FREEWARE DOWNLOADS

Descriptions

Introduction
Worksheets
Editing Commands
Running Calculix
Autocode
Autotrad
Abstract
Elements
Formulae Functions & Operators
Creating New Elements
Room Data
Vertical Data
Pipelines
Element Schedules
Worked-Up Data
Descriptions
Validation
General Bill Data
Site Layout
Formatting
Processing
Pricing
Valuations
Printing
File Maintenance
Master Libraries
Filing Utilities

 

Descriptions

  1. Descriptions
  2. Description codes/item codes
  3. Description library worksheet - Description code
  4. Keyword - Description Library worksheet
  5. Display key < HOME/HELP > -Description Library worksheet
  6. Description Entry - Description library worksheet
  7. Updating and Abandoning - Description Library worksheet
  8. Insert and Overtype Modes - Description Library Worksheet
  9. Inserting and Deleting Text - Description Library worksheet
  10. Item Adders - Description Library worksheet
  11. Creating Item Adders - Description Library Worksheet
  12. Description code 
  13. Individual description codes - Descriptions 
  14. Descriptions - Contract and Master Libraries
  15. Master Library Descriptions
  16. Item Description Column 14-25 - Descriptions
  17. "Short" Items - Descriptions
  18. Sundry Items Column 28 - Descriptions
  19. Incomplete Descriptions
  20. Continuous Descriptions
  21. Split Descriptions
  22. Dimensions - Descriptions
  23. Inserted Dimensions - Descriptions
  24. Omitting Dimensions - the * character - Descriptions
  25. Text Variables (a/d) - Descriptions
  26. Bill diagrams
  27. Adders (a/999) Descriptions - Bill Diagrams
  28. NEDO Work categories
  29. Special text formatting - Descriptions
  30. Forcing a New Line - Descriptions
  31. Indenting indent A (A - F) indent number - Descriptions
  32. Blank Lines- Descriptions
  33. Colon at the Beginning of a Line - Descriptions
  34. Comments in Description text (#)
  35. Trade Names (" ") - Descriptions
  36. Description Variables (?)
  37. Text enhancement - Descriptions
  38. Underlining - Descriptions
  39. Bolding - Descriptions
  40. Masking description codes
  41. Unmasking with + (plus) or ' (single quote) - Descriptions
  42. Masking generally - Descriptions
  43. Extra Over Items - Masking
  44. Alternative items - Masking
  45. Different items with the same Specification. - Masking
  46. Masking where the item code is identical
  47. Applications - Masking
  48. Automatic Masking

Descriptions

The Descriptions which will be used in the finished documents to describe the items are stored in Libraries. The descriptions are accessed by codes which uniquely identify the descriptions. The description routines involve simple word processing techniques and an understanding of the coding structure used by the Calculix system.

 

Back to Top

Description codes/item codes

It is important to differentiate between Description codes which will produce a single description and Item Codes which will produce a series of descriptions including headings, groupings, specifications etc. as well as the description of the item itself. The composite Item Code which represents a complete bill item is explained in the relevant part of the Element section. In this section we will deal with the detailed processing of individual Descriptions.

 

Back to Top

Description library worksheet - Description code

The Description Library worksheet is displayed by entering any valid Description code.

NOTE. When working on a calculix contract the description worksheet is used for working in the Contract Description Library and not to the Master Description Library. If it is necessary to Edit, Add to or Delete descriptions in the Master Library this can only be achieved by going back to the Calculix MAIN MENU and entering the 'Master Library' option. The worksheet, however, is the same in both cases.

 

Back to Top

Keyword - Description Library worksheet

The first entry on the description worksheet is the Keyword field. Each Description can be cross-referenced by using the Keyword facility. This is not essential but if used it will enable all Descriptions with the same keyword to be displayed together, e.g. the SMM Trade groups are entered with a keyword of "trade" and selecting this keyword will list out all the trade categories in the Library. If a keyword is not required <RETURN> will advance the cursor to the description field.

 

Back to Top

Display key < HOME/HELP > -Description Library worksheet

When in the Add/Edit option for Descriptions the <HOME>/<HELP> key can be used in various fields to display existing codes, keywords and adjustment codes.

