November, 2020

This document provides basic information about new features and modifications in the 2020 release of the Trimble® AutoBid® Mechanical software. 

These Release Notes cover the following topics:


New Features, Enhancements, and Modifications

Essential Release Information

Update Installation Instructions

Product Assistance

Legal Notices


These Release Notes describe features and modifications that are new in version 2020v1 of the AutoBid Mechanical software. Be sure to read the “Setting up TID Accounts” section before installing.

Installation procedure

For step-by-step instructions for a new installation of this release or upgrading from AutoBid Mechanical version 2017 or newer, refer to the Trimble AutoBid Mechanical  Installation Guide

If you are upgrading from a version prior to AutoBid Mechanical version 2017, you will need to contact MEP Technical support before installing this version.


This version requires Windows 10 or later. It does not support Windows Home Edition, Windows 7, Windows 8.x or Windows 10 S. For a complete listing of system requirements and technical specifications, view our System Specifications. To run AutoBid Mechanical on 4K monitors, please follow the instructions in this support note.

New Features, Enhancements, and Modifications

New Login And Licensing

This version of AutoBid Mechanical replaces the old “Quick Link” licensing with a new licensing scheme that uses a “Trimble ID” (TID) and the internet. 

  • This new licensing system allows for a “single sign on”. That is, once you login to AutoBid Mechanical and close it down, you will not have to login the next time you launch the application within 12 hours. This option can be turned off or on under “Tools”, “My Preferences” using the “Skip TID Login if login has not expired” option.

  • There is no longer a need to “Lend” or “Borrow” or “Return Borrowed” seats. This new system allows you to get a seat when you are working anywhere you have an internet connection.

  • This new licensing system completely removes the need for a “Quick Link Hub”.

  • This new licensing system is required to enable MCAA labor tables (see below).

  • NOTE: before installing this version you need to set up at least one TID account.

Setting up TID Accounts

In order to use AutoBid Mechanical, each user must have had TID accounts set up. Please review the Accessing AutoBid 2020 Guide for more details on how to set up a TID account.   

Notes for MCAA Labor Table Users

Access to MCAA Labor Tables from within AutoBid Mechanical is no longer controlled by Trimble.

MCAA requires all software companies who use the WebLEM labor units to comply with a new user authentication process. Therefore, AutoBid Mechanical was changed to be compliant with the new authentication process and will handle the interaction with the WebLEM API seamlessly behind the scenes. All you will need to do is enter your MCAA WebLEM Token under Company Settings in AutoBid. Your company administrator should have received instructions from MCAA regarding the process of obtaining your Token. If you have any questions about obtaining your Token, please contact MCAA. Note that MCAA has required the Token to expire every 90 days for security reasons. So you will need to regenerate your Token every 90 days from the MCAA WebLEM website.

HINT: if your company does NOT use MCAA labor tables, turn off “Use MCAA Labor” in the Company Settings window. This will speed up the loading of the main application.

TakeOff On-Screen View: Scaled double lines

There is now an option to show pipe taken off as scaled double lines OR single lines. When this option is toggled on, all new and existing pipe runs will display as scaled double lines. When this option is toggled off, all new and existing pipe runs will display as single lines (like all earlier versions).

When TakeOff is started, all pipe runs will display as scaled double lines or single lines as they did when TakeOff was last closed.

Regardless of the setting, all runs will display the centerline as they always have. This allows for more accurate “branch from” runs.

Rectangles that are not perpendicular or parallel to the x-axis cannot be filled AND the rectangle borders must always be solid (no dashes or dots).

All touch points, find radius, etc. will use the same techniques as they always have, based on centerline. This means that even if runs are displayed with scaled double lines and they have a larger width than the find radius, the system will use the find radius for branching from.

The display of scaled double lines is based on the centerline taken off. This may result in the double lines not matching the background drawing if the centerline was not exactly on center.

The display of scaled double lines may slow down taking off runs. However, this feature can be toggled off while taking off and turned on when done taking off a run.

The copy and move windows do not support scaled double lines. The selected items will appear as single centerlines while moving or copying.

Only pipe items will be drawn with scaled double lines. Fittings, assemblies, library items, etc. will be drawn just like they are now (even if the assembly, library item or whatever has a “length” or “area” quantity type).

