Perfect Table Plan Frequently Asked Questions

Have you read the Help document that comes with PerfectTablePlan? This contains the answers to many questions. In particular you should consult the 'How do I' section.

To find out which version of PerfectTablePlan you have select in the PerfectTablePlan menu bar:

  • Windows: Help>About
  • Mac: PerfectTablePlan>About PerfectTablePlan
Licence keys
Installation
Plans
Tables
Printing
Help
Miscellaneous

Q. Why haven't I received my licence key?

If you pay by credit card our server automatically sends out a temporary licence key on completion of your purchase. We then check all your details and send you a permanent licence key before the temporary key expires.

If you do not receive a temporary key within 10 minutes and a permanent key 24 hours before your temporary key expires please refer to the table below:

Problem Action
our email has been spam filtered check your spam folder for an email from us
you supplied the payment processor with an incorrect email address email us with the correct details and request that we re-send the key
your service provider refused our email (this is particularly likely with comcast, AOL and US military email addresses) email us from a different email account (e.g. if your home address failed, try it from your work address, or vice versa)

Q. I've lost my licence key, can you re-send it?

Yes. Use our automatic licence key retrieval system.

Q. Why doesn't my licence key work?

Licence key problems are usually a result of:

  1. Incorrectly copying the licence key; or
  2. Using the wrong licence key (e.g. a version 4 key for version 5 of the software); or
  3. Confusing the licence key and the transaction code

It is easy to make a mistake copying a key 'by hand'. To ensure that you have correctly copied the licence key, please copy and paste it from the licence key email you have already received.

To ensure you have the correct version of the software installed, please check the About window (see the top of this page). You can download the latest version of PerfectTablePlan from here.

On Windows, PerfectTablePlan stores your licence key in the Windows system registry. It is possible that your anti-virus/security software is interfering with this. If none of the above works, try temporarily disabling your anti-virus/security software and trying again. A Windows program called 'reimage' seems to cause particular problems.

If that doesn't fix your problem please email us with the following information:

  1. The version of PerfectTablePlan (e.g. 5.2.3 ).
  2. Your operating system (e.g. Windows 10 or macOS 10.12).
  3. The error message you get when you try to enter your key.

Q. Can I install my licence key on another machine?

Yes. You can install PerfectTablePlan on as many machines as you like, as long as it is for your own use. For more details see licensing.

Q. Can I use PerfectTablePlan from a memory stick?

Yes, see this newsletter for details. Note however that your preferences will be stored on the local computer, not the memory stick.

Q. Can I share my licence key with someone else?

Generally, no. Standard individual licence keys are valid for one named person on any number of different machines and are not transferrable. We make a special exception for couples or 2 immediate family members planning a wedding, who may share a licence key.For more details see licensing.

Q. Can I transfer my licence to someone else?

No, unless you have an organizational licence.

Q. Can I buy a single licence for my whole organization?

Yes, ask us to quote you for an organizational licence.

Q. How do I get the installer to work?

If you are having problems installing the software please read:

Windows: The step-by-step guides to download and installation and Windows troubleshooting.

Mac: The Mac installation troubleshooting.

Q. How do I download versions of PerfectTablePlan older than the current one?

You can download older versions of PerfectTablePlan from here. Alternatively, you can upgrade to the latest version for a small fee.

Q. Can I install PerfectTablePlan 'unattended' on Windows?

Yes, you can do an 'unattended' installation. Use the /silent switch, e.g.:

PerfectTablePlan.exe /silent

PerfectTablePlan installation does not require a reboot. More information on Inno Setup installer switches is here.

Q. Does PerfectTablePlan support C' and E' shaped tables?

Yes. From v5 onwards PerfectTablePlan Advanced and Professional editions have an E-shaped table type that can be used to create E-shaped tables with a top section and 2-9 sprigs. Before v5 and in v5 Home edition an E-shaped table can be created by placing together head tables and rectangular tables with seats down 2 sides. See the masonic' example plans installed with the software.

E-shaped table

PerfectTablePlan can also handle C-shaped tables (an E-shaped table with no central sprig). PerfectTablePlan cannot currently handle horseshoe-shaped tables.

Note:

  • tables can be moved by dragging and rotated using Edit>Rotate
  • if you need a rectangular table with seats on 3 sides, use a custom' table

Q. How many guests can PerfectTablePlan handle?

There is no hard upper limit on the number of guests. Customers have successfully used PerfectTablePlan withover 4,000 guests. However, if you use the automatic seat assignment, the time required does go up considerably with the number of guests - this is in the nature of combinatorial problems. If you have more than 1000 guests you might need to take a tea/coffee break if you run the automatic seat assignment. If that seems a little slow, imagine how long it would take you with scraps of paper!

Q. What upgrades am I entitled to when I purchase a licence key?

A version x licence key is valid for all version x releases of the software. For example a version 5 licence key will work for versions 5.0.0 and 5.1.0 of the software. If we make a new major release within 3 months of your purchase we will upgrade your licence key to the next major versions for free. If we make a new major release more than 3 months after your purchase you will be able to upgrade at a discounted price.

