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Data Analysis and Reporting Spreadsheets
for the Civil Engineering Soils Laboratory!

Does your Civil Engineering Materials Lab or Geotechnical Laboratory produce Test Results for:

  • Road Indicator or Foundation Indicator:
  • Sieve Analysis to TMH1 Method A1 (a) or SANS 3001-GR1 - Chart of Percent Passing Sieve Size, and Grading Modulus
  • Mechanical analysis to TMH1 Method A5 or SANS 3001-PR5 - Percent of Soil Mortar
  • Hydrometer Analysis (ASTM - D422) or SANS 3001-GR3 - Percent Passing Sieve Size
  • Particle Size graph (logarithmic-linear S-curve chart)
  • Atterberg Limits to TMH1 Methods A2, A3, A4 or SANS 3001-GR10 Forms S2 to S4 (Liquid Limit, Plasticity Index, Linear Shrinkage)
  • Maximum Dry Density (MOD) and Optimum Moisture Content (OMC) - TMH1 Method A7 or SANS 3001-GR30
  • California Bearing Ratio (CBR) - TMH1 Method A8 or SANS 3001-GR40
  • AASHTO Group Index
  • Unified Classification
  • TRH14 Material Type Classification (1985),
  • COLTO Type of Material (1998), and
  • Potential Expansiveness chart (Van der Merwe diagram)?

If So – We Can Help!

In 2007 we wrote a suite of five Excel Spreadsheets to

  • do the calculations for the tests listed above and
  • combine the results for up to five samples at a time
  • with a choice of output for
  • Road Indicator, Foundation Indicator, or Extended Foundation Indicator (with MOD and CBR)
  • into a pleasing easy-to-read Excel spreadsheet that
  • you can print, fax, or e-mail (directly or as a PDF file),
  • together with the necessary Grading Curve Graphs and
  • Potential Expansiveness Chart (Van der Merwe diagram).

Geosure, who commissioned the work, have given us permission to license the suite to other Soils Laboratories.  The spreadsheets are secured so that changes can not be made off site (or even on unlicensed PCs!).

The calculations have been verified extensively by Geosure and us, though we always encourage you as good engineers to take a critical look at the results and make sure that you agree with them.

The suite can be licensed to you on a monthly or annual basis.  Instead of having to lay out a large sum up front to develop your own reporting spreadsheets (or hacking it, getting formulas wrong, and improving gradually over time), you can have a ready-made professional presentation right now, and pay for it as part of your regular tax-deductible overheads.

You can insert your own scanned signatures (password-protected).  This lets you print to fax or electronic format (e.g. PDF) without having to print to paper and sign that first.  There is also a "stamp" saying "DRAFT" for results not yet approved.

As reflected above, the original TMH1 Method spreadsheets have been updated for SANS 3001.

We can personalise output with your company details and logo for professional presentation to clients.

Best of all, we'll give you a 15 days free trial so that you can satisfy yourself that it suits your needs (for one PC, not personalised).

If it doesn't quite fit your needs, we are happy to make the changes you desire (at a price, of course).

Contact Us Now!

Send us an e-mail for the Soils Lab Spreadsheets:

  • containing all your company details (physical and postal address, telephone, fax and e-mail, contact person's name, and VAT number),
  • telling us a bit about your Lab,
  • giving us an idea of how many tests you do in a given period,
  • and asking for the spreadsheets.

We will send you the suite of Excel templates as a zipped file and the User Guide as a Word document.

Installation works as follows:

Unzip the file to a suitable location, for example the Excel Templates folder on your test PC.

Use Excel 2010 or later (with Macro Security set to Medium) to open any of the files, and Enable Macros.

The file will open on a sheet of instructions, summarised here:

You need to apply for a license: The first time you open a file in this system on any PC, it will ask you for a Key code.

Fill in your Company Name, Contact Person, e-mail address, Telephone and Fax.  Save the Template.

Click the Register by e-mail button and send the e-mail that it creates: (If that PC does not have e-mail, click the Make Registration File button to save a file to e-mail from another PC, or print or fax).

We at Software Africa will e-mail you a Key code for that PC. The test license is valid for 15 days.

Select the key code in the e-mail and copy it to the Windows Clipboard.

Open the Excel template again. When requested, paste the key code into the input box.  This will license all spreadsheets for that PC.

If you decide that the system is for you (and if not, we'd like to know why not!) then we will license as many PCs as you require for whatever period you'd like to pay for in advance.

Please e-mail us now for the spreadsheets, or to get more details.


To run the Soils Lab Spreadsheets you must have Microsoft Excel 2010 or later with macros enabled (Macro Security set to Medium), running on Microsoft Windows 8 or 10.  The Spreadsheets also run on earlier versions, with somewhat different security instructions.

To find out which Windows version you have, click Start > Run, type WinVer and press Enter.  If you have Windows XP but not Service Pack 2 or 3, we recommend that you visit Microsoft Update to download and install the latest updates for your system.

To discover your version of Excel, run it and click Help > About Microsoft Excel.  If you aren't running Microsoft Update to keep your Office programs updated with the latest patches, we suggest you do so.

We have not tested the spreadsheets on Libre Office or Open Office, but would be happy to do so if there is a demand.  Excel VBA macros would have to be supported.  They do not run on Google Sheets.


The set of five Templates is available on monthly or annual rental, priced either per PC or per Laboratory (one physical site with one name and e-mail address).  Prices in South African Rand for the whole suite:

  • Per PC: R600/month, or R6,000/year (a 17% discount), minimum 3 months.
  • Per Lab (unlimited PCs): R2,400/month or R24,000/year.

Conditions: All prices are based on payment in advance, free of bank and exchange charges.  VAT is not included (14% in South Africa, zero elsewhere).  All prices not yet billed are subject to change without prior notice.  Prices in other currencies on application.

Included: Customisation with your company logo and contact details.

Updating the Spreadsheets

From time to time the Templates are revised to add enhancements and fix any bugs that are found.

When a new version is released, it will be sent to you as a zipped file just as it was originally.  Unzip over the old version on each PC.  When you open the new files, they will pick up the registration details from your PC and run without needing to be licensed again.

Do You Need Something More Sophisticated?

Spreadsheets are quick and versatile, and produce attractive results.  However, managing them can be painful.  Because they are all separate entities, it is difficult to make a summary of many results.  The spreadsheets don't have a formal approval process, and they don't tie in to any billing system.  They only cater for the tests listed, and do not (for example) do UCS (Unconfined Compressive Strength) or Asphalt tests.  If these are concerns for you, rather consider Labbie, the Database for Soils tests.

If your Lab crushes Concrete Test Cubes

Please take a look at Labbie, the Data Retriever for testing Concrete Cubes.

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