Software Africa Newsletter - April 2022

Online Business Tip ~ eStore Sale ~ Excel Tip ~ Training Tip

Rick's Editorial

Welcome. The State of Disaster for COVID-19 is officially over.  Now we have a new State of Disaster for the KwaZulu-Natal floods.  We hope our KZN customers are safe (here are flood relief charities).  The Russian invasion is a disaster for Ukraine.  It will have knock-on effects worldwide.  We are not used to pandemics and war, yet our parents and grandparents knew them.  According to my mother, her mother nursed the sick through the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, and died from it herself as the bells of peace were ringing out the end of the First World War.  My mother helped the Red Cross in the Second World War.  Like them and many before, we live in interesting times.  Crisis or opportunity?  You decide.

Speaking of opportunity, our eShop still has a promotion on engineering hardware and surveying equipment: Save up to 40% while stocks last.

We have two live online courses Excel Macros and Excel for Engineers, scheduled to alternate monthly for the year.

Excel Tips has finished with macros for a while and has a fresh new (non-programming) tip this month.

This month's business tip lists alternatives to TeamViewer.

We end with wisdom (or otherwise) from Computius, the computer Confucius.

Sale Still On: Buy Engineering Hardware NOW at the Software Africa eShop at up to 40% Off!

Purchase engineering hardware and surveying equipment from Topcon, Leica, and geoFENNEL now and save up to 40% while stocks last. Ts & Cs apply.

Examples: Topcon Laser Scanners, Topcon Reflectorless Total Station with Single Display, Bluetooth & Laser Pointer; Green Pipe Laser, Dual Grade Rotating Laser with Receiver, Premium Multi-Line Laser with Receiver, Leica Disto D510 and X3.

Please email Software Africa if you need help.

On-Line Business Tip #60 – Alternatives to TeamViewer

Last time we looked at the fact that TeamViewer, while a boon for remote desktop support, has priced itself out of the market. Their predatory, unethical commercial behaviour and their utterly abysmal attitude to customers don't endear them either.  But is there an alternative?  I'm glad you asked!

In fact, one is spoiled for choice!  Do a Google search, and a selection of the following may appear: Ammyy Admin, AnyDesk, Atera, Chrome Remote Desktop, FixMe.IT, Freshdesk, Freshservice, Impero Connect, ISL Light,, LogMeIn Pro, ManageEngine PAM360, Mikogo, RemoteCall, RemoteView, Splashtop SOS, Take Control, ThinVNC, UltraVNC, VNC Connect, WebEx Meetings, Zoho Assist, and Zoom.  They all offer some of the following: Screen Sharing, File Sharing, Diagnostic Tools, Real-Time Chat, and Session Recording.  And you thought you had only one option!

Next month we'll look at one of the many alternatives to TeamViewer.

Excel for Engineers Online Live Course

Following Courses:

Thursday 28 and Friday 29 April 2022 (two days, 08:00-17:00 CAT).
Thursday 23 and Friday 24 June 2022 (two days, 08:00-17:00 CAT).
Thursday 25 and Friday 26 August 2022 (two days, 08:00-17:00 CAT).
Thursday 27 and Friday 28 October 2022 (two days, 08:00-17:00 CAT).

Venue: Live Online via Zoom.  65-page PDF manual included, and 14 examples files.
Special Price if paid not later than tow weeks before the course: Only R4,500 plus VAT per trainee.
Thereafter R5,000 plus VAT each.

Course Creator and Facilitator: Rick Raubenheimer B Sc (Eng) (Wits) (1975).

For more information and to book a course online or in-house at your company, click here and send the resulting email or email

Excel for Engineers Online Self-Paced Course

The Excel for Engineers live course is also 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.

Sign up now and get these Bonuses:

  1. Report, "Are You Making These Microsoft Excel Mistakes?"
  2. A Free Support Group
  3. Our Excel file "Excel Shortcut keys & My Macro Shortcuts" (you'll want this once you start building macros).

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

Excel Tip #209 – Data > Remove Duplicates

In the earlier tips in this series, starting in February 2019 and ending in the last issue, we ran through material from our basic Excel Macros course.  Now for some of the tips that would have interrupted that course, had we pushed them in earlier:

In fact, we has occasion to use this tip a few minutes ago when compiling the list of Alternatives to TeamViewer above.  Having compiled several lists from different sources, we found that there were a lot of duplicates.  Removing them by hand would have been tedious.  Excel to the rescue!  Here's how:

Preparation: The data that may contain duplicates must be in columns. You can have one or several columns.  The columns can have headers (one row only) or not, as you prefer.  Click anywhere in that range.  Save your file in case of mishaps.

Action (see Picture):

  1. From the Data Ribbon, in the 4th group, Data Tools, choose Remove Duplicates:
  2. If Excel has incorrectly guessed whether your data has headers, correct it by clicking the box "My data has headers".
  3. Select or unselect columns so that only the columns that may contain duplicates are selected.
  4. Click OK.  Excel removes the duplicates and tells you how many it removed and how many remain.

The next Excel Tip may well be on something completely different.

Microsoft Excel Macros live online course

From February 2019 to March 2022 this newsletter carried parts of our Excel Macros beginners' course. Macros let you 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...  You can now attend the whole course live online over two days from the comfort of your own computer.  This course is for you if you have a good knowledge of Excel, and now want to program your own time-saving applications.

Scheduled Courses:

Thursday 26 and Friday 27 May 2022 (two days, 08:00-17:00 CAT / UTC+2).
Thursday 28 and Friday 29 July 2022 (two days, 08:00-17:00 CAT).
Thursday 22 and Friday 23 September 2022 (two days, 08:00-17:00 CAT).
Thursday 24 and Friday 25 November 2022 (two days, 08:00-17:00 CAT).

Venue: Live Online via Zoom.  85-page PDF manual is supplied, and valuable examples.
Early-Bird Price if paid not later than two weeks before the course: Only R4,500 plus VAT per trainee.
Thereafter R5,000 plus VAT each.

For more information including the curriculum, click here.  To book a course online or in-house at your company, click here and send the resulting email or email

Covid-19 Lockdown is Over at Last!  Did You Learn a Timesaving New Skill?  Do it Now:

Instead of a doing the whole Excel Macros course over two days, you can do it online in your own time, more cheaply.  The Software Africa Quick 'n Easy Turbo-Start Excel Macros course is now online.  Take it now!

Computius Say:

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. –Fred Brooks, computer scientist (b. 19 Apr 1931) (courtesy of A.Word.A.Day).

Remember:  We can make your business run better by:

All the Best from the team!
Judith 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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