SpeedContracts Users Guide Page 1 
  1. Introduction
  2. Installing SpeedContracts
  3. General File Management
  4. SpeedContracts Documents
  5. Starting SpeedContracts
  6. Setting up the File
  7. Moving around the Program
  8. Learning You Way Around
  9. Basic Procedure
  10. Using the Payment Schedule
  11. Previewing a Document
  12. Printing a Document
  13. Printing Multiple Documents
  1. Saving the Modified File
  2. Advanced Program Settings
  3. Modifying the Documents
  4. Using Template Files
  5. Restore Excel Menu
  6. In Excel, Please Do Not...
  7. Copying SpeedContracts Files
  8. Technical Support
  9. Legal Disclaimer
  10. Warranty
  11. License
  12. Copyright


  1. SpeedContracts is an Excel spreadsheet program designed to create construction contracts and related documents.
  2. SpeedContracts works by writing the the basic information you enter about each project directly onto all the documents, and the specific information you enter into the individual documents, whereupon you may review, edit and print the documents you need.
  3. Once you've entered the basic information for a specific project, all the documents will contain that project's information. All you need to do is select the desired documents, complete the remaining information, and then print.

  1. Install from Website:
    • Visit our website at www.PowerToolsSoftware.com.
    • On the Download Page, select the link to download the SpeedContracts Install File to the folder of your choice.
    • Use Start | Run to run the file SpeedContractsInstall.exe.
    • If you need additional help or step-by-step instructions for downloading a file from a website, please review the Download Guide on the Download Section of our website.
  2. Install from CD:
    • Insert the Installation CD into your CD drive.
    • Wait a few seconds as the menu program starts automatically.
    • Select Install SpeedContracts.
    • Follow the installation prompts to enter your Key Code and complete the installation.
  3. The installation program will...
    • Create a folder on your hard disc named PowerTools.
    • Create a sub-folder named SpeedContracts.
    • Copy a file named SpeedContracts Master File.xls into the folder.
    • Create a SpeedContracts Files icon on your Desktop.

  1. All your SpeedContracts files should be kept in a folder named c:\PowerTools\SpeedContracts.
  2. This folder will contain your SpeedContracts Master File and the files for the contracts you create from the SpeedContracts Master File.
  3. The SpeedContracts Master File.xls is your primary copy of SpeedContracts.

  1. Each time you want to write a new contract, you will...
    • Open SpeedContracts Master File.xls.
    • Use File | Enter Project Information to enter the basic information about your project.
    • Select the document(s) you wish to use.
    • Enter additional information directly on the document(s).
    • Preview and Print the desired documents.
    • When you are finished working in SpeedContracts, select File | Save to Hard Drive to save the file under the project name.
    • The new contract will then have it's own file.
  2. Each time you want to make permanent changes to your SpeedContracts Master File, you will...
    • Open your current SpeedContracts Master File.
    • Make the desired revisions.
    • Select File | Save to Hard Disc
    • Replace the existing Master File with the revised Master File.
  3. It's OK to replace the SpeedContracts Master File with a version you've modified with permanent changes, the modified file to then become the new Master File.
  4. Do Not replace the SpeedContracts Master File with a file you've modified for a specific project.

  1. A complete list of all the SpeedContracts documents may be viewed in the SpeedContracts Document List.


  1. From the Desktop:
    • Select the Desktop icon labeled SpeedContracts Files.
    • Select the file names SpeedContracts Master File.xls.
    • This will start Excel and open the SpeedContracts Master File.xls.
  2. From Excel:
    • Start Excel, then select File | Open.
    • Look In c:\PowerTools\SpeedContracts.
    • Open SpeedContracts Master File.xls.
  3. VERY IMPORTANT: Be sure to select Enable Macros if requested during the opening screen.
  4. The file will open, but the programming will not work if you do not Enable the Macros.

  1. The Program Settings control many important aspects of the program.
  2. As you become experienced in SpeedContracts, you may want to change one or more of them to suit how you wish to operate the program.
  3. For the time being, we recommend you leave the settings alone except for the two you need to change before you can proceed.
    • Use Settings | Program Settings | Display | Screen Resolution to adjust SpeedContracts's page size to match your monitor.
    • Use Settings | Contractor Info to enter your company name and address into your SpeedContracts Master File.
  4. When you're done, use File | Save to Hard Drive to save the file as a new SpeedContracts Master File.

