How to use the Snapshot tool to compare drawing sections

This article applies to:

  • Revu 20
  • Revu 2019
  • Revu 2018

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Before working out in the field, some Revu users find it helpful to overlay sections of a drawing rather than comparing entire PDFs. For example, electrical drawings for a unit in an apartment building can be superimposed over the architectural drawings to provide more useful details such as wall size, depth, length, and etc. This method is also helpful for comparing markups on different drawing revisions.

In this article, we’ll go over how to compare & overlay areas of drawings with the Snapshot tool. For more information about using Compare Documents in Revu, please see this video.

Overlay drawing sections

  1. In Revu, open the two PDFs with the areas you’d like to compare.
    For best results, only use black and white drawings when completing this process.
  2. From the document tab, navigate to the drawing with the section that you want to overlay on top of the second version (architectural, revised, etc.).
  3. Go to Edit > Snapshot (G).
  4. Click-and-drag a rectangle around the specific area you’d like to compare.
  5. Press Ctrl+C to copy the snapshot to your clipboard.
  6. From the document tab, navigate to the second drawing and press Ctrl+Shift+V to paste-in-place the snapshot over the same area.
    If the areas aren’t perfectly aligned after pasting in place, select the snapshot and drag it to change its position. You can also resize it using the yellow control points.

Highlight differences between drawing sections

If you’d like to color code content from the snapshot of the source drawing, follow these steps:

  1. With the snapshot selected, navigate to the Properties panel from the right sidebar menu.
  2. Under Appearance, select Change Colors…
    Snapshot Change Colors
  3. In the Color Processing dialog box, select the Source Color you’d like to change (usually black for black and white drawings).
  4. Then select the second box and choose the color you’d like to change the source content to.
  5. In the second row that appears under Process, select white for the Source Color and choose No Color for the second option. This will make the snapshot’s background transparent.
    Color Processing dialog box
  6. The Color Processing dialog box will display a preview of your color changes. When finished modifying colors, select OK.
  7. From the Properties panel, adjust the opacity to less than 100 to better view overlapping content.

Now you can compare the area at a glance with unique details from each drawing color coded according to your specifications. For more quick drawing management tips, see How to create an enlarged drawing with the Snapshot tool.

Other versions of this article

Revu 2017 and older
Sometimes there are instances in which you only want to compare a small area of two different drawing revisions. The most widely used features in Revu for comparing PDF drawings is Overlay Pages and Compare Documents, but these features are designed for comparing full size drawings, rather than a small area. So, what can you do? Use the Snapshot snapshot tool instead. The Snapshot tool is another great way to compare drawings, and gives you more flexibility and control when comparing small areas.

To compare drawings using Snapshot

Note: When using Snapshot to compare a small area of a drawing, it’s best to use two black and white drawings.

  1. Open Drawing 1.
  2. Click the Snapshot snapshot button and draw a rectangle around the area that you want to compare.
  3. Open Drawing 2.
  4. Press Ctrl+Shift+V to use Paste in Place and paste the Snapshot in the same location as Drawing 1.
  5. Select the Snapshot and click the Change Colors button in the Properties properties tab.
  6. Click the Source Color button and then click the black color tile.
  7. Click the To button and click the red color tile. A second row of Source/To buttons will display.
  8. Click the Source color button in the second row and click white.
  9. Click the To color button in the second row and click no color, which is the white tile with the red slash though it.
  10. Click OK.
  11. Change the Opacity in the Properties properties tab to 60 or 70.

What I’ve done here is copy a Snapshot markup from one drawing, pasted it on the other in the exact same location, and then changed the color properties to visually compare the two. Lines and text that are the same in both drawings will display as a dark shade of red. Lines or text that are only in Drawing 1 will appear as a light red color, and lines or text that are only in Drawing 2 will be solid black.

Paste in Place, Ctrl+Shift+V, used in the instructions above, allows you to paste the Snapshot in the same exact location as the original drawing. Alternately, if you use Paste, Ctrl+V, the Snapshot will paste at the cursor location, therefore Paste in Place is recommended. If the two drawings are not aligned after using Paste in Place, Snapshot allows you to make adjustments easily. Since a Snapshot is a markup, you can adjust the alignment of the two drawings by clicking on the Snapshot and dragging it to the correct location, or you can click on the yellow handles in the corners of the Snapshot to rescale it to the appropriate size.

Even though this example focuses on comparing a small section of a drawing, this process can also be used to compare an entire sheet.

Learn more about using the Snapshot tool and creating Tool Set symbols using Snapshot.


Revu 2018

Revu 2019

Revu 20


PDF Management

Learn how to use the Snapshot tool in Revu to compare the same area in two different types of drawings, so you can compare details out in the field.

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