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Getting Started with On-Screen Takeoff

Views: 9627 Last Updated: 09/26/2022 09:41 am 0 Rating/ Voters
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Congratulations on choosing On-Screen Takeoff. Let's get started!


We assume you have installed the application and activated your license.

If you have not installed and licensed the product, please review the most current Installation Instructions and How to License.

Here are a few important links for you:

link to the product user guide
The User Guide
link to product training video library
Training Videos
link to product FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
Link to product release notes
Release Notes
Link to contact us article
Contact Us

Below, you'll find a few videos and links to key articles to help you get up-and-running quickly. The links open in a new tab or window so this article stays open, the videos are embedded in this article and should play, just click the play button start embedded video button.

Learning Goal

This "Getting Started" article is not intended to be all-encompassing training nor should you consider the User Guide and Training Videos as a replacement for true product training. If you want to get the most out of your software investment, it pays to invest a little time in training yourself and your team so you don't waste time trying to figure out everything on your own. Contact your account manager and schedule training today.

Rather, our goal for this article is give you a very brief introduction to On-Screen Takeoff if you have never used it.

Overview of On-Screen Takeoff

On-Screen Takeoff may seem a bit intimidating at first, but invest a few minutes to watch the videos in this article, and you'll be much more confident using the program.

On-Screen Takeoff uses "Tabs" to provide access to different program functionality. When you first open the program, only the Bids Tab is active. When you select a bid on the Bids Tab, the other Tabs become active (this is called "opening a bid").

Along the top of the program are the Program Menus and Toolbars. The menus are always visible, so is the "Main Toolbar". Different Tabs include different Toolbars - don't worry, all this is covered in detail in the User Guide, for now, we're just going to give you a quick walk-through.

The Bids Tab

The two Tabs where you'll spend the most time are the Bids Tab and the Image Tab.

Let's look at the Bids Tab first - that's the main screen of the program and what you see when you launch it. It shows you all the Bids (or Projects or Jobs, whatever you call them) in your current database.

Next up, the Image Tab - arguably the most important part of the application, it's where you view plans, define what you want to measure, draw measurements, and mark up your plans.

What Are Conditions?

Conditions are just our term for things you want to measure on your building plans. Some folks call them "assemblies", others "takeoff objects", some call them "items" - whatever the term, they are just different things on your plants you must account for. Examples of Conditions might be a specific wall type or flooring you need to measure or the number of fixtures you are going to install. Depending on what your are measuring/accounting for, you'll use a different "Style" of Condition: linear, area, count, or attachment.

What is Takeoff? How do I Draw Takeoff?

Now we've come to the nitty-gritty of  On-Screen Takeoff. Tracing building objects to measure or takeoff your plans to quantify how much of each building object there is.

In the videos below, we show you how to draw takeoff using Linear, Area, and Count Conditions.

Before you do anything, it's crucial that you set and verify Page Scale.

Linear Takeoff

Linear takeoff describes using a Condition to measure things that are typically measured or priced by a lineal measurement (foot, m, inch, etc.). This doesn't mean the program cannot calculate area or volume (or even counts) off these measurements, of course, it's just that when you're looking a plan from "bird's eye view", you'd be measuring it as with a line.

Examples: walls, plumbing or electrical runs, molding, landscape edging, etc.

Area Takeoff

Area takeoff describes using a Condition to measure things that are typically measured or priced by the "square" (SF, m2, etc.). This doesn't mean the program cannot calculate volume or perimeter off these measurements, of course, it's just that when you're looking a plan from "bird's eye view", you'd be measuring it as a square.

Examples: Floors, Ceilings, Concrete slab foundations, roofs, asphalt paving, etc.

Counts and Attachment Takeoff

Count takeoff and Attachment takeoff describes using a Condition to measure things that are typically measured or priced by the "each" - the difference is that Attachments "connect" or "attach" to a parent object (such as a lightbox and an ACT Ceiling). This doesn't mean the program cannot calculate other Results. There are a wide variety of Results available including perimeter, volume, total height, etc.

Examples: ACT Ceiling lights or vents, windows and doors, columns, etc.

Before You Start Bidding

There is some general "housekeeping" and product setup you need to do before you start working in On-Screen Takeoff.

 link to options article
Program Options and Settings
 Link to product release notes
Learn How to Enter Values
 link to product FAQs
Printing Plans and Takeoff

Remember, this Getting Started overview only scratches the surface of On-Screen Takeoff and is not intended to be a replacement for formal product training. Please contact your Account Manager to schedule formal training at your earliest convenience.

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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