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General Bill Data



  1. Auto-trad menu
  2. Auto-Trad File
  3. Moving around the Worksheet in Auto-trad
  4. Author in Auto-trad
  5. Description of Take off in Auto-trad
  6. Unit in Auto-trad
  7. Level in Auto-trad
  8. Area in Auto-trad
  9. Room Code in Auto-trad
  10. Reference Element in Auto-trad
  11. Reference Take-Off in Auto-trad
  12. Reference Bill in Auto-trad
  13. Valuation Column Number in Auto-trad
  14. Delete Take-off Sheets in Auto-trad
  15. Copy Take-off Sheets in Auto-trad
  16. List Take-off Sheets in Auto-trad
  17. Print Take-off Sheets in Auto-trad
  18. Search Through Take-off Sheets in Auto-trad
  19. Edit Side-calculations in Auto-trad
  20. Side Calculations in Auto-trad
  21. Auto-trad Utilities
  22. Add/Edit in Auto-trad Utilities
  23. Copy in Auto-trad Utilities
  24. Reverse in Auto-trad Utilities
  25. Zero in Auto-trad Utilities
  26. Take-off worksheets in Auto-trad
  27. Select an item from elsewhere in the current Take-off
  28. Select and item from the Reference Element - by Listing 
  29. Select an item from the Reference Element-by Short code 
  30. Select an item from another Auto-trad file
  31. Select an item from a Bill of Quantities (Auto-trad)
  32. Dynamic changes to the Reference files in Auto-trad
  33. Units of Measurement in Auto-trad
  34. Add or Omit sign in Auto-trad
  35. Adders q;a999 (a/999) in Auto-trad
  36. Item Adders q;n exp (a/n) in Auto-trad
  37. Take-off worksheets in Auto-trad
  38. Moving to other sheets of the Take-off in Auto-trad
  39. Command Options in Auto-trad
  40. Pi in Auto-trad
  41. Append in Auto-trad
  42. B/Forward in Auto-trad
  43. Extend in Auto-trad
  44. Timesing Factors in Auto-trad
  45. Goto in Auto-trad
  46. Insert in Auto-trad
  47. Re-calc in Auto-trad
  48. Sign-post in Auto-trad
  49. Total and X-total in Auto-trad Worksheets Generally
  50. Abstract


Auto-trad menu

Auto-trad is a complete suite of traditional taking-off routines. They are accessed from the Calculix contract menu - via the Measurement option.

The options operate in an identical way to the other Delete, List etc options within the Calculix menu system, except for the Add/Edit option which is dealt with below.

After selecting Add/Edit Take-Off Sheets you are prompted to enter the Auto-Trad File name. This name or code is user definable. Having entered the code press RETURN.


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Auto-Trad File

Each take-off section or collection of dimension sheets is referred to as an Auto-trad File. The file name must be unique.

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Moving around the Worksheet in Auto-trad

The <RETURN> or <DOWN> key will take you from one field to another in the work sheet. To save the sheet use the <END> key.

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Author in Auto-trad

The login name will automatically appear as 'author' in all new files. This will protect your sheets from other system users not using the same login. They will be unable to add, edit or delete data to or from the file. A special user 'chiefqs' has been set up who can work on any file. If a 'chiefqs' login does not exist on your system, please consult your system manager.

If all users employ one common login or if the author field is left 'blank', then the security features will not be used.


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Description of Take off in Auto-trad

Enter a brief description of this section of Take-off.

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Unit in Auto-trad

The UNIT code XXXX refers to the relevant building of an estate and all rooms in the same building will have the same UNIT code.

The UNIT code field is three characters long and each character can be any of the ASCII range.

For a project with only one building an arbitrary Unit code like "1" should be used.


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Level in Auto-trad

The LEVEL code XX identifies the floor level which the room is on.

In Auto-trad entry codes for Level, Area and Room are optional. If you choose to enter references then the Analysis reports will be able to report quantities for each and every room. The system adopts default values for Level=gr, Area=1 and Room= r000 and so only the Unit must be entered.


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Area in Auto-trad

The AREA code XXXX allows a floor level to be sub-divided eg into flat types, circulation areas, office areas etc. It is a mandatory Field and when not specifically required an arbitrary value such as "1"should be used.


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Room Code in Auto-trad

The ROOM NUMBER code XXXX identifies the room itself. The code can be in any format but it is suggested that the first two characters be a mnemonic letter code for the type of room (e.g. br = bedroom) and the last two characters be numbers corresponding to the room number.

