Software Africa Newsletter – June 2020

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

Editorial

How is June treating you with the Level 3 lockdown in operation? The prospect of much colder weather looms and we noted that the Eastern Cape has already had some snow!

Some years ago, as part of upgrading our Internet connection to fibre, we also switched from using a PABX to instead using VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), an Internet-based solution via SwitchTel using Zoiper telephone software. What's been the result? Substantially cheaper calls and connection costs. Our monthly bill equals less than our Telkom connection costs.  The unmaintainable PABX is gone forever!

This, combined with our offices being on our premises, means a notable cost saving in running our business.

On-Line Business Tip #39: Improve your Writing with Hemingway

If your writing isn't clear, expect to sell less.

How can you improve your writing?

Try the Hemingway Editor app.  It's free.

The app highlights lengthy, complex sentences and common errors; if you see a yellow sentence, shorten or split it.

If you see a red highlight, your sentence is so dense and complicated that your readers will get lost trying to follow its meandering, splitting logic — try editing the sentence to remove the red.

You can utilize a shorter word in place of a purple one. Mouse over them for hints.

Adverbs and weakening phrases are helpfully shown in blue. Get rid of them and pick words with force, perhaps.

Phrases in green have been marked to show passive voice.

On the right-hand side of the window, the Hemingway Editor shows a useful summary (see picture).  You can see the Readability Grade level (always aim for a lower one).  The various colours appear in a key with the relevant number of occurrences.

Paste in something you're working on and edit away. Or, click the Write button and compose something new.

Bonus Tip: When you have finished editing in Hemingway, copy and paste text only back into your document... otherwise you get the background colours and formatting too.

Spatial Manager

We are busy signing up as resellers for this set of products and will have more news next month.

Would you like Spatial Manager?  Please email Judith.

AutoCAD News

Autodesk Developments

Prices have gone down!  Expect a pleasant surprise when you order or renew.

50% Off Fusion 360 Subscriptions Starting June 23, 2020

You will have access to the biggest Fusion 360 sales of the year. As of June 23, you, our customers, will receive 50% off* when you subscribe to Fusion 360, Fusion 360 - Team Participant, Fusion 360 - Manufacturing Extension, or Fusion 360 - Generative Design Extension. Offer is valid from June 23, 2020 to July 17, 2020.

The 50% price will be available in the pricelist, please connect with distribution for price quoting support.

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.

Auto-renew Subscriptions Retire Starting August 7, 2020

What’s changed:

  • On August 7, 2020, Autodesk will stop selling monthly and annual auto-renew subscriptions through resellers.
  • All existing auto-renew subscriptions will automatically become annual renewable. The subscription expiration date will remain the same.

How it impacts you, our customers:

  • You who are Monthly auto-renew customers will get a renewal reminder for an annual term. If you cannot manage this, we will see what we can do via the distributors.

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 #188 – Debugging with the Excel Visual Basic Editor III

Last time we looked at more of the tools to debug your macro code. We pointed out one error in the code, but left you to find another: What was it?  If you didn't get it, instead of just looking at the answer below, go back to last time and see if you can find it.

The error does not appear if you compile (Debug > Compile VBAProject).  It is a logic error, rather than a spelling or syntax error.

Step through the code (pressing F8 repeatedly).  Watch as the macro executes each line, and you will see the problem.

Here is the code (as text) in case you want to copy it:

Sub Demo2()
  ' More refined Demo Headings Macro
  '
  Range("A1").Select
  Selection.Font.Bold = True
  Selection.Font.Size = 12
  Rows("3").Select
  Selection.Font.Bold = True
  Selection.Font.Underline = xlUnderlineStyleSingle
  Columns("A:P").EntireColumn.AutoFit
  Range("B2").Select
  ActiveWindow.FreezePanes = True
End Sub

You will recall that the macro works on a spreadsheet with a main heading in cell A1 and a row of headings on row 3. That row of headings was to be set bold and underlined, and frozen on screen.

Now notice what happens when you step through the code:

Step to the last line before End Sub.  That's the ActiveWindow.FreezePanes line.  It will freeze the rows above, and columns to the left of, the active cell.  Oops!  That cell is B2!  It should be B4, of course, so that the headings on lines 1 to 3 are frozen.

That is the other error: Fix it and check again.

Astute readers will have noticed another, well,  if not an error, then an awkwardness.

We fit all columns to width. So the major heading in cell A1 dictates the width of column A.  It might be better to fit column A to cells extending from A3 to the bottom of the data.  This is left as an exercise for the reader (as some textbooks put it).

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:

Frequent hand-washing, no longer a sign of OCD is.

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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