Revu is Essential for my use and plays nice with other software.
Updated May 07, 2019

Revu is Essential for my use and plays nice with other software.

Michael Savala | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Bluebeam Revu

Bluebeam is being used by parts of my organization. Certain users prefer to use Adobe Acrobat, but I think Bluebeam is much easier at manipulating sheets. It enables me to mark-up drawings from the architect, stamp invoices with my approval, and prepare documents for submitting. It's a fast way of drawing on top of PDFs, editing PDFs when necessary, and including relevant information before submitting to other parties (in our case, that is usually subcontractors).
  • Draw on PDFs. No other software I've ever used is better at this, and I've used Photoshop, Illustrator, and Adobe Acrobat. Revu molds together the best features in CAD (powerful drawing capabilities, point snap abilities, extreme accuracy) with a great PDF viewer. Very much worth it.
  • Mark up / annotate PDFs. Typing on Revu is very easy via the text box tool or the typewriter tool. You can choose from a variety of fonts, opaque or transparent backgrounds, any color--the possibilities are endless.
  • Combining and rearranging PDFs. You can easily move pages around, combine separate files, and flatten files.
  • A feature I would add -- a command line. The shortcuts are good, and in the latest version of Revu you can create your own which makes things easier. But I have used CAD and I find the command line much faster than dropdown menus.
  • Something that could be better -- PDF compression. Revu files, when marked-up, can be massive, and there's not a clear enough way to shrink the file down by reducing clarity, etc. I understand this is a vector program--not rasterized--and vectors can be far more complex, especially with patterns and such. But compression would be nice.
  • Features I'd like--enhanced vector abilities. Feathering lines, precise arc drawing, etc. Similar to Illustrator.
  • I can precisely convey any questions I have for/from architects, designers, subcontractors, etc. with ease. It explains my problems well.
  • Invoice approval (via stamping) is consistent and easy.
  • It's not meant to create "finished" products on its own, but it can combine media together in one cohesive way.
The only software I've ever used that even comes close to Revu is Adobe Acrobat Pro, which I find is most confusing and has a less attractive interface. Since Revu 2015 (the oldest version I've used), there's always been a dark mode Adobe does not have. PlanGrid and Procore, cloud-based construction management software, have many other robust features that Revu simply doesn't have. That said, I use PlanGrid and Procore in conjunction with Revu, as each of the CM software have very subpar PDF mark-up tools. The Adobe suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign) all serve niche purposes, whereas Revu is a jack of all trades--it can accomplish many things, and in use with the right software can be a very valuable asset.
Revu is very good for marking up already created PDFs, such as annotating architectural drawings, marking-up invoices, etc. for approval or denial, creating documents from a variety of file times, such as tables, photos, and text into one comprehensive file. Something it is less appropriate for is content creation; while it can combine architectural drawings, photos, tables, and text very well, it's not great for creating content on its own. I.e., its drawing capabilities aren't as robust as AutoCAD or Rhino, jpegs are not native to Revu, it can't produce spreadsheets or tables at all, and word processing abilities are lacking compared to Microsoft Word or the like.

Bluebeam Feature Ratings

Plan distribution & viewing
Plan markups & sharing
Document sharing
As-built drawings
Mobile app
Takeoff tools

Using Bluebeam Revu

5 - The Revu users are in construction drawing management. Often Bluebeam is used to mark up drawings that have been submitted by the architect, typically notes from the designer or client. It's a great tool to make sure all changes spoken about in a meeting or e-mail get conveyed to the rest of the team.
1 - Our company is not that large, so we only have 1 person who manages the Bluebeam licenses. I believe that the Revu program is pretty straightforward, and most of it can be learned through online forums, etc.
  • PDF Viewing
  • Construction Drawing Mark-Up
  • Submittal Labeling and Organizing
  • Internal Labeling (i.e., invoices, proposals, etc.)
  • Our accounts payable documents can be clearly and consistently labeled with company logo, etc.
  • Used with Rhino 3D, some light graphic design work can be done on Revu
  • Documents can be sent directly to e-mail, without having to "attach" the file itself. Through this, you can select to send only certain pages in a PDF.
  • Combining elements of separate drawings to create one up-to-date document
  • Use of forms to send out for vendors, subcontractors, and clients to use
  • More in-depth branding and labeling through the use of stamps
  • Drawing take-offs for material quantity (our current projects do not require this feature)
Bluebeam is a powerful PDF viewer and mark-up tool. We are more familiar with it than Adobe Acrobat Pro or other viewers, and it has more features geared towards construction document managers than Acrobat Pro does.

Evaluating Bluebeam Revu and Competitors

Yes - Adobe Acrobat. We replaced it with Bluebeam because it has more features geared towards construction management.
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Prior Experience with the Product
The feature set is very important to what I do in construction management. Measuring by length, area, etc. is a very powerful tool and saves a lot of manual calculations. As someone who works largely in construction documentation, this is very important.
For us, it wasn't so much a selection process as it was filling a need we definitely needed. No other product does what Revu does, and with our prior experience with the software, it was an easy decision to switch. It can do what we need it to, and it can be customized to fit exactly your uses or branding.