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SharpeSoft Estimator Tip and Trick #80: Adding/Editing Bid Alternates

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

One of our many goals at Sharpesoft is to provide you with simple to use, customizable resources to keep your business organized. In the Estimator, we help you do that by making it quick and easy to create bid packages and alternates for your job.

Why We Do This?

Tip and Trick #80: "Adding/Editing Bid Alternates," was created with efficiency and clarity in mind. Alternates are separately priced bid items of work that may or may not be completed, depending on the progress level of the work overall. Using this tip and trick, you can set your bid packages and alternates to whatever you need! We help you make the best of your time all while keeping things organized.


Flexibility and Customization Guaranteed


Adding/Editing Bid Alternates: How To

  • Go to the top left corner of the Estimator toolbar and click Job.

  • From the drop-down menu, select Bid Items (you can also press Ctrl+B).

  • When this window is opened, all Bid Item Groups currently entered in the Bid Items window will be listed. The bid package you are currently working on will be displayed in the window title bar (if one is active).

  • This window is used to add the Alternate Bid Item Groups that you want included with the regular bid items. This will be used later in the Rounding Sheet to represent an Alternate Bid Package.

  • In the example below, the only alternate bid item group created is Alt 1, which contains the bid item for dewatering.

  • To select alternates for a package, right-click on an item in the table, and select Mark from the context menu as shown below. If you want to mark all items for inclusion, select Mark All. When items are selected, they are highlighted as shown in the screen shot above. Now that your items are marked, create an alternate by selecting Insert Group/Alternate in the context menu, or by pressing Shift+Insert.

  • This will open the Insert Bid-Item Group/Alternate window, as shown below.

  • Click the magnifying glass to choose from your registered item codes. Check the box next to Alternate group to set up your marked items as alternates.

  • Clicking OK will return you to the bid item window, where you can create more groups.

  • Note that alternate groups are not automatically populated, you will need to do so by copying and pasting your marked items, or dragging the selected item underneath the alternate group title while holding Control.

  • Now open the Rounding Sheet from the Job drop-down menu, or press Ctrl+R.

  • In the Rounding Sheet window, you will now see your alternate bid package displayed, as well as associated price totals with and without the alternates.


The SharpeSoft Estimator is a simple tool that can help you organize and adjust your bid items to give you the best user experience possible. It’s easy to use, and it makes quick work of helping you customize your hours!

To learn how to adjust your Standard Default Company Work Week (Individual Job), review the Tip and Trick #78 blog.

To learn how to adjust you Default Bid Item Hours, review the Tip and Trick #79 blog.

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