On Center's On-Screen Takeoff (OST) is a sophisticated electronic plan viewer and onscreen takeoff tool that can help users in the construction trade quickly prepare accurate bids. You can use it to view, annotate, and measure electronic plans as well as obtain quick and easy calculations of areas, volumes, and other specifications, even curved surfaces and areas. It integrates tools for calculating, preparing, and submitting bids for a wide range of construction-related trades, including concrete, flooring, roofing, and landscaping. It can be used with plotters and digitizers as well as the developer's proprietary interactive pen.
OST's zipped installer package includes lots of video demos and links to other assistance, but you must register online to activate the installation wizard. However, the program's clean tabbed interface, ample Help file, online assistance, and tutorials make it easy to set up and use. We ran through a sample project, a bid at Edwards Air Force Base. The Bid tab manages projects, but the cool stuff is on the Image tab, which displays the interactive plan view. The Takeoffs tab simplifies direct pulls of pertinent data, and a Worksheet tab helps keep costs and other factors handy. One nice extra is the Master file menu, which includes tools for managing employees, job status, and more.
OST's free 15-day trial version downgrades to a basic plan viewer if you don't register it, so it remains useful even if you choose not to buy the full version. We tested it in Vista and Windows 7, and it performed flawlessly in both.