A new release brings the feeling of anticipation and excitement; we want to see new features that just blow us away, a new button that takes an hour off our daily workload. But what if what works best for us is an evolution, a continuation of a well-trod path, proving its reliability and dependability. Bluebeam has a strong base of users that love the product, and although we did see a significant change in Revu 2018, which may have created a low point in our level of trust, but Revu 2019 stepped up to the mark and brought back that confidence that we had in Revu 2017. Now with Revu 20, a moderated step in the right direction, your faith should now not just be restored, but strengthened. I too had hoped for a new feature to knock me out of my chair, but let me put this into context, like a kid on their birthday, after I unwrap all my presents, I still look around for one more, you know that one that you think the parents must have hidden in the garage because it’s so big.
My thoughts are that this version is about workflows, I don’t see all features as being groundbreaking, sure software providers add some goodies to the tool kit that you have never seen before. But as I get older and have managed a CAD team or two, I appreciate the more subtle refinements that are used again and again throughout the day that make using the software a better product. So today I have listed my fav new features and how they complement existing workflows.
The updated Studio Sessions invite.
I have been involved in the Beta testing for a few versions now, and this year I have been able to have a good play with the Studio Invite update. From my little projects to client demo’s or YouTube clips, I have made a fair few Studio Projects and Sessions in the last month.
I feel that Bluebeam has paid attention to Client feedback on this workflow.
- You receive an email(s) stating all the peeps that need to be on a Studio Session.
- Copy all the names from the cc
- Paste into the Sessions Invite for Revu to read the code and add the attendees’ emails.
- It’s now easier to cross-check that all the different peeps are there, listed in by their domains.
Something to keep an eye out for is the Copy Session Invitation is in the top left-hand corner; I think that could be made a little clearer.
I wanted to make sure that I didn’t miss this feature that will help every Studio Project and Session; the all-new Joined and Not Joined. The fact that this tells you that you have been invited to a Session and then click and you are in. Your password is already in the system for the Server, so this is crazy simple, and no there should be no excuses for peeps not joining a Bluebeam online collaboration
Text Box enhancements.
This is the everyday tool that will seem like a small change, but will become another reason why users prefer Bluebeam over other PDF software. We can now add leaders to Text Box so that it becomes a Call-Out and now a Call-Out can now have multiple leaders North, South, East and West of the text. Leaders all over the shop…..drawings. So go back and update your ToolChest and remove either the Text Box or Call-Out Markup(s), whichever one that you use less of, because you can now quickly change the function on the fly.
Also to note that the AutoScale feature in the past I thought was, frustrating, so I avoided it. But now with the simple change that it now automatically updates the text wrapping, this is now a GREAT shop drawing, Session Markup and general “THIS NOTE NEEDS TO BE REALLY BIG AND STAND OUT” markup tool.
New Custom Linetypes for Measurements.
I did hear a rumour about this a little while ago, and I have been waiting patiently for it.
Now your quantity takeoffs can be customised to show special linetypes, little vector symbols and even text. In a world of smashing out work and at the same time not making any mistakes, this simple change brings clarity and transparency for QA, even if it’s just casting your eye over the screen.
And oh the potential.
- Perimeter - fence lines – using words to explain the fence type.
- Polylength – Post Tension cables and Rebar – picking up on the different types with text
- Area - Gardens with Perimeter measurement – symbols for garden edging.
- Centre-Radius – Round Columns – using text around the perimeter.
- Polylength – oil, gas, electricity, HVAC, Plumbing – text and colour to visually show all variations.
And don’t forget that the Sketch to Scale tools are measurement tools, so you can customise their linetypes too.
Filter option in the Markup Panel.
If you are smashing out work via Revu most days, then there is a high chance that you have some kind of Markup customisation. If you don’t, giddy up! The point being that through customisation, you should be able to distinguish one markup from another through data alone in say the Subject or Labels. Now with the Filter update, you can build reliable filters to check your work continually and ultimately find results quicker or often forgotten and establish a reliable QA process of reviewing the markups/data.
