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Bluebeam Tip: Creating a Multicolored Legend Tool February 28, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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Multi-colored Legend Tool in Bluebeam
Markedup plans and documents are easier to collaborate on and convey information when the markups are color coded. Colors speed our brain’s ability to consume content. If you have created color coded Tool Chests for those you collaborate with, you’ll immediately know who added which markups. This is especially useful when working with multiple disciplines like the Architect, Structural Engineer and General Contractor. Creating a Legend Tool to place on all the document pages is easy and saves you time. Here’s how:

1. Place a Text Box on a document and enter Architect
2. Change the Properties of the text in the text box to the color your Architect will use.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the Structural Engineer and General Contractor (and for any other disciplines you want in your legend).
4. Line Up all your text boxes tightly together on your document. (You may want to turn on the Grid to line these up)
5. Lasso or multi-select all the text boxes you added in the above steps on your markups list, right click and select Group to group these markups.
6. Add the Grouped markups to your tool chest by dragging it from the Recents to your My tools

Now you have your multicolored Legend tool to reuse and place on all the pages you need to.

Another way to do this would be to create a custom stamp. Then you could use the Batch Stamp function to place your legend on all the pages.

What other tools or stamps have you created that arebig time savers? Share your ideas in the comments section and help all my readers become efficent Bluebeamers!

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Bluebeam Tips: Notes with Icons March 10, 2015

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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Notes Markup has Icon options

If you use the Notes Markup tool to minimize the clutter on your documents, you’ve likely noticed the small icon that appears as a small piece of paper with lines on it. It’s great when there are many markups in a small area on the document. What most of you haven’t noticed is the properties options in this tool.

Changing icons can provide a mini legend for types of notes. Take the time to create your own tool set or color code them for document reviews and you have another power tool in your tool chest. Stars, keys, triangles, circles, checkmarks, right arrow, up-left arrow and my favorite, the Cross (cause X marks the spot). You’ll have so much fun you might want to make a treasure map! Too bad there aren’t clovers since St Patty’s day is just around the corner.

Let’s see what readers have mastered Bluebeam Markups. What other Markup tool has an option to change the icon displayed? (post your answer in the comments)

You might also like to read:

Creating a Multi-colored Legend Tool

Bluebeam Tip: Visualizing Project Percentage Completion with Your Project Owner December 9, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu.
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Bluebeam Tools for Work Completion by Sub

How to General Contractors help a project Owner Visualize the Project’s Percentage of Completion?  It’s difficult. I’ve seen many spreadsheets, reports, thousands of photos and AIA Schedule of Values all attempting to convey to the owner just how far along their project is. The problem is most owners need visuals. Photos are great for seeing what’s done but it’s a lousy way to convey an overall status on the project. There is a better way with Bluebeam Revu by creating a custom tool set and utilizing custom statuses in the worklist.

Understanding what is done, who you are waiting on, and how the project is progressing can be difficult to convey. Especially in complex projects. Using a simple approach with the floorplan, setting work areas (using spaces) and embedding symbols for each trade (a custom tool set) in all work areas can help. The status and color of the trade’s symbol in each work area can convey whether materials are staged, what’s started, what’s 50% complete, what’s finished, etc., and when all trade work is complete in a work area, the entire space can be colorized as complete. Just slap a legend on the floorplan and the owner will understand without having to analyze spreadsheets or read a report.

Creating the custom tool set can be a little tedious.
1. Place an Ellipse markup on a PDF in an oval shape.
2. Add a text box inside the oval with a 2 character abbreviation for the trade.
3. Use the Lasso Tool, right click and Group the ellipse markup and text markup together
4. Change the  Properties of this tool and provide the full name of the trade (ie. electrical, drywall, etc) You may also want to change the opacity.
5. Add this tool to a new tool set in your tool chest (you may want to call this Work Completion by Trade/Specialty/Sub or Work Pct Compl by Sub), either by right clicking and adding to a tool set or dragging and dropping the tool from the Recents Tool Set to another tool set (as the recents will clear when you close Revu).
6. Repeat for as many trades as you want to track.

To help all my Bluebeam readers, I’ve created a tool set for you that you can import and use as a template to get you started with 10 symbols for Framing, Plumbing, Mechanical, Electrical, etc. Click here to download this tool set and make modifications. I suggest you create the custom Status Model detailed below and tool set in a Custom Profile called Work Completed Status for Owner.  Consider it a early Christmas present as I know all Bluebeamers have been good this year!

