Digitize Library Items

Digitizing—also known as annotating your plans—is the process by which you are able to calculate the quantities of items required in your plans. You select the items to digitize, then use your mouse or stylus to trace over the sheet where you plan to use the items to create an annotation that represents the item. The application calculates the quantities of items based on the scale of the sheet and size of the annotation you created. Digitizing is more accurate at higher levels of magnification. See Zoom on Sheets for information on increasing magnification.

There are a number of takeoff tools that you can use in the process of digitizing your plans. Takeoff tools include the following:

Tool

Description

There are digitizing takeoff tools, each represented by a button on the speedbar, that you can use to digitize cost items on your plans. Select the item to takeoff from the Library panel tab, then either use the default tool selected or select the tool to use from the speedbar.

Use Count to digitize count items, like fire hydrants or manholes. Click the button on the speedbar and then click on the appropriate spot on your plans to add a count item. Click on each additional spot where you want to add the item.

Use Line to digitize a straight line. Click on the button on the speedbar and then click the starting point of the line, move the cursor or stylus to the end point of the line, and click again.

Use Points to digitize several connected straight lines, such as a perimeter. Click the button on the speedbar and click the first point, move the cursor or stylus to each successive point, and click on it.

Use Curve to digitize curved objects. It is best used on objects without any straight segments. Click the button on the speedbar and then click the starting point of the curve, middle point of the curve, and end point of the curve.

Use Trace to digitize straight and/or curved lines. Click the button on the speedbar and then click on the first point, hold the mouse button or press the stylus down, and trace the line to digitize.

There are additional takeoff tools that you can use in conjunction with the tools above to perform takeoff.

Use Measure to count or measure lengths, areas, or volumes for measurements and calculations, without associating the measurement with a cost item. When you click Measure, select the type of measurement you want to take: Count, Length, Area, or Volume. If needed, select the takeoff tool you want to use and takeoff what you want to measure. When you finish the takeoff, you can add a description and send the measurement to the Notepad and/or the Working Total.

Use Highlighter to digitize a highlighted straight line. Click on the button on the speedbar and then click the starting point of the line, move the cursor or stylus to the end point of the line, and click again. You can customize the color, width, and style of the highlight. The default color, width, and style are set on the Estimating Preferences screen.

Use Break in conjunction with Points to insert a break in the lines when taking off a length. This allows you to takeoff multiple sections of the same Points cost item without having to "finish" each individual section. You can also right-click and select Break will digitizing with the Points tool.

Use Add to add additional annotations to an existing cost item. For example, say you have taken off a series of curb runs and later realize that you had forgotten a section. Select an existing annotation for the cost item and click Add. Then take off the remaining sections.

Use Vert in conjunction with Points to takeoff a vertical area. You will need to enter the height of the cost item when you finish the takeoff. You can still use Break with Points and Vert.

Click Undo or press Ctrl+[Z] to undo the previous action. This tool is useful if you click on the wrong point while performing takeoff. Clicking Undo removes the last digitized point, not the entire annotation. You can click Undo multiple times. If you need to remove the entire annotation, press Esc.

Click Redo or press Ctrl+[Y] to redo an action that you undid.

Click Text to add a text object to the sheet. See Add Text Objects for more information.

Click Links to add hyperlinks to your plans. See Add Links for more information.

Click Pitch to add a slope to an annotation. See Add Pitch for more information.

Click Finish to indicate that you are done with the current annotation.

Digitize items from the Library panel tab to add quantities to the Notepad or Working Total. You can then manipulate the quantities before adding them to the estimate. The library items may or may not be included in the estimate. See Use a Library for more information.

Once you have digitized your plans, you can manage the annotations as needed. See Manage Annotations for more information on how to adjust, move, format, or delete existing annotations.

To open a job in the Manage Estimates screen, click Estimating > Estimating > Manage Estimates in the All Tasks pane. Then select the job you want to open, and click OK.

Tip: You can add additional sheets from your computer by dragging and dropping them directly into the takeoff tab.