How to handle a new year in CheckBook and CheckBook Pro

A new year often brings a strong desire to reorganize, and, since you’re already so organized you’re using CheckBook or CheckBook Pro, you might feel an urge to do something with the pile of Entries from last year and beyond. If so, here are four paths you can take:

Nothing

Some wonder if they need to archive or start over because they have several thousand Entries and don’t want to overwhelm CheckBook. It’s OK, though – CheckBook’s Accounts can handle a serious number of Entries – like, tens of thousands – without a problem. If you sort by Date, then, as most do, and don’t scroll back more than a few months, you won’t see your previous years anyway and it’s all the same to CheckBook.

Search options

The Search field, at the top right corner of your document window, won’t just find what you type in the field – it also includes several options for showing you just the Entries that match very specific criteria, like a date range. To see last year’s Entries, then:

  1. Click the magnifying glass on the left side of the Search field to reveal a menu.
  2. Go down to the Last submenu and click the Year menu item.

You’ll find other options in the menu, like This > Year and Last > Month, and there’s even a Custom Date Range option. These may be all you need to see the Entries for a particular period.

By default, your Search options are reset when you switch Accounts or close your document. To make your Search options more or less permanent:

  1. Go to the CheckBook or CheckBook Pro menu at the top left corner of your screen and click the Preferences… menu item. The Preferences window will appear.
  2. Make sure there’s a checkmark next to the Save Search Options option near the bottom of the window.

CheckBook Pro’s Folders and Smart Folders

Accounts in CheckBook Pro can have any number of Folders and Smart Folders. Here’s how to make these two powerful features work for you.

Folders are like folders in the Finder, a place where a group of items stays out of the way until you need them. When you move Entries to a Folder, they won’t appear in the Account itself anymore, though they’ll still be part of the Account’s Balance. If you remove Entries from a Folder, it’s just like removing them from the Account – the Entries are gone for good. It’s the same when you remove a Folder – the Entries inside the Folder are also removed.

To create a Folder and move Entries into that Folder

  1. Click the Accounts button, at the top right corner of the window, once or twice to be sure the list of Accounts is visible on the side of the window.
  2. Go to the Account menu, at the top of your screen, and click the New Folder… menu item.
  3. Name the new Folder and click the OK button. If you’re archiving an entire year, you might name it after the year you’re archiving.
  4. The new Folder will be selected, by default, so click the name of your Account in the list on the side of the window or go to the Account menu, at the top of your screen, down to Go to Account, and select the Account itself there.
  5. Select the Entries you want to move to the Folder. You’ll probably want to select a date range, like the previous year, so first make sure your Entries are sorted by Date. Now, single-click the first Entry of the date range, so it’s highlighted, scroll until you see the last Entry in the date range, then hold the Shift key on your keyboard while you single-click the last Entry in the date range. All of the Entries in between will be highlighted.
  6. Drag the selected Entries to the new Folder in the list on the side of the window.

Since the Folder’s Entries are still included in your Balance, you won’t need to do anything else to keep your numbers straight.

Smart Folders are like Smart Folders in the Finder, a saved search that shows you items that match any number of criteria. You don’t move Entries to a Smart Folder. Instead, you set up a Smart Folder’s conditions and, whenever you select that Smart Folder in the future, you’ll see the Entries that match those conditions. Since you’re bound to make changes and add new Entries over time, what you see in a Smart Folder will probably change, too.

Every Account comes with two Smart Folders right from the start, This Year and Last Year, that’ll definitely show you different results one year to the next. In a Smart Folder, This Year means the current calendar year and Last Year means the previous calendar year. You don’t have to set the years or change date ranges because each Smart Folder handles that for you. If the current calendar year is 2023, This Year will show you Entries from 2023 and Last Year will show Entries from 2022. When the calendar year becomes 2024, though, This Year will automatically show you Entries from 2024 and Last Year will show Entries from 2023. These two Smart Folders are often all users need to keep Entries from previous years out of sight until they need them. Just select This Year for your daily work and Last Year when you’re preparing taxes for the previous year and you’re all set.

New Accounts in the same document

To get a fresh start in your Accounts, you might create new Accounts and carry over the Balance from the end of the previous year as the Starting Balance in each new Account. This can get a little confusing, though, since your Total, in CheckBook, or All Accounts Balance, in CheckBook Pro, will be inflated by these extra Accounts. Adjust each of your older Accounts so their Balance becomes zero to bring your numbers in line.

