SpecWriter Menu Reference  
 HOME SITE INDEX SpecWriter Manual Settings Menu by PowerTools Software, Inc. 
Introduction
 Table of Contents
 Executive Summary
 Program Features
 Spec Categories
 Screen Images
 Demo Manual

Manual
 Table of Contents
 Introduction
 Setup Guide
 Users Guide
 Main Manual
 Document List

Reference
 File Menu
 Checklist Menu
 Specifications Menu
 Takeoff Menu
 Estimate Menu
 Values Menu
 Notes Menu
Settings Menu
 Help Menu


Settings Menu

Settings Menu Commands

GENERAL DISCUSSION

These are the menu commands under the Settings Menu.


Settings Menu Commands
Menu Description
Contractor Information This command will open the Contractor Information dialog box where, if you followed the Installation and Setup Guide, you should have already entered your company's business name as you wish it to appear on the top of the Specifications pages.

Program Settings This command will open the Program Settings dialog box and allow you to change or set a number of controls that effect how SpecWriter operates.

Restore Excel Menu
This command will allow you to jump back and forth between the custom SpecWriter menu and the standard Excel menu.
  1. Select Settings | Restore Excel Menu to close the SpecWriter menu and open the standard Excel menu.
  2. Use the SpecWriter command on the Excel Menu to return to the SpecWriter menu.
  3. You may switch between the two menus at any time.
  4. 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 below.

WHILE IN EXCEL MENU, PLEASE DO NOT...
  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.

Top of Page               


Program Settings Dialog Box - Display Tab
Menu Description
Checklist Columns This command allows you to select if either the Section Number and/or the Unit Cost Columns are to be hidden or displayed in the Checklist.

The Section Number Column is a narrow column on the left side of the Checklist that contains a number 1 to 8 indicating which of the eight specification sections that the adjacent specification will be copied into when you generate the Specifications.  The number controls the decision, and you may change the number of a specification if you desire.

The default setting is to have the Section Number Column hidden.

The Unit Cost Column is the column on the right side of the specifications where you can enter a unit cost and associated unit of measurement for most of the specifications on the Checklist.

SpecWriter comes with some demonstration unit costs already entered into this column for your review, but they are not intended to serve as actual prices.

Any costs entered into the Unit Cost Column are copied to the Estimate Worksheet upon generation.

Some SpecWriter users like to enter their standard unit costs into this column in their SpecWriter Master File so these standardized costs are the same for all projects, and other SpecWriter users ignore this column completely and instead prefer to enter their unit costs directly into the Estimate Worksheet while doing the estimate.

Any unit costs you may enter into the Unit Cost Column may be subsequently overridden in the Estimate Worksheet at any time.

If you hide the Unit Cost Column, the Specification Column will be made wider.

The default setting is to have the Unit Cost Column displayed.

SpecWriter will operate correctly regardless of which of these columns are hidden or displayed.

Pages to Display This setting allows you to select which of the SpecWriter pages other than the Checklist and the Specification pages are visible.

The default setting is to have the Takeoff and the Estimate pages displayed.

The other four pages will be automatically displayed if they are opened by the program during your use.  For example, the Schedule of Values, which is normally hidden, will be displayed if you generate a Schedule of Values.

The concept here is to allow you to control which pages are displayed when you first open the SpecWriter Master File.  For example, if you never use the Takeoff Page, you may prefer not to have it visible unless you specifically change your mind.

SpecWriter will operate correctly regardless of which of these pages are hidden or displayed.

Estimate Font Sizes This setting allows you to control the font size of the text and the numbers on the Estimate Worksheet.

It's a personal preference that you may change at any time, perhaps because you feel that the Estimate Worksheet appears to crowded with the larger fonts.

Some SpecWriter users prefer the larger fonts, especially for reading the numbers.  However, if you are estimating a project who's cost exceeds one million dollars you will need to use the smaller fonts to fit in the estimate columns.

The default setting is to have both fonts set for 8 point.

SpecWriter will operate correctly regardless of which font sizes you elect to use.
Screen Resolution This setting allows you to change the zoom for all the pages to match your monitor resolution.

If you do not know your monitor resolution, then you should experiment with the settings and view the Checklist, which should properly fill your monitor from side to side on the correct setting.

If neither of the default settings appear to be correct, you may enter a percentage instead.

If you have a large 19" monitor, you may decide to use a setting that doesn't fill the entire screen.

Remember: You may change this setting as often as you like until you are satisfied with the result.

The default setting is for a 800x600 monitor.

SpecWriter will operate correctly regardless of which Screen Resolution you elect to use.

OK Button The OK button will save your settings and close the dialog box.

Cancel Button

The Cancel button will close the dialog without saving your changes.

Top of Page               


Program Settings Dialog Box - Program Tab
Menu Description
Default Folder This is the file path that SpecWriter uses when you activate the Save to Hard Drive command under the File Menu.

The default setting is c:\PowerTools\SpecWriter, which is the folder that was created by the SpecWriter installation program.

We suggest that you leave this setting alone unless you have a compelling reason to use another folder, perhaps because you are using SpecWriter on a network drive.

SpecWriter will operate correctly regardless of which file path you elect to use.

Display Caution Messages This setting will determine if most (but not all) of the caution messages are displayed when you are using the program.

The Caution Messages can be helpful when you are first using the program, but after a while they can become redundant.

You may change this setting at any time.

The default setting is for the Caution Messages to be displayed.

SpecWriter will operate correctly regardless of which setting you elect to use.

Rates These settings are the default percentages and markups that are in the Estimate Summary and the Schedule of Values.

You may override these percentages from within the Estimate and the Schedule of Values, these are simply the defaults.

You may change the default percentages at any time.

SpecWriter will operate correctly regardless of which percentages you set as the defaults.

Reset Printing This command will initiate a routine that will comb through SpecWriter and attempt to reset all the printer settings for all the documents.

The routine can take up to 5 minutes.

The purpose of this routine is to help reset these sensitive settings in the event you may have attempted to alter them, which you shouldn't have a need to do in the first place.

Nevertheless, we observed that most of the few tech support calls we were getting were related to the fact that SpecWriter wouldn't print the documents properly, largely because the user monkeyed with the preset margins and print ranges.

The vast majority of SpecWriter users will never need to use this command.

OK Button The OK button will save your settings and close the dialog box.

Cancel Button

The Cancel button will close the dialog without saving your changes.

Top of Page               


Copyright ©1997-2007 by PowerTools Software, Inc.  All Rights Reserved

Legal Notices | Copyright | Terms of Use | Privacy Statement