Maintaining a 2D Current Set with Bluebeam! (Part 1)

Whenever we start a new project, the conversation of maintaining a current set of documents always comes up.  Back in the day, we used to slip sheet RFIs and new sheets into one huge paper set of current drawings.  This method though time tested, sort of draconic in our current age of technology.  There are a lot of ways to maintain a current set electronically nowadays.  To name a few: Fieldlens, FieldWire, PlanGrid, and Bluebeam.  All have their benefits, but my personal favorite is Bluebeam!  The price is right and it’s much more intuitive for a construction team.  Just a note before we start, you are going to need Bluebeam eXtreme 2015 or higher to do this.  What we will be going over:

  1. Matching digital labels to page labels
  2. OCR a PDF
  3. Splitting a multi-page PDF
  4. Creating a project
  5. Creating a set
  6. Working in Sets
    • Slipsheeting
    • Hyperlinking
    • Checking In/Out

Matching Digital Labels to Page Labels

So, you just received a set from your design team and it’s one giant PDF file.  Open your file in Bluebeam Revu.  Open the tab on the left and hit the layers tab.  Hit create page labels:


And you’ll see a screen like this:


Select your drawing region (Usually bottom right corner):


Hit “OK” and let the magic bar process your multi-page PDF.  You should see the labels in your left menu bar correspond to the labels in the region selected on your sheet.

Additional info:


OCR or Optical Character Recognition converts a scacnned or image format pdf into a readable text file.  Bluebeam eXtreme has a really awesome OCR feature.  This is important for hyperlinking your drawing set.  If you do not have eXtreme, there are a lot of free tools out there that can help.  Google even created an open source library named Tesseract which handles OCR.  To use a free OCR program, check a few out on GitHub.

To use Bluebeam eXtreme, go to Document > OCR, this screen will popup:


Select your settings (Language, pages, etc.) and hit “OK” and you’re PDF is now readable!

Additional Info:

Splitting a multi-page PDF

Now that you’ve gotten your pages all set up, it’s time to split up your giant PDF to make it more manageable.  Go to Document > Pages > Split Document.  Select Top Level Bookmarks, fill out the additional settings, and hit “OK.”  Check your folder and make sure the files are split up to your preference.

Additional Info:


In the next part, I’ll dive more into how to use sets and explain Bluebeam Studio Prime.  Bluebeam is very powerful and it’s one of the most affordable tools out there.  Maintaining a current set through Bluebeam is a skill that every builder should know.

Published by iphoenix72

Matthew M. Emma was born in New York, NY where he currently resides after receiving his degree in Building Construction and Real Estate Development from Virginia Polytechnic and State University. Matt loves everything web related including PHP and WordPress! Featured in ENR for developing a construction program based on WordPress during the renovation of the new Madison Square Garden (Even featured in several of the Transforamtion show episodes). Let’s go Rangers!

One thought on “Maintaining a 2D Current Set with Bluebeam! (Part 1)

  1. I’m working thru these same details with my company as we transition from an archaic method of document management into blue beam. I’m looking forward to part 2 and beyond as you explain your method. I’m running into a few hiccups/caveats with bluebeam sets and studio as I’m trying to figure this out. Thanks, Brad


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