be created using dashes, text, spaces, dots and vector graphics literally providing you with the option to create any shape or size. The custom Line Style editor gives you the ability to have multiple lines with varying characteristics that’s great for producing road patterns and other complex designs. Here’s a Bluebeam video on how to make your own line styles and share them with your peers.

Note: You can apply limited styles to the Dimension tool as well.

What unique line styles have you created? Email me a few you’re proud of and I’ll append them to this post (with a kudos to you and your firm)!

Bluebeam Revu Tip: Complementing CAD August 21, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, CAD.
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While many Architectural, Engineering and Construction firms use Bluebeam Revu to convert CAD to PDF, there’s an often overlooked capability that is as plain as the nose on your face. It’s sketching and creating floorplan illustrations.

It was my pleasure to meet Nathan Woods, CCCA, LEED AP of Taylor Design at the 2014 Bluebeam Extreme conference. We had the opportunity to connect on LinkedIn afterwards and struck up a conversation. I inquired as to how he first found Bluebeam and what he uses it for. “I was looking for a superior way to markup and respond to RFIs” says Nathan. “Nowadays, I draw in Bluebeam equal amounts to sketching or CAD.”

Luckily for us, he was willing to share a sample of his work in Bluebeam with this floorplan illustration (below), taking it from sketch to finished work. Overtime he has added custom tool sets into his tool chest copying some tools from CAD and creating others from scratch in Bluebeam. With the custom tool set features, you can have all your favorite symbols, illustrations, etc. right at your fingertips. Let’s take a look at Nathan’s work.

The sketch is the basis for laying out his illustration:
Floorplan Sketch

He then creates layers for the Soffits, Markups and Text Annotations. Nathan draws in the soffits with the polygon tool that he’s customized with a fill color. Here you can see the soffits layer added to the sketch:Adding the soffits layer to the sketch in Bluebeam

Now let’s turn on the markups layer. Many of the tools here are part of his custom tool set.
Markups added to the Floorplan illustration, these Custom Tools created in Bluebeam

Finally the text is added for a professionally illustrated finished floorplan. All that’s left is to add the Architect stamp!Floorplan illustration created in Bluebeam

A special thank you to Nathan Woods for sharing this with our readers.

If you have created a timesaving tool or found another use for a Bluebeam and would like to be featured in an upcoming blog post, reach out to me on LinkedIn, Email Me, or tell us about it in the comments.

Want to learn more about Bluebeam Revu or need on-site training for your construction team and office staff? I am available and travel the United States providing in-house customized training for your Project Managers, Estimators and supporting office staff. To arrange for Bluebeam Training in your offices, Email Me Your Contact Info.

Bluebeam Tip: Autosequencing for RFI Text Box Markups August 14, 2014

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Hyperlinked RFI on a plan in Bluebeam Revu

Many construction firms hyperlink RFIs on their plans. They cloud the area pertaining to the RFI, add a text box and type in “RFI-100″ then add the hyperlink. This tip shows you how to make the text box auto fill with the next available number on your document. You’ll want to add this to your custom tool today!

Create a text box with no text in it.
In the toolchest, drag it to My Tools or the tool set of your choice
[Optional] Change the properties to your preference liking (color, fill, check the autosize, etc).
Right click on the newly created tool and select Sequence | Define Defining the sequencing in a custom RFI tool
You will then have this dialogue box display below where you can type into the Prefix “RFI-“.
RFI Prefix for an autosequencing RFI text box
Uncheck the “Renumber when markups deleted”

This tool will work like other autosequence tools so it will increment the RFI number for you within the text box. Should you want to use the same number on multiple sheets within the same document you will need to create a separate tool for static RFI numbering (a plain text box with RFI-# in the text area).

Be careful in your tool creation as you can choose document or page for sequencing. Also be aware if you check “Renumber when Markups Deleted” and delete an already placed RFI it can create lots of work to correct.

