Newby Advice for Revu users (Part 2): Learn how Markup and Measurements are organised (so you can get the most out of them).


Revu is a very powerful tool that allows use the PDF format to quantify projects, track & understanding changes and assign tasks throughout a project. On top of that it boasts a wide range of other tools relating to managing change and manipulating PDF’s.

For those who are starting off in Revu, if you plan to sort through or tally up different types of Markups and Measurements with any success then it will be necessary to gain an idea  of the logic behind the way that they are organised. Once you have that worked out, you can confidently start to Markup and Measure in an organised way and get the maximum leverage out of your work.


The Structure:

In this case, I am going to organise the structure into a Family Tree. That’s especially useful for those of us who are visual thinkers. Here is the overview:

The Revu Family Tree


Level 1:

At the top level of our hierarchy we can think of the Tools in 2 main categories, Markups or Measurements.

I’ve labeled Markups as “Annotation” because if we relate them to CAD terminology, a Markup is an annotation that is not attempting to relate directly to a scaled object and is an object at sits on top of the PDF to add information.

Measurements on the other hand are based on real world scaled elements so we expect these to have a real world value and relate in some way to the graphics in the PDF. And when we properly calibrate the Sheets in our PDF, the Measurements will change to reflect the real world size of the object that we are measuring.


Level 1



Level 2:

At the next level in the hierarchy, we have the category of Markup or Measurement.

Markups can be Text, Lines, Shapes, Clouds and so forth – there also special markups in the form of pictures that we can insert into the PDF to supplement the information we need to convey.

Measurements can be non-calculated (Length, Perimeter etc) or Calculated (Volume, Area) and then we have special Measurements such as take-offs that allow us to manually to automatically count objects in the PDF.

Level 2



Level 3:

Below Level 2, we have each type of  Markup or Measurement organised by Subject. This relates to the purpose or target audience of the Markup or Measurement.

Level 3

For example, we might have different Types of Text Markup that relates to comments about a specific aspect of a document or directives to a specific sub-contractors. In the case of Measurements, if we are doing a quantity takeoff then we would have several Area Measurement Types, one for Plasterboard / Gypsum faced Walls and another for Tiled Walls and we would organise these by giving them a different Subject.

Organising them into different Subjects allows us to sort our Markups in the Markup List. It also allows us to filter out our Markups and Measurements by Subject so that we can, for instance, issue a list of all comments / instructions for each specific sub-contractor in a project.

NOTE that we can also fill in Label data for a  Measurement or Markup – in general terms, this is supplementary text that provides more information about what the Markup or Measurement relates to. Below are some examples Measurements in the Metric ToolChest, under the Quantity Takeoff Toolset, that has the Label property filled in to aid in describing the purpose of the Measurements:


Level 4:

Lastly, each individual instance of a Markup or Measurement has a particular property that captures the unique piece of information we are trying convey via a Comment or Quantity.

In the case of a Markup, this might a comment  that tells a specific contractor a particular piece of information related to the object that our Markup is pointing to.

In the case of a Measurement, the Comments might be the specific quantity that we are measuring – so a Length Measurement shows the length that we’ve measured off the PDF.

And in the case of Count Measurements, the Comments relate to the specific part of the count sequence that the instance is.


Level 4



Now that we’ve had a look at the way things are organised we can start to work more effectively (and confidently) in Revu.

If we take the time to customise our Markups and Measurements correctly and then make sure we capture them in our Profile then we can make the process more efficient and consistent by understanding this structure.

Adding correct information into the fields for each Markups and Measurement allows us to track information and quantify our project accurately and when we need to send this data to third parties which is properly sorted and filtered to suit the recipient.

I hope this overview has given some clarity into the way that Revu organises Markups and Measurements. As always, have fun!

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