Question of the Week – DESTINI Estimator: What does the Preferences icon do?

Questions of the Week are asked and answered in the Beck Technology Community. Anyone is encouraged to join the community to discover additional tips and tricks.

What does the Preferences icon do?

The preferences icon allows a user to customize their experience working in DESTINI Estimator. You can access the Preferences menu on the Home tab by clicking the preferences icon (gear symbol) indicated below.
The Automatic save interval changes how often the system will up the backup (.bak) version of your estimate. The user is still required to save their work on a regular basis, but a backup is created every X moves. If an error occurs in the main estimate, the backup can be opened up and you’ll only be X moves behind where you were at the time of the crash.

This allows you to determine the default fee structure for any new estimate that you open in the program. Many companies create a custom fee structure for each new project / template, but if you have a certain starting point you always want to include, that can be accomplished here. Alternatively, you can import the fee table from any previous estimate, bypassing the need to use this field.

The check-boxes here will allow a user to skip the manual takeoff process and access our “stage Cost Items” view. As shown below, the user can simply pick all of the items (or assemblies) they want to add to the estimate, then go into the estimate view and key in quantities. This can be a great tool for creating templates. [picture represents the line item takeoff interface when you uncheck “Prompt for Line Item Quantity”):
Here, you can set the high and low variance colors for the heat maps in our comparison views.

Tired of always seeing your estimate broken down by Uniformat 1 and Uniformat 2 when you open a new estimate? Set up your default Filter Tree grouping here.

These are the default file paths to your reports and templates. These can be customized based on the needs of your organization or team.

You can choose whether or not your estimate will roll up line items in the Estimate View by default (can always be toggled in the project itself). Also, you can prevent modifications to rolled up line items – this can be a very useful radio button, since a change made to rolled-up items will replace the individual items with a single non-takeoff-linked item. The system gives you a warning message already if you try to make this change, but selecting this in the Preferences menu removes the opportunity for error.