Best practice: If you have multiple places that reference the same RFI, place the RFI text boxes on the document before hyperlinking. You can then have it search for them all and hyperlink them all at once rather than one at a time.

Bluebeam Tip: Working Efficiently with Tabs and Panels August 7, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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Make your Thumbnails tab appear at the top of a panel in Bluebeam Revu
Bluebeam provides you with many options for configuring your profiles including the ability to position tabs within panels. Panels can be split into multiple areas to allow accessing multiple tabs in the same panel at the same time. This maximizes the usable space in the panels.

In this example we’ll position the thumbnails tab above all the other tabs in the left panel. This is useful when you work with multipage documents and wish to navigate quickly, while using other tab functions like Links or Layers.

1. In the construction profile, open the left panel.
2. Click the icon of the thumbnails tab and drag it down Position this tab above into the panel until the Position Wheel appears, then drag the thumbnails tab over the up arrow of the Position Wheel, and release.

To undo this top/bottom split, simply drag the thumbnails tab back between the File access and tool chest icons.

You can drag additional tabs into the same panel and split them in any direction. The configuration of the workspace is saved so that the next time a session of Revu is started, the layout will not have to be re-configured.

In the example below, the Tool Chest is dragged below the thumbnail view so that both tabs may be displayed at once. Use the Position Wheel to define other placements, such as side-by-side or above, in addition to the below setting shown.

Place the Tool Chest Tab below the Tumbnails Tab in the Panel

Note that if you position a tab to the bottom panel it can overlay the left and right panels. Click the small left or right arrows on the panel border to toggle this setting. Expanding in this manner enables more columns to be displayed in the Markups list.

You can also drag icons from the left to the right panel or rearrange the order they appear within a panel.

Bluebeam Tip: How to Transfer the .DWG file layer information to PDF July 10, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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Bluebeam has had many people request that they transfer the DWG layers from AutoCAD into a Revu PDF. While currently on Revu 12.1 this feature is not present, there is a workaround.

Pull all AutoCAD DWG layer files together

If you create a separate PDF for each layer using Bluebeam’s CAD Plug-in, Making a Layered Bluebeam PDF from AutoCAD and name each separate PDF the layer name, then in Bluebeam you can create a layered PDF using
File | Create | Layered PDF which combines all the docs together (make sure to check the box Use Filename as Layer Name).

That being said, I did ask the status of this feature on the Bluebeam Roadmap and the reply received was AutoCAD has not opened the layers function in their API. If you as Bluebeamers and AutoDesk customers want it, you need to demand it. Send an email, letter or text message to management, add it to the AutoCAD Wishlist and maybe ask AutoCAD support. Perhaps if they hear from their customers (instead of Bluebeam Software) enough, they’ll add it to their API.

Another alternative would be to use AutoCAD’s DWG to PDF.pc3 print driver – here’s a YouTube video of that

(Note: Using AutoCAD’s print driver does not make the layers work in Bluebeam)

I want to thank Clinton Hill for asking me this question as it obviously inspired this Bluebeam Tip.

If you have questions you need answered about Bluebeam, reach out to me on LinkedIn, email me or add your question in the comments. Perhaps your question will appear in a future Bluebeam Revu Tip on this blog.

Bluebeam Tip: When Keyboard Shortcuts Don’t Work July 2, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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Bluebeam Keyboard Shortcuts not working

Bluebeam Shortcuts are a huge timesaver and it’s well worth memorizing your favorites but there are conditions when they simply do not work. The default setting in Bluebeam is set to disable shortcuts whenever the document you are working on contains a form field. This is set to avoid any conflict between keyboard shortcuts and typing in the form field.

If you have the task of reviewing forms design, processing forms (filling in the “For office use only” area) or work with documents that may only have a few form fields like a check box or digital signature field, you may want to enable the shortcuts. This can be done but the instructions change depending upon which version of Bluebeam Revu you have.

