MasterSpec Alternative

Small architecture firm principal here.  We were originally subscribers to SpecText, and about 5 years ago made the switch to MasterSpec.  Arcom was a nightmare to deal with, quite pricey, and support was lacking.  

As a complete Mac Environment, we did use MasterSpecs MasterWorks plug-in for quickly editing specs within MS Office Mac 2011.  

Recently, due to MS discontinuing support for Office 2011 (Mac) as well as Xerox eliminating mac support for 32 bit software, we were forced to upgrade our entire office to Office 2016 (Mac).  This solved the MS support issue and our Xerox machines are all happy again. 

Unfortunately, this removed the opportunity to use MasterWorks plugin.  I just got off the phone with Avitru, who has stated that they have no intention of supporting anything except the discontinued MS Office 2011 version. 

Looking for alternatives.  Since SpecText and SpecEditor as well as MasterSpec and MasterWorks are both owned by the same company, these options are out. 

I have no intention of installing a parallels type system on every computer just for specifications.  The cost and investment would be more than I want to take on for just a small piece of software. 

Anybody using any other master types specs that are Mac friendly?

Feb 22, 18 12:35 pm

You can configure the cloud version of BSD SpecLink to run on Mac.  As a small firm you could also conceivably just buy a ready-made Word file based master template and skip a special application altogether - our firm did that up until a few years ago.  Or get a spec consultant to customize a template for your firm - start at CSI or SCIP to find someone qualified.  But my current solution was just to buy a Dell laptop specifically for my spec application and a few others that won't run on a mac. How often are multiple people in your office writing specs at the same time? If that doesn't happen too much then one spec laptop can be shared. You don't need anything super fast or fancy to run MasterSpec or SpecLink.

Feb 22, 18 5:15 pm  · 

I don't know what you decided on, I haven't been on the forum in a while.  I get sort of depressed at some of the idiotic comments about specifications production. I guess if you are still fiddling around with the question I would offer a perspective.  If you are the type of firm that just wants to add a project manual to the construction documents at the end of the project and do not take an incremental approach to developing them, maybe SpecLink-E is too complex and integrated for you to want to get going with.  Certainly there are lots of firms that are maintaining office masters they purchased from Arcom years ago. Rarely do these anachronisms end up referring to current standards, and Contractors see old outdated stuff from miles away.  BSD software is the most expensive, and if you have someone in your firm who is detail oriented enough to understand how to link will get a great set of contract documents.  Their support group is 24 -7.  It will also get you into Preliminary Project Descriptions based on building elements that can set you up for great presentations, and automatically let you do outline and short form specifications. Specintact is free, and that is about exactly what it is worth. kind of a mosh pit. You have your wizards, and your multi-files, and your single file formatting, your paragraph builder, sustainability builder, supporting docs, and then a ménage of other tools that work…but finding real complicated ways of doing simple things isn’t my bag. 

Maybe a SCIP consultant would be the way to see if you get better results for nearly the same amount of money.  If you use BIM, you can find one of us who has plug ins that will extract data about your assemblies and help you out with your design in a very precise way, both in performance and prescriptive approaches.  

I am curious to hear what you did if anything.  


Dec 4, 18 5:58 pm  · 

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