Use SketchUp to design and market your business floorspace

Use SketchUp to design and market your business floorspace

Using SketchUp to design your business floorspace can be a great way to visualise and plan your space and create compelling visuals and interactive experiences that resonate with your clients. There is a free web version to download from the SketchUp website with the basic tools and functions, and a more feature-rich paid version for more advanced functionality.

From drawing the basic floorplan of your business space, and using the Line, Rectangle, and other drawing tools to create walls, doors, and windows, you can use the Push/Pull tool to create any other vertical elements in your 3D space. Measurement tools, to set accurate dimensions, ensure that your design is to scale.

To add details like doors, windows, other architectural features, and furniture and fixtures, you can create these with the toolbar, or you can browse 3D Warehouse, an online library of pre-made components within SketchUp, which can save you time and give you a realistic representation of your space.

Applying high-quality materials and textures to your surfaces will add realism and help clients visualise the look and feel of different elements in the design. SketchUp allows you to import textures or choose from the built-in library. Different kinds of woods, brick and stone, glass, and floor coverings give your designs a more life-like look and feel.

Applying high-quality materials and textures to your surfaces will add realism and help clients visualise the look and feel of different elements in the design. SketchUp allows you to import textures or choose from the built-in library. Different kinds of woods, brick and stone, glass, and floor coverings give your designs a more life-like look and feel.

Use the various viewing options in SketchUp to see your model in different perspectives (top-down plan view, 3D view, side elevation, etc.). Creating a walkthrough in SketchUp allows you to move through your 3D model in a virtual environment, providing a dynamic and immersive experience for both you and your clients. Walking through the model gives a more realistic sense of scale and perspective. This can be especially important for interior designs or spaces with intricate details that might not be fully appreciated in static views, and can help identify potential issues with layout, flow, or aesthetics that may not be as apparent in traditional 2D representations. Using rendering plugins or built-in features in SketchUp allows you to generate high-quality images. These can be used in presentations, marketing materials, or shared on social media to generate excitement and engagement.

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Ronnie McGovern

Ronnie McGovern

Training Consultant

Use Photoshop to visually enhance your business image

Use Photoshop to visually enhance your business image​

Use Photoshop to visually enhance your business image

Use Photoshop to visually enhance your business image​

Using Photoshop can significantly enhance your business by helping you create professional and visually appealing graphics, such as branding materials, social media and website graphics, product photography editing, event promotion, and advertising design.

Photoshop’s customisable templates and document layouts ensure that your brand image, such as business cards, letterheads, and brochures are cohesive across all platforms. Engaging and eye-catching visuals on your social media platforms, including posts, cover photos, and profile pictures, can help increase your online presence. Your website’s visual appeal, from banners, to icons, and other graphical elements contribute to a cohesive and professional design which can be created with Photoshop tools. Consistency and professionalism across all your visual materials can contribute to a strong and memorable brand image.

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Photoshop woman

Social media graphics play a crucial role in establishing an online presence and engaging your audience. Ensure your profile picture is recognisable and aligned with your brand By using Photoshop to resize and optimise the image for different social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.).

Improve the quality of your product images and make them more visually appealing by using Photoshop to edit and enhance your photos, by resizing images and cropping unwanted content, enhancing colour, removing backgrounds, and create advanced composite images.

When creating graphics for social media and websites, it’s essential to maintain consistency in branding, use high-quality images, and consider the platform’s specifications and guidelines. Regularly update your visuals to keep your online presence fresh and engaging.

photoshop

Images courtesy of http://www.photoshopsupport.com/

TO BOOK YOUR TRAINING TODAY CLICK HERE

Ronnie McGovern

Ronnie McGovern

Training Consultant

Word Docs with Embedded Links to Excel

EMBEDDED LINKS TO EXCEL WITHIN WORD

Did you know you can link live Excel charts and tables within a connected PowerPoint presentation or Word document?

In a recent project that came to us a client was looking for a way to bring multiple sections of an Excel document into different parts of a Word document. The Excel file would be continually updated, so the need was for these live updates to automatically be reflected in the Word document without the need for the users to complete lengthy edits of the Word document every time.

There are a few ways this could have been achieved:

Word Paste Special

In this particular instance, the Excel file in question was a fully fledged file in its own right that would be updated/accessed outside the need to just update the Word file and so the embedding method was ruled out. The custom VBA approach would require too much development time for this project. So, the linked Excel route was taken.

The Copy and ‘Paste Special’, ‘Paste Link’ method can be used across multiple charts/tables or ranges of cells to bring in multiple separate objects/sections into the Word/PowerPoint doc.

Project Flow Chart

Once the linked objects were now in place, upon opening the Word file the user would receive the following message.

Word Links Warning

Upon selecting ‘Yes’, MS Word would seek to update any of the linked elements in the document with the very latest data available.

A few things of note here;

It is best to keep the linked files stored within the same root folder and to not rename the Excel file. If stored in the same location and the Excel file is not renamed, they should remain linked.
If the link between Word and Excel does become broken it can be reset in Word by going to File>Info>Edit Links to files.

 

If you select ‘Yes’ while the Excel file is closed, Word may take upwards of a minute to open and refresh the data. If, however he linked Excel file was opened first, this updating process is instant. As a result, it is highly recommended to first open the Excel file, then open the word file and to select ‘Yes’ to the update links message. This is particular true where there is more than one object/section linked.

If you have a project where linking to Excel is a requirement, please do not hesitate to contact Olas to discuss how we can assist you on the project.

Olas Team Member - Fergal

Fergal O'Connor

Senior Technical Consultant


fergal.oconnor@olas.ie
Mobile: +353 86 841 3708

Development Case Study: Executive Level Procurement KPIs Dashboards Reporting: Microsoft Power BI and Microsoft Excel

An Application Development Team Case Study:

Executive Level Procurement KPIs Dashboards Reporting: Microsoft Power BI and Microsoft Excel

Technology: Microsoft Power BI and Microsoft Excel
Client: Large distiller and distributor of some of the most famous Irish and internationally spirit brands
Year: 2020

Our client was seeking to develop a new global reporting suite of dashboards for the procurement side of the business, detailing high level spend reports across the business with a focus on a number of newly created KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) across areas such as Cost Optimisation, Risk and Innovation. In this instance the Microsoft Power BI business intelligence platform was chosen for the project.

The Power BI dashboards were developed for a top senior level executive audience. Data was reported summarised up to the highest level but then with interactive abilities for the user to delve into the detail using slicers to filter the data and to step further down the data hierarchies in place. The reporting suite created, took in data relating to budgets, capex spends and P&L data and produced a very visually pleasing, easily readable, very clearly presented factual figures. With the ability to filter by procurement categories and sub categories.

Olas worked closely with the client to firstly help finalise the metrics/formulas of the newly created KPIs and to help gather all the required data to perform those calculations. The next task was then to design MS Excel templates that would be used to capture all the necessary data. In the end, we ended up with three source data MS Excel based files, that would be maintained and updated by the procurement team for continual data input going forward. Once the data was captured and we had a blueprint on paper of what we needed to achieve from a reporting perspective, Olas then proceeded to take those inputs and to transform the data into a powerful suite of carefully thought-out Power BI dashboard reports. The end result provided very clear views of detailed analytical data covering procurement KPI’s and spend right across the entire global operation. We took advantage of the powerful business intelligence capabilities of the Power BI platform to seamlessly merge and transform data from separate inputs together and to produce interactive reports and visualisations. 

The reports were created using Power BI Desktop with an end goal of making the reports more readily available for the wider business audience using the Power BI Service platform so as to be able to host the reports in a web browser. In this instance, by storing the three MS Excel source files from an OneDrive location, the automatic refreshing of the reports could also be achieved. Meaning that users would be able to access these reports themselves in a web browser, loaded and refreshed with the very latest data available to them at that moment in time.

Olas Team Member - Fergal

FERGAL O’CONNOR
SENIOR TECHNICAL CONSULTANT


Mobile: +353 86 841 3708
Email: fergal.oconnor@olas.ie


Development Case Study: University Thesis Database: Microsoft Access, SharePoint, Word and Excel

An Application Development Team Case Study:

Olas Logo

University Thesis Database: Microsoft Access, SharePoint, Word and Excel

Technology: Microsoft Access, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel

Client: One of Ireland’s Top Universities
Year: 2020

As part of this redevelopment project, Olas breathed new life into an older MS Access application that had evolved internally in the university over a large number of years. The Thesis database was a central repository for recording students, examiners and Thesis data that then would be used in reporting on and creating all external typed letters from the department.

A key incentive for this project to get the go-ahead was the need to find a new home for the database as the traditional file-server networked drive that it sat on was now being decommissioned in favour of newer cloud based technology. What was now once a standalone MS Access application was now redesigned as a MS Access front-end application (screens and functions) with the data migrated to a SharePoint Lists back-end setup. This new setup was successfully achieved with no loss to performance or function.

In redeveloping the solution, we gave it a new improved interface, search features, security and reporting to MS Excel and MS Word based mail merge functions to create letters. We firstly began by streamlined the system by removing obsolete elements and to redesign the setup of the system to make it much more usable and maintainable for the users going forward. The other key part of this project was to introduce a new, detailed, custom mail merge facility. The new setup led to the creation of 35 separate MS Word letter templates which then would be called upon by the systems custom mail merge process, which would further populate the more individual elements of the letters. These generated letters could in turn be saved as MS Word document, as PDF’s, as email attachments or even as the body of an email itself. For a single student or examiner record it could be the case that the system could generate a single email with up to five separate generated documents attached. The setup of the letter templates as MS Word documents has meant the letters are extremely easy to update and format as required by the users going forward, or to even add new letters to the catalogue of documents that is populated by the system.

The end deliverable was a hugely successful migration of an old MS Access database with a soon to be made legacy environment setup, to that of a new setup utilising a SharePoint backend. While also providing a much needed modernised look and feel with an extensive mail merge facility.

Olas Team Member - Fergal

FERGAL O’CONNOR
SENIOR TECHNICAL CONSULTANT


Mobile: +353 86 841 3708
Email: fergal.oconnor@olas.ie