Bluebeam Tips – Marking Workpapers

On Wednesday I introduced a couple of quick Bluebeam tips to replace text in any document. Today, I’m moving onto something a little more accounting specific: reviewing workpapers.

For this example, I threw random numbers and names on a New Jersey tax return. We’re going to pretend like it is a workpaper. If you have a problem with that, accounting is definitely your calling.

When reviewing a workpaper, the two main things I do is tick off individual numbers and sign off on entire sheets. Both of these can be accomplished quickly in Bluebeam Revu.


When I was at Grant Thornton, we were provided with a whole set of standard accounting tools. I’m not sure if they were internally developed or provided by Bluebeam, but unfortunately they are not in the standard tool set provided in Bluebeam Revu 12 (Standard, at least).

Fortunately, you can create your own tools. The checkmark is the easiest, since we have a template. If you click in the “Toolbox” button and expand “Symbols,” there’s a checkmark at the very bottom.

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(I decided to move on from MS Paint for my screen captures. I’m alternating between Skitch and Greenshot. I like the arrows much better in Skitch, but I’m having some weird issues with it)

There’s a small problem with the checkmark. Or maybe I should say a big problem. Click on it and click on the document, and you’ll see what I mean:

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Yeah. A bit too big. No problem. Just drag on that blue circle in the corner and you can make it smaller.

But you don’t want to do that every time. We’re accountants, we’re efficient. So once you have it the right size, right click on the checkmark, go down to “Add to Tool Chest, ”  then click “My Tools.”

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The resized checkmark will now stay permanently in your “My Tools” area in your toolbox. Best of all, like all the other tools in “My Tools,” you can assign it to a numerical hotkey. It does this automatically, but you can change which hotkey it uses by dragging it to a different position in the Tools. In my case, I’ve assigned it to the number 1 (you can see it in the top right corner of the checkmark). That means every time I press “1” in Bluebeam, it’ll bring up the checkmark and I only have to click on the document for a checkmark to appear.

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You can create pretty much any checkmark you want this way. Other markups will require more manipulation to put together. If you want more info on how to do that, let me know (or I might post it later anyway).

Reuse Feature

Let’s say you have to add a whole bunch of checkmarks to the workpaper. There’s a handy feature called “Reuse,” which is located on the bottom of the Bluebeam page. Once you activate it, it’ll add the last markup you used to the document every time you click.

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This is even faster that the hotkey tool. Just remember to turn “Reuse” off after you’re done or you’ll get frustrated when checkmarks keep appearing in your document like a horde of ravenous mice.

Sign off

Once the document is complete, you’ll need to sign off on it. We’ll use a stamp to do this. To create a stamp, go to Markup->Stamp->Create Stamp.

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A popup box will appear. You could mess around with this if you want, but for now just press OK.

You’ll then have a blank box. You can add whatever you want to your sign off, but I’m guessing you’ll want your initials and the date. Easy.

First, type in your initials using the means we discussed last time (text box or typewriter). Make sure you change your text color to whatever your firm standard is (for us it was always red for prep, blue for review, and green for second review, but I’m guessing that differs from company to company)

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I don’t know why my lines and circles have shadows. Maybe I’ll fix that for next time.

Next, add in the date. When you add in another text box, it should pop up automatically with a “Dynamic” box. Click on this, then click on “Date.” This will add in a dynamic “&[Date]”, which will automatically put in today’s date when you put the stamp down.

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Go ahead and save the stamp whatever name you want. Next time you pull down your stamps, you’ll see that stamp in your collection. Just click on it and click on the return and you’ll have the sign off.



One quick note: make sure the text box around your &[Date] is big. Otherwise your date will be split into two lines. You can always go in and edit your stamp if this is a problem.

Just like with the checkmark, you can right click on this stamp and save it in your “My Tools” if you want. Then you can access it with the hotkey rather than having to click on “Stamps” every time.

That’s it for this time. I’ll pull together a few more tips next week.