Once you have populated your schedule with assignments you can save it. Select this menu item to do this. It will display a dialogue for you to choose a name and location for the saved report. Saved reports use the .SRR file type. These files store all of the settings that are in place when the schedule was created. They can also be opened up again later on and modified etc..
During the save process you will prompted with up to three questions. This is the first:
If appropriate you should select Yes to update the Duty Assignment History file. This information is useful when beginning the automatic assignment process. In addition, this history information can be included on the schedules created with the Midweek Editor.
Once you have saved a schedule, it's file-name is displayed in the top left-hand corner of the dialogue.
Save As File will always show a file dialogue whereas Save will only show one when saving a brand new schedule for the very first time.
Import From OCLM Assignment History
Press this menu item to display the Import From OCLM Assignment History dialogue. Click the link for more information.
The schedule can also be exported into HTML (see here for more info) and Comma Separated Values (CSV) formats. A HTML file can be opened directly in Microsoft Word for editing. This is very useful if you want to add some additional details like notes. The file dialogue displayed has a Settings button where you can alter how the report will look in the HTML file. The settings dialogue allows you to print the HTML schedule too. Note that these settings also affect how Print Preview operates and it can also be displayed directly by selecting Export Settings from the menu.
CSV format is a simple text output. Each text value is wrapped in quotes and delimited with a comma. Such a file can be opened using Microsoft Excel or used with Microsoft Word during mail merge. The Settings button (on the file dialogue) becomes disabled when you select this export file format.
Note that export to CSV is not available when in Duty Slip mode and the setting dialogue will be different when in this mode (see below).
See link for more details.
See link for more details.
If you wish the Meeting Schedule Assistant program to select names for the various assignments, use the Auto Assign feature.
Select this menu item to perform the automatic assignment operation. The program will populate the cells using a process with these rules:
Due to the complexity of this process however, there may occasionally result a Conflict of Assignment. When this option is set (see help notes below) the program will inform you when this has occurred and will show you on the schedule by highlighting the specific areas. A Conflict of Assignment means that the program has been unable to apply the above listed rules satisfactorily for every assignment. This then requires the user to manually adjust the content of the cells. You might wish to use the swap feature to make the needed corrections. After each correction, the program will continue to check for assignment conflicts.
Auto Assign uses strict processing protocol when engaged, however it is vital that each allocated assignment is checked by the user.
Use this feature to populate your schedule on a column by column basis. It is worthy of your investigation and you might find that it yields a better allocation of personnel if used correctly. Click here for more details.
Select this menu item to display the Auto Assign Settings dialogue. This allows you to customize how the Auto-Assign feature will work.
Select this menu item to clear the cells on the grid. You can clear all the cell or specific columns.
Select this menu item to display the Exclude Brothers dialogue. This allows you to remove brothers from specific meetings on the schedule. You would need to do this before running the Auto Assign process.
Select this menu item to highlight all conflicts of assignment. They will be coloured in cyan (this colour can't be changed at the moment). Any existing highlights get removed (for example, if you had previously highlighted a brothers assignment duties). The program will ensure the first conflict found (if any) is visible to the user since it might actually be off screen.
This setting was previously called Export Settings. It has been renamed Report Settings and moved to a new Edit menu from version 19.0.3 onward.
Accesses the report settings dialogue directly. This is also a quick way of previewing schedules and copying to Microsoft Word.
Use this to update the schedule preview on the right on demand.
You can enlarge or reduce the view of the schedule. Look here for more details.
This menu is only enabled when you are using the Assignments Editor in Preview mode.
There are a few extra features available to you in the editor when you right-click the grid. It displays this context menu.
Sometimes you might need to add a new meeting into the schedule. For example, if you have the circuit overseer visit it will most likely mean that you will have an extra meeting at the Kingdom Hall. In order to allow for this flexibility, you can right-click anywhere in the report grid to see this pop-up menu. Clicking Insert Meeting will then show this small dialogue:
Use the date control to set the date of the meeting and click OK. It will be inserted in the right place in the schedule and get selected automatically for you to populate the meeting assignments.
Set this option if you want to repeat this data every week on the current schedule.
Assignments to exclude
Tick any assignments that you would like excluded for the dates added to the schedule. When an assignment is excluded, it means the editor will not present you with a dropdown list.
Here is a scenario where you might use these extra features: Suppose you want to insert all the Saturday dates into the current schedule. Then simply choose the first Saturday date and then use the Recurrence setting. However, since this is a Saturday, only one of the assignments is valid. In this scenario, Weekend Ministry is a custom assignment and is the only valid assignment for a Saturday. So tick all but this assignment to exclude them from each row.