Once you have this imported into your tool chest, you’ll want to create your own custom statuses for Material Staged, Trade Started, 50% Complete, 90% Complete, 100% Complete. A sample of what you might want is shown below. Note that each State is color coded differently and that you will want to add a legend onto the floorplan so your owner know what each color means.
Revu Custom Statuses for Work Completed by Trade

 

To get to the Manage Status dialogue box, go to the worklist and click on the gear next to the Status Icon (looks like a traffic light). Then add the new Model on the left, check the newly created model and then add your custom statuses for that model on the right.  Here’s what it looks like in use:Bluebeam Revu provides owners visual of work completed Status by work area or room on the project

Since you’ve read to the end of the post I’m also providing this download to my custom “Work Completed for Owner” Profile  so feel free to modify the status colors and create your own legend.

You can use similar methods for creating multilevel approvals for the punch and back check, design and constructability reviews, etc.

There’s another gift coming tomorrow so be sure to check back on this blog, especially if you need a few more Bluebeam Revu licenses.

Bluebeam Tips and Shortcuts for Estimators February 21, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, estimating.
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These handy Bluebeam Keyboard shortcuts will help Estimators get their work done a bit faster:

Bluebeam Revu Keyboard Shortcuts for construction estimating

If you aren’t likely to commit these to memory, you can still work more efficiently with these helpful toolchest estimating tool tips.

Publc works Color Codes for Underground Utilities A Markup and its layer can be defined in the toolchest. To add a layer to a markup, right click on your toolchest markup tool and choose layer. Common uses of layers for estimators is to name each layer by trade or specialty. This way you can toggle them off and on, which is especially helpful when you have many measurements in a small area.

Color coding by specialty or discipline is also popular for custom estimating markup tools. My suggestion would be to follow industry standards like the American Public Works Association (APWA) uniform color code for underground utilites:

This also makes for a great “Legend” custom markup tool you can place on your estimating take-off plan set. Not sure how to make this color coded legend as one tool? Tune in for next week’s Bluebeam tip and I’ll cover how to group markups.

Bluebeam Revu Idea: The Ultimate HomeBuilder As-Built December 3, 2013

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry, Construction Industry - Software.
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Once you’ve completed building your customers dream home you hand over the keys and all the documentation.  Warranties, specifications, owner’s manuals, etc – it’s a stack of paper that may need it’s own filing cabinet.  What if you delighted your home owner with an interactive As-built with the appliances, fixtures and all their documentation embedded on the plans?  The ultimate as-built would deliver a remarkable experience.

PDFs embedded on Home Plans using Bluebeam Revu

PDF icons open up underlying documentation for each appliance or fixture

In the above example the PDF icon is shown with the attachment markup function.

This is easy to create using the Attachment option on the Markups Tab

Once you select the file and click to where you want it embedded on your plan set, you can open the Properties Tab on the Markup and change the ICON to PDF, Show File Name, paperclip, Tag, Graph, Attachment “push pin”, etc.  You could also include a Legend to explain what each symbol/icon represents (warranty, spec, photo, energy efficiency, etc).

Interactive As-Builts make the documentation make sense to everyone.  his is also great in the commercial space where a facilities manager might need to review maintenance instructions, etc.

To share these embedded PDFs on the planset with your homeowner, remember to flatten the document markups before sharing so the hyperlinks work using other PDF programs.  Remember it is likely that your homeowner will use a PDF reader that isn’t Bluebeam.  

Tip:  You can add other Icons to the Icon choices like a camera to symbolize embedded photos.

What do you do to make your as-builts pop?  Please share your ideas in the comments with our readers.

Bluebeam Revu Tips: Aligning and Flipping Markups July 22, 2013

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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Bluebeam Revu has an alignment toolbar that is underutilized. Where I find it most beneficial is in creating a color coded legend to identify each specialty or industry expert’s markup. After creating a basic toolset for each specialty, I give them instructions to only use markups in their specialty toolset (a single coro for highlighter, cloud, pen, callout etc). When sharing the document in Studio, or sharing later via email, looking to the legend makes it clear visually who added which markup. Often I also turn on the grid tab to help me.

You can do much more than just align left in Bluebeam Revu like aligning a width, height or size and distributing them horizontally or vertically (the latter is great for creating a workflow diagram)!

How to Align Your Markups left justified
Selected markups can be aligned using the Alignment toolbar. Select two or more markups and then click the toolbar buttons to align left, top, right or bottom. The first markup selected will be the primary markup and all other markups will be aligned relative to the primary markup.
Markup- Alignment in Bluebeam Revu

How to Flip or Mirror Your Markups
Image, Stamp, Polyline, Polygon, Clouds, Pen, Highlight and Grouped annotations may be flipped either horizontally or vertically. To flip, select one of more annotations, then click the Flip Horizontal or Flip Vertical button.

Flip Horizontal (Ctrl+Alt+H): Flip selected annotation horizontally.

Flip Vertical (Ctrl+Alt+V): Flip selected annotation vertically.

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