Frequently Asked Questions

Products & Features

Who uses the Exactal range of products?

The CostX® range of products are used around the world by companies large and small from a diverse range of construction professions, who need to estimate and takeoff from plans. Some of these include:

  • Quantity Surveyors
  • Commercial Builders
  • Residential Builders
  • Subcontractors (Walls & Ceilings, Roofing, Landscaping, Flooring, Structural Steel, Shopfitting & Interiors, Concrete & Masonry, and more)
  • MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing)
  • Civil
  • Oil & Gas
  • BIM Managers

And even more. To see more details on CostX® use by different industries, please visit our Industries page. You can also view some quotes, testimonials and case studies from customers here.

What is the difference between the CostX® range of products?

We offer four main products to customers: CostX®, CostX® 2D, CostX® Takeoff and CostX® Takeoff 2D to suit your requirements. Below is a comparative table showing the main feature differences:

CostX® CostX®
Takeoff 2D
2D drawings (incl. PDFs)
3D / BIM Model
Auto- Revisioning
Subcontractor Comparison

There is also CostXL, which works with any network product from the main CostX® range, creating a link between that and your Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

We also offer two free products. CostX® Viewer can be downloaded onto any Windows computer and will allow the user to open CostX® files and view them, without making changes. CostX® Educational is our special educational version for lecturers and students.

What is DimensionX and dxAPI?

Exactal also sells two products called DimensionX and dxAPI, which can be used by other companies in conjunction with their existing technology. Both have similar features; the difference between the two comes in how they are deployed. While DimensionX can export files in a specific format required for the system it is working with, it remains as a standalone program. In comparison, dxAPI is actually integrated into the host system it is working with, creating one complete program that works seamlessly together. To the end user there is only one installation required and one total solution. Please note, however, that we are not taking on any more DimensionX partners at this time; DimensionX can only be purchased from our current list of partners which can be found here. However, we are actively taking on dxAPI partners; if you’re interested in finding out more please contact us here.

These premium integrated takeoff solutions allow you to utilise world-leading take-off technology with your system. Normally, you’d have to do years of development to add such sophisticated take-off to your range, but our range of products cuts this down to days. The added advantage of having this takeoff technology means more customers if you’re a reseller, and higher productivity of staff. ROI will be gained back quickly and you will continue to reap the benefits of your investment in the future. On top of this we stand by our products as being superior to any competitive offerings available.

Can I upgrade between different products?

This is certainly possible. For example, if you purchase CostX® 2D now, then later decide that you want BIM, we will allow you to upgrade to CostX®. There is no need to buy an entirely new product if you don’t wish to!

What are the licensing options and what are the differences between them?

CostX® has a variety of flexible licensing options to suit your different needs and scenarios:

A standalone licence gives unrestricted access to CostX® and it is licensed to an individual computer.

A network licence is best suited for companies that have multiple users of the software. This enables employees to share a set number of licences via your server, making it the most cost effective solution.

A portable licence is stored on a dongle or USB key. It can be used with both standalone and network configurations.

The above are available for CostX®, CostX® 2D, CostX® Takeoff & CostX® Takeoff 2D, as well as DimensionX. CostXL is only available as a network licence, while CostX® Viewer and CostX® Educational are only available in standalone versions.

dxAPI can work as either standalone or network depending on the integration process.

Do Exactal products come in metric or imperial?

With Exactal products, you can easily switch between both metric and imperial.

What types of file formats can I use with Exactal products?

Please refer to the following diagram.

CostX Compatability

DimensionX and dxAPI are able to import the same range of drawing files, however, other import options and export options may vary depending on their integration. For more in-depth details on the file types CostX® supports (ideal for architects & designers), click here to request a copy of our Drawing File Optimisation document.

What languages are Exactal products available in?

CostX® is currently available in both English and Chinese. However, the database is also fully translatable and more languages will be coming soon! CostX® is also fully Unicode compatible so can support all international characters.

dxAPI comes with a language translation tool which allows user to set individual language requirement. DimensionX is Unicode compatible so supports running on international systems and international data entry, but is only available in English at the moment.

