Using the Count tool: From takeoffs to the field

The Count tool is a markup that keeps a running count of how many times it has been placed in a document. It’s useful for tracking quantities of individual items on your PDFs and can be presented cleanly within a spreadsheet or legend.

This Tips and Tricks article focuses on the Count tool through the various stages of construction. In this workflow, counts are added to drawings during quantity takeoff, labeled with statuses for pre-construction, and then updated with their current phase of installation on the jobsite.

Create manual counts for quantity takeoffs

Counts can be placed in your drawing by clicking directly where you want them:

  1. Go to Tools > Measure > Count .
  2. Click on each object on the page that you want to count.
  3. Press Esc when you’re finished placing your counts.

If you want to continue adding counts to an existing count group, right-click the count in the Markups List or in your document and select Resume Count.

Counts can be placed in your document automatically by using Visual Search. Placing counts with Visual Search means that you can search your entire document for a selected object and apply counts to each result automatically. To add counts using Visual Search:

  1. Open the Search (Alt+1) panel.
  2. Click the Visual Search button.
  3. Click the Get Rectangle button.
  4. Draw a rectangle around the object or text that you want to count.
  5. Click Search.
    Your results appear at the bottom of the Search panel.
  6. To select individual results, fill the checkbox next to their result. To select all results, fill the checkbox above the results.
  7. Click the Check Options dropdown and click Apply Measurement Count to Checked to select a symbol for your count.

Counts appear on each search result in your document.

This workflow also works with Text Search.

Viewing your counts in the Markups List

Now that you’ve placed your counts in the document, you can view their name, quantity and location in the Markups List:

  1. Open the Markups List (Alt+L) .
  2. Click the Markups List dropdown.
  3. Go to Columns and select Count and Space if they aren’t already selected.

Your counts appear in the Markups List, and their amounts appear in the Counts column, separated by the space where they appear.

Editing count appearance and details

You can edit your counts’ appearance and metadata so that they are identifiable and organized.

  1. Click on a count to select all the counts in its group.
  2. Open the Properties Panel (Alt+P) to edit your count by:
    • Changing its subject name to make it easier to identify in the Markups List
    • Adding labels
    • Selecting its color
    • Changing its symbol
    • Adjusting its opacity
These properties can also be edited directly from the Properties Toolbar.
  1. When you are finished editing your count, press Esc.

Once your Count tools appear the way you want them to, it’s a good idea to save them to your Tool Chest so that you can reuse them later.

Separating counts with Spaces

Spaces allow you to group your markups according to their location on your drawing. This makes it easy, for example, to organize your counts by the specific room they are located in.

To set up Spaces:

  1. Open the Spaces
  2. Click Add Space (Alt+S) [add space icon].
  3. To make a rectangular space, click and drag a rectangle to define the space.
    To make an irregularly shaped space, click each corner of your space until it creates a complete outline.
  4. Enter a name for the space and click OK.

Once you’ve made spaces in your document, you can use the Space column of the Markups List to organize your counts by the Space they are in.

Edit the counts’ statuses

You can assign a Status to your counts so that you can easily see how far along in the installation process each object is. Statuses will be applied to all counts within a count group. You can select a preset status, or you can create custom statuses. For example, you could create custom statuses called Install and Complete; then you could edit their appearance so that the Install counts appear orange and the Complete counts appear green on your drawing.

To set a status for your counts:

  1. Right-click on a count in either the Markups List or on your document, then go to Set Status and select your desired status.
  2. Statuses are applied to a selected count’s entire group. If you need to apply statuses individually, you can split your counts, which separates them from their group into individual markups. To split your counts:
    1. Right-click on a count and select Split All.
      Each count will now appear individually in the Markups List, and the Count column will show “1.”
    2. Once counts are split, you can set statuses to individual counts.
  3. Right-click on each count and set its appropriate status.
    The counts’ statuses appear in the Status [icon] column of the Markups List.

Create a legend for your counts

With your counts placed and their statuses assigned, you can place a Legend directly on your PDF to create a dynamic visual representation of their installation progress.

To make a legend:

  1. In the Markups List, hold Ctrl and select all of the counts that you want to include in your legend.
  2. Right-click one of the counts and select Count > Create New Legend.
  3. Open the Properties Panel and click Edit Columns.
  4. Fill the Count and Status checkboxes, as well as any other information that would be useful for your legend.

If someone changes the status of a count, the legend will automatically update to reflect the change, providing the viewer with a visual status report that stays up to date throughout each step of the installation process.

Once your counts and statuses are set the way you want them, you can export a Markup Summary to create an easy-to-read report that can be saved and shared as a PDF or CSV document.

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