I remember a time when I thought watching hockey was boring. Eventually, I realized it was boring because I didn’t know the rules. Once I got to know and understand the rules, the game opened up and became interesting to watch.
(Yes, this post is about Bluebeam Revu profiles, no, it is not about hockey!)
This concept can be applied to a variety of situations in life. Things can be boring or confusing until you understand the rules. Only then you can make an informed decision on whether you actually like something or not. Understanding doesn’t always lead to a love for the subject matter, but it is no longer a dismissive decision.
Software is something that is quickly put straight into the “confusing” category by so many people, and subsequent struggles with that software are blamed on the developer. Often, however, the developer has designed the software to function in a certain way on purpose and it’s our lack of understanding of the “rules” governing the software that makes it hard to work with the latter. I’m not saying all developers are flawless in their design and that there aren’t reasons to improve software based on user’s feedback, but before feedback can be levied, understanding must take place on the side of the user. If the system is understood, reasons for improvement can be better argued.
I find that Bluebeam Revu is source of a lot of confusion on the user’s side and sometimes that includes me, a Certified Bluebeam Support Representative. At first glance, Revu is a terrific, simple albeit expansive, software for companies of all types and, very specifically, the building industry. Regardless of the industry however, Bluebeam Revu does come with some nuances that, despite being incredibly subtle, have a significant impact on how we use some features of this software. If you’ve ever used the Markup List, you might have experienced this firsthand.
Here, I’m going to focus on the role that Profiles play in the Markups List Custom Column feature, but similar repercussions on other Revu functions might not be so obvious.
Profiles can be used to separate workflow types in Bluebeam Revu, for example, if I’m doing a quantity takeoff on a document set, I can use the profile with that name to set up my workspace. Further, if I want to create a custom workflow or just set up my Revu interface to display my most used tools, I can create a custom Profile. Profiles, however, control more than just the software interface. For one, Profiles can also control the columns displayed in the Markups List.
Most profiles will display the same list of columns (Subject, Page Label, Comments, Author, Date, Status, Color, Layer, Space) right out of the box. However, you can change which columns are shown and record countless bits of information in the markups made to any document you open.
A. Standard columns as well as their order, and availability can be saved to a profile.
B. Custom columns can also be saved to a profile, as well as to a document.
C. Each document contains its own record of the columns used in that document.
Where these three rules intersect is where things get fuzzy, so let’s have a look!
Standard Columns, Display Order, and Their Relationship to the Document and Profile:
In the Markups List Manage Columns dialogue box, you can check or uncheck standard columns names in the Column Display Order list based on what columns (yellow) you want to see in your Markup List Columns. You can adjust the order of the columns as well.
The column names (yellow) that you checked in the Column Display Order will show in the Markups List > Columns where you can further turn specific columns on or off (green). When finished, only checked column headings will show as your Markups List column headings.
Once a chosen configuration of column headings is set up, the Profile will remember it and keep this configuration, even without saving it to the Profile. However, if you want that everyone with this Profile (from a shared location or receiving it via another method) uses these same settings, it is necessary to save these settings to the Profile while they are active.
**NOTE: When only standard columns are used, the document itself does not retain chosen on/off column options, but displays the columns as per the settings of the active Profile . **
Custom Columns and Their Relationship to the Document and Profile:
In the Markups List > Manage Columns > Custom Columns area, custom columns can be created. When the document in which custom columns were created is saved, these custom columns are stored in the document. When a new document is opened or created, any custom columns created in a previous document are not carried to the new document.
The only way to have a custom column appear on ALL NEW documents is to hit the Save to Profile button after the custom columns are created. This makes sure the columns are not only in the current document but are saved to the active Revu Profile.
Each new document opened after the Custom Column(s) have been saved to a Profile will display the same custom columns while using that Profile.
**NOTE: Custom Columns that are saved to a document are available in that document no matter which Profile is active. They will override the visibility of any custom columns set up in a Profile. **