SpecWriter Menu Reference  
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Checklist Menu

Checklist Menu Commands

GENERAL DISCUSSION

These are the menu commands under the Checklist Menu.


Checklist Menu Commands
Menu Description
GoTo a Category This command will open a dialog box that displays all the categories in the Checklist in Alphabetical order, from which you may select a Category that you wish to goto.

This feature is very helpful for navigating around the Checklist when you are trying to edit specific Categories.

We do not recommend using the GoTo function when first writing the specifications, simply because we believe that you should start at the top and work your way down through the entire Checklist so as to prevent forgetting a Category.

The biggest difference between the Checklist and the GoTo list is that the Checklist is in numeric order, and the Goto list is in alphabetical order, which makes it easier to find a specific Category.

To find a specific Category in the GoTo list, you may scroll down the list, or you may enter the first letter of the Category and the cursor will move to that portion of the GoTo list.

To actually activate the GoTo function, you may select the Category from the GoTo list and then select the OK button, OR you may simply double-click the Category from the list.

The GoTo dialog box will close automatically when you activate the GoTo function.

The Categories in the GoTo list have been written into the programming, and thus will not include any new Categories you may add to the Checklist.

Use Templates This command will open the Templates dialog box, where you can select, save or rename Checklist Templates, which are the Tag column memorized under different names.

In other words, you can memorize how you've checked off the Checklist, and save it under a Template name, which allows you to reuse it again.

Templates can be a great time saver for repetitive projects.  For example, if you build houses that are essentially constructed the same, you can check off the Checklist and memorize it as a Template named "Std 2 story Masonry on Slab", and when you are preparing to spec out a house you can select this Template as a quick "jump start" to writing the specifications.

I have a Template named "Basic Project", which has all the things I usually want to say about every project.  I select this Template when I start writing specs for every project.

No matter what Template you use (if any), you can always modify the Template selections as you continue the process of proceeding down the Checklist and developing the specs for the specific project.

We've included several Templates just to give you an idea how they work.  The "All Entries Selected" and "All Entries Unselected" are only there for us to test the program to it's max.  You may delete them if you desire.

The dialog box provides detailed instructions on saving, renaming, using and deleting the Templates.  The buttons and caution messages will also guide you in using the function.

The only thing you need to remember about using the Templates is that when you use a Template, it will copy over (replace) your existing Checklist settings.  The program will remind you of this with a caution message that will allow you to change your mind.

To familiarize yourself with the Template function, we suggest that you play with it in a SpecWriter file that you specifically intend not to save.

Insert Special Note This function will insert a new row in the Checklist under where the cursor is located, and write the words "Special Note:" at the beginning of the new specification.

Special Notes are used to indicate to everyone who reads the Specifications that this specification was added to the standard specifications, usually to denote an item of special attention.

The only difference between this command and the Insert Specification Line(s) command is the addition of the Special Note words.

Using Special Notes is entirely optional.
Insert Specification Line(s) This command will insert a new row in the Checklist underneath where the cursor is located.

The function will insert the new row by pushing the row currently under the cursor down, with the new row then inserted directly above it.

If you use the mouse to drag a range of several several rows, the function will insert as many rows as you've included in your range.

This function is used to add new specifications to the Checklist, either for a specific project, or as permanent additions to your SpecWriter Master File.

Of course, when adding specifications for a specific project, it's usually easier to simply over-write an existing specification that you don't need for that project.

Before actually inserting the rows, SpecWriter will highlight them in their entirety and ask you to confirm the insertion.

When you insert one or several Checklist rows, SpecWriter assumes the new rows are to be included in the same section of the Specifications as the row directly above the 1st row.

If you are unsure if the new row or rows are included in the correct Section of the Specifications, use Settings | Program Settings | Display | Show Section Number Column to unhide the Section Number Column and reveal the Section Number, which you may change as needed.

This is only an issue because sometimes SpecWriter users have added a new specification to the Checklist, tagged it, but then it didn't show up on the specifications where they wanted it to be.

Delete Specification Line(s) This command will delete the Checklist row directly under the cursor.

If you use the mouse to drag multiple rows, the function will delete all the rows in your range.

This function is used to permanently delete specifications from the Checklist, typically because you are eliminating specifications you never expect to use in your business.

