Computer Tips

This section is intended, primarily, to provide tips to event organisers who are using computers.  In the articles below you will find tips on using spreadsheets, email, pdf file, calculating standard times etc.

Using Excel to Record Times

Here's a really simple tip if you are using an Excel spreadsheet to record times for your event.  Many organisers use Excel for their start and result sheets but could make their own and others' lives a little easier if they used Excel's inbuilt facilities for handling hours, minutes and seconds.

Data entry

The top tip is to always enter times in the following format

Note, that's a colon between the hours, minutes and seconds (not a dot, space, semicolon or anything else!)

Submitting your results to CTT

Organisers are invited to submit their event results to CTT for inclusion on