Doing takeoffs from PDF files is a new reality of the construction industry.

Builders and customers now more than ever are using digital plans with their construction needs.  Any one of the most popular, especially with simple projects is Abode’s PDF format.  PDF stands for Portable Document Format and this is just what it is, very portable.  The file sizes are small for the amount of information making them easy to transfer.

The PDF format is also a very accepted format.  Just about everybody has a Abode reader installed on their computer and the file format is readable by both PC (windows) and Mac users.  Because of this it is almost certain whom ever receives a PDF file will be able to read the file.  This is rarely ever the case.  Macs don’t read Microsoft Word, Word  is not very good with Open Office and so on.

However this does present one small problem for those of us in the construction industry.  How to work with PDF files and more specifically how to do takeoffs for a PDF File.  We know we need to be able to do this.  But printing the file out then doing estimates by hand would be slow and time consuming process.  Not to say anything about difficult to do.

This is why most quality  takeoff and estimating  programs have the ability to read PDF files and convert them into TIF files to be used by the construction programs.  Most of the time this conversion is done automatically when a project is started.  But if for some reason it is not automatically done the process normally only takes a couple of minutes.

When looking at investing in a construction estimating and takeoff program make sure you look to make sure it has a ability to convert PDF files so you can do takeoffs quickly and with great accuracy.