Apple OS Upgrade Season: 2023 Edition

Update, 9/29/2023: Audiobook Builder 2.2.7 is now available.

Update, 9/28/2023: Audiobook Builder 2.2.7 is now available for Splasm Store users and is awaiting approval on the Mac App Store.

Update, 9/27/2023: We apologize, folks. Audiobook Builder 2.2.7 is taking a little longer than we expected to clear some key tests. We’re shooting for the evening of 9/27 but it could slip until 9/28.

Update, 9/26/2023: Audiobook Builder 2.2.7 will be available the afternoon of 9/27.

Update, 9/25/2023: CheckBook and CheckBook Pro 2.7.25 are now available. Enjoy!


It’s that time of year once again, when the big decision, besides whether to upgrade your iPhone, is the age-old “.0 or .1?” Bless your heart if you don’t know what we’re talking about! In any event, macOS 14 Sonoma will be here September 26th, and so, our annual round of macOS compatibility updates is coming up. Read on to learn about any glitches, and plans to address them, in each of our applications.

Audiobook Builder 2.2.6 is displaying a few things upside down. 2.2.7 will resolve these issues by the end of September.

CheckBook and CheckBook Pro 2.7.24 are displaying a few things upside down, missing a few button images, and Entry detail boxes (To/From, Description, and Category) don’t automatically close their menus when you Tab away. 2.7.25 will resolve these issues by the end of September.

PixelGriddle 1.1.2 doesn’t appear to have any issues, but we’re nixing a couple of bugs anyway. 1.1.3 will be out soon.

Return Labels 1.1.1 has a massive blinking text insertion cursor, because we zoom while you make changes to your labels and the completely new cursor system in Sonoma draws quite differently than in days of old. We’ll take care of that in 1.1.2, coming soon.

And that’s a wrap for the 2023 Apple OS Upgrade Season, folks. Please get in touch at if you need any additional details. Thanks again for your support!

In Audiobook Builder, CheckBook, General, Return Labels | Leave a comment

Audiobook Smiles: The Chronicles of Narnia

Is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe an appropriate first “real” book for a six-year-old?

My father, Lee, didn’t seem to care.

A minister and lifelong superfan of C. S. Lewis, Dad handed me a used, musty-smelling copy and, probably, said something like, “You’re gonna love this.”  It was his way, as a walking encyclopedia with a vast knowledge of popular culture, to help my sisters and me discover our next musical or epic adventure in novel, film, or album form, rounding us out, you might say.  And so, while jotting notes for his next sermon, sipping piping hot coffee across a table at a McDonald’s in Jackson, Mississippi and chuckling a bit at my literary struggles, Dad helped when I called out words I didn’t yet understand.  “Dew?”  “The water on the grass in the morning.”  “Hag?”  “Like a witch.”  “Turkish delight?”  “Candy.”  He always had an answer.  What he may not have foreseen was how many hours I’d spend throughout childhood and beyond dreaming of six-year-old me’s idea of Narnian life:  always on the move, bow and arrow at the ready, eating whatever the land provides, introducing myself to every animal with the hope they’ll actually reply, generally staying just out of sight…

But back to our topic today:  there’s a great deal to be had on an epic set of audiobooks, voiced by some of the best, and just about guaranteed to delight all ages. You’ve probably already guessed which audiobooks I’m talking about – but keep reading because we’re still one more blog-ish anecdote away from the reveal.

So, as we developed Audiobook Builder 1.0, way, way back in 2006, I made a research purchase from the iTunes Store:  the early 2000’s audiobook of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, as read by Michael York – a childhood hero of mine for leading a wave of youth from their caves of steel, concrete, and glass back to reality and old age in Logan’s Run. That purchase gave us just about everything we needed to figure out how audiobooks on Apple devices work and, if you’re an Audiobook Builder user, you know how that adventure turned out. Sadly, I never told my father that little bit. Wherever you are, Dad, now you know – and thanks again :).

And now, at last, the reveal. As I write this, there are at least 8 complete sets (31 discs!) of the entire The Chronicles of Narnia from that same early 2000’s production for under $20 shipped at Amazon – a plug for which we receive zero payola, by the way, because we’re not in it for those sweet, sweet affiliate bucks.  Besides Michael York, you’ll hear Kenneth Branagh, Jeremy Northam, Lynn Redgrave, Derek Jacobi, Patrick Stewart, and Alex Jennings narrate the adventures of several children who meet many an amazing talking animal, human, giant, dwarf, witch – I could go on but you and I both know it’s the talking animals we love the most – as they learn of courage, sacrifice, forgiveness, redemption, and other fine virtues. You’d be hard-pressed to dream up a better way to teach your own kids lessons like these – short of being a real-life Narnian! – which is why my own kids get a chapter or two at bedtime, these days.

So, now that you’ve ordered your set, don’t forget you can convert these fantastic tales to audiobook files that work on just about any Apple device – iPhone, iPad, Mac, and more – with our Audiobook Builder. As always, drop us a line at if you have any questions and we’ll be happy to help out!

