Software Africa Newsletter - January 2020

Autodesk Tip ~ Online Business Tip ~ Excel Tip


May 2020 bring you excellent business and develop in ways that you plan and experiment to achieve. We have started the year with a new salesperson, Gilbert Makhonjwa, who is learning the ropes at the moment. He will be assisting Judith with Autodesk, QuickBooks and Integrity sales.

He is also coming on board as a Toastmaster with the Woodlands Office Park Club.

On-Line Business Tip #34: Google Hacks 11 -  Search for Jobs on Google:

Google is the most popular search engine in the solar system. We know Google as a search engine that will find websites for you.  However, nowadays Google is increasingly trying to make money from you directly rather than refer you to somebody else.  Here is one example:

With the new year upon us, someone in your family might be looking for a job.  You can find job opportunities on Google. For example, you can search for: computer jobs near me (if you let Google pick up your location) or entry-level jobs in engineering.

Jobs come directly from employers and career sites across the web. As soon as these sites publish new jobs, they’re added to Google. Currently, job search works for jobs in over 100 countries. Searches work in English, Arabic, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.

This tip first appeared in the Megaplex Business Booster Newsletter. Subscribe here.

AutoCAD News

90-day Subscription Renewal Reminder Added

Customers are reminded 90 days in advance to renew their subscription by Autodesk:

"In an effort to increase our subscription renewal rates, we recently began sending 90-day renewal reminder emails to customers in addition to our standard 45-, 30-, and 4-day reminders.

"Our goal is to give customers more advance notice that their maintenance plan will be expiring soon and to remind them of their renewal options. The renewal reminders are stopped once a subscription has been renewed.

"As previously announced, we have also added that customers can save 10% when they switch to a subscription with 3-year terms at renewal time*."

* Savings of 3-year subscriptions is compared to the applicable Autodesk suggested retail price for 3 consecutive, annual subscriptions. Autodesk partners are independent and free to set their own prices.

You can act on this 90 days before expiry.

Please note Autodesk will be raising the cost of all new products from 7 February. Subscriptions that you have already bought will not be affected except by the Rand/US Dollar exchange rate.

Autodesk Developments

New Product Usage Reporting for Admins with Single-User Access

Product usage reporting, in Autodesk Account, provides admins with single-user access transparency into what:

We can now spend more time strategically advising you on the best way to adopt new and existing tools to achieve your business outcomes.

Most of the 2020 updates have been done.

Factory Design Collection

This is a fully integrated system for designing equipment for your factory and products. It includes electrical layouts, stress testing of products and totally integrated with CAD, CAM and CAE technology. More details can be found here

Upgrade to an Autodesk Subscription

If you send us your old perpetual licence, we can upgrade you to the latest subscription version of your product at a 20% discount. Microsoft has announced the end of extended support for Windows 7 in January 2020. Hence, this is an opportunity to upgrade to an Autodesk subscription that is supported on Windows 10.

Autodesk Knowledge Network (AKN)

AKN is the community content site providing tech support, training materials, product knowledge, and interactive discussion forums for you as customers. Please make use of it.

Incidentally, M2S subscriptions activate on the day of renewal. Other helpful links are:

The differences on how these different layouts work are illustrated here.

Previous Versions of Autodesk Software

Global Travel Rights

Using Subscriptions Software at Home

Autodesk Cloud Credits

Support & Learning

QuickBooks Desktop news

This is the best! No longer do we have to deliver a box to you. Instead we can now provide you with all the links and codes required to download. It works like a dream!

Please contact Judith for more information.

QuickBooks' Cloud Solutions

QBO is proving a multi-faceted platform.  Please contact Judith for more. We have also had good success with international support on our glitches!

Integrity Payroll Solutions

A relief to work with this again. Simple to set up and run, it starts from 5 employees and expands as your company grows. There is also an EPOS solution available. Please contact Judith for more information.

Excel Tip #183 – The Excel Visual Basic Editor's "Debug" Toolbar

Earlier, we looked inside the macro you recorded.  Then, we introduced the macro editor program and its main menu. Last time we examined the Edit Toolbar. Let us now look at the Debug Toolbar.

In Excel, press Alt+F11 to open the Visual Basic Editor.  You should see the following toolbar:

The toolbar is shown here as it looks when floating free: it could be anywhere on your screen!  Yours may be parked somewhere, for example under the menu. You can grab the toolbar by the three dots on the left and drag it around.  If you don't see the toolbar, click the View menu. On its Toolbar sub-menu, tick "Debug".

As the name indicates, it is used while debugging code. It combines features from the Run, Debug and View menus. Let's look at the tools and what they do (in the Editor, point at each tool to get a Tooltip):

  1. Design Mode: For modifying User Forms.
  2. Run: (F5) runs the subprogram or User Form.
  3. Break (Ctrl+Break) pauses code that is running.  It can be restarted with Run or Step.
  4. Reset stops running code. It cannot be restarted at the point at which you stopped it.
  5. Toggle Breakpoint (F9).  Used when debugging. The program pauses when it hits a breakpoint.
  6. Step Into code (F8): Normally runs the next statement and pauses. If that statement is a Subprogram, steps into it and pauses.
  7. Step Over (Shift+F8): Normally runs the next statement. If that statement is a Subprogram, runs the whole Subprogram and then pauses.
  8. Step Out (Ctrl+Shift+F8): Runs the whole current Subprogram and then pauses in the calling Subprogram.
  9. Locals Window: Shows a window showing the values of the variables in the current Subprogram.
  10. Immediate Window (Ctrl+G): This window is useful for trying things out. Type a question mark (?), some code or a variable name, and press Enter to get the value.
  11. Watch Window: Shows a window showing the values of "watched" variable in the current Subprogram. To add one, right-click in it and choose "Add Watch", or use...
  12. Quick Watch (Shift+F9): Opens a dialog box showing the values of the variable under the cursor.  Optionally lets you add it to the Watch Window.
  13. Call Stack (Ctrl+L): Opens a dialog box showing the list of the current Subprogram and all Subprograms that called it.

Use the Debug menu command, Compile VBA Project, before you try to run the project, to pick up errors such as undeclared variables, syntax errors, etc.

The Visual Basic Editor has one other toolbar, the UserForm toolbar.  We will look at that when we get to creating your own Forms in the Visual Basic Editor.

Next time we'll look at the applying some of the menu settings to get the Editor to work better.


PS: Do you keep repeating the same actions in Excel?  Could you be more efficient if you recorded those actions and just played them back?  You can do this with macros!  You could save hours a week not working late, and be the envy of your colleagues... These Excel Macros Tips have been running in this newsletter since February 2019, so it's a slow way to learn.  How about an accelerated version?  In the next few weeks, you can preview –at a reduced price– an on-line version that will boost your productivity in weeks instead of years.  To get an early-bird invitation, click here and send the resulting email now!

Computius Say:

You shouldn't use "Beef Stew" as a password: It just isn't Stroganoff.

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
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