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Bluebeam Tip: Make Your Construction Punch Process Faster with Spaces October 30, 2013

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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The Construction Punch Process has been a time-consuming process for most general contractors until Bluebeam Revu and a few other software solutions added iPad apps. The problem with most applications is that you have to manually add the building number, floor number and room number to each punch item. Another issue is that your punch item reports aren’t hyperlinked to each punch markups on the drawing, often causing confusion for the specialty trades.

With Bluebeam Revu’s Spaces feature you can have the location automatically logged with each punch item or mark-up and use it to sort and report your punch by floor, room or building. It’s easy and just takes a few minutes of prep work.

Create Spaces
On multi-story buildings you’ll begin by creating Nested Spaces. Nested Spaces let you create spaces inside spaces e.g. Rooms 100 – 120 inside Floor 1

Open up the spaces tab or use the shortcut Alt+S.
On the Space tab button bar, click Add Space.

Spaces Tab in Bluebeam Revu

Bluebeam Spaces Tab

Click and drag a rectangle or multi-click a polygon to define the floor or area.
In the Add Space dialog, enter a name such as “Floor 1,” then click OK.
Click inside the floor or area to begin defining a space on that floor.
In the Add Space dialog, enter a name such as “100” for room 100, then click OK.

Spaces Tip: By referencing just a number, you can create spaces in room number order and Bluebeam will automatically increment the number by one for you.

NOTE: Spaces can be nested but cannot partially overlap; spaces must be separate from or entirely contained within one another.

Once your spaces are defined, they’ll automatically be added to the markups list whenever you add a markup or punch item to the drawing. If you don’t see the Spaces column in your markups list, you may need to scroll to the right or click the columns button in the markups list and select spaces to add it to the markups grid.

You’ll need Bluebeam Revu version 10 or higher for access to the Spaces feature so if you’re still on Bluebeam Revu 9.5, let me know via Email and I’ll expedite your upgrade to Revu 11.

Reminder: To ensure every punch item on your report is hyperlinked to the corresponding punch symbol on your drawing don’t forget to Flatten before emailing your Punch Report. Plattening ensures the links won’t be broken if your email recipients open the PDF with a PDF viewer other than Bluebeam.

BONUS: The larger the project, the more mission critical the punch process is. When you need to be punching one floor, having the trades correcting the punch on another floor and your inspector performing a back check on another floor all at the same time, you’ll want to use “Real-Time” Punch using Bluebeam Studio. It expedites the process and your subs, architects and inspectors can update their status live (note this video is 30+ minutes in length)

All this is included in Bluebeam Revu. That’s why over 500,000 people are licensed to use Bluebeam around the world. Please share this with your construction business associates – you’ll make friends for life. After all doesn’t everyone want to work smarter not harder?

Bluebeam Tip: How to Create Your Own Punch Symbols Quickly October 15, 2013

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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Until the Bluebeam Revu 11 release, creating punch symbols was a laborious task requiring coping and editing each symbol in the tool chest. Bluebeam has punch symbol tool sets available to download and import (http://www.bluebeam.com/us/support/extensions-tool-sets.asp ) however, if you want to create your own groups of symbols there’s now a much quicker and easier way.

Creating Your Own Punch Symbol set in Bluebeam begins with a CSV file. You can create a CSV file even without Excel by just using NotePad. To access Notepad click on Start | All Programs | Accessories | NotePad.

Using the format “Subject”,”Code”,”Comment” (the comment is the detail description) type in one code per line with each component in “quotes” and separated by a comma as shown here:
Creating Bluebeam Punch Symbols in Notepad Once you added all your entries, save the it as .TXT file.

Next, Navigate to the Tool Chest and click on the gear [1] just below the tool chest to open Manage Tool Sets,Add Punch Groups using the Tool Chest Gear

In the Manage Tool Sets click on Add [2], Name the Punch group PunchKeytrade(where trade is a specific specialty ie. Electrical, Mechanical, Carpentry, etc).
How to Add a Tool Set to the Tool ChestThis will appear as the header for a group of punch symbols and will appear in alphabetical order in your Tool Chest. If you are a general contractor you’ll want to create separate symbol groups for each trade to make it easy for the subcontractors to update the punch status during the back check process. This is particularly useful if you are also using Bluebeam Studio to perform a real-time punch and back check.

Once the Punch Group is created, click Modify [3] and click on the Punch Key Import [4] button (only in Revu 11+), then navigate to the .TXT file you created, select it and click OK. This will import each line of the .TXT file into the Tools window on the Modify Tool Set pane as shown below:
Punchkey Import adds each line entry as a symbol
To finish, Make sure the relative path box is checked and optionally the show in all Profiles (if you desire), then Click OK to complete the Modify Tool Set.