This field allows the Take-off to be associated with a room of the building. The room codes are the same as those used in other parts of the Calculix system and will be used for processing valuations etc. The room does not have to "exist" but at the very least a UNIT code must be entered because the take-off will be processed by UNIT.


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Reference Element in Auto-trad

The Reference Element is an ordinary Calculix element that has been set up as a prototype take-off containing items that are usually encountered in a typical section of Take-off. The elements themselves can be created and edited to suit the needs of the practice.

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Reference Take-Off in Auto-trad

When taking off it is sometimes useful to be able to access a previous batch of Take-off and this field references an Auto-trad file that has been previously created on this project. This entry can be changed from the Work-sheet during the editing session to give you access to all existing take-offs.


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Reference Bill in Auto-trad

For post contract purposes it is sometimes necessary to measure a variation which will Add or Omit items from a Bill. The Bill can be referenced here and the items can then be called up onto the worksheet be item reference.


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Valuation Column Number in Auto-trad

This field contains the column number to which the costs of the items in this take-off will be added on the Valuation Chart. This defaults to '1'.

Having completed the details of the display press the <END> key and you will be prompted for the sheet number. Enter the appropriate number and press <END>. If you want to Add a new sheet you need not enter the next available number, simply leave the Sheet Number field BLANK and press <END> and the next unused sheet will be displayed.


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Delete Take-off Sheets in Auto-trad

This option enables take-off sheets to be deleted from the file. Select the file and then select the appropriate sheet and press <RETURN>. The screen will ask for confirmation of the instruction to ensure that the record is not accidentally deleted. Press the <END> key to confirm the deletion instruction.


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Copy Take-off Sheets in Auto-trad

It is frequently convenient to copy some existing data and then edit this to suit the current requirements.

You must enter the name of the file to be 'copied from' followed by <RETURN> then the sheet number, repeat for the destination. The message "Edit New Take-Off Sheet?" then appears, press 'y' to edit or 'n' not to edit.


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List Take-off Sheets in Auto-trad

This option will print on the screen all of the record codes together with abbreviated details of each record to enable the user to find a particular record. The user can enter the sheet number that he wishes to list and the list will commence from that code on. Pressing <RETURN> will display more screens until the end of the file. When the end of the file is encountered the cursor moves back to the record code field for re-input. Leaving the record code blank and pressing <RETURN> will display the file from the beginning. The option can be cancelled at any time by pressing the <ESC> key.


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Print Take-off Sheets in Auto-trad

A full print out of the take-off sheets together with side calculations can be obtained by selecting the print options.


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Search Through Take-off Sheets in Auto-trad

At the Edit stage of bill production, the ability to search for one or more specific items can be particularly useful. The Search option does this.

For more detail please refer to Element Search. The routines are very similar except that this option searches auto-trad files, not elements.


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Edit Side-calculations in Auto-trad

To edit a side-calculation, enter this option and make whatever changes are necessary. These changes will not automatically update your take-off.


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Side Calculations in Auto-trad

The C command for calculations instigates Side Calculation Mode. Each side calculation can be named by the user and then called up later in the same sheet or a different sheet but only within the same file.

To create a side-calculation, press C then enter your chosen name and <RETURN> or simply press <RETURN> if you wish to use the default.

To enter the results of a previously named side-calc, type C and then enter the name followed by <END>. This will put the result of that side-calculation into the dimension field.

Once into the calculation mode one can enter dimensions followed by a <RETURN> or press F for factor if timesing factors are needed.

When the side-calculation has been completed press <END> to return to the take-off sheet and <END> again to carry the side-calculation total to the dimension column.


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Auto-trad Utilities

These utilities provide additional functionality to Auto-trad.


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Add/Edit in Auto-trad Utilities

This option performs identically to that on the Auto-trad menu.


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Copy in Auto-trad Utilities

This option is more extensive than that on the Auto-trad menu, giving the added ability to copy a range of sheets to the same or a different file keeping the same sheet numbers or changing the destination start sheet number.


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Reverse in Auto-trad Utilities

This option reverses the Sign of a range of take-off sheets ie all 'adds' become omits and all 'omits' become adds.


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Zero in Auto-trad Utilities

This option zeros all of the dimensions in a range of take-off sheets. This is very useful when remeasuring a section of work post contract. Simply make a copy of the original take-off then 'zero' it and remeasure against the original descriptions.


