Paper Cuts – Orange Blade Consultants
Project Collaboration with Buzzsaw, QTO, and DWF


With the recently released Buzzsaw 2009.1 comes a host of new features. A few however, hit home for us at Orange Blade Consultants.

  1. Mathematical calculations in custom forms authored in Microsoft Infopath. Until now, we’ve been using a cumbersome workaround.
  2. A feature that we haven’t seen in the release notes……..conditional formatting in custom forms from Infopath. We’ve incorporated a few color-based conditional formatting options in some of our test forms for Buzzsaw, and they work! Not sure why we don’t see it in the release notes. Perhaps the ability is there, but not supported? Time will tell.
  3. Internet Explorer 8 and Buzzsaw 2009.1 now play well together.

Get Buzzsaw 2009.1 Here

Release Notes Here


The lines between Buzzsaw usage on a MAC and a PC are becoming more and more skewed. I’ve found a pretty neat capability when using Buzzsaw on a MAC with a virtual PC running.

In my case, I use VMWare Fusion. But I’m almost certain that you can do the same things with Parallels. In a nutshell, I’ve found that I can drag and drop data from my MAC right into Buzzsaw (and from Buzzsaw to MAC).

On the left side of the image below you’ll see the MAC Finder window, on the right side…..the PC with Buzzsaw running. Just drag and drop………


Buzzsaw Site Administrators have the ability identifying where their users are logging in from.  When a user logs in to Buzzsaw, their IP address is noted in the Site Administrator Activity Log.

  1. Go to the Site Adminstrator button on the Buzzsaw Bar
  2. Click the Activity Log Tab
  3. Select your date range
  4. Click the List Option Button
  5. In the Center Window titled “Actions”, deselect all by clicking “clear”, then select the action titled “login succeeded”
  6. Hit the “Refresh List”
  7. This will show you all logins and ip addresses from users logging in to Buzzsaw
  8. If you want to take it a step further, select “Save Log” at the bottom of the window.  You can now export the list to Notepad, Excel, or Word.
  9. Site Admins also have the capability of limiting Buzzsaw access from certain ip address in the security tab of the Site Administration area of Buzzsaw.
The ability to see ip addresses comes in handy when you’ve allowed anonymous public access to your Buzzsaw Site.  When these “public” users login, there is no user name……..but there IS an ip address.
The anonymous public user is disabled by default.  When enabled, the public user’s access is guided by the permission that you’ve given them.  Useful for when a particular document needs to be available to the general public.  This “Public” user could have view access to the document……and nothing else (if that’s what you are trying to accomplish).  Tread lightly when using anonymous public access, and be diligent with the permissions you given them so that you aren’t opening access to private documents.

This post is geared for Buzzsaw Administrators.

One of the best ways of putting yourself in the shoes of your users is to create a copy of them, and then log in as them (without having to ask them for their password).  Sometimes it’s easier to “see what they see” than it is to have the member explain what they are seeing.
  1. John Doe emails you to tell you that he can’t see the “Highway 101” project on Buzzsaw.
  2. As administrator, you can login and check his permissions.  And when you do, it shows that he should definitely see the “Highway 101” project.  So what gives?
  3. Find John Doe in the Members Tab, right-click on the member and select “Copy”.  The new member will be named “Copy of John Doe”.  Give this new member your email address, then send the welcome email.
  4. The Welcome email will come to you.  When you log in, you will see everything that John Doe does.
  5. In this case, while logged in as “Copy of John Doe” you see the Highway project.  So why doesn’t John Doe see it?  In this case we find that John Doe has logged in to Buzzsaw as one of his office mates accidentally.  We tell John to log in as himself in the future, case closed.
Is there also a member lesson here?  Yes, don’t share your password or allow others to log in as you.
Restoring files that have been deleted from your Buzzsaw site
Remember that important drawing or document you deleted from Buzzsaw a few weeks ago?  Well sure enough, you need it back…… seems that it was your only copy.  That would never happen, right?  Unfortunately it does.
So how do you get the file back?  Just go to the recycle bin, find the file, right click on it, and select “Restore”.  It goes back into production………….it’s been restored to active status on your Buzzsaw site.  Easy enough.