The export to .csv excludes Replies
This might not seem much to the average user, but there is an excellent workflow of acquiring a weekly report on RFI’s from the site. Part of this process is use Status’ to update the, wait for it, the status of an RFI, and we encourage the use of the Reply to Comments to contain the data, or put simply, keep the RFI responses with the RFI’s. Okay, that said, when you export a weekly report to a .csv file, the Reply’s show as a separate row in Excel, which is relatively dysfunctional. By having the option to turn this off, keeps the Data clean. Simple but a good refinement to an existing, underutilised workflow.
And don’t forget to use the Save Config and Load Config (orange box) for consistent exports.
I always tell clients, through consistency, we can then create a transformation which will bring efficiency.
New Tool Finder
My first thought was to yawn, but that’s because I tend to think I know where all the buttons are. In truth, that’s a little arrogant; I often forget where options are. So I have come around and believed that this is a great new feature. I would have liked it back in the 2018 release when the User Interface was changed. I can see new users to Revu owning this option and also think about all the times you read a blog or watch a YouTube and then spend minutes trying to find that button that they used. Yep, I think all software should have this tool.
New Server for Australia.
This has been some time in the making, Bluebeam has been under some pressure to get an Australian server from resellers and end-users alike. It’s a lovely thought to think that Bluebeam can snap their fingers and make it happen overnight, but this isn’t an episode of I Dream of Jeannie.
If you are not sure why this is important; our Data Sovereignty policy in Australia means that major infrastructure, Government projects that are it Federal or State level and our Defence construction, can’t have any of their files saved outside our boundaries. I know AuntieDesk have had this issue with their flagship BIM360 and clients not being able or pulling projects off the cloud. This will now provide more opportunity at a Council all the way up to Federal level to use Studio Collaboration and all the consultants that work in this area of AEC.
The Captains recommendations:
If you are reading the blogs and trying to work out if you should get the new version or not, I have come up with a couple of possible variations.
You’re on Revu 2017
You are using Revu 2017 or older version; Just because you like that old backpack that you have memories of actually being on holiday with pre lockdown, does not make it better than the new that you have been eyeing off online. So, heck yeah, there are useful features, and the rendering speed and additional features will pay for itself. And I get the interface changes are going to be a pain; I thought the same…. for about 3 days. I think you’ll be fine.
You’re on Revu 2018
I liken this to Steve Austin (6 million dollar man - not WWE) before his crash, then the Scientist built him faster, stronger! Revu 2018 will go down as the buggy version. With updates and patches, it’s stable, but it will never perform as well as good as what they did to rendering speeds in Revu 2019 and even more so with more improvements in Revu 20.
You’re on Revu 2019
You have Revu 2019 running on your PC; Revu 20 is not like buying a new Apple phone where the actual best new feature, is to say “I have a new iPhone.” But let’s be honest, we are not talking 4G to 5G jump in performance (minus lizard people and the Corona spread). You are going to need to break it down to how you are using Revu. Custom measurement line-types could be the turning point of easier markups & estimates. If my team or I used Sessions regularly, I would consider the Studio updates invaluable. On the flip side, I think that the Filter update will increase peoples use of the Markup area, open up new workflows by having confidence in how to break down all that information.
If you are on Maintenance.
And if you or the Company you work for has Maintenance, by the Powers of Grey Skull, you need to UPGRADE!!! Say that again but think of He-Man doing his sword thing. Being that the new version is already paid for, it can only be a loss not to update.
If you are an open Revu and take a measurement and close kind of person, I can see how the changes could be difficult to validate. My challenge to you is are you aware of all the common functions that you could be used to reduce workload; I surprise clients time and time again with just the common workflows. This version makes these common workflows easier, and I feel they are designed to open up more of what the software can do that you may have missed. So have a look around, read the Socials, jump on YouTube and challenge your reseller to what else can it do for you, that is their job.