Revu 11 and above:

In Revu, click Settings > Preferences (or press Ctrl+K).
Click Forms on the left side.
Check the Enable Single Key Shortcuts with Form Fields check box.
Click OK.

Revu 10:

In Revu, click Settings > Preferences (or press Ctrl+K).
Click General on the left side.
Check the Enable Single Key Shortcuts with Form Fields check box.
Click OK.

Revu 9 and previous:

In Revu, click Edit > Preferences (or press Ctrl+K).
Select General on the left side.
Check the Enable Single Key Shortcuts with Form Fields check box.
Click OK.

You may also be interested in:

Here’s how you can access a list Bluebeam keyboard shortcuts from right inside Revu.

If you are on LinkedIn, you can receive just the weekly Bluebeam Revu Tips and Tricks from this blog by clicking: following this page on LinkedIn

Bluebeam Tip: Multiple Monitors for Estimating Take-off Productivity June 6, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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Bluebeam Revu allows you to split views and work across multiple monitors which helps professional estimators take-off more efficiently. So did you know there’s actually a Profile for multiple monitors?

The Multiple Monitors Profile moves the tabs from the left, right and bottom Revu docks into a second independent window so you can move the tabs onto the second monitor and use the entire main Revu window to display the PDF file.

The Multiple Monitor profile works well with monitors that are different sizes or when using a second monitor with a laptop display. You can keep Revu in the larger monitor and move the independent window into the smaller one.

For example, a 22″ widescreen and 19″ (4:3 aspect ratio) display or 24″ and 20″ displays will often match vertically, because the larger is a widescreen version of the smaller.

If the multiple monitor profile is not listed in your Profile drop down choices, simply go to the Bluebeam Support Extensions page http://bluebeam.com/us/support/extensions-profiles.asp and follow the instructions. If you are the IT Administrator, you may want to store this on a network drive and make it accessible to all your users.

Bluebeam Revu makes Estimating Take-off easier and faster with the Multiple Monitors Profile. Once you have it, estimators may want to add their custom tool sets used for take-off to this profile using the Manage Tool Sets option (click on the Gear Symbol in the Tool Chest Pane).

Of course Multiple Monitors also works for your contract administrator, legal team, marketing department and your project managers. Research shows that workers performing text editing are 44 percent more productive with dual screens.

If you skipped the Anthony DelNunzio of CaddPlans video above, you may not realize you can also drag one single PDF pane across multiple screens. With large format drawings this might just be the best of both worlds.

If you have two screens or more, please let us know in the comments and share experience of how you’re working smarter not harder.

Bluebeam Revu Tip: Email or Script to Send to Box.com File Folder May 29, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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For those Bluebeamers using an iPad Revu and Box.com to sync files, here’s the perfect way to get your files from Bluebeam Revu shared to Box quickly using a script (or email).

Update 5/30/14: You can also email documents to Dropbox https://sendtodropbox.com/

First, you’ll need to decide what folder in Box you want your Revu Files sent to. Login to your Box account, navigate or create the folder you want your Bluebeam files to go to then click on More and mouse over the Upload Options | Email Files to this Folder
Email Your Files to a Box Folder Then it will bring up the Folder Properties. Make sure you check the “Allow uploads to this folder via email” option.
Check the allow uploads to this folder via email
This makes an email address for uploading directly to your specified Box folder. Now copy the email address it generates and use it to email documents directly to Box from inside Bluebeam Revu Standard. To make this automatic and not have to type the email address each time you can create a script.

