May, 2014

New Features/Enhancements

Note – This document is a combined document and covers features included in the AutoBid Mechanical software, for releases 2014 v1 and 2014 v2.

The following enhancements have been added to the AutoBid Mechanical software.


Scheduled Backups

This release offers the ability to setup scheduled backups for the AutoBid Mechanical database. You can set the backup parameters in the Mechanical Utilities module.

*Tip – The backup is handled through the Trimble® Quick Link application.

Schedules Backups

scheduled backup settings

The Quick Link Scheduled Backup Settings dialog allows you to set the parameters for your scheduled backup.

  • All AutoBid Mechanical users must be out of the software in order for the backup to successfully complete.
  • The backup will include all bid-specific and master data.

Note – You can still use the legacy backup option (under the AutoBid Mechanical File menu); however, this is an on-demand backup. The Scheduled Backup allows you to backup your database at a specified time daily.

Additional features are available in this new functionality. Refer to the AutoBid Mechanical online help system for detailed information and instructions.


License Information

In the Mechanical Utilities module, you can now view licenses in use or those being lent out. This is under Tools / View list of licensed seats.


On-Screen View TakeOff


On-Screen View Customization Enhancements

on-screen view takeoff


Load Drawing with Inverted Colors

This setting will load all drawings by default with the colors inverted. This setting might prove valuable if you regularly receive drawings with a dark background.

Note – This setting is retained from TakeOff session-to-session.

Mouse Functionality

This release of the AutoBid Mechanical software includes the ability to set mouse behavior. These include:

  • [Ctrl]+left mouse click - You can set your mouse to execute the Box in with Options, Start/Stop Magnify mode (the default setting), or Zoom to rectangle.
  • Mouse wheel - Mouse wheel settings include Add/Drop rise, Branch From, Branch From with Elbow, Change size in current run (the default setting), or Start new run with item.
  • Customize Command Menu - You can now define the items that show up on the pop-up menu (when you right-click on your mouse). Simply select the checkboxes next to the items you want to display. Clear the checkbox for those items you wish to remove.


Batch Printing

You now have the ability to print more than one drawing at a time in those projects with multiple drawings.

Batch Printing


In On-Screen View TakeOff, go to File / Print and then click the Print Drawings tab. You can then select the checkboxes next to the drawings you want to print.

Audit Trail Column Width Customization

This release of AutoBid Mechanical retains any column sizing customization you may have performed. If you want to reset the column widths back to the software defaults, you can right-click anywhere within the Audit Trail and then click Reset Audit Trail columns from the pop-up menu.

audit trail column width


New Shortcuts

  • Resize to Fit - You can now "resize to fit" your drawing by pressing [Ctrl]+[Shift] and then using the left mouse click button.
  • Pan Mode - You can now press [F4] on your keyboard to turn pan mode on or off.
  • Box in with Options - [Shift]+[F5] now automatically opens the Box in Options window.

Note – If desired, you can add the Pan Mode and Box in with Options shortcuts to your Smart Menu™.


Export to PipeDesigner 3D®

You can now set an insertion point on line segments when exporting data from the AutoBid Mechanical database to the PipeDesigner 3D software.

CAD insertion point


When you click the Set CAD Insertion Point button, you can select a point in the drawing. The corresponding coordinates will then display in the Export From: dialog.

insertion point dialog



General TakeOff (All Views)

Search and Replace

You can now use the Search and Replace functionality on multiple dimensions.

search and replace function

Trimble recommends that you use extreme care when using this functionality. It may break connectivity when used on certain items (based on your take off).


Automatic Fitting Generation

Modifications have been made to the Automatic Fitting Generation module, allowing for reducers:

automatic fitting generation


  • You can now set the default reducer for your fitting.
  • Additional options are available for 90 degree bends and 90 degree branching.

Symbols on Menus

You now have the ability to add a specific symbol to a cell on the Smart Menu, TouchMenu, or MouseMenu (rather than just the ID). This makes it easier to identify the symbol when using a menu.



You can now add two user-defined scopes to an assembly. This allows you to have a different scope setting for the assembly from the scope in your take-off.

autobid mechanical assemblies


Note – The AutoBid Mechanical defaults for the user-defined scopes are Zone and Symbol. Depending on the settings, these scopes may be named differently in your software.

  • If you import the project assemblies into Master Assembly Libraries, the scope settings are not saved to the master.
  • When you import an assembly with the scope settings to another project, the settings will also import into that project.
  • When you create an assembly from TakeOff lines, you have the option to copy the scope settings in the take-off into the assembly. Customized scope settings will automatically be set to <From TakeOff>.
  • Note – If the TakeOff lines do not have a scope assigned, these will also be set to <From TakeOff>.
  • When you edit assembly lines, you have the option to set the scope fields to <From TakeOff> or select a specific existing scope.
  • Note – You cannot set the scope option to blank. The assembly line must have a scope assigned to avoid possible conflicts with TakeOff settings.

When importing assemblies from another project, you can now sort the project list alphabetically (ascending or descending). This provides easier location of the project you want to import the assemblies from.


Missing Price and Labor Worksheet

The Missing Price and Labor Worksheet has been redesigned to provide an easier method to edit price/labor for items.