If you want to be informed of future versions you should subscribe to our newsletter.

Q. How does the automatic seat assignment work?

The automatic layout uses a scoring approach to determine how good an assignment is and a genetic algorithm to try to find the best one. Because of the vast numbers of possible seating layouts it cannot be guaranteed to find absolutely the best (highest scoring) layout. However it will usually get quite close very quickly.

Q. Is PerfectTablePlan available for Windows?

Yes! For Windows XP or later.

Q. Is PerfectTablePlan available for Microsoft Surface?

PerfectTablePlan should run on Microsoft Surface devices with the Windows Pro operating system. But not those with the Windows RT operating system. Download our free trial to check.

Q. Is PerfectTablePlan available for Mac?

Yes! For macOS 10.7 or later, Intel processors only.

Q. Is PerfectTablePlan available for iPad?

No. However from PerfectTablePlan on Windows or Mac you can:

  • export to web and access this using a web browser on your iPad
  • export to PDF and share these with your iPad by email, iBooks, DropBox or other methods.

Another approach is to use the free LogMeIn iPad app to access PerfectTablePlan on your PC or Mac from your iPad.

Q. Is PerfectTablePlan available for Linux?

No. We have been informed that it runs fine under WINE, but we haven't tested for this and recommend you try it yourself before purchasing.

Q. How do I decide who to put next to who?

That depends on what sort of event you are organizing. Check our tips pages.

Q. How do I transfer PerfectTablePlan from one machine to another?

To transfer PerfectTablePlan from one machine to another (e.g. work PC to home PC or an old PC to a new one):

  • Install the software on the new machine from our download page (if your key is not for v5 you can download older versions of PerfectTablePlan here).
  • Transfer your licence key to the new machine, either by: forwarding the original licence key email or emailing/printing the licence key from the Licence window on the original machine (select Licensing>Licence from the main menu); or retrieving it from our key retrieval page
  • Re-enter it in the Licence window of the new machine.

See also copying plan files. Note that PerfectTablePlan is licensed per person (not per computer). So it is ok to have it installed on more than one computer, for your own use. See licensing for more details.

Q. Does PerfectTablePlan support oval and semi-circular tables?

Yes, from version 4.0.0.

Q. Does PerfectTablePlan support serpentine/ horseshoe/ curved tables?

Not at present.

Q. Can I buy PerfectTablePlan on CD?

No. We no longer sell CDs, due to insufficient demand. But you can download the PerfectTablePlan installer from our website and burn your own CD.

Q. What languages is PerfectTablePlan available in?

PerfectTablePlan is currently only available in English. However the software is fully Unicode enabled, so it can handle a wide range of non-English characters. Also, from v4.1.0, you can change any of the words that appear inside the Guest chart, Table plan or Report panes, e.g. you can change the column headers in the Guest chart pane into German, French or Spanish equivalents.

Q. How do I copy a plan from one machine to another?

Your plan (including images) is contained in a single text (XML) file, with the extension .tp. You can copy a plan file from one machine to another by:

  • attaching it to an email; or
  • via a shared/networked disk drive; or
  • via a USB memory stick

You can even move a plan file from Windows to Mac (or vice versa) without problems. Select File>Find... in PerfectTablePlan to search your harddisk for plan files. See also: How do I share a single plan file between multiple computers/users?

Q. Why do I see "Action cancelled" when I try to access the online help in Windows?

A Microsoft security fix prevents HTML based help being accessed from network drives. To avoid the problem you can:

  • reinstall PerfectTablePlan on a local drive; or
  • use our online help instead; or
  • apply the fix described here

Q. Can PerfectTablePlan be used for optimization problems not related to seating, e.g. assigning golf fours?

PerfectTablePlan was designed to solving seating problems for events, particularly events where people are seated around tables. However it can be used to solve many of other types of combinatorial grouping problems. For example, if you want to assign people to golf fours according to their preferences you can use PerfectTablePlan:

  1. set guest RSVP status according to whether they have 'accepted' or 'declined'
  2. set 'next to' proximity for guests who you strongly want to group together
  3. set 'near to' proximity for guests who you less strongly want to group together
  4. set 'not near to' proximity for guests who you strongly don't want to group together
  5. set 'not next to' proximity for guests who you less strongly don't want to group together
  6. create a 4 seat table for each golf four
  7. run the automatic seat assignment
  8. drag and drop to fine tune the solution, if required
  9. print the results from the Guest chart pane (if you want it by guest) or Table chart pane (if you want it by golf 4)

you can use the Terms tab in the set not near to' proximity for people who you strongly don't want to group together pane to remove to remove any references to Table' or Seat'.

