Construction Notes Manager Reference Manual

Version 4.2 Copyright 2008, Thomas Gail Haws Revised 8/09/08

1.0 INTRODUCTION

Construction Notes Manager searches through all the Bubble Notes of up to 8 different shapes and 35 phases in a drawing and, based on a Project Notes list, makes a Key Notes Table of the notes used and their quantities. Construction Notes Manager can also import the Key Notes Table from one drawing into another. It can also sum (tally) the quantities for all sheets and make a Quantity Take-off table in a total quantity drawing as well as a sheet-by-sheet breakdown for spreadsheet analysis in a comma-separated values (CSV) file.

2.0 USING CONSTRUCTION NOTES MANAGER

This section describes briefly the steps required to use Construction Notes Manager.

2.1 View or create Project Notes

Use the Edit Project Notes toolbar button or pull-down menu to view or edit Project Notes, units, and quantity methods (see section 5.0, Project Notes Format). The default Project Notes file is <drawing folder>\constnot.txt. Use the Options, Project Notes menu to change the Project Notes file or reference the Project Notes of another folder.

2.2 Insert some bubble notes

Use the Bubble Notes toolbar buttons or pull-down menu to insert Bubble Notes that reference your Project Notes. You may also create bubble notes with your own method using attributed blocks. See section 3.1 for information about making custom bubble notes.

2.2 Make a Key Notes Table

Make a Key Notes Table from the drawing's bubble notes by selecting Key Notes Table from the pull-down menu or the toolbar. For each key note in the Project Notes file, Construction Notes Manager will search the bubble notes (see section 2.1, Bubble Notes) in the drawing for presence and quantities. If there isn't already a Key Notes Table in the drawing, Construction Notes Manager will prompt you for a start point for a Key Notes Table. Then Construction Notes Manager will prompt you for the maximum number of lines of notes to allow in one column of notes. If you want to use multiple columns of notes in your drawing, give a small number of lines per column. If you want just one column of notes, you can probably accept the default of 99 lines per column. Construction Notes Manager then will make a table with all the notes and quantities from the drawing in the location you specified. If you want to change the width or other formatting of the Key Notes Table, you can edit the NOTEQTY block (see section 3.2, Key Notes Table)

If you are not using manual quantities (See section 4.0, Working with Quantities), the Key Notes Table will have the correct quantities and won't need to be edited. You can use the table for presentation (or freeze or erase it if you only wanted to use CNM to extract bubble note quantities). If you are using manual quantities, edit the table to show the right quantities, then Make Key Notes Table again to export the correct quantities to CNM's text file (for later Quantity Take-off or importing into another drawing).

2.3 Import Key Notes Table

If desired, import the notes and quantities list into another drawing. Create the finished notes and quantities list in another drawing by selecting Key Notes Table From... . If you are running Construction Notes Manager for the first time in the drawing, Construction Notes Manager will prompt you for a start point for the Key Notes Table. Construction Notes Manager will then create a Key Notes Table starting at the selected point.

2.4 Quantity Take-off

Tabulate and tally the quantities from multiple sheets into a total quantitities drawing by selecting Quantity Take-off. Construction Notes Manager lets you build or select a list of sheets to include in the Quantity Take-off. If you are running Construction Notes Manager for the first time in the drawing, Construction Notes Manager will prompt you for a start point for the notes and quantities totals list. Then Construction Notes Manager will ask whether you want to list All the notes from the Project Notes file or only the ones that were Used. As soon as you enter All or Used, Construction Notes Manager will create a note and quantity totals list starting at the selected point and also save the detailed by-sheet quantities to a .CSV (comma-separated values) file suitable for importing to Excel, Quattro Pro, or another program. The Quantity Take-off table is made of text objects, so current text style, layer, etc determine most of its formatting. You can change column widths by changing the CNM default values. the width values

3.0 PROGRAM DEFAULTS

This section describes some assumptions and defaults Construction Notes Manager uses.

3.1 Bubble notes

Construction Notes Manager looks through all blocks on visible layers in the current drawing to find blocks with attributes that match the notes listed in Project Notes. If a block has a NOTETYPE (normally a hidden attribute telling the bubble shape) attribute and a NOTENUM (the visible bubble number) attribute whose values match one of the construction notes in Project Notes (see Section 5), Construction Notes Manager puts that note from Project Notes into the Key Notes Table. If the Project Notes instructions tell Construction Notes Manager to add up quantities from LINE1 (or LINE2...3, 4, 5, 6, or 0), Construction Notes Manager looks for NOTETXT1 (or NOTETXT2...3, 4, 5, 6, or 0) attributes etc. and puts any quantites from there into the Key Notes Table. If the Project Notes instructions tell Construction Notes Manager to COUNT bubble notes, Construction Notes Manager puts the total number of that type of bubble note in the Key Notes Table. If you are using phasing (see section 3.3), Construction Notes Manager counts and lists bubble note quantities using a column in the Key Notes Table for each phase.