In the description code field, the <HOME> key displays existing codes and, using the Arrow keys and the <END/EXECUTE> key a description code can be selected for editing

With the cursor on the keyword field, a list of existing keywords will be displayed and by using the Arrow keys to highlight the keyword required and the <END/EXECUTE> key, the keyword can be placed in the Description worksheet. To leave the display list without making a selection, use the <ESC> or <CANCEL/DEL> key.

In the text field of the description worksheet, the <HOME> key will display the description attached to any adjustment code used on that line of the description.

 

Back to Top

Description Entry - Description library worksheet

The description text is typed in the usual way. The description "word-wraps" at the end of each line so that when a line is full the following text will automatically be placed on the next line. Each description is limited to 2048 characters although this is an arbitrary restriction and could be expanded if necessary.

 

Back to Top

Updating and Abandoning - Description Library worksheet

When the worksheet is full (or the description is complete) this can be saved by pressing <END>. The description is filed away and a blank worksheet is displayed for additional description text if required. More text can be added and saved by repeated use of the <END> key.

When no further input is required <ESC> will quit the description and return to the description code field.

It is important to appreciate that the worksheet operates one screen at a time. Each sheet must be saved by pressing <END>. The use of the <ESC> key will abandon the changes made to the data on the screen. Earlier sheets that had been <END>ed will remain unaffected. If an existing description was being Edited abandoning the data will leave it as it was at the beginning of the Edit.

 

Back to Top
 

Insert and Overtype Modes - Description Library Worksheet

The Description worksheet has two modes of operation; Insert and Overtype. On entering the worksheet you will be in Insert mode. Typing will insert into the text and new descriptions will be created. To overwrite characters that are already on the screen you must enter Overtype mode by pressing <F6>. Typing will now obliterate existing text and overwrite it with the new text. You can return to Insert mode by pressing <F6> once more. The current typing Mode is displayed in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.

The WORD-WRAP feature, whereby the processor automatically starts a new line when it has no more room on the current line, ONLY OPERATES IN INSERT MODE. See note on Colon in Descriptions on page 15.

 

Back to Top
 

Inserting and Deleting Text - Description Library worksheet

Text can be deleted and inserted one character at a time by using the <DELETE> and <INSERT> keys. Text can be deleted one line at a time by using <F8>.

In addition to inserting text in Insert Mode, blank lines can be created using <F7>.

 

Back to Top
 

Item Adders - Description Library worksheet

Whilst in a description worksheet, a list of available adders can be accessed by pressing <HOME>, and if an adder already exists in the description then pressing <F11> on the same line containing the adder will display the text relating to that adder at the foot of the screen.

 

Back to Top
 

Creating Item Adders - Description Library Worksheet

Item adders can be created from the Descriptions menu, Item Adders option. The <HOME> key will display existing item adders and there descriptions and these can be edited from this menu.

 

Back to Top
 

Description code

The Description library is organised into the following 19 hierarchical sections:

  1. WORK GROUP
  2. WORK SECTION
  3. TRADE
  4. INSTALLATION
  5. SPECIAL WORKING CONDITIONS
  6. SUB-SECTION
  7. ELEMENTAL GROUP
  8. SPECIFICATION a
  9. SPECIFICATION b
  10. ITEM 1a
  11. ITEM 1b
  12. ITEM 2a
  13. ITEM 2a
  14. ITEM 2c
  15. ITEM 2d
  16. SHORT ITEM
  17. SUNDRY ITEM
  18. NEDO
  19. VALUATION STAGE

(The NEDO work category can also be incorporated in the Sub-Section code where it applies to all items in the Sub-Section.)

In order to reduce the size of the code and to preserve the hierarchical nature of the library, most sections of the Description Library contain codes from other sections to which they belong. e.g. The Sub-Section is a sub-division of the Trade and therefore incorporates the Trade code.

