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Newsletters – April / May / June 2011

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.  Below and on our home page you can search this entire web site.  Click here for the list of ALL Newsletters.

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Newsletter - April 2011

Editorial

Have a safe holiday season - enjoy the break!

For the second year in a row, we have been having April storms in Gauteng, which have caused extensive damage to river banks and to communities.  By the end of last week, this month's rainfall was nearly double the April average for 1961–90!

Whilst April storms have been watering the ground, the InoVatio Conference truly watered our sales effort!  This was an inspiring day of excellent presentations on the new AutoCAD 2012 range, topped by one of the best key note speakers I have heard for a long time - Stafford Masie.

The other highlight has been taking on new staff after being short following Khanya's leaving and my accident.  We now have Thuli Zwane on Reception and Thulani Nofeleti on sales.  Thuli is busy increasing her knowledge and skills around cold calling for AutoCAD; whilst Thulani is devoting his time to AutoCAD and QuickBooks..

News on dotPLOT, the Soil Profile and Borehole Log Program

The 64-bit version of dotPLOT, dot7001, which also runs on 32-bit PCs, is currently in Beta testing together with a compatible version of HotPlot (the Windows interface).

dot6007 will be released shortly.  It is more accepting of pre-6000 soil profiles where the user specified symbols using [SAnn] (the symbol number in brackets).  The current dot6006 expects a plaintext licence for this condition.

With dot6007, we expect to release the first HotPlot that has a spelling checker (and English and Afrikaans dictionaries).  On 1 May the price for HotPlot will rise to R2000 + VAT, so this is a good time to upgrade to HotPlot at only R1500 + VAT.  Existing users may download the improved version free of charge.

Green Tips

The Joburg Pickitup strike has brought up the problem of rubbish disposal and put it in our faces.  Recycling is the best way of disposing of 80% of your rubbish and most of the rest can be put into the compost.  Contact Console Glass for your glass collections, SAPPI for paper.  Macro and Pick n Pay have recycling for various things such as electronics, light bulbs and batteries.  The perennial pothole problem can be cured in Joburg via Pothole Brigade.  On this site you can report potholes and then track them!

Autodesk Range for 2012

The new range includes Suites for the first time.  This takes Autodesk in a prime position to serve its over 10 million users to new levels of efficiency, productivity and innovation.  Were you aware that AutoCAD® enables the stress testing of designs whilst they are still "on the drawing board", so that the final product is already fully documented and proven before models are built?

An interesting fact is that the film "Avatar" was made using Autodesk products.  This may give you an idea of how the top end vertical products serve not just engineers and architects but film makers as well.

What does the range look like?

This what a Bronze partner is involved in assisting your company with:

AutoCAD® LT is the entry level product and comes in single and five user packages.  AutoCAD® 2012 comes in standalone and network version as well as Autodesk Design Suite.  There are three versions of the latter and come in standalone and network versions.

Autodesk® Design Suite Standard

This consists of AutoCAD®; Autodesk® Showcase®; Autodesk® Sketchbook® Designer and Autodesk® Mudbox.

Autodesk® Design Suite Premium

This consists of Autodesk® Design Suite Standard plus Autodesk®3ds Max® Design

Autodesk® Design Suite Ultimate

This includes Autodesk® Design Suite Premium plus Autodesk® Alias® Design

Please contact Judith judith@softwareafrica.co.za or 011 802 2685 for more details or to set up an appointment to discuss your drawing office requirements.

Autodesk® Sketchbook® Pro

This is very much a part of our offerings!  Ask Thuli about it!

We also offer AutoCAD® Raster Design 2011, AutoCAD® Navisworks Manage 2012 and  AutoCAD® Navisworks Simulate 2012 in both standalone and networked versions.

The whole team is looking forward to being of assistance to your company during 2012 and beyond!

