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Spinnaker Alerts is designed to be a user friendly tool. However, due to its nature we felt that a complete explanation of all the features could be helpful in utilizing this program to your maximum advantage. Clicking on any area in the images below will give you the help text as found in the program.
When you click on this Icon, the selected cell or cells will be added to the list of alerts.
A click on this Icon will activate the Alert Setup Dialog. This is where you determine to which cells you will attach the alert messages.
A click on this icon will active the Delete Alerts Dialog. It will allow you to quickly delete a group of alerts.
This Icon turns the alerts on.
This Icon turns the alerts off.
A click on this Icon will activate the Edit Alert Options Dialog. This is where you can set an overall profile for the add-in.
A click on this Icon will hide Excel. You can re-display Excel when you attempt to re-open the alert workbook. This feature is handy if other users can close Excel if it's visible. It helps safeguard the functioning of Alerts at all times.
This Icon activates Help.
This Icon Hides the toolbar (a click on the Spinnaker Icon will re-display the toolbar), or closes the add-in if you are done using Alerts. Back to Top
When you click on "Choose Alert Range", you can select a cell that contains the value necessary to trigger your alert. You can choose an operator (=, <>, <, <=, >, >=, between, not between) from the "Operator" box. Depending on this choice you can "Choose Lower Limit" range or value and/or "Choose High Limit" range or value. Crossover is an unusual operator, but it makes an alert go off each time a value goes from below to above a certain value and each time a value goes from above to below a certain value. Back
When you check
alert after first trigger", this alert will only run
once, and never again unless you reset it yourself. You can do
that by activating this form when Alerts is activated and
click on the "Will run at next Trigger" option
button, then close the dialog.
In the remainder of the dialog you will find four sections, each of which has an associated check box in the Edit Alert Options Dialog. Back
The pop-up messaging section allows you to create and/or edit custom alert messages which will be displayed as a pop-up when the alert runs and a critical value has been exceeded. The "Use Pop-up Messaging" checkbox determines whether or not pop-up messages are part of an individual alert. Back
You may choose to use the "Auto
Generate Message" feature. This feature automatically generates a pop
up message utilizing your selected alert name and the criteria you specified
for your alert cell, which you can then edit as you like. If you don't
specify anything in the "Edit Message" box, a standard message
will still be displayed telling you: "The current alert value for
(alert name) is (value)". If you don't want this message, it can be
turned on and off globally in the edit
alert options dialog by un-checking the "Standard
The "Use Audio"-checkbox will cause a sound to be played when the alert goes off provided that the global settings are set to use audio alerts. The Audio section has a "Select Sound for this Alert"-button that allows you to choose a sound from your sound library, or from the "windows/media" directory as you see fit. The sound file path and filename of the sound you select will be displayed in the textbox next to this button. The "Test Sound"-button will play the sound specified in the textbox. The "Record Sound"-button will activate the sound recorder so you can record your own custom alert message, which you can save and subsequently select as the sound for this alert. Back
The paging section allows you to send a
message to an E-mail address, which can be an address on a paging server. If
that is the case, the carrier of the pager will receive the message when the
alert goes off. The "Send Page" checkbox determines whether paging
is part of an individual alert. You can paste the pop-up message and/or edit
a message to your liking.
In the "Send To:" box you can enter or select an E-mail address to send the message to. E-mail addresses can be added to the address list which is stored in the active workbook by clicking on the "Add Address to Address List" button. The "Delete Address from Address List" button will (after confirmation) delete the currently displayed address from the address list. To remove the E-mail address from the current alert, you can simply clear the "Send to" box.
In the "Execute Macro" section you can specify whether a macro should be run, and if so, which macro from which workbook should be run. Starting in version 2.2 (which was released in December 2003), you can also pass up to four parameters to the macro you select. There are six variables offered by Alerts that you can choose from:
Alert Name is the name of the alert
You can specify your own parameters by typing them directly into the combo-box.
Another interesting way to send your macro parameters is to enter cell references in the popup and page message box. For instance, you could tell a buy and sell macro how much of a stock to buy or sell at what price without having to set those quantities manually.
