Almost Final Draft of Moneydance 2010 help documentation is here!

Angie Rauscher's Avatar

Angie Rauscher

21 Feb, 2010 03:19 PM

Important notes on the "Almost Final Draft" (also known as v1.0)

-We believe this document is a major improvement upon the Moneydance 2008 help document -This document addresses new features and functions of Moneydance 2010

-We have not yet created links within the document

-There are no screenshots within the document

-The transaction matching section is incomplete due to the ongoing changes to the algorithm and work-flow

We recognize that this version is imperfect, but feel it is leaps and bounds better than what is currently available. We invite you to post on this thread with any suggestions, corrections, or requests for inclusion in this document. We will have have a more polished version of this help documentation released in the coming weeks.

Thank you all for your support and patience in waiting for this document, we realize it has been frustrating for many of our users and hope we can do better in the future.

Angie Rauscher
Moneydance Support

  1. 1 Posted by ljb on 22 Feb, 2010 01:34 AM

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    This really needs a good proof-reading pass before you release it, even for review. See below, which is a list of some things I found on the first 13 pages, plus a few typos from higher pages.

    pg 1: Needs a copyright notice, and a version and/or date.

    pg 5 "How to Install Moneydance on Windows"
    Suggest adding a bit about Java. Don't assume people know what it is or how to tell if they already have it or need to download it with Moneydance.

    pg 7, IMPORTANT NOTICE on new file format
    This text probably belongs earlier under How to Upgrade to MD2010 rather than under Getting Started.

    pg 7, "Create a Data File from Scratch"
    Choose you primary currency => Choose your ...

    pg 8, "Importing Data from Quicken"
    "Those that contain..." is not a complete sentence.
    "only one accounts worth of data" => ... account's ...
    "... if you have all your quicken data" => ... Quicken data
    "... in a single QIF file follow the second..." => ... file. Follow ...

    pg 9, "Importing Data from Quicken"
    "... to multiple QIF files one per account" => ... files, one per ...

    pg 10 "Importing Additional Data into Moneydance"
    Two paragraphs starting "If you've selected OFX or OFC as your imported file", description of confirming/accepting imported transactions seems to be obsolete. Doesn't MD2010 do this differently?

    pg 13 "NEW!..."
    "To delete and account" => "To delete an account"
    Fix run-on sentence "To delete ..., to add".

    pg 13 "The Moneydance Home Page"
    "The home page can be customized; for more information see..." The reference is to the very next paragraph, "Customizing the Home Page", and is therefore redundant.

    pg 13 "The Balance Box", 4th bullet "Confirmed Balance"
    "confirm1ed" => "confirmed"

    pg 30, "The Investment Transaction Register", under Action, DivReinvest:
    thatsecurity => that security

    pg 31, "Adding New Securities", under C) Ticker Symbol:
    Yahoo FInance => Yahoo Finance

    pg 32, "Adding New Securities", item 2 at the top:
    "commision" => "commission"

    pg 37, "Loan Calculator", last sentence on page:
    scenarious => scenarios

  2. 2 Posted by ljb on 24 Feb, 2010 03:22 AM

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    More, continuing from page 14...

    pg 14, "The File Menu", "Open Recent": "select the appropriate account" => "select the appropriate file"

    pg 14, "The File Menu", "Import": Says you can import QFX files, but that isn't one of the choices on the menu. Needs to omit this, or say that OFX and QFX are imported with the same menu choice.

    pg 15, "The Online Menu": Missing description for "Send Online Payment" menu item.

    pg 15, "The Tools Menu", "Edit Accounts" and "Edit Categories": "Print a chart..." => "Displays a list..." or similar. Do not use Print for on-screen display.

    pg 15, "The Tools Menu", "Currencies/Exchange Rates": "The currencies that MD can manage include stocks, bonds, and mutual funds as well as national currencies." Although internally MD may equate securities and currencies, this "Currencies/Exchange Rates" dialog is only for currencies, not securities, so mentioning securities here is confusing.

    pg 16, "The Help Menu": "The License item contains Moneydance end user..." => "... item contains the Moneydance..." or better "... item displays the Moneydance...".

    pg 16, "The Help Menu": "... version of java..." => "... version of Java..."