To create a script to Flatten and email to that folder you’ll need a Bluebeam Extreme license. Then follow these steps:

To open the Bluebeam Script Editor, navigate to the Documents Tab and click on Script
Enter the Description “Flatten and Upload to my Box Folder”

Grab the Box logo or an appropriate icon you have as a JPEG file on your computer. To grab the box logo off the internet, you can search for Box in Google then right click on the Box logo and choose “Save Image As” and name the file Box in the .jpg format. Screenshot for those who need the help:
Bluebeam Revu Script logo

Now for the actual Bluebeam Script. Enter in the script dialogue box type “Flatten()” Hit Enter for the next line and type “Email(yourboxfolderemailaddress)”.
Script Editor in Bluebeam Revu

If you want your documents to load faster on the iPad, you may want to reduce the file size before uploading to Box. Just add the line
ReduceFileSize(High,150,true,false,true) [where High reduces the image level, 150 is the DPI, then True to Drop Fonts, False to not drop thumbnails, metadata and other Miscellaneous items, and True to Compress] before the Flatten in the script editor. Keeping the thumbnails can be helpful on the iPad.

You may want to automatically add Headers and Footers to this script as well, especially if you’re in business development and are creating customer facing documents, brochures, etc.

The simplist form of the HeaderFooter script is designating the header contents (left, center right) and footer content (left center right). An Example would be HeaderAndFooter(“”,”<>”,””,”Carol Hagen”,www.hagenbusiness.com,602-570-7289) which centers the date in the header and my name in the footer left, website in the footer center and phone number in the footer right on all pages of the document.

Please share this with your construction contacts as they are using Bluebeam too. If you need help with scripts or need some Bluebeam training, feel free to reach out.

Bluebeam Gets New Measurement Options with Revu 12.1 May 13, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software.
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The Bluebeam Revu 12.1 update adds some handy measurement options so estimators can save some time. Simply calibrate as usual and check the new independent units checkbox. This offers the choice of units you want to use for length, area and volume measurements.

In the sample below I’ve opted to measure square yards for area as I am taking off the flooring and cubic yards for the stairwell concrete slab while leaving the length a foot and inches measurement as usual (double click for a larger image). You can change between metric measurements and English in the same takeoff with ease should you need to. Let Bluebeam Revu do the conversion for you!

Bluebeam Measurements add independent units function

If you have a previous version of Revu (11 or earlier) you may need to renew your annual maintenance to upgrade to Revu 12. Please check with your systems administrator or email me your Revu Serial number and I’ll check it for you.

If your annual maintenance is up to date, please refer to our previous blog post, How to upgrade Bluebeam Revu 11 to Revu 12 which includes hardware/software considerations before upgrading to Revu 12.

Bluebeam Revu Tip: Convert Multiple Files to PDF with Stapler May 5, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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Saving time is a Bluebeamer mantra and the Stapler function can help expedite conversion when you have multiple files that you want in PDF format. Rather than opening each document and converting it to PDF, you can select numerous documents from File Explorer (or in the Open File option inside Bluebeam Revu) and do them all in a batch. You can also combine them all into a single PDF simultaneously. Converting files to PDF makes it easy to share with construction team members, subcontractors and suppliers who may not have the native applications to open all file types you are using. Follow these steps to make File conversion to PDF a breeze:

Multi Select Your Files
Choose all the files you want to convert to PDF then Right Click, pick Save To and choose Bluebeam Stapler. They can be JPEG, Microsoft Excel, Powerpoint (pptx), Word (doc or docx), text files, TIFF, GIF, HTML, PNG, bitmap, rich text format, AutoCAD, DWF or Solidworks files, essentially the active plugins you have access to.
Convert Multiple File Types to PDF in One Step with Bluebeam Stapler

Complete the Bluebeam Stapler Steps
The Stapler then launches and identifies the application associated with each file type. If it cannot resolve what application to use, it will return an “unsupported file type” message. The dialogue box at right Stapler shows what Application it will use to recognize each file type
shows you can add more files, folders or subfolders, and using the arrows, control the order of conversion. If you choose to also combine these files into one document rather than keeping each converted document separate, the PDF pages are placed in the sequence of the stapler conversion. Note you also control the output folder. If you have selected all the files and options you want, click Create File to complete the conversion to PDF.

