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Initial Setup Guide

Overview

Macabacus is a highly customizable productivity tool designed to meet the diverse needs of a wide range of professional Office users. This initial setup guide walks you through the most important Macabacus settings to consider customizing in an enterprise deployment scenario, in their recommended order of customization. Individual users and small teams should evaluate the applicability of prescribed customizations to their particular use cases.

There are many other customization possibilities not discussed here, including dozens of settings that you can configure on-the-fly as you use the tools to which they apply. This guide is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all customization possibilities, nor is it intended to provide detailed explanations of the topics it covers, which can be found elsewhere in this documentation.

Who should do this?

In larger organizations, responsibility for Macabacus configuration is often assigned to someone in an IT, presentation technologies, training, or other back-office capacity. In smaller organizations, these duties might be assigned to a particular end user of the software (e.g., banker). Macabacus also offers paid training and customization solutions to assist with configuration.

Note that you must (a) be a Macabacus account administrator or (b) run Office applications as an administrator to perform some of the steps described here. If you do not yet have a Macabacus account because you are still evaluating the software, then do (b).

How long does it take?

How much time it takes to configure Macabacus depends on many factors, making it difficult to provide a single, meaningful estimate. The following customizations tend to take the most time:

  • Modifying an existing presentation template or creating a new one to work with Macabacus tools
  • Generating standardized content to be published to a Macabacus library, particularly tombstones

If we assume that you:

  • Have a Suite or Presenter subscription,
  • Are deploying Macabacus in an enterprise environment,
  • Have relative autonomy in making configuration decisions,
  • Have a good presentation template (.potx file) that requires minimal updating,
  • Are comfortable working in Slide Master view in PowerPoint, and
  • Do not need to publish any standardized content (slides, charts, tombstones, etc.) to Macabacus libraries,

then it should take no longer than one day to customize and deploy Macabacus. However, if your presentation template needs to be overhauled or created from scratch, and you need to generate a lot of library content, it can take days, weeks, or months to complete this work (although most library content can be populated after initial rollout). On the other hand, if you have a Modeler subscription and are configuring Macabacus for personal use, you can probably do it in under one hour.

Office Configuration

Office-level settings, which Macabacus uses across Excel, PowerPoint, and Word, can be configured in the Common Settings dialog and other interfaces as described below. The most important Office-level settings to consider customizing are listed below.

Configure Office Settings First

Configure general Office settings described below before configuring settings for individual Office applications.

Common Settings

The following settings can be customized in the Common Settings dialog, accessed from the Macabacus > Settings menu in Excel, PowerPoint, or Word.

Color Palette

Define a fixed color palette of up to 56 colors used in several Macabacus interfaces across all three Office applications to help standardize formatting. You can create multiple palettes, if desired.

Standard Sizes

Define Standard Sizes that are predefined dimensions generally used to size charts and cell ranges in Excel to the dimensions of content placeholders in your presentation template. Therefore, you may need to revisit this step if your template requires significant changes or has not yet been created.

Local Shared Folder

If you share files using a file sharing service like OneDrive or Dropbox, specify the path to the shared folder on your PC in the Common Settings dialog on the Other tab. All other Macabacus users with whom you share files should do the same. This path is used for linking to workbooks saved in shared folders, as well as for setting up shared Macabacus libraries in shared folders. A OneDrive example would be C:\Users\%USERNAME%\OneDrive - %COMPANY%.

Libraries

Folder Paths

In the Library Manager dialog, accessed from the Macabacus > Settings > Libraries menu, define paths to the personal, team, and company library folders, as desired. Note that Macabacus requires exclusive use of the folders you specify here—do not save other files and folders here. Below are examples of "best practices" paths for a shared library folder.

Shared network drive: N:\Macabacus\Library
OneDrive: C:\Users\%USERNAME%\OneDrive - %COMPANY%\Macabacus\Library

The company library path setting, specifically, can be a shared using Macabacus' Enterprise Configuration dialog, so it need not be specified by each Macabacus user in the organization. However, the path to the team library cannot be shared the same way, and all team members who want access to a team library must manually set the path to the team library in the Library Manager dialog.

Cache Settings

In the Library Manager dialog, accessed from the Macabacus > Settings > Libraries menu, configure library cache settings in the Working Offline section. Macabacus locally caches remote libraries so that you have access to their content while working offline.

Excel Configuration

Most Macabacus settings for Excel can be configured in the Application Settings dialog, accessed from the Macabacus > Settings menu. The most important Excel settings to consider customizing are listed below.

Formatting Settings

If you have not already configured your Macabacus palette in the Common Settings dialog, you should do so now. Many color-related settings are limited to those colors in your Macabacus palette.

Colors

Customize color cycles, default colors, your AutoColor scheme, and other colors in the Application Settings dialog on the Colors tab.

Number Formats

Customize number formats used in number format cycles in the Application Settings dialog on the Numbers tab. Macabacus installs with pre-configured number formats that we recommend for financial modeling.

Styles

Configure custom styles that modify multiple cell formatting properties—similar to native Excel styles—and can be applied with shortcut cycles.

Library Content

If you have not already designated paths for your personal, team, and company libraries, as applicable and described above, do so now.

Charts

Publish pre-formatted charts with pre-structured data to shared Macabacus libraries to facilitate chart creation and standardization. Although charts can be inserted from the library into Excel, PowerPoint, and Word, they can only be published to the library from Excel.

Several charts install with Macabacus and appear in your personal library. These charts serve only to demonstrate the library functionality, and you should replace these charts with your own.