 

Back to Top
 

Individual description codes - Descriptions

XYZ12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031

WORK GROUP X,
WORK SECTION X,Y,Z
TRADE 1,
INSTALLATION 2,3
SPECIAL WORKING CONDITIONS 1,4,
SUB-SECTION 1,5,
ELEMENTAL GROUP 6,7,8,
SPECIFICATION a 1,5,9,10,11,
SPECIFICATION b 1,5,12,13
ITEM 1a 1,5,14,15
ITEM 1b 1,5,16,17
ITEM 2a 1,5,18,19
ITEM 2b 1,5,20, 21
ITEM 2c 1,5,22,23
ITEM 2d 1,5,24,25
SHORT ITEM 1,5,26,27
SUNDRY ITEM 28,
NEDO CATEGORY 29,30
VALUATION STAGE 1,31, X,31

 

Back to Top
 

Descriptions - Contract and Master Libraries

Descriptions for any Contract are held in two separate Libraries:-

(a) CONTRACT LIBRARY

(b) MASTER LIBRARY

Normally the input of descriptions for a contract will be done from the CONTRACT LIBRARY. From here new descriptions can be created and edited and also copies can be made of descriptions in the MASTER LIBRARY for subsequent editing to suit the contract.

 

Back to Top
 

Master Library Descriptions

Whilst logged into the system under a contract you cannot change any descriptions in the Master Library. You can only copy them into your contract file and then edit the copy.

When producing a bill the program will use the CONTRACT LIBRARY where available. Otherwise it will use the MASTER LIBRARY.

If a code does not appear in either the CONTRACT LIBRARY or the MASTER LIBRARY, the Bill of Quantities will be printed with a message, indicating what type of description is missing. This does not, of course, apply to fields which contain no entry at all.

NOTE The same code may be in both the CONTRACT LIBRARY and the MASTER LIBRARY and each could have a different description. The CONTRACT LIBRARY will take precedence and provide the one that is used in the Bill.

 

Back to Top
 

Item Description Column 14-25 - Descriptions

The item description itself is divided into 2 levels each of which is itself sub-divided into two parts. As a general rule the first level (Item 1a) contains details of the item itself. This level has a sub-group (Item 1b) which allows the use of a number of additional options. The first part of the second level (Item 2a) contains details of the size qualifications and the second part (Item 2b) contains details of the fixings. Two further levels, 2c and 2d, are provided and can be used as required. These general observations are freely interpreted in practice and the four levels can be used in any way necessary to obtain the required description.

 

Back to Top
 

"Short" Items - Descriptions

The written short description code goes in columns 26 and 27. This level is used in the traditional way for written short and "extra over" items. This level is a completely separate item but includes the code of the preceding item to ensure its correct position in the Bill. If the preceding item uses dimensions (l, w and/or h) then these must be included in the written short code. Any unused dimension levels are available for use in the written short description itself.

 

Back to Top
 

Sundry Items Column 28 - Descriptions

The sundry description code in column 28 is used as a Global variable. The code is not associated with any particular Trade and the same code can therefore be used with any item in the library. It is intended for general descriptions such as (Provisional) which can be added to the end of any Bill Item.

 

Back to Top
 

Incomplete Descriptions

Any descriptions that are not found in either the Contract Library or the Master Library will be reported as 'incomplete' in the Bill item. An Appendix of Incomplete Descriptions is included at the end of the Bill to highlight the outstanding information.

 

Back to Top
 

Continuous Descriptions

The basic intention for the four groups of items of descriptions is to join together to form one continuous piece of text describing the item concerned. There are no special requirements to achieve this. It is not necessary to have entries in all fields nor in adjacent fields. If Item 2a is not used but Items 1a and 2b are used this will provide a perfectly satisfactory description.

NOTE Unused codes must be left blank. Any other value will be considered a valid code and the system will expect a description for that value. If no description is found, a message will appear in the Bill ((No item?)) where item is the missing description group. A list of all items with missing descriptions will be printed in the Appendix of Incomplete Descriptions.

To use descriptions in this way, select continuous on the Split/Continuous item option of the Basic Bill Format worksheet.

