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Newsletters – October to December 2007

Click on a link to any of our recent newsletters, or just scroll down.  Every month there are valuable tips and hints on Microsoft Excel, Maximizer and more!  In Internet Explorer, you can search this page for keywords using Ctrl+F.  On our home page you can search this entire web site.  Click here for the list of ALL Newsletters.

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  • Newsletter – October 2007

    Editorial

    The first rains have come and we had more rain in one day last month than the previous average for the month.  Whether this means that we will have a really wet season remains to be seen.  Our veggie garden has produced the most wonderful spinach, so we spent some time planting more seeds for other vegetables including butternut.  If the latter do well, then I will have a freezer full of amazing soup for winter.

    On the development side, Labbie is now reporting using Crystal Reports and the solution is growing in power and depth of application.

    A Quick Windows Tip

    Would you like to run Windows Search easily?  Hold in the "Windows" key on the keyboard (ÿ) and press F (for "Find").
    (Pressing the
    ÿ key on its own opens the Windows Start menu containing Search, but this is quicker.)

    Revised Quote Sheet 2.02 Available

    Now on our web site is the (slightly revised) latest version of our free Excel spreadsheet for producing general quotations and Bills of Materials. You can enter your own price lists in different categories. If you register, the printout will be personalized with your company name and details.  To get the quote sheet, visit our web site here.

    Excel Tips #47 – The Cowboy Function, ROUNDUP (and its companion)

    We have previously mentioned the function =ROUND(number, digits), which rounds a number to a given number of digits.  It always rounds to the nearest number that has the required number of digits. E.g. ROUND(3.1415, 3) = 3.142, ROUND(-3.1415, 3) = -3.142, and ROUND(3141.59, -2) = 3100. 

    Here are two lesser-known functions that always round in the same direction:

    Syntax: Description Example
    =ROUNDUP(number, digits) Rounds a number up (away from zero) to the given number of digits.  ROUNDUP(PI(), 2) = 3.15
    =ROUNDDOWN(number, digits) Rounds a number down (towards zero) to the given number of digits.  ROUNDDOWN(PI(), 2) = 3.14

    Both behave like ROUND, except that ROUNDUP always rounds a number up and ROUNDDOWN always rounds a number down.  As with ROUND, a negative value for digits works too: -1 rounds to tens, -2 to hundreds, etc.

    As with last month's functions, haven't found a use for these two –but you might!

    Green Spot

    You have no doubt seen the old slogan "Preserve wildlife – pickle a squirrel!"  In this spirit, and to help with the sustainable utilization of natural resources, we hereby present our:

    Recipe for Hadeda Stew

    Ingredients:  One Hadeda (plucked and drawn), assorted vegetables (diced), one old hiking boot.

    Method: Place all ingredients in a large pot with enough water to cover.  Bring to the boil and simmer gently for a week, adding water as required.  Remove Hadeda, throw it away, and eat the boot.

    (if you don't know what a Hadeda Ibis is – aren't you lucky!  Just kidding: They are great for getting rid of snails, and make rousing alarm clocks)

    Remember:  We can Help you with:―;

    • "Replicating" expensive staff: We can write your business rules and processes into a custom computer program:  Lower-level employees just have to complete tasks, while you are alerted to exceptions.

    • Solving your Maximizer, Access, Excel, Word, Visual Basic, and Lotus 123 problems.

    • Training your company on Maximizer, Excel, Word, Access and Windows.  We do all levels from beginners to Programming.

    • Software: We re-sell and support various CRM, timesheet, scheduling, and productivity programs.

    • Your corporate image with a coherent set of templates on Word or Excel.

