Custom Column Examples?

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  • Custom Column Examples?

    Posted by Troy DeGroot on July 13, 2022 at 12:41 pm

    I use Custom Columns for everything under the sun when I build custom tools for customers. But it seems when I’m teaching them in my Advanced Estimating class, I draw a blank for examples to use. So I thought I would ask the Bluebeam Brainery. Help me shape my course materials!

    What examples do you have?

    • Text
    • Check Mark
    • Choice
    • Date
    • Formula
    • Number

    I purposely didn’t give examples because I want to hear from you. Thanks!

    Doug McLean replied 9 months, 3 weeks ago 6 Members · 12 Replies
  • 12 Replies
  • David Cutler

    Member
    July 13, 2022 at 1:07 pm
    Points: 24,231
    Rank: UC2 Brainery Brown Belt IIII UC2 Brainery Brown Belt IIII

    @troy-degroot my custom columns are what I need in my .csv export file to import into B2W, our estimating software:

    – Item

    – Description

    – Quantity

    – Unit

    – Phase

    The “Quantity” column has a simple formula that reports the “measurement” value. The other 4 are prepopulated for each custom tool.

  • Doug McLean

    Member
    July 13, 2022 at 2:11 pm
    Points: 13,133
    Rank: UC2 Brainery Blue Belt III UC2 Brainery Blue Belt III

    I use a lot of Choice and Formula columns
    I’m with @David Cutler, my custom columns are based on what I need for my Estimating Software.

    Always get them to answer this question – “What problem are you trying to solve?”

  • Vince

    Member
    July 13, 2022 at 2:59 pm
    Points: 12,281
    Rank: UC2 Brainery Blue Belt II UC2 Brainery Blue Belt II

    I have quite a few different set-ups now so here are a few: –

    1. Text – in my drainage set-up I use text for the details for the Start and End of a sewer run eg a manhole reference SW1 or if it the run joins onto another run then the end detail might be SW1>SW2.

    2. Choice – for roofing the type of cuts to the top and bottom of a rafter are entered via a choice. For foundations the type of mesh reinforcement, clayboard, etc.

    3. Dates – for drainage I actually use the Creation Date to help stop me having to enter repetitive details. When I export to Excel, I re-sort the whole mark-up list into the order in which I did the mark-ups. This means that if I have 5 sewer runs connecting into the same manhole, I just need to enter the manhole details against the first mark-up then in Excel those details can automatically be pasted down to the other 4 runs. This doesn’t sound like much initially but when you are measuring 1000’s of runs on a big scheme it can really save a lot of time.

    4. Numbers – used for pipe diameters in drainage, timber sizes in roofing, etc.. With the use of non-standard products, it is basically impossible to create a Choice list which will include all the possibilities.

    I am planning on using Check Marks for valuation purposes but haven’t got around to setting anything up with those yet.

    As for formulas – sorry I don’t use these in Bluebeam 😆.

  • Don Walke

    Member
    July 15, 2022 at 8:37 am
    Points: 5,038
    Rank: UC2 Brainery Purple Belt UC2 Brainery Purple Belt Rank

    I do wish that the formula functions included a simple “if” function. Because it doesn’t, I have been forced to use several “choice” custom columns with a yes or no choice and a 1 assigned to the yes and a 0 assigned to the no. I use this as a “switch” in a formula column to include the result or not.

    • David Cutler

      Member
      July 15, 2022 at 9:20 am
      Points: 24,231
      Rank: UC2 Brainery Brown Belt IIII UC2 Brainery Brown Belt IIII

      That is a good way to work through the issue @dhwalkellc

      Thank you for sharing the idea.

    • Doug McLean

      Member
      August 28, 2023 at 1:49 pm
      Points: 13,133
      Rank: UC2 Brainery Blue Belt III UC2 Brainery Blue Belt III

      It is for this reason alone people like Vince and myself use Power Query.
      The lack of a conditional formula option within Revu makes estimating for Millwork difficult.

      Its kind of tricky to do everything so that the formula can be applied globally

  • Don Walke

    Member
    July 15, 2022 at 9:37 am
    Points: 5,038
    Rank: UC2 Brainery Purple Belt UC2 Brainery Purple Belt Rank

    Another workflow process that I think helps is to lock your tools, then only unlock a line or group of lines on your markup list to make changes. I have corrupted many a tool in my toolbox by making a change to a markup while the tool was still open, thereby changing the tool.

    • Doug McLean

      Member
      August 28, 2023 at 1:51 pm
      Points: 13,133
      Rank: UC2 Brainery Blue Belt III UC2 Brainery Blue Belt III

      this drives me batty.
      Its also something that I drive into new users

  • Carl Wegman

    Member
    July 23, 2023 at 12:09 pm
    Points: 638
    Rank: UC2 Brainery White Belt I UC2 Brainery White Belt I

    This is an example of custom columns.

    Metal siding panels and insulated metal panels (IMPs) can only be acquired in full pieces. Different manufacturers limit cut off lengths different ways. For estimating, these custom columns allow changing the siding piece width (default s 42″ for IMP) and round up to the nearest length in feet. This example is an area measurement (e.g. an elevation). Pricing is typically based upon a number of factors including length, SF, truckloads, etc. This column example doesn’t address pricing, as manufacturers differ.

    Note: This page was set up with layers that I typically use…

    • Troy DeGroot

      Organizer
      July 24, 2023 at 11:56 am
      Points: 21,476
      Rank: UC2 Brainery Brown Belt I UC2 Brainery Brown Belt I

      This is great @carlwegman thanks for sharing. I would typically keep the price out of Bluebeam as it can change by the hour. I can see maybe custom dropdown menus for product widths, and as you mentioned formulas rounding up to the next full sheet. It’s always interesting to think about the actual installation process and how “Waste” can look different in the reality of the job site.

      A common office mistake is calculating 120 total linear feet of let’s say J-Channel and ordering 10 – 12′-0″ sticks of material. All of a sudden the person in the field is down to the last 3 windows using 6″ scraps to peice it together. A better way to estimate might be every length over 6′-0″ gets a full stick.

      I’m guessing it could be similar with your panel products.

      • Don Walke

        Member
        July 24, 2023 at 5:11 pm
        Points: 5,038
        Rank: UC2 Brainery Purple Belt UC2 Brainery Purple Belt Rank

        That’s and interesting one. I’ve thought about this problem a few times, thinking that a standard waste factor would be the solution, but when you think about a millwork project where sticks come in increments of 2 feet and you run across a job where every piece is 10′-2″, you end up with 18-19% waste. If every piece is 4′-2″, the waste factor jumps to nearly 50%.

        I’ve attacked this with a series of tools for each type of trim at lengths of 4′, 6′, 8′, ect. I created a text box with the length shown, scaled it to roughly 6″ x 6″ relative to the drawing scale. With a custom column with the assigned length for each tool, I can calculate total length required. Just pop one at each location. For running trim, I still use polylength measurements and assign waste factors.

        • Doug McLean

          Member
          July 25, 2023 at 2:27 pm
          Points: 13,133
          Rank: UC2 Brainery Blue Belt III UC2 Brainery Blue Belt III

          Oh I hate dealing with solid wood waste when it comes to Millwork. Too many things come into play.

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