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Adobe PDF vs. Bluebeam for Construction

Bluebeam PDF Reader for Construction

If you are working in the Construction industry, one of the most used programs is a PDF viewer. That's why it is crucial that you use the best PDF viewer to open all your drawings and documents, edit, make markups, take estimates, etc...

It used to be that Adobe PDF was the prominent PDF viewer and was used by everyone in all industries. Is it the right choice for construction though? We will look at the features to compare below.


It may not be the first thing that comes to mind when comparing PDF viewers, but when you're opening 10+ MB files, the plans and drawings can really start to lag and slow down your experience.

Adobe tends to lag when zooming in/out and switching pages as compared to Bluebeam. When you're scrolling in Bluebeam, it is a smoother and more seamless experience, which is important especially when looking at large drawings.

Winner: Bluebeam


One of the most commonly used features on PDF viewers in construction is markups. Whether you want to add a text box, cloud an area, highlight, etc, it is important that these features are easily accessible.

Bluebeam has many more markup features than Adobe, and makes the features easy to access and faster to implement as well. It even has a chest box where you can add the most commonly used markups for easy access.

When it comes to Editing text Adobe and Bluebeam are neck and neck. They both have similar features and at similar speeds. In order to convert images to text on Bluebeam, you need the premium version, which costs a bit more.

Winner: Bluebeam


Bluebeam Estimating Concrete For Construction
Bluebeam Estimating

This is where Bluebeam completely blows Adobe out of the park. Bluebeam gives you the ability to calibrate drawings, and perform takeoffs for Volume, Area, Line and Perimeter. It also gives you a ton of features, such as naming each takeoff, writing notes for it, setting multiple scales on one drawing, and more.

It automatically creates a list on the bottom of each takeoff taken which can be easily exported to Excel and used for your estimate. It also allows for color coding, printing of takeoff, and so much more!

There's no need to pull out the ruler anymore, as Bluebeam can give you accurate takeoffs within seconds, that can be saved and shared with your coworkers. It also makes it easy to review for errors as anyone can check it at any time and easily see all the information for each takeoff.

Winner: Bluebeam


If you are working in the Construction industry, Bluebeam is the clear winner as it contains a plethora of features that will make your life easier and processes drawings smoothly and quickly. It may seem daunting to learn a new program if Adobe has been working for you for many years, but the learning curve is well worth it.

You can get your free 30 day trial at and see if it works for you.

PRO TIP: If you want to save a ton of money, there's many authorized re-sellers of older versions of Bluebeam. You can easily save $200 or more per user by purchasing through these methods! The older versions have all of the most commonly used features and will meet the needs of most construction companies. Visit to find authorized re-sellers.

Note: Construction Logs is Not Affiliated with Bluebeam.

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