3.2 Key Notes Table

Construction Notes Manager builds a Key Notes Table by repeatedly inserting an attributed block called NOTEQTY (or NOTEQTY0 to NOTEQTY9 for phasing) and filling it in appropriately line by line. See the default NOTEQTY drawings that came with Construction Notes Manager. On the first line of every note in the list, Construction Notes Manager fills in the attributes of the block with the note number, note units, and note quantities. On subsequent lines, Construction Notes Manager fills in only description text, or leaves the block empty for a blank line.

You can change the NOTEQTY block or make your own. You can add lines or other graphic objects elements you require, but you must use the following attribute tags in your custom NOTEQTY block. You can arrange them in any layout, but they must be selected in the following order when you define your NOTEQTY block:

-TBLTYPE. Use a hidden TBLTYPE attribute in the block to store the note type (shape). Select it as the first attribute in the block definition.

-TBLNUM. Use the TBLNUM attribute in the NOTEQTY block where you want Construction Notes Manager to insert the note number in the table. Select it as the second attribute in the block definition.

-TBLQTY or TBLQTY?. Use the TBLQTY attribute (for single phase jobs) or several TBLQTY? attributes in the NOTEQTY block where you want Construction Notes Manager to insert quantities into the table. If you use TBLQTY? attributes, remember that you must enter the appropriate character represented by the question mark in TBLQTY? into the NOTEPHASE attribute of each bubble note.

-TBLUNT. Use the TBLUNT attribute in the NOTEQTY block where you want Construction Notes Manager to insert the units in the table. Select it as the last attribute in the block definition.

3.3 Phasing

Sometimes you may want to manage multiple phases. Construction Notes Manager has a way for you to do this. You turn on phasing by adding multiple quantity (TBLQTY) attributes to the NOTEQTY block. This makes a notes list with multiple columns of quantities. For two phases, you would have a TBLQTY1 and a TBLQTY2 attribute instead of a single TBLQTY attribute. Normally you would arrange these side by side to appear as two columns of quantites in each drawing.

You assign a phase to each bubble note by putting the appropriate phase number (1, 2, 3, etc.) in the NOTEPHASE attribute of the bubble note when you are inserting bubble notes.

If you would like to use more friendly names (aliases) for your phases (eg M, 1, 2) instead of 1, 2, 3, you can tell Construction Notes Manager to interpret, for example, an M in a bubble note as going in the TBLQTY1 phase/column/attribute by putting an alias setting in the CNM.INI file for the project:

PhaseAlias1=M

3.4 Files

Project Notes file (default CONSTNOT.TXT)
CNM uses or puts this file in the drawing folder. You may put this file also in other locations as long as you use the Project Notes menu item to tell CNM where to find it.
*.NOT files
Construction Notes Manager creates a notes and quantities text file for its own use for every drawing in the drawing's directory with the same name as the drawing except with a .NOT extension. The *.NOT file stores the drawings's notes and quantities for importing into other drawings (See sections 2.3 and 2.4).
CNM.INI
CNM keeps project settings in this file in the Project Notes folder. The default values for all projects are in the copy of CNM.INI in the CNM program folder.
CNMPROJ.TXT
CNM creates this file in a drawing folder when you tell it to point to another folder for Project Notes.

3.5 Text size scaling

Construction Notes Manager follows the convention of other AUTOLISP programs by using the current settings of DIMSCALE and DIMTXT to size text unless changed by a SET TXTHT line in the project notes file (see section 5).

4.0 WORKING WITH QUANTITIES

This section explains how to use Construction Notes Manager to work with quantities. Construction Notes Manager can add up quantities you enter into bubble notes or count occurences of bubble notes. If you don't want to get quantities form bubble notes, you can use manual quantities stored in the Key Notes Table created by Construction Notes Manager.

4.1 Automatic quantities

Tell Construction Notes Manager to count or add up the quantities for items automatically by placing a keyword for each item in the quantity column of the master note text file, CONSTNOT.TXT (see Section 5.3, Note Lines). Do not change automatic quantities in the Key Notes Table or they will revert each time you run Construction Notes Manager. Change them in bubble notes or see section 4.2.

