FAQs

This contains a list of FAQs on A-Plan. If you are not sure about the category to which your question belongs, you may also perform a Search for the appropriate keyword (see the field at the top right).

If you are unable to find an answer to your question, please send a Support enquiry to us.

General Questions

Question

I have not found anything on multiple planning levels or steps in the documentation of A-Plan. What I mean here is that there is already a new schedule prior to the actual implementation, but the data pertaining to the previous schedule, however, should be retained. At the end, I have then the data from the “1st Draught” + “Schedule fine tuned” + other “Schedule fine tuned” + actual data.
Is there an option to enter all of these?

Answer

It is possible to make a Target / Actual comparison and to make a forecast; however, no scheduling history can be displayed.

We have dispensed with this since A-Plan has been developed with the conscious knowledge that it is a simple alternative for the otherwise very complex project management programs.

Question

Is it possible to associate multiple objects or links with one task?

Answer

You cannot, as a matter of fact, associate multiple objects per task, but it is possible to use drag & drop to deposit a folder from Windows Explorer under the “Object” column.

When you double click on this link subsequently, Windows Explorer opens with this folder so that you have direct access to all files in this folder.

Alternatively, you can work with subordinate lines which are then associated with one object respectively.

Question

I have converted A-Plan to the English language variant. Unfortunately, I have not been able to convert the titles such as, for example, Vorgang, Verantwortlich etc.

Answer

The titles cannot be converted automatically at a later stage, but appear in English only if you create a new database. Hence, you need to change them manually using the options (“Screen display” / “Columns/Rows”).

Question

What are the Languages in which A-Plan is available?

Answer

A-Plan is currently available in German and English.

Question

How do I start from the very beginning (I have had no experience whatsoever with any project management tool)?

Answer

Relevant information is provided in the self-learning programme (PowerPoint presentation that can also be read with OpenOffice) that is available here.

The manual (to find details) is also available as a download.

Calculations

With working days that are of different duration, there are problems when calculating the time period since, in this case, the length of one day is not defined unambiguously. Theoretically, in fact, the average duration of one day could be used, but this leads to illogical results in practice.

Example:

Working time Mo – Th:   8:00 Uhr – 16:00 Uhr, Duration:  8:00 h

Working time Fr:            8:00 Uhr – 14:00 Uhr, Duration:  6:00 h

Average duration:                                                                7:36 h

The calculated duration of the time period from Monday 8:00 AM to Tuesday 4:00 PM would be computationally 2 days and 0:48 hours (16 hours – 2 x 7:36 hours = 0:48 hours), the duration from Thursday 8:00 AM to Friday 2:00 PM would be 1 day and 6:24 hours (14 hours – 7:36 hours = 6:24 hours)! However, both results are values that cannot be comprehended without an explanation!

Since the duration merely specifies the distance between two time points, different working times of the days in between do not play any role (a task that, for example, stretches from Tuesday to Thursday always, “lasts” 3 days, regardless of how long you “work” on these 3 days)!

The calculated duration of the time period from Monday 8:00 AM to Tuesday 4:00 PM would be computationally 2 days and 0:48 hours (16 hours – 2 x 7:36 hours = 0:48 hours), the duration from Thursday 8:00 AM to Friday 2:00 PM would be 1 day and 6:24 hours (14 hours – 7:36 hours = 6:24 hours)! However, both results are values that cannot be comprehended without an explanation!

Since the duration merely specifies the distance between two time points, different working times of the days in between do not play any role (a task that, for example, stretches from Tuesday to Thursday always, “lasts” 3 days, regardless of how long you “work” on these 3 days)!

Question

Are there columns, with which user-defined calculations may be performed by entering a formula in them, for example?

Answer

This is not possible in the main table of A-Plan. However, with the A-Plan 2009 version or higher, you can insert any number of additional columns in the reports (MS-Excel format) that can be combined with other columns using calculation rules.

Display

Question

If you enter a new record or modify an existing one, the corresponding line is then at a different position in the main table. How can you prevent this?