    pg 17, "Understanding Moneydance Accounts": 3rd paragraph "... select Account --> Edit from the toolbar, and select the box". Yes, people can figure out which box from the previous sentence, but still it should say something like "... select the Hide on Home Page (If Balance is Zero) box".

    pg 17, "Bank Accounts": I think it would be helpful to indicate how Moneydance uses the fields, or at least distinguish required and optional information. "When creating a bank account, you will name the account and provide information such as the bank name, account number, routing number, initial balance, and the account's currency". In fact name, initial balance, and currency are required, and I think the rest is optional. (Not sure what fields might also be used for online banking - see, it needs to be documented!) The point is that Moneydance has places to provide lots of information about the accounts, but some of it is only for the person's own information and records and Moneydance won't use it or show it on a report.

    I see that the next section, Credit Card Accounts, does indicate this.

    Missing from Bank Accounts (see Credit Card Accounts): Parent account, or specifying that it is a child or sub-account of another account.

    pg 18, "Investment Accounts": "The Portfolio view provides an overview of the accounts holdings" => account's

    pg 18, "Investment Accounts": "The Register shows account's activity" => "... shows the account's activity"

    pg 18, "Expense and Income Categories": "... most of the capabilities of checking account" => "of a checking account". Same sentence, changes from plural ("your income and expense categories") to singular ("it has a balance..."). Needs to be consistent.

    pg 19, "Expense and Income Categories" (top of page): "... changes hands, as it is easy to incorrectly..." I think this 'as' should be 'and' but it isn't clear.

    pg 19, "Balancing Accounts Using the Reconcile Tool", "2. Overview": 1st paragraph, "This will be ... sees it. i.e. the sum..." One sentence or two? Either change the period after "it" to a comma, or break into two sentences with the second starting "That is," rather than i.e.

    pg 21, "Entering Transactions", 1st paragraph: 1st sentence should be broken at the semi-colon into two sentences: "To create a new transaction... To edit a transaction..."

    pg 21, "Entering Transactions", 2nd paragraph: "... as its category, then click record, ..." There is no such 'record' button. Press Enter to save the transaction, perhaps?

    pg 21, "Transaction Basics", last sentence in 1st paragraph starting "You can record..." is very hard to parse. Break into 2 sentences at semi-colon. "You can record a transaction in any transaction register. With the exception of ..."

    pg 21, "Transaction Basics", bottom of page "Next Check": (1) I think it is "<Next Check#>" exactly, not "Next Check". (2) Change "Check!#" to "Check#". (3) Description is incomplete and wrong: "Tells Moneydance to find your most recent transaction with a number value as its Check# entry." This is wrong because Moneydance seems to find the maximum used check number, not the most recent transaction. Try it with out-of-order checks to see. It is incomplete because it does not say Moneydance adds 1 and uses that as the check number.

  3. 3 Posted by Dave Held on 25 Feb, 2010 10:18 PM

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    About the section in Chapter 2 called "Importing additional data into Moneydance":

    Every week I download a QIF file from my bank and import it into MD. I'm trying to see if there are any transactions the bank knows about that I haven't already entered into MD. The process for doing this in MD 2010 has completely changed from the previous version, and I see no info in the manual. I had to "suss out" this procedure myself, with lots of false starts and file reverts.

    The newly downloaded transactions appear with a little blue ball. I click on them, one at a time, and MD tries to find the match. After the match, the transaction has a little blue italic "i" in the description; I can only guess at what that means. It usually works OK. But it would have been nice to find it in the manual instead of trial-and-error.


  4. 4 Posted by Tad_MV on 09 Mar, 2010 01:45 AM

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    I am an extraordinarily frustrated Quicken user (Home & Business 2009) on an XP machine, having used it for 1+ years. Their user support has become virtually non-existant.

    Having moved to a new iMac I am highly motivated to make the switch to a viable alternative. MoneyDance looks like the best alternative. User documentation is critical. Will illustrations accompany the User Guide you are about to release?

    Feel free to respond directly to my email address

  5. 5 Posted by Ben Spencer on 09 Mar, 2010 06:34 PM

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    Yes absolutely there will be screen shots aplenty in the new documentation. In an exciting development we have just added a new member to the team specifically to work on the documentation.