The macro features are very helpful tools for users or developers who are writing macros that can use Spinnaker Alerts to trigger them.
The Edit Alert Options Dialog is a time saving convenience that, when used in conjunction with the individual alert check boxes in the Edit Alerts Dialog, allows you to set the various alert options for all alerts at once. "Use Pop-up Messages", "Use Audio", "Send Pages" and "Write Alerts to Log" can each be checked or unchecked as needed. In order for any alert to function, the global option must be checked and the appropriate check box from the Edit Alerts Dialog must also be checked. For example: If you don't want Pop up messaging to interrupt your screen, you can deselect the global Pop-up setting.
When you use pop-up messages, you have two main options:
You can also specify whether you want a standard message to be added that specifies which cell reaching which value caused this message to come up.
The "Hide Excel after Popup" checkbox will trigger whether Excel is always visible, or only when you want it. This is a handy feature if you are not always monitoring the computer on which Alerts is running and other people also have access to that computer. It keeps them from accidentally shutting Alerts down by exiting your Excel session. Enabling this feature will also make the -icon visible and usable so you can hide excel when you leave the computer. Back
When you "Write Alerts to Log", you can choose to write all alerts to one sheet called "Alert Log", or write the alerts to separate sheets for each alert. Each log sheet is named after the alert. Back
The "Specify Cell Coloring" box allows you to specify any color you want to be applied to the critical cells when their value goes up or down compared to the initial value. If the value is the maximum or minimum value for the period of time you are measuring, the background will be the chosen color. If the value is simply up or down (not the max or min) from the initial value, only the font will be in the chosen color. Back
The "Specify when to Run Alerts" box provides two options:
The "Run Alert Events" box provides
The "Run each alert once per trigger" checkbox allows you to have an alert go off only when it first meets the alert criteria. The alert will not run again until you: 1. reset the alerts 2. the value goes out of the critical range and then back to a critical value or, 3. when you change the critical value of that alert. This feature should not be confused with the "Disable alert after first trigger" feature in the "edit alerts" dialog that runs once and then has to be manually reset before running the alert events again.
The "Ask to Reset when activating alerts from toolbar" checkbox allows you to reset all alerts so their events will go off when you click on "Activate Alerts" ().
The "Data Error Handling" box provides two options. You can have Alerts display a message box for each data error (like a "#VALUE", or "#NUM" value) that tells you which workbook, sheet, and range contains that value, or you can have Alerts simply ignore the errors and not run those alerts until valid data becomes available. This is a practical feature when your DDE links or Queries don't always display valid data. You can also specify a value to ignore, like a 0 that would give erroneous results if interpreted by Alerts. Back
The "Set Default Profile" button allows you to choose a default alert profile by displaying the "Choose Default Profile" dialog. If you set this, and you add new alerts, you can choose to apply the criteria of this alert to the new alerts, along with whether certain options are enabled or disabled for that alert. After you set a default profile, you can see which profile you chose in the text below this button. Back
The "Startup Options" box provides you with the option to not only have Alerts be loaded when Excel starts, but also to have Alerts open the selected alert workbook and activate itself on that workbook. With the button "Select Startup Workbook" you can browse to the desired file, and when you accept the choice the complete path and filename will be displayed in the textbox. This is a very handy tool that automates day to day use of Alerts completely. Back
The "Save alerts workbook each time an alert triggers" box provides a tool to make sure that any alert settings and logs are saved automatically. If, at any time, the computer crashes (power outage etc.) any pertinent records until then will still be saved and available as soon as the computer reboots. Back
When you set the alert options to pop-up messaging with "Edit Levels", this dialog will pop up when an alert goes off that has pop-up messaging enabled. The "Alert" dialog will allow you to change the levels for your Alert cell. Of course you can also just close the dialog. When you decide to use this feature, you have to be at your desk to be able to respond to it, because the application halts at this point until you close the dialog. When you choose "Just Info" you will see a screen like below. the screen will be visible for about 5 seconds before the add-in continues. Though you can't adjust the levels, you don't have to be at your desk to keep this system going. Back