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Top 20 Free Act! Addons

  1. Activity Auto Colour Assigner by Xact Software

What? Allows colours to be assigned to all database users. This means that when an Activity is scheduled a colour specific to each individual user will be applied in association with the activity.

Why? Automated Activity colouring provides a more intuitive view due to the fact that deployments with multiple users and heavy Activity usage often results in clustered Calendar views.

Solutions Score: 5/10

  1. Opportunity Updater by Xact Software

What? Adds an option to the ‘Tools’ menu, enabling users to update the Status, Process and Stage of all Opportunities in the Current Opportunity Lookup.

Why? Status, Process and Stage are not available for mass edit even though the standard Act! ‘Edit’ menu does facilitate mass updates. In practical terms, it is useful to be able to select a Lookup of old Opportunities that have lapsed and modify them to ‘Inactive’ for example.

Solutions Score: 5/10

  1. Activity/ ID Status by Xact Software

What? Providing the ‘Location’ field is empty, it automatically adds the ‘ID/ Status’ of the first ‘Scheduled With’ Contact into the Activity’s ‘Location’ field

Why? The ‘Location’ field is immediately rendered in the Outlook Calendar view when Act! Activities is synchronised with Outlook Calendar.

Solutions Score: 2/10

  1. Edit Append by Xact Software

What? Allows data to be added to any character field by Users

Why? Standard Act! ‘Edit/ Replace’ functionality is useful for replacing the entire content within a field but over-writes existing data. This ability to affix data to existing information is useful, especially when updating character fields with multi-select drop-down lists.

Solutions Score: 4/10

  1. Gmail Button by Xact Software

What? Enables users to send emails via the default Gmail window, directly from Act! When you click on the ‘G’button next to the default email address in Act!, a new window launches with the Gmail Compose New Message window loaded. If you are currently logged out of Google via Internet Explorer, you will be asked to log in. Thereafter you will be redirected to the Compose New Message window and the email address of the current Act! contact is added in the ‘To’ field.

Why? The introduction of Gmail email, Contacts and Calendar synchronisation has widely been welcomed by Google Apps users. This feature makes the adoption of Google technology more intuitive.

Solutions Score: 5/10

  1. Company Updater by Xact Software

What? Enables users to update the linked Company > Contact fields in bulk

Why? Useful when you want to update Companies that have linked fields, in bulk, and require these changes to be pushed out to all the linked Contacts.

Solutions Score: 5/10

  1. Outlook Addin by Xact Software

What? Enables Act! users to create Contacts records directly from an Outlook email message and to also specify which fields to show on the data entry form when creating a Contact. Furthermore you can create an ‘Act Opportunity’ from an Outlook email and also attach email messages to existing Opportunities. The addon functions with standard as well as custom fields. It also supports fields with dropdown lists.

NB: You must have an MS Windows Admin logon and run Outlook as an Administrator (Right click. ‘Run as Administrator’) when installing this addon.

Why? Approximately 90% of commercial organisations use Microsoft Outlook as their email client of choice. Outlook and Act! integration is already rich and is one of the key productivity features that drives user adoption of THE Act! system. This particular addon broadens that capability to make the integration evermore powerful.

Solutions Score: 8/10

  1. Opportunity Duplicater by Xact Software

What? Enables you to duplicate the current Opportunity to all Contacts in your current Contacts Lookup. The most recent update also gives users the ability to replicate an existing Opportunity across a specified date range.

Why? I s more suited to business models that necessitate the generation of multiple similar Opportunities with common characteristics.

Solutions Score: 5/10

  1. Email Addresses Lookup by Exponenciel

What? This Act! addon gives you the ability to create lookup of records based upon a list of emails. Either import the email addresses from a text file or type them in directly (one email per line) and click the ‘Create Lookup’ button.

Why? When using Swiftpage (Act! eMarketing) technology a text file can be emailed to the Adaministrator of ‘Opt Outs’, ‘Bounces’ and other responders. With this addon it it easier to quickly paste that list of email addresses to support swift updates of corresponding Act! records (for example)

Solutions Score: 6/10

  1. Additional Alarm Lead Times by Exponenciel

What? With this addon users have access to a wider range of alarm lead time options in the ‘Schedule Activity’ window.

Why?  A few Act! users convey that the lead times offered in the Alarm drop-down list are too limited and are not flexible enough.

Solutions Score: 3/10

  1. Change the Default Lookup Field by Exponencial

What? The simpler, the better in our opinion. This addon provides you with the option to make any field the default field for the Lookup feature in the top left corner of the navigation area.

Why? In Contact views (for example), the Lookup automatically defaults to the Contact’ field, assuming that most users would probably intend to search for a record by the name of the Contact.  However, this is not always the case; many users rather prefer to search Contact records by Company name instead. With this addon you gain more control of your own default settings.

Solutions Score: 8/10

  1. Reschedule Multiple Activities at once by Exponencial

What? Enables you to reschedule multiple Activities at the same time. When 2 or more Activities are selected in the Task List, a Reschedule Multiple Activities menu item is added to your right-click menu.