The Stapler Wizard (optional)
If you instead select OK rather than Create File, it will launch the Stapler Wizard. The Stapler can be used to configure Stapler allows you to queue up multiple PDF conversion jobs
a set of conversions, each conversion being referred to as a “job”. Multiple jobs can be added to the Stapler and converted at once. Use this capability to convert many files in an automated manner.

If you need to convert countless file volumes and file folders to PDF, you may want to consider Bluebeam Q as it can process files directly from a watched folder automatically. Learn more about Bluebeam Q here.

Bluebeam’s Revu iPad App Gets New Signature Tool May 2, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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The latest release of iPad Revu brings a much requested feature with the new Signature Tool in version 2.6. Project managers and superintendents on the project site are doing a happy dance as they can add their signature to the tool chest and place an electronic signature on their PDFs. Here’s the full set of instructions on how to use the Signature Tool in Revu iPad directly from out of the handbook:
New Signature Tool Now available in Bluebeam's iPad Revu App

Note that Revu iPad version 2.6 was released on April 29, 2014. Previous purchasers must update their app to have this option.
Get the Revu iPad App on iTunes

For digital signatures, download a 30 day free trial of Bluebeam Revu to you PC or laptop (requires Windows 7 or higher).

Bluebeam Trick: OCR Kills Two Birds with One Click April 15, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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Many Bluebeamers only have the CAD or Standard versions and these Revu clients don’t know what they’re missing. The Extreme version offers some real time-saving functions and can perform multiple processes in one step. The OCR (Optical Character Recognition) function can deskew and detect the orientation of your document while it converts image content to text.

Bluebeam Revu Extreme Optical CharacterRecognition

Extreme has more great features including:
Scripts – process multiple functions in one click like “Flatten and email”, set security, add header/footer, stamp, reduce file size, etc
Forms Creation – Create fillable forms, stamps and templates
Redaction – Hide sensitive content permanently from prying eyes
Batch Link – Hyperlink all your plan set pages to the sheet index automatically.
Structures – Make multilevel bookmarks for your plans grouped by specialty: architectural, civil, electrical, etc

Watch for upcoming Bluebeam tips on all these features. To save time and improve team productivity with Bluebeam Extreme.
request a quote today to upgrade multiple licenses from CAD or Standard to Extreme.

Data Center Cooling is a Hot Topic April 11, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry, Construction Industry Hardware.
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Having recently toured the Phoenix NAP data center, the invitation to Arizona IT Women’s Network Luncheon on April 8, 2014 caught my eye with the Data Center Cooling topic, something that contractors building these facilities would be interested in.
Data Center Cooling Technologies

With guest speakers, Adam Green and Travis Becker of SEGI (segisalespros.com), we learned that cooling costs typically account for 38% of the energy consumption in a data center. Heat Loads and Hot Spots are the culprits so control of the air flow is critical for energy efficiency. They explained the advantages and disadvantages of hot air vs cool air containment and that both methods can reduce cooling power consumption by about 50%. More can be saved using a Vertical Exhaust Duct System (VEDS), a CPI passive cooling method used to remove 30kw heat loads. Imagine turning off half of your air handlers and you can extrapolate what your project owner’s savings can be. The VEDS system can be designed into a building or retrofitted afterwards. If you design ahead, you won’t have the extra expense of unnecessary air handlers as your Mechanical Contracting Design professional can attest.

Women in IT at ASU SkySongIt was good to meet other women in IT from the City of Chandler, APS, Amkor Technology, MDI Group, Vistx, Wesco, Berk-Tek Leviton and Enterprise Network Solutions. The Arizona IT Women’s Network meets monthly for lunch at ASU Skysong in Scottsdale. Gigabit Passive Optical Networks, Distributed Antenna Systems and Data Center Infrastructure Management Solutions are planned as topics through July. If you would be interested in attending let me know and I’ll send you an invite.