Excel Tip #87 -  Excel 2007/2010: Secrets of the Ribbon (III) - The Home tab

We continue looking at the Ribbon, Microsoft's visual replacement for the menus and a partial imitation of the InfoBox that Lotus 1-2-3 has had for years.  Here's how the ribbon looks when Excel is maximized on a wide-screen PC with the Home tab (the first tab) showing:

Notice that at the bottom of the ribbon there are words: "Clipboard", "Font", "Alignment" etc. The Home ribbon is thus divided up into groups, each with a particular focus:

  • Clipboard: This shows Cut, Copy, Format Painter, and a big Paste button.  Under the Paste button is a downward-pointing triangle indicating a dropdown list or, in this case a submenu, as shown on  the left.  Here you will see some of the old "Paste Special" favourites: Formulas, Values, Transpose, and Link.  They are also still found (with a few others) in the "Paste Special" dialog box, which opens from the "Paste Special..." item on this submenu. There is a new item "As Picture" that allows you to take an area in the spreadsheet and turn it into a picture, either in the spreadsheet itself, or on the clipboard for another program to paste (Why would you want to? I have no clue, but it seems Microsoft thought it was a Good Idea).
  • Font: Here you can do font selection, bold, italic and underscore.  Watch out for the sneaky little downward-pointing triangles: There are plenty more options there: Other underscores (double); a wide variety of borders, and (new) the ability to draw borders; background and foreground colours.  As was the case with the toolbar buttons previously, once you have selected an item from the drop-down list, that item replaces the button next to it, making it easy to repeat.  The new "Draw Borders" options stay turned on (i.e. you can keep drawing borders around different groups of cells) until you press Escape to get out of this mode. There are buttons to increase and decrease the font to the next size in the font list.
  • Alignment: Lets you make vertical and horizontal alignment, wrap, merge and centre text,  The Orientation (angled text) button, unlike earlier cases with little downward-pointing triangles, gives a drop-down list but does not remember your last choice.  It lacks the obvious "horizontal text" and this is because you are supposed to click the same button to undo the action.  Thus, clicking "Angle Clockwise" gives you 45° downhill text, but clicking the same option again does not give you 90° downward text, instead it goes back to horizontal.  Presumably this made sense to Microsoft. "Merge & Center" again has a drop-down list (the new item, "Merge Across", merges the selected cells but keeps the existing alignment) but does not remember your previous choice.

Lest we put you into information overload, we'll leave the following for next month:

  • Number: cell format (and whatever popular formats fit),
  • Styles: conditional and table formatting, cell styles,
  • Cells: insert cells, delete cells, more formatting
  • Editing: Autosum, fill down, clear, sort and filter, find, replace and select.

QuickBooks 2010

QuickBooks Pro enables SMEs to have professionally produced financial and management reports.  It accommodates up to 5 users and has good security, ensuring that junior staff only access those areas that are appropriate for their work.  Graphing of results is excellent, providing a strong visual guide to how your business is doing from month to month.   For more information, phone the team on 011 802-2685 / 6440.

Maximizer 11

Growing stronger by the day, this product range can take your business from small to great with its ability to help you manage your customer and supplier information.  Excellent search facilities enable you to produce reports quickly and take a good look at sales pipelines, closed sales, neglected customers and the sales strategy tools assist you in keeping all the key processes identified.

eScan - the User Friendly Anti-Virus

The anti-virus and Internet protection solution that can be used at home or in a large enterprise, plus everywhere in between!  This solution protects children from going to places they shouldn't and stops worker from trawling the net on social sites all day instead of actually working.  It allows administrators to load software on PCs and Servers without having to be disabled.  For more information, contact Judith on 011 802 2685 or judith@softwareafrica.co.za.

An Introduction to String Theory

Three pieces of string go into a bar.  The first piece of string orders drinks and the barman says, "We don't serve strings here."  The second piece of string fails as dismally.  The third piece ties himself up, fluffs out his ends and saunters up to the bar. "Three beers and make it snappy!" he shouts.  The barman turns around and looks puzzled. "You're a string, aren't you?" he asks. The string says, "No, I'm a frayed knot!"