In Audiobook Builder | Leave a comment

Secrets of importing amounts in text or CSV files

“My bank exports transactions but they’re all positive so there’s no way to import and get Debits…”


“My credit card charges are positive and the credits are negative, just the opposite of what I need…”

Star Trek’s Bones once said, “I know engineers, they love to change things.” And, having seen at least forty-two thousand more statement files than your average bear, we’re highly inclined to agree. We’ve borne witness to wacky date formats, data in the wrong field(s), deposits with negative amounts and debits with positive amounts, and even all positive amounts – no matter what kind of transaction. You name it, it’s out there. And, you’re probably reading this right now because you’re in it.

Enter CheckBook’s Import Options > Data Layout.

As you import a text or CSV file into an Account for the first time, you’ll want to set up that Account’s Import Options > Data Layout. That’s the bit at the top of the Import Options window, right after you select the file to import. Once you get this part right, you won’t have to touch it again unless your bank changes how they export. 🤞

Each row in Data Layout is the raw data for a single transaction, what will become a CheckBook Entry, while the columns are for the various details of each transaction. If you know spreadsheets, you’ll feel right at home. Banks usually export at least four columns per row: a date, amount, check number (if applicable), and some kind of half human language, half reference number mashup that might give a general idea of what the transaction was for. Some banks give a bit more, like a column for charges and a column for credits, or a column for a running balance. It just depends on how many Twinkies the engineers at your bank gobbled the day they specced their export project. What matters is you’ll need to tell CheckBook what kind of data is in each column so it can make Entries out of all that. That’s what the little menu buttons at the top of each column are for: you pick the type of data in the column, like Date, To/From, or Amount, and off you go…except for those amounts that don’t make sense.

Some banks really will give you all positive numbers, even for your debits or charges. Others do the aforementioned two-column deal for debit and deposit amounts. And credit card banks love to make charges positive and credits negative. No worries, though: you can tell CheckBook to flip those amounts around as needed.


If your bank provides a single column with all positive numbers

These banks usually include another column to tell you which rows are for debits and which are for deposits. In Data Layout, click the menu button above the column with all the amounts, click the Amount menu item, then put a checkmark in the Import Entries whose X field is Y as Debits checkbox further down the window. Now, the first menu button in that checkbox will be a list of column names. Click the first menu button, then click the name of the column that has the unique detail that tells you the row is a debit or a deposit. The second menu button will be a list of all the values in the column you just chose. Click the second menu button, then click the debit-specific value. For example, if your file has Date, Amount, Type, Check #, and Payee columns, you’ll set up the window like so:


If your bank provides two amount columns

In Data Layout, click the menu button above the column with all the positive amounts, then click the Positive Amount menu item. Now, click the menu button above the column with all the negative amounts, then click the Negative Amount menu item.


If your credit card bank provides a single column with amounts that are opposite what you need

In Data Layout, click the menu button above the column with all the amounts, then click the Flipped Amount menu item.


How’s that work for you? If you need a hand, we’re ready to help at!

(And now you know the secrets. Blab them all you want!)

In CheckBook | Tagged | Leave a comment

Secrets of Today’s Balance

“How do I see the balance for today?”

When you post-date a lot of Entries in CheckBook, sooner or later you’re bound to look for a way to show the balance through the current date so you won’t have to think about those future Entries. Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Look at the Balance field, at the bottom right corner of the window, and note the word “Balance” has a triangle next to it. That triangle means you can click for additional options. So, click it.
  1. You’ll see a menu with several balances and totals to choose from – what we call the Interactive Balance. Click the Today’s Balance menu item.

Now you’ll see the balance through the current date at the bottom right of the window. But, what about the balances and total (totals in CheckBook Pro) in the Accounts drawer? Let’s continue!

  1. Go to the View menu, at the top of your screen, down to the Accounts Drawer submenu, and click the Through Today menu item.

That should have you all set.

Now you know the secrets. Blab them all you want!

In CheckBook | Tagged | Leave a comment

CheckBook 2.7.20 and the case of the missing Date highlight

We released CheckBook and CheckBook Pro 2.7.20 yesterday and a tiny, last-minute change removed the highlight from all Date fields. You can still change dates, you just won’t see which date component (month, day, year) is highlighted. Calendar date pickers, where you click the calendar button to the right of each date field to see a calendar view, aren’t affected. 2.7.21, now available, nixes this glitch.

In CheckBook | Tagged | Leave a comment

Secrets of the View > Columns menu

“How do I see my amounts in two columns, one for Deposits and another for Debits?”

You’ve just brought your data over from another personal finance manager, or even your own spreadsheet. You’re in a zone: Somehow, everything came into CheckBook or CheckBook Pro and balanced to the penny. Still…as you gaze at your handiwork something doesn’t feel quite right… Ahhh, it’s your amounts. They’re in a single column!

Surely I can get along without this one, tiny thing, you say.

My eyes will adjust, you say.

Seven minutes later, you just can’t stand it anymore.

There’s relief, dear user, and it looks like this:

  1. Go to the View menu, at the top of your screen, down to the Columns submenu, and click the Deposit menu item.
  1. Return to View > Columns and click the Debit menu item.
  1. Go back to View > Columns once more and click the Amount menu item.

Your new Deposit and Debit columns will appear to the far right of all your other columns, so you may need to scroll to the right to see them. Drag them by their name, at the top of each column, to the left to arrange them just the way you like.

Note each Account’s Entry and Reconcile sections have their own layout settings, so repeat these steps in Entry and Reconcile in whichever Accounts you like.

Now you know the secrets. Blab them all you want!

In CheckBook | Tagged | Leave a comment