The Plans Room LLC Web Site FAQs:
- How do I find a project when I know the Project Number?
To find a project when you know the Project Number, click on “My Deskpad” at the top of The Plans Room menu or any other page. On the left hand side you will notice a box named “Project Quick Search”. In the “Project ID” field in this box enter the year followed by a hyphen and the 4 digit number for the project you wish to find. For example 2010-9342. You can also search by project name and date.
- How do I find a list of new projects since a specific date?
Choose “My Deskpad” from any page and then select “My New Active Projects”. You can enter any date you wish to receive a list of all new projects since the date entered. This feature will automatically “clock” the last time it was used and will by default show all projects since that date and time. You can also run reports on new pre-bid, apparent lows and awards.
- How do I subscribe to projects to receive e-mail updates on Addenda, Extensions, etc.?
From any listing of projects, just click the “Track W/E-Mail” box and you will be instantaneously subscribed to that project. You will notice that the project name will immediately turn red, identifying this project as one that you are tracking, it will also show up under “Tracked Projects”.
- How do I save CSI codes and/or descriptions to notify me when new projects arrive that match my criteria?
After conducting any search from the “Search for Projects” screen you can save the search as a “Filter”. It is important that you name the Filter something appropriate that will indicate the parameters of the search to you. Once a filter or multiple filters have been saved, your nightly e-mail update will notify you of any new projects that match your saved filters.
- How do I know which projects I am tracking?
From the “My Deskpad” page select “Tracked Projects” and you will be presented with a complete listing of all your saved filters as well as all tracked projects segregated by category (Active, Low Bidders, Etc.).
- What are projects in Pre-Bid Stage?
Pre-Bid is a service that tracks projects that are not yet out for bid. This enables many Member firms to have their products specified as well as provide numerous other advantages to all Member firms.
- How do I remove a tracked project so I stop receiving e-mail updates?
If you click on “My Deskpad” at the top of any of our web pages you will see on the right hand side a link for “Tracked Projects”. Just click on this link and you will see a list of all projects you are tracking. Just click the delete button next to any project you no longer wish to receive updates for.
- How do I go “Back” after clicking on a link from my “PopUp Monthly Bid Calendar”?
As a “PopUp” the regular “Back” button is disabled on these screens. You can still go “Back” by right clicking and selecting back or pressing the Alt key in combination with the left arrow key.
- How do I download Specs and Addenda?
After clicking on the link for a spec section or an addendum you can download the file by clicking on the “Disk” or save button in the upper left hand corner of the Adobe window. Suggestion: Create a folder for each individual project for which you wish to download items. Then select that folder for all downloads associated with that project.
- What if I get a message at login that says “This page cannot be found” or “This page cannot be displayed”?
This is an indication that your Temporary Internet Files folder may be full. At the top of your Internet Explorer browser window, click on Tools/Internet Options. Click on “Delete Files” under “Temporary Internet Files”. Be sure to check the “Delete all offline content” box and then click on OK. This may run for several minutes if you have not deleted these files recently.
- How do I order Blueprints?
When you are either at project summaries or details, click on the button that says “Plans”. You will be taken to a page that has a complete listing of all of the blueprints issued for that project, including addenda drawings. We have an order form that you can use to choose the pages that you wish us to print. Submit the order and you can pay with Visa/MC online or pay with check when you pick them up. If you are out of the Anchorage area, call the common carrier you use to have them picked up at our office and then call us and let us know how they are to be shipped.
- How do I view Blueprints?
We use Maxview to view blueprints on our website. It is a free viewer that also has some limited takeoff capabilities such as measure distance, area, count items and calibrate scale. Just go to Maxview.com to download. Once you have downloaded the software, remember to double click on the desktop icon to run the install wizard. Then when you are on the website, click on the button that says plans, and then click on the link that says “Click here to view blueprints online”. Maxview will open. If you have any questions on how to use the software – click on the Help button at the top of the page and print out the instructions for any action you want, i.e. printing, doing a takeoff, etc. For example, use the F2 key to toggle back and forth between the Index of Plans and a full page to view full screen.
