Software Africa Newsletter - December 2020

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


This is the time of year when we wish you all the very best –and safe travelling, if you are travelling (we hope you not are travelling to help spread Covid-19). A very big thank you for your support during the year!  You have been loyal customers and friends.

What a year! We're sure we aren't alone in looking forward to the end of 2020! We wish you and your loved ones a happy, safe, and festive season. And a more prosperous 2021!

Please note that our offices will be closed on all the upcoming public holidays. We will also officially be closed between the Christmas and New Year's Day holidays, but you will probably be able to find us if you have an emergency.

This month we have good news in a limited-time special offer for upgrades from AutoCAD perpetual licences.  In our tips, we continue to look at platforms you can make money on by putting your knowledge into a course.  We have social proof from satisfied users of ZWCAD.  Our long-running Excel Macros course continues with a new instalment.

We have some festive presents for you near the end of this newsletter...

Replace Your Autodesk Perpetual Licence: Stay Up to Date and Save

With the old Autodesk Perpetual Licence for AutoCAD and many other products, you could use the program without having to renew the licence. However, without a maintenance plan, your product would gradually get out of date.  Others now send you drawings that are not fully readable because you do not have the newest features.  New staff are frustrated because your ancient software can't do things they did at their previous company.

On the other hand, a subscription will ensure that you always have the latest version of the product.

Might this be the time to upgrade?

For a limited period, you can save 20% on the price of an eligible 3-year term subscription. No need to worry about price changes. The amount you pay today covers the full 3-year period.

Alternatively, you can save 15% on a 1-year term subscription.

To claim this offer, you must trade in an eligible serial number and corresponding perpetual license. For a serial number and its associated seats to be eligible, it must be on a perpetual license released between 1998 and 2018 that is not on a maintenance plan.

To order – email us 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 #45 – Put Your Knowledge on the Web V: Thinkific

We are investigating alternatives for on-line schools.  Last issue we looked at Teachable.

We started using Thinkific this year, after Teachable restricted their free schools.

Thinkific is more extensive in several areas than Teachable.  For example, you can record your videos directly in Thinkific. There are many more options for the sales page ("Landing Page" in Thinkific terms).  This complexity can be a hindrance rather than a help.  It took us a lot longer to set up the same sales page in Thinkific as compared with Teachable, and the result was not as pleasing.

In Thinkific, setting up a course is quite easy.  Courses are organised into Chapters (Sections) and these are filled with Lectures.  This is similar to comparable programs..

The sales process in Thinkific is more clunky.  If one offers a free preview lesson, the would-be student has to sign up to Thinkific, even if not to the course.  This may discourage buyers..

What Users Think of ZWCAD

ZWCAD users come from assorted industries, like AEC, MFG, GIS, and Civil Engineering.  From their stories, you’ll learn about their use of and thoughts about ZWCAD:

Consolidated Contractors Company: CCC is an international company based in Amman, Jordan, carrying out large construction and engineering projects worldwide. “ZWCAD is not only at a reasonable price but also can fulfil almost all the design needs.

CH. Karnchang Public Company Limited: CH. Karnchang leads in building mass rapid transit systems, airports, roads, expressways, etc. in Thailand. “The functions and features of ZWCAD are competitive compared with other providers.

Deltamarin Poland: Deltamarin has nearly 30 years of experience in ship design, offshore engineering and construction support. “A wide range of ZWCAD functions and flexible licensing of product allow us to work comfortably and without any problems.

Would you like to give ZWCAD a try, with no obligation?  email us for a PDF on ZWCAD and a free download link.

Don't delay!  Current pricing is strictly time-limited, but will disappear even earlier if the Rand depreciates.

QuickBooks Online Annual Subscription

Software Africa now offers QuickBooks Online on an Annual Subscription: No longer do you have to remember to pay every month.  Pay once for the year and be done with it.  It's no more expensive than paying monthly, and much more convenient.

Excel Tip #193 – Basic Coding 6: How to Get and Change the Contents of Cells

We are busy with our macro to process a list of telephone numbers into a uniform format.  In the last issue, we learned  about variables.

To achieve our wish list's point 1 (“Read the contents of the current (active) cell”), and point 6 ("Replace the contents of the current cell with the changed phone number"), we need to learn how to get and change the contents of cells.

Notice that we already know how to replace the contents of the current cell with the changed phone number (step 6). This is done with the code: ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = "new value”, which we already have in our code.

Notice that the “=” (equals) sign is not used here to do math, but rather in the sense of “change value to”, in other words, “set the Active Cell’s Formula to new value”.

Of course, we don’t want the new value to be "071 834 7583", but rather the contents of our variable, so change it to read:

ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = Tel$

Perhaps we can also use this, in reverse, to get the contents of the cell? Let’s try:

Between the Dim line and the first ActiveCell line, insert this line:

Tel$ = ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1

If you make manual changes to code, it is important to test the code!

Before testing code, there are two important things to do:

  1. Compile. This checks to make sure that the code is correct Visual Basic (not that it will necessarily do what you want it to do!)
  2. Save your file. This protects you against code that goes badly wrong.

Because it is somewhat involved, we will leave the section on Compiling Code for next year.

Festive Presents for you: Automated Spreadsheets:

Our website has free spreadsheets for your

Enjoy your presents!

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...  The Software Africa 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:

Corollary to Raubenheimer's Law: "To locate your mouse pointer more easily, set Windows Settings > Mouse > Additional Mouse Options (Mouse Properties) > Pointer Options tab > 'Show location of pointer when I press the CTRL key'"

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"

Reg. 2009/007863/23 ~ VAT No 4500104387 ~ 126 Kelvin Drive, Morningside Manor, Sandton, 2191 South Africa.

Tel: 011 802-6440 ~ Cell: 082 389-3482 ~ e-mail:

This entire newsletter is Copyright © 2021 Communication in Action cc t/a Software Africa. All rights reserved. Information may be reproduced in full context as long as credit is given.

Newsletter Index | < January 2015 | < January 2016 | < January 2017 | < January 2018 | < January 2019 | < February | < March | < April | < May | < June | < July | < August | < September | < October | < November | < December 20190 | < January 2020 | < February | < March | < April | < May | < June | < July | < August | Back to top | Updated 27 January 2021 | e-mail Webmaster.