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OST - 01.00 What Have You Gotten Yourself Into? An Introduction to On-Screen Takeoff

Views: 3534 Last Updated: 10/03/2022 07:12 am 100 Rating/ 1 Voters
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What is takeoff?

Takeoff describes the science and art of measuring the various components (Conditions) of a construction project to determine:

  • The scope of the project - is it within your company's realm of interest/abilities to take on?
  • How much of each building component (Condition) is there? (Estimating accounts for all the little bits and pieces of those components (Conditions) and everything (labor, equipment, subs, etc.) needed to actually build something, takeoff refers simply to measuring "how much" or "how many".)

Takeoff also is used to define the act of taking those measurements (in the old days, you'd "takeoff" your construction drawings using colored pencils, an estimator's ruler, and a pad of paper - On-Screen Takeoff does it all electronically, hence the name "On-Screen"). Other terms for takeoff are Quantity Survey or Schedule of Quantities.

Takeoff also refers to the objects you draw/place on the electronic plans to account for the various building objects you're measuring.

Getting Started

Before diving into using On-Screen Takeoff, it is important to get familiar with the program - at least so you can find your way around. Investing a few minutes to learn about the application will improve your efficiency and helps you get the most out of the program, so you can Bid the most projects in the least amount of time!

The video linked below gives you a brief overview of what you can do with On-Screen Takeoff. We've laid out this User Guide to get you bidding as quickly as possible, and then we focus on improving your efficiency using some of the more advanced tools.

Link to all Training Videos (mentioned in the Overview): https://www.oncenter.com/university/on-demand/category/on-screen-takeoff-training/

Quick Tips

  • Shortcuts - Shortcuts are available throughout the program and can help you save a lot of time, see Related Articles more information.
  • Wizards - Wizards help you get started quickly, see Related Articles more information.
  • Tool Tips - If you are unsure what a button does, hover the mouse pointer over the button and a Tool Tip appears. A tool tip is a brief description of the button or function.
  • Status Bar - If the program seems like it is processing information try looking at the Status Bar. The Status Bar is located at the very bottom of the Program Window and displays information about what On-Screen Takeoff is doing internally. It also contains the current date, and, if the database is set to require a login and password, the current user's name.
  • Context Menus - Right-click on most objects and within most windows to view a Context (or Pop-Up) Menu (for example, right-click on the Bids Tab to see a list of common functions such as Creating New Bids, Duplicating, and Deleting Bids). Some options are available only on Context Menus (such as the ability to Group the Bids Tab by "Job Status").
  • Expand/Collapse - Expand any folder, Condition Type or other heading by clicking on the [] plus sign next to it; Collapse heading by clicking the [ ] minus sign next to it. (The Cover Sheet uses slightly different "Expand/Collapse all Folders" buttons .
  • Basics - there are several articles that follow that discuss shortcuts, searching, filtering, and general 'How to get around' On-Screen Takeoff - please take a few minutes to review these to save yourself a lot of time down the road.

Confirmation Prompts

There are many confirmation dialog boxes that On-Screen Takeoff uses to verify different actions (such as deleting something from the Master lists or resizing Overlays). If you have turned off a confirmation (or all confirmations), these dialog boxes are suppressed. To turn confirmations back on, click Tools > Options and on the General tab, place a checkmark in "Turn on All Confirmations".

If you've been using the program for some time, it is a good idea to turn back on all Confirmations after upgrading from an older version. There are changes that may only be visible if Confirmations are shown. You can always turn off individual Confirmations again.

previous article arrow Welcome to On-Screen Takeoff Online Help System Requirements and Installation Instructions next article arrow

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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