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Article Type: Review          Published: 03-2015         Views: 6196      



The paperless workflow has taken another couple of giant steps forward with the Bluebeam Revu 15, says David Chadwick

The average construction project creates a mountain of documents, drawings, spreadsheets, schedules and similar instruments, all of which have to be printed, collated, revised, updated and ultimately archived or binned. The demise of such an archaic solution has been mooted by the printing industry for a couple of decades at least, but the construction industry rightfully considered itself a special case - the ability to display, review and mark up 2D and 3D drawings online not quite delivering on all its promises.

With a diversity of applications, standards and file formats generating a number of proprietary document review and mark-up solutions, it was inevitable that the most common of them, PDF, would become the format of choice. It is a rare device now that doesn't have one or other of the two most prominent PDF document management solutions installed.

The one I use, Bluebeam Revu, is taking the paperless office to new extremes - with particular reference to the construction industry. With the ability to create PDFs with one click, handle 2D and 3D PDF markups, collate single-file PDFs from diverse document sets and much, much more. And of course making it available on iPads and tablets means you can have an entire project’s documentation at your fingertips, which rather renders any physical solution slow, wasteful and obsolete by comparison.

Designed not just for the construction site, but for any project that involves extensive paper handling, Bluebeam Revu 15 comes in three editions - Standard, CAD and eXtreme. Revu combines powerful PDF editing, markup and collaboration technology with reliable file creation, pushing the limits of project communication. It also includes direct plug-ins for one-button PDF creation out of Microsoft Office and Bluebeam Studio (Revu's free cloud-based storage and collaboration solution) for real-time, document-based collaboration, and, for the CAD version, for AutoCAD, Revit, Navisworks Manage, Navisworks Simulate, SolidWorks, SketchUp Pro and Sketch Tools

The eXtreme version takes Revu CAD one step further, adding OCR+, PDF forms creation, Redaction, Scripting, Batch Link, Batch Slip Sheet and Structures.

For workers who need to take the office with them on site, Revu iPad lets you work without limits, regardless of Internet access. Users can redline PDFs with customisable symbols, verify measurements in the field on the fly and collaborate with colleagues in real time using Bluebeam Studio.

I remember my first job, years ago, as a junior officer - to bring my very own copy of Queen's Regs up to date, with a sheaf of amendments that outnumbered the active pages three to one! Slip sheeting must be similar - keeping file sets up to date with new revisions, amendments, additions and so on. Just the job for the junior office clerk. With Revu, but only in the eXtreme version, Batch Slip Sheet keeps complex file sets up to date by automatically appending, prepending or replacing existing page content with new file revisions.

The feature matches revisions with their corresponding current sheets and carries over all markups, hyperlinks, spaces and bookmarks, while at the same time stamping superseded files. In conjunction with the new Sets enhancements, the software also carries over markups, hyperlinks, spaces, bookmarks and other data to file revisions.

There is another batch utility which is quite useful. Batch Overlay and Compare Documents simplifies the process of overlay comparisons, by assigning different colours to each page to visually compare and display differences between multiple pairs of files - 'current and revised' files - the more meaningful new name for 'Set A and Set B' files. The setup options auto-match files by pulling file names, page labels or page regions, and automatically highlights all differences between multiple drawing revisions. It also includes similar auto-matching functions.

Which brings me to Sets themelves. Sets provides the ability to more easily manage large drawing sets and to navigate a large single page PDF file as if it was a multi-page PDF file. Revu 15 facilitates this by allowing users to categorise Sets under architecture, structure, design, MEP and so on, improving navigation between categories.

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