Remember:  We can make your business run better by:

  • Automating your in-house 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).
  • Supplying software: We re-sell and support various CRM, accounting, timesheet, scheduling, and productivity programs.
  • Providing world-class programs for the Civil Engineer and Engineering Geologist.
  • Making your Civil Engineering Lab run smoother and more profitably with Labbie, our Data Retriever.
  • Promoting 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

Members, Communication in Action CC t/a Software Africa
"Empowering African Business with custom PC programs, databases, and templates using Microsoft technologies"
Reg. 2009/007863/23 ~ VAT No 4500104387 ~ 126 Kelvin Drive, Morningside Manor, Sandton, 2191 South Africa.
Tel: 011 802-2685 / 011 802-6440/1 ~ Fax: 011 802-4576 and 086-635-7902/3 ~ Cell: 082 389-3481/2 ~ e-mail: info@softwareafrica.co.za

This entire newsletter is Copyright© 2011 Communication in Action.  Please 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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Newsletter – May 2011

Editorial

May has come and so have the elections, which have been fiercely fought.  As you open this newsletter, you will know the results and have found out where changes have been made.  The Fukushima nuclear crisis is not under control and has severe implications for human health in the northern hemisphere.  It should have caused our government to pause for thought around nuclear power here, but they did not even stop for breath.

Now the the silly season of April, with all its holidays is over, we are starting to see an upturn in our order book and wish the same for all our customers.

News on dotPLOT for Soil Profiles and Borehole Logs, and HotPlot, the Windows interface

The 64-bit version of dotPLOT, dot7001, which also runs on 32-bit PCs, is currently in Beta testing and looking good.

dot6007 has just been released.  Existing users can upgrade at www.softwareafrica.co.za/dotplot-setup.htm.  It does not drop to Demo mode if you have not licensed plaintext and use pre-6000 soil profiles specifying symbols using [SAnn] (the symbol number in brackets).

With dot6007, we have released the first HotPlot that has a spelling checker (with English and Afrikaans dictionaries), and Find-and-Replace.  Existing users may download the improved version free of charge from the above link.  The price for HotPlot is now R2000 + VAT, still very good value for the extra convenience it offers.

Green Thought

With regard to Fukushima, the real cost of nuclear power is never factored in.  As with any mining operation anywhere in the world, the cost of pollution is totally omitted and remediation is also ignored!  Uranium mining is the most polluting form of mining in the world and has the highest impacts on human health.  Because of an agreement between the World Health Organisation and the International Atomic Energy Authority not to publish information on the impacts of nuclear and uranium mining on human health, we have not had access to the data until very recently.

A few years ago, the Navajo Nation in the USA won a case against the mining company that exposed them to radiation during the mining of uranium in the 1950s.  From being a long lived people --80 years was normal-- they now live to 50 at most.  Why?  Radioactive dust falls on to their lands and crops, their water is polluted with carcinogenic toxic metals and they inhale the same dust.  The effects take between 10 and 30 years to show their full impact and they include cancers, damage to DNA with resulting infertility, and deformed children if births do occur.

Fact: for every 1kg of uranium ore mined, 99kgs of radioactive waste is produced and stored in the open in tailings dams (mine dumps); huge amounts of fossil fuel are used and millions of litres of water polluted.  When the uranium ore is milled and refined for fuel, more radioactive waste is produced, million of kilowatts of fossil fuel consumed and more water polluted.  The environment and the communities around the mines and other processes are polluted and human and animal health impaired.

These costs never appear in any of the costs of nuclear power stations.

Nuclear power creates 1 job per megawatt as opposed to sustainable power which creates 10 jobs per megawatt.  Can we truly turn our backs on sustainable and favour Nuclear instead?