But what happens when you delete a file from Buzzsaw, and someone empties the Buzzsaw recycle bin?  It’s not there to restore.  Gone forever right?  Not necessarily.  Your Buzzsaw Site Administrator may be able to get the file back for you.  The rule of thumb is, you have 30 days or so to get files back after they have been emptied from the recycle bin.  And with a phone call to Autodesk, you may be able to get files back that were deleted several months ago.
Instructions for Site Administrators:
Click the Site Adminstration button on the Buzzsaw Bar
Select the Activity Log tab
There is probably going to be a lot of activities logged here.  We’ll apply a filter by pressing the List Options button.  There are 3 windows showing, you want the Actions window.  Select the Clear button below the Actions window.  Then scroll down the listed action and check the delete box.  We are now looking at only the actions of items being deleted (Folders, Projects, Files, Business Processes, etc).

Find the item that you want recovered, then select the Recover Selected Item button in the lower left part of you window.
If you are restoring a project or folder, you can restore all of the files within it, or have Buzzsaw ask you which files to restore.

Buzzsaw will also recognize duplicates.  If you are recovering a file that currently exists on your Buzzsaw Site, you can choose to:
  1. Skip the recovery for that file
  2. Replace the existing file with this file that you are recovering
  3. Add this recovered file as another version of the file that exists on the site
Buzzsaw will also allow you to restore all versions of the file you are recovering, or only restore the most recent version of it.
And lastly, you can choose to restore comment tied to the file that you’re recovering……….and/or markups associated with the file.  Now that’s a great tool when you need it.
Recovering items that have been emptied from the recycle bin isn’t something that we do everyday.  It’s that one time though…….that we REALLY need something back that this feature comes to save the day.

Notifications in Buzzsaw are a fantastic way of watching a project, folder, or file. And it’s also a way of putting Buzzsaw to work for you by monitoring changes and sending you an email when they occur. Notifications work even when you don’t have Buzzsaw open. So why open Buzzsaw to look for changes? Let Buzzsaw do it for you.

Although there a few different ways to set notifications in Buzzsaw, the easiest way may be to identify what you need to “watch”. Is it an entire project? A folder, and it’s contents? Or is it a single file that you want to watch? After you’ve identified what you’d like to watch, navigate to it, right click on it and choose “New Notification”. Then select one of two notification types, Instant or Daily Summary. That’s it!

By following some simple rules, you’ll stay well informed by the Buzzsaw Notification engine.

1) Understand what triggers a notification. Changes to projects, folder and files. If a file is added or changed a notification is triggered. If a file is deleted, the notification to that file is also deleted. If no changes have been made, there will be no notification.

2) Know when to set an instant notification vs. a daily summary.

These are the 2 types of notifications available (Instant and Daily Summary). Use instant notifications to trigger an email that tells you almost instantly when a change has occurred. There is a catch though. If you set an instant notification to a project, this project could potentially have hundred of files within files within files. And any change, anywhere in the entire project will trigger an instant notification. An active project could spew notification after notification after notification, and before long you’re trying to stop the flood of emails. Instant notifications, however, are great for watching individual files, or smaller projects.

The Daily summary is a “once a day notification detailing all changes”. And the nice thing is, you can choose the time that the daily summary notification comes in to your email. And yes, in a busy project, this daily notification can be a very long email…….but it’s better than getting several individual emails throughout the day. Is there such thing as “too much information”? Good question. I’d rather get 20 notifications that I didn’t need than miss 1 that I REALLY needed.

3) Know how to manage your notifications. This is all performed in the notification manager. It’s there that you’ll change notifications from daily summary to instant (and vice versa), temporarily disable notifications, permanently delete notifications, change the daily summary time, even create new notifications.


Here’s the situation:

  • You have a PDF showing several details.
  • The details are all at different scales.
  • You may already know that you can calibrate scale of a PDF using Bluebeam PDF REVU.

So you set the scale for this first detail (in this case it’s 1/4″ = 1′), you do some measurements, make some notations, etc. Now, it’s on to the next detail on the same PDF. This second detail has a different scale (1/8″ = 1′). You set the scale for this second detail and the scale of the first detail gets blown away, right? Wrong. We can now embed multiple scales into a single PDF and these multiple scales are stored in the PDF!. Really……really cool tool.

