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Training Background

Software Africa has always been involved in high quality skills development for users of Microsoft and QuickBooks software. Courses can be custom-written to meet specific user needs and are usually run at your premises to a schedule that suits your company.

Individual attention is ensured by keeping the group small –a maximum of 8 users per session– and by evaluating participants beforehand. Workflow and presentation of documents can also be studied so that the course accurately reflects the reality of the work environment.

Each trainee receives a comprehensive manual (typically 60 to 80 pages) containing step-by-step instructions, a diskette of examples, a certificate of completion, and three months' free telephonic and e-mail support on the course material. Final assessment of trainees can be done if required.

Most courses cost (South African Rand) R6 600 plus VAT per day. The courses on Microsoft Access, Excel Advanced, Excel for Engineers and Scientists, and Visual Basic are R7 700 plus VAT per day. These prices are subject to change without notice.

Our training manuals are available under license for you to run in-house training using your own trainer.

We can write training manuals to suit your needs. The cost varies depending on complexity, how much already exists, and who holds copyright. We've created training courses for Quest International (Pty) Ltd; Lonrho Platinum Mines; MAPP Healthcare; PG Autoglass as well as many others.

Courses are available on the following software packages:

(Click underlined links for more information)


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Microsoft Excel Beginners

Who should attend?

Anyone interested in working with Excel including those who have been previously using Lotus 1-2-3.  A working knowledge of Windows and how to use a mouse is required.

Duration: Two days


The Beginners course consists of a full introduction to Excel’s screen layout and the menus. It then continues with the following:

  • Starting Excel and an overview of the screen.
  • An explanation of the menus
  • Creating a worksheet
  • Editing cells, cutting, copying and pasting
  • Using the high speed copying methods to run series of information across a range in the worksheet
  • Calculations - simple and function driven
  • Saving and printing the worksheet
  • Presenting the data in different ways
  • Handling ranges and selections, including range name creation and usage
  • Linking worksheets
  • Sorting
  • Using the right mouse button
  • Using date format
  • Using absolute references
  • Formatting the worksheet's text and numbers for various effects.
  • Working with grouped spreadsheets and linking between sheets
  • External file links
  • Graphing

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Microsoft Excel Intermediate

Who should attend?

Users who have considerable experience of Excel. Advanced 1-2-3 users can take this course following covering the Beginners course

Duration: One day


This course consists of the following:

  • Working effectively with databases and multiple worksheets
  • Complex functions and their uses, including nesting functions and troubleshooting
  • Rounding and statistical functions
  • Worksheet protection
  • Data analysis
  • Database handling for reports including subtotal and grandtotal techniques
  • Data Query including What-If Tables
  • Database functions with and without data table
  • Using worksheet manipulation tools
  • Pivot Tables
  • Solver and Backsolver
  • Advanced graphing
  • Scenario Manager and its relation to other Excel function - how to use it to tap Excel's forecasting power
  • An introduction to Macros

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Microsoft Excel for Engineers and Scientists

Who should attend?

Technical users with experience in recent versions of Microsoft Excel who now wish to upgrade their skills with specific focus on engineering and scientific problems.

Duration: Two days


  • Excel as an Engineering and Scientific Tool
  • Recap of Basics: Screen layout, moving around and selecting cells, copying and moving cells, formatting cells, entering and editing data, overview of the menus, shortcuts, toolbar buttons, simple formulas and formatting.
  • Other Useful Features: Tools > Options, Range Naming, Freeze Panes      
  • Preview and Print 
  • Guidelines for Good Worksheet Design  
  • Some Advanced Functions.
  • Excel Add-Ins.
  • Creating and Working with a Database: Using a list as a database, data forms, filtering and sorting data.
  • Groups and Outlines.
  • Pivot Tables.
  • Scenario Manager.
  • Goal Seek and Solver.
  • Graphs.
  • Introduction to Macros: Recording and running a macro, modifying Visual Basic code, main features of Visual Basic. Examples.
  • Assigning a macro to a worksheet button or a toolbar button.
  • Iterating for a Solution: Using Copy, Circular References, and Macros.
  • Using Excel as a Pre-Processor: Exporting Data.
  • Using Excel as a Post-Processor: Importing Data.
  • Other Examples: Pipe Flows, Survey Calculations, Reservoir Simulation, LINEST.

A comprehensive manual and examples diskette is provided, plus three months’ free support on the course material.

Customisation of the Course

The course can be customised to suit user requirements and focused on particular needs. Please let us know of any particular feature that you wish to look at in depth before the course. Examples from users’ work are particularly welcomed.

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Microsoft Excel Programming

Who should attend?

Very experienced Excel users who wish to be able to program applications.