There are several “override” options that can be used to determine how the scaled double lines are drawn. These can be found in On-Screen View, under On-Screen View Customizations in the “Double Line Settings” tab. There are override display settings to use if the run is insulated and another set of settings to use if the run is not insulated.


TakeOff On-Screen View: Visual cues for insulated pipe

When the “Scaled Double Line” feature is toggled off, you now have the ability to control how single line runs are displayed if the run is insulated.

In On-Screen View, under On-Screen View Customizations select the “Line Settings” tab. To set how insulated runs are displayed, be sure the “Use special line attributes for Insulation” is checked. You can choose to override the centerline color or not; set the line style; and/or set a line thickness.

Note that for dashed/dotted lines, the line thickness will be set to one.

The copy and move windows do not support these special settings. The selected items will appear as normal single centerlines while moving or copying.

Use of this feature turns off some of the internal optimized line drawing techniques.



TakeOff On-Screen View: Quickly adjust the “find radius” with the mouse

A menu option (under the “OSV Tools” menu) and a new tool button have been added to quickly adjust the “find radius” using the mouse. 

When switching between background drawings with different sizes or resolutions it can be necessary to change the “find radius” to maintain accuracy and speed. Selecting this button allows use of the mouse to quickly increase/decrease the radius with mouse clicks on up and down arrows.

If you have customized the toolbar in On-Screen View, you will need to reset the tools bar to defaults for the option to show on the toolbar itself. The option under the “OSV Tools” menu will always be available.


TakeOff On-Screen View:  Box in with options now has the options to change the scale

Changing the scale will change the lengths of pipe runs in the selected items taken off in On-Screen View.

TakeOff Item Mouse Menu Enhancement:

When customizing the Item Mouse Menu, we have added the ability to customize the column width and row height. This was added per customer requests for users using a touch screen.

Automatically Generate Bid IDs for new projects

We have had several requests to automatically generate BID IDs when adding a new project.

In Company Settings, we have added an option to generate Bid IDs for new projects using the year and a count of the number of projects for that year. E.G. The first project added in 2020 using an automatically generated Bid ID would get a Bid ID of “2020-00001”.

If the company is set to use automatically generated Bid IDs, in the “New Project Wizard” there will be an option to turn off the automatically generated Bid ID for that project. This allows the creation of a special Bid ID for that project.

Integration with Trimble Analytics

We have made several changes to the feature to publish calculated data for a project to Trimble Analytics.

  • There is now an option to require drawing reference points or not when publishing. Drawing reference points would only be used when importing from Analytics to a Trimble CAD application.

  • Since publishing to Trimble Analytics requires your TID login information, if your login information has expired, the publish process will pop up a TID login window.

  • Publishing to Trimble Analytics can take a significant amount of time. Publishing will now be done by a background “server”, referred to as the “Queue Manager”. This will allow you to continue working on other projects while data is being sent to Trimble Analytics.

  • The status and any error for projects published to Analytics can be viewed from within the Queue Manager OR from the Main program under the “Tools” menu, the “Analytics Export Report”.

OSV Drawing Repository

Some companies were using the cloud to store their OSV background drawings to avoid exceeding their maximum database size or, in some cases, to provide a minor increase in performance due to the number of background drawings stored in the database. Since cloud storage will no longer be available after December 15, 2020, we have added the ability to store OSV background drawings in a company drawing “repository”.

To address this, we have added a “Repository Manager” to the Project List Tools Menu. This Manager allows ALL drawings from a project to be moved from the repository to the database OR from the database to a Repository.

If your company has been using the cloud to store drawings, we recommend that you archive (back-up and then delete) all projects that you don’t usually need access to onto a removable or remote drive. If drawings for those projects were stored in the cloud, these will be backed up as well.

In addition to the Repository Manager, we have added a feature that allows a company to have all new OSV background drawings automatically stored in the repository instead of the database.

  • To take advantage of this feature, a company must set up a single company wide repository on a shared network drive (Under the “Company Settings” options)

  • Storing OSV background drawings is set on a project by project basis. There is a new option in the wizard and in the Project Setup for existing projects to have all new OSV drawings stored in the repository.

Repository Warnings and Notes:

  1. The repository must be on a shared/network drive that all workstations have read/write permissions to AND, the repository must have enough disk space to store the drawings.