Bluebeam Tip: How to Only Print, Email or Export Pages with Markups October 7, 2013

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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How to only Print Pages with Markups in Bluebeam
After taking the time to markup documents in Bluebeam Revu, why send 100 pages when there are only a few pages with markups or notes on them? Instead of sending the full set of plans or a lengthy multi-page PDF, it is faster and sometimes more effective to only email the document pages that have markups. This is especially true when not everyone uses Bluebeam Revu. Here’s the quick 3 step process to just send pages with markups to the Print, Email or Export Pages option of Bluebeam:

1. Navigate to the Markups List
2. Press CTL-A to select all markups
3. Choose the desired function: Email, Print or Export Pages

The Page selection will prefill with the highlighted pages only. This is also true with the search function in Bluebeam.

Bluebeam Revu Tip: Working with More Screen Real Estate July 31, 2013

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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Update: New in Revu 11, hold the Shift + F4 and it will close/open (toggle) all the panels.

Bluebeam has many options toolbars and tabs that take up valuable real estate on your screen. When working on detailed drawing every inch counts so today it’s time you looked at the Interface button, located on the far right of the View Tab. It looks like this:
Interface  Bluebeam View Tab

Toggling on/off the panels, command bar, status bar and navigation bar frees up real estate on your screen. You can even hide the tabs showing your open documents. You can go from a Fit Width setting File | View | Fit Width (CTL+0) like this:
Use Fit Width to fill your pane

To this to see more of your documents at once.
Interface options all turned off

You can of course also use the F11 key (the long cut to this is File | View| Full Screen, but you’ll want to toggle off the panels first or you’ll still have the left panel showing
Full Screen with F11 key

Be careful to turn these back on or you may find yourself going crazy trying to remember commands. I’ve also seen people turn the status bar off (at the very bottom) and wonder why they can’t start a markup in the spot they click on. Snap to grid, Markup or content are great when you want them on but can drive you crazy if you don’t realize they are on.

Please share this with your other Bluebeam co-workers and reach out to me with any Bluebeam questions.
You may find these other Bluebeam Tips helpful too:

Bluebeam Tip: Callouts and Leader Lines
How to Deskew a Bluebeam PDF

Bluebeam Tip: Floating Toolbar Customization June 18, 2013

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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Floating Toolbar in Bluebeam RevuBluebeam’s floating toolbar is especially useful when working on small screens in tablet mode. Often I find myself in Full Screen Mode (F11) to maximize my viewing area. Having access to the functions I do most is a real time saver which is why you should customize your floating toolbar.

To Customize your floating toolbar and add the mark-up tools you use most, right-click on the floating toolbar and selecting Customize. You’ll need to do this before entering tablet mode as there is no “right-click” option with a pen stylus.

Some of my favorite items to add are email template, deskew, callout and previous view. What will you be adding to your floating toolbar?

My next tip will discuss email templates.

If you liked this post you may also be interested in:

The Fastest Way to Deskew a Document

How to Add Dynamic Text to a Toolchest Symbol

Bluebeam Tip: Fastest Way to DeSkew (Straighten) a Scanned Document June 10, 2013

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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Skewed PDF plan setScanned documents are commonly found as email attachments and unfortunately often get pulled through a scanner at an angle. This occurs when a stack of documents or plan sets are fed through a desktop scanner. Here’s how to correct the skew in Bluebeam Revu.

Using your keyboard, Press Ctrl+Alt+D.
Your cursor will change to crossbars.
Click and drag a line that should be horizontal in the PDF. (Alternatively, you can also click two points.)
The Page Setup dialog will appear, How to Deskew a PDF in Bluebeam
showing a preview of the adjusted PDF. Click OK to complete the align/de-skew operation.

Another fast way to deskew is to add the Deskew button to one of your tool bars.
Bluebeam Revu De-skew button

If you don’t own Bluebeam Revu, download a 30 day free trial today.


Bluebeam Tip: Add Dynamic Text to Your Tool Chest Symbol May 31, 2013

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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How to Add Dynamic symbolsSometimes you need a reference right on your planset for when a change was made. When it comes to markups, you can use stamps but did you know you can also add a Tool Chest Symbol?

Here’s how to create a simple symbol with dynamic text:
In Bluebeam Revu, Dynamic Text is not directly supported in symbols, however you can include a stamp that contains dynamic text. The dynamic text is updated when the symbol is added to the PDF.

