Importing BlueBeam BAX file markups

  • Importing BlueBeam BAX file markups

    Posted by Glenn Clapson on May 9, 2021 at 7:06 pm

    Hi Team,

    When I export a BB Mark-up that contains Custom Columns to a BAX file, the custom columns data in the export appears to be formatted in an XML style with the remainder in a compressed format. I would like to modify some of the data in the custom columns fields in Excel and then re-import this back into BB. However, if I change the data in Excel and then re-import it back into BB, the changes made to the custom column fields are not imported.

    Does anyone know how to fix this issue.

    Thanks in advance.

    Troy DeGroot replied 1 week, 3 days ago 3 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • Troy DeGroot

    Organizer
    May 10, 2021 at 12:00 pm
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    Rank: UC2 Brainery Blue Belt I UC2 Brainery Blue Belt I

    I’m not positive what you have here and what you are exporting. From the markups list, you can export on CVS, XML, or PDF file types to provide a summary of the markups on a drawing. The Custom COlumns that you export through the tool manager will export only the custom columns, not the data inside them, so you can import them into other drawings if needed. This is also an XML file. I’m not sure where you have the .BAX coming or going. Let me know, I’ll try to help

  • Glenn Clapson

    Member
    May 10, 2021 at 4:52 pm
    Points: 280
    Rank: UC2 Brainery Newbie UC2 Brainery Newbie Belt Rank

    Hi Troy, thanks for following up.

    Scenario. Create a BB mark-up that has a number of custom columns used to hold project information (see below), export this mark-up to Excel where the data is consolidated and then re-imported into BB.

    Steps..

    Export the mark-up to Excel via the CSV file option as you mention, perform some calculations on it.

    Export the mark-up to a BAX file [CTRL+F2], it creates a Hybrid XML file (screen shot from original post) that contains all the custom columns along with their values.

    Run an Excel macro that modifies this XML information in the BAX file and saves the file.

    Remove the old mark-up from the PDF and re-import the updated data.

    Issue..

    When I re-import the mark-up using the Import option [CTRL+F3] it re-creates the mark-up correctly but the values for the custom columns that I have modified are ignored and it uses the original values.

    I suspect that the XML formatted information from the custom columns in the BAX file is not used when re-importing the mark-up as there is a duplicate of this information contained with the compressed section (see original screen shot).

    Hope this makes the issue clearer.

    • Troy DeGroot

      Organizer
      May 11, 2021 at 8:09 pm
      Points: 11,528
      Rank: UC2 Brainery Blue Belt I UC2 Brainery Blue Belt I

      Sounds like a pretty cool workflow, I’d love to see how it works when you’re finished. Sorry I can’t be more help

  • David Cutler

    Member
    May 12, 2021 at 5:18 am
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    Your workflow is well above my experience level Glenn! Thinking about it, what I’m wondering is where is the program is finding the “original values” if you’ve modified them? If it is in the compressed section that you referred to above is there a way to modify the compressed section also? Maybe try deleting the compressed section and seeing if it will load off of the uncompressed data?

    Another thought, not knowing the number of markup values that you are working with is it reasonable to key the updated data back in?

  • Glenn Clapson

    Member
    May 12, 2021 at 5:58 am
    Points: 280
    Rank: UC2 Brainery Newbie UC2 Brainery Newbie Belt Rank

    Hi David,

    Unfortunately its not possible to delete the compressed data as not all of the information required to re-create the mark-up is contained within the uncompressed portion.

    As I’m also working with hundreds of separate objects in the mark-up it is also not possible to re-key the information either.

    I’m not sure why Bluebeam presents the custom column information in an uncompressed and what appears to be an editable format in the BAX file only to ignore those values when re-importing the file back into another mark-up.

    Are you aware of anyway that I can :

    a) Confirm this behaviour is by design or if its is a bug.

    b) What program was used to compress the data as I might be able to firstly un-compress it, modify the data and then re-compress it.

    Regards

    Glenn

    • David Cutler

      Member
      May 12, 2021 at 12:41 pm
      Points: 9,573
      Rank: UC2 Brainery Purple Belt IIII UC2 Brainery Purple Belt IIII

      Good afternoon Glenn,

      Your file sounds like some of mine – lots of individual markups. With my workflow once I export it in a CSV format I don’t go back into Revu so I don’t know that I’m much help at this point. Perhaps @lizlarsen or @doug-mclean might jump in…

      Dave

  • David Cutler

    Member
    July 31, 2022 at 7:48 am
    Points: 9,573
    Rank: UC2 Brainery Purple Belt IIII UC2 Brainery Purple Belt IIII

    Hi @BBUser2021 ,

    I know this is an old post, but I’m curious to know if you found a way to make this import work. Any luck?

    Dave

  • Troy DeGroot

    Organizer
    August 2, 2022 at 11:42 am
    Points: 11,528
    Rank: UC2 Brainery Blue Belt I UC2 Brainery Blue Belt I

    @BBUser2021 I’m curious if you made any progress on this as well. Thinking from a software point of view, I’ve always thought if we edited the values of markups outside of Bluebeam, how would Bluebeam know where to make the adjustment to the markup. Given the new value, do I extend the markup from the start end or the end, and how do we know what degree and direction to extend.

    What you’re working on here is pretty cool and I would love to see it work if you make progress. I would reach out to the support team or maybe even the developers through the beta to ask your questions. I would think they would be interested in implementing this ability in a future release.