    All the Best from the team!
    Judith and Rick

    Directors, Communication in Action (Pty) Ltd t/a Software Africa
    PO Box 987, Gallo Manor, 2052 South Africa.
    Tel: 011 802-2685.  Fax: 011 802-4576.  Cell: 082 389-3481/2.
    E-mail: info@softwareafrica.co.za

    This entire newsletter is Copyright© 2007 Communication in Action (Pty) LtdPlease share it with your friends or post it on your site as long as it is left intact with all links unchanged and includes this notice.  To Subscribe to the newsletter, Click here and SEND the resulting e-mail. Your data will not be sold, rented or given away to any third party without your express permission.

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    Newsletter – November 2007

    Editorial

    We now move into the silly season of firework displays!  Not a happy time for our feathered and furred nations, whether they be wild or domestic, these displays do not make them happy.  Some animals are fortunate enough not to react to loud bangs.  Others, however, panic –often with disastrous results.  Please encourage your friends to have no bangs if they must have fireworks.

    Sadly, Simphiwe is leaving us during this month.  She has been offered a position at a major corporate and we wish her all the very best for her future. We're going to miss her cheery attitude and her excellent telesales work.

    From the 19th November, your sales contact will be Funiwe only.  We will be looking for a new telesales person in the new year.

    Breaking News

    QuickBooks 2008 Launched

    EasyBiz launched the new versions of this great SME software last week, and I discovered that they have no relationship with Softline!  At last a truly worthy product which is not in the Softline stable!

    There are now only three versions:  Simple Start; QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Premium.  The last replaces Accountant.  Users who have been using the multi-currency function however will have to wait to upgrade, as this has not been handled in this release.

    The idea has been to bring all product offerings in line with the US.  This will make support easier.  The US, home of the not so mighty dollar, doesn't use multi-currency, hence the delay.

    If you are interested in looking at QuickBooks or purchasing a copy, please contact Funiwe on 011 802 2685 or funiwe@softwareafrica.co.za.

    We will be building an information page on our website.  Should you want a demonstration of the product, please contact Funiwe to set up an appointment with Judith for you.

    Revised Free Quote Sheet 2.03 Available

    Now on our web site is the (slightly revised again) latest version of our free Excel spreadsheet for producing general quotations and Bills of Materials. You can enter your own price lists in different categories. If you register, the printout will be personalized with your company name and details.  To download the quote sheet, visit our web site here.

    Quick Microsoft Word Tip – Casing the Joint

    Taking a break from Excel Tips this month, we offer two quick ways to fix your case in Word:

    dID YOU EVER FORGET YOU HAD caps lock on AND TYPE A SENTENCE LIKE THIS?  Help is at hand!  Select all the offending words.  Click Word's Formatting menu > Change Case, and select tOGGLE cASE.!

    An even quicker shortcut, if you can remember it, is to press Shift+F3 as many times as required –it cycles through the various casing possibilities for the selected text.

    For more word tips, visit www.softwareafrica.co.za/tips-word.htm

    An Early Gift: Mattress Turning Schedule

    When you buy certain mattresses, the manufacturer requires you to turn them on a regular basis, typically fortnightly during the first three months and then monthly thereafter.  There are four ways the mattress can be placed, and a specific order for turning.  Who bothers?  But if you don't and your mattress sags or goes lumpy, your guarantee may not be valid!

    So, in time for the silly season, we set up a silly spreadsheet to solve this problem.  You enter the dates of purchase and delivery, and a suitable number of days to get to (for example) your or your domestic worker's preferred day.  The program then works out the schedule for you.  You can print it out and stick it on the back of a door or other suitable place.  Cross off each date when the mattress has been turned to the  position shown on the picture.

    To get this spreadsheet, visit our free spreadsheets web page and order it (batteries not included).

    Remember:  We can Help you with:―

    • "Replicating" expensive staff: We can write your business rules and processes into a custom computer program:  Lower-level employees just have to complete tasks, while you are alerted to exceptions.

    • Solving your Maximizer, Access, Excel, Word, Visual Basic, and Lotus 123 problems.

    • Training your company on Maximizer, Excel, Word, Access and Windows.  We do all levels from beginners to Programming.

