Newsletter - May 2012

Editorial

After the excitement of April, May has proved a disappointment.  I suspect that the problems in Europe are impacting here as our currency slides.  Also the promised government tenders have been delayed until the end of June.  However, pressure to attract and grow our client base has meant we took our eyes of the ball and failed to publish the newsletter during May!  This is the combined one, with another June one to follow!

With the cold increasing, it seems we are all going to have to apply ourselves to build business faster and more creatively but not unethically!  Thuli is on maternity leave until October and her position is being filled by Willy, who we hope will become a skilled AutoCAD salesperson

dotPLOT Version 7006 with HotPlot 3.6 Released

Apart from the changes reported last month, HotPlot has been improved and now allows you to change the font in your profile without going into dotPLOT. This means that all aspects of the SET file can now be changed in the Settings Editor, without using JetSetup on DOS.  We now allow Multiple CONVOCAB File extensions. On saving your SET file, HotPlot checks all paths and fixes the path to Font files.

You can now swap Setup (SET) files really easily: There is new a Combo box (dropdown list) which lists previously-used Setup File names. If you choose a SET file in a folder other than the default dotPLOT folder, HotPlot will offer to copy it to the correct folder.  The installation has a new selection of SET files for different page layouts.

All these improvements without an increase in price!

Tracking your company's IT assets

Kaseya are in South Africa and their system is able to give your company security around all your IT assets by tracking them.  This means that the laptops that your employees take home or on site with them can be tracked and maintained remotely.  To learn more about the system and to set up a meeting, please contact Judith 011 802 2685 and she will set up a meeting with the representative for you.

Green Tip

If anyone can identify where the horrible air pollution is coming from please let the City of Joburg Air Quality officers know.  They suspect Sasol is the culprit and the noxious fumes are being blown north from Sasolburg.

River clean ups are now in full swing - find out where your local groups are working and when in order to restore our rivers to cleanliness!

AutoCAD 2013 and Design Suites on Special

Upgrade mania is driving licensing opportunities for AutoCAD users to become current and the range of design suites from Built Environment to Plant Design is now on special at a 20% discount!  The access to storage space on the Web is part of the offering and means that your drawings can be altered in real time by inviting your clients to participate in this space.  No long frustrating travel to site and back.  Real cost savings and high data security can be just two of the outcomes you enjoy.

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.

Excel Tip #100 -  Excel 2010 Compared to Excel 2007: Backstage View

Our Centenary Tip (number 100)!  Although we had been doing a print version earlier, this newsletter started in electronic format in September 2000. This series, then called "Excel Tips and Tricks", started in the April 2003 Newsletter, and has run almost continually since.

The big change in Excel, of course, was from Excel 2003 to 2007, when what Microsoft calls the "fluent interface" was introduced. This consists of the ribbon, the purpose of which was to take "commands and features that were previously buried in complex menus and toolbars", and bury them in completely new and unfamiliar places.  However, there are some significant changes in Excel 2010 compared to 2007: Some are even improvements:

The "File" Menu is back!  Excel 2003 had a round button bearing the office logo. When clicked, this opened a very important menu. This button was so counter-intuitive that Microsoft has now changed it to a menu, called "File". This opens the so-called Backstage view, where you create new files, open existing files, save, send, protect, preview, print, and set options for Excel. It now fills the screen instead of popping up over the existing spreadsheet, so that you cannot see anything in the existing spreadsheet.  To exit it, press Escape or click another tab on the ribbon.  Here is a comparison of the two menus:

The top four items ("Save" to "Close") and the bottom two ("Options" and "Exit") do not display anything on Backstage view, though some bring up a dialog box.  The items without symbols on their left are referred to as "tabs" (not to be confused with the tabs at the top of the ribbon), and each of these displays something on the right on Backstage view, as you can see for the "Save & Send" tab shown above.  By the way, Help refers to this as the Share tab, which was its original label.  It's an expanded version of the "Save As" feature, plus "Send", and lets you save to other formats (PDF, for example), or e-mail in various formats  (PDF, for example).

"Preview" has disappeared as an option, but don't despair: When you click on "Print", a Preview appears on the right of Backstage view, with all the Print options on the left. Header and Footer are still in "Page Setup", now relegated to a tiny hyperlink under the Print Settings.

New Tools: 2010 comes with tools that can help you manage, protect, and share your content.

There are several more new features In Excel 2010, so we will look at them in more depth next month, before resuming with the Ribbon.

QuickBooks Update

QuickBooks is proving more and more user friendly.   Being able to easily draw reports on customers and suppliers in order to see where your business is coming from and who are your top suppliers, means access to the overall picture.

For more information, phone the team on 011 802-2685 / 6440.

Computius Say:

If someone dump large winged fire-breathing creature on your PC, it is what computer folk call "dragon-drop".

Remember:  We can make your business run better by:

All the Best from the team!
Judith and Rick

Members, Communication in Action cc trading as Software Africa
"Empowering African Business with custom PC programs, databases, and templates using Microsoft technologies"
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