Architects Build a Rock Solid Reputation with Project Owners April 10, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, estimating.
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An Architects reputation is thought to focus on building design, sustainability, open areas, and aesthetics. As the owner’s supervisor of construction work, what your reputation actually depends upon is your effective communication, coordination and collaboration. Conveying a clear vision, responding timely and controlling project costs while juggling schedules and maintaining quality ensures your success. Your ability to make the entire process appear effortless delights your project owner and creates a rock solid relationship.

Once your design has been selected your next step should pull the construction team together to make the magic happen. Beginning with a system that provides measurable results with analytics and project controls can make the e-procurement process a well coordinated project and set the tone for a collaborative experience that streamlines your project’s procurement process. Here’s an international solution coming soon to the United States that every Architect should know about:

Gaining a reputation for effective and efficienct communication will keep your reputation growing in the right direction. The owner will see his project start sooner, and you’ll be able to track and control costs all the way down to the supplier, all up front. If you’d like more information on ProTenders, please email their sales team, and tell them Carol sent you.

Information Chaos in the Construction Industry April 9, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, Document Imaging.
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Whether you still hold onto paper or not, more construction activity content is reaching you in a digital format. Email, electronic collaboration portals, file sharing, applications for payment, plan set revisions, etc all accumulate into a mountain of digital documents. How you manage your digital documents will determine your success in project management, effective communication, risk management and productivity. Without a strategic plan and integrated solutions to document workflow you are highly susceptible to Information Chaos.

This slide presentation by John Mancini presented at the AIIM conference explains the challenges, how to plan and prepare for Information Chaos in a Digital World

Your construction company has already felt the information chaos pain as you have worked with digital documents. A single source of truth that is easy to navigate, quick to access, and offers flexible search options is what you long for. What construction needs is a digital document workflow that incorporates project management correspondence, BIM collaboration, emails, reporting, human resources and accounting. With workflows the digital documents are stored, tracked, revised, managed and resaved all into a central depository with rules applied for document retention throughout the document lifecycle while maintaining secure access to sensitive data.

The silos of information spread across applications and mobile devices, within departments and held closely by employees is costly and often adds to the chaos. How do you measure the Lost time and missed opportunities these silos have created? They directly affect your bottom line. As a Viewpoint Business Development Partner I’m here to help address your mobile, digital, collaboration, cloud, project management, estimating and construction accounting initiatives. Let’s start a conversation about where you want to be and an IT plan to get there. Simply Email Me Your Contact Info and I’ll get back to you right away!

Bluebeam Revu Tip: Text Box and Callout Markups April 8, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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How to Automatically size your Bluebeam callouts and text box markupsCallouts and text boxes are common markups on construction plans and documents. In Bluebeam Revu 11 you could check the autosize box in the properties tab of your text box or callout tools. This was an often overlooked feature so they improved it in Revu 12 by allowing you to set autosizing as a preference. You can set this as your individual preference so you’ll have perfectly sized boxes and callouts optimized based upon the amount of text you type.

To get to the preferences options click on Settings and selecting Preferences from the dropdown choices or use the shortcut CTL+K. Once there choose Markup and check the box next to “Autosize Text Box and Callout Markups”, then click OK. Bluebeam Revu Preferences to AUtosize Callouts and Text Box Markups

Want to learn more about Bluebeam or need on-site training for your construction team and office staff? I am available and travel the United States providing in-house customized training for your Project Managers, Estimators and supporting office staff. To arrange for Bluebeam Training in your offices, Email Me Your Contact Info.

What Your Construction Firm Needs in an Employee Portal March 25, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, payroll.
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Paystubs and Earnings on an Employee Portal
Employee Portals are a way for construction companies to provide a self-service to their employees, providing access to weekly pay stubs and W-2s. This is especially helpful around tax time and frees up many requests to your Human Resources Department. This eliminates the need to encrypt files that you email to your employees and addresses more than the weekly electronic paystub for employee’s using direct deposit. Let’s look at what your construction firm should look for in an employee portal.

