I’ve been using the Windows-only Bluebeam PDF Revu professionally for two years. As a PDF reader and markup tool for construction and design professionals, or anyone who works with large format drawings, there is no equal (Bluebeam is not for creating drawings, plans or text documents, but for converting them to PDF and working with them once in this format.). I have gotten our entire office of designers and estimators to switch from printed plans to using Revu with little to no coercion. Even the strongest proponents of paper, those who print their email, have decided to switch to digital plans after seeing how easy and fast Revu really is.
For the light user it provides all the tools you would have on your desk: a scale, pen, highlighter and calculator. This allows you to switch to on-screen takeoff and markup without changing your workflow, making it less scary for some folks. For the more progressive people, you can dig in to the more advanced functionality of the markups list, custom columns with formulas, filtering, scripting, even visual search where you draw a box around something (pictures, text, or both) and it will find the same image elsewhere in the document. The “eXtreme” version even lets you OCR the plans and search the text.
I have found Revu to be better than any other PDF software because of it’s ease of use for beginners, advanced features for power users, and its absolute speed of rendering the page on screen. Zooming in and out, and panning in any direction is seamless and smooth with native vector based PDFs (results vary with scanned PDFs). Bluebeam also has an active user community with an online forum with multiple Bluebeam employees contributing to the forum daily.
In addition to being the best PDF tool, it’s cheaper than Adobe’s own Acrobat Pro. Bringing this tool to my company has saved us thousands by eliminating paper printing and shipping costs, digitizer board costs, and Acrobat costs. Bluebeam PDF Revu is hands down the best and most important piece of software on my computer
A typical working screen in BlueBeam PDF Revu