Optimising Windows and Excel for running EstimatorXpress


EstimatorXpress currently makes extensive use of Microsoft Excel as the platform for the software.  With each new version of Microsoft Office, Microsoft build in more features and complexity and this generally means that Microsoft Office is now a much slower program than it used to be.


Because EstimatorXpress makes such extensive use of Excel we have put together several instructions for you to follow to make sure that EstimatorXpress runs as smoothly as possible.



1.    Excel and Windows tweaks


Click on this link to implement several tweaks to Excel and Windows:


Tweak Windows and Excel for speed and stability



This video shows you how you can force your computers processor to run at higher speeds.  Windows defaults to 5% which means that your computer ticks over in a low power mode.  Some programs will force this to jump up, but Excel does not.  By following this video you can make your computers main processor (CPU) run a lot quicker.  This will of course use more energy and your processor will run hotter - depending on your computer you might not want to set this to 100% all the time.  With Laptops there are two settings - one for running on battery and one for running on mains.  On battery we would recommend at least 50% but do remember this will have an effect on your battery life.  On mains for both Laptop and Desktop we usually set this to 85% or higher.


Increasing CPU Speed



2.    Repair Microsoft Office


Even if you have a fairly new machine, we always recommend that you run a repair on Microsoft Office.


How to Repair Microsoft Office




3.    Change your default printer


The last part of this process is to change your default printer.  Excel constantly tries to communicate with your printer - even when you are not printing anything - and this process can cause time outs in Excel especially if you have a wireless or network printer - but even USB printers can cause an issue.


There is a way to "trick" Excel.  Instead of having a real printer as default, you set a virtual printer as your default and this means that Excel communicates instantly with the virtual printer.



Go to Control Panel, and then select Devices and Printers and look at your list of printers.


In your list you may have a PDF printer, or the Microsoft XPS Document Writer.   Right mouse click on one of these and then left click on "Set as default printer".


In this image I have set the Bullzip PDF Printer as my default - I could also use the Microsoft Print to PDF or the Microsoft XPS Document Writer.


Usually when you have followed the above procedure Windows will ask you to confirm that you want to disable  managing your printer automatically.  If it does not do this, you can check it is correct:



1.Open the Settings option on your Windows Start Menu.
2.Go to the following page: Settings -> Devices -> Printers and Scanners.
3.See the option named "Let Windows manage my default printer". Turn it off



Remember that when you do need to print out on your real printer, that you will need to temporarily change your default printer back or, in the program that you are using, go to File and Print and you should then be able to select your real printer from a dropdown list.


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Modified on: Wed, 30 Nov, 2016 at 1:21 PM