Can I book in a demonstration?

Certainly! We offer free web demonstrations with our worldwide network of Product Specialists, all certified Quantity Surveyors and Estimators. Please send in a sales enquiry here and we would be happy to arrange this. Booking in a demonstration at your offices may also be possible, but this would depend on your location and proximity to one of our offices.

Can I have a trial?

Contact us here to discuss options for trials and rental licences.


How much does it cost?

It’s hard to give an exact cost, because pricing is determined by a number of factors. For example, would you want to use BIM or just 2D? Do you need estimating spreadsheets and report generation? Would you want to buy 100 copies or just one? If you send in a sales enquiry here, we’ll be able to send you through a quote that will meet your requirements.

What else is included with my CostX® licence purchase?

When you purchase CostX®, as well as receiving the licence, you’ll also have access to a huge range of documentation (Introductory & Advanced Manuals, Progress Flowcharts and more), plus sample files and free phraseologies. Also on our website, we have free training videos here and our CostX® Coffee Break webinar series here.

Can CostX® be rented or purchased outright?

There are options for both available, for maximum flexibility to support your business. Generally we recommend a full purchase because it saves money over time, and means you don’t have to keep renewing. If you purchase, you have no yearly renewal costs except your optional annual maintenance renewal. But please contact us and we can give you further information.

How can I purchase?

Just contact your local office or send in a sales enquiry here and our dedicated sales team will be in touch!

Support & Training

What does annual maintenance include?

We offer an annual maintenance program, which almost all our new users choose to take on. An annual fee of 18% gives you off-site support, as well as all new releases of the software. Receiving free releases of the software when they become available means you’ll always be up-to-date with the latest technology, and compatible with all other versions of the software.

Our support team works closely with our development team, so if you have any suggestions for new features please let them know and it will be considered for a future release.

For more information on maintenance inclusions, please click here.

What support is available?

Off-site support includes both email and phone support. By dialling into any Exactal phone number (local numbers available for Australia, China, Hong Kong, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, United Kingdom & USA) our worldwide team of Product Specialists and Support Engineers are on hand to help at all times. Our Support email is also monitored by team members worldwide covering 24 hours of each day.

How long does it take to install CostX®?

Not long at all! When you purchase a licence, you are sent comprehensive download details that you can easily follow to install on your computer. If you have any problems with the install, just call our dedicated support team as they would be happy to help.

How long does it take to integrate with dxAPI?

It really depends on the level of integration that you require. With any integration that involves two different products timing is difficult to estimate without performing due diligence on the factors at play e.g. the different development environments and languages. Contact us and we can provide an estimated figure.

Do Exactal products work on a Mac?

Using CostX® on a Mac is easy! While the construction industry is still predominantly Windows based, you can run Windows on a Mac by either booting to Windows using Apple’s Boot Camp or running in a virtual machine using Parallels or VMWare.

What training options for CostX® are available?

To ensure the success of your CostX® investment, we provide a number of comprehensive training programs to suit all budgets and requirements.

We have developed three standard training courses to suit the skill levels of participants:

  • Introduction to CostX®
  • Advanced CostX®
  • CostX® BIM & 3D Measurement

Each of these courses can be presented either Onsite at your office for a more personalized approach for a larger group or can be accessed Online for a more economical and flexible option. Click here for more information regarding our training options.

What is the release process to dxAPI partners for new versions of dxAPI?

dxAPI is updated periodically to include new features and improvements often predominately via partner feedback. When updates are released, the partner is notified and given comprehensive information about the new version including release notes of the changes as well as how to download the software and accompanying documentation. As the update is integrated with your application, our development support team can offer assistance if any issues are encountered.


Can I be a reseller of CostX® ?

We sell direct to all areas except Africa (Our African reseller is ACE Solutions) and Vietnam (Our Vietnam reseller is TPP Technologies). We are not looking for any resellers in other areas at this time.