 

Back to Top
 

Split Descriptions

As an alternative to Continuous descriptions, the Bill can be set out to suit the various phraseology library styles. In this form, Item 1 (parts a & b) is established as a heading, separated by a blank line from the following text. Item 2 (parts a & b) forms the item description proper and takes the Unit, Quantity etc. and also the Bill reference letter. As a rule, the item description is indented in this style of Bill. The amount of indentation is set by the Item Indent field of the Basic Bill Format. This field is only used when Split descriptions are selected. A zero indent will leave the description starting at the Text Left Margin.

NOTE If you indent these descriptions, you will probably wish to increase the indent for Extra (or Short) Items. The Extra Indent value is measured from the Text Left Margin and not from the Item Indent. The Extra Indent will, therefore, normally be twice the Item Indent, unless, of course, the Item Indent is 0.

When Split Descriptions are selected, the Item 1 heading will serve for all following items with the same Item 1 code. It will not be repeated each time.

If no Item 1 code is included in the Item code, the item will be indented as usual but no heading will be printed. If Item 1 is present but there is no Item 2a or 2b, then the Item 1 description will become the Item proper and will include the quantity, Unit and Item reference. When used in this way, the item will not be indented.

 

Back to Top
 

Dimensions - Descriptions

The Dimensions entered in the Dimension Fields must be in metres and decimal parts of a metre. Trailing zeroes need not be input. The dimensions will be converted into the required style when the Bill is formatted. The required style is selected by entering the appropriate letter (A - G) on the Basic Bill Format Worksheet.

Because the dimensions are kept separate from their associated descriptions it is necessary to have a procedure so that they can be incorporated into the Bill descriptions. There are two choices.

 

Back to Top
 

Inserted Dimensions - Descriptions

Dimensions can be inserted into the body of the text. Some descriptions will have the dimensions at the beginning, as with Automatic Dimensions, but others will have the dimensions in the middle of the text and others again will have different dimensions occurring in different parts of the text. This option is obtained by responding no to Automatic Dimensions on the Specific Bill Format worksheet.

The Component dimensions contained in the l, w and h fields are printed out in the description text in the position where the codes a/l, a/w and a/h respectively are located. Any description containing a valid code (a/l a/w or a/h) will have the dimensions from the appropriate field inserted in the text at that position.

The dimensions can be placed in any order and in any combination of descriptions.

e.g. a/l can be included in the specification with a/w in Item 2a.

A description can comprise many codes, but note that if two codes are used next to each other, as in scantling sizes, the "x" is not automatically included and this must form a part of the description text. e.g. a/l x a/w

The style of the dimension will be in accordance with the dimension style table (see Appendix E) and the description should not include units for the dimensions.

If a dimension code is included in a Description but no entry is made in the appropriate dimension field of the Element worksheet, the description will be printed with the message "Dimension ?" in the appropriate position. This provides an elegant procedure for checking that item dimensions are properly specified.

A question mark is included in the error message so that the whole description will automatically be included in the "Appendix of Incomplete Descriptions"

 

Back to Top
 

Omitting Dimensions - the * character - Descriptions

Any dimension which is preceded by an asterisk will be ignored when the Bill description is formatted. These dimensions are, however, available for use in formulae and for reference purposes.

 

Back to Top
 

Text Variables (a/d) - Descriptions

In a similar way to the variable information involving dimensions, there is also a need for variable information of a descriptive nature. Descriptions like "as drawing Nr. 6754" or "as catalogue nr 37/4906" are quite common and yet difficult to create.

These text variables are dealt with by using a/d in the description and by entering the required description in the description column of the Element Worksheet. A " (double quote) mark is used to indicate the beginning of the description data and to separate it from any other text.

A closing double quote is not required and must not be used.

As with the dimensions, the description variables become a unique part of the Item Code and it is important that items are identical (including a/d), if more than one entry are to be added together.

Note:

BECAUSE OF THIS FEATURE DOUBLE QUOTES SHOULD NOT BE USED IN THE DESCRIPTION FIELD FOR ANY PURPOSE OTHER THAN a/d.

 

Back to Top
 

Bill diagrams

Space for diagrams may be incorporated in the Bill by including diagram N in the description preceding the required space. diagram must be entered as the first word of a new line (preferably the penultimate line of the Description text). N is the number of blank lines required. diagram and N must be separated by a space character. The Bill space thus created will not be broken by page breaks when the bill is produced.