Price and labor worksheet
[Click to enlarge]

The new screen is color-coded allowing you to determine immediately where prices came from.

price and labor screen color coding


Depending on the type of item listed in the worksheet, when you double-click on items, the appropriate corresponding screen opens automatically to the item (Library, Piping Items, or Labor Book Explorer).

Depending on the color coding, you can either complete pricing in the Missing Price and Labor Worksheet or enter it in the appropriate window.

BTip – You must rerun calculations regardless of which method you use for entering pricing.



Symbols with Assemblies - You can now include assemblies (from your project assembly library) in a Symbol.

symbols with assemblies


  • Assemblies added to a Symbol, will report with other assemblies in your project. 
  • Both fixed and variable dimension assemblies can be added to a Symbol. Variable dimensions automatically use the dimensions from the Symbol.
  • In calculations, symbols with assemblies will be processed with no dimensions. The assembly will be calculated as if it was taken off through normal means.
  • Some restrictions apply. Refer to the online help system for a detailed list of these restrictions.

Symbol Labor

This release includes an option in the Symbol Schedule window that allows you to easily view labor for your symbols.

symbols for labor


  • If you have already run calculations on your project, the default in this window displays the labor book used during the process.
  • If you have not run calculations, the AutoBid Mechanical default labor book is selected on-screen.

Additional options include:

  • You can click to select another labor book you have within the software.
  • You can modify labor within the selected book by clicking the Edit Labor button.


TRA-SER® Pricing Service Enhancements

Note – To use the TRA-SER® pricing service, you must subscribe to TRA-SER services (for Plumbing and Mechanical). Please contact Trade Service Sales at (800)701-7003 for subscription details.

TRA-SER Integrator

The Piping Items window now allows you to directly access the TRA-SER Integrator. The Integrator provide you with an easy method to import new pipe, fittings, and valves from Trade Service's extensive database into your AutoBid Mechanical tables.

Additional features include:

  • Multiple Selection - You can select items using one of the multiple select options:
    • [Ctrl]+click to select individual items (not a range)
    • [Shift]+click to select items in a range.
  • When selecting data in the TRA-SER Integrator window, you can select at the Group Description level or at the size level.

Note – Selecting at the Group Description level includes all sizes within that description.

  • Drag and Drop Functionality - Dragging and dropping data from the TRA-SER Integrator into the Piping Items module allows you to quickly add data and pricing to the AutoBid Mechanical database.
  • You can drag and drop items into a pre-existing Price table. A confirmation message displays and then the selected items are added to the table.

drag and drop price table
[Click to enlarge]

A Results screen displays providing you with information pertaining to the import. You can print the information in this screen or copy it to the clipboard for pasting in another document.

You can drag and drop into a higher level folder, if desired. If you import into a higher level folder, the AutoBid Mechanical software prompts you for the new table information.

drag and drop in tables


Click next to each item and make the appropriate selection from the list to create the folder. When you click OK, a confirmation message displays

Copy Properties - The Copy Properties option allows you to quickly update data for items, instead of entering data for each individual item.

In Piping Items, select the Price table in the Piping Items tree you want to copy from. The Definition tab includes a Copy Properties button. When you click this button, a dialog box opens allowing you to select the applicable property checkboxes and then click Copy. You can then select the table you want the properties copied to, and then go to Edit / Paste Properties. When you click Yes in the confirmation message, all tables within your selection will be updated.

TRA-SER Link Export Bridge

The Link Export Bridge (LEB) allows you to browse the Trade Service online catalog. You can then export items from the catalog and import them into the AutoBid Mechanical Piping Items table.

Export UPC / Trade Service Submittal Manager

This feature allows you to send your contractor technical specifications and data sheets directly from the AutoBid Mechanical software to the Trade Service Submittal Manager. The Submittal Manager compiles all of the information and then builds your submittal packet, saving you a great deal of time.


Additional Pricing Service Modifications

Status Columns - New Status columns have been added to the Piping Items and Libraries windows. This information provides the Trade Service UPC and the corresponding Harrison Price Code.

Note – The default shows only Trade Service. The visibility of both columns is controlled by going to the View menu in each window, and then selecting Show Both Harrison and Trade Service Code Columns.

Piping items window Libraries Window
Piping Items Window Libraries Window


Clear Status Columns

If you are importing pricing from HPH, you can select the Initial Load checkbox to clear the status column in the Price tables. For TRA-SER, you can click the Reset button to clear the status column.

The status columns are also cleared when you change from one pricing service to another.

Note – If you are changing from HPH to Ferguson, the status columns are not cleared. The Ferguson pricing service requires the HPH codes.


Visual Cue

Pricing service indicator
[Click to enlarge]

This release of AutoBid Mechanical provides a visual cue as to the service currently pricing was derived from.

This modification also required changes to the Company Settings dialog.

You can now select the following on this screen

  • You can now select the default pricing service in the Company Settings dialog: Trade Service or Other Price Service (covering Harrison, Allpriser and Ferguson) option button depending on the service you are currently using.
  • If you are using only TRA-SER pricing, you can select the Hide Unused Price Service button on Main Menu checkbox . This removes the Other Price Services button on the Price Menu screen.