Plans (on-screen takeoff)

Overview

SoloAssist Plans (on-screen takeoff) is an on-screen digital measuring tool. It enables you to measure quantities from a PDF or image file, on your screen. When purchased with SoloAssist Estimating, your quantities can be sent directly into the quote, quantifying and pricing materials, labour, and business markups, as you go.

SoloAssist Plans allows you to setup a default quote list of Categories, Items, and text boxes.

Units Of Measure: Areas, Roof Areas, Vertical Areas, Count, Count (with Lengths), Lengths, Lengths (with Heights), Volumes.

Toolbar


Add Plan

This opens your File Explorer on your computer to select the plans you want viewed in Plan Scan.


Remove Plan

This will remove the selected plan with any of its measured items from Plan Scan. Once removed, it cannot be undone.


Add Grid Page

Opens a Grid page in Plan Scan for you to draw basic diagrams.


Add Blank Page

Opens a Blank page in Plan Scan for you to draw basic diagrams.


Rename Plan

This lets you Rename a plans tab. Commonly used for renaming a plan from its file name to the Plan name. E.g. Site Plan, Basement, Ground Floor, 2nd Floor, Elevations North/South, Elevations East/West, Slab & Footings, etc. This makes plans easier to work with in Plan Scan.


Duplicate Plan

Enables you to duplicate a plan for multiple levels, variations, or require an uncongested plan again for additional take-offs.


Swap Plan

Lets you swap out the current plan for another plan, typically for a changed plan design. When swapping plans, it will still retain the measured-up Items and quantities and relay them back over the new plan.


Rotate Plan Right | Left

Allows you to rotate a plan to its correct orientation before calibrating and measuring up your quantities. Rotate portrait to landscape or vicer versa.


Calibrate Plan Scale

Enables you to Calibrate the scale of each plan. SoloAssist remembers the scale ratio which allows you to zoom in and out auto-calibrating to each zoom size ensuring your measuring accuracy. This digital calibration works in screen pixels, so the calibrated scale ratio will be different to 1:100 on a A3 sheets size. It is best to calibrate your scale from 100% Zoom or greater and from a long measurement to ensure accuracy.


Default Quote List

This opens File Explorer on your computer for you to select the plans you want to view in Plan Scan.


Export Items

This lets you Export the measured items to CSV or Excel.


Calculator

Opens the default calculator on your computer for quick manual calculations.


Print

Opens the Plan Scan print options. It enables you to select plans to print with optional Plan Legend and Show/Hide Quantities. Select and deselect the Categories and items you want to show or hide in Plan Scan, then open Print Plans to select the required plans to print.


Plan Scan Settings

Enables you to adjust the plan symbol and font sizes, and turn the Mouse Wheel Zoom On/Off.


Help Centre

Opens the SoloAssist Help Centre to the topic you are currently in. Learn more faster!


Items | Add | Edit | Reset | Remove


Add

Opens a menu to select a unit of measure for the item required, you can setup a new item or select an existing item to measure-up on the plan selected.

Learn more

Area

Measures both m2 and Lm (perimeter of area). This unit is used typically on Floor Plans and Elevations.

Compatible Units: m2, Lm


Roof Area

Measures the area (m2) of Roof with pitch angle. After measuring the area, it will ask you to enter the roof pitch angle.

Compatible Unit: m2


Vertical Area

Measures Vertical wall area (m2) and wall length (Lm) at the same time. This is used on Floor Plan layouts.

Compatible Units: m2, Lm


Count

Lets you Count the number of items required.

Compatible Units: each, Box, Pack, Bag, Roll, 4Ltr, 10Ltr, etc.


Count (with Lengths)

This allows you to Count Items with entering a length for each. Typically used for measuring posts, columns, piers, etc.

e.g. Count of 30

e.g. Count (with Lengths) = 7@2.4, 15@3.6, 8@5.4 = Count of 30 (without Lengths)

Compatible Units: each, Lm


Length

Measures lineal metres (Lm) with optional supply increments which will separate measured lengths into its counts of each length.

e.g. Length = 119.4 Lm

e.g. Length (with a supply increment of 300mm) = 7@2.4, 15@3.6, 9@5.4 = 119.4 Lm

e.g. Wall Frames, Subfloor Bearers, Fascia & Guttering, Cornice, Handrails, Fencing, etc.

Compatible Unit: Lm


Length (with Heights)

Measures lineal metres (Lm) with height jumps and drops. e.g. Stepped footings down or up a hill, Pipework, etc.

