Full Length, Short Form, and Outline Modes

SpecLink-E's master text can be collapsed or expanded to produce specifications that are appropriate for schematic design, design development, and construction documents phases, using the same database.

Below is a summary of the differences between the Full Length, Short Form, and Outline modes of SpecLink-E:

  • Outline Spec Mode. The master text available is primarily the key text in Part 2—descriptions of the major products in each section. These outline specs are very short and are not generally suitable for construction documents; rather, they are intended for use at the early schematic design stage, to establish the basic identification and general quality of products.

    Because completed outline specifications generally consist of only a few paragraphs per section, the printed output is organized by division (each division starts a new page) and does not employ paragraph numbering.

  • Short Form Mode. The text that appears in Outline mode is expanded to produce compact, three-part specification sections. Part 1 typically includes only items such as Submittals and Warranty, Part 2 includes more detail on the products (but no manufacturer names), and Part 3 includes basic installation requirements.

    Short form specifications are typically prepared at the end of the design development phase, but they can also be used as the final construction specs for simple, uncomplicated projects where the Contractor is a known entity. The printed output is organized by section (each section starts a new page) and uses one of the standard numbering schemes or your custom scheme. Sections are typically not more than a page or two in length.

  • Full Spec Mode. In full spec mode, all master text is available. Part 1 may include Related Requirements, Referenced Standards, Quality Assurance, Delivery, Storage, and Handling, Field Conditions, and so forth. Part 2 includes all available detail on the products, including manufacturer names and brand names (where applicable). Part 3 includes all available detail on execution, such as Examination, Preparation, Tolerances, Field Quality Control, Cleaning, Protection, Startup, etc.

    In this mode, completed specifications are typically prepared as construction documents. Like the Short Form specs, the printed output is organized by section (each section starts a new page) and uses one of the standard numbering schemes or your custom scheme.

Proceeding Through Project Phases

At an early design phase, such as schematic design, you can begin in Outline Spec Mode. Because the master text is collapsed to display only major products in each section, you can easily focus on the most important product selection decisions. A printout of the outline spec can be used to inform the Owner and other project personnel of the decisions made at this phase.

At the design development phase of a project, the outline specs can be expanded to reveal more text in Short Form Mode, presenting more basic decisions or allowing completion of construction specifications for uncomplicated projects.

All previous decisions and text selections are retained as the SLE user moves forward from one phase to the next. The specifications for each succeeding phase of a project are literally built on top of the previous documents -- expanding the text as the design becomes ever more detailed.

At the construction documents phase of a project, the short form specs can be expanded to Full Spec Mode, revealing all the master text for editing and production of full-length construction documents.

Using Outline and Short Form Modes with an Office Master

Note that the process described above also works in reverse. Instead of beginning with the master text collapsed and building the specifications from the ground up, users can begin with a fully developed office master project.

A copy of the master project can be collapsed to produce pre-edited outline specifications, expanded partially to produce short form specs, and then expanded fully for construction documents. Of course, editing can take place at any phase to adapt the master specifications to the specific project. In SpecLink-E, master text is never deleted—it is simply turned on or off, and only the text that is "on" is assembled into the project specifications and printed.

SpecLink-E Outline/Short Form Catalog

In the SpecLink-E Outline/Short Form catalog, only the Outline and Short Form modes are available. The subscriber to the Outline/Short Form catalog has access to all sections in all Divisions (with a few exceptions in Divisions 00 and 01), but the Full Specs mode is disabled. This catalog is intended for specifications typically prepared at the end of the design development phase or for final construction specs for simple, uncomplicated projects where the Contractor is a known entity.

The sections not available in the OL/SF Catalog are mostly those sections that are simply templates, without content:

  • 000105 - Certifications Page
  • 000107 - Seals Page
  • 000115 - List of Drawing Sheets
  • 000120 - List of Schedules
  • 004322 - Unit Prices Form
  • 004323 - Alternates Form
  • 004327 - Separate Prices Form
  • 004328 - Items Eligible for Tax Rebate Form
  • 004333 - Proposed Products Form
  • 011000 - Summary
  • 012100 - Allowances
  • 012200 - Unit Prices
  • 013329 - Sustainable Design Reporting
  • 013329.04 - Material Content Form
  • 013329.07 - Prohibited Content Installer Certification
  • 013516.XX - (LEED forms)
  • 016116.01 - Accessory Material VOC Content Certification
  • 105591 - Mail Chutes (obsolete)
  • 004334 - Proposed Mechanical Products Form
  • 004335 - Proposed Electrical Products Form
  • 004336 - Proposed Subcontractors Form
  • 004373 - Proposed Schedule of Values Form
  • 005200 - Agreement Form
  • 006000 - Project Forms
  • 007200 - General Conditions
  • 007300 - Supplementary Conditions

With SpecLink-E, you don't maintain separate masters for outline, short form, and full construction specifications. The same set of master text is used for all three types of specs.