N must not be more than the number of lines per page as set out in the BILL FORMAT details.

 

Back to Top
 

Adders (a/999) Descriptions - Bill Diagrams

Adders are variable quantity fields which form an integral part of a SMM bill description.

e.g. CONCRETE FRAMED STRUCTURE Approx. a/999 m{

The Adder code will appear in the text of the description and will be replaced during the "Produce Bill" process by the appropriate number. The associated units are a separate piece of text and are not generated by the processing of the Adder Code.

The actual quantity that will be added to an Adder Code is established in the formula field of the Element Worksheet. The quantity q of each line containing an Adder Code (after a semi-colon) will be added to the Adder Code total. As many items as required may contribute to an Adder Code and the final total will be the quantity inserted in the description bearing the appropriate Adder Code. As many descriptions may contain the Adder Code as required and as many Adder Codes can be created as needed up to a maximum of 999.

In some cases like the "CONCRETE FRAMED STRUCTURE Approx. a/999 m{", the Adder Code will be inserted next to every specific item quantity 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 Code will be attached to the formula for that item. Every time the Element is re-processed the Adder Code will also be adjusted. If no item formula is suitable for use with an Adder Code, a scratchpad line can be used with the appropriate quantity or formula preceding a semi-colon followed by the Adder Code.

The Adder Code is a two part entry. It must appear in the formula of an Element and it must appear within the text of a description. The description can be in a category, heading etc., and the description may contain as many different adders as required.

It is possible to modify the quantity produced by an adder to allow for rounding. The process is selected by introducing a rounding code after the slash (/) and before the Adder Code number in the entry in the description. (There is no change in the entry on the Formula line).

An r will round the quantity to the nearest whole number.
A u will round up the quantity to the next whole number.
A d will round down the quantity to disregard the decimal part.

Rounding has no effect on quantities which are already integers.

The process operates during Bill Formatting and so changing the rounding code in a description and re-running Produce Bill will make the appropriate changes in the Bill. It is not necessary to re-calculate the Bill and no coding is required in the adder code used in the formula part of the Element.

e.g. for a101 = 87.43

a/r101 = 87
a/u101 = 88
a/d101 = 87

NOTE That the adder code used in the description includes a "slash" (/) to help distinguish it from a catalogue reference number. This "slash" is not used when the Adder Code is entered in the formula field.

 

Back to Top
 

NEDO Work categories

The NEDO work categories are incorporated into the calculix system in two ways

At trade sub-section level the NEDO work category numbers can be added to the end of the sub-section description text. To differentiate from the ordinary text the work category numbers must be enclosed in square brackets [].

At individual item level the NEDO work category number can be incorporated into the item code in columns 25 and 26.

When the appropriate options are selected on the Specific Bill Format worksheet, these work categories will be printed out in the Bill. Five choices are available.

Option N - The NEDO work category is not printed at all

Option Y - The NEDO work category is printed out in round brackets () immediately after the sub-section heading.

Option M - The NEDO work category is printed out in the text margin preceding the sub-section heading.

Option D - The NEDO work category is printed out against every item in the Bill in the Text Left Margin at the beginning of each Item.

Option I - The NEDO work category is printed out against every item in the Bill in the Text Left Margin on the Last line of the Item i.e. on the same line as the Unit and Quantity

 

Back to Top
 

Special text formatting - Descriptions

The width of the page used by the description is determined by the entries in the Basic Bill Format worksheet. IT HAS NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO WITH THE LENGTH OF THE DESCRIPTION DISPLAYED ON THE SCREEN. When the final documents are formatted the text will be completely re-organised to suit the specified layout. In order to obtain particular layouts some special instructions must be built into the description text to instruct the Formatter what to do.

Special layouts are achieved with three special features; new line, indent and blank.

These special features are detected by their presence in column 1 of the description worksheet. They can occur on any line but they must start on column 1. All characters must be in lower case.

