Public Talks v19.0.0 is now available

I am pleased to announce that the next version of Public Talks is now available.

This edition includes some important bug fixes that I had noticed.

Help Documentation

The help documentation was out of date. Many screen shots did not match the interface so it was not very helpful!

So I have spent a lot of time going through all the help topics and re-writing a lot of it.

Revised Online Help

The help documentation comes in two versions:

  • Local Help Documentation
  • Online Help Documentation

Which Help Documentation Do I Use?

You can now choose which format of the help documentation you would like to use. This is done from the Help ribbon tab.

The default format is now the online documentation. Therefore the default installer does not include the local help documentation (to keep file size down).

However, during the installation procedure you can optionally choose to download the local help documentation and install it.

Google Calendar Issues

A few brothers were having problems synchronising with Google calendar. I am sorry for any inconvenience caused.

Recall that when you went through the authentication process you were presented with a consent screen.

Google had made some changes to their policies and all developers had to adhere to them.

What the consent screen said and what the utility actual did had to match. This was so that there was clear transparency.

I had removed the email scope from the consent screen but it was not removed the the Google Sync Utility in version 18.0.2 and thus you could not sync.

It should all be OK now!


We are still awaiting translations for the following languages:

  • Finnish
  • French (now available – June 7, 2019)
  • German
  • Spanish

These will be provided in due course.

Latest Download

Public Talks
Size: 26.6 MB
Version: 20.0.2
Published: 02/02/2020

You can also upgrade by using the Check for Update feature from the Help menu (if you have not been a beta tester).

Visits Rota v19.0.0 is now available

It has been many years since I made any changes to the Visits Rota application. I felt it was about time!

Visits Rota
Visits Rota

Much of the core functionality remains the same. However, several adjustments have been made:

  • Improved window resizing.
  • New Check for Update feature.
  • Greek translation.
  • Hungarian translation.
  • Improved schedule customisation.
  • Can be started from Meeting Schedule Assistant (version 19.0.3 or higher).

One of the key things is that VisitsRota now uses the same XML / CSS / XSL functionality so you have full control over how you want the reports to look.

Visits Rota

Supported operating systems:

Windows 7 (Service Pack 1)
Windows 8.1
Windows 10
Size: 3.93 MB
Version: 19.0.2
Published: 25/02/2019

Meeting Schedule Assistant v19.0.0 is now available

Meeting Schedule Assistant Logo with white background
(Click to enlarge)

I am pleased to announce that there is a new version of Meeting Schedule Assistant available. This edition includes updates to the Hindi song titles.

Also, you know doubt heard that there are going to be some changes to the Midweek Meeting beginning 7th January 2019. These changes were announced at the Annual General Meeting held in October. Here is the official announcement. There is also an official document with Midweek Meeting Instructions on the website. 

As a result changes needed to be made to Meeting Schedule Assistant to support these new adjustments to the meeting format.

The schedules saved with this version (MWB Files) are not binary compatible with earlier versions of the software. Old schedule files can still be opened but will be upgraded when you save them.

Student Material Window

Several changes have been made to the Students Material window:

Students Material Window
The new Students Material window
  • You can now specify the study number for each student assignment. These are provided for us in the Meeting Workbook’s. The drop-down list is based on the new Reading and Teaching brochure.
  • There now a new Apply Yourself to Reading and Teaching section. Tick this option and then select the study from the drop-down list. This item is 10 minutes in duration and is presented during the first week of the month.
  • A fourth student item has been added.
  • Each student assignment is now optional (use the checkbox). This is required because there are a different number of assignments each week:
Week 11 student item
Week 24 student items
Week 3, 4 & 53 student items
  • Any student item can now be assigned as a Talk.

Please be aware that Monthly Volunteers will be providing the above information for you. So for many of you all you you need to do is press F6 to download the Workbook information.

You will only need to make the above changes each week if there is no Monthly Volunteer for your language.

Students Window

Several changes have also been made to the Students window.

  • A fourth student item has been added.
  • The Information Panel has been moved over to the right and now includes the study number reference.
  • All study number drop-down lists are disabled and auto-populated from the Students Material information.

Viewing Selected S-89 Slips

Viewing Selected Slips

The Assignment Slips window has also been revised. It  now includes the fourth student assignment.

Workbook Templates

S-140 Template Week 1

The default S-140 templates installed with the program have been updated to display the following informaton:

  • Study number references.
  • Reading and Teaching assignment.
  • Fourth student item.

Template Customization

Are you using customized S-140 templates? Then you have two ways to upgrade them. You can copy the newly supplied template and add your customizations again to this new file. Or, you can upgrade your existing template to include the new syntax.

In the following template I have added |StudyPointDescription to the end and then added the two highlighted lines to display the reference:

<xsl:template match="Material | SourceMaterial | StudyPointDescription">
<span class="textMaterial">
<xsl:value-of select="." disable-output-escaping="yes"/>
<!-- Display the study point in brackets (if it exists) -->
<xsl:apply-templates select="@StudyPointReference"/>

Next, you need to add this new template:

<xsl:template match="Material" mode="NoStudyPoint">
<span class="textMaterial">
<xsl:value-of select="." disable-output-escaping="yes"/>

Now you need to add the new Teaching template:

<!-- Teaching assigning - 10 minute talk on the first week of the month -->
<xsl:template match="Teaching">
      <xsl:apply-templates select="Time" mode="End"/>
<td class="cellTheme" colspan="2">
        <span class="bulletAYFM">&#8226;</span>
<span class="textTheme">
<xsl:value-of select="Type"/>
<xsl:apply-templates select="Theme"/>
<xsl:apply-templates select="Time" mode="Duration"/>
<xsl:apply-templates select="StudyPointDescription"/></td>
<xsl:apply-templates select="Name"/></tr>

You will also need this new template:

<!-- Display the study number reference -->
<xsl:template match="@StudyPointReference">
<span class="textStudyNumberReference">
<xsl:text> </xsl:text>
<xsl:value-of select="."/>

Finally, you need to add one line to the following (as highlighted):

<!--Apply Yourself To The Field Ministry-->
<xsl:template match="AYFM">
<table class="tableAYFM" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0">
      <xsl:call-template name="SetColumnWidths"/>

<xsl:call-template name="SectionHeading">
<xsl:with-param name="strSection">AYFM</xsl:with-param>
<xsl:with-param name="iSpanColumns">3</xsl:with-param>

<xsl:apply-templates select="Teaching" />
<xsl:apply-templates select="StudentItem"/></table>

If you look closely at the above script you will see that we have introduced a new class into the CSS files:

.textStudyNumberReference {
    /* Uncomment to hide the study number reference */
    /* display:none;*/

The default S-140 Worksheet templates have also been updated and so have the other templates but it is beyond the scope of this article to provide full details about the changes that are required.

Students Menu

The Students menu will no longer be available from 7th January 2019. It has been decided that these features will be redundant.

Students Menu
Students Menu

Latest Download

Meeting Schedule Assistant

Supported operating systems:

Windows 7 (Service Pack 1)
Windows 8.1
Windows 10
Size: 10.8 MB
Version: 20.1.1
Published: 25/03/2020

(Or use the Check for Update feature available from the Help menu)