Employee Portal Integration to Your Construction Accounting Software and Intranet
Forget imports and exports, jury-rigging two disparate systems. Your Employee Portal needs seamless integration that delivers an experience where you remain in control. If your employee changes their last name, address, and number of dependents in the employee portal, your HR department should receive a notification to validate and control when an update occurs to an employee record inside your construction accounting software. There should be no rekeying of any data, and the HR department should have options to update payroll records only, update HR records only or both automatically. This should include standard fields as well as all the custom user-defined fields you may want your employees to update.

There should be no need to configure users or SQL accounts if it’s all tied right into your existing Employee Master. If your construction firm has an existing Intranet, you’ll want a solution that also has a web service API.

Access the Employee Portal from Android, iPhone or iPad Portal Access on Smartphones, iPads and tablets
Web-based employee portals are great as your team can access their information from any computer. It’s just as important to offer access in the field for mobile devices. Make sure your employee portal has access on both smartphones and tablets. Your project superintendents and project managers will appreciate the effort and will find it invaluable when on the job site or commuting home from the project on the weekends.

Paperwork Should Flow
If your employee is changing their number of dependents, your portal should generate an email to that employee with the appropriate forms and instructions attached(W-4, etc). Automating forms distribution and notifications can then tie back to the Payroll or HR records. This also applies to Paid Time Off (PTO). Employees should have access to when they have used their PTO including vacation, sick and holiday time. There should also be an automated procedure for them to electronically request time off. Employee requests that require forms streamline the approval process for the field and office. Let your portal improve your employee relations and reduce the mundane tasks in your HR or payroll departments simultaneously.

Ok, by now you’re wondering where can you find such a solution. Since becoming a Viewpoint Business Development Partner I’ve kept abreast of each new software development partner and Keystyle Data Solutions caught my eye. Reach out directly to the Founder, Kevin Fisher (you can email him here) and tell him I sent you.

Bluebeam Tip: Show All Measurements in Estimating Take-off March 20, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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How to make area and perimeter measurements display in Bluebeam Revu

With the recent Bluebeam Revu 12 release, all take-off measurements appear in the markups list (See image below). If they don’t, you may need to Manage Columns and check off the fields you are missing. All the measurements, however, may not appear on the markup on your document. This can be adjusted by selecting the Show All Measurements in the properties of the measurement or in your custom measurement item in your tool set.
The example above shows an area markup that includes both the area and perimeter. Note that the perimeter equals the length in an area measurement if you are performing calculations for your estimate.

If you are measuring perimeter. The Show All Measurements will add the “P=” to your perimeter markup. This can be helpful to distinguish visibly between an area markup and a perimeter measurement on a document.

If you use the Diameter measurement, Show All measurements will add Area and Perimeter measurements.

Using the volume measurement with the Show All Measurements selected will include Area, Perimeter and Wall Area with the Volume.

All the above examples and the markups list measurements are shown below:
How to add Area, Perimeter and Wall area to a measurement markup in Bluebeam RevuNote that these additional measurements display in the comments column on the markups list.

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Bluebeam Keyboard Shortcuts March 11, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
Tags: , , , ,
1 comment so far

Bluebeam Revu Shortcuts

Bluebeam keyboard shortcuts can save you an enormous amount of time and many are worth the effort of memorization. Bluebeam has a Keyboard shortcuts document hidden inside Revu. This PDF document contains all the shortcuts for Markup and Editing, Viewing, Navigation, Page Manipulation, Show Tabs, Advanced Text, File Operations and miscellaneous items. All the function key shortcuts, and keystroke combinations of Alt, Ctrl and Shift are packed into this fabulous resource that most Bluebeamers have overlooked.

The Bluebeam Revu Keyboard Shortcuts is accessed by navigating to the Help Tab and clicking on the down arrow (inverted triangle) next to the Help icon. I find most people who find this document open it and only look at the first few pages. In essence, they only see the mouse navigation buttons. Continue on to the fourth thru sixth pages and you’ve hit the mother lode!

Now go get ‘em Bluebeamers!

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