 

Back to Top
 

Forcing a New Line - Descriptions

If a part of a description is required to be printed on a new line in the Bill then this can be arranged by entering the required text on a new line on the worksheet with a leading space (i.e. a space in the first position of the line). This will ensure that whatever the format of the Bill this part of the Description will always appear on a new line.

 

Back to Top
 

Indenting indent A (A - F) indent number - Descriptions

In addition to the indentations already described for split level descriptions and for written short items, it is possible to indent parts of the text to produce the required layout. The amount of indentation can be selected either by stating the number of spaces required: e.g. indent 4 or by use of the Arbitrary letters A - F e.g. indent b. In this case the actual indentation will be the number assigned to the selected letter on the Specific Bill Format. When using the arbitrary letter references, the system will allow either upper or lower case letters.

The facility is selected by typing indent starting at column 1 of any line of the description text worksheet, followed by the number or reference letter of the indentation required. There may be a space between the indent and the number or letter but it is not mandatory. There may also be a space between the number and letter and the following text. This space will be ignored by the formatter but it is not mandatory. More than one space will, however, become part of the text and will actually appear as leading space in the text. The first space will always be ignored.

The text following the indent will start at the indent position and successive lines will all be indented to the same position until a new indent command. There is no limit to the number of indent commands in a description and the same commands can be repeated as required.

The indent command will take precedence over both split level and written short indentations. If no indent number is specified this will default to 0 so that indent and indent 0 are identical commands. This will ensure that the description starts at the left margin.

 

Back to Top
 

Blank Lines- Descriptions

Blank lines can be created in a similar way by entering blank followed by the number of blank lines required. As with indent, blank and blank 0 are treated the same and will ensure that the text on the following line will start a new line at the left margin.

Blank assumes that there will be no text on the same line and any text entered in the description library will be disregarded when the description is processed. This can be used to suppress text but still have a description as a note or reminder.

 

Back to Top
 

Colon at the Beginning of a Line - Descriptions

A colon at the start of a line in a description will not be word wrapped in the Description worksheet but it will still be word wrapped in the bill. This is to aid the editing of a description.

 

Back to Top
 

Comments in Description text (#)

The use of a # in column 1 of a line of description indicates a comment. The remaining text on that line will not be printed in the bill but will remain in the description library.

 

Back to Top
 

Trade Names (" ") - Descriptions

The Bill of Quantities will contain an appendix of all text appearing in the document inside double quotation marks " ". This is intended to list all Trade names referred to in the Bill. If items are to be inserted in quotes but are not required in the Trade name appendix, then it is recommended that the single quotes ' ' be used.

The quotation marks must both be on the same line of the worksheet and a Trade name cannot therefore be more than 48 characters long. If there is insufficient room for the Trade name on the current line start the Trade name on a new line.

 

Back to Top
 

Description Variables (?)

A number of Descriptions contain information which is dependant on the particular contract concerned. These text variables within a Description will be input in the MASTER DESCRIPTION LIBRARY as a ?. It is intended that these Descriptions will be copied into the CONTRACT DESCRIPTION LIBRARY and the question mark fields edited to suit the contract. The Bill of Quantities will have an appendix report containing all Descriptions which still have question marks.

 

Back to Top
 

Text enhancement - Descriptions

In addition to the general process of underlining and bolding whole groups of text, it is also possible to use these text enhancements on text within a description. Unlike the formatting commands, the instructions to start and end bolding or underlining can be included anywhere in the text.

In order to ensure that you do not interfere with the attributes of any following text, you should reset the formatter to its original setting when you have finished.

 

Back to Top
 

Underlining - Descriptions

Text can be underlined by entering the [u characters. All following text will be underlined, until the u] characters are found.

 

Back to Top
 

Bolding - Descriptions

Text can be emboldened by entering the [b characters. All following text will be emboldened until the b] characters are found.

These two text enhancements are fully implemented. This means that if, for example, text is to be AUTOMATICALLY underlined by the appropriate entry in the Basic Bill Format worksheet, this can be overridden by the u] switch of the underline command which will turn off the auto underlining. In this way, virtually any arrangement of text enhancement can be achieved. When using the facility in this way, it is particularly important to reset the feature when it is no longer required. If you do not, then some following text may be unexpectedly affected.