Why? Users come and users go. The only way to reschedule multiple Activities has been to delete a user and reallocate their data to a different user. Upon successful reallocation of the Activities, it also over-writes all Notes/ Histories/ Record ownerships etc with the name of the new user the data has been re-assigned to. You are able to manage Activities en-masse in isolation, allowing you to work-balance and re-distribute key business tasks without the loss of historical data.

Solutions Score: 8/10

  1. Quickly spice up your Act! layouts by Exponenciel

What? This tool doesn’t change your layout, it simply applies a style to it while it is loading. It is in the form of a button that can be inserted in the upper part of your Act! layout. Once inserted, you just have to select an existing style using the Layout Style Editor.

Why? This is a welcome release for those who have time on their hands and like to express themselves.

Solutions Score: 2/10

  1. New History Window Fix by Exponenciel

What? In Act! 2011 (in order to facilitate Act! and Outlook Calendars integration), ‘Appointment’ was added as a ‘History/ Activity’ type. As History types are presented in alphabetical order, the New History window now annoyingly defaults to Appointment instead of Call. With this addon the default History type is reverted  to ‘Call’ and also enables you to determine any other History type as the default instead.

Why? Seeing as recording ‘History’ is one of the most important and frequently used Act! functions this design faux-pas had discouraged user adoption by making the system less intuitive. This excellent addon installs in approximately 10 seconds ad solves the problem right away.

Solutions Score: 10/10

  1. Quick Navigation List for Act! by ACTPresentation

What? This addon is a Lookup Manager, Mini-Contact List and Query Tool embedded into all Act! Detail views.

Why? This addon can create an alternative range of searchable list views that significantly improve the user experience. Central to user adoption is usability and the way in which data is presented.

Solutions Score: 4/10

  1. DPI Fixer for Act! by Durkin Computing

What? This addon is free and fixes many Act! issues when Windows screen resolutions is set to larger than 100%

Why? Visual impairment for some users means that Windows DPI settings need to be adjusted to create a more comfortable interface. This causes poor rendering of some components of Act!.

Solutions Score: 3/10

  1. Left Alignment for Act! by Durkin Computing

What? Compels Character fields to display the first part of the text instead of the last past (when the string of text is longer than the width of the field)

Why? The field with the data that is longer than the width of that particular field does not display the left-most characters of the Contact or Company fields. This addon enables users to read any field from the left-most position without increasing the size of the field.

Solutions Score: 7/10

  1. Auto-Refresh for Act! by Durkin Computing

What? Will automatically refresh the current view every x minutes or do so every x minutes when idle. The ‘Automatically Refresh’ option refreshes the view after a certain period of time (of your choice) has passed. The ‘Refresh when idle’ option refreshes the view only when the computer has been idle for a certain period of time (of your choice).

Why? This is great for automatically updating dashboard views (for example when Sales figures are displayed publicly to spur on a Telemarketing team)

Solutions Score: 4/10

  1. Disable Print for Act! by Durkin Computing

What? This addon disables all the ‘Print’ functions from the menu system, right-click pop-up menus and the ‘Related Tasks’ options on the left side Navigation Bar. The disable print functionality isn’t applied to Managers or Administrators. All other users for example Standard or Browse users will not have the print functionality.

Why? Additional security to prohibit new or un-qualified users from extracting data from the system (complements removal of Delete; ‘Export to Excel; Remote Admin and Sync Set management facilities).

Solutions Score: 5/10

  1. Disable Update for Act! by Durkin Computing

What? This addon disables Act!’s ability to receive updates from Act.com without re-configuring your firewall. It disables the auto update feature by altering the internal Act! URL  so that it cannot connect to the FTP site. Act! tris to receive the update in one of two ways. Both are disabled: 1) When users go to the HELP menu and select “Act! Update” 2) On Act! startup after a predetermined period of time for example “every 90 days”. If users go to the “Act! Update”  menu they will see a yellow pop-up that says “Connect Error” “Please try again later”.

Why? This addon gives the Administrator greater control by removing the capability from users to self-update. Act! performs at its optimum when all users are running on exactly the same patched version.

Solutions Score: 4/10

Please note: Solutions For Accounting do not warrant that any Addon software in this review will perform as described. Before you download and install any Addon, please ensure that you visit the author’s website and carefully study its specifications. We will not accept any liability for unanticipated impact of any Addon.

Solutions Scores: These simply reflect our opinion regarding each component and its potential to provide a positive improvement for a typical Act! user organisation. However, different Addons may have higher or lower scores in individual cases.

Download Links: These point to versions of the Addon designed for use with Act! 2013 (Professional or Premium). For Addon software that is compatible with other versions of Act!, please visit the author’s website. Installing the Act! Addon software is easy. Click ‘Download’ and save the software file to your local hard drive. Ensure that the Act! application is closed on your computer  and double-click the file to install. If you require further assistance or have any queries please contact the author directly.