Report Templates


Instructions from Video:

When you create a material list, the information in the list can be displayed in a variety of ways depending on the audience for the report. For this tooltip we will review estimating templates.

  1. Select Tools>Analyze>Generate Project Estimate.

In the Generate Project Estimate dialog box, the materials in your current project will be displayed. The information is organized in the report by a template layout. The dropdown list at the top of the dialog box will display all the templates available. Each template listed will have different settings and therefore the material list will appear differently for each template selected. Let us explore the settings of the Standard Report form as an example.

  1. Select Templates>Edit.

The Report Template dialog box, with the settings for the Standard Report Form will appear. Under the General tab the following settings are available:

Description. The name of the report template as it appears in the list of report templates in the Generate Project Estimate dialog.

Report Extension. Determines the type of file the estimate is written to when you save it. For the tooltip example it is a .txt file that can be opened in a document editor like Microsoft Word or Notepad or imported into Microsoft Excel. Please be aware that applying an extension for a certain program does not mean that program will be able to open the file. Files must be arranged in specific formatting for programs to be able to open it.

Display Currency Symbol. Controls the display of the currency symbol (e.g. dollar sign).

Optimize Cut List: Enable this check box if you want to produce a cut list in addition to the quantity report. You can specify cut list optimization settings on the Cut List Optimization tab. Which we will cover later in this video.

Use Cut List Results in Report. Applies the cutting rules specified on the Cut List Optimization tab to the members in the quantity report.

Next is the sorting options for the report. Quantity information can be sorted by Alternate Code, Category, Division, Element, Location, Part Number, Phase, and Usage. All these fields (except Location) are specified on an element’s Quantity property page. You can specify up to six levels of sorting in your report and choose either Ascending or Descending for each level. The order in which sort keys appear in the Sort Options pane determine the order in which information is sorted. For example, if you choose to sort by Location and then by Division, the program will find the first location, list the first division of that location, then list all the elements in that division. It will then list subsequent divisions and their elements until all divisions have been listed for that location. It will then move to the next location.

On the right of the dialog box is a list of all the element groups. The template can be created for specific element types. For example, you could filter out all of the selections but windows and doors so you have a list for your supplier. The template would be a Window & Door Material list.

The second tab is Cut List Optimization. When you create a material list you can also build a Cut List. The Cut List Optimization tab sets up rules on how you want to cut and organize the lumber in your project.

The upper left section has a series of rules and as you select the rule you can dictate whether the rule applies to all items or only items of a certain usage. As an example, perhaps with a member set to the usage “Trim” instead of reporting how many 16’ boards you need, you may only want it to report the total linear length only.

Calculate Total Linear Length Only. Reports members in terms of total linear length instead of purchased lengths.

Cut down long members. For members with specific usages whose length exceeds the maximum purchased length defined on the member’s Purchased Items property page, this lets you cut down the member into shorter pieces. For example, if a member is 20′ long in the drawing but the longest purchased length defined in that member’s properties is 16′, the member may be broken down into a 12′ piece and 8′ piece if Cut down long members is turned on.

Cut one piece from each purchased length. Cuts only one piece from each purchased length provided that the leftover piece is short enough to be scrapped. You can define the Maximum Scrap Allowance in the dialog’s Options pane. If you disable the Cut one piece from each purchased length option, you are allowing more than one piece to be cut from each purchased length.

Group similar length items. Cuts items of similar length from the same purchased length whenever possible. This reflects the way many contractors work on site.

To the right are Options for the Cut List.

Tolerance. The allowable tolerance for member lengths. For example, if you have a member that is 8′-1/32″ and your tolerance is set to 0, the member would be bumped up to the next available purchased member length (e.g. 10′). If the tolerance is set to 1/32″, however, it would use the 8′ purchased member length because the extra 1/32″ is less than or equal to the allowable tolerance.

Saw cut allowance. The width of the saw’s cutting blade.

Maximum scrap length. The maximum length a piece can be to be considered scrap. When members are cut, any leftover pieces that exceed the Maximum Scrap Length are not considered scrap and will be used for other usages if possible.

Beneath that are Report display options for the cut list.

Group by Location. Group items by building location in the cut list. (e.g. Ground Floor, Second Floor, etc.)

Group by Usage. Group items by usage in the cut list. (e.g. Stud, Plate, Floor Joist, etc.)

Show Skipped Items. Displays items that do not fit within the purchased member definitions and cutting rules. For example, if the Cut down long members rule is disabled and there is a member in the drawing that is longer than the maximum purchased length defined in the member’s properties, the member will not be displayed in the cut list unless you enable the Show Skipped Items check box. Skipped items are shown in red in the cut list.

Show Scrapped Items. Displays all scrapped items in the cut list. A scrapped item is the piece leftover after a member has been cut from a purchased length.

The last tab is the Records options. The settings on a template’s Records page determines how to report headers, footers and element entries appear in a project estimate. Records are made up of individual fields. You can edit, add or delete fields within a record, giving you complete control over how information is reported.

By double-clicking on The Header record content it will reveal if there are subheadings. Headers are words or strings of text (titles) that appear at the beginning of a document, or that introduce a block of information. In addition to the main report header, you can specify up to three levels of subsequent headers. In this example, we can see the Main Header will just list the title “Project Estimate” and underneath, on a new line, the name of the project. The description column is a name that you can allocate to the field so you remember what the information represents. The second column, Value, is the actual information that will be displayed. By selecting the value, a button will appear, by clicking the button you can define the value for the line in the header.

The value can be a Constant, a fixed string of text, or a Variable, that changes for each element like its name or it can be a Formula that you can define based on set variables available.

Each field is also given a width and a delimiter. The delimiter defines if the values are separated by a comma, put onto a new line, has nothing separating it from prior or post values, or is separated by a tab.

The elements, the products in the material list, can each have a different record field definition, or they can follow the default layout. The default field option, in our example, will list the Division, Description, Quantity, Unit of Measure, Price, Cost, Usage, Phase and Location of each element. Looking at the report we can see how that layout translates to laying out the information.

If we look at another template, the Quote Generator template, as an example, we can see that the layout is different. The Heading is just Envisioneer and the subheading lists the project name and the current date. Editing the report reveals the materials are sorted by an Alternate Code, there is a separate video on alternate codes on the Cadsoft YouTube channel, and then by usage. Under the Records tab, we can see the fields that are calling on the name Envisioneer, the Project name, and the current date in the header. Looking at the Default element layout we can see the layout headings for each column of information and looking at the report side by side, we can see how that translates.

Depending on the audience of the report, and the information that it requires you can edit or build a new template to suit your needs.