Compatible Unit: Lm


Volume

Measures cubic metres (m3) with a single height only. e.g. Soil, Stone, Mulch, etc.

Compatible Unit: m3


Text Box

Allows you to place a text box of information or notification on the plan for clients, employee's, sub-contractors or suppliers. It allows you to add adjustable arrows and setup client sign-offs for variations, etc.

See the examples setup in the SoloAssist Sample Template.


Categories / Items

Allows you to add multiple Categories and Items to a plan. This makes it faster to setup the items you need to measure or count.


See Add / Edit Items to learn more


Edit

Enables you to edit the select item. See below, How do I… Set up an Item in Plan Scan to learn more.


Reset

Lets you reset the selected item quantity back to zero (0). This is helpful for when you have made a mistake and want to re-measure the item again.


Remove

This removes the selected item with its quantity from the Items list.


Item Controls


On / Off

Start / Finish | Area | Length | Count | Volume

The Start and Finish toggle between each other so you can open your measure and close it off once you have finished your measure-up / takeoff.

Hot Key = Spacebar


Straight Lines | Free Angles

Enables you to toggle between 90 and 45-degree straight lines and freehand angles.

Hot Key = Shift (key)


On / Off

Scissors | Cutout

Enables you to cutout areas within a selected Item. You will need a measured QTY to be able to deduct from to activate this feature. Typically used to cutout windows, doorways and other feature areas.

Hot Key = C (key)


Undo | Go Back

Lets you go back to Undo incorrect plotted points. This feature only works, when the item being measured has not yet been Finished.

Hot Key = Backspace (key)


Send to Quote

Opens the Send To Quote window to send your quantities (QTY) into the quote. This will help quantify your materials, labour and auto-price the items required. The Send To Quote window is normally setup with options you can select or deselect to include or exclude specific items. Note, you can only send quantities to Items in the Cost Schedule, Timber List and Job Specifications that are turned On () with a grey quantity field.

Learn more


Zoom In | Out

Select the plus/minus symbols or the drop-down list percentages to Zoom In or Out.

The mouse wheel can also be used to zoom in or out and can be turned On/Off in Plan Scan Settings.

Hot Key = Mouse Wheel


Plan Navigation

1) Use your mouse by dragging the viewing box around the plan. The viewing box will only appear once the plan has been zoomed in.

2) Use the horizontal and vertical slide bars to navigate around the plan.


How do I...

Reorder Plan tabs?

When adding Plans to Plan Scan, it will always add the Plan/s to after the current Plan selected. If you want to add plans to after the last Plan added, then select the last plan on the far right-hand side, then add the next Plan.

To reorder the Plan tabs, drag 'n' drop each Plan tab to the required location. You can only move (1) Plan at a time. You cannot move multiple plans at the same time.

Rename Plan tabs?

Select a plan tab, right-click on it, then select Rename from the menu. If you add your plans one by one and not all in a combined PDF file, then Plan Scan lets you change each plan name as you add them. Save time by Renaming and Calibrating the Scale of each plan as you go.

Calibrate a Plan Scale?

When adding your plans into Plan Scan. Save time by calibrating and renaming each plan as you go. You only need to calibrate a plan scale for each plan that you'll be measuring quantities off. Do not enter the plan scale written on the plans into the Plan Scale field. It will measure incorrectly. If you need to manually enter a plan scale, ensure its a calibrated plan scale from the same set of plans in Plan Scan.

To calibrate a plan scale, follow the steps below.


Step 1
Select the plan your wanting to measure quantities on.

Step 2
Click the blue [Calibrate Plan] button. To ensure an accurate plan scale calibration, use a long measurement and try not to calibrate under a Zoom size of 1:100 The larger the Zoom size the more accurate it will be to locate each end of the measurement being used to calibrate from.

Then follow the popup instructions to select each end of a measurement, then enter the length in millimetres (mm) between the (2) points. Then click OK.


Note
The Calibrated Plan Scale will not be the same as the scale shown on the plans e.g. Site Plan 1:200, Floor Plan 1:100

The Plan Scale is calibrated in digital screen pixels to a 1000mm = 1Lm increment. So the scale will show differently. Each plan needed to measure from, will only need to be calibrated once. SoloAssist will save each plan scales settings.

After the plan scale calibration, the Plan Scan Zoom feature will auto calculate the plan scale ratio to ensure your measurements are correct in all Zoom sizes.

Add and setup a new Item?

To add and setup a new Item in Plan Scan, follow the steps below.


Step 1
Select () Add at the top right-hand side. Then from its menu, select the unit of measure you need to measure the item.

