Software Africa Newsletter – April 2020

Autodesk Tip ~ Online Business Tip ~ Excel Tip

Rand/US Dollar Exchange Rate Alert

We have a 3.5% increase in Autodesk pricing from yesterday. This may change as the Rand continues to slide.


At the end of week 3 in South Africa and the gaps are showing in all their intensity. No-one is sure when this will end or what the total outcome will be. Many communities are highly stressed by hunger and cramped conditions. We need to be creative and plan for the new normal which will be nothing like we have known.

On-Line Business Tip #37: Grow your Business with Google Ads:

Google Ads (formerly called AdWords) are the easiest way to appear on the first page of Google Search. You can bypass the tedious SEO and gradually building up rankings, by just paying Google for an Ad.  When you advertise alongside search results on the Google Search Network, you select keywords to help target your ads to people searching for related terms. You can also choose to show your ads at certain times of day, and specify a location and language.

When you advertise on websites and mobile apps that show Google ads (called the Google Display Network) and YouTube, you can get even more specific by choosing the age of the people you want to reach, the types of sites they visit and their areas of interest.

Unlike most other forms of advertising, you only pay for results, not for displaying the advert.  You decide how much you want to spend, and pay only when someone interacts with your ad, like clicking your text ad or watching your video ad. You base your bids on whatever is best for your business.

At Software Africa, we get a steady stream of enquiries for CAD products and QuickBooks using Google Ads.  You might be receiving this newsletter because of your enquiry.

AutoCAD News

All Autodesk events have been put online - an excellent idea which all should follow for now

Autodesk Developments

Connecting the Design and Manufacturing Community in Response to COVID-19

Autodesk has launched a new program intended to help designers, manufacturers, and makers find ways to contribute to combating COVID-19 around the world. Together, we can help mend broken supply chains and help fill the critical gap for personal protective equipment and medical devices for healthcare professionals. In order to meet the pressing needs, we have created an online hub to access:  

  • Various COVID-19 open-source communities that host designs for making needed medical supplies
  • Agencies to help evaluate and validate new designs
  • Contract manufacturers and Manufacturing as a Service (MaaS) companies who can mobilize to make products at scale
  • Autodesk software to help collaborate and share critical design files efficiently

Collectively, we have a unique opportunity to bring our design and manufacturing networks together to provide much-needed support and relief.



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.

Support & Learning can all be done online at your own pace.

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 #186 – Debugging with the Excel Visual Basic Editor (I)

In June 2019, we had you create a test file and record a macro (with Shortcut key Ctrl+Shift+H), which you saved in the Personal Macro Workbook.  In July, we looked inside it.  That let us introduce the Macro Editor with its main menu and Toolbars. Then and last time we looked at better settings for the Editor.  Now we'll start using these tools to debug your macro code.

In Excel, open the test file MacroDemo1.xlsx as saved in June.  Then press Alt+F11 to open the Visual Basic Editor.

In the Visual Basic Editor, in the Project Explorer on the left (Ctrl+R), locate the Personal Macro Workbook.  If necessary, expand its list, and then double-click on Module1.  You should see the Demo1 macro in the code window on the right.

You will recall that we changed the tab setting from 4 to 2.  However, Excel always records with Tabs of 4 spaces.  Let's fix that.  select (drag over) all lines between (but not including) Sub Demo1() to End Sub.  Press Shift+Tab twice: This outdents everything to the left margin.
Now press Shift+Tab once: This indents everything by 2 spaces.

Arrange your windows so that you can see both the macro, and the spreadsheet MacroDemo1.xlsx.

In the Visual Basic Editor, click in the grey left margin next to the second line of code (below the green comments),  Selection.Font.Bold = True

That creates a red dot in the left margin, and highlights the line with a  red background .  From last month, you will recall that this is a breakpoint, a place where code execution stops.  You could have used the F9 key instead of clicking in the margin.

Let's now run the macro.  Recall that you can use the green triangle "play" button on various toolbars, menu item Run > Run Sub, or F5.

Notice that the macro selects Row 1 in the spreadsheet (having run the first line in the macro), and then pauses on the breakpoint line (yellow arrow and  yellow background ).

Now we will step through the code.  Press F8 (or Debug menu > Step Into, but F8 is easier) repeatedly and watch as the macro executes each line.

This is how it will look when it has selected cell B2, just before we execute the last line of the macro:

Press F5 to run and finish the macro. 

Close the file MacroDemo1.xlsx without saving. so that you can use it again.

When you close Excel, it will ask if you want to save the Personal Macro Workbook.  Choose Save to save the changes to your macro.

Next time we'll look at debugging macro code.

Finish Covid-19 Lockdown with a New Skill!

You can use this time to learn macros!  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?  Our Quick 'n Easy Turbo-Start Excel Macros course is now online for a limited time at a 75%+discount!

Computius Say:

New Word: VirLog = viral lockdown weblog, the online version of a prison diary.

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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