Autocount will search a plan page for a specified symbol and place a count on each of those symbols. To use autocount, click "New Takeoff."
Choose the "Count" measurement type. Click "Start Measuring"
Zoom in to a clear symbol on the plan page. Then click "Takeoff" and choose "Autocount"
Use the Wand tool to draw a box around the symbol. Draw a box by clicking once in the upper left corner, and double clicking in the lower right corner.
Once the box is drawn, autocount will begin. You will notice a Pending notification at the bell icon (Clicking the bell to view the notification is optional). Clicking "Show Page" in the notification window will take you to the page the autocount was started on.
You can continue with other takeoffs, start another autocount on the same page, or on another page. Autocount will run in the background, you do not have to wait for the results.
When finished, the system will place counts on each of the symbols and update the takeoff quantity.
Choosing a Template Symbol
It is important to choose a good template symbol, otherwise you may not get the results you are expecting.
A good template symbol is as "clean" as possible. This means it isn't in a busy area of the plan, without intersecting lines, arrows, or other elements passing through or touching the symbol.
Here is an example of a poor symbol. It has lines passing through and touching it. It is difficult to draw a box that isolates this symbol from the other information around it.
Here is an example of a good template symbol. There are no intersecting elements, or background pattern.
Sometimes Autocount will work perfectly. It will find every symbol on the first try.Other times, you will need a good search strategy in order to be successful.
Consider Running Multiple Searches
Sometimes the same symbol will appear very differently on different parts of the plan.
For example, both of these triangles represent the same thing, and are used on the same plan page.
In this case, searching first for one triangle and then searching again to capture the second triangle successfully counts nearly all the symbols. This strategy also helps when a symbol appears over different background patterns. For example, all the symbols below represent the same thing.
Running three different searches for this symbol, one for each background pattern, is more effective that a single search.
Don't Search Directly from the Legend
It's tempting to draw a box around a "clean" symbol template from a legend or schedule. Unfortunately, this usually will not work. Often times, the architect shrinks (or enlarges) the symbol inside of the legend. Autocount doesn't understand these smaller symbols are the same as the larger symbols used on the plans, and won't find them.
Search for only a Portion of Large Symbols
Trees and shrubs will often appear very large on the plans. These large symbols frequently overlap other elements and are tough to search for. See how this tree overlaps a roadway and a couple other trees, making it difficult to select a clean template.
The solution is to select only a portion of the tree. By selecting only the orange highlighted area as the search template, autocount was able to find almost all of the trees on the plan.
Before running an Autocount, what can I look for to determine the likelihood of success?
Check for Rotated Symbols
Autocount will automatically look for any symbols that are rotated at any 90 degree angle from the template you select. Any symbols rotated at a different angle, though, may not be found. This happens a lot on irrigation pipping - the symbols will be rotated to follow the pipe.
Here is an example. These sprinkler heads (triangles) are rotated slightly. Searching for one will not find the others.
Check the Page Resolution
Zoom in on your page. Does the page quickly start to look grainy or blurry? If so, it is a low-resolution image and may not yield good search results.
In this example, I have zoomed in on the page. See how the numbers have become hard to read, and the edges of the symbols look like a blocks instead of smooth? This is a low-resolution image. Autocount will not work well on this page.
TIP #1: If autocount does not find all of the symbols on the page, you can (1) do a manual count on the symbols, or (2) start another auto-count on a missed symbol.
TIP #2: Autocount works best with clear symbols. Symbols that overlap other symbols or lines will be difficult to detect.
TIP #3: Remove mis-counts by highlighting the count with the Edit arrow (or multi-select), and press Delete on your keyboard.
Tip #4: You can use Autocount with any count takeoff in your Takeoff Library.
TIP #5: If using the Pro version, attached Items or Assemblies will show in the reports.