 

Back to Top
 

Masking description codes

Masking is optional. It does not happen automatically.

Masking allows a following item in an element (or a worked up data file) to leave blank all item codes that it shares in common with the item above. It is particularly efficient with Elemental Taking-off because this keeps similar items together.

It reduces the amount of coding work by

not having to enter so much data for an item
not having to alter so many items when something changes

Masking relies on the taking-off being organised so that associated items follow each other. Masked Items are processed upwards. Each masked item acquires the appropriate attributes of the preceding item. If the resultant item is still incomplete it will move on to the next preceding item. In this way masking can ripple through a number of preceding items.

There are two types of masking at item code level :

1. Masking where part of the item code is common to successive items

This is the principal form of masking and is effected by entering a "=" as the first character of the item code.

The "=" indicates that the item code is the same as the code for the item above, except for any description codes entered on the line.

The '=' character also allows an entire code to be masked. This is very useful in items like timber where only the scantling sizes change or where it is convenient to separate like items for analysis purposes.

Masking operates as an OVERLAY with the item overlaying the previous entry. A specific entry in any field of the item will always take precedence over the entry in the same field of the previous item.

NOTE There is NO facility for forcing a SPACE in the masked item by the use of a special character. Care must be taken to ensure that the SLAVE does not have blank codes which are used by the MASTER. This will not arise if Masking is only used on associated items.

2.Where the "Slave" is shorter than the "Master"

A lead character of '"' will only mask the "Master" code up to ( and including ) the last character of the "Slave" code. This form of mask will in fact also work where the master and slave are the same length ie the code is identical. If the '"' is used in this way processing will, however, automatically restore it to the '=' character whenever the mask is used.

 

Back to Top
 

Unmasking with + (plus) or ' (single quote) - Descriptions

For practical convenience an unmasking facility has been introduced. Changing the = to a + and the " to a ' (single quote) will restore the item to full coded form when the code is next used. This will allow the code to be inspected in detail and allow new items to be inserted in the middle of some masked items if required.

The unmasking can be carried out before or after the new line has been inserted but it MUST be done before any entry is made in the item code field of the new item otherwise the new entry will influence the masked code of the line below.

 

Back to Top
 

Masking generally - Descriptions

It is an important feature of the masking philosophy that similar items will be kept together on the worksheets. Where this is not convenient it will not generally be helpful to use masking. It is not intended to mask only the first few characters of the item code. Although the system will work quite correctly when used in this way it is intended that masking will operate on similar items as a means of quickly coding closely related items. It is particularly intended to apply to items sharing the same specification so that a single entry of the specification code will cover a number of items sharing that code. As mentioned above this can only happen if all of the items are grouped together.

 

Back to Top
 

Extra Over Items - Masking

A mask entry at Extra Item level automatically copies all dimensions and Item description codes Additional dimensions will be available as before to amplify the Extra item eg Extra over for 150 offset. This is a special case.

 

Back to Top
 

Alternative items - Masking

Changes to Item 1 & 2 level codes eg 'as before' but different size category exc 150; ne 300 etc

 

Back to Top
 

Different items with the same Specification. - Masking

Masking allows clusters of items to be easily created as a group. eg Wall plaster can be associated with work to reveals; Roof covering can be associated with eaves, ridge, hips and valleys.

 

Back to Top
 

Masking where the item code is identical

In this case the item code stays the same but other item attributes change. Because the item code is the same as the last item there is no need for any code entry. To differentiate this from a Blank entry we must invoke the Masking procedure by inserting a double quote " (or some other flag) in the first code field ie the X column.

 

Back to Top
 

Applications - Masking

  1. Different sizes of same item a/l, a/w, a/h
  2. Different Item description a/d
  3. Different dimensions in the text a/t
Back to Top
 
 

Automatic Masking

The presence of an = or an " will automatically invoke the masking procedure and an existing code will be automatically modified to the appropriate mask code.

NOTE Where the slave and master codes are identical, = and " both give the same results but the system automatically defaults to = in this case.

 

Back to Top

 
 

 

Home Services

Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright E-Quantities Ltd.