Making large PDFs more manageable with Sets

Applies to:

  • Revu 20
  • Revu 2019
  • Revu 2018

Jump to other versions:

Working with extremely large PDFs (think 100 pages or more) can be tedious, especially if you need to look through several of them at once. They’re often difficult to load, share via email, version control, and search through. Using Sets in Revu solves all of these problems and more.

A Set can load multiple documents in Revu as if they were one document. If any revisions are present, they are automatically grouped with their appropriate pages. Revu can even read the sheet name and use it to automatically sort the documents by discipline. Best of all, since the files are hyperlinked rather than combined, loading and navigating between them is extremely quick, and they can be organized in folders however you like. Sets can even be shared with your coworkers.

Creating a Set

To create a Set, you will need to open the Sets panel (Alt+2). If the Sets panel does not appear on your screen, you can go to Window > Panels > Sets to activate it.

  1. In the Sets panel, go to Sets > New Set.
  2. Click Add, and select the files or folders you would like to include in your Set.
  3. Once the files have been selected, Revu will ask you to select the region of your document where your sheet names appear. Click Select, then click and drag around the appropriate area.
  4. Revu will automatically tag and name these articles using AutoMark, and then present a table of the named sheets where you can edit any mistakes from the AutoMark process.
  5. Once you are satisfied with sheet names, Revu will use these names in the Set.

You can navigate through your files with the Sets panel. If there are any revisions to a particular sheet, you can look through them using the arrows just below the thumbnail. Pages with revisions will show additional pages stacked underneath their thumbnail.

Categorizing Sets

To edit how Revu categorizes your PDFs, go to Preferences > Sets > Categories in the Preferences menu. During the AutoMark process, Revu will attempt to identify which discipline the PDF belongs to based on the letters in the sheet name area (this is the letter found under the Filter column). To change either the discipline name or the letter used to identify a discipline, double-click on the row.

Once disciplines are set, you can browse sheets by discipline to make navigation even easier.

Sharing Sets

Sets can be shared with your coworkers, provided that they have access to the file paths in the Set. The easiest way to share a Set is to upload the Set file and its accompanying PDFs to a shared network drive:

  1. Create or move a folder containing all of the relevant PDFs in a Set to your network drive.
  2. Create a Set (see directions above) by selecting the files that appear on the network drive.
  3. Go to Sets > Save Set As, then give your Set a name and save it on the network drive. The file will have the .bex file extension.
  4. Once the files are in the correct place, go to Sets > Open Set.
  5. Navigate to the Set file you saved earlier and select it.

If you don’t have a network drive, you can share a Set by zipping (or compressing) the Set by sending them directly to your coworker.

To do this, you will need to create a folder that contains the Set file (.bex), as well as the PDFs in the Set. Make sure that the links in the Set are relative and point to the correct locations within the folder, then send the compressed folder in an email or a file-sharing system.

Even more about Sets

If you ever get stuck or if you want to try even more Sets features, be sure to check out Sets in the Revu Help Manual.

Other versions of this article

Revu 2017 and older

Here at Bluebeam, we’re always asking for customer feedback so we can build and improve upon the tools that “let you do what you do, better”. A few years ago, we’d heard you loud and clear about one particular headache: working with a single PDF that contains a large quantity of pages. This can be cumbersome for a number of reasons. For starters:

  • The file can easily become too large to email.
  • Team members must wait their turn to make revisions when the PDF lives on a document management system, even though they may only want to access a few of the pages.
  • The project is at risk of losing version control if team members extract pages from the document to work on them separately.

Naturally, a project team would want to separate those pages to individual PDFs to keep them protected and easier to manage. Yet, it is still important to keep all the information together – ideally, in a location that is just a click away.

In Revu 11, we solved this problem with the introduction of Sets.

How does Sets Work?

With Sets, you can keep all related pages separate and still view and navigate through them as if they are a single document, in a single tab, without ever needing to merge those files together. So, now you can view your entire construction drawing set in one place. And there are other benefits, too. Previous revisions are stacked behind the current version so you don’t lose track of the changes throughout the project. For example, let’s say the architect has sent several revised floor plan sheets as part of the latest addendum. Sets enables you to insert the addendum sheets as the current drawing without losing the ability to view the previous floor plans. Plus, pages that were never going to be able to be combined because of PDF security restrictions or digital signatures can now be viewed as a part of the Set.

You can create a Set with PDF files from ProjectWise, SharePoint, Bluebeam Studio Projects and a local or network drive. You can even view files that live separately in each of those locations as a complete Set. Then, once you’ve started a Set, you can sort the files by page label or numeric sequence and share the read-only Set with colleagues and project partners.

Please check out the video tutorials covering Sets , Sets 2.0 , and Sets 3.0 , as well as the Revu Manual, which can be accessed by going to the Bluebeam Support page.


Working with large amounts of PDFs can be tedious. Using Sets in Revu can help.

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