Software Africa Newsletter - September 2021

Online Business Tip ~ Autodesk Promo ~ Excel Tip ~ Training Tip

Rick's Editorial

Welcome.  To celebrate the launch of our eShop and the 21st anniversary of this eNewsletter, we have a this-week-only 10% discount on New AutoCAD LT Annual Subscriptions.

There's an Excel for Engineers Live Online Training next month and, available now, a self-paced version.

Want to jazz up your posts in WhatsApp or Telegram?  See the Business tip below,

In Excel tip #202 in our series, the whole of our macro so far, and how to test it.

Will the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) kill your business?  Take a short course and nip it in the bud..

Words of wisdom (maybe) from Computius, and a wistful farewell.

Save 10%!  Buy AUTOCAD LT 2022 at the Software Africa eShop Promotion 6–10 September

We are running a flash promo in our new eStore, powered by Worldsview Technologies, from 6 to 10 September.  You can save 10% when purchasing AUTOCAD LT 2022 by Friday.

Terms and Conditions


Only R5,153.40 – regular price R 5,726.00 – You SAVE R 572.60

Please email Software Africa if you need help.

Excel for Engineers and Scientists Online Live Course starts Thursday 21 October 2021

Microsoft Excel is (pardon the pun) an excellent engineering tool.  Not only does it have all basic mathematical functions, it has advanced statistical functions, matrix manipulation, charts, and much else.  Are you, as an engineer and scientist, using it to the full?  Are you aware of how much it can do?  Many of us are self-taught and have gaps in our knowledge.  Fill those gaps on the online Excel for Engineers training: two full days of personal attention in a small class.

Next Scheduled Course: Thursday 21 and Friday 22 October 2021 (two days, 08:00-17:00 CAT).
Venue: Live Online via Zoom.  65-page PDF manual is supplied, and 14 examples files.
Earl-Bird
Price if paid two weeks or more before the course (Thurs 7 October): Only R4,000 plus VAT per trainee.  Thereafter R4,497 plus VAT each.
Course Creator and Facilitator: Rick Raubenheimer B Sc (Eng) (Wits) (1975).

Run by Software Africa. More information on this web page.  For more information and to book, click here and send the resulting email.

Also... Excel for Engineers and Scientists Online Self-Paced Course starts Now...

Now, if you find the above live course expensive, or you cannot spare two full days away from work, we have an alternative.

The same course is available on-line as a self-paced course.  The same manual and examples.  The same trainer.. No live support, however.  But done at your own pace at times that suit you.  Take half an hour a day and complete it in a month.  Spend an hour a day and finish it in two weeks.  Or dedicate two days –a weekend, perhaps?– and crack the whole course.

Take our self-paced online course in your own time and venue.  All the value at under a quarter of the price of the live course.  Backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

On-Line Business Tip #53 – Bold and Italics in WhatsApp and Telegram

In WhatsApp you put text between asterisks (**) to *bold*, and between _underscores_ to italicize.

Telegram is different: on a PC, you bold with Ctrl+B and do italics with Ctrl+I as you would in any Windows program. On Android it is two asterisks at start and end for bold, and two underscores at each end for italics. **Like this** __and this__.

QuickBooks Desktop 2020 Phased Out

To align with Intuit’s cloud-first strategy and to accelerate the growth of QuickBooks Online in South Africa, QuickBooks Desktop was "sun-setted" with effect from 31 July 2021.

What does this mean for you as a QuickBooks Desktop user?

Your QuickBooks Desktop product will continue to operate. No new versions, upgrades or additional licenses are available for purchase. Limited support is available.

Here's why you should consider going online:

It's way more affordable – QuickBooks Online costs as little as R 2,400 (inclusive) per year from Software Africa.  QuickBooks Desktop annual renewal started at R 3,078.

Work from anywhere – Turn a spare moment into a productive minute. Send quotes, turn them into invoices and reconcile accounts and more on your phone.

Get answers anytime – Keep tabs on your business from your pocket. Access customer info, late invoices, and more from your smart phone.

Share books with your accountant – Your accountant can access your books remotely to answer questions, fix problems, and do anything needed to get you ready for tax time.

Free unlimited support – Need help? Get access to unlimited telephonic and email support whenever you need it.

Save on the world’s #1 online accounting software: email Software Africa,

Excel Tip #202 – Basic Coding 15: Testing the Code

We are wrapping up our macro to process a list of telephone numbers into a uniform format.  In the last issue, we introduced the rest of the macro.  The full code is now:

Option Explicit

Sub FixTel()
  ' FixTel Macro
  ' Convert one telephone number to format NNN NNN NNNN. Move one cell down.
  '
  ' Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+P
  '

  Tel$ = ActiveCell.Formula

  ' If it starts with "27" (or your country code), replace that with a "0":
  If Left$(Tel$, 2) = "27" Then         ' Int dial
    Tel$ = "0" & Mid(Tel$, 3)
  ElseIf Left$(Tel$, 3) = "+27" Then    ' Int dial
    Tel$ = "0" & Mid(Tel$, 4)
  ElseIf Left$(Tel$, 1) <> "0" Then
    Tel$ = "0" & Tel$
  End If

  ' Insert spaces after the third and sixth digits
  ' Code should now be 10 digits long (If not, rather ignore):

  If Len(Tel$) = 10 Then
    Tel$ = Left$(Tel$, 6) & " " & Right$(Tel$, 4) ' 2nd space
    Tel$ = Left$(Tel$, 3) & " " & Mid$(Tel$, 4)   ' 1st space
    ActiveCell.Formula = Tel$    ' Replace the value in the current cell
  End If

  ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Select    ' Move one cell down

End Sub

The comments shown in green explain the code.  Go through the code manually and see that you understand how it works.

Now to test the code!  For this we need to remember two shortcut keys: F8 Step (into):  This runs one line at a time, and F5 Run: This runs the rest of the macro, to the end.

Let us step through the macro and make sure that it works.  First, we would use F8 repeatedly.  As we gain confidence, we may run to a breakpoint (F9) or to the cursor.  Then use F5 without breakpoints to run the whole macro.  Finally, we would repeatedly use our shortcut from the spreadsheet: Ctrl+Shift+P.

But running the macro one spreadsheet row  at a time is tedious!  Next time we will look at how make the macro repeat for all the phone numbers.

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.  The lockdown, discount has ended, but it is still a bargain.

PS: Not POPIA Compliant Yet?  Get There in One Week...

POPI went live on 1 July.

Join the free one-hour live POPI Compliance session next Wednesday night, 15 September, at 8 PM SA Time.
You will see how easy it can be to be compliant fast:

To attend (and get the video and notes) please click here to register.

Even if you get load-shed or cannot join, you will get the video and notes afterwards. As long as you've registered.

If you can't wait, sign up for the Complimentary Online POPI Act Training for Small Business Owners. This one you can do at any time.

Please share this with anyone you know is interested in POPI

If you're not the owner of the small business you're in, send this to the Owner.  They will thank you later.

Computius Say:

Hesitating to get vaccinated?  Disinformation not as good as datinformation..

A Fond Farewell to Catherine

Catherine Hall is moving out of Software Africa in favour of a full-time job. She was a real lifesaver during Judith's protracted illness: Thank You, Catherine – we will miss your bubbly efficiency around the office.

Going forward, Judith will again be the contact person for Autodesk sales.  Rick is the one to contact for training, programming, dotPLOT, and progeCAD.

Remember:  We can make your business run better by:

All the Best from the team!
Judith and Rick

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