Newsletter - April 2014


So the eggs and bunnies have all been found and the first chill of Winter rustles through the Autumn leaves. Much like Spring, this is a colourful time of year. Perhaps, however, your sales have flagged with the impact of the holidays and the company's energy is down. If so, it's a good time to plan the way through post-election expectations and set new goals.

As part of our planning, we have started to "clean house" and dispose of those notes amassed in meetings then captured and filed electronically. This opens up space in our offices and clears our desks. Of course there is still the danger of relapse, so we can take on and practice a new habit - that of filing and disposing of documents once we have finished working with them.

PC Tip: Outlook e-mail Signatures for "Boilerplate" Text

Last time we mentioned how you can use different signatures for the various roles you play.

Since a "signature" can contain any text, it does not have to be limited to a signature.  It can contain any standard text that you use frequently: Just bear in mind that when you choose a signature, it will replace the current one!  It therefore should, in addition to the standard text, contain your signature too.

One pitfall is that Outlook helpfully marks signatures as excluded from spelling checks.  Hence, if you type inside the signature text, the program will not highlight errors there.

Autodesk 1st Quarter End

Autodesk's first Quarter for 2015 closes out next Wednesday. The update special finished last Tuesday. However, the good news was a decrease in pricing across the board. The relatively new Rental plans for 3, 6 and 12 months are well worth considering as they enable access to the powerful suite solutions at a low cost. Using the power of the suites to increase productivity and really show your solutions at their best, you can then build your business and please your customers!

The Green Building Design solutions, which come with the Building and Infrastructure Design Suites, work in the Cloud to optimize your access to high end processing power. The Factory Design Suite also includes Green Building Studio.

Rendering of objects is also a Cloud facility and that has the potential to increase your team's productivity, as they can progress other aspects of the project whilst this occurs.

Please contact Judith or Willy for quotes. You can also ring us on 011 802 2685.

Autodesk Subscription

There’s a big change coming. Autodesk subscribers already benefit from automatic access to the cutting-edge features and enhanced functionality of the latest version of AutoCAD LT.

From 1 February, 2015, Autodesk is simplifying its pricing structure, making Autodesk Subscription the most convenient, cost-effective way to keep your design tools up to date – so you can keep your business competitive.

See how Autodesk Subscription can help you:

Make sure you stay current – visit the Design Hub to learn more about what you could achieve with an Autodesk subscription:

Green Tip

Yes, South Africa is facing water shortages, whatever the Department of Water Affairs says. So look at using rain water collection solutions for watering your garden or cleaning your vehicles. Check that no taps or pipes are leaking --after all, wasted water costs you money. In addition, report all leaks to your local municipality.

Adobe Creative Cloud for Teams

This product continues to offer a well-regulated solution to software licensing and maintenance. No more wondering where that expensive software box is stored as everything is in the Cloud. Your users can have the required elements deployed to their workstations, with occasional refreshes also deployed centrally.

Licensing management headaches are removed as the software administrator can add and remove users using the management console based in the Cloud as well. Your company pays an annual fee to stay current and enjoy being truly creative anywhere and anytime!

Please contact Judith or Willy for quotes. You can also ring us on 011 802 2685 .

Excel Tip #121 - The Data tab (XII): Data Tools - the Outline Group - The SUBTOTAL() Function

We are looking at the "Data" tab on Excel 2010's Ribbon, the "Outline" group. Last time we looked at the "Subtotal" button to summarise data, and got this result illustrated:

Select one of the cells in the Sales column that contains a total inserted by Excel, e.g. cell C4.  The formula reads =SUBTOTAL(9,C2:C3)

The SUBTOTAL() function is very similar to SUM() --and will often produce the same results-- but is much more versatile.

Look at cell C11, the Grand Total.  Here we find =SUBTOTAL(9,C2:C9).  Notice that it is totalling all the cells above it, including other SUBTOTAL() formulae.

What would happen if it were a SUM() instead?  To see, copy cells C1:C11 to D1:D11.  Now do a replace (Ctrl+H) in column D and change "SUBTOTAL(9," to "SUM(".

What happens?  Everything looks OK until we examine D11, which gives the answer R1,016,741 instead of the correct result, R633,906, as shown in the picture.

Why is this?  Because D11 contains =SUM(D2:D9), meaning that is includes the SUM() results in D4 and D7.  By contrast, the SUBTOTAL() formula gives the correct Grand Total because it does not total other SUBTOTAL() formulae.  Always use SUBTOTAL(9,) instead of SUM() to find subtotals and grand totals!

But why the "9"?  In fact, SUBTOTAL not only does SUM, it will also do AVERAGE, MAX, MIN and many other summary functions: The first parameter tells it which one to do: 1 = AVERAGE, 2 = COUNT, 3 = COUNTA, 4 = MAX, 5 = MIN, 6 = PRODUCT, 7 = STDEV, 8 = STDEVP, 9 = SUM, 10 = VAR, 11 = VARP.  To ignore hidden values, add 100, e.g. use 101 for AVERAGE.

In the next issue, we will look at outlines, grouping, and ungrouping.

Computius Say:

Guide to Computer Terms:
"GUI" (pronounced "gooey") - What your keyboard becomes after you spill your coffee on it.

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"
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:

This entire newsletter is Copyright © 2014 Communication in Action cc t/a Software Africa. All rights reserved. Information may be reproduced in full context as long as credit is given.
Newsletter Index | < 2011 October -- December | 2012 January | January 2013 | October 2013 | November | December 2013 | January 2014 | February 2014 | < March 2014 | May 2014 > | Back to top | Updated 28 May 2014 | e-mail Webmaster.