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  • Jim Rogers

Bluebeam Quirks: My Running List

As I began digging deeper into Bluebeam REVU and Bluebeam STUDIO in preparation for my on-line courses published on LinkedIn's platform, I started uncovering little quirks and issues that were not well documented, but that could really make life difficult if you weren't aware or didn't understand. To make life a little easier, I decided to keep track of these issues here in hopes that documenting them might keep others from having any issues or problems as you use this software. For now, I will just keep this as a running list and will post updates as I uncover them.

  1. If you are going to add hyperlinks to drawings, create drawing logs or use REVU's "sets" features, you must make sure to always check the box labeled "Use relative paths" that will appear somewhere in the dialog box (typically at the bottom). There are several places within the "Settings - Preferences" menu that you can check to make relative paths the default, but it still seems like I have to manually check this box from time to time. If you do not use relative paths and you later move a file, it will probably break the hyperlink. Likewise, if you create a set of individual drawing sheets along with a "sets" navigation file (a .bex file) and then move all the files to another drive, the "sets" file won't work unless you checked that "use relative paths" box when you created it.

  2. On that careful of where you put these linked files as you move them around. I found out the (very) hard way, that Google Drive absolutely does not like file names that contain certain characters, particularly the "&" symbol. You can upload and download individual files that are named something like "General Notes & Details" just fine, but if you download a folder that contains that same file name (or you download multiple files at once), Google Drive will zip the files to save bandwidth. That Zip process will rename any files that contain "&", thereby breaking all links to that file or plan sheet. Synchronizing a cloud folder with that same file to a local Google Drive folder on your hard drive will result in any file with "&" in its name to be skipped...without any warning. This is super frustrating and difficult to fix. I am not aware of any workaround, except don't store files with "&" in the name to Google Drive. You could rename any of these files, but with Bluebeam REVU, we are often times having the software auto-generate file names from sheet names in the drawing's title block, and manually renaming defeats the purpose of letting the software do the work in the first place. I have also seen reports of the same thing happening in Google Drive with files containing "( )" and some other symbols.

  3. Want to save all of your documents to STUDIO instead of your hard drive? Make this easy by selecting "Settings" then "Preferences" and navigating to "Studio", then uncheck the "toolbar integration only" box. The result will be that any file operations you perform (save, open, etc.) will default to your Studio account first. If you decide to save locally instead, all you have to do is click "Cancel" when the Studio dialog box opens and you will be taken to a file explorer dialog box instead. Saves lots of time if most of your files are in a Studio Project container.

  4. There is a difference between a vector PDF and a scanned PDF. A big one. If you scan a document, or a plan sheet, and save it as a PDF, it is simply one big image file. It contains no text and no lines. This has a negative effect on searches, editing, tagging, and using AutoMark. Don't scan! If the document or drawing was created digitally, convert it to PDF for use in Bluebeam using one of Bluebeam's file converters or something like Word's export or print to PDF functions. Likewise in AutoCAD. This ensures better functionality when you open it in REVU.

  5. In Bluebeam REVU, you cannot take a "Snapshot" from a web tab page. What I mean by this is that if I have a document open, I can use the "Snapshot" feature (found in the Edit menu) to draw a box around something like a detail and copy it so I can past it somewhere else (like on a new page). However the "Snapshot" function is not available on a Bluebeam REVU web tab page. Its annoying. You will have to work around this by either using Window's built-in Snipping Tool, or print your web page to PDF, then open it and take a snapshot.

  6. It really helps to use a mouse when navigating drawings in Bluebeam! A mouse with a scroll wheel makes it MUCH easier to zoom and pan and you won't have to keep changing which tool you are using. When using a mouse a with a scroll wheel, the wheel will always let you zoom in and out (turn the wheel) and it can always be used to pan around the drawing by holding the wheel down while you move. These functions work all the time regardless of which tool you currently have selected. Its hard to duplicate this functionality on a trackpad.

  7. Format Fractions???? - I cannot find any way to get fractions to display in a stacked format, like you would in a CAD program! This is highly annoying and makes some of the text markups difficult to read. The only workaround that I can find is to use the properties tab, highlight the individual numerator and denominator and use the superscript and subscript formats in the text formatting area. This is slow and still does not format the fraction into a real "stacked" format, but it does look better than what is otherwise displayed when you just type 1 1/4" (using superscripts and subscripts you can display this as 1¼" instead).

I will continue to update as a I find more. Feel free to leave comments with any others you come across.


The Bluebeam REVU logo is a registered trademark of Bluebeam, Inc. Bluebeam is part of the Nemetschek Group.

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