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Running On-Screen Takeoff, Quick Bid, and Digital Production Control on Apple hardware (a MAC)

Views: 655 Last Updated: 07/11/2024 12:52 pm 0 Rating/ Voters
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Does On Center Software permit/support running its products on Apple products such as MACs, iPads, and iPhones?


Yes, but that is a qualified "Yes". The level to which On Center supports our products on MACs varies with the product and version of that product you are using. None of On Center's desktop products can be installed directly within MAC OSX, you must be running Windows on a MAC.

What you'll need

Supported version of MAC OSX (check Apple's site, please)

Your own copy of Parallels or another virtual machine platform (assuming you are running Apple's "M" processor...)

Your own licensed copy of Windows 10 or 11 (see System Requirements for supported OSes)

Technical skills to set up and install the aforementioned software

Bootcamp or Parallels?

There are two ways to run Windows on a MAC:

  • Bootcamp - this is a separate partition from the MAC operating system (MAC OSX) on which a stand-alone installation of Windows is running. This allows the user to run Windows or MAC OSX but not both at the same time. Because this is a just a regular installation of Windows, you do not need to run any virtualization software - but you must own a license for whatever version of Windows you are going to install.
    • Newer Apple computers run proprietary "M" processors that do not support dual-booting with Windows anymore. If your computer uses an "M" processor, your only option is to use a virtual machine (such as Parallels).
  • Parallels (or any other virtualization product) - this product allows a MAC OSX user to run a virtualized installation of Windows within the MAC OSX environment. This is not a stand-alone installation of Windows, it is sort of like running Windows within a window, so to speak. You start Parallels (or whatever virtualization software you use) after you log into MAC OSX. Virtualization software is not included with Apple's OSes - you must purchase Parallels or whatever you're going to use separately. You also must own a licensed copy of Windows to install in your virtual environment. Your MAC must meet the requirements for the Parallels software or whichever emulator you choose.


Although a MAC that supports running Windows in a virtual environment or in Bootcamp should be able to run On-Screen Takeoff, Quick Bid, or Digital Production Control, we do not test our products in this environment and cannot guarantee that your specific MAC provides a suitable environment. We test our products on native Windows machines only.).

iPads, iPods, and iPhones run on hardware that is not compatible with Windows or applications such as On-Screen Takeoff, Quick Bid, Digital Production Control.

The following applies to installing On Center products in a virtual environment (such as Parallels for MAC) on an Apple Computer running MAC OSX.


The version of the Classic products you install on your MAC dictates how you can license your product(s).

  • Products released after 1/1/2018, such as On-Screen Takeoff/Digital Production Control version 3.95 and higher and Quick Bid version 4.97 and higher can be licensed using local or license manager licenses. The environment where Windows is running is no longer considered as there are other safeguards to prevent unauthorized distribution of licenses. On Center may update previous (lower numerically) versions of some products to utility the new Cloud-based licensing system. Check each product's Release Notes by clicking on a product button above to view the product information page where you can view current and previous version information.
  • Products released prior to 12/31/2017, such as On-Screen Takeoff/Digital Production Control version and lower and Quick Bid version and earlier cannot use "local" licenses when installed in any virtual environment. To license these versions in any virtual environment, you will need to use a network (license manager) license. Enterprise License Manager (ELM) is only supported on Windows machines, the system requirements vary a little, based on whether you are installing the license manager on a physical server or on a virtual Windows server. Review the System Requirements for your licensing system before you try to use older versions of On-Screen Takeoff, Quick Bid, or Digital Production Control on a MAC.

Enterprise License Manager (ELM) cannot be installed on a MAC or in a virtualized environment running on a MAC. If you are using an older version of a Classic product, you must have a physical windows machine running within your network on which you can install ELM.

Databases, Image Files, and Downloading from Planrooms

So, when you are using a virtual machine, you have to be careful about where you are storing things, how and when you reset a machine, and how you access planrooms.

Databases and Images Files

Because a virtual machine a very "volatile" environment, it is critical that you store and backup your databases and other project file appropriately. One reset of your virtual machine could take it back to a point in time where you'd lose hours, days, even years of work.

Although you should not store working databases in "The Cloud", we encourage you to set your "Backups" folder to a Cloud drive (such as OneDrive or Google Drive), someplace outside your virtual machine and its host machine entirely. We do not provide Technical Support for OneDrive or Google Drive, but they are pretty easy to use. Follow the instructions in the following User Guide articles to adjust your backup settings (these are for OST, but QB is the same):

OST Database Maintenance - Backup and Restore

OST - Program Options - Folders (Specifying Where the Program Saves Files)

You are welcome to set your "Planroom" folder to The Cloud also - that way, when you download plans from a Planroom (such as ConstructConnect Project Intelligence/Bid Center), they will be stored in a safe place automatically. The reason we don't have you set your "databases" folder to The Cloud is that we have not completed testing of storing working databases in The Cloud and you run the risk of corrupting your database. See Can I Use "Cloud" Storage with Classic Products? for more information.


You must access and download from Planrooms inside your Windows virtual machine or map a lettered drive to your MAC partition. It's best to do all your OST/QB work from within the Windows virtual machine, though.

iPads and iPhones

These devices run operating systems that do not support the type of virtual machine you need to run On-Screen Takeoff or Quick Bid. If you are in the market for something similar to the iPad for use with On Center's Classic line of products, check out our FAQ Running On-Screen Takeoff, Quick Bid, and Digital Production Control on a Tablet PC FAQ. Most new Windows 10 and 11 tablets are fully capable of running On Center Software, including On-Screen Takeoff/Digital Production Control, and Quick Bid - just make sure they support installing an application from outside the Microsoft Storeā„¢.

Product documentation (user guides) describes functionality in the latest version of each major release and may not match the functionality in the version you are using. Please check the Product Information and Downloads pages by clicking one of the product buttons above.

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