Q. Is PerfectTablePlan available in my web browser?

A. No. PerfectTablePlan is a native' desktop application for Windows or Mac. This means that you have to install it on each computer that you want to use it on. But the installation is very quick and there are significant advantages to native applications, including:

  • a richer and more responsive user interface
  • no dependence on our servers (you can carry on using PerfectTablePlan indefinitely, even if we go out of business)
  • no need to transmit and store potentially sensitive information via the Internet

Furthermore PerfectTablePlan v5.0.0 onwards has the ability to export to web. Allowing you to access (but not edit) your plan on any device with a web browser.

Q. How do I share a single plan file between multiple computers/users?

A. There are various different ways you can share a plan file between multiple computers with one or more users. Which is best depends on your circumstances:

Approach Advantages Dis­advantages
Copying plan files backwards and forwards by email attachment No effort to set up. Time taken to email plans. Requires careful coordination if more than one person is editing a plan. You have to be careful not to lose changes by copying an old file over a new one.
Storing the plan file on a USB memory stick No synchro­nization problems. Requires a USB memory stick. Only one person can be accessing the plan at any time.
Shared network drive. On Windows a plan will be locked when one user has it open to read. Other users will only be able to open it as 'read only', preventing conflicting changes. You will be notified if your 'read only' plan is updated by another computer. Requires access to a shared network drive. File locking can be restrictive when you have multiple users trying to access a file. File locking is not supported on the Mac version of Perfect Table Plan.
Store your plan in Dropbox, synchro­nised across all your machines. Changes on one machine are auto­matically synched to all other machines. Conflicts (.e.g. two users making changes to the same file at the same time) are handled auto­matically. Easily manage sharing with other users on a plan by plan basis. You can still access your plan even if you have no Internet access. Dropbox keeps a 1 month history of changes and allows edits and deletions to be undone. Works across Windows and Mac. Requires a small amount of effort to set-up. Changes only sync to other machines when you have Internet access. If 2 users simultaneously edit the same plan on different machines at the same time you will end up with 2 versions of the plan. An encrypted copy of your data is transmitted to and stored on the Dropbox server. This may not be appropriate for highly confidential plans. Dropbox requires a payment if you want to store more than 2GB of file.

Dropbox is our preferred approach. It works really well, even for multiple users across multiple computers, and it is easy to set up and (in most cases) free. Note that you need a licence key for each PerfectTablePlan user.

Q. How do I get a receipt for my purchase?

If you purchased PerfectTablePlan through the payment page on our website, then you will have purchased from our authorized reseller Avangate. For legal and tax purposes we sell the software to them and then they resell it to you. Consequently you have to get your receipt from them, not from us. To get your receipt:

avangate
  1. Go to https://secure.avangate.com/ myaccount/ .
  2. Click the Create an account link.
  3. Enter the email address you used to purchase PerfectTablePlan.
  4. Click Submit.
  5. You should then receive an email from Avangate. Follow the instructions to access your account.
  6. Once you have accessed your account you should be able to print a formal receipt.
  7. If you have any problems please email support@avangate.com .

Q. How do I install a version upgrade?

Each different version of PerfectTablePlan is treated as a different program. So you can have as many different versions installed as you like. For example, installing v4.2.7 won't overwrite v4.2.6. Just uninstall versions you no longer need.

If you have previously added a valid licence key to your computer you shouldn't have to add it again for a minor upgrade.

Q. How do I get PerfectTablePlan to start when I double click on a plan file?

You need to association plan files with the appropriate PerfectTablePlan program. This is normally done for you during installation. But you can also do it yourself.

For Windows:

  1. Right click on a plan file (extension .tp).
  2. Select Properties.
  3. Click on the Change... button next to Opens with.
  4. Click on Browse....
  5. Navigate to
    c:\program files \PerfectTablePlan_<v> \PerfectTablePlan_<v>.exe (where <v> is the version) and click Open.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Click OK.

For Mac see How can I change what program opens a certain file on a Mac?

Q. What formats is the installer available in?

The Windows installer is available as a .exe file and as a .zip file. We don't have a .msi installer, but we understand it is possible to repackage the .exe as a .msi using EMCO MSI Package Builder.

The Mac installer is available as a .dmg file.

Q. Can PerfectTablePlan be deployed via Windows Terminal Server/Citrix?

PerfectTablePlan for Windows is a standard Win32 executable like Excel or Word, so it shouldn't be a problem. We haven't tried it ourselves, but customers have told us that it works fine.

Q. What is the ECCN for PerfectTablePlan?

The Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) for PerfectTablePlan is EAR99 (encryption functionality limited to intellectual property or copyrightprotection functions).

Q. I get a No printer detected' message. I can see printers in my Windows Control Panel. Why can't PerfectTablePlan see them?

There may be a problem with the Windows registry entry. This can sometimes be fixed by installing a new printer (e.g. a virtual printer, such as PDF creator) or removing and reinstalling an existing printer. If your printer has more than one driver, try choosing the Postscript driver. All such changes are at your own risk.

Q. I still can't find the answer to my question. How do I get help?

Please contact support.