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 SpeedContracts Users Guide Page 2 
  1. From then on, when you open your SpeedContracts Master File to write a new contract...
    • It will be sized to fit your monitor, and...
    • It will already have your company name and address entered on all the documents.

  1. Use the arrow keys to move around any page.
  2. Use the right side scroll bars to move up and down a page.
  3. Use the mouse pointer on the file tabs at the bottom of the screen to move between pages.

  1. The fastest way to learn your way around SpeedContracts is to open the SpeedContracts Master File and go tearing through it for about an hour.
  2. You should check out every menu command, examine every screen, click every button, and try to figure out what everything does to everything else.
  3. Be bold, try to break the program!
  4. When you're finished, simply close the file without saving it!


  1. Use either the Desktop Icon or Excel to open the SpeedContracts Master File.
  2. VERY IMPORTANT: Be sure to select Enable Macros if requested during the opening screen.
  3. If you do not Enable the Macros, SpeedContracts will open, but the programming will not work.
  4. Use File | Enter Project Information to enter the project's basic information.
  5. Among the information you will need to enter is a Project Name, which will determine the name of the file when it is saved.
  6. Some examples of formats for Project Names are:
    • Smith Addition
    • Jones Residence
    • Seaside Restaurant
    • Park Square Office Building
    • 4233 Carson Street Renovations
    • Standard Bathroom Remodel
  7. When you enter a Project Name, the program will ask you if you want to save the file as the name of the project.
  8. We strongly suggest you accept the prompt, which will change the file name to the name of your project AND also save the file at that time.
  9. The next step is to review and select the desired documents (contracts, supplemental documents, etc.) you will need for this contract.
  10. You may observe, as a result of your entries in the Project Information, that the customer name, address and telephone number are already on each document.
  11. Complete the selected documents by entering the necessary information such as specifications, dollar amounts and payment schedules.
  12. You may preview and/or print any document at any time.
  13. Use File | Save to Hard Drive to save file at any time, and always save the file at the end of your work session.

  1. One of the more commonly used documents is the Price and Payment Schedule, which may be accessed by selecting the tab at the bottom of the screen labeled Standard Draws.
  2. The Price and Payment Schedule includes draw descriptions and incorporates some built-in formulas to assist you in preparing the Draw Schedule.
  3. The formulas are written so that the Total Contract Price is the total of whatever numbers you enter for the Basic Contract Price and the Contract Allowances.
  4. You may override these formulas at any time by simply entering your own numbers.
  5. The Draw Names and Descriptions we've provided are only to help you understand how to enter your own descriptions.
    • You can and should modify the draw names and descriptions as desired to fit your situation.
    • You may use the Delete key to delete any draw descriptions that are not needed.
  6. The Percentages you may enter are used by the formulas to calculate the adjacent draw amounts as a percentage of the Basic Contract Price.
    • You may delete the Percentages and either allow them to be blank, or enter your own percentages and draw amounts.
    • You may override our formulas and enter your own draw amounts at any time.
  7. The Allowance draw is copied directly from the Contract Allowances at the top of the draw schedule.
    • The concept here is that Allowance purchases are to be paid out of a separate draw, on an as-needed basis, not to be intermingled with your other contract draws.
    • If you do not like this concept, you may change the wording of the Draw Schedule to suit your preferred method of handling the Allowance amounts.
  8. Like all the figures on the Draw Schedule, you may override the formulas at any time with your own numbers.
  9. The Totals at the bottom of the draw schedule are formulas that simply add the percentages and dollar amounts in the columns above the totals.
  10. The totals are provided as a method of quickly checking the percentages and dollar amounts you've entered in the columns above.  Obviously, the total percentage should equal 100% and the total dollar amount should equal the Basic Contract Price.
  11. We strongly recommend that you open the SpeedContracts Master File and experiment with the Payment Schedule to gain an understanding of how the formulas work.  You can simply abandon the file upon the conclusion of your experiments.

  1. Use the page tabs at the bottom to select the document you want to preview.
  2. Select Documents | Preview This Document to see a print preview of the document.
  3. Select Documents | Multiple Documents | Preview to select multiple documents to preview as a batch.