Model Templates

Publish model templates to shared Macabacus libraries. Model templates are simply spreadsheets that are generally intended to be used as starting points when building new models, such as LBO models. Model templates are not technically templates as defined by Microsoft—those with a .xltx extension.

Several model templates install with Macabacus and appear in your personal library. These templates serve only to demonstrate the library functionality, and you should replace these model templates with your own.

Keyboard Settings

Shortcuts

Use the Shortcut Manager to customize Macabacus' shortcut keystrokes to your preferences or to deconflict with another add-in, or to disable certain shortcuts altogether.

Accelerator Key

Accelerator keys activate tabs within the Ribbon. For example, keying Alt>B activates the Macabacus tab, by default. You can change the accelerator key—perhaps to avoid conflicts with another add-in—in the Application Settings dialog. Note that Microsoft reserves most accelerator keys for native functions, limiting customization options. If you use Macabacus in multiple Office applications, you will likely want to select the same accelerator key in all three Office applications.

PowerPoint Configuration

Most Macabacus settings for PowerPoint can be configured in the Application Settings dialog, accessed from the Macabacus > Settings menu. The most important PowerPoint settings to consider customizing are listed below.

Presentation Template

Template

Many Macabacus tools for PowerPoint rely on a presentation template—a .potx file—published to a Macabacus library for proper operation. Learn more about how to configure your template to work with Macabacus.

MasterShapes

Define MasterShapes on the slide master in your presentation template, if desired.

Styles

Define shape styles—similar to those in Excel and Word—on the slide master in your presentation template, if desired.

Library Content

If you have not already designated paths for your personal, team, and company libraries, as applicable and described above, do so now.

Templates

Publish your Macabacus-enabled presentation template(s) to a shared Macabacus library. Templates are used as a foundation for many of Macabacus' presentation automation tools that facilitate presentation creation and standardization.

Slides

Publish slides that you reuse often to a shared Macabacus library, such as team pages, tombstone slides, or executive biographies.

Images

Publish images that you reuse often to a shared Macabacus library, such as client logos or team member head shots. You can publish images in Excel, PowerPoint, or Word.

Shapes

Publish Office shapes that you reuse often to a shared Macabacus library.

Text

Publish snippets of text that you reuse often to a shared Macabacus library, such as legal notices and executive biography text. You can publish text in Excel, PowerPoint, or Word.

Tombstones

Publish tombstones used to highlight recent transactions or engagements to a shared Macabacus library. If you intend to use tombstones, you should consult the tombstones section of this documentation for other configuration requirements.

Presentation Automation

Active Template

Once you have configured and published your Macabacus-enabled presentation templates as described above, select one as the active (i.e., default) template in the Application Settings dialog on the General tab.

New Presentation Behavior

Select which "special" slides (e.g., title page) and sections (i.e., flysheets) are included by default in new Macabacus-enabled presentations based on the active template. You can also override PowerPoint's native new presentation behavior with Macabacus' new presentation behavior when new presentations are created using native methods, such as keying Ctrl+N.

Slide Stamps

Slide stamps are words or phrases that appear on most or all slides in a presentation and typically convey confidentiality, such as "DRAFT" or "For Internal Use Only." Slide stamps are used in conjunction with MasterShapes, discussed below, and are configured in the Application Settings dialog on the General tab.

Agendas

Customize settings related to agenda behavior and appearance in the Application Settings dialog on the Agenda tab.

Keyboard Settings

Accelerator Key

Accelerator keys activate tabs within the Ribbon. For example, keying Alt>B activates the Macabacus tab, by default. You can change the accelerator key—perhaps to avoid conflicts with another add-in—in the Application Settings dialog. Note that Microsoft reserves most accelerator keys for native functions, limiting customization options. If you use Macabacus in multiple Office applications, you will likely want to select the same accelerator key in all three Office applications.

Word Configuration

Most Macabacus settings for Word can be configured in the Application Settings dialog, accessed from the Macabacus > Settings menu. The most important Word settings to consider customizing are listed below.

Library Content

If you have not already designated paths for your personal, team, and company libraries, as applicable and described above, do so now.

Document Templates

Publish document templates to shared Macabacus libraries. Document templates are simply documents that are generally intended to be used as starting points when authoring new documents, such as fax cover pages. Document templates are not technically templates as defined by Microsoft—those with a .dotx extension.

Keyboard Settings

Accelerator Key

Accelerator keys activate tabs within the Ribbon. For example, keying Alt>B activates the Macabacus tab, by default. You can change the accelerator key—perhaps to avoid conflicts with another add-in—in the Application Settings dialog. Note that Microsoft reserves most accelerator keys for native functions, limiting customization options. If you use Macabacus in multiple Office applications, you will likely want to select the same accelerator key in all three Office applications.

Shared Settings

Once you have configured Macabacus as described above, you will likely want to share some or all of these customizations with other Macabacus users in your organization. This process is described in another section of this documentation.

If you have published content and/or templates to a shared Macabacus library, you will want to publish the company library path as a shared setting in the Enterprise Configuration dialog. Similarly, if you have published tombstones to a Macabacus library, you will want to publish tombstone metadata as a shared setting.

If you make changes to settings that were previously shared, be sure to republish those settings in the Enterprise Configuration dialog. This does not apply to changes in library content / templates, but changes to the company library path would need to be republished.

This documentation refers to Macabacus version 8.8.16, and may differ from the PDF documentation
on your computer that installed with your version of Macabacus.