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Using Bluebeam Vu to Access Bluebeam Studio

ou can use Vu, Bluebeam’s free PDF viewer, to view and print PDF documents, fill out and save PDF forms, and best of all, collaborate with colleagues and team members on documents in real time using our cloud-based collaboration solution, Bluebeam Studio.

There are two sides to Studio: Studio Sessions  and Studio Projects , and this article will help you figure out which of these is best for the collaboration needs of your team, and how you can participate in either one as a Vu user.

Note: If you’re using Bluebeam Vu iPad, please refer to the Vu iPad Help Guide, which can be found on our Revu iPad Resources page.

Please click here for information about creating a Studio account with Vu iPad.

Studio Sessions

Studio Sessions are for PDF-based online collaboration in real time, and using Vu to access Sessions, unlocks many of the markup and tool set features normally reserved for licensed Revu users. You can take measurements to verify dimensions, add comments, callouts, and symbols, as well as many other markups to a PDF, to communicate your thoughts, ideas or concerns to others participating in the Studio Session with you.

How Does a Studio Session Work?

Studio Sessions don’t require that you check files in and out. All you need to do is click on a PDF to open it, even if other users have the PDF opened. That is the beauty of Studio Sessions: real-time collaboration. All users in the Session markup the document, and everyone can see what others are adding or have added. There is also a Record that captures user activity, including the user name and what they added, modified or removed from the PDF.

Can Other Attendees Modify My Markups?

A user’s markups are fully protected by their unique Studio login, so only the user who added a markup can edit or remove their own markup. No need to worry whether someone is altering your markups – they can’t.

What If I Lose Internet Connectivity?

Vu saves a local copy of the file you’re working on, so if you do lose connectivity, you can continue working and your markups will be uploaded once the connection is restored – how cool is that?

What if My Colleagues Aren’t Available When I Am?

No worries! A Session attendee can add markups, and other team members can log in when convenient to review what’s been added. Conflicting schedules are no longer a barrier to keeping projects moving forward.

Now let’s take a look at what Studio Sessions looks like when using Vu.

Bluebeam Vu logged into a Studio Session

More Studio Session Functions in Vu

Studio Tab

Use this tab to log in to Studio, open PDFs, see a Record of all user interaction with PDFs, and chat with others participating in the Session with you. There is an Attendees list so you can see who else is logged in with you.

Tool Chest

The Tool Chest lets you access several predefined tool sets containing types of markups: Electrical, Mechanical, HVAC, Fire and Safety, Estimation, Proofreading and Punch Symbols, just to name a few.

Don’t see the tool set you are looking for? You can download free tool sets that suit your needs.

Markup Tools

Go to the Markup Group to access all the different markups tools, like text boxes, callouts, clouds, shapes and stamps. Need to add your Seal of Approval? Do it with a stamp! To learn more about markup tools, watch this video.

Measurement Tools


Go to the Measure Group to calibrate your drawings and take Length, Area, Perimeter, Diameter, Radius and Angle measurements in several different units, from inches (in) to kilometers (km) and everything in between. To learn more about taking measurements, watch this video .

Note: You can also find the measurement tools in the Measurements Tab.


Studio Projects

Studio Projects is Bluebeam’s simple document management system that lets registered Bluebeam Revu users store various file types in the cloud — including PDFs, Microsoft Office files and images. However, while using Vu to access a Studio Project, you’ll only be able to view the PDF files – markup is restricted. If there’s a PDF that you need to markup, you can ask the Project host or owner to add the PDF document to a Studio Session.

How Does the Project Owner Add a PDF that’s in a Project to a Session?

This is a simple task. All they have to do is right-click on the PDF in the project and click Add to New Session. Once the PDF is added to a Session, you’ll be able to access and markup the document, using either an invitation link or the Studio ID number, along with the markup capabilities that are unlocked in a Studio Session.

Can I Work With Other File Types in Studio Projects?

Yes. Studio Projects supports other file types such as Excel spread sheets and Word documents, which can be checked out and edited locally, and then checked in to the Project.

To work with non-PDF file types:

Using the example of a Microsoft Excel or Word document.

  • Right-click on the file and select Check Out. The file will now be listed in the Pending Changes section of the Project with a red check mark next to it.
  • Right-click on the file again and select Open. This opens the file in the native Microsoft Office application.
  • Edit the document and save your changes as you normally would in Office.
  • Go back into the Studio Project and right-click on the file listed in the Pending Changes list.
  • Select Check In from the menu. During the check-in process, you’ll be prompted to add comments which are added to the document’s Revision History.

Please remember this is only for non-PDF documents. PDF markup and editing is only available a Studio Sessions.

But wait! What if I lose Internet connectivity while the document is checked out?

Good news— Studio has you covered. As long as the document was checked out and listed in the Pending Changes list, you can finish your work offline and check it in once the connection is restored.

What Else Can I Do in a Studio Project?

As a Vu user, you can perform a couple of other tasks while in a Studio Project. In addition to viewing files in a Project, you can also print them to a physical printer, or download them to your computer and view them offline.

You can also use the tools in the Measurements tab to take measurements for a quick look at dimensions. You can select from Length, Area, Perimeter, Diameter, Angle, Radius, and Count. However, since PDF editing isn’t supported in Studio Projects, these dimensions won’t be saved.

How Do I Create a Studio Account With Vu?

All right, now you should feel pretty comfortable with the differences between Studio Sessions and Studio Projects, as well as what can be done while using Vu to access Bluebeam Studio – Excellent!

Now that you’re ready to participate in Studio, let’s get you set up with a free Studio Account.

  • Open Vu and go to the Studio tab , or use the keyboard shortcut Alt+ C.
  • Click Connect This opens the Login dialog.
  • Click Create Account.
  • When the Create Studio Account dialog appears, enter the following information:
    • The email address you want to use as your Bluebeam Studio username.

This is the email address where you’ll receive all Studio Session and Project invitations, as well as other emails from Bluebeam Studio such as Notifications and Alerts.

    • Enter and confirm the password you want to use for your account.

Note: Your password needs to be between 8 and 32 characters long, with at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, one number and one special character, such as !@#$%^&*.

    • Click the Remember Password checkbox if you want Revu to log in to Studio whenever you open the program.

Note: Only click the Use Windows Authentication checkbox if your company uses Bluebeam Studio Enterprise Server, as this won’t work with If you’re unsure about this, please ask your IT department to confirm whether or not you need to use this authentication method.

    • Click OK.
  • You’ll receive a “Welcome to Bluebeam Studio” email containing a link for validating your new account. The account will be disabled if it isn’t validated within 7 days.

Note: If the email doesn’t arrive in your inbox, please check your spam or junk email folder, and make sure that is on the approved list of senders.

If you run into any difficulties with your Studio account, please contact Bluebeam Support for further assistance.

How Will I know that I’m Logged In to Bluebeam Studio?

When you’re logged in, the Work Offline/Online icon will be connected with a green light. On the other hand, it will appear as two disconnected cables with a red light  when you’re offline.

Joining a Studio Project or Session

Now that you’re are ready to join a Studio Session or Studio Project, you can do so by following the steps listed below:

  • Open Vu and go to the Studio tab , or use the keyboard shortcut Alt+ C.
  • Click Join and enter the 9-digit Studio ID number when prompted.

You can find the Session or Project ID number in the email invitation you may have received from the host, or you can ask them for it.

Note: If someone has sent you a Studio Invitation and  the email doesn’t appear in your inbox, please check your spam or junk email folder, and contact your IT Department to confirm that is on the approved list of senders.

  • Click OK.

That’s it, you did it – you are in! Tell everyone we said hi!