There’re also a few drawbacks to creating new Accounts: Your autocompletion and autofill history won’t be there until the application learns from the Entries you create in each new Account, Schedules will need to be copied to each new Account and their Start Date will need to be adjusted to the next due date, and any custom Account Summaries or Smart Folders will need to be re-created in each new Account. It could be a lot more work than you’ve bargained for. If you want to go this route, though, here’s how:

  1. Select the Account you want to archive.
  2. Note the Account’s Balance.
  3. Create a new Entry in the opposite amount of the noted Balance. For example, if the Balance is $4200.00, create a Debit for -$4200.00. This will change the Balance to zero.
  4. If you have any Schedules you want to move to the new Account, click the Schedule button, at the bottom of the window, go to the Edit menu, at the top of your screen, click the Select All menu item, return to the Edit menu, and click the Copy menu item.
  5. Go to the Account menu, at the top of your screen, and click the New Account… menu item. An Account options sheet will appear.
  6. Name your new Account, enter the figure noted in step 2 in the Starting Balance field, and click the OK button at the bottom right of the sheet.
  7. If you copied Schedules in step 4, click the Schedule button, at the bottom of the window, click once in the empty list of Schedules, go to the Edit menu, at the top of your screen, and click the Paste menu item. Highlight each Schedule with a single click, click the Change button, at the top of the window, and set the Starting Date to the next due date for that particular Schedule.
  8. If you have any custom Account Summaries or Smart Folders in the older Account, you’ll need to note the options for each and create new Account Summaries and Smart Folders in the new Account to match.

A new document

To get an even fresher start, above and beyond just creating new Accounts in your current document, you could create a brand-new document. This might be even more work than just creating new Accounts, if you have Schedules or custom Account Summaries or Smart Folders you want to bring over. You’ll follow the same steps as creating new Accounts, with a few extra bits:

  1. If you’re carrying over data from your older document, you’ll need to know the name and ending balance of each Account. Gather those details before you create the new document.
  2. Go to the File menu, near the top left corner of your screen, down to New, and click the Document… menu item. Name the new document, choose where to store it (we strongly recommend your Documents folder), and click the Create button at the bottom right corner of the panel.
  3. You’ll be asked to setup your first Account in the new document. If you’re carrying over data from the older document, enter the name and ending balance of the first Account.
  4. For each Account you’re carrying over, go to the Account menu, at the top of your screen, click the New Account… menu item, enter the name and ending balance of the Account, and click the OK button at the bottom right corner of the sheet. You’ll now need to return to the older document for any other data you’d like to carry over, like Schedules or Account Summaries. You can copy and paste Schedules, but you’ll need to re-create any custom Account Summaries and Smart Folders. To copy and paste your Schedules, go to the File menu, near the top left corner of your screen, down to Open Recent, and click the second item in the list. Select the Account you want to copy Schedules from, click the Schedule button, at the bottom of the window, go to the Edit menu, at the top of your screen, click the Select All menu item, return to the Edit menu, and click the Copy menu item. Return to the File > Open Recent submenu and click the second item in the list. Select the Account you want to paste into, click the Schedule button, at the bottom of the window, click once in the empty list of Schedules, go to the Edit menu, at the top of your screen, and click the Paste menu item. Highlight each Schedule with a single click, click the Change button, at the top of the window, and set the Starting Date to the next due date for that particular Schedule.

That just about covers the basics of handling a new year. If you need any additional details or get stuck anywhere along the way, please let us know at support@splasm.com and we’ll be happy to help out!

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Winter is coming…and so is macOS 13 Ventura

Updated 11/5/2022: macOS 13 Ventura is out in the wild and so are all of our compatibility updates. Update now and keep in touch if you need a hand with anything!

We mark the time by Apple’s yearly routine, kicking around new hardware and software releases like notches on a door frame. What’s that? The M2’s got 4 billion more transistors than the M1? You don’t say! No, don’t think Numbers got ODBC support this year. There’s always 2030! The months pass and, quite suddenly, the Earth’s made another lap completely around the sun. Poof! Here we are again, another Apple OS upgrade season older. Where has 2022 gone? Did we put it out back with the dog or kick it under the sofa again? Oh, that’s right – you’re not here to celebrate our absent mindedness, are you? You’re wondering where we are with compatibility updates for macOS 13 Ventura.