  1. Use the page tabs at the bottom to select the document you want to print.
  2. Select Documents | Print This Document to print the document.
  3. Select Documents | Multiple Documents | Print to select multiple documents for printing as a batch.


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 SpeedContracts Users Guide Page 3 
  1. SpeedContracts has a Multiple Documents feature that allows you to select a group of documents to preview and print together with one command.
  2. The idea is that most contracts are actually comprised of a collection of documents that need to be reviewed and printed together.
  3. Previewing and Printing documents as a group is easy to learn and will be a great timesaver.
  4. Select Multiple Documents to open the dialog box.
  5. Select the documents to be included in the Multiple Documents group.
  6. Select the Preview button to preview the selected group of documents in sequence.
  7. Select the Print button to print the selected group of documents.
  8. You may change the document selections at any time, upon which SpeedContracts will remember the latest selections.

  1. After you have created and printed the contract and it's supplementary documents, you will want to save the contract so you can re-open it at another time to make revisions.
  2. When you save a file that you have used to create a contract for a specific project, you want to save the file under a file name other than SpeedContracts Master file.xls, most probably the Project Name, or even perhaps as your own Template File.
  3. If you entered the Project Information when you 1st opened the file, then SpeedContracts will assume that you want to use the Project Name as the name of the file also.
  4. You can override this prompt if you want to, but why not name the file after the name of the project?
  5. Some examples of possible file names are:
    • Smith Addition.xls
    • Jones Residence.xls
    • Seaside Restaurant.xls
    • Park Square Office Building.xls
    • 4233 Carson Street Renovations.xls
    • Standard Bathroom Remodel.xls
  6. Select File | Save to Hard Drive to save your file at any time, and certainly after you are finished working on it for the moment.
  7. Select Save to Floppy Drive if you want to save the file to your floppy drive A.
  8. Select File Save Dialog Box if you want to open the standard Excel Save as dialog box and save the file to any location of your choice.
  9. If, in the process of opening, naming or saving your file names, you DO NOT see the .xls file extensions at the end of your file names, then you need to change your computer's setup to make the file extensions visible.
  10. For more information and detailed instructions on the short process of making your file extensions visible, please read our File Extensions Guide.


  1. Use Settings | Program Settings to access the Settings dialog box.
  2. Screen Resolution will change the zoom level to fit your monitor.

  1. The Default Folder is the location where SpeedContracts will save your file to when you select the Save to Hard Drive command under the Files menu.
    • The Default Folder is initially set for c:\PowerTools\SpeedContracts, which matches the folder and the Desktop Icon created by the installation program.
    • If you are familiar with Excel and the file structure of your hard drive, and you have a need to use the SpeedContracts Files from another folder, then you might need to change this file path.
  2. Data Entry Restrictions allows you to turn off the page protections we have places on many parts of the documents to prevent accidental changes.
  3. For more information on Data Entry Restrictions, please see the Modifying the Documents section of this guide.

  1. You may modify any of the SpeedContracts documents as you may wish, including changing the document titles, the wording within the documents, or the wording of the fine print in the various Terms and Conditions.
  2. To prevent you from accidentally overwriting the existing wording on the documents, SpeedContracts has a protection feature called Data Entry Restrictions.
  3. When the Data Entry Restriction is ON, you will get a caution message if you try to make an entry into a portion of a document that we don't generally expect you to write in.
  4. Before you can make changes to these areas, you will need to turn Data Entry Restrictions OFF, as follows:
    • Use Settings | Program Settings to access the Settings dialog box.
    • Uncheck Data Entry Restrictions to turn the Data Entry Restrictions off. This will allow you to make any changes you may wish to any part of the documents.
  5. When you are finished making any desired modifications, we strongly suggest you turn the Data Entry Restrictions back on. This will prevent you from accidentally overwriting areas of the documents that you would normally want to leave untouched.
  6. Remember, you may always turn the Data Entry Restrictions off again to make additional modifications.

