Newsletter - July 2015


We are faced with a sinking economy, rising interest rates and higher petrol and electricity prices.  Yet we are working flat out against the odds to keep our companies in business.  What is working very well, though, is the number of young people joining the Toastmasters movement.  Why?

Well, I think it may be because Toastmasters is a very supportive and growth orientated movement.  Can we bring the same energy into our businesses and our communications with our customers?  I believe that we can do so.  I know that when I utilise what I have learnt from my years in the organisation, my communication is improved and so are my results.

The one area where I have improved markedly is in listening to what my customer is saying.  This is active listening and truly hearing what is being said.  I am applying it more and more in my interactions with suppliers as well.  This also changes results.  Our refund for my disastrous Dell tablet will be in our bank this week from Vodacom!

We are still looking for a new sales person for QuickBooks and Autodesk products.  Please send CVs and your Elevator proposition to We want someone who wants to write themselves a really good "cheque" every month, grow their skills and abilities and move into establishing positive growth in the company.

During load shedding, we can still be contacted via our cell phones - 082 389 3481 and 082 389 3482.

Lumion for Architects, Engineers and Construction Professionals!

We are now reselling Lumion 5, billed as the easiest, fastest and most reliable visualization software. Lumion is an essential tool for everyone who wants to visualize their building designs. It produces impressive, high quality videos very quickly and is easy to master.  Customers in over 90 countries use Lumion: They include architects, designers, engineers, BIM modellers and universities.

Lumion is now seen as the leading software in its class because it has redefined the process of making 3D visualizations. It has also become an essential part of the BIM toolkit for many AEC professionals. Lumion works with Autodesk Revit and 3DS Max.

Lumion licenses are floating. They are effectively the same as network licenses. You may install Lumion on multiple computers. You can run as many Lumion instances simultaneously as the number of seats you have on the license. Contact Rick for prices.

Computer Tip: MS Word Secret to Font Size

"Font Size" is a common adjustment in all Word documents. But it's a hassle to set up with all that "click the size arrow, choose a size, change it, repeat."  Here's the secret shortcut...

1.  Highlight the word(s) to re-size; (if it's the whole doc, press Ctrl+A "select all")
2a.  On your keyboard, press "Ctrl+Shift >" (to increase font size)
2b.  Or press the opposite, "Ctrl+Shift <" (to decrease the font size)

So simple and yet so secret that no one knows this little bitty trick.  Now you do!

PS: also works in Outlook and PowerPoint

From Andy Lanning's Computer Super Secrets.

QuickBooks installation for local customers included

Now that the Payroll offer has ceased, we are offering one hour's installation in the cost of the package within the N1, N3 and M2 motorway box.  This is whether you buy new or upgrade your QuickBooks.  For customers further away, we charge R600 inc VAT per hour to install.

Who wants to take this opportunity to cut down their work and automate everything?  If it's you - please contact Judith for quotes.

In addition, upgrading your QuickBooks to 2015 now attracts a 30% discount, so it's a great time to become fully compliant.

Green Tip

Just picking up the litter around your property makes it look better and brighter!  do you know that it is possible to make furniture out of plastic bottles - great for outdoors and playgrounds.  They make football stadiums out of them in South America and charge youngsters three plastic bottles for entry - no waste problems!

Retiring of Permanent Licences

Autodesk is transitioning from perpetual software licenses to subscription-based options. After 31 January 2016, new seats of most individual Autodesk software products will be available only on a pay-as-you-go Desktop Subscription basis. Sales of new perpetual licenses for these products will be discontinued. This change applies to both standalone and network licenses.

You will, however, be able to continue using your existing perpetual licenses. For your software that is on Maintenance Subscription, you will receive ongoing updates and retain access to your benefits by keeping your Maintenance Subscription current.

To learn which products are impacted by this change, among which are AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT and 3ds Max, you can visit the web page

To learn more about this licensing change, contact us or visit

You can also submit your questions via the Perpetual License Transition Forum to get an answer from our experts.

To find out more about Subscription options, visit the Autodesk Subscription page today

For more information go to and You can also contact Judith on 011 802 2685

An Opportunity to make use of right now

Please note that the Autodesk Permanent Licence option will be phased out in their financial 2017.  So, from February next year, only the Annual subscription options will be available.  If you wish to buy permanent licences --this is the time to do so.  Again, please contact Judith for quotes.

BIM for Professional Results

Discover the Power of BIM for Infrastructure


What is BIM?


Ready to get started

More on BIM
Need help?

Courtesy of Autodesk and our local distributor - these links give you a complete overview of the power of Building Information Management's advantages in long term project development and management.  Not just for infrastructure either, BIM can be applied to building projects as well.

Adobe Creative Cloud for Teams

The 2015 release of Creative Cloud for teams - including the brand new Adobe Stock service introduced today for the very first time - is here! This is an amazing new release, chock full of innovation, that ushers in a new era of creativity and collaboration. With the 2015 release of Creative Cloud, businesses and creative teams will be able to:

So we are already geared up and waiting to tell you far more about this exciting upgrade and the solutions.  Remember that, once you have had your subscription registered, you can update all you software to the very latest at once!  All your software licence details are located in the Cloud, so no more losing the so easily lost and stolen packages!

Please go to the brand new Creative Cloud for teams pages on, which provide a rich set of content to help inform, impress and quickly convert you to this new way of working.  For pricing and more information please contact Judith for quotes

Excel Tip #136 - The Developer tab (III): Add-Ins group

Last time, we did an overview of the Developer tab, which should be just to the right of the View tab. It should look like this:

Both the Code group and the Controls group are concerned with programming, so we will look at them consecutively.  This issue, we will look at the Add-Ins group between them. Add-Ins are separate programs that work inside Excel and may display on the "Add-Ins" tab. There you load and unload the two types: ordinary Add-Ins, and COM Add-Ins  Some ordinary Add-Ins are:

The COM Add-Ins are more varied, and are usually installed by other programs.  If you uses QuickBooks, you might have the QB Excel Report Updater. Alchemex or Pastel might load the BI (Business Intelligence) Generator. Dragon Naturally Speaking would install the NatSpeak Excel AddIn.  Visual Studio has Visual Studio Tools for Office, and so on.

In the case of both add-ins dialog boxes, you tick the add-ins that you want to load automatically, untick the ones you don't, and click OK.  Since Add-ins load at start-up, Excel will load more quickly if you disable the add-ins that you do not need.

Next time, we will look at how we use the Solver Add-in.

Computius Say:

To steal ideas from one person is "plagiarism"; to steal from many is "research".

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 standard and custom PC programs, databases, and templates using Microsoft technologies"
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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 2015 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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