Green Tip

Shell want to extract gas by using the method call Fracking in the Karoo.  Recent studies in Canada and the USA have proved that fracking is environmentally damaging and also badly affects human health.  So join the campaign to stop fracking taking place in the Karoo.  Meet the manager of your local Shell garage and inform them that you won't be buying Shell petrol if the company continues to push for the rights to frack.

Autodesk Special on Upgrades for 2012

Autodesk is running a campaign to encourage all users of older products to upgrade to the current versions.  This will then put users onto an annual licence platform so that they can stay current and receive support at a low cost.  The offering are as follows:

Upgrade AutoCAD® from versions 2008 to 2000                                      R14 611.50 ex VAT

Upgrade AutoCAD® from version 2011, 2010 and 2009                            R11 347.50 ex VAT

Autodesk 3ds Max Design from versions 2008 to 2000                             R12 971.00 ex VAT

Autodesk 3ds Max Design from version 2011, 2010 and 2009                   R10 115.00 ex VAT

Autodesk 3ds Max Design from Autodesk 3ds                                         R4 403.00 ex VAT

Autodesk Navisworks Manage upgrade from Navisworks Simulate 2012     R25 797.50 ex VAT

AutoCAD Raster Design from versions 2008 to 2000                                 R7 497.00 ex VAT

AutoCAD Raster Design form versions 2011,2010 and 2009                      R5 865.00 ex VAT

Customers who have a 2012 release of AutoCAD with an active subscription contract can migrate to AutoCAD Design Suite Standard (includes Autodesk Showcase, Autodesk Sketchbook Designer and Autodesk Mudbox as well as AutoCAD) for the extremely interesting price of R0!  This gives a company the ability to produce high quality presentations in-house as well as having the power to move from basic design through to finish product, using a workflow based environment.  This means very efficient and productive use of time and greatly improved documentation of the entire job, which is generated as the designs are produced.  You can also share designs and edit them on the Internet.

All except the last offer expire on 15 July 2011.  The last expires on 30 September 2011

What does the range look like?

This what a Bronze partner can assist your company with:

AutoCAD® LT is the entry level product and comes in single and five-user packages.  AutoCAD® 2012 comes in standalone and network version as well as Autodesk Design Suite.  There are three versions of the latter and come in standalone and network versions.

Autodesk® Design Suite Standard

This consists of AutoCAD®; Autodesk® Showcase®; Autodesk® Sketchbook® Designer and Autodesk® Mudbox.

Autodesk® Design Suite Premium

This consists of Autodesk® Design Suite Standard plus Autodesk®3ds Max® Design

Autodesk® Design Suite Ultimate

This includes Autodesk® Design Suite Premium plus Autodesk® Alias® Design

Please contact Judith judith@softwareafrica.co.za or 011 802 2685 for more details or to set up an appointment to discuss your drawing office requirements.

Autodesk® Sketchbook® Pro

This is very much a part of our offerings!  Ask Thuli about it!

We also offer AutoCAD® Raster Design 2011, AutoCAD® Navisworks Manage 2012 and  AutoCAD® Navisworks Simulate 2012 in both standalone and networked versions.

The whole team is looking forward to being of assistance to your company during 2012 and beyond!

Excel Tip #88 -  Excel XP/2000/2003/2007/2010: Where have Workgroup Templates gone?

This month we deviate from our "Secrets of the Ribbon" series to bring you some vital information not generally known (even on the internet), and not easily found on Microsoft's increasingly useless Knowledgebase.

Background: If you wanted to share templates between different users on your network and have used earlier Excel versions, you will probably have used the Workgroup Templates folder.  Instead of laboriously copying shared templates to the User Templates folder on each PC, what you did was to click Tools > Options.  On the File Locations tab, you could set the folder address of both the User Templates (usually on a local drive) and the Workgroup Templates (usually a shared network drive).  Once you'd done this on every PC, you would put each company template on the Workgroup Templates folder.  When a template was upgraded, you only needed to change it in one place.