Duration: Two days


In depth coverage of Excel’s interface with Visual Basic. During the course, participants will develop a number of applications to use in Excel.

Debugging of the applications is also included. Further details available on application.

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Microsoft Access Beginners

Who should attend?

This course is designed for the first-time user. No previous experience of Access 97/2000 or databases in general is required, but will be useful. Windows knowledge is essential, including using a mouse. Typing ability will be an advantage.

Duration: Two days

Course Content:

  • What is a Relational Database Management System?
  • Starting Microsoft Access
  • The Menus (covered in detail throughout the course)
  • Database design considerations
  • Creating a New Database: Directory considerations, File naming and backups
  • Components of a database: Tables, Queries, Forms, Reports, Macros.
  • Creating a new table: The Components of a Table
  • Entering Data into a Table; Copy and Move data; Moving a Column.
  • Opening an existing file
  • Finding and Replacing data
  • Making design changes to a table
  • Queries and Forms
  • Views: Design, Datasheet, Form View.
  • Forms: Why use a Form?; Creating and Modifying a Form; Using the Form
  • Sorting in Form View: Working with Filters
  • Form Design - Using the toolbox; Giving a form a different source
  • Printing through a Form
  • Creating reports: Single-Columnar Reports, Groups/Totals Reports.
  • Splitting a Database: Using Query to create a new table
  • Creating an Update query
  • Setting Relationships
  • A data input system; Creating a Check box; Creating a Combo box
  • Example: A mass mail-out: Creating Mailing Labels and Form Letters
  • Introduction to Macros: Creating a macro, Putting a macro on a button.

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Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Beginners


This course is designed for new users of Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0.  By the end of the course trainees will be able to develop and distribute their own simple Visual Basic programs for Windows.  This is a hands-on working course focusing on the practical use of Visual Basic.  More advanced topics such as Database Handling, Help Files and Graphics are covered on the Visual Basic 6.0 Intermediate course.


The trainee must know how to use Windows and a mouse, and have fair typing skills.  A user-level knowledge of other Windows packages such as Excel or Word will be an asset.  Previous use of a programming language or macros will also be useful. 

Homework will be given (about 2 hrs per day).  For this purpose trainees must either have access to a legal copy of Visual Basic 6.0, or be willing to use our premises after hours.

Duration and Cost:

The course is run over four non-consecutive days once a week (for example, successive Wednesdays) for groups of three to six people.  The course is structured into two modules per day.  For smaller or faster groups, each day’s work can be covered in a somewhat shorter period.  The cost is R5000 plus VAT per day.  The course fee includes a detailed manual, a diskette with solutions to homework, and free telephone support on the course material for the next three months.

Course Content:

The course content is subject to change without prior notice, and may be influenced by the requirements of the participants. 

    Module 1: Introduction:

  • The Visual Basic Programming environment.  Forms.

  • Common Controls

  • Objects and Properties

  • Event-driven programming vs. the sequential program:  No Main Program!

  • Adding code to a control: Our first program.  Exercises.

    Module 2: Programming Basics

  • Program Structure

  • Variable Types

  • Declaring Variables and Arrays

  • Scope and Lifetime of Variables

  • Formulas and Constants

  • Modules

  • Procedures: Subprograms and Functions.  Homework.

    Module 3: Programming Topics

  • Program Control Structures - Conditional and Unconditional Branching; Looping.

  • Classes and Collections; Events, Properties and Methods.

  • Using Visual Basic Help

  • Message Box and Input Box

  • Error-handling; Scope of Error Handlers

  • Debugging and Testing Code.

  • Exercises

    Module 4: Formulae and Built-in Functions

  • Math Built-in functions e.g. Int, Abs.

  • Text Built-in functions - string manipulation.

  • Date calculations - plain dates, Between, Date/Time Built-in functions e.g. DateAdd, Month, Year, conversions.

  • Other useful Functions

  • Homework

    Module 5: File Handling and Common Dialogs

  • Types of File Access

  • Open and Close

  • Reading and Writing to different file formats

  • Common Dialogs for file handling

  • FileCopy, Dir, Name, Kill; changing Drive and Directory.

  • Exercises

    Module 6: Simple Graphics and Printing

  • Printing to a form, a control, and the printer

  • Drawing to these objects: A simple graph

  • Positioning and Justifying Text.  Homework

    Module 7: Improving the User Interface

  • The Menu Editor. 

  • Controlling menus programmatically

  • Cut, Copy and Paste.

  • Forms as Dialog boxes.  Modal and Modeless Dialogs

  • The Toolbar control.  Exercises

    Module 8: Rounding out the Application

  • Sequence of Events at Start-up

  • Creating a Splash Screen

  • The Timer Control

  • Providing Simple Help

  • Distributing the Application: the Setup Wizard

  • Workshopping of user problems.

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