Newsletter - February 2013

Editorial

January proved to be slow, with many people enjoying extended leave after the rigours of 2012.  February is proving much more lively!

AutoCAD Revit Suites Upgrade Special to Autodesk Building Design Suite Premium

The special is not to be missed as it offers a 40% discount on the product.  The Building Design Suite Premium gives you access to 25GB of storage on the Cloud.  This enables document viewing and sharing capabilities with your customers, in a truly collaborative workspace!  Two mobile applications are also included: Autodesk Design Review and AutoCAD WS.  Being able to use Autodesk 360 Rendering on the Cloud as well, will free you up to do other work whilst your drawings are rendered remotely.

Other Cloud Services include Autodesk 360 Structural for Revit, Autodesk 360 Energy Analysis for Revit and Autodesk Green Building Studio.

On your desktop, you will have Autodesk Revit (Architecture, MEP and Structural tools), Autodesk Navisworks Simulate, Autodesk 3ds Max Design, AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD MEP, AutoCAD Structural Detailing, Autodesk Showcase and Autodesk Sketchbook Designer.

What is more, you will be able to work effectively, meet your targets easily and see your business grow!  And go green!

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

QuickBooks Updates

Please note that Simple Start does not run customer statements.  A number of customers have been told otherwise, but we have checked this out with QuickBooks and been assured that it does not.  Your most satisfying entry level solution is QuickBooks Pro.  For companies wishing to do quotes, QuickBooks Premier or Accountant are the best solutions.

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

HotPlot is a Hit with Users (well, one User)!

Stuart Morgan (Pr Eng) writes from Geoid Geotechnical Engineers: "I'm enjoying the HotPlot front end more and more each time I use it ... very happy with the decision [to upgrade to HotPlot]!".

HotPlot, the Windows interface to dotPLOT, provides a user-friendly "one-stop shop" where you can:

Green Tip

Our water sources are becoming more and more polluted.  Please report sewer bursts to your local municipality.  If you have no reaction, e-mail Judith with details, so she can take it up with the Department of Water Affairs (DWA).

If you would like a presentation on greening your office or school, please contact Judith.  As the branch co-ordinator of Earthlife Joburg Branch, she does such presentations in exchange for a donation to Earthlife plus travelling expenses.

Sustainable energy provides 10 times the jobs of fossil fuels.  Uranium is a fossil fuel; so is fracked gas.

Excel Tip #109 - The Data menu (II): Sort & Filter - Sort

We continue looking at the "Data" tab on Excel 2010's Ribbon. The Data tab consists of five groups, Get External Data, Connections, Sort & Filter, Data Tools, and Outline.  Having examined the first two groups last time, we proceed to the right with "Sort & Filter".

The functions "Sort" and "Filter" are different but related.  Most people are used to the concept of "Sorting", in which items are organised into a particular order.  "Filtering" means that only some items are displayed (unwanted rows are hidden), according to specified criteria.

In order to filter or sort, a list must be organised in a particular way.  As shown in the picture, you must have a row of headings (one row only!) at the top of each column of data, with the data underneath in a contiguous block.  "Contiguous" means that there must be no blank columns or rows breaking up the block of data.  All around the block there must be blank cells (at least one blank row or column, or the edge of the spreadsheet).

Once you have set up your data, the easiest way to sort is to, firstly, click in the column you wish to sort, then click the A-Z or Z-A buttons, which respectively sort into either ascending (increasing, or alphabetical) or descending (decreasing, reverse) order.

That simple method lets you sort by one column only.

To sort by several columns, click the "Sort" button.  Excel selects the block of data under the column headers (you could select the block first if Excel gets it wrong).  It then opens the dialog box shown in the picture, in which you can choose by which column to sort, what to sort on (values, cell font  or colour, or icon), and order (A-Z, Z-A, or custom). Having set the first "Sort by", you can click "Add Level" to add a second and subsequent levels of sorting, as many as you like. When you click OK, all items will be sorted in order by the first level, then, where there are duplicates in that column, those rows will be sorted according to the second level; where there are duplicates in the second level too, the third level will apply, and so on.

A level can be deleted, copied, or moved up or down in the order, using the buttons at the top of the dialog box.  You can do without headings if you insist (un-tick "My data has headings").  "Options" lets you make the sort case-sensitive (lower case sorts before UPPER CASE: grin Grin GRIN), or even change the sort orientation from the usual top-to-bottom to left-to-right (in which case you can't have Headings).

This is much more advanced than the sorts you could do in Excel 2003 and earlier, with a maximum of three levels.

Because this is already a long tip and there is plenty to say about "Filter", we will cover that next time.

Computius Say:

How to eat elephant?  One bite at a time.
How to write big computer program?  One byte at a time.

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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This entire newsletter is Copyright 2012 Communication in Action cc t/a Software Africa. All rights reserved. Information may be reproduced in full context as long as credit is given.
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