Using Bluebeam Revu’s Tool Chest to Save Custom Annotations and Tool Sets

The Tool Chest™ in Bluebeam Revu is a powerful feature that makes annotating documents much more efficient by giving you a place to store your customised annotations in a central, easily accessible location without having to recreate them. The Tool Chest comes with a number of useful tool sets and collections of annotations, but you can also create and share your own tool sets full of customised annotations and measurements. They can be saved in the pre-created “My Tools” tool set or in your own custom tool set.

For example, while the Highlight button on the toolbar allows you to save one default appearance for the Highlighter, the Tool Chest can store multiple colour and thickness combinations that you can access with a single click.

To create a tool set:

  1. Click Manage Tools Sets at the top of the Tool Chest tab.
  2. Click the Add button.
  3. Click New, type a Title and click OK.

Once you have created the tool set, start applying your annotations. You can do this either by right-clicking on an annotation and selecting Add to Tool Chest and then the desired tool set, or by grabbing the annotation from the “Recent Tools” tool set and dragging it into your tool set. (Note: The “Recent Tools” tool set does not save your annotations after you close Revu.)

Two important things to remember about annotations stored in the Tool Chest:

  1. For any annotation saved in the Tool Chest that is not grouped, you can simply double-click on it to toggle between Drawing Mode (which creates an exact copy of the annotation) and Properties Mode (which replicates only the properties of the annotation).
  2. The appearance of the annotation isn’t the only thing that can be saved in the Tool Chest. Annotations can have custom Subjects, Comments, Layers and Custom Column data. Or you can create more complex symbols by grouping multiple annotations together and then adding the grouped annotation to the Tool Chest.

Symbol vs Detail View

Do you have several similar annotations saved in your Tool Chest that have subtle but important differences? Select the Detail view to display selected tool sets in a table that includes the symbol plus the Subject, Comment and Label in text in order to tell them apart.

To change the display of a tool set, click the tool set’s Settings and select either Symbol orDetail. The image below shows changing the “Sequences & Actions” tool set from the original Symbol view to the new Detail view.


The Tool Chest allows you to collapse tool sets that you aren’t currently using to save space in the Tool Chest tab. You can still access symbols in a collapsed tool set without having to expand it first. Just click the white arrow to the right of the collapsed tool set’s Settings and select an annotation from the pop-out containing the tool set’s annotations.

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