The Batch Compare Documents feature compares groups of documents to each other and highlights the differences between them, which are indicated with markups that can be reviewed easily using the Markups list. It provides several auto-matching options to make pairing up pages to be compared simpler. By default, only the content layers of the PDFs are compared; to include markups in a comparison, turn on that option in Advanced Comparison Options.
The batch version of Compare Documents is discussed here. There is also a non-batch version of Compare Documents.
Note: Batch Compare is only available in Bluebeam Revu eXtreme.
PDFs do not need to be open in Revu when the process is run. If a document is open in Revu, any changes resulting from the process will be made to the document, but the document will not be saved or checked in (if relevant); the user will need to save and check in the document manually. If a document is not open in Revu, and it is not checked out/locked by another user, changes will be applied and saved to the document automatically (without opening the document in Revu).
In most cases, Revu's auto-matching function will successfully match current sheets with their revisions, but in the event that a consistent naming convention is in place and the auto-matching function doesn't deliver satisfactory results, users can add their own syntax to the matching algorithm. If that doesn't work, or is not an option, manual correlation is always available.
Go to Batch > Compare Documents. The Batch: Compare Documents dialog box appears.
- Add PDFs to the Current Pages and Revised Pages lists by selecting the appropriate option from the corresponding Add dropdown menus:
- Add Files: Select this option to navigate to the desired files on either a local or network drive. This is the default option and is invoked when Add is clicked.
- Add Open Files: Select this option to add all PDFs currently open in Revu.
- Add Folder: Select this option to add all PDFs in a selected folder, but none of the PDFs in any of its subfolders.
- Add Folder (include subfolders): Select this option to add all PDFs in a selected folder as well as the PDFs in any of its subfolders.
- File Name, Page Index: Automatically matches documents by file name, then by page index.
- Page Label: Automatically matches documents using predefined page labels.
Page Region: Uses the text found within user-defined regions of the first PDF listed in the Current Pages list to automatically match documents. To define the page region:
- Click Select. The dialog box disappears, replaced with a crosshair cursor.
Click and drag to define a region on the PDF. Generally speaking, the data in this region should be located in the same place on each PDF. When the region has been defined, the AutoMark dialog box appears.
- To add another region, click Add. The AutoMark dialog box disappears, replaced with a crosshair cursor again. Click and drag to define another region. The AutoMark dialog box reappears with the new region added to the Selection field. There is no limit to the number of regions that can be added.
- Review the sample page label, as shown under Preview. If desired, click in the Selection field to add text before, after or between [Regions].
- When all regions have been defined, click OK. The AutoMark dialog box closes, replaced by the previous dialog box.
Note: AutoMark is most suitable for documents that are vector-based, are the same size and have the same registration. AutoMark might not work as expected if the pages are different sizes, if some of the pages are not searchable or if the scans are not properly registered.
Manual Correlation: Skips the auto-matching process. Select this option to match documents manually on the next screen.
Note: Pages must be matched to be included in the next part of the process. If one of the auto-matching options is selected and matches cannot be found for one or more pages, they will not be included. This does not apply to Manual Correlation, which carries all pages forward.
For each of the Match Pages By options except Manual Correlation, you can define an advanced filter for more control over the auto-matching process. To do so, click Advanced and enter the desired Match Filter. See Advanced Match Options for more information.
Click Match. The appropriate matching process is run (as determined by the Match Pages By selection above) and the next screen of the Batch: Compare Documents wizard appears.
- Pages are arranged in matched pairs; pages in the same row are considered "paired" and will be compared. To move a page to a different row (and pair it with a different page), click and drag it to the desired position.
- To remove a page from either list, select it and click Remove.
- To change the comparison settings, click Advanced. See Advanced Comparison Options for more information.
- To change the folder in which the comparison documents will be saved, click the button to the right of Output Folder and select the desired folder.
- To return to the previous screen, click Back.
- Click OK. The next screen of the Batch: Compare Documents wizard appears.
If Manual Correlation was selected as the Match Pages By option on the previous screen and one or more pages are not paired, they are automatically discarded.
- Review the Summary information provided, which includes the pages that were compared, the number of differences found, and the name of the comparison document that was created for each page pair.
- To generate a report of the Summary information:
- Select Create detailed report.