A massively labour-saving feature like this would be a natural target for the Microsoft Useful Features Elimination Team (the secret group dedicated to making Microsoft products user-hostile by hiding or removing good features), so it was quietly removed around the XP release.

However, there is a workaround.

This has to be done in Word (there is no such feature in Excel, which finally convinces me that Microsoft is insane).

So here’s how to change Excel’s Workgroup Templates location for Excel XP, 2000, 2003, 2007, and 2010:

Start Word. As shown in the picture, click the Office button (the round object with the Office logo at top left) and choose Word Options > Advanced.  Scroll down to the General section near the bottom. Click the File Locations button, then Workgroup Templates.  Click the Modify button and in the dialog, change the folder to point to the relevant network folder (tip modified from this link).

Save your templates to this folder from Excel as an Excel XP/2003 template (*.xlt), or Excel 2007/2010 template (*.xltx) or macro-enabled template (*.xltm).

One drawback: This alters the path to your Word Workgroup Templates too.  There is now no way to separate your Word and Excel templates into separate folders.

  Now, when you want to create a new Excel spreadsheet from one of the company templates, run Excel and click the Office button. Clink New > My Templates. Choose the template you want to use, and click OK.

Templates have the big advantage that they create a file with no name, so the user has to give it a name when they save.  If you just open an existing workbook, intending to save it with a new name after you have changed it, it is very easy to accidentally replace the original file!

QuickBooks 2010

QuickBooks Premium is for a company which wants to do POS and to have their accountant access their books remotely.  It accommodates up to 50 users and has good security, ensuring that junior staff only access those areas that are appropriate for their work.  Graphing of results is excellent, providing a strong visual guide to how your business is doing from month to month.   For more information, phone the team on 011 802-2685 / 6440.

Maximizer 11

Growing stronger by the day, this product range can take your business from small to great with its ability to help you manage your customer and supplier information.  Excellent search facilities enable you to produce reports quickly and take a good look at sales pipelines, closed sales, neglected customers and the sales strategy tools assist you in keeping all the key processes identified.

eScan - the User Friendly Anti-Virus

The anti-virus and Internet protection solution that can be used at home or in a large enterprise, plus everywhere in between!  This solution protects children from going to places they shouldn't and stops worker from trawling the net on social sites all day instead of actually working.  It allows administrators to load software on PCs and Servers without having to be disabled.  For more information, contact Judith on 011 802 2685 or judith@softwareafrica.co.za.

Confusion Say

Comrades Marathon runners with poor footwear suffer agony of defeat.

Remember:  We can make your business run better by:

  • Automating your in-house 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).
  • Supplying software: We re-sell and support various CRM, accounting, timesheet, scheduling, and productivity programs.
  • Providing world-class programs for the Civil Engineer and Engineering Geologist.
  • Making your Civil Engineering Lab run smoother and more profitably with Labbie, our Data Retriever.
  • Promoting 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

Members, Communication in Action CC t/a Software Africa
"Empowering African Business with custom PC programs, databases, and templates using Microsoft technologies"
Reg. 2009/007863/23 ~ VAT No 4500104387 ~ 126 Kelvin Drive, Morningside Manor, Sandton, 2191 South Africa.
Tel: 011 802-2685 / 011 802-6440/1 ~ Fax: 011 802-4576 and 086-635-7902/3 ~ Cell: 082 389-3481/2 ~ e-mail: info@softwareafrica.co.za

This entire newsletter is Copyright© 2011 Communication in Action.  Please 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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Newsletter – June 2011

Editorial

Once again June has presented us with unusual weather, especially the rain.  The Western and Eastern Cape are firmly wrapped in snow.  However, business is recovering from its slumber of April and we are seeing increased activity on the roads, as well as through our switchboard.  We hope that this will be the same for all our customers!