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Take-off worksheets in Auto-trad

Each Sheet of Take-off corresponds to an individual measurement item. Each item may use some or all of the following fields:

Item Description
3 Component sizes - l, w and h
Item Code
Measurement Unit
Add or Omit Sign
Adder Comprehensive Take-off Quantities

There are many ways of selecting an Item Code and it's associated description.

Enter the appropriate code in the Item Code field.

Use Autocode <HOME> to build up an item description from scratch.


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Select an item from elsewhere in the current Take-off

The <F7> function key will display a list of items already measured in this file and the <UP> and <DOWN> keys will move to the appropriate item. If you find the item you want press <RETURN> and the appropriate code will be copied into the current record. To move to the next page press <HOME>.


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Select and item from the Reference Element - by Listing

If a Reference Element is specified then these items are displayed by pressing <F7>. The items already taken off are displayed first and then follows the items in the Reference Element which are identified by a double asterisk (**).


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Select an item from the Reference Element-by Short code

Enter the Item short code in the Description field and press <F8> and the appropriate item will be copied into the current record.


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Select an item from another Auto-trad file

Items can also be obtained from another Take-off (Auto-trad file) on the current project. Bill items in the Reference Take-off will be displayed in the same way as the Reference Element ie by pressing the F7 function key. If Both Reference Element and Reference Take-off fields are entered the Element will be displayed first followed by the Take-off.


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Select an item from a Bill of Quantities (Auto-trad)

Bill items can be accessed from a Bill of Quantities. The Bill must have been created already and the items are selected by Page number and Reference letter. The Bill name must be entered in the Reference Bill field in the auto-trad header to identify the relevant Bill.

The Item Reference must be entered in the Description field with the first character in column 1. Pressing function key <F8> will then locate the item and copy the details into the appropriate fields.

All data following the Item Reference is ignored so it isn't necessary to delete following text. The item reference letter can be entered in either upper or lower case.


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Dynamic changes to the Reference files in Auto-trad

The Reference Element and Reference Take-off can be changed in the middle of the take-off process. Pressing <F6> will display the two fields and the entries can be changed as required giving access to virtually all available data. The stored values are not, however, written away to file until the Auto-trad file is closed so if you want to store the latest settings be sure to <END> at the end of the session otherwise they will remain the same as at the start.


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Units of Measurement in Auto-trad

The unit of measurement is linked to the number of dimension. ie by selecting m, m` or m{, the maximum number of dimensions is also set. m =1, m` =2, m{ =3.

Therefore, after the third dimension of a cubic item, pressing <RETURN>, automatically extends the set of dimensions.

After completing the description, units, adder etc. press <END> to move on to the dimension entering phase.


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Add or Omit sign in Auto-trad

The default is + (plus). Should you wish all dimensions on the sheet to be negative, change the sign to - (minus).

Individual deductions or omissions of dimensions can be made by simply entering a minus sign before typing the actual dimension(s).


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Adders q;a999 (a/999) in Auto-trad

The Adder field is normally left blank unless you wish to add a quantity to an adder. However, a hash (#), or 0 (zero) will also have a neutral effect.

The SMM requires that some descriptions should include quantities which outline the general extent of the work.


The value 174 is an accumulation of all the appropriate items in the Bill and Calculix provides for this situation with the use of Special Functions called Adders.

In order that a variety of different totals can be in use at any one time the Adders are identified by a number from 1 to 999.

To have the quantity q of any item added to the contents of an Adder you merely enter the quantity followed by a semi-colon (;), and then the adder code. If the quantity to be entered is the same as the total of the current sheet, enter q for the quantity.

As many items as required may contribute to the adder. In some cases like the "CONCRETE FRAMED STRUCTURE Approx. a/999 m!", the Adder will be inserted against all concrete items in the contract. In other cases such as "The following in a/999 Nr manholes" an item such as the manhole cover will be selected as generating the appropriate quantity and the Adder will be attached to that item. Every time the bill is reprocessed the Adder will also be adjusted.

The numerical contents of an adder will be printed out in any description containing the appropriate Adder Code. As many descriptions may contain the Adder Code as are required and up to 999 Adder Codes can be created. Note that a description may contain more than one Adder, as required, but each one must, of course, have the appropriate code. Note also that the adder routine simply exchanges the adder code for the numerical contents of the corresponding accumulator and any associated units are a separate piece of text which must be included as part of the Description itself.

