• Why Custom Hot Keys in Bluebeam Revu Are a Game-Changer


    This story was originally published on the Bluebeam Blog.

    Bluebeam Revu has a variety of built-in features, including a comprehensive markup tool palette. You can draw elliptical curves, lines, polylines, rectangles, text boxes, arrows, highlights, hatches, polygons and combinations thereof. You can even store custom grouped objects into the custom Tool Chest tab for later use.

    For many, you have your default markups just the way you like them, and even have populated your Tool Chest tab. You feel that you’re proficient with Bluebeam Revu’s markup tools, but some things inevitably feel more cumbersome than good old pen and paper.

    Have you ever drawn an object for the umpteenth time and just wished that you could somehow have multiple default settings for a markup that you could easily switch between?

    For example, I often draw a callout (default hot key: “q”) that has red-colored 12-point font with no line around the text box. I also often draw blue callouts with 20-point font and a 1.0 point line weight around the text box. I have the red callout variant as my default, but I use the blue variant so often that it could just as well be my default.

    For a long time, I reformatted each (default) red callout into a blue callout or copied a blue callout where needed. Thus, for each callout, I had to adjust the line color, text color, line thickness and font size. For those keeping score at home, that means I had to press the hot key, click and drag and then use seven clicks and some typing to reformat the callout.

    This is about nine times slower than just using the default formatting. If I had a genie that gave me three wishes, and I wasn’t allowed to use any for client management, I think I’d use all three wishes to create my own custom Bluebeam Revu hot keys.

    As it turns out, Bluebeam Revu has granted you many more than three wishes for precisely that!

    Users of the Tool Chest tab will notice that there is a default partition called “My Tools.”

    When you open the Tool Chest Panel (default hotkey: “Alt + X”), you will see My Tools at the top. The My Tools Tool Set is a configurable collection of frequently used tools that you can easily access. It has a few special properties you should be aware of:

    • Tools in the My Tools Tool Set are automatically assigned hot keys for quick access
    • The hot keys are numeric, according to the tool’s positioning in the My Tools tool set (its hot key is shown in the upper right corner of its icon)
    • You can click and drag to change a tool’s position, which will automatically change its associated hot key

    Now, let’s relate back to my callout formatting quandary above. I can keep my “q” hot key as the red variant by default—so far, so good. Then, I can format a blue variant callout to my liking, right click on it, mouse over “Add to Tool Chest,” and then select “My Tools.”

    This places my customized markup at the end of the list in My Tools. Click and drag to place this newly added markup in the first position and the hot key labels will update automatically. You may now press “1” to select and be able to place an identical copy of this markup.