- How do I download Blueprints?
If you wish to save the plans on your computer for offline viewing or for a much quicker print job, you want to download the pages you need. After opening the Plans via the MaxView viewer, use the index of drawings on the left hand side to highlight the individual prints you wish to download by left clicking your mouse once. To select multiple plans hold down the CTRL Key while selecting or to select a range of plans, select the first plan and then hold down the Shift Key when selecting the last plan of your range. (The plans will download to C:\Program Files\MaxView\MaxCache by default. Please change the download path to the proper folder by selecting “Options” and “Internet” from the top menu bar. We highly recommend that you create a folder for each project that you wish to download. This will make it very easy for you to locate your files in the future) After selecting the plans you wish to download and defining where to be saved right click your mouse while the cursor is over top the selected drawings. Select “Download Pages”, and “Selected Pages”. All plans selected will then download consecutively.
- How do I setup a Filter or Search?
On the Construction Reports Menu or with your tracked projects at the top of the page, select “Search for Projects”, or “New Filter/Search. You are advanced to a page that allows you to mix or match multiple selection criteria, including “Key Words” and “CSI codes. Select the criteria of your choice and then click on “Review Search” to view a listing of the matching projects. It is best to then click on “Save Search”. You can then enter the name you choose for this Search Filter and save it to be re-run whenever you choose. From this point forward you will receive nightly e-mails alerting you to all new projects that match this Filter’s criteria. If you have the basic access, your key words or CSI codes search will find those projects that have the key words in the table of contents or index only.
- What is SAM search?
If you have the upgraded service option, you can utilize this feature. The SAM stands for Spec and Addenda Mining and allows the user to search the entire spec book - not just the spec index, as in the past. Now, trade names such as "honeywell", "dupont", "prosoco" and "trane" can be located quickly and easily and even tied to our overnight e-mail program. Other words that are difficult to find are now readily available as well, such as "retaining wall", "valve", "crane" and all other specialty types of work that may have been missed in the past.
How is this possible? We now scan all spec books and addenda using OCR (optical character recognition) technology. After the scanning process, the results are indexed and ready for searching.
NOTE: OCR is not 100% accurate, but tests show an average accuracy of about 92%.
We hope you enjoy this latest enhancement to the IPIN Reporting Software and trust that it will bring you more bidding opportunities in the future.
Upgraded Users’ System Requirements:
- Microsoft XP or higher operating system
- Internet Access via modem or DSL/Cable (recommended)
- Internet Explorer 5.50, SP2 or higher (Current 7.0.5700)
- Adobe Acrobat Reader (free) 6.0 or higher (Current 8.0) for specs
- Maxview Reader (free) 4.0 or higher (Current 5.13) for viewing plans
* If you are not sure which version of an application you are using, open the application and go to the “Help” menu and choose “About” (name of application). That will show the version. To download new versions – go to the appropriate web site for the software, i.e. Microsoft.com We provide links right on our web site for Adobe Acrobat and Maxview Readers.
To Download Adobe Acrobat:
- Choose the icon from our web site or go to: adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html
- Choose the “reader” option
- Fill out personal info
- Click on download – suggestion – save to desktop
- When complete, close and exit Adobe web site.
- Click on the install icon that has appeared on your desktop
- Follow directions that the “Install Wizard” suggests
- Adobe Acrobat should be installed.
To Download Maxview:
- Choose the icon from our website or go to: http://download.maxview.com/mvdownload/
- Fill out personal info
- Click on download – save to desktop
- When complete, close and exit Maxview web site
- Click on the install icon that has appeared on your desktop
- Follow the directions that the “Install Wizard” suggests
- Maxview should be installed
- Maxview lets you try all of their products free for the 1st 30 days, so when launching Maxview, choose “evaluate”. After the trial period – it will default to the free Reader.