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Alan Sharp

2D Takeoff in TBC v5.0

Posted by Alan Sharp Oct 31, 2018

Thought I would share this video with you all - it demonstrates 2D Takeoff processes using TBC v5. I have a session at Dimensions next week on this and I get a lot of requests on how to do this efficiently in BC-HCE.


To do this in a team environment you would need either a Survey Intermediate Edition to do all of the work in one license, or you could do the Image Management and Georeferencing and placement of image boundaries etc. in a Survey Intermediate Edition and then hand over the project to another user using just the Field Data Edition to do the digitizing of Areas, Lengths and Counts. The user of the Survey Intermediate Edition could then reopen the project and do the Area Length Count Reporting and add background imagery and also do all of the labeling and annotation and generation of tables etc as needed.


Once the data is in Excel, the video shows how you can use a Pivot Table to get nice summary reports as well as how to use the Text to Columns function to split comma separated name field into multiple columns to facilitate quick volume calculations from the area data, or to add cost codes to the report before handing off to the Estimators.


Let me know if you have further input here as to things that we could improve for the 2D Takeoff work that you have to do.






As you may have heard, we announced Trimble Business Center v5.0 jointly with the Geospatial Division at the Intergeo Trade Show in Germany last week. We have shared a lot of pre-release information with the SITECH dealers and they should be reaching out to you over the next few weeks. The Trimble Business Center v5 release, brings the Business Center - HCE (for contractors) and the Trimble Business Center (For the Survey and Geospatial Community) together into a single platform. 


The new platform carries all of the feature set of both products into a range of Product Editions (Packages) targeted at specific types of user and Add On modules that provide a specific feature set to a specific set of workflows.



The new product contains a lot of enhancements and exciting new tools like Macro Programming (TML) that will allow the product to gather more momentum in the market place as third party developers begin to deliver productivity enhancing tools in addition to those that Trimble is already delivering.


The new product also has a Sharp New Look and some major productivity enhancing user experience improvements, whilst retaining a high degree of similarity to the previous versions of the products.


Alignment of Licensing, Warranty, Feature /  Function Capability, and a common approach to market was a growing requirement within our larger customers, putting everything together in one scalable and extensible platform, while distributing the common product through the specialist Geospatial and SITECH channels were the prime objectives for this release - we hope that you like it.


The enclosed video covers the new product structure, how your existing BC-HCE license will map to the new license structure and also the highlights of the new release.


Let us know what you think - in use - I think you will love the changes that we have made but as always your feedback is invaluable 



Even Happier Modeling in November



Alan Sharp

Tip of the Day ...

Posted by Alan Sharp Oct 25, 2018

I was looking at some data from AutoCAD yesterday relating to Title Boxes and Borders setups and noticed that on import the text did not fit into the area of the Title Box that was provided for it. On opening the same file in Civil 3D I noted that it sat inside the box just fine. It dawned on me (actually it didn't - my buddy Gary L showed me this) that if you click on the Text in BC-HCE and can see the CAD Grips, you can use the CTRL key and then move the green triangle in Top Right of the CAD Grips to the Left or Right and this will force the Text to wrap to the width defined. 


You can use this feature in Title Boxes, or for the placement of a set of notes on a sheet where the size of the area available is Narrower and Taller or Wider and Shallower than the set of notes that you want to place. Simply drag the note set into the graphics area - placing Top Left or Center where you want it, and then use the Grips to resize the text as you need it.


I thought this was pretty awesome - all your typical drawing notes can be setup on your drawing sheets outside the drawing area itself, they can be dragged into the drawings as you need them and can be placed wherever it is convenient and then resized and reformatted as required - I recorded a video snippet here to show how it is done


Happy Drafting


Alan Sharp

Enhancement Requests

Posted by Alan Sharp Oct 18, 2018

f you are logging a request for an improvement - please use #enhancement request in the Tags in your question / post. That way it shows up in a list for product management and I dont have to tag your requests for you - that way they wont get lost in the fast action question / answer that is starting to roll here.


Please help me to help you


Awesome stuff guys - keep it coming



Business Center - HCE v4.12 Patch Released Yesterday. Use Check For Updates inside Business Center v4.11 to get the patch added to your installation.


Enclosed are the Release Notes for the Patch - Mostly Bug Fixes and Minor Improvements, but a couple of good items in here that will be useful to many


  1. LandXML import gives more options to ceate Layers during Import to separate out the data contained in the LandXML file. This makes data faster to use and understand
  2. Improvements to PDF Vector Extraction in terms of Layer Management and Layer Grouping, especially where the PDF is Layered and is coming from a known source wher you can set up a project Template with Layers and Layer Groups already defined - this means that you can organize data from a PDF quickly and easily as it is imported.
  3. Image Plotting is greatly improved for High Resolution Images
  4. Create Subgrade Surfaces has been fixed and works well again - awesome
  5. The Area Length Count Report on large data now runs in a fraction of the time it did before - Great for 2D Takeoff
  6. Minor improvements but large gains in the Standardize Layer Command - you can now use the Shift Key to select individual or Groups of Objects and assign them to a Layer and not just a while layer to a Layer.
  7. MX, 12DAZ and Trimble Earthworks .DSZ files can now be imported or have improved import capabilities


Hope that you find this release to be an improvement and has increased robustness - there are many small defects that have been addressed in the release that are not captured here in the release notes.


Happy Modeling