Here is a quick example of creating a symbol that includes dynamic text:
1. Add the DateTime stamp to the PDF.
2. Create a Rectangle around the stamp. (You can use other markups like cloud, etc)
3. Select and then Group them. (Lasso them together and then press Ctrl-G).
4. Right-click and then click Add to Tool Chest. (or drag the grouped item into your tool chest of choice)
5. Add the symbol to the PDF.

The dynamic text for the date and time are updated when the symbol is added to the PDF. Now go get ’em Bluebeamers!

Bluebeam Tip: Searchable Text to AutoMark Your Plan Set May 17, 2013

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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In Bluebam Revu 11 the new AutoMark feature lets you add bookmarks and page numbering from searchable text.  Being able to name all the pages from your title block information allows you to jump to specific pages quickly and saves a tremendous amount of time.  So how do you know if your plan set has searchable text?  That’s easy, just use the shortcut CTL-SHIFT-A to see all the searchable text.  If you see your drawing or sheet number highlighted you’ll be able to successfully AutoMark your entire plan set and make navigation a snap for everyone.

Searchable Text is Highlighted

Searchable Text is Highlighted

To learn more about the AutoMark function, watch this video:

If you need training on Bluebeam Revu, remember you can visit Bluebeam University or if you need more hands on help,
Email me
to schedule training in your office.

Bluebeam Tip of the Week: 3 Wall Area Measurement Methods for Estimators April 24, 2013

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software, estimating.
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Bluebeam Revu Estimating Take-off MethodsBluebeam Revu’s measurement functions provide quick methods for estimators to take-off length, area and quantities.  Painters, drywallers and other specialty trades often need to calculate wall area quickly and efficiently on a construction project.  With Bluebeam Revu you have three take-off choices.

  1. Elevation views and the area tool (most accurate, most time consuming)
  2. Perspective drawing and the volume tool 
  3. Perspective drawings and the perimeter tool

With options 2 and 3 there will be further calculations necessary to account for doors and windows.  Knowing that you’ll all want to try these faster options and get more bids completed, I’m providing this handy reference document explaining the process using the Bluebeam Revu Measurement tools.  You can download this free PDF (and yes, you can view it first because I’m using Box.com).  

The 3 Wall Area Measurement Methods for Estimators using Bluebeam Revu

Please share this with other professional estimators and fellow Bluebeamers.  If they aren’t using Bluebeam Revu, share this link for them to get a 30 day free trial

Disclosure: My firm, Hagen Business Systems Inc is a Silver Level Bluebeam Partner and sells Bluebeam Revu to architects, engineers and contractors throughout the United States.

Bluebeam Revu Tip of the Week: Previous / Next Buttons April 17, 2013

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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Bluebeam Revu keeps a history of each time you change the display.  Revu let’s you navigate or jump between views (from a Construction Plan view to a detail view and back) using the Previous and Next Buttons.  Instead of moving your mouse to the bottom of the screen to click on the Previous or Next Button, save valuable time using these keyboard shortcuts:

Previous View: Alt + Left Arrow Key

Next View: Alt + Right Arrow Key

Now go get ’em Bluebeamers!

Attracting Blog Subscriptions November 6, 2009

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, email, web 2.0.
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It’s a funny thing how everyone has a blog but most have a dozen subscribers if that.  In business you need to publicize your blog everywhere.  I tried promoting it via a plain hyperlink in my email signature but no one clicked on it…that is until I made it an animated subscription.  My email  signature now automatically cycles through the last five posts.  Every email recipient has the opportunity to see the topics I’ve recently discussed and decide then & there whether it interests them.  How’d I do it?  It’s easy…

  1. First Sign-up for Google Feedburner and enter your blog’s information (title, original address aemailblogsignnd new feedburner address). and save your feed details.  Don’t worry, this is free. 
  2. Click on the Publicize tab.
  3. Select the Headline Animator.
  4. Select email signature.
  5. From the dropdown, choose email signature and click next
  6. Follow the instructions in the pop-up based upon your email service.  It’s available for Mozilla Thunderbird, Microsoft Outlook Express, Outlook 2003, Yahoo Mail and has workarounds for Gmail and Apple Mail too.

There’s plenty of other great features to help you with optimization and publicizing your blog with Feedburner.  I’ll make this a series of how to’s for the next few weeks.  If the construction industry starts using collaboration 2.0 (aka social media) for marketing and communication, for sure they will want to learn all these blog tips. 

Share your success with us.  We like to hear from our readers!

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