Step 2
In the Add Item window, enter the Item Name you want to measure.

Step 3
Select the Category from the drop-down list the item belongs to. If you can't find the Category name your wanting, enter it into the field manually.

Step 4
Enter an Abbreviation for the item. This will show on the Item measured on the Plan after you have measured it. This can be turned ON/OFF (Show / Hide).

Step 5
Select the Hatching or Line type and Colour you want to show for the measured item.

If you have Plan Scan (standalone) only, then click OK. You are finished!

If you have Estimating + Plan Scan continue to Step 6.


Step 6
Step 6, 7 and 8 are for users with Estimating + Plan Scan only.

If you want to send the measured quantity from your Plan Scan Item to your quote, select Add Item Link.


Step 7
In the Item Link window, select the Send To view as (Cost Schedule, Timber List or Job Specifications), then select its Group and Item you want to send the measured quantity to. Then click OK.

Note: You can only link and send to items already setup in your quote.


Step 8
In the Add Item window, click the Default Item 'Save' button, then click OK.

You are now finished, and can Start measuring the item. After measuring the item, you can now select the blue Send to Quote button, to send the quantity into your quote item.

Add and setup a new Item? - Example

This example is for a new Area called Flooring - Timber Parquetry. Follow these steps after you have Added your Plans into Plan Scan and Calibrated them to Scale. The principals of this example will work the same on other selected units of measure. e.g: Vertical Area, Roof Area, Length, Length (with Heights) Count, Count (with Lengths), Volume. Note, many of the units measure multiple QTY's.

An Area measures m2 and perimeter Lm.

A Vertical Area measures m2 Vertically and the Length Lm.

A Count (with Heights) measures a separate Count and a Count (with Heights) Lm. e.g. 12@3.6


Step 1
Select () Add, in Plan Scan above the items list box. Then select the unit of measure required for the item measure, in this case, select Area. This will open the New Area window for you to select an existing item or set up a New Area Item.

Step 2
Enter the Item Name Flooring - Timber Parquetry, then select the Category Floor Coverings. If you can't find it in the drop-down list, then enter it in. Then enter an Abbreviation for the Item e.g. PARQUETRY. Then select the preferred hatching and colour. Turn off Show Lengths, as this will congest the plan readability.

Step 3
If you require sending this item QTY into the quote, then you will need to set up this item in the quote to receive the QTY being sent. Once you have set up the receiving item in the quote, then select Add Item Link and connect the Plan Scan item to the receiving QTY item in the quote. Once you have finished setting up the first item then you can link it to other items in the quote to send the same QTY at the same time, if required. Press Save as Default Item and tick Default Quote List only if this item is to be commonly used in the future. Then click OK to close the Item.

Step 4
Now you can start measuring up the Item QTY. Press the green Start Area button or Spacebar, then you can use your mouse cursor to plot the points around where you required the Area calculated. Once you have finished measuring up the item, press Finish Area.

Step 5
Now you can send the QTY to your Quote by pressing Send QTY, then Send to Quote. Always double check the items links set as Included, Excluded, Override Existing QTY and Deduct from Quote, before pressing Send to Quote. Once the QTY's are sent from Plan Scan into the Quote, you can only remove them manually from the items in the quote.

Measure Areas, Lengths, Counts, Volumes?

This example is a Floor Area m2. The following steps apply to all other units of measure items.


Step 1
On the right-hand side of Plan Scan select the Add () button.

Step 2
Select the unit of measure required. e.g. Area

Unit of measure selection: Area, Roof Area, Vertical Area, Count, Count (with Length), Length, Length (with Heights), Volume.


Step 3
The item should now be open for you to select its Item Name from the drop-down list. If you can't find the item name required, than you will have to add it.

Item names in the drop-down list selection will only show for the unit of measure they have been set up for.

See How do I… Set up an Item in Plan Scan?

Edit plotted points of measured items on a plan?

Please note, you cannot move or drag existing plotted points of a measured item to new locations. If you have plotted the measured points incorrectly or your plans have been changed or swapped. Then you will need to reset the item and re-measure it again. Alternatively, try right-clicking on a plotted point to delete it. However, this feature is not available on Areas, Vertical Areas, and Volumes.

Link Plan Scan items to the Cost Schedule, Timber List, or Job Specification items?

This example is to link a Decking Area in Plan Scan to the Cost ScheduleCarpentry - Decking (Work Group) ► Coverage Area (Item)

The following stepped principals will apply for all other item links.


