Intuitive crew manager

Schedule Crew Assignments for 100 People is a set of Excel spreadsheets that allow users to organize up to 100 employees into work crews for up to 10 jobs. Although the program isn't bad for what it is, users should be aware that it is really just an Excel file, not a separate application.

The program's functions are separated into different spreadsheets within an Excel workbook. There are spreadsheets for employee contact information, a list of jobs, a detailed page for each job, and several schedule views. Users enter employee information including their skills and skill level. Users … Read more

Intuitive schedule maker

Schedule Split Shifts for 25 Employees is a set of Excel spreadsheets that allow users to create schedules for up to 25 employees in up to two locations. Although the program isn't bad for what it is, users should be aware that it is really just an Excel file, not a separate application.

The program's functions are separated into different spreadsheets within an Excel workbook. Users enter employee information, including their position (manager, cook, or waiter), and any age-based restrictions on how many hours they can work, and availability. Users then create schedules, inputting how many workers they … Read more

Use Google Docs to create a weekly football pick sheet

The 2009 football season has arrived, and with it the need for somebody in the office to collect everyone's picks in the weekly football pool. Google Docs' forms function makes recording the pigskin prognostications as easy as siding with whoever's playing the Detroit Lions this week.

On the Google Docs main page, click New > Spreadsheet to open a blank worksheet. Click Form > Create a form to open the Edit form dialog. Give the form a name in the top text box. Type "Name" in the Question Title text box, choose Text in the Question … Read more

Spreadsheet alternative

GS-Calc offers users an alternative spreadsheet maker by mimicking what the more famous versions do and adding little flourishes that many will like.

The program's interface will immediately be recognizable to those familiar with Excel. The rows, columns, and even commands feel like they are in the same place. However, if users need help with its slight difference, a Help file is available. The program functions almost exactly like the more popular spreadsheet option. Users input data into cells across various rows and columns. The data can be manipulated in multiple ways, including color-coding cells, rows and columns, sorting … Read more

Data analysis app

You don't have to rely on a statistician or SAS to analyze data for projects thanks to this handy app. AcaStat Plus provides the most common tools for performing statistical processes.

It launches a nice-size interface with a large pane taking up most of the window, and a vertical row of displays on the right side of the window that changes based on the procedure chosen in the top display. The large pane is tabbed for manipulating the data: Output, Charts, and Decision Tools, along with Glossary and Handbook. This app performed very satisfactorily in our tests, responding quickly … Read more

Simple golf calculator

Handicap Manager for Excel provides golfers with an opportunity to calculate and store their scores on a limitless number of courses. This program's organization makes it simple to operate.

The program's interface is familiar and intuitively laid out, thanks primarily to being based on Microsoft Excel. With simple menus that lead you through the various spreadsheets, you won't have trouble tabulating statistics. Fill up this program first by navigating through the Golf Course information. You enter a course's name, par, rating, and slope, which all helps calculate the handicap later. Next, enter all your information, such … Read more

Quick money converter

Euro Calculator is a fast currency calculator that doesn't really separate itself from the myriad free online calculators. The program does its job well, but we were left wondering why users should choose it.

The program's interface will be fairly familiar to anyone who's used a computer calculator before. The program is organized the same, but with two data lines. Changing currencies takes a little experimentation or a brief trip to the Help file, but not too much work. Users simply input an amount of euros in the main data line or enter a math equation, then … Read more

Poorly designed interface

ExcelPipe is supposedly designed to let users search through multiple MS Excel spreadsheets to find and replace special characters in one fell swoop. Unfortunately its vague and poorly designed user interface makes it extremely difficult to accomplish this task.

The user interface is extremely bland. It employs tabs with the hopes of keeping you on track, but we found they worked just the opposite. Rather, the interface lacked any kind of flow, making it difficult to navigate. What's more, the button commands and features were not at all intuitive, and we had no idea how to get started. A … Read more

Adobe makes Acrobat.com a business with paid accounts

Adobe is taking Acrobat.com out of beta on Monday, and turning it into a business with paid user accounts. The service, which has more than 5 million registered users will retain its free version, however there are now usage limitations on certain features which can be unlocked by upgrading to one of the two new premium plans. These can be purchased on a monthly or yearly basis and cost $14.99 or $39 a month, or $149 or $390 a year respectively.

The "premium basic" plan allows for 10 PDF conversions per month, as well as up to five meeting participants though Adobe's ConnectNow tool. The "premium plus" plan dials that up to unlimited PDF conversions, and meetings with up to 20 users. Both premium plans also gain phone and Web support. In comparison, free users will only be able to convert five PDFs, and connect with two people at once in ConnectNow, which is just one less connection than users were able to have during Acrobat's beta period.

Along with the move to paid accounts, Acrobat.com is getting a new collaborative app called Tables that handles basic spreadsheets. Just like Buzzword, Adobe's online word processor, this lets multiple users work on a spreadsheet at once, as well as track revisions and roll back to earlier versions.

In a call with CNET News last week, Eric Larson, who is Adobe's director of product management and marketing for Acrobat.com, told me that Tables is not quite ready to replace Microsoft's Excel, which is why it's being rolled out in Adobe's Acrobat Labs section first. Larson did stress, however, that it will allow users to do things Excel can't, like see where other people are on the document, and provide a subtle warning when users are making a visual change that will affect others.

Little things that users are used to doing in normal software, like changing column width or sorting order, yields a small warning message that tells them to think twice if there are other people working on it at the same time. It also provides the option to switch to "private view," which lets users make edits without the changes going live to the main document. Adobe is hoping this type of work flow will cut down on the e-mail overload, and versioning problems that typical office software creates.

I gave the tool a spin over the weekend, and for basic spreadsheet tasks it's quite nice. Unlike Google Docs, which opens up to a sea of white cells, Tables opens up to just three columns and five rows which can be expanded one at a time. It's also incredibly responsive, letting you re-organize, and snap around columns and individual cells as if you were using desktop software.… Read more

How to export song lists from iTunes

People sometimes criticize Apple's iTunes software for looking too much like a spreadsheet--but for some people, it's not spreadsheet enough. If you're the kind of data-devouring music nerd who dreams of spinning your iTunes library database into a killer Microsoft Excel pie chart, then you have come to the right place.

In the following video and slideshow tutorial, I'll show you how to break your library data out of iTunes as a tab-separated list, PDF file, or Web database.