  2. Backing up a database whose drawings are stored in the repository will NOT contain OSV background drawings.

  3. When launching OSV for a project whose drawings are stored in the repository, if these drawings do not exist or are not up to date, the drawings will be automatically pulled into TakeOff from the repository IF the workstation has network permissions to do so.

  4. When backing up a project whose drawings are stored in the repository, the background drawings will be pulled from the repository and backed up with the project IF the workstation has network permissions to do so.

  5. When duplicating a Project whose associated OSV background drawings are stored in the repository, the drawings will be MOVED from the repository to the database and then duplicated inside the database.

  6. When duplicating a single drawing scope with an associated OSV background drawing stored in the repository, the drawing will be MOVED from the repository to the database and then duplicated inside the database to the new drawing scope.

  7. When deleting a project or single drawing scope whose associated OSV background drawing(s) are stored in the repository, the drawing(s) will be deleted from the repository as well IF the workstation has network permissions to do so.

Essential Release Information

Windows operating system updates

To successfully install this AutoBid Mechanical software update, your system must be up-to-date with all Windows updates. If a restart of the operating system is necessary after Windows updates have been installed, you must do this before starting the AutoBid Mechanical installation procedures outlined in this document.

Compatible versions for this update

Release 2020 of the AutoBid Mechanical software can be updated from the following versions:

  • AutoBid Mechanical 2019v1 & v2

  • AutoBid Mechanical 2018v1 & v2

  • AutoBid Mechanical 2017v1

Tip – If you are not currently on one of the releases above, you must update to 2019v2 before upgrading to 2020.

Update Installation Instructions

The information below outlines the update installation requirements for Trimble AutoBid Mechanical 2020v1. 

AutoBid Mechanical version verification

  1. Open the AutoBid Mechanical application currently installed.

  1. Go to Help / About AutoBid Mechanical to see which version you are currently running.

  1. Make a note of the version you have installed.

Tip – Check to ensure that SQL Server Browser Service is started prior to beginning your installation. Locate this in Services > SQL Server Browse - Select Start if it is not already started.

Workstation update installation

If the AutoBid Mechanical software is installed on a network, the updated software must be installed on each workstation after the network service update installation is complete. Until each workstation is updated access to the AutoBid Mechanical software is not allowed.

          Microsoft® SQL Server® Express

The AutoBid Mechanical application requires Microsoft SQL Server to manage your data. The installation routine will attempt to locate the Microsoft SQL Server application on your computer. If the necessary application is not found, the installation will automatically launch the Microsoft SQL Server Express installation. If a version of Microsoft SQL Server is found, but a Trimble named Instance is not, AutoBid will install a Trimble Instance for you during the install process utilizing your Microsoft SQL Software. 

Please be patient as this process will take some time to complete. Do not discontinue this installation.

Microsoft SQL Server Express should be able to accommodate most databases. If you keep a very large number of projects and your database exceeds the maximum size allowed by Microsoft SQL Express, you will need to upgrade to Microsoft SQL Server. Please contact Trimble MEP Client Services if you believe that you need to upgrade.


Tip – Microsoft SQL Server is only supported with 64-bit operating systems. 

NOTE: If purchasing an upgrade to SQL Server Standard Edition from Trimble, it will not upgrade SQL Server 2012 to SQL Server 2014.

Product Assistance

Trimble offers several ways to obtain help using the AutoBid Mechanical software.

Accessing Help

The online help is easy to use and is accessible through any of the following methods:

  • Press F1 at any time while using the software to display help for the current screen or dialog.

  • Select Help and then select the appropriate option from the menu. You can scan the Table of Contents, use the Index, or the Search function to find the information you are looking for.

  • Use the Index tab to locate key words throughout the help system.

  • Use the Search tab to find specific words used in the help system; for example, you might search for the word delete for instructions on deleting certain data from your system.

Trimble MEP Client Services

You can send a message directly to MEP Client Services by going to Help / Send message to Technical Support. This feature allows you to describe your issue as well as attaching a screenshot.

  • Before calling Client Services, we suggest that you consult the online help. Many of the common procedures and questions are covered in this system.

  • Trimble MEP Client Services is available during regular business hours Monday through Friday.
    We are not available on major holidays.

Toll-free Telephone


Internet e-mail

[email protected]


Trimble Community 

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