Creating custom markups and saving them to the Tool Chest | Revu 2017 & below


Using the Tool Chest to create and save custom markups

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Bluebeam Revu

The Tool Chest is one of Revu’s most productive features. It contains markups and symbols that can be reused quickly to make your work quicker and easier. The Tool Chest comes pre-loaded with multiple collections of symbols called tool sets.

You are not limited to using just these tool sets. You can also create your own using the markups tools in Revu. You can add individual markups – including a Text Box or Area Measurement – or you can group different types of markups so they function as a single symbol. There are only a few types of markups that cannot be used in the Tool Chest.

You can also share your tool sets with other Bluebeam users on your team so your work will be consistent between users.

To begin, the first thing you need to do is display the Tool Chest:

  • Click the Tool Chest icon in the left or right panel, or
  • Press Alt+X.
A list of Revu keyboard shortcuts is available in the Revu Help menu and on our web site.

Add to the Tool Chest

Adding a markup to the Tool Chest is easy. There are two ways to do it:

  • Right-click on any markup, click Add to Tool Chest and then the name of the tool set, or
  • Drag any markup from Recent Tools into the tool set where you want to save it.

For example, here’s how you would add three different color highlights to the Tool Chest.

  1. Press Alt+P to display the Properties tab.
  2. Draw three highlights on the PDF.
  3. Select the first highlight and change the color to red.
  4. Change the second to blue and last to green.
  5. Right-click on the red highlight, click Add to Tool Chest and then My Tools.
  6. Repeat for the blue and green highlights.

Now you can quickly use three different colors of highlights.

Properties mode vs. Drawing mode

Individual markups added to the Tool Chest can function in two different modes. Properties mode will create a new markup using the display properties (like Color and Line width). Drawing mode creates an exact copy of what you’ve added to the Tool Chest. For example, Drawing mode allows you to create a green Text Box containing a long note that you use over and over, while Properties mode creates an empty green Text Box.

Double-click on the icon in the Tool Chest to switch between modes. The icon will change to show the difference between the two modes.

Groups and Stamps are always in Drawing mode.

Group multiple markups together and add to the Tool Chest

Revu’s markup tools can be used as building blocks to create more complex custom symbols. These can be “grouped” into a single markup – allowing them to be moved, resized and copied as a single element – and then added to the Tool Chest.

Here is a quick example of creating a grouped symbol:

  1. Create a Text Box.
  2. Create a Rectangle around it.
  3. Hold down the Shift key and draw a selection rectangle around the markups you just created. The control points of all the markups will display when they are selected.
  4. Right-click on one of the markups and then click Group Ctrl+G. A single markup will be created and there will be only one set of control points.
  5. Right-click on the grouped markup and then click Add to Tool Chest, then My Tools.

All of the pre-loaded tool sets in Revu were created exactly the same way. Feel free to use an existing symbol in Revu as a starting point for creating your custom symbols. Just add one of the existing symbols to the PDF, right-click on it and then click Ungroup. This will break the group back into separate markups which you can modify to make the symbol that you need.

Adding information to your custom tool set

You can change more than just how your markups look. You can also add information that will be included each time a symbol is added to the PDF. For example, you can change the subject in the Properties tab to something more descriptive.

Create area measurements with different subjects and colors

I’ll demonstrate this with an example. You can make Area measurements for two different floor materials by changing the subject and the color. This will make it easy to see the takeoffs for different materials. Try doing this:

  1. Add two Area measurements to the PDF.
  2. Change the subject of the first to “Wood Floor” and the color to green.
  3. Change the subject of the second to “Carpet Floor” and change the color to blue.
  4. Add both to the Tool Chest.
  5. Change the symbols to Properties mode.

You can take this further if you also change the Fill Color, Text Color and check the Highlight check box in the Properties tab. The same changes can be done for the other types of measurements.

Create a simple symbol with dynamic text:

Dynamic Text is not directly supported in symbols, but you can include a stamp that contains dynamic text. The dynamic text is updated when the symbol is added to the PDF. A previous article covered dynamic text in detail.

Here is a quick example of creating a symbol that includes dynamic text:

  1. Add the DateTime stamp to the PDF.
  2. Create a Rectangle rectangle around the stamp.
  3. Select and then Group Ctrl+G them.
  4. Right-click and then click Add to Tool Chest.
  5. Add the symbol to the PDF.

The dynamic text for the date and time are updated when the symbol is added to the PDF.

Create a tool set

Different types of symbols can be organized into different tool sets so you can create your own tools sets and also distribute them to other users.

To create a new tool set:

  1. Click the Manage Tool Sets properties button in the Tool Chest toolbar. The Manage Tool Sets dialog box will display.
  2. Click the Add button.
  3. Click New, type a Title and click OK.

The new tool set will automatically display in the Tool Chest and will appear in the list of tool sets when you click Add to Tool Chest.


There are some markups that cannot be included in tool sets. These exceptions are Notes, Hyperlinks, file attachments, the edit text tools (Review Text , Underline , Squiggly line , Strikeout ), text Highlight as well as symbols that already have a Sequence or Action defined.

Useful Shortcuts

Selecting markups

There are a few different ways to select multiple markups, including the following:

  • Shift+click
  • Shift+drag rectangle, left to right, right to left.
  • Lasso lasso tool Shift+O
  • Ctrl+A to select all markups on a page.
  • Select the markups in the Markups markups-list list.


If you’d like more information about customizing, creating and saving custom markups or creating tool sets for estimations, you can find it on our website or in the Revu Help Guide. Along with this, we also have a collection of video tutorials and FAQ’s to help you with using other Revu features.

With Revu, you can create your own tool sets with individual or grouped markups, and share custom tool sets with other users. Get started with these steps.

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