4.2 Manually entered quantities

Normally, CNM manages quantities automatically as explained in section 3.1. But if there are no counting instructions for a given note in the Project Notes file, you can enter the quantity for that note manually. After you run Construction Notes Manager to first create the Key Notes Table in a drawing (see section 3.2, Key Notes Table), manually enter the quantities you have not instructed Construction Notes Manager to count or add. Do this by editing the attributes in the quantity table with the DDATTE command or your favorite attribute editor or double-clicking them. These quantities will be preserved each subsequent time you run Construction Notes Manager unless you subsequently make the quantities automatic by editing the CONSTNOT.TXT file.

5.0 PROJECT NOTES FORMAT

This section explains the format of the project notes text file, CONSTNOT.TXT. The the project notes file has six types of lines--the title line, type heading lines, note lines, note continuation lines, and comments. The following sections describe each type of line.

5.1 Format line

The format line shows how the file is formatted. It looks like the following line:

NUM |<------------------------- DESCRIPTION---------------------->| UN| QTY>| 

The format line shows the format for the fields in the file. As the guide line shows, there are 4 fields in the file. The first field is for note numbers and spans columns 1 to 3. The second field is for note descriptions and spans columns 4 to 67. The third field is for the unit of measurement and spans columns 68 to 70. The fourth field is for quantity instructions and spans columns 71 to 75.

5.2 Title lines

Title lines are used to insert headings for groups of notes. You can make titles large by using Text Height Changes (see section 5.7).

5.3 Type heading lines

Type heading lines tell what type (shape) of bubble note listing follows. You must place a type heading line before any note lines. The first three letters of the type heading line must match the value of the hidden NOTETYPE attribute in the bubble notes used (HEX, CIR, BOX, TRI, etc.).

5.4 Note lines

Note lines give the description for each bubble note and instructions for automatic quantity tabulation. As the title line shows, there are 4 fields in the note line. The first field is for the note number and spans columns 1 to 3. The second field is for the note description and spans columns 4 to 67. The third field is for the unit of measurement and spans columns 68 to 70. The fourth field is for quantity instructions and spans columns 71 to 75. Place the word COUNT in the quantity field to have Construction Notes Manager use the count of bubble notes for the quantity. Place the word LINE1 or LINE2 in the quantity field to have Construction Notes Manager add the numbers on the top or second line of additional text to obtain the quantity. Leave the quantity field blank to manually enter quantities in each drawing (see section 4.2, Manually Entered Quantities).

5.5 Note continuation lines

Note continuation lines contain only spillover description text from the previous line. Place continuation text within the note description field.

5.6 Comments

Lines that start with a semi-colon (;) are ignored by Construction Notes Manager. NOTE: Blank lines are note continuation lines (see section 5.5), not comment lines.

5.7 Text Height Changes

If you want to change the text height in a table mid stream (probably only for titles), you can embed a SET TXTHT XXX line in the project notes. You might want to do this to make titles larger than the surrounding lines in the table.

5.8 Sample

The following lines show a simple sample file.

;0000000011111111112222222222333333333344444444445555555555666666666677777777
;2345678901234567890123456789012345678901234567890123456789012345678901234567
SET CNMVERSION 4.2
NUM  |<------------------ DESCRIPTION --------------------->|UN|QTY>|
CIRCLE NOTES
1    SAWCUT                                                        LF LINE1
2    RESIDENTIAL PAVEMENT                                          SY LINE2
;This line is a comment ignore by Construction Notes Manager
SET TXTHT 0.18
TITLE
TITLE WATER NOTES
TITLE
SET TXTHT 0.125
BOX NOTES
;This line is a comment ignore by Construction Notes Manager
1    8" SEWER                                                      LF LINE1
;This line is a comment ignore by Construction Notes Manager
2    12" SEWER                                                     LF LINE1
3    42" SEWER                                                     LF LINE1
HEX NOTES
1    2" REDUCED PRESSURE PRINCIPLE BACKFLOW PREVENTION ASSEMBLY    EA COUNT
     PER COM DTL M-31.3. SELECT FROM LIST OF APPROVED  
     DEVICES. LIST AVAILABLE FROM WATER QUALITY
     SERVICES.
Home | Support | Contact

Valid XHTML 1.1!
Valid CSS!
The World Wide Web Consortium, source of the HTML standard, has validated this page as fully XHTML 1.1 and CSS compliant.