- Select either PDF or CSV from the Format dropdown menu.
- To change the folder in which the report will be saved, click the button to the right of Output Folder and select the desired folder.
- Enter a name for the report in the File name field.
- To overwrite an existing file with the same name in the selected folder, select Overwrite Existing File.
- To open the file once it's been created, select Open File After Creation.
Click Settings to set additional reporting options. The options available vary depending on what kind of report is being generated:
Create Hyperlinks: When enabled, the report will include hyperlinks to the current, revised, and unmatched pages
and to the marked up PDF that highlights the differences between them.
- Stamp Date and Stamp Time: When enabled, adds that information to the footer of the report.
- Page Size and Orientation: Sets the page size and orientation of the report.
- Create Hyperlinks: When enabled, the report will include hyperlinks to the current, revised, and unmatched pages.
- Include Column Headers: When enabled, the file will include automatically generated column headers in the comparison report.
- Click OK.
Advanced Match Options lets you define a custom Match Filter that is used to precisely match pages during the auto-match process.
* Represents zero or more characters that are not a number # Represents a series of characters that form a number ; Separator for specifying multiple filters ? Represents a series of alphabetic letters \ Escape character to treat above characters as literal
All other characters are literal.
Note: An assumed * wildcard always precedes the string. For instance, A#;C# is implied as *A#;*C#.
Note: A space is considered a literal character. Do not include a space after the semicolon or else the filter will take that space into account as well.
Use the Advanced Comparison Options to fine-tune the document comparison process. It is recommended that you use the default Comparison and Rendering settings provided and change these settings only if the document comparison process does not appear to detect differences.
Three default comparison Types are provided: Printed Documents (same printer), Printed Documents (different printer) and Scanned Documents. Each Type has pre-configured Comparison settings. You can change the settings of any of the default Types or create a custom Type by selecting <New Custom>. The Advanced Comparison Options are:
- The comparison process breaks the document into a region of grids for comparison. Grid Size defines the size of the individual grid segments used for comparison. These regions are then inspected for different pixels to identify as a differing region.
- Pixel Density controls the threshold amount of differences in a particular area (defined by the Grid Size) when detecting differences.
- Color Sensitivity helps to determine the threshold at which pixel differences will be determined. A lower sensitivity setting will not detect as many differences as a higher sensitivity setting.
- This setting works in conjunction with the Pixel Proximity Allowance. Increase this value to check adjoining areas for similar pixels.
- Set the Margin value to ignore regions around the borders of the PDFs being compared.
- Enter values in the Offset setting if you know one document is offset from the document that is being compared. Likewise, you may check Auto-alignment to instruct Revu to automatically align the drawings or documents that are being compared. Auto-alignment is recommended for comparing scanned drawings.
- DPI determines the resolution used to rasterize the PDFs. The default setting is 72. Set the value higher (144) if finer resolution is needed for the comparison.
- By default, the comparison tool ignores existing markups on the documents, since these can already be easily located via the Markups list. Select Include Markups to override this behavior and render markups for comparison.
- While flattened markups become part of the PDF's content layer, the comparison tool ignores those that have been flattened as "recoverable" by default. Select Include Flattened Markups to override this behavior.
- Determine the appearance of the markups that will be used to annotate differences found during the comparison by setting the Color, Fill Color, Opacity and Width. If cloud markups should be used, check Cloud.
- If the annotations should be locked when they are placed, check Locked.
- Enter a name for the difference annotations (for example, “Differences 5-7-14”) in the Subject field, if desired. This makes it easy to group the difference annotations together on the Markups list by sorting by Subject. A series of difference comparisons can be made over time to provide a change history.
- Select which document the difference annotations should be added to from the Apply to dropdown list. If one of the "New copy" options is selected, a new document containing the difference annotations will be created based on the indicated document. Otherwise, the difference annotations will be added to the selected document(s).
If you change a value in a default comparison Type, its name is marked with an asterisk (*).
To change the settings of the current type permanently, click Save. The Save Document Comparison Settings dialog box will open. Enter a name for this configuration. If you are changing the settings of a default Type, its name will be auto-populated; you can save it under the default name or change it, creating a new type.
To restore the included types to their default settings, click Restore Defaults.