To assist in distinguishing between Adder codes and catalogue reference numbers the code used in the description field has a / added to it separating the a from the number. This / is not used in the corresponding entry in the formula.


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Item Adders q;n exp (a/n) in Auto-trad

Some uses of the Adder facility require the description to say how many items are included. In this case the item code uniquely identifies which items should be added together and there is therefore no need to use an adder code.

Where the adder is working at item level enter an n in the adder field followed by the number you want to add to the adder each time the item is processed. The number will, of course, usually be one. The item adder is included in the description by including an a/n in the description at the appropriate position.


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Take-off worksheets in Auto-trad

The cursor moves to the dimension field and assumes the first dimension is "1.00". You may now enter a dimension directly or select one of the command options indicated at the foot of the screen. Any dimension that you enter will overwrite the "1.00".

Two decimal places will be generated unless tonnes, kilogrammes or kilo-tonnes units are selected where three decimal places will be generated. However, if the appropriate units of measurement are entered with a capital M, the dimension fields will automatically operate to three decimal places but the units will be output in the usual way. Data measured in this way will merge normally with other data measured to 2 decimal places.

One of the main features of Autotrad is that all data can be edited and the totals recalculate when you save data. To edit anything simply use the cursor keys to move to the dimension and change it.


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Moving to other sheets of the Take-off in Auto-trad

To move between sheets, press function key (PREV PAGE) for previous sheet and (NEXT PAGE) for next sheet. If either key is pressed whilst in the dimensions part of the worksheet, the dimensions will automatically be re-totalled and the sheet will be saved.


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Command Options in Auto-trad

All command options are initiated by pressing the first letter of the command i.e. to extend a set of dimensions press e.


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Pi in Auto-trad

Pressing p to enter the value of pi can be done in the dimension field, in side calculation dimension fields and factor columns, also in times totals but not in the factor column.


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Append in Auto-trad

If, for example, there are three dimensions in the set of dimensions that you are measuring you must press the <RETURN> or the a key after each dimension before the next can be entered.


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B/Forward in Auto-trad

Should you wish to bring forward a total from a previous dimension sheet press b. You will then be prompted for the sheet number of the total to be brought forward, enter this and then press <RETURN>. Having brought forward the total you may proceed to append further dimensions if you wish or simply total this sheet.

This command not only brings forward the previous total it also links the two sheets i.e. if the previous total is edited and its total amended, so too will the 'brought forward' total be amended.

Note If you do not want the totals linked, then at the point where you would normally press <RETURN> press b again.


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Extend in Auto-trad

To extend a set of dimensions press e after the last dimension.


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Timesing Factors in Auto-trad

To enter a timesing factor press f. After typing in the factor press <RETURN> to return to the dimension column.

If you wish to enter more than one factor press a for append whilst in the factor column.

To 'nil' a set of dimensions, enter a factor of 0 (zero). Once <RETURN> is pressed the word 'nil' appears and the set of dimensions 'nilled'.

Numerical operators (+,-, /,*) can be used in the timesing factor column.


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Goto in Auto-trad

To move about between sheets you can instigate the GOTO command type g followed by the required sheet number and <RETURN> will take you straight to that sheet in the Take-off.


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Insert in Auto-trad

Should you wish to insert a new dimension into the middle of existing dimensions use the i insert command.


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Re-calc in Auto-trad

Extensions and totals are automatically recalculated when you press <END> to save your work but should you wish to see the new extensions and total before saving the work, press either r for a re-calculation or e to re-extend the appropriate set of dimensions or t to re-total.


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Sign-post in Auto-trad

To add a sign-post to any dimension, extension or total, press s and enter the note. After entering the note press <RETURN> to return to the previous field.


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Total and X-total in Auto-trad

To total a sheet of dimensions at any point press t.

To multiply a total or to total and multiply a total, press x, enter the timesing factor and press <RETURN>.


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To total a sheet of dimensions at any point press t.

To multiply a total or to total and multiply a total, press x, enter the timesing factor and press <RETURN>.

To produce an Abstract or Analysis, use the <ESC> to leave the autotrad option and select Calculation on the main Calculix Contract Menu.

The Produce Abstract option does not give a traditional abstract, it only lists the totals of each sheet of the autotrad file. However an Analysis will produce a document similar to the traditional Abstract - analysing each billed item and listing files in which quantities are contained. It also details the sheets within the files.

The Analysis report is an option on both the Trade and Work Group menus.

Refer to Chapter 17, Processing, for details about the calculation and production of Analyses.


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