Thursday, December 15, 2011



I'm not sure what the problem is. I was able to cut and paste from the online MCP without problem. I am accessing it directly from the ACI website. I can also save a copy of the full document to my local hard drive. One difference might be that I am an ACI  committee chair and might have access to a different level of protection of the files than you, but I don't think that is the case.

One thing I have noticed is that recent updates to Adobe Reader don't have the text copy icon readily available. You have to access it through the Menu Bar. Could it be that is the problem?

FYI, I understand comments from others that documents relating to the Building Code ought to be free. As I understand it, in countries where codes are created by bureaucrats, that is the case. However, ACI and ASTM are not government organizations. I know ACI doesn't receive government funding, but don't know about ASTM. Our codes are created as consensus documents by independent organizations. Even if those organizations are non-profit, it doesn't mean they don't need to bring in money to survive. I think it is a case of, "Do we want free documents created by government committees or do we want documents based on field experience that we have to pay for?" There is no "right" answer, but the reality is that this is the system that we use in the U.S.

After I typed the above, I went back and looked at your original messages, then checked out Apparently they offer a free "preview" of the document (which I am AMAZED ACI lets them do) but to get the whole document you have to pay for it. I don't know if you can get a subscription to the whole thing or not. I was able to copy and paste text directly from the free copy, which also amazes me.

If you want full PDF access directly from ACI, a 1 year subscription to the online MCP costs $409 for members and $681.50 for non-members.


At 02:01 PM 12/15/2011, you wrote:

On December 14, 2011 at 4:24 PM Jay Shilstone <> wrote:


> Thanks. I know for a fact that they care. I can pass your complaints along to the

> right people. I'm not saying ACI doesn't make mistakes as they try out new

> technologies, but they may not fully understand your needs and process.


First, apologies on misspelling your name; second, I didn't realize that I was sending this out to the whole list. Both those errors resulted from my using my "smart" phone while sitting in a drive-thru line at lunchtime. I regret them.


Second, the problem I have with this whole thing is, that it went from good to bad. It's not so much "trying out new technologies," since these documents have been available in electronic form - specifically PDF - for about ten years now. I recall a previous employer having a subscription to (I believe) IHS, through which we had access to the entire MCP, from which we could download, print, cut-and-paste from, and otherwise lollygag about with all the documents in the MCP including ACI 301. I particularly recall copying large chunks from ACI 301, pasting them into a WORD document, and then editing them to my satisfaction to create a custom concrete spec.


Reading from the current version, ACI 301-10 (and of course I'm having to type this manually since I can't cut-and-paste it):


"ACI Specification 301-10 is to be used by reference or incoporation in its entirety in the Project Specification...


"If Sections or Parts of ACI Specification 301-10 are copied into the Project not refer to them as an ACI Specification, because the specification has been altered."


"A statement such as the following will serve to make ACI Specification 301-10 a part fo the Project Specification: "Work on (Project Title) shall conform to all requirements of ACI 301-10...except as modified by these Contract Documents."


The last paragraph basically describes how I've proceeded in the past. There is a checklist for the specifier provided in the back of the spec (and not part of it, of course) so that a specifier can basically "fill in the blanks" when there are alternate requirements from which to choose. In the past I have copied the "chunks" of 301-10 into my word processor as dictated by that checklist, and done the wordsmithing from there.


As it is now, that capability no longer exists. I have to go through the document viewing it only from my browser (necessitating a back and forth scrolling up and down to arrive at the various places in the spec I need to access), and manually typing the information in. It's just a huge bother. Doable, but ridiculously, annoyingly made necessary by the padlocks now placed on the document, that didn't exist before.


So there, I've said about 10,000 words more than necessary, but it has allowed me to get it off my chest.