Couple this capability with the ability to snap to geometry in the PDF and your accuracy has increased tremendously.

More information on Measuring and embedding scales in PDF using Bluebeam here.

Call today for a live demonstration of the power of Bluebeam.


From May 0f 2000. Buzzsaw was still a dot com, not under Autodesk at the time.

Some interesting bits:

  • Carl Bass was the CEO of Buzzsaw at the time.
  • Many of us were using dialup internet access, so uploading/downloading to/from Buzzsaw wasn’t a lot of fun.
  • There were tons of “Collaboration” tools/companies bursting onto the scene (many of them are now gone). You couldn’t throw a rock at a trade show without hitting a collaboration booth.
  • There was free training on Thursdays at 1pm (this still occurs each and every Thursday)
  • You’ll see the link showing the second round of Venture Funding of $75M…..this funding link also reveals the Buzzsaw Launch date of November 1, 1999.
  • There was a free “Basic Plan” for Buzzsaw……I think it was for 25 or 50 members with 500MB storage (don’t quote me on those numbers)
  • The idea of a site webcam was promoted on the homepage

The links are slow……but many of them still work.


Buzzsaw gives administrators the ability to disable most email notifications. Have you made a change to a group in Buzzsaw and want to permanently disable the email that goes out to the newly added group member? Do you really need that email telling you that you just added a new member to your Buzzsaw site?

So you’ve added a member to a group…….and send the email out letting the member know that they’ve been added to this group. The reality is, most of the time the member doesn’t need to know that they’ve been added to a group. Then the email or phone call comes in, “I got this email telling me that I’ve been added to a group named group name here, what does this mean?” And the answer is usually, “Nothing to worry about, just disregard that email” It’s one thing for Buzzsaw asked if you want to these notifications to go out. (see below).

Note the “In the future, do not show options when changing member properties”. Checking this box can stop the dialog from appearing.

Alternatively, you can turn some notifications off and leave others on

Do this:
  1. Tools
  2. Preferences
  3. Email Tab
  4. Deselect the emails that you don’t want going out


Talk about making your PDF files jump……

See the new features here

Volume measurements and counts items on a PDF.  Store the drawing scale in the PDF, set multiple scales on a single PDF drawing with Viewports.  New snapping features ensure the most accurate measurement.  Yes, we now snap to geometry in the PDF………accuracy in measurements has been greatly enhanced

Digital Signatures
Electronically sign PDF documents to support an electronic workflow and protect your intellectual property.  Create customized signatures, sign documents, validate signatures

WebTab integrates a full web browser giving you direct access to the web within Revu.  Search online for PDF brochures, online PDF catalogs and other documents and view them in Revu. Copy, paste and assemble the PDF documents to produce a new PDF file, ready for distribution.

Advanced Editing
New advanced features make it easy to fill out PDF forms, link and attach related content to your PDF.  New typewriter tool makes it easy to add text to a PDF, just click and type.  Embed any kind of file in a PDF to send as one information rich, PDF document.   Add, edit and reorder bookmarks with simple drag and drop functionality.  Your editing options are endless.

Batch Compare Documents
Compare documents automatically compares two PDF files and highlights the differences.  Now in 6.0, batches of PDF files can be compared to an original document for even more time savings We’ve found that this feature works great on site plans. Quickly identify changes between different versions of a PDF.

PDF File Attachments
Embed any kind of file in a PDF to send as one information rich, PDF document.  File attachments in the PDF are designated with an icon that can be double clicked to open in the appropriate local application.
PDF Bookmark Enhancements
Rearranging and editing PDF bookmarks just got easier. Revu utilizes drag and drop functionality to reorder bookmarks in a PDF and allows users to multi-select bookmarks to change the properties or actions associated with bookmarks.
File Recovery 
Don’t worry about losing PDF edits if your computer crashes or the power goes off. Bluebeam’s new file recovery will allow you to recover the document with all your work intact.

Call or email for pricing and volume discounts


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