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Pulling Data from a Scanned PDF into Excel July 1, 2015

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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When printed materials are distributed at your next seminar or meeting, or your find a magazine that contains a table that you find valuable, most people scan the document to PDF to save it for later.  Sometimes you want this data entered into a database or added to spreadsheet.  If you can get it to a spreadsheet you can usually import into a database but who wants to key in all that data?  There’s a better way if you have Bluebeam Revu Extreme.

In today’s Bluebeam tip I’ll step you thru scanning a page from an Owner’s Manual and export the part numbers to Excel.

For those who do not want to watch a video, there are two basic steps:

1. Scanning the Document to PDF

File | Create and choose From Scanner or Camera then follow the prompts displayed to select your scanner or camera, page size and document attributes (Black & White, Grayscale, etc)

Bluebeam Revu Create PDF from Scanner

 

2. Export to an Excel Workbook

File | Export and choose Excel WorkbookPage Region and then draw a rectangle around the data, including the column headings. Bluebeam Extreme does the rest!

How to extract data from a scanned document to a spreadsheet

 

 

Here are a few other ideas of how you could use this:

Accounting: Import the expenses from a credit card statement so you can sort by expense type and subtotal in Excel.

Business Development: Grab the top business lists from local publications for leads and their phone numbers.

What other ideas will you come up with to export to Excel?

 

Bluebeam Tips: Construction Safety Hazards using Pictograms April 22, 2015

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software, Safety.
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How's this for trench safety?

How’s this for trench safety? (Photo by Ernest Brooks, Trenches of the 11th Cheshire Regiment at Ovillers-la-Boisselle, on the Somme, July 1916.)

OSHA’s new Hazard Communication Standard goes into effect June 1, 2015 and will require pictograms on labels as a safety measure. These new labels are there to alerts us to the specific types of chemicals hazards. They serve as a reminder to warn us of danger and to take special care. These visual cues should heighten our awareness so why not place them on your plans to remind employees as they enter work areas what is present? Use Bluebeam to help you with safety talks, acting as a visual aid.

Why visuals are so important to safety

Trench Safety and Job Site Hazards (photo by Sherry Eklund of Desert View Aerial Photography dvaerialphoto.com)

Trench Safety and Job Site Hazards (photo by Sherry Eklund of Desert View Aerial Photography http://www.dvaerialphoto.com)

It only takes us 150 milliseconds for a symbol to be processed and 100 milliseconds to attach a meaning to it. Every safety meeting should incorporate visuals, not just speaking or text. They are also easier to recall. That’s why pictograms are on the labels of hazardous material and having your team review the locations of these materials can be life saving. These pictograms may be incorporated onto the site planning for stationary hazards, or preexisting conditions. It’s great for remediation or environmental cleanup projects and will help your employees return home safe and sound. Adding visual symbols on HAZOPs, P and IDs and construction safety studies are also a good idea. Besides placing signs or symbols, shading work zones with open trenches, equipment traffic flow or crane boom reach, possible falling objects, etc is beneficial too. How bout scaffolding locations on the jobsite and lift placement. The list goes on.

Bluebeam Revu Osha Hazard Tools SetYou can find OSHA’s pictograms in vector quality (.EPS format) on the Department of Labor website (https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/pictograms). Add these tools to a new safety tool set in your custom “Safety Profile” and you’re ready to go. If you aren’t familiar with how to create custom profiles, custom tool sets or custom tools you may want to review these previous posts (below) or request our OSHA Hazard Pictograms tool set in our Safety Profile for Revu (for free): Email Me Your Contact Info.

Hagen Business Systems Inc can create custom profiles, tool sets and tools for your teams. To request these services, send an email with your business contact information to Email Me Your Contact Info.

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 Shortcut: Snap, Sync, and Reuse with the Construction Profile January 29, 2015

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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Status Bar in Revu has Reuse, Snap, Sync, etcThe popularity of the Construction Profile in Bluebeam Revu often leads to a bit of confusion for newer Bluebeamers. The Status Bar is hidden by default in the profile and so I frequently see people changing the profile they’re using to Takeoff or Advanced so they have the options to Snap to Content, Snap to Markup, Sync side-by-side views or Reuse markups.

Let’s save you some time and instead share the shortcut, F8. This will toggle the Status Bar Off/On in all Revu profiles. Of course if you want to, you could modify the profile so it’s always there too!

For more ways to access the Grid, Sync, Snap options, read “Making Markups a Snap in Bluebeam Revu

With Bluebeam Revu 2015 arriving on February 3rd, 2015 I encourage you to contact me via email or call me 602-570-7289 today if you do not already own a Bluebeam Revu Extreme license. You’ll wish you did if you deal with larger plan sets with 100+ pages. To check whether you have Standard, CAD or Extreme in Revu, click on Help | About

Bluebeam Tutorial: How to convert Outlook emails to PDF December 17, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in archiving, Bluebeam Revu, email.
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Whether you have a discovery issue or you just want to archive all your email for one construction project, Bluebeam Revu’s Outlook Plug-In has you covered.  At the end of the year it’s always good practice to clear out your email by archiving.  The problem with Outlook is that the archive option keeps it stored inside Outlook…not an easy place to find documents or review them. This is why the Revu Plug-In is so great.  You can convert a single email, multiple emails or an entire folder of email (in bulk) and if you want, have all the documents password protected or stamped “as Archived on date” if you wish. And best of all, any attachments are automatically hyperlinked to the converted PDF document.  This video gives a good overview of the Bluebeam Outlook Plug-In:

If you don’t see the Bluebeam options on your Outlook ribbon and right click doesn’t have the convert to PDF option either, you may not have the Outlook Plug-in installed. Either contact your company administrator, or if you only have a single license, run Bluebeam Administrator.  The dialogue box brings up what plugins you have  Make sure they are checked, then click apply. Bluebeam Standard includes Office and Outlook.  Bluebeam CAD and Extreme add AutoCAD, Navisworks, Revit and SketchUpPro  to the mix.

How to install the Bluebeam Outlook PlugIn

I often share emails by converting them to PDF with password protection turned on, to limit printing and editing capabilities at the recipient’s end.  You can access the security from the Bluebeam “change settings” option in the Outlook Ribbon

How to change security permissions in Bluebeam converted email

Change settings in the Outlook plugin controls what prompts you see before converting to PDF and the page settings.  It also controls where the file or folder is saved to, the password security permissions and if designated, the stamp that is applied to the PDF.

Is your new year’s resolution to clean up your Outlook inbox or to remove old email?  Let Bluebeam help you delete with confidence!

If your firm (or a friend) needs to add Bluebeam licences, please Email Me Your Contact Info before Dec 31, 2014 and you’ll automatically get the Revu 2015 release for free!  Note this program is only available thru authorized Bluebeam resellers and is not available from Bluebeam direct.

 

 

 

 

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: 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: 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: 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 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.

Bluebeam Tip: How to Make AutoCAD Text Searchable in PDFs February 5, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, CAD, Construction Industry - Software.
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SHX Fonts make AutoCAD Text Searchable in PDFsBluebeam Revu is used by many Architects and General Contractors that also use AutoCAD. When you convert AutoCAD files to PDF, there’s a setting that you’ll want to check if you want to make the text searchable in your PDF. It’s called SHX Fonts and is an option at the time of the file transfer found under the General Settings > Transfer Data Tab as shown above.
By turning SHX Fonts on, all of the fonts in AutoCAD will be transferred as searchable text. If you are receiving files from an Architectural firm you’ll want to request that they check the SHX Fonts option. Feel free to share this blog post with those you know using AutoCAD.

For other file types, converting to searchable text can often be accomplished by using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) which is available in Bluebeam Extreme.

Stay tuned as Bluebeam releases Revu 12 in late February 2014. You’re sure to be delighted. I’ll be sharing sneak peeks soon!

Making Markups a Snap in Bluebeam Revu January 6, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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Snap to Grid on a PDF with Bluebeam RevuConstruction pros often need to markup their PDF documents to to get clarification or help to explain a solution on the job site.  In Blubeam Revu the most popular markups are the Cloud (C) and the Callout (Q).  [FYI the keyboard shortcuts are in parenthesis if you don’t have these already memorized.]  Making it faster to place these markups on a plan can really expedite the markup process.

You can have your cloud markup “snap to the grid” and your callouts snap to your cloud markups. There are of course many other snap features that you probably aren’t even aware of.  This under 2 minute video explains all your options:

If you’re looking for more great tips you can subscribe to this blog (in the panel to the right) or if you prefer, follow my Bluebeam Revu Tips page on LinkedIn.

If your construction team needs training or more Bluebeam licenses, we’re here to help offering volume discounts on new license purchases, enrollment for automatic updates and both on-line and on-site Bluebeam Revu Training at your facilities. Just <a href=”mailto:carol@hagenbusiness.com”>Email Me</a> what you’re interested in.

Finally for those who love Bluebeam tips and have benefitted from our weekly blogging effort, may I request a favor of you?  You can help me by doing one of the following:

  • Leave a comment on this blog post
  • Share this post with someone else using the social media or email options
  • If you’re on LinkedIn, connect with me or visit our Bluebeam Revu Products Page and add your recommendation

Thank you for your help in advance.  Now go get ’em Bluebeamers!

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.

Bluebeam Tip: Callouts and Leader Lines June 25, 2013

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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Multiple leader Line CalloutCallouts are the second most popular markup in Bluebeam Revu (Cloud is the most used) and often times it would be helpful to add another leader line (aka line with an arrow) to point to multiple locations that a callout refers to. There are a couple ways to add multiple leader lines and a few extra tips below when working with Callouts:

Adding Leader Lines:
To add leader lines, right-click a Callout and select Add Leader.
or
Shortcut: Hold down the Shift key and click
the bend in the leader line. Then, click a location on the document to place the arrow of the new leader line.

Removing a Leader:
Right-click a leader line, then select Delete Leader.
or Shortcut: Hold down the Shift key and click the control
point at the end of the arrow.

Moving Both the Text Box and Leader(s) Together:
Hold down Alt, click inside the text box and then drag the entire Callout to a new location.

The shortcut to add a callout is “Q”.

Hope this saves you time and go get ’em Bluebeamers!

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