  1. Template Files are SpeedContracts Files you've setup for a specific purpose.
  2. Template Files can be setup for your standard projects, which will allow you to quickly revise them for a specific customer.
  3. One example of using Template files is a remodeling contractor specializing in bathroom renovations who setup a SpeedContracts file for his $4,999.00 package deal that he advertises with direct mail.  The file already describes the standard project, all he does is edit it for the customer's specific tile and fixture choices.
  4. Template Files can also be setup for a specific type of business.  For example, a roofing contractor has customized a SpeedContracts file with pre-written roofing contracts, which allows him to quickly "fill-in-the-blanks" and write his roofing contracts.  He simply named the file "Roofing Contracts.xls".
  5. Don't get confused by the concept of Template Files, they are simply files you've already created for a specific purpose that you will open and continue to modivy for a specific project.


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 SpeedContracts Users Guide Page 4 
  1. This command will allow you to jump back and forth between the custom SpeedContracts menu and the standard Excel menu.
  2. Select Settings | Restore Excel Menu to close the SpeedContracts menu and open the standard Excel menu.
  3. Use the SpeedContracts command on the Excel Menu to return to the SpeedContracts menu.
  4. You may switch between the two menus at any time.
  5. You may switch to the Excel menu at any time, however, we are not responsible for anything you do to the file from within Excel. This includes performing any of the items listed in the next section.

  1. Change the height of any row anywhere in the Program.
  2. Perform massive moving, copying or modifying of the Documents.
  3. Attempt to word wrap a sentence that's too long for one row.
  4. Change the font sizes.
  5. Ask us to fix anything you did while you were in the Excel menu, and outside of our programming control.


  1. On occasion you may need to copy a SpeedContracts file from one computer to another, for example from your laptop to your desktop.
  2. The typical SpeedContracts file is usually small enough to fit on the standard 3.5 inch 1.44 meg floppy disc.
  3. If you have a SpeedContracts file that is larger than 1.44 meg, then we recommend you utilize a file compression utility program such as WinZip or PowerArchiver to compress the file, thus making it small enough to fit on the floppy.
  4. WinZip or PowerArchiver (and other similar programs) are quite easy to use, and will allow you to either zip the file (which will require you to have the program on the target computer to un-zip it) OR to create a self-extracting file that can unzip itself on the target computer by simply double-clicking the file name.
  5. You can buy WinZip in any computer store or download it from their website at www.WinZip.com for approximately $35.00.
  6. As an alternative, you can download a FREE copy of PowerArchiver from their website at www.PowerArchiver.com
  7. WinZip and PowerArchiver are nearly identical in every respect EXCEPT that PowerArchiver is FREE.


  1. Technical Support is available online through our website at www.PowerTools Software.com and by email at support@PowerToolsSoftware.com.
  2. The full text of our Technical Support Policy is available at our website at www.PowerTools Software.com.
  1. SpeedContracts is a tool for creating construction contract documents.
  2. The SpeedContracts program, it's manual and this website ARE NOT legal dissertations, legal opinions, or legal advice.
  3. You, as the Program User, MUST REVIEW every document created by the Program for accuracy, completeness and correct use BEFORE implementing the document.
  4. You, as the Program User, MUST obtain the advice of an Attorney BEFORE using any of these documents.
  5. You, as the Program User, accept ALL LIABILITY for the accuracy, correctness, correct use and correct application of the documents provided herein or created by you.
  6. PowerTools Software, Inc. accepts NO LIABILITY for the accuracy or correctness of the documents, or for the correct use or application of any documents provided herein or created by the user, or for the contents of the program, it's manual, or the website.
  7. This is only a part of the full LEGAL DISCLAIMER, which is incorporated into the installation program and may also be viewed at www.PowerTools Software.com
  1. Generally, our Warranty provides that the software and the distribution media (Installation CD or disc) will perform substantially as represented or we will replace it at our cost.
  2. The full text of our Warranty Policy is available at our website at www.PowerTools Software.com.
  1. SpeedContracts is owned by PowerTools Software, Inc. and is licensed to you for your use under the terms and conditions of our License Agreement.
  2. The full text of our License Agreement is available at our website at www.PowerTools Software.com.

  1. SpeedContracts, it's manual and the contents of the website are copyrighted property and are protected by US and International Copyright Law.
  2. The full text of our Copyright is available at our website at www.PowerTools Software.com.

Copyright ©1997-2003 by PowerTools Software, Inc. All Rights Reserved Legal Information