    Ben Spencer

  6. 6 Posted by Tad_MV on 10 Mar, 2010 01:06 PM

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    Ben -
    Thank you. That is reassuring.

    I am still evaluating installing Parallels Desktop 5.0, my existing Quicken software and a more limited version of my existing 2 files, one of them being a business application requiring invoicing and accounts receivable.

    Im my primary account, I will be tracking our checkbook, several credit cards, a cash account and a number of physical assets, but only one small investment account.

    In both cases, the transfer of a rich array of expense categories and report formats will be critical. (I am worried about unfavorable comments I have read on that subject.) I also need reasonably robust budget capacity.

    I wish I could 1) see a more detailed description of Moneydance on you website and 2) find a rigorous, third party evaluation of the options for running financial software on a Mac, before investing time in a trial.

    From my stand point, if Apple could find an option for the Mac as substantial as what is offered to non-professionals in the Windows environment, it would address the major obstacle faced by people contemplating the switch to a Mac. I have made the switch, but am dreading this last step.

    I would welcome any comments you may have.

    Tad Crawford

  7. 7 Posted by Ben Spencer on 10 Mar, 2010 08:02 PM

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    Hi Tad

    You can export your accounts from Quicken to a QIF file and then import that into the trial version of Moneydance. Here is a link to an article that describes the process:

    I actually recomend using the latest preview version of Moneydance as it contains a number of improvements to the reports. it can be downloaded fomr here:

    There is a feature comparison between Moneydacne and other personal finance software on top ten reviews. here is the link:

    Without knowing which specific reports you are needing it is impossible to know if Moneydance will meet your needs. It would probably be quicker to install and play with the trial than read the reviews.


    Ben Spencer

  8. 8 Posted by Tad_MV on 11 Mar, 2010 03:49 PM

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    Ben -
    Thank you for this response. I have one last question. The retention of the categories I created in Quicken is critical both for our tax preparation and budgeting. What can you say about how well the conversion will work in this area?

  9. 9 Posted by Roger J Mommaer... on 27 Mar, 2010 07:50 PM

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    Page 19: "balancing Accounts..."
    Para 2. "To use the Reconcile tool, select Reconcile from the Account menu."
    It is now located in the EDIT menu.

  10. 10 Posted by Ben Spencer on 27 Mar, 2010 08:25 PM

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    Thanks for the feedback

    In the latest build (743) the reconcile tool is accessed from the Account menu.

    This seems to make sense as the account menu is context sensitive. i.e. it refers to the current open account.

  11. 11 Posted by Jeff on 05 Apr, 2010 11:25 AM

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    When will there be a final version of the Moneydance User Guide?

  12. 12 Posted by Ben Spencer on 05 Apr, 2010 03:27 PM

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    It is close. we hope to have it released with MD2010r3. If you want to see the latest version I have attached it.


    Ben Spencer

  13. 13 Posted by Jeff on 05 Apr, 2010 04:38 PM

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  14. 14 Posted by jimmplsmn on 11 Apr, 2010 03:45 AM

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    I just opened MD2010r3 and the help file is still from 2008 version. That's OK for me because I have already downloaded the one you have in your comment Ben, but it would be convenient to have it embedded in the program obviously.

    Am going to be downloading a month's worth of data here shortly so I'm looking forward to trying out the improved matching scheme (since 743).

    • Jim
  15. 15 Posted by Keith on 11 Apr, 2010 04:09 PM

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    The User Manual is looking really good.

    I'm just curious about one thing.
    In response to another user's comments on the first draft of the new manual, you said "Yes absolutely there will be screen shots aplenty in the new documentation".
    Yet, there are none in the latest draft.

    Are they still planned for the Final version?



  16. 16 Posted by Ben Spencer on 12 Apr, 2010 06:25 PM

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    We will release the documentation initially without screenshots. We just cannot delay the release of the documentation any further. It is painfully embarrassing that r3 of MD2010 is almost upon us and the documentation isn't out yet. However we will continue to work on the documentation and have further follow up releases with screen shots.


  17. Angie Rauscher closed this discussion on 24 Jul, 2011 07:44 PM.

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