Plans

Overview

SoloAssist Plans is a digital on-screen measuring tool. It enables you to measure quantities from a PDF or image file from on your screen.

When used in conjunction with SoloAssist Estimating, your quantities can be sent directly into the quote, quantifying and pricing materials, labour, and business markups as you go. You can setup a default quote list of Categories, Items, and text boxes.

Measure: Areas, Roof Areas, Vertical Areas, Count, Count (with lengths), Lengths, Lengths (with heights), Volumes.

Toolbar


Save

This will save all changes to the current job open.


Add Plan

This opens File Explorer on your device to find and select the plans you want added to view.


User Tip

After your plans have been added, select Files under the 1st plan tab to view all files.


Remove Plan

This will remove the selected plan with its measured items from the Plans on-screen takeoff. Once removed, it cannot be undone.


Grid Plan

This adds a grid plan for you to draw basic diagrams.


Blank Plan

This adds a blank plan for you to draw basic diagrams.


Rename Plan

This lets you rename each plan tab. Typically, when importing plans, the plan names will be what the file name is. It's best to change each plan tabs name to the name of each plan. e.g. Site Plan, Basement, Ground Floor, 2nd Floor, Elevations North/South, Elevations East/West, Slab & Footings, etc. This makes it faster to find the correct plan to measure your items.


Duplicate Plan

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


Swap Plan

This is typically used to swap a plan for an updated plan design. When swapping a plan, it will still retain its Items, quantities, and they will overlay the new plan.


Rotate Plan

Rotate the plan left or right to its correct orientation.

Before calibrating a plan scale, rotate the plan to its correct orientation.


Calibrate Plan

Calibrate each plans scale before measuring. This only needs to be done once per plan, and only on plans you need for measuring items. When calibrating the plan scale, try to use a longer measurement in a larger zoom e.g. 100% +. This will increase the calibration accuracy.

Digital on-screen calibration works in screen pixels, so the calibrated scale ratio will be different to the plan scale shown on your plans. e.g. Scale = 1:100 on A3 sheet size, may show in SoloAssist Plans as a Scale = 1 : 83.45 (with decimals). on A3 sheets size.


User Tip

To test the calibrated plan scale, add an item length and measure another measurement on the opposite axis. It should calculate correctly to the measurement shown on your plan (plus or minus mm).


Quote List

This opens your default quote list, to setup your default items or add the current default quote list to your plan. Typically, this is used on your floor plans only.


Export

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 Plans 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 Plans report, then open Print Plans to select the required plans to print.


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

Opens a menu to select an Item type to measure. It allows you to select an existing item or setup a new item to measure and link into your job template. After an item has been measure, you can hide it on the plan by deselecting its item tick.

Learn more

Area

Measures m2 and Lm (perimeter of the area) simultaneously. This is commonly used on Floor Plans and Elevations.

Units: m2, Lm


Roof Area

Measures the area m2 of a Roof with its pitch/degree angles. After measuring the area, it will prompt you to enter the roof pitch angle to calculate the total area.

Unit: m2


Vertical Area

Measures the vertical wall area (m2) and wall length (Lm) simultaneously. Commonly used on a Floor Plans to measure any type of wall.

e.g. House Walls, Brick/Block Walls, etc.

Units: m2, Lm


Count

Lets you Count the number of items required.

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


Count (with Lengths)

This allows you to Count Items with entering a length for each.

Commonly used to count: Timber Posts, Steel Posts, Columns, Brick Piers, Concrete Piers, etc.

e.g. Count of 30

e.g. Count (with Lengths) = 7@2.4, 3@3.6, 20@5.4 = Count of 30 (without Lengths)

Units: each, Lm


Length

Measures lineal metres (Lm) with optional supply increments (e.g. 300mm) which will separate each measured length into a count with the length required.

Commonly used for measuring: Wall Frames, Bearers, Floor Joists, Roof Rafters, Fascia, Guttering, Cornice, Handrails, Fencing, etc.

e.g. Length of 119.4 Lm

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

Unit: Lm, or Count with Lm


Length (with Heights)

Allows you to measure a length with jump ups and drop downs to calculate a total length.

Commonly used to measure: Stepped footings, Pipework, etc.

Unit: Lm


Volume

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

Unit: m3


Text Box

Allows you to add a text box for information or notifications on the plan. You can add arrows to point at specific area on the plan too.

This can be used for client variation sign-offs, change use of materials, etc.

See the Sample Template in SoloAssist to see our examples.


Categories / Items

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


Edit

Edit an item by double clicking on it.

Learn more


Reset

This allows you to reset the item quantity back to zero (0). This is helpful for when you have made a mistake measuring a quantity and want to start again.


Remove

This removes the selected item with its quantity from your measuring list.


Measuring Tools


Start / Finish

Area, Length, Count, Volume


Green = OFF (not in use)

Red = ON (in measuring mode)


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 / Angled Lines

Use straight lines at 0, 45, or 90 degrees, or change to free-hand angles.

Hot Key = Shift


Scissors

Area cut-out


Green = OFF (not in use)

Red = ON (deduction measuring mode)


Use the scissors to cut-out an area within an existing area. Select an item area already measured, then cut-out the area you want to deduct. e.g: Window or Doorway openings.

  • This tool only activates if the selected item area has already been measured.
  • This tool only works on an Area, Vertical Area, or Roof Area.

Hot Key = C


Undo (Go Back)

Undo incorrect plotted points. This feature only works if the item being measured has not been finished yet. The item still needs to be open in measuring mode.

Hot Key = Backspace


Send to Quote

Opens the Send to Quote window, to send your quantities into the quote. This will quantify your materials, labour and price the items required. Send to Quote can be setup with options to include or non include specific items.

Learn more


Zoom In / Out

Select the plus or minus symbol or drop-down list percentages to Zoom in or out.

Use your mouse wheel to zoom in and out, or turn it off in the Plans Settings.

Hot Key = Mouse Wheel


Plan Navigation

1) Use your mouse cursor to drag the viewing box around the plan. This viewing box will only show when the plan is zoomed in, and not at its minimum Zoom %.

2) Use the horizontal and vertical slide bars around the added plan, to navigate left and right, and up and down.


How do I...

Reorder Plan tabs?

When adding Plans, it will always add them 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 Plans.

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 Plans 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. 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.

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 scale settings.

After the plan scale calibration, the plan 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 Plans, 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 Plans (standalone) only, then click OK, you are finished!

If you have Estimating + Plans continue to Step 6.


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

If you want to send the measured quantity from your Plans 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?

This example is for a new Area called Flooring - Timber Parquetry. Follow these steps after you have Added your Plans 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 Plans above the items list box on the right-hand side. 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 quantity is sent from Plans into the job, 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 Plans select Add ().

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 Plans?

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 Plans items to the Cost Schedule, Timber List, or Job Specifications items?

This example is to link a Decking Area in Plans 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 Plans 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.

Plans Item Links

1
Plans Item links can only link and send to Items in your quote with the same or a compatible unit of measure.

See examples below.


Area = m2 to m2

Vertical Area = m2 to m2

Roof Area = m2 to m2

Length = Lm to Lm

Length (with Heights) = Lm to Lm

Count = each to each, each to Box, each to Pack, each to Bag, each to Roll, each to 4Ltr, each to 10Ltr, etc.

Count (with Lengths) = Count to each (and) Lengths to Lm

Volume = m3 to m3


2
Plans 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 GreyQuantity 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.