Tips & Tricks Video: Tokenised Name Cell

TOKENISED NAME CELL

More than a token gesture

Here’s a feature for power users, that will save you a significant amount of time and allow you to automate the linking of your managed defines.

When you are linking spreadsheet cells to Direct Cost Schedule or Overhead Cost Schedule Cost Estimate Managed Defines, instead of specifically selecting a Named Cell from a Spreadsheet to link to a Managed Define, you are able to use tokens to generate the name of that Named Cell. This means that the name can be dynamically generated instead of statically assigned. How does this improve our efficiency? With Expert Estimation using the generated name to decide which Named Cell to reference, the process of reusing Cost Estimate information is made a lot easier. The Named Cell references will automatically update for you.

The Tokenised Name Cell function gives you the ability to dynamically link the value of a Managed Define to the Named Cell names you are looking for.

Which means when you copy that Cost Estimate, including the Managed Defines, downline you don’t have to re-link to Managed Defines. This feature automatically detects the user defined column values so you can generate the name of the Named Cell it is going to link to in that particular Cost Estimate using the user defined columns.

This is particularly helpful for complex projects when you want to use Managed Defines to link Excel spreadsheets where the same Cost Estimate is being used a large number of times. You can use user defined columns to create the name of the Named Cell that the application references and links to, for that particular item.

The tokens you can use are line number, item number, unit or the reference property of a user defined column.

Here’s how to create and use Tokenised Name Cells. In a Direct Cost Schedule or an Overhead Cost Schedule, select a line item, make sure that the line is unfinished, and then VIEW COST ESTIMATE from either the ribbon menu or the right-click CONTEXT MENU. From the Cost Estimate Ribbon menu select MANAGED DEFINES. This opens the Managed Defines window allowing you to see the Managed Defines associated with the Cost Estimate and the spreadsheet they are linked to. If no spreadsheet is linked or if you want to link a new spreadsheet, click on EDIT, go to SPREADSHEETS, then ADD OR REPLACE SPREADSHEET. Use the chevron on the left here to see the named cells quickly and easily.

To set a new Managed Define, click on the ADD DEFINE icon in the ribbon menu. Each time you click on the button, you can add a new define. Change the name of your define if you want to, and leave the value at zero because we’re going to pull in the value from the values attached to the Named Cells in the Spreadsheet.

In order to set up a token-based link, click on a Managed Define and click on the LINK button in the ribbon menu. When prompted by the SELECT SPREADSHEET NAME CELL LINK window, select the spreadsheet that contains the named variables you wish to link to. Once a spreadsheet has been chosen, select the GENERATE A TOKENISED NAME CELL button.

From there, in the Named Cell field you can enter the token variable. The tokens you can use are Line Number, Item Number, Unit or User Defined Column Reference.

For example, enter open curly brackets, item number, closed curly brackets; or open curly brackets, user define column reference, closed curly brackets.

You can also use a combination of tokens to create a more complex tokenised name. For example,

{UserDefine1}.{UserDefine2}.{UserDefine3}

Managed Defines, like Global Defines, are named variables that can be derived and updated from an attached spreadsheet. They combine the spreadsheet linking power of a Global Define with the re-usability of a Local Define. The difference between a Managed Define and a Global Define is that Managed Defines can use the same name in multiple Cost Estimates AND can have a different value in each because the values are associated directly with the Cost Estimate they are created in. Managed Defines are available in any Cost Estimate, as well as the Calculation Sheet in the Resource Calculation Template. The name of a Managed Define must be unique for each Cost Estimate and can be referenced in the formula column of a Cost Estimate by typing the define name starting with the hash (#) character.

The Tokenised Name Cell feature adds a greater level of optimisation, customisation and time saving to Managed Defines.

And that’s an introduction to working with Tokenised Name Cell in Expert Estimation. For further information see our Knowledge Base article. Remember you can always contact our Support specialists 24/7, 7 days a week, and see how we can help.

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