Software Africa Newsletter – September 2020

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

Editorial

Software Africa is collaborating with CPD Africa [Continuous Professional Developments (Pty) Ltd] to bring our training material to a wider audience. Our first online webinar with CPD Africa runs on Thursday and Friday 17Ė18 September. It is "Microsoft Excel for Engineers".  The course is intended for Scientists and Engineers, Engineering Technologists and Technicians who have a basic knowledge of Microsoft Excel, probably self-taught. We start by reviewing the basics to fill possible gaps in your knowledge. We then build through simple uses to more complex examples, using typical engineering problems. We also introduce the advanced feature of programming with macros.  Find out more here.

Save on AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT and Revit LT Suite Flash Promo

DONíT MISS OUT!  For a limited time only*, get up to 20% off our regular price when you purchase a new 1-year or 3-year subscription of Autodesk AutoCAD LT or Revit LT Suite, up to 5% off a new 1-year subscription of Autodesk AutoCAD and up to 20% off a new 3-year subscription. As a subscription customer, you'll enjoy access to the latest innovations the moment they're available, including enhanced technical support and greater control of your software. Subscribe now, and save money.

For a Limited time only! *Offer expires at noon on 22 September 2020.

Grab this special Flash Promo Now!.

Save big money on Autodesk Fusion 360

Fusion 360 is a CAD/CAM tool for collaborative product development.  It combines industrial design, mechanical engineering, and machine tool programming into one cloud-based software solution. It's the first 3D CAD (Computer-aided design), CAM (Computer-aided manufacturing), CAE (computer-aided engineering), and PCB (printed circuit board) tool of its kind.

DONíT MISS OUT!  For a limited time only*, get 40% off our normal price off when you purchase a new 1-year or 3-year subscription to selected products in the Autodesk Fusion 360 range. As a subscription customer, you'll enjoy access to the latest innovations the moment they're available, including enhanced technical support and greater control of your software. Subscribe now, and save big money on these:

Fusion 360 Team - Participant - Single User Cloud Commercial New Annual Subscription now only R1,193 + VAT.
Fusion 360 Team - Participant - Single User Cloud Commercial New 3-Year Subscription now only R3,237 + VAT.
Fusion 360 Cloud Commercial New Single-user Annual Subscription now only R4,259 + VAT.
Fusion 360 Cloud Commercial New Single-user 3-Year Subscription now only R11,529 + VAT.
Fusion 360 Manufacturing Extension - Individual Access Cloud Commercial New Single-user Annual Subscription now only R13,005 + VAT.
Fusion 360 Generative Design Extension - Individual Access Cloud Commercial New Single-user Annual Subscription now only R69,228 + VAT.

For a Limited time only! *Offer expires at noon on 22 September 2020.

Grab this special PROMO Now!.

Train Your People at Home During Lockdown

Many of your staff are working from home at present.  Could your company make this an opportunity instead of a drawback?

Employees are more valuable when they know Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Access (the database), and Visual Basic automation.  We can train them online in person via the internet at times that suit your schedule.

At Software Africa we have a wealth of training material, tested and honed in in-person classes. Levels range from beginners through to programming. Now we train online, live via Zoom at times to suit you. It is actually better that way! The trainee can see the trainer's screen up close, instead of peering from the back of a room. The trainee can share their screen instead of the trainer having to wander around to look.

Join the new wave of online upskilling: email Rick.

On-Line Business Tip #42 Ė Put Your Knowledge on the Web II: Udemy

Last issue we started looking why you might want to become an online trainer, instructor, or educator.  Now we start investigating alternatives for on-line schools.

Udemy claims to be the biggest and may well be the best-known,  This platform promises "Exceptional opportunities, with 50 million students worldwide, 65+, Different languages, 295M Course enrolments, students in 190+ countries, and 5,000+ Enterprise Customers".  Search for a course online, say "flower arrangement" or "fly fishing for beginners" and you are likely to see a Udemy advert.

Udemy offers free courses on how to build your own course, complete with worksheets and real-world examples. Their instructor dashboard and curriculum pages help further.

They also discount courses aggressively (by up to 75%, and down to as little as US$10).  If you show interest in a course on a topic, they will show you a list of other courses on that topic.  All this is good for you as a student.

It may not be as good for you as an instructor.

You do not own your student list.  Their Instructor Terms give them a lot of rights over your material.  They specify that If you have not opted into any of Udemy's optional Promotional Programs, your revenue share will be 50% of the Net Amount less any applicable deductions, such as student refunds. There is a 3% administrative and handling fee.  Payment is made via PayPal or Payoneer within 45 days of the end of the month in which (a) they receive the fee for a course or (b) the relevant course consumption occurred.

There is no fee to be an instructor on Udemy.

The Return of ZWCAD?

Autodesk product prices are tied to the US dollar.  With the Rand declining relative to the dollar, you may be finding AutoCAD expensive. What about a cheaper alternative that is said to do everything that AutoCAD does, matches the menus, and reads and writes AutoCAD files?  The Standard version handles two-dimensional drawings, like AutoCAD LT does.  The Pro version has capabilities like full AutoCAD.  How about a month's free trial to make sure it suits you?

email Rick for more information on ZWCAD.

QuickBooks in the Cloud

With QuickBooks Online, your data is stored safely in the cloud and accessible from all your devices and anywhere with an internet connection.  You can allow your Accountant direct access Ėno more transferring of files.  Please email us for the current discount special offer, expiring soon.

Integrity Payroll Solutions

For us, this works better than Quick Payroll. 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 email us for more information.

Excel Tip #190 – Basic Coding 3: Why Didnít Excel Record What I Did?

In the last issue, we had a long list of telephone numbers in various formats and punctuations, which we want to turn into a uniform format.  Starting in cell C2, we recorded a macro to convert the phone number to the desired format, and then move one cell down.  We saved the file and then tested the macro in cell C3.  This was the result:

  A B C
1 First Name Last Name Phone
2 Moerhammer Ali 071 834 7583
3 Kerry Archer 071 834 7583
4 Nicole Barrett 27828948060
5 Barry Blignaut 082 3897823
6 Gary Boston 2783 6291249

The phone number on row 3 was converted to the same number as that on row 2.  Not quite what we wanted!

Let's see why. Open the file and press Alt+F11 to go to the VB Editor.

Our macro looks like this:

Option Explicit

 

Sub FixTel()

'

' FixTel Macro

' Convert one telephone number to format NNN NNN NNNN. Move one cell down.

'

' Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+P

'

    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = "071 834 7583"

    ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Range("A1").Select

End Sub

Excel is lazy!  Instead of recording what you did while editing the cell, it takes a shortcut and just records the result you entered at the end.

Unless we want to convert all phone numbers to 071 834 7583 (pretty unlikely!), we are going to have to make some changes to this macro!

In the next edition, we will start on the skills you need to do this.

Finish Covid-19 Lockdown with a New Skill!

You can use this time to learn simple Excel macros. Do repetitive work in a flash, instead of repeating the same boring stuff manually. Save hours not working late, and spend more time with your family... 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:

Welcome to Lockdown Level 1, following Level 2, and with Level 0 to come.  President more consistent than Eskom, at least.

Remember:  We can make your business run better by:

All the Best from the team!
Judith, Catherine, and Rick

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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