    • Software: We re-sell and support various CRM, timesheet, scheduling, and productivity programs.

    • Your corporate image with a coherent set of templates on Word or Excel.

    All the Best from the team!
    Judith and Rick

    Directors, Communication in Action (Pty) Ltd t/a Software Africa
    PO Box 987, Gallo Manor, 2052 South Africa.
    Tel: 011 802-2685.  Fax: 011 802-4576.  Cell: 082 389-3481/2. E-mail: info@softwareafrica.co.za

    This entire newsletter is Copyright© 2007 Communication in Action (Pty) LtdPlease share it with your friends or post it on your site as long as it is left intact with all links unchanged and includes this notice.  To Subscribe to the newsletter, Click here and SEND the resulting e-mail. Your data will not be sold, rented or given away to any third party without your express permission.

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    Newsletter – December 2007

    Editorial

    Once again the end of the year arrives.  We hope that you have all had a prosperous 2007 and that 2008 will build on your successes.  Meanwhile, travel safely and enjoy the festive season!  Look near the bottom of this e-mail (not the Christmas tree!) for your presents.

    Spare a thought for the Reservists, regular Police, security and emergency workers who are not going on holiday but working to keep your property, and you, safe over this period.

    Our offices will be closed from noon on 14th December 2007 until 08:00 on 7th January 2008.  However, Judith and Rick will be available on cell phones in case of emergencies (082 389-3481/2).

    Telesales Position!

    We are looking for a telesales person to start in January – to apply, please send your CV to Judith judith@softwareafrica.co.za.

    Excel Tips #48 – A Little Time-Saver: Entering Decimals Without the Point

    Try Tools > Options > Edit tab > Fixed Decimal.  When turned on, this allows you to enter numbers without the decimal.  For example, if under this option, "Places" is set to 2, you can enter 1054 and get 10.54 in the cell.  It saves hunting for the full stop if you are entering a lot of numbers that have cents anyway.

    It can also be hell to fix if you turn it on by accident, as a customer of ours found recently!  Or if a co-worker decides to play a practical joke on you and you don't remember this!  Suddenly all the numbers you enter are being divided by 100!  Fortunately, if you type the decimal point, Excel still respects it.

    For plenty more Excel tips, visit softwareafrica.co.za/tips-excel.htm

    End-of-Year Gifts: Free Spreadsheets

    The updated Bank Reconciliation Spreadsheet now includes Standard Bank (as well as the other big three).  You copy from the bank's internet banking page and paste into the spreadsheet, then click a button and Excel reformats the data into a meaningful arrangement, complete with running balance and available amount.

    Check your power bill and reduce consumption:  There is a new spreadsheet to let you monitor your electricity use and work out the cost using Eskom's latest domestic power rates.

    To order these and several other spreadsheets, visit our free spreadsheets web page.

    Remember:  We can Help you with:―

    • Automating your processes with a custom program or database.

    • Solving your Maximizer, Access, Excel, Word, Visual Basic, and even Lotus 123 problems.

    • Training your company on Maximizer, Excel, Word, Access and Windows (all levels from beginners to Programming).

    • Software: We re-sell and support various CRM, timesheet, scheduling, and productivity programs.

    • Your corporate image with a set of templates on Word or Excel, linked to your address list.

    All the Best from the team!
    Judith and Rick

    Directors, Communication in Action (Pty) Ltd t/a Software Africa
    PO Box 987, Gallo Manor, 2052 South Africa.
    Tel: 011 802-2685.  Fax: 011 802-4576.  Cell: 082 389-3481/2. E-mail: info@softwareafrica.co.za

    This entire newsletter is Copyright© 2007 Communication in Action (Pty) LtdPlease share it with your friends or post it on your site as long as it is left intact with all links unchanged, and includes this notice.  To Subscribe to the newsletter, Click here and SEND the resulting e-mail. Your data will not be provided to a third party without your permission.

     

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