SnapAI Overview

eTakeoff’s SnapAI technology utilizes drawing information stored in vector PDF files to enable the user to quickly and easily “snap” the cursor to points, lines, and polylines while taking off a project. It has added intelligence to the snapping / takeoff process. This includes:

SnapAI only works with vector PDF files. If the user loads a non-vector PDF file, SnapAI will be disabled. Below is an explanation of the different types of files that eTakeoff supports.

Vector PDF Files:

Non-Vector files:

More Information on SnapAI

Performing Takeoff with SnapAI

SnapAI supports 3 different “snap” modes:

The user can toggle SnapAI on/off by pressing Ctrl+S while taking off a measurement. While Snap is on, the user can toggle between Snap modes by pressing the left and right arrow keys or the Tab and Shift+Tab keys.

The Snap Assistant hint box will appear while Snap is on during the takeoff of a measurement. Snap Assistant instructions will change accordingly as the user performs takeoff. To turn the Snap Assistant off, uncheck the “Display the dialog whenever in snap mode” box. To turn the Snap Assistant back on, click on Settings/User Preferences/HintsTab and check the box, “Show hint window when snap is enabled”.


The user can also adjust the settings for Snap by clicking on User Preferences / Snap Tab

Snap Point Mode

Snap to Point mode detects points in vector PDF files. When the user is in Snap to Point Mode, a sense indicator appears by the cursor. As the user moves the mouse, one of 3 scenarios will happen:

Snap Line Mode

Snap to Line mode detects lines in vector PDF files. When the user is in Snap to Line Mode, a sense indicator appears by the cursor. As the user moves the mouse, one of 3 scenarios will happen:

Snap Polyline Mode

Polylines are a set of logically connected lines.Snap to Polyline works the same way as Snap to Line except that if the closest line is a polyline, all points in the polyline are added to the measurement. As the user moves the mouse, one of 4 scenarios will happen:

Best Practices using SnapAI

SnapAI only works with vector PDF files and only with a Premier license. If the user loads a non-vector PDF file, SnapAI will be disabled.

Because not all vector PDF files are alike and Architects DO NOT typically create the PDF with the estimator in mind, SnapAI may work very well with some PDF files, but not others. The trick is to get familiar with how the different SnapAI modes sense points, lines and polylines on the drawing and use all three modes interchangeably to perform your takeoff efficiently.

eTakeoff recommends the Best Practices below to take the most advantage of the powerful SnapAI tool.