PerfectTablePlan newsletter

PerfectTablePlan newsletter 43

PerfectTablePlan v5.0.7 released

PerfectTablePlan v5.0.7 is now available to newsletter subscribers. It has 9 enhancements and 6 bug fixes, including:

  • Add colour coded dots to place cards and other stationery to show meal choice, group, gender or custom field. For example, you can use colour coded spots on place cards so that servers can easily identify meal choices. 

using colour coded spots on place cards
  • Choose your own colours to visualize meal, group, gender or custom fields in the Floor plan, Table plan and Stationery panes. This allows you to choose appropriate colours (e.g. green=vegetarian). We have also improved the default colours.

customize colours
  • Include table section in data export and stationery substitution text for E-shaped tables.

v5.0.7 is a free upgrade to all customers with a valid v5 licence. We recommend that all v5 users upgrade to this release. If you have v1, v2, v3 or v4 you can upgrade to v5 here.

To find out more and download the new release, please go to the release page:


Note that installing v5.0.7 won't overwrite previous versions of PerfectTablePlan.

We plan to make v5.0.7 the official release in a few days time. As always, please let us know if you have any problems.

You can also let us know what you think of the new features by posting on our Facebook or Google+ pages.

Mac OS X 10.8 fixes

Mac OS X10.8 Mountain LionMac OS X 10.8 ('Mountain Lion') broke a few things in PerfectTablePlanthat used to work fine with earlier versions of Mac OS X:

  • PerfectTablePlan sometimes crashes when clicking on the drop-down list to change folder in the File Save window. For example when choosing a folder to save an exported PDF to.
  • PerfectTablePlan sometimes freezes when displaying the Colour picker window.

The v5.0.7 release fixes these issues. We have had to switch to using non-native File Open and File Save windows on Mac OS 10.8. We plan to switch back once the underlying issue is fixed.

Choosing an online registration system with regfilter

regfilterIf you are planning large events you can save a lot of time and effort by using an online registration system. We don't offer online registration ourselves because there are so many vendors that already provide this service and we didn't want to reinvent that wheel. Instead we allow you to import data from online registration systems. The problem is that there are so many online registration systems that choosing one has become a real problem. This is where theregfilter.com comes in. Just select your requirements, click Search and they will list all the suitable services from their database.

Tell us a bit more about you

We are planning the next round of improvements to PerfectTablePlan and it would be really useful to know a bit more about how you use PerfectTablePlan. Please complete our survey, which will be open for the next 7 days. There are just 3 multi-choice questions. It should only take a few seconds.

usage survey

Click here to complete the survey

Back-up your plan files!

failed harddisksThere are a few certainties in life - death, taxes and harddisk failure. It is not a matter of if, but when. Imagine for a second that the harddisk of the computer you are reading this on died right now. What would you lose?

If your harddisk dies you can easily re-install  PerfectTablePlan on another computer and retrieve your licence key. But your table plan data is a different story. If it was only stored on your harddisk, it's gone. So you should always make a back-up copy of your plan (.tp) files to somewhere other than your harddisk, for example:

  • another computer
  • CD/DVD
  • memory stick
  • online solutions such as Dropbox and Crashplan
  • email it to a friend or yourself

We get a few stressed emails from people who have lost all their data a few days before their wedding/event. Please don't be one of them. In fact, do it now!

Calculating an optimal seating arrangement in 36 hours

seating optimizationThe Annals of Improbable Research (famous for their Ig Nobel prizes) have an article on their blog discussing seating optimization. A couple of academics used Mixed Integer Non-Linear Programming (MINLP) software to optimize the assignment of 107 guests to tables for their wedding reception.  It took 36 hours on a high-end computer to get a solution. PerfectTablePlan can solve the significantly harder problem of assigning 107 guests to seats (rather than tables) in well under a minute on a modest PC using a genetic algorithm. Admittedly, our solution is not guaranteed to be mathematically optimal. But it is usually fairly close. You can read the article and paper here (not recommended for those who didn't like mathematics at school). The article doesn't say what they planned to do when someone inevitably cancelled in the 36 hours before the event.

Andy Brice
Oryx Digital Ltd