Software Africa Newsletter – May 2020

Autodesk Tip ~ QuickBooks Tip ~ Online Business Tip ~ Excel Tip


How has lockdown treated you and your company? The silence has brought the birds back for us.  We will participate in the Walkathon for SA Guide Dogs from 11-16 May. The link to support us is here.

At Software Africa we are open during lockdown to sell you Autodesk products and QuickBooks, and to help with your database and programming needs.  A lot is happening with Autodesk - see below.

On-Line Business Tip #38: Caption your Video with an SRT file

In case you are sick of Google tips, And Now For Something Completely Different...

How do you add Close Captions to videos you upload to Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, or Wistia?

Thanks for the question, we thought you'd never ask!

All right, let's back up slightly.  What are Close Captions and why would anyone want them?

You have probably seen, on some videos, a text rendering of whatever the speaker is saying, usually appearing at the bottom of the video window.  It is useful for people who are deaf, or don't have audio on their computer, or have audio through loudspeakers and don't want the rest of the office to hear it.  It's also very useful for translation: The captions do not have to appear in the same language as the video.  You can see them in the picture alongside, just below the bearded face with the startled look.

Fortunately there seems to be just one standard.  It uses an SRT (SubRip Text) file.  This is not part of the video, but a separate file that has to be uploaded separately.  The easiest way to create one is via or  Both websites are user-friendly, offering an easy upload of video, and an intuitive text editor for splitting the text into captions with timing.

One pitfall is that SRT files have a specific naming convention incorporating the language, for example: or  temi does not add it for you.  Without this, Facebook (and probably the others) ignores the file!

By the way, on Facebook, your video captions might be turned off.  Switch them on by clicking on the "gear" icon as shown above.  If you don't see a "Captions" option, choose "More video settings" and you will be able to enable them on a separate screen.

To see the above video with its captions, go to Rick's Facebook Page.

AutoCAD News

Announcing the Q2 Trade in Perpetual License Offer

Anything, Anywhere, Make it with an Autodesk Subscription

To maintain an effort of business continuity for our customers and partners, Autodesk is pleased to announce the Q2 Trade In Perpetual License offer will resume un-interrupted at a discount of 25% off the SRP of a new 1- or 3- year subscription. Eligible customers with 1998-2021 perpetual licenses not on maintenance can continue to upgrade to subscription and save 25% through 24 July 2020. Current Pricing, SKU and offer conditions will continue through May 6. Beginning May 7, updated assets and conditions will be available.

By moving customers to subscription, they will be eligible for all Autodesk support services including product activation, technical support, software updates, and hotfixes that may not be available for all legacy releases.   

More details, along with sales and marketing materials (e.g. FAQ, Terms and Conditions, Promo Landing Page, Partner Briefing, banners, email templates) are available on the Digital Asset Manager (DAM)




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:  

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





Announcing Civil 3D & InfraWorks New Releases

Civil 3D 2021 and InfraWorks (2021) will be available for download to subscribers via their Autodesk account, or for purchase/trial to new customers starting April 15. We believe customers will be excited about:

Share the Blog Post Detailing the Best of Civil 3D and InfraWorks (2021)

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 & Learningcan 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 #187 – Debugging with the Excel Visual Basic Editor II

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. Last time we looked at stepping through code in the Editor.  Now we'll look at more of the 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.

Suppose that MacroDemo1.xlsx has its headings on row 3 instead of row 1, perhaps because there is a major heading on row 1. Change it to suit (insert 2 rows at the top, and enter "March Sales" in cell A1.  Save the file as MacroDemo2.xlsx.

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

What changes would we have to make in the Visual Basic Editor?

Copy the code from the macro Sub Demo1.  Paste it below End Sub.  Rename it to Sub Demo2.  Make the necessary changes to macro Demo2.

Check if the macro can compile: Click Debug (menu) > Compile VBAProject.  If you get any errors, fix them.

As we did last time, click in the grey left margin next to the second line of code below the green comments. This sets a breakpoint, shown with a red dot in the left margin, and highlights the line with a  red background .

Now we will step through the code.  Click in Sub Demo2.  Press F8 repeatedly and watch as the macro executes each line.

We have a typing error on the third line of code: The line Selection.Font.sixe = 12 was meant to be Selection.Font.Size = 12, to set the Font Size of cell A1 to 12 pt.  When we try to execute the error line, things will look much like this:

Notice that the Editor did not capitalize the first letter of "sixe". This gives us a clue that there was a problem.  However, Compile VBAProject did not pick up the error.  It picks up syntax errors (misspellings of commands), but not an error in a property (Size is a property of Font).  That causes a run-time error when we try to execute the faulty line.

We would click "Debug" on the dialog box and fix our error.  Resume, pressing F8 repeatedly to step through the macro.

There is another error: What is it?  (Hint: It's not that we have lost the line Columns("A:P").Select –as you can see, it isn't needed.)  Answer next time.

Close the file MacroDemo2.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.

Finish Covid-19 Lockdown with a New Skill!

You can use this time to learn how to program Excel. Do repetitive work in a flash, instead of repeating the same boring stuff manually. Save hours not working late, and be the envy of your colleagues... Our Quick 'n Easy Turbo-Start Excel Macros course is now online.  To help you during lockdown, for a limited time you can get it at a 75%+discount!

Computius Say:

A printer consists of three main parts: the case, the jammed paper tray and the blinking red light.

Remember:  We can make your business run better by:

All the Best from the team!
Judith and Rick

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