This function is not needed when writing specifications for a project because in that situation you should simply skip unneeded specifications on the Checklist.

Before actually deleting the rows, SpecWriter will highlight them in their entirety and ask you to confirm the deletion.

Insert Allowance Description This command will insert an entirely new, blank Allowance Description AT THE BOTTOM of what ever Category the cursor is on.

This function is different from the Insert Specification Line(s) function is that it always adds the new Allowance Description at the bottom of the Category, not where the cursor is.

SpecWriter will prompt you to confirm your intent before actually adding the blank Allowance Description.

When you insert a new blank Allowance Description, the program will insert new rows and thus will not copy over any existing specifications.

The new Allowance Description is 6 rows, and includes three for a Unit Cost Allowance and three for a Fixed Cost Allowance.

The layout of the new Allowance Description is identical to the Allowance Descriptions already included in many Categories of the Checklist.

The idea is to allow you to add an Allowance (either Unit or Fixed) to any Category of the Checklist that may not already have one.

Once you've inserted the new Allowance Description, you will obviously need to enter the allowance specifications and amount.

If you need more rows to correctly describe the allowance, use Insert Specification Line(s).

If you inadvertently inserted a blank Allowance Description, you may use Delete Specification Line(s) to remove them.

Insert Option Description This command will insert an entirely new, blank Option Description AT THE BOTTOM of what ever Category the cursor is on.

This function is different from the Insert Specification Line(s) function is that it always adds the new Option Description at the bottom of the Category, not where the cursor is.

SpecWriter will prompt you to confirm your intent before actually adding the blank Option Description.

When you insert a new blank Option Description, the program will insert new rows and thus will not copy over any existing specifications.

The new Option Description is 3 rows.

The layout of the new Option Description is identical to the Option Descriptions already included in many Categories of the Checklist.

The idea is to allow you to add an Option to any Category of the Checklist that may not already have one.

Once you've inserted the new Option Description, you will obviously need to enter the Option specifications and amount.

If you need more rows to correctly describe the option, use Insert Specification Line(s).

If you inadvertently inserted a blank Option Description, you may use Delete Specification Line(s) to remove them.

Insert New Category This command will insert an entirely new, blank Checklist Category AT THE BOTTOM of what ever Category the cursor is on.

This function is different from the Insert Specification Line(s) function is that it always adds the new Checklist Category below the existing Category, not where the cursor is.

SpecWriter will prompt you to confirm your intent before actually adding the new Checklist Category.

When you insert a new blank Checklist Category, the program will insert new rows and thus will not copy over any existing specifications.

The new Checklist Category is 32 rows long, and includes Exclusions, Owner, Contractor, Allowances and Options.

The layout of the new Category is identical to the other Categories of the Checklist.

The idea is to allow you to add a new Category anywhere in the the Checklist where you may need one.

Once you've inserted the new Category, you will obviously need to enter the Category specifications.

If you need more rows in the Category, use Insert Specification Line(s).

If you inadvertently inserted a new Category, you may use Delete Specification Line(s) to remove it.

Specification Groups Every Category in the Checklist has it's rows grouped together to allow you to Collapse or Expand them as you may desire.

The Groups are indicated in the grey column plainly visible on the far left side of the Checklist.

Next to each Category of the Checklist you can observe the vertical bar with the minus sign in the small box at the bottom.

To Collapse the Category, simply click on the small minus sign.  The rows included in the group will collapse (hide) and the minus sign will turn into a plus sign.

To Expand the Category, click on the plus sign and the rows within the Group will be revealed.

We've grouped the rows so that the Category's top header is always visible.

The purpose of the Group function is to allow you to Collapse Categories that you way not need to utilize often, thus allowing you to physically shorten the Checklist without losing any specifications.

We ship SpecWriter with all the Categories expanded because we don't want to presume what Categories are important to your business.

You may Collapse and then Expand a Group as many times as you wish without any effect on the operation of the program.

Even if you collapse a Category, any specifications you tagged will still be copied to the Specification page.

Collapsed Categories ARE NOT included when you generate Field Notes.

The commands in the sub menu allow you to collapse and expand all the Categories in the Checklist, and to create or remove your own groups, but we doubt you'll need these functions.

In other words, you can use the Group function without actually using any of the commands under the Group Menu.

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