The bottom line: The latest versions of all of our applications appear to be completely functional on macOS 13 Ventura. No showstoppers, though there was a major kerfuffle with CheckBook’s Accounts drawer that had us clearing our calendar and bulk ordering Twinkies, chocolate-covered espresso beans, and Jolt. Luckily, the kerfuffle blew over in later betas and we’ve got a toe in the Jolt black market. What’s more, we didn’t hear a peep out of any of our…peeps?…during the Ventura public beta cycle, either. That’s what we call progress around here! Anyway, here’s a little more detail on how each application’s doing, otherwise:

Audiobook Builder 2.2.4 has a few graphical glitches to clean up, but no major issues. 2.2.5 will be out in the next two weeks.

CheckBook and CheckBook Pro 2.7.12 also have a couple of items to work around, but no major issues. 2.7.13 will be out in the next two weeks.

PixelGriddle 1.1.1’s sidebar may not be the warm, waffle-y, orange-ish, brown-ish that makes you wonder where the maple syrup jug got off to. 1.1.2 will have that fixed soon.

Return Labels 1.1 won’t render the contents of the font size box just so, so we’ll take care of that in 1.1.1, due in the next two weeks.

And that’s a wrap for the 2022 Apple OS Upgrade Season, folks. Please get in touch at support@splasm.com if you need any additional details or have tips on where we can find our lost 2022. Thanks!

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Where did I purchase my copy of…?

Feeling a bit fuzzy on where your favorite Splasm app came from? There’s an easy way to find out!

First, get the application’s build number

  1. Open the application.
  2. Go to the application menu, named after the application you’re in, near the top left corner of your screen and just to the right of the Apple () menu. For example, if you’re using CheckBook Pro, go to the CheckBook Pro menu.
  3. Click the About… menu item. That’s the first menu item, at the very top of the menu. An About window will appear.
  4. Look for the version and build number, just below the name of the application. It’ll look something like “Version 2.7.8 (864)”.

The build number is the bit at the end, between the parentheses. That’s 864, in this case.

Now, is the build number even or odd?

Splasm Store releases have an even build number. Mac App Store releases have an odd build number. That’s all there is to it.

You might say, “I’m pretty sure I ordered from the Mac App Store. Why do I have a Splasm Store build?”

Odds are you installed a Splasm Store build some time back, even as far back as the great Mac App Store debacle of 2015, and just followed its update instructions ever since. No worries, though. As long as you can still sign in with the same Apple ID used for your purchase, you can get back to updating on the Mac App Store.

  1. Click the Finder icon on your Dock.
  2. Go to the Go menu at the top of your screen and click the Applications menu item.
  3. Drag the application icon to the Trash. This icon will not be of a sheet of paper with a smaller icon on top of that.
  4. Visit the Mac App Store.
  5. Click the Apple ID at the bottom left corner of the window to see your purchases.
  6. Find the application you want to install and click the Install or cloud with down arrow button next to the application name.

There, now you’re back on track!

In a very few cases, you might instead say, “I got my copy from the Splasm Store but the update notification sent me to the Mac App Store update steps.”

Our applications can usually tell when you originally purchased from the Mac App Store, so they’ll send you to the Mac App Store update page to get you back on track there, where updates are a bit easier or even automatic.

That should tell where your copy came from and explain a couple of special situations. If you have any questions, though, reach out and we’ll be happy to help!

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CheckBook 2.7.8: Fixin’ & Nixin’

2.7.8 fixes a glitch that could lead the app to think it needs to save every so often even though you haven’t made any changes. It’s a bit niche, only happening if you use Migration Assistant or otherwise copy your CheckBook or CheckBook Pro container folder to a second Mac and make changes to the same document in iCloud or other cloud storage on both Macs at the same time. Not something most would see out there, for sure. Still, we caught it in action on a user’s old and new Macs during a screen sharing session the other day, while noodling on a different issue altogether, so we worked out the particulars and knocked out a fix. Now you never have to worry about it. And for CheckBook Pro folks, 2.7.8 nixes a crash that could happen when you come out of Multiple Change – where you can change the details of a group of Entries at the same time – then try to make changes to a Schedule.