Step 1
Select the Plan Scan Item you want to link and open it to edit. Make sure the send to item, has already been setup in the Cost Schedule or location required. e.g. Cost Schedule, Timber List or Job Specifications. Otherwise, you will not have the item to link to.

Step 2
Now the Item is open, select () Add Item Link. Then select the view, group and Item you want to send the item to: Send To ► Cost Schedule ► Carpentry - Decking (Group) ► Coverage Area (Item). The Size field will only be available to items setup in the Cost Schedule within a QTY Calculator.

QTY Calculator items should be set up with all the common sizes that could be used as a selection.

QTY Calculator Items: Concrete Slab ► Strip Footings, Edge Beams, External Beams, Internal Beams, Piers.

QTY Calculator Items: Carpentry Fixout ► Window & Door Architrave.

Then click OK.

Troubleshooting

My plans have disappeared?

Note
Typically this happens when your plans have been moved to another location/folder after you have already added them into SoloAssist Plan Scan. This will break the link.

If the red text is showing where the plans should be showing, then you haven't lost your work. However, if you delete the plans/tabs, then you will also delete your work on each of those plans.

SoloAssist Plan Scan reads your plans from the location they were saved on your computer when first added. Once Plan Scan is re-established to your plans then you'll be able to see the previous work items measured up with their quantities again.


To re-establish your Plan Scan links, try the following.

Option 1

Either resave your quote/job file to the main folder of where the plans are now saved or move your plans to the quote/job folder or sub-folder of it, of where your quote/job file is currently saved. SoloAssist is designed to search within its quote/job folder and its sub-folders to re-establish the Plan Scan link when broken.

Note: Always start a quote with your SoloAssist quote/job file and plans together in the same job folder or its sub-folders.


Option 2

Try Option 1 first.

Follow the instructions in Plan Scan in red text where each plan should be showing.

PDF plans not loading or showing?

Typically this is not a direct SoloAssist Plan Scan software problem, it's a PDF file issue. Try the following to help resolve your PDF file structure.


Step 1
Try re-saving the PDF plans on your computer using the Microsoft Print to PDF, Adobe, CutePDF or other print driver/writer/converter. This will reformat the PDF file structure to fix possible file errors. Then try adding the plans back into Plan Scan. If this doesn't solve the problem, try Step 2.

Step 2
This issue can be caused by the designer of the plans saving the PDF with extra unneeded design layers which congests the PDF file making it too big to load. In this case, you will need to contact the designer of the plans to have them re-saved in a PDF format without the extra unneeded design layers.

No colour or hatching showing?

1
If an Item has been unticked in the items list, then its colour and hatching will not show on the plan.

2
The colour selected for the item might be white. In this case, open the item and change the Colour palette box to another colour.

Plan Scan Item Links

1
Plan Scan Item Links can only link to Items in the quote that have the same unit of measure.

Example: Area = m2 to m2, Length = Lm to Lm, Count = each to each, Box, Pack, Bag, Roll, 4Ltr, 10Ltr, etc, Counts (with Lengths) = Lm to Lm (and) Counts to each, Volume = m3 to m3.


2
Plan Scan Item links cannot send to Cost Schedule Items that have an Auto QTY setup.

3
If a Plan Scan Item Link is showing in Red, it means the link is broken and needs to be relinked or deleted if no longer required.

See Cost Schedule Items to learn more

Send to Quote

1
Plan Scan can only send to Items in the Cost Schedule, Timber List, and Job Specifications that have a Grey Quantity field. It cannot send to Cost Schedule items setup with an Auto Quantity SUM = calculation.

2
Plan Scan quantities (QTY) can only send to items in the quote with the same Unit Of Measure.

Example: m2 to m2, Lm to Lm, m3 to m3, each to each, Count to: each or Box or Pack or Bag or Roll or 4Ltr or 10Ltr etc.


3
Check your Plan Scan item for broken item links when trying to send into the quote. Broken Item links should be showing in Red text. Open the broken item link and re-link the fields to the required View > Group > Item destination your wanting to send the quantity.

After swapping a plan, the measured items are offset.

If you have swapped plans and the existing measured items are now offset or not lining up, this either means, that the designer of the plans has changed the location of the new building design located on the plan page, and or, the building design has changed. In this case, see How do I… Edit measured Items.

Editing Plotted Points

Please note, you cannot move or drag existing plotted points of a measured item to new locations. If you have plotted the measured points incorrectly or your plans have been changed or swapped. Then you will need to reset the item and re-measure it again. Alternatively, try right-clicking on a plotted point to delete it. However, this feature is not available on Areas, Vertical Areas, and Volumes.