News on dotPLOT for Soil Profiles and Borehole Logs, and HotPlot, the Windows interface

dot6007 was released last month with HotPlot 3.2.0. The package was upgraded with HotPlot Version 3.2.2 on 6 June, a minor bug-fix.  Existing users can upgrade free of charge at www.softwareafrica.co.za/dotplot-setup.htm.  You can now install directly from the Internet with a new smaller, faster, slicker, more functional Setup package that installs both dotPLOT and HotPlot at the same time in one operation. Much easier than before!

HotPlot is optional, but very useful and well worth licensing.  It makes the entire process of running dotPLOT easier and faster.  You can edit the text files in HotPlot with all the Windows features you would expect, run profiles directly from it, and automatically open the PDF when dotPLOT finishes.  No need to edit text files in one package, then run dotPLOT through DOS, and go hunting for the output PDF files to view them.  With a spelling checker using customisable English and Afrikaans geotechnical dictionaries, Find-and-Replace, previous file list, and on-line Windows Help, HotPlot is the way to speed up your borehole logs and soil profiles.

Green Tip

We welcome the moves by government to start dealing with mining pollution of our water sources.  This is a step in the right direction and very heartening.  Now, each one of us can also help to keep pollution out of our rivers and off our streets by reporting leaks and sewer bursts.  In Johannesburg, the Environmental Health Department's Oscar 074 429-7469 can assist you as can Mr Kagiso Mokone 083 381-7473.  Joburg Water can also be contacted through Baldwin Matsimela 082 859-0459 and bmatsimela@water.co.za.

Autodesk Special on Upgrades for 2012

Autodesk is running a campaign to encourage all users of older products to upgrade to the current versions.  This will then put users onto an annual licence platform so that they can stay current and receive support at a low cost.  The offerings are as follows:

Upgrade AutoCAD® from versions 2008 to 2000                       R14 611.50 + VAT
Upgrade AutoCAD® from versions 2011, 2010 and 2009                R11 347.50 + VAT
Autodesk 3ds Max Design from versions 2008 to 2000                R12 971.00 + VAT
Autodesk 3ds Max Design from version 2011, 2010 and 2009          R10 115.00 + VAT
Autodesk 3ds Max Design from Autodesk 3ds                         R4 403.00 + VAT
Autodesk Navisworks Manage upgrade from Navisworks Simulate 2012  R25 797.50 + VAT
AutoCAD Raster Design from versions 2008 to 2000                  R7 497.00 + VAT
AutoCAD Raster Design from versions 2011, 2010 and 2009            R5 865.00 + VAT

Customers who have a 2012 release of AutoCAD with an active subscription contract can migrate to Autodesk Design Suite Standard (includes Autodesk Showcase, Autodesk Sketchbook Designer and Autodesk Mudbox as well as AutoCAD) for the extremely interesting price of R0!  This gives a company the ability to produce high quality presentations in-house as well as having the power to move from basic design through to finished product, using a workflow-based environment.  This means very efficient and productive use of time and greatly improved documentation of the entire job, which is generated as the designs are produced.  You can also share designs and edit them on the Internet.  All except the last offer expire on 15 July 2011.  The last expires on 30 September 2011.

What does the range look like?

This what a Bronze partner can assist your company with:

AutoCAD® LT is the entry level product and comes in single and five-user packages.  AutoCAD® 2012 comes in standalone and network version as well as Autodesk Design Suite.  There are three versions of the latter and come in standalone and network versions.

Autodesk® Design Suite Standard

This consists of AutoCAD®; Autodesk® Showcase®; Autodesk® Sketchbook® Designer and Autodesk® Mudbox.

Autodesk® Design Suite Premium

This consists of Autodesk® Design Suite Standard plus Autodesk®3ds Max® Design

Autodesk® Design Suite Ultimate

This includes Autodesk® Design Suite Premium plus Autodesk® Alias® Design

Please contact Judith judith@softwareafrica.co.za or 011 802 2685 for more details or to set up an appointment to discuss your drawing office requirements.

Autodesk® Sketchbook® Pro

This is very much a part of our offerings!  Ask Thuli about it!