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CheckBook 2.7.7: iN cAsE yOu MiSsEd iT

It happens. You breeze through a new Deposit or Debit in CheckBook or CheckBook Pro and accidentally mess up the case of a To/From or Description. Maybe you enter something like “wALWORLD” instead of “Walworld”, or “pARTY FIXINGS” instead of “Party fixings”. No worries, you think, as you go back and correct the case. Except…CheckBook won’t let you, automatically switching back to what you entered in the first place.

Sigh. We’ve all been there.

Well that all ended today with a new preference in CheckBook 2.7.7. To turn it on, click the CheckBook or CheckBook Pro menu at the top left of your screen, click the Preferences… menu item to reveal the Preferences window, click the Entry button at the top of the window, then put a checkmark next to Ask To Update To/From & Description Items near the bottom of the window. Now, when you enter the exact same spelling of a To/From or Description item but there are different cases in other Entries or Schedules, CheckBook will ask if you want to update the case with whatever you’re typing in right now. All of your Entries, Schedules, and split line items in the current Account with the offending case will immediately, magically update, and everyone lives happily ever after. On macOS 10.15 Catalina and later you’ll even see the option in the menu that appears when you’re in To, From, or Description and click the arrow at the right of the box or press the down arrow key on your keyboard, even without the preference turned on, tucked away if you ever need it.

We hope you enjoy this one as much as we do. It’s the simple things, no?

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How does CheckBook handle your data?

Folks ask us, “Do you keep a copy of my data?” and “Is the cloud safe?”, all the time. Instead of just adding to the CheckBook FAQ, which we’ll probably do anyway fairly soon-ish, we thought we’d share our answers here with a little more of a personal touch. Let’s start with how we feel about your privacy. Spoiler alert: It’s all about you.

Your privacy is yours

Your privacy, and so your personal and financial data, belongs to you and not to us.  We’ll never sell your data and we’ll do everything we can to make sure it’s never handed over to a third party.

You choose where your CheckBook data lives

Your data lives in CheckBook documents on your Mac. You can create as many documents as you like (though we usually recommend just one unless you have a lot of different finances to manage), you can have as many Accounts in a single document as you like, and you can store your documents in a folder shared with a cloud storage provider to sync automatically between Macs.  If you ever need to know where your document lives, open CheckBook, go to the File menu, and click the Show in Finder menu item.

CheckBook saves your work every 60 seconds

You’ll never have to look for a Save command and you probably won’t need to back up a separate copy of your document by hand if you use a backup solution like Time Machine.

We don’t keep your data here

Please use some kind of backup solution.  Your Mac’s Time Machine will usually do nicely if you let it backup automatically or at least backup manually every few days or so.

Cloud storage is usually safe from third parties – but check with your provider

Most, if not all, of the big names in cloud storage encrypt your data as it travels to and from the server, as well as while it stays there. Their livelihood depends on trust and, depending on the provider, respecting your privacy to varying degrees, so they have to protect your data from third parties. They may take a look at your data themselves, mining for some kind of usability improvement or profit. At the moment, Google, for example, says they only process your data looking for ways to make their product better – not for advertising. That may or may not be a red flag for you.  Don’t take our word for it:  We don’t know exactly what each cloud storage provider does with your data so check with them to be absolutely sure.

Our support team won’t use your data for anything but helping you

When you reach out for help and need to send your document or let us share your screen, your secrets are safe with us.  Like we said, your privacy, and so your data, is yours, not ours.  We respect that at all times:  We’ll never profit from or share your data with a third party.

Think twice before emailing your document

Email isn’t usually encrypted as it moves between servers, so someone could, under the right circumstances, tap into the network at any point between servers, sniff out your email and attachment data, and reassemble an attachment.  It’s a tiny chance but it’s not just theoretical – it’s real and it’s been done.  If you want absolute certainty no one but us will see your data, then, it’ll make more sense to share a link from cloud storage or a file transfer service like WeTransfer.com.

There you have it

Our bottom line on privacy and how we handle your data is we always, always try to look out for you. We respect your privacy because it’s yours, not ours, we warn you of risks whenever possible, and we strive to err on the side of caution when actually handling your data ourselves or in CheckBook itself. If we ever get it wrong, or if you have any questions at all, please reach out to support@splasm.com or give us a call at 800-721-5492 to let us know so we can listen and learn. Thank you!

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