Antwort

The sorting option set in this case may be disabled via View / Sorting….

Use one of the “free” columns (= “User-defined text columns”) and enter, for example, an “x” in this column against the lines that need to be displayed. If you now enter “x” in the Filter dialogue window as the search criterion in the corresponding field, only the lines desired are displayed.

Explanation

There is possibly an error in the database

Abhilfe

In the File menu, initiate the Repair database… command

Database

Question

A-Plan provides the “Transport database” function for porting A-Plan databases. Unfortunately, in this function, I

1. cannot choose any subfolder and

2. cannot pack the database directly in an e-mail.

 

Is there any other more comfortable option for sending an A-Plan database?

Answer

In order to transfer a database, it is adequate to send the file whose name ends in .apl. The transport feature is necessary only if settings (Profiles) need to be transferred.

Printing

Explanation

Either you have not clicked on the Calendar weeks (“CW”) button or the printing columns for the display of the calendar weeks is too small.

Remedy

Enable the Calendar weeks button or increase the width of the printing columns by using more pages for the printout or enlarging the width for the day.

The wrong print area has been selected (in most cases, the incorrect number of years).

When calling up the print options, A-Plan requests certain data from the printer (e.g. size of the printable area, etc.). For printers that are addressed via the network, this may take up to 30 sec. in rare cases.

Explanation

A-Plan generates the print file usually in EMF format (= “Enhanced Meta File”), a Microsoft standard. Certain older programs or Operating Systems (e.g. Windows 95, 98), in certain cases, however, are not in a position to read the EMF format properly.
Hence, the only remedy possible is to load a newer version of the program or Operating System!

Quotation from a technical magazine:

 

“… The interaction between an application and the printer does not always work as seamlessly as the user – and certain manufacturers – imagine. In all likelihood, the reason for this is neither an erroneous application program nor Windows that is frequently held to blame. In most cases, the printer drivers are responsible for incorrect or improper printing results. …”

Even if this citation is a few years old in the meantime, it continues to hold true: About 90% of al­l complaints received by our hotline pertaining to printer problems are attributable to improper printer drivers based on experience.

Remedy

Once again, we cite the technical magazine:

 

“… The simplest solution to the problem is a driver update. The likelihood that the error has been set right in the update is generally not poor. …”

This, too, can be confirmed by us. This is why we request you, in the event of inexplicable problems, to first check whether a newer version of the driver for your printer is available on the website of the printer manufacturer.

Preferences

Question

Is it possible in A-Plan to configure the default settings for printing and viewing in such a manner that each user has the default values available when he creates a new database?

Answer

For the version A-Plan 2009 or higher, you have the so-called “Global profiles”, which are available to all users for all databases (see the manual or the online help “Options” / “Save the options in profiles”).

Question

A-Plan allows you to set the begin of the week by choosing either Sunday (“American calendar”) or Monday (“European calender”) as the first day of the week. This setting is made under “Options” in the tab “Default values”/”Safety”.If Sunday is set as the first day of the week, week numbers will be calculated differently as American and European week numbers are sometimes different! (In the US, the first week is the week which contains the 1st of January whereas in Europe the week containing at least 4 days of the new year is week number no.1.)

Normally, the correct setting is taken over from the Windows system setting. However, if the setting of the first day of the week was changed inadvertently in A-Plan, this may affect the calculation of week numbers.

Filter

Question

Is it possible to hide folders? Projects and tasks that have been completed may be hidden or displayed with the help of the “Completed tasks” button. Is there a similar feature for the folder?

Answer

Folders can be selected / de-selected as desired from the visible list of folders available using “View” / “Set filter…”

In addition, the “Folder filter” can be enabled or disabled in the “View” menu so that all folders may be displayed once again without having to change the selection.

Question

Is it possible that A-Plan calculates and displays the total for filtered tasks?

Answer

With the help of Reports (see “Extras” menu), you can output the costs for any time period (and optionally, only for the projects filtered) in an MS-Excel spreadsheet.