What does the company do well? PlanSwift is an easy to use takeoff software with the capability to combine the takeoffs with cost. It’s a tool that you can use quite fast to start to do your own takeoffs. The price for the subscription is ok and far less expensive than for other takeoff software products.
What does the company not do well? It is recommended to convert Pdf files during the import to Tiff files. Although the import options can be changed (DPI for Tiff files, Format from Black and White over Greyscale to Color) I was not able to improve the quality of the imported drawings – they were always blurry when zoomed in, regardless the chosen DPI. In order to start with a takeoff, the pages need to be scaled. That is easy in the first place: a variety of pre-set scales are available as well as the option to scale the drawing based on an existing measurement. This process must be done for each page of the drawing set. To choose a main scale during the import is not available. After scaling one drawing the takeoff can start – on this drawing only unless all drawings have been scaled. A takeoff item can be created by choosing the kind of take off (Area, Linear, Segment or Count). The created takeoff item needs to be used immediately or it disappears. There is no way to start creating all needed takeoff items upfront and then start the actual takeoff process. The takeoff with PlanSwift itself is simple, although working with tiff files always means, all vector information will be lost including the ability to snap points. I imported a few Pdf files without converting them to Tiff files and expected that some functions of vector files would be available in PlanSwift (point snap) because this function was available with the same drawing in Adobe Acrobat. Point snap was not available in PlanSwift after importing the drawing as a Pdf file. There a re few things missing in PlanSwift: - Multi Takeoff: Only one takeoff item at the time can be used. There is no availability to combine various takeoff items as different linear items (paint and baseboard or even area and linear items (flooring, pasteboard and paint) - Quantity adding: Every takeoff item must be created new on every page. For that reason, these items will not be added to a total sum, even if the content is the same (length of baseboard at different floors). - Single Click / Auto Quantity is a nice tool, but it does not always work. If the surrounding lines are too thin, Single Click Area will not recognize them - Legend: the font size in the legend cannot be changed. If there are lots of takeoff items on the drawing, the legend can become quite big without the option of changing the font size. Service / Help: There are Tutorial Videos and a Knowledgebase available. But it is hard to find answers and solutions for very specific questions. There is a contact option via phone available, but I always had to leave a message via voicemail and wait for a call back – which was sometimes fast (5 to 10 minutes) and sometimes it took some time. This also required to stay near the phone. When I missed the call back because I had to attend a meeting, I had to start over to call the support and leave a voicemail.
What do you wish you had known about the company before using? You work with what you have and make the best out of it. And although there is some room for improvement, PlanSwift gets the job done.