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Supported / Compatible Image File Types - OST

Views: 2600 Last Updated: 06/05/2023 07:07 am 0 Rating/ Voters
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On-Screen Takeoff supports a variety of image formats and allows you to perform takeoff on orthographic projections (birds' eye view), elevations, and details plans - all depending on your needs.

The following image formats are supported directly in On-Screen Takeoff, others must be converted to a support file type before being loaded into the program.

File Types


Image File Type Additional Information
tiff or TIFF
Tagged Image File Format - (recommended file format) – plain old image file.  Non Group-4 TIFFs can be converted to Group-4 TIFFs only when first added to the Cover Sheet..
PDF Portable Document Format - On-Screen Takeoff provides support for all PDF versions, however, because there are innumerable options for creating and saving PDFs, some PDF files may need to be converted to another PDF or TIFF outside of On-Screen Takeoff.  PDF files cannot be password protected.


In order of recommended use, these file types may work in On-Screen Takeoff, but they are not recommended.

Image File Type Additional Information
JPG JPGs are most commonly used for photographic images. JPGs can be incorporated within On-Screen Takeoff to show a visual representation of a particular area, build, etc.
CAL CAD image file, relatively small and usually in grey scale format
PLN A CAD Plan file, not really an image file. On-Screen Takeoff can render many PLN files, but it is best if they are converted to TIFF or PDF for use in On-Screen Takeoff. PLN files can sometimes be renamed from *.pln to *.tiff and function correctly.
PLT A Plotter information file – it is designed to be sent to a plotter, not intended for use as an Image.
DGN/DWG  These are drawing files (CAD) that have not been 'flattened' into a PDF or TIFF. Many will work fine in On-Screen Takeoff; if you experience trouble loading/viewing these files, use a 3rd party utility to convert them to PDF or TIFF format.


Because there are so many moving parts when creating any particular set of drawings, we cannot guarantee that On-Screen Takeoff will be able to display every file, even "recommended" file types. If you experience difficulties with any particular file, please contact the Architect or author of the file to request a file in TIFF format if possible. If you continue to have problems, please contact Support - please be prepared to provide our Support department with a copy of the file.

Unsupported File Types

On-Screen Takeoff does not support some file formats and is unable to display or convert them. Unsupported files types must be converted to TIF or PDFs outside of On-Screen Takeoff.

Please contact your planroom for assistance with converting these files to either TIF or PDF and request that they post  future projects in one of those standard formats.

BMP Files

On-Screen Takeoff can display BMP files, however, with the 3.98.06 release (Aug 2022), we no longer support adding new BMP images to a project. To use a BMP, just change its file extension from BPM to TIF.

PNG Files

On-Screen Takeoff can display PNG files, however, with the 3.98.06 release (Aug 2022), we no longer support adding new PNG images to a project. To use a PNG, just change its file extension from BPM to TIF.

DjVu (déjà vu) Files

Some planroom sites use the “*.djvu" file format to publish specs and addenda. 

CPC (Cartesian Perceptual Compression) Files

CPC Files were supported (via conversion to TIF) in versions of On-Screen Takeoff released prior to August 2022 (3.98.05 and earlier), however effective v.3.98.06, On-Screen Takeoff no longer includes a converter that supports CPC file. To use CPC files, you will need to convert them to TIF or PDF using a 3rd party converter.

DWF Files

DWF and DWFx files must be converted to either PDF or TIFF, see OST - Support for DWF Files for more information.

How On-Screen Takeoff Uses Image Files

  • On-Screen Takeoff does not copy or store the images into the database, it creates a link back to the files and renders the drawings in memory. (That means, if you move the files, you'll have to tell On-Screen Takeoff where you moved them to...)
  • When using the On-Screen Takeoff, the user can download an OSX file from a planroom. This OSX file is a wrapper around an XML document that instructs OST how to set up a project and how to download plan files. Once the project is created, the user can download the pages they need, right from OST. The OSX (XML) file indicates the URL for each page in the project. Once downloaded, they images are stored in OCS Documents\OST\ or wherever the user has set their Planroom folder preference.
  • OSX files are not image files, they are XML code that instructs OST how to set up a project. The images are downloaded from the planroom using the Planroom tab in On-Screen Takeoff.
  • On-Screen Takeoff displays images sort of like a transparency. The plan is visible while the Image Tab is open and an active link to the file is maintained. If the image file is changed, moved, or deleted, On-Screen Takeoff can no longer display it.

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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