The Bluebeam Guidebook
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The Bluebeam Guidebook

Game-changing Tips and Stories for Architects, Engineers, and Contractors

Rachel Attebery, Jason Hascall

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eBook - ePub

The Bluebeam Guidebook

Game-changing Tips and Stories for Architects, Engineers, and Contractors

Rachel Attebery, Jason Hascall

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About This Book

Expert tips for the last piece in the paperless puzzle

The Bluebeam Guidebook offers comprehensive coverage of the industry's leading PDF tool to help AEC professionals adopt a more efficient digital workflow. With desktop, mobile, and server-based products, Bluebeam makes collaboration and document coordination seamless, and provides a perfect complement to BIM software. This book shows you how to push the boundaries and discover the software's true capabilities.

Written expressly for working AEC professionals, this book offers tips, tricks, and ideas that cater to industry-specific needs. Expert instruction and step-by-step guidance helps you get started quickly, and case studies feature users from firms such as Kiewit, Populus, Sundt Construction, and more to show you how Bluebeam is quickly becoming a critical component of design and construction.

  • Master the industry's leading PDF software and alternative to Adobe Acrobat
  • Create, edit, and markup documents in a way that suits the architecture and engineering workflow
  • Learn how major AEC firms have transitioned seamlessly to digital workflows
  • Integrate Bluebeam into estimating, quality control, field applications, and more

The days of file boxes and paper reams are quickly coming to a close. The transition to paperless has been a boon for the AEC industry, in which collaboration and document sharing is central to getting the job done. BIM has revolutionized the design process, and Bluebeam offers that same level of functional innovation for the document side of every project. For AEC professionals seeking a better way to get things done, The Bluebeam Guidebook is your ultimate guide to everything Bluebeam can do for you.

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Chapter 1
Taking the Leap: Switching from Red to Blue

Blue isn't for everyone. To understand if Bluebeam might be the right choice for a group or company, it helps to understand how the increasingly popular PDF tool came into being. As evidenced by the tool's devotion to efficiency, it was the brainchild of a team of engineers seeking to make their own work faster and easier. In the late 1990s, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory was tasked with designing and building the robotic arms for the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity. They only had two years to do it, and with a little fewer than 20 employees, they had to get creative. Although Adobe was running the PDF market at that time, their products didn't meet the specialized needs of the engineering team, specifically, creating accurate PDF files from computer-aided design software such as AutoCAD. Thus, the inception of Bluebeam's first product: Pushbutton PDF. The software continued to evolve and become more popular, and Brett Lindenfield, the director of the robotic arms project, called on his friend Richard Lee to turn what started as a humble innovation into a full-blown company. Pushbutton PDF spun off into its own company in 2002 as Bluebeam Software Inc. The product began to diffuse from the engineering industry into architecture, construction, and oil and gas, and was renamed Bluebeam Revu. Read the full story on NASA Spinoff: Fourteen years later, in 2016, Bluebeam Software Inc. achieved 1,000,000 users in over 100 countries and is used by 98 percent of the world's top 50 design-build firms by revenue.

Products and Feature Comparison

Even with over a million users requesting new features, Bluebeam has stayed true to its initial industry, focusing on solving problems for design reviews, bids and estimates, RFIs (request for information) and submittals, field inspection, site management, punch lists and back checks, project closeout, and facilities management. Bluebeam products are not designed for artistic use in the same way that Adobe Creative Cloud or Photoshop or Illustrator are. They are, however, highly competitive with Adobe's base products, such as Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat. Like Adobe, Bluebeam has a portfolio of products tailored to specific needs. As of the time this book was authored, here are Bluebeam's offerings:
  1. Bluebeam Revu: Bluebeam's flagship product, built for Windows PCs and tablets. Bluebeam Revu is a PDF workhorse. It comes in three flavors: Standard, CAD, and eXtreme, in order of increasing price.
  2. Bluebeam Revu Mac: Most of the functionality of Bluebeam Revu, but for Apple PCs
  3. Bluebeam Vu: Free PDF view-only tool
  4. Bluebeam Revu iPad: Mobile version of Revu
  5. Bluebeam Vu iPad: Free mobile version of Vu
As stated above, although Bluebeam is a fantastic tool, it is only fantastic when it's the right tool for the job. Remember the NASA engineers—they weren't out to create a PDF tool for everyone; they just wanted something to meet their specific needs. To understand which product is the right fit for a given use case, consider the comparison chart of high-level features for Bluebeam and Adobe products (Table 1-1). For a more detailed comparison, see,

Table of contents

Citation styles for The Bluebeam Guidebook
APA 6 Citation
Attebery, R., & Hascall, J. (2018). The Bluebeam Guidebook (1st ed.). Wiley. Retrieved from (Original work published 2018)
Chicago Citation
Attebery, Rachel, and Jason Hascall. (2018) 2018. The Bluebeam Guidebook. 1st ed. Wiley.
Harvard Citation
Attebery, R. and Hascall, J. (2018) The Bluebeam Guidebook. 1st edn. Wiley. Available at: (Accessed: 14 October 2022).
MLA 7 Citation
Attebery, Rachel, and Jason Hascall. The Bluebeam Guidebook. 1st ed. Wiley, 2018. Web. 14 Oct. 2022.