Users of version 7 or higher of the professional project cost estimators from WinEstimator Inc., Kent, Wash., can now also get Virtual Takeoff. The tool lets estimators work on screen from digital plan images and export data directly into the company's WinEst product line.

Scanned plans or versions supplied digitally can be measured as areas, lengths, counts or perimeters. Items that have been taken off can be marked in layers with customizable tools. Alternates may also be organized and saved for later reference. Scale can be set by clicking any two points of known separation. Standard image file formats are supported.

The software also integrates with Microsoft Project 2002, Viseo 2002 and QuickBooks 2002, as well as many commercial cost databases. WinEst Pro comes in several levels of sophistication at prices starting at $1,495. Virtual Takeoff costs either $1,395 or $1,895 depending on which other WinEst products already in hand.

new version of an estimating software shipping Aug. 26 includes an option that integrates on-screen takeoffs into the program.