We also offer AutoCAD® Raster Design 2011, AutoCAD® Navisworks Manage 2012 and  AutoCAD® Navisworks Simulate 2012 in both standalone and networked versions.

The whole team is looking forward to being of assistance to your company during 2012 and beyond!

Excel Tip #89 -  Excel 2007/2010: Secrets of the Ribbon (IV) - The Home tab (Number group)

We continue looking at the Ribbon, Microsoft's gift to the computer training industry.  Here's how the ribbon looks when Excel is maximized on a wide-screen PC with the Home tab (the first tab) showing:

In Tip #87, we saw how the Home ribbon is thus divided up into groups (named at the bottom), each with a particular focus, and looked at Clipboard, Font, and Alignment.  We now look at Number:

The combo box (dropdown list) at the top provides a list of the more popular cell formats (see picture on left). These take effect immediately, using the example shown, so you don't get to set the thousands separator or the number of decimals. If you click "More Number Formats..." at the bottom, the old "Format Cells" dialog pops up (on the Number tab),  Two other ways to get this dialog box are to press Ctrl+1, and to click the tiny little arrow button on the right of the blue "Number" bar at the bottom of the ribbon (circled in red above).  Notes on some of the formats:
  • Number: Fixed decimals.  In the dialog box you can also set thousands punctuation.
  • Currency and Accounting both have a currency symbol: Up against the numbers for Currency, on the left of the column for Accounting.
  • Date formats: depend on the regional date settings
  • Text: Used to avoid Excel treating numeric input as a number, for example when entering phone numbers and postal codes.
  • Underneath the combo box are some buttons (not all of which may be visible on your screen) to set currency format, percent format, comma format (thousands punctuation), and to increase or decrease decimals

    If you want to alter the thousands separator, use Start > Control Panel > Region and Language > Additional Settings > Numbers tab > Digit Grouping Symbol.  The date formats are in the same area.  Note that you can overrule the numeric punctuation in Excel, using the Microsoft Office Button (File menu in 2010) > Excel Options > Advanced tab > Editing options > Use system separators, Decimal separator and Thousands separator.

    Lest we put you into information overload, we'll leave the following for the next issue:

    • Styles: conditional and table formatting, cell styles,
    • Cells: insert cells, delete cells, more formatting
    • Editing: Autosum, fill down, clear, sort and filter, find, replace and select.

    QuickBooks 2010

    QuickBooks Premium is for a company which wants to do POS and to have their accountant access their books remotely.  It accommodates up to 50 users and has good security, ensuring that junior staff only access those areas that are appropriate for their work.  Graphing of results is excellent, providing a strong visual guide to how your business is doing from month to month.   For more information, phone the team on 011 802-2685 / 6440.

    Maximizer 11

    Growing stronger by the day, this product range can take your business from small to great with its ability to help you manage your customer and supplier information.  Excellent search facilities enable you to produce reports quickly and take a good look at sales pipelines, closed sales, neglected customers and the sales strategy tools assist you in keeping all the key processes identified.

    eScan - the User Friendly Anti-Virus

    The anti-virus and Internet protection solution that can be used at home or in a large enterprise, plus everywhere in between!  This solution protects children from going to places they shouldn't and stops worker from trawling the net on social sites all day instead of actually working.  It allows administrators to load software on PCs and Servers without having to be disabled.  For more information, contact Judith on 011 802 2685 or judith@softwareafrica.co.za.

    Confusion Say

    Experience –something you get just after you need it.

    Remember:  We can make your business run better by:

    • Automating your in-house 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).
    • Supplying software: We re-sell and support various CRM, accounting, timesheet, scheduling, and productivity programs.
    • Providing world-class programs for the Civil Engineer and Engineering Geologist.
    • Making your Civil Engineering Lab run smoother and more profitably with Labbie, our Data Retriever.
    • Promoting 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

    Members, Communication in Action CC t/a Software Africa
    "Empowering African Business with custom PC programs, databases, and templates using Microsoft technologies"
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