It is important to understand that the brothers listed for these meetings are the brothers available for the Midweek Meeting.
Select this to delete any meeting from the grid. You can delete special events or meetings that you had inserted as well. Since the change is permanent you are asked to confirm your actions.
There are occasions when you might want to change the way the report looks and indicate a special event. Such events could include the Special Assembly Day, District Convention or Circuit Assembly. In order to do this, you must right-click the row in the schedule for which you want to assign this event. Then select the Set Special Event menu item to display a small pop-up dialogue:
Using this dialogue you can choose one of the pre-defined events or type one of your own. When a row is converted into a special event, the cells get merged together so it all looks nice and tidy (see below). You can change the special event text again by double-clicking the cell.
Of course, you can undo this change to the report by right-clicking again and selecting Remove Special Event, in which case it reverts back to the individual cells with dropdown lists. All rows specified as events will be ignored during the automatic assignment process, so it makes sense to define these before you do automatic assigning. These events are also saved when you save the report.
If you would like further options as to how these events are displayed in the reports, then consider exporting the report to HTML by the Export button. By using the Export Settings, you can alter the font that is used for the events.
You can use the Events Manager to automatically show special events on all new reports. However, when you set a special event from within the report itself, it will get added to the special events list. Also, there are times when you might want this event excluded from a service meeting schedule, in which case you should set the Exclude from Service Meeting schedule option.
Sometimes you might want to swap two brothers assignments. For example, Auto Assign might always end up place the same brothers in the same columns. This is a quick way to swap the two brothers. Right-click anywhere on the schedule for this pop-up menu to display.
Before you can swap two brothers, you must select them. This is done by clicking the left mouse button whilst holding down the CTRL key (lower left of keyboard). A selected brother will be highlighted. To deselect a brother, simply CTRL + left mouse click again.
Note that you can only select two brothers, although they do not have to be side by side. Once you have selected the two brothers, the Swap Brothers menu item will be available.
The two brothers must be available on the relevant meeting days for the swap to be successful. If one or the other can be swapped, the operation will fail and you will be informed.
Certain actions, like Show Conflicts will automatically deselect any highlighted cells.
Occasionally there are times when you want an extra assignment (column) added but you do not want it to be populated each week/meeting (row). This feature selected from the right click menu Exclude assignment from many dates caters for this matter by excluding the assignment from as few or as many weeks/meetings as necessary.
To illustrate: lets say you have a C.O visit followed by a host visit for an assembly and a memorial in the same period covered by the report schedule; as a consequence you want to add a feature assignment Other to cater for an additional translator at the meeting; or an extra attendant; or any other role. You create the assignment in the options dialogue and have it available for all meetings > assign names to the assignment in the publishers database > then when you create a report, right click and using the standard CTRL+ click method, exclude the assignment from weeks you do not need it before you populate the remainder of the grid.
Occasionally an assignment might not be required on the schedule and you wish for it to remain blank while not upsetting the sequence order of brothers selected for other cells. For example: no reader for the Watchtower is required during a Circuit Visit; no roving microphone handlers are required during the Memorial celebration.
When you (right click) exclude an assignment for a given date, you will be presented with a pop-up message box to confirm your actions. When Yes is applied, the specific cell on the schedule will change into an empty or blank one and become read-only; this means that when you engage the Auto Assign feature, it will bypass populating this cell with a name.
You can, should you change your mind, re-instate the dropdown list nature of an excluded cell.
To revert any given blank or read-only cell back into a dropdown list type of cell again, select Include from the (right click) menu list. This action can only be performed for cells where you had previously selected Exclude assignment from this date.
You cannot modify or adjust any cells that have become excluded via the program Options dialogue.
Select Edit Notes modify the current notes. This displays the dialogue shown to the left. The set of notes can be as long as you like because they will word wrap on the schedule. Double-clicking the existing notes will also display this dialogue.
If you want to keep the changes you have made permanent, so that if will be used the next time a schedule is created, then click Set Default.
When exporting the schedule to HTML you can use the export settings to customise the basic font characteristics for the notes.
Tip! You can consider including some HTML syntax in the notes. For example, the text <b><u>some text</u></b> will cause the text to show bold and underlined. So this is a very powerful way to make certain parts of the notes stand out.
Do you need to make a change to the report title or the column headings? Then use this pop-up menu item. All the current headings are presented to you in a dialogue and you can alter them accordingly. The changes you make to the headings are applied to the current schedule only. Click here for important information about the report title.
The Assignment Editor has full clipboard support. You can select any range of cells and copy/paste to/from the clipboard.
It is your responsibility to ensure the data you are pasting into the Assignments Editor is valid.