# Digitize Lines

A line is a series of connected elevation points that represent a contour in the earth. All lines for a job site are digitized in the Takeoff tab using the digitizer or digital takeoff depending on the format of your plans.

If you are using digital takeoff, you can Magnify the Takeoff Tab to more accurately digitize your plans.

## Types of Lines to Digitize

You can digitize straight lines, curved lines, lines with straight and curved segments, sloped lines (changing elevations), lines with sloped and level segments, and lines with any of these combinations.

When you digitize a line, you can set the elevation of the line and set the interval, which defines the difference in elevation between one point on a line and the next point on the line. If you enter a positive number as the interval, the elevation increases by that amount with each successive line you digitize. If you enter a negative number as the interval, the elevation decreases with each successive line you digitize.
Note: Viewpoint recommends that you digitize all the lines in the existing layer, then digitize the lines in the proposed layer.

## Digitize Sloped Lines

Digitizing sloped lines requires the use of hard points. A hard point is automatically created at the beginning of a line, the end of a line, and at any point created immediately following a user-initiated change in elevation. Viewpoint Estimating calculates the slope based on the distance between the new elevation and the last hard point. If needed, you can manually add hard points using Hard Pt. on the speedbar. A line segment between two hard points with the same elevation will be level.

## Digitize Multiple Lines in a Series

One of the most useful features of the Takeoff tab is the ability to digitize multiple lines in a series. You can choose the same elevation for each line, or you can increment the elevations by an interval you specify.

## Digitize Vector Lines

On a digital plan, a line may be composed of individual pixels or may be represented by one or more vectors. Unlike a pixel-based line, which must be digitized by tracing the line’s contours using the Point or Trace tool, a vector is a distinct object that can be digitized by simply selecting it. As a result, you are able to more quickly and accurately create Earthwork estimates. See Working With Vectors for more information about vectors.

## Tools for Digitizing Lines

There are several Takeoff Line Tools you can use to digitize lines on your plans. You can use these tools separately or use them in combination to more accurately digitize your plans. For example, you can switch from Point to Trace on the same line. You can also switch between vector and non-vector tools as appropriate. For example, when Vector is enabled, you can begin digitizing a line using Point and then select one or more vector segments before finishing the annotation.
Note: When you digitize against a colored background, Viewpoint recommends that you turn off the Align to Image and Go tools within the speedbar.

You can set the default line style for existing and proposed lines in the Preferences screen.

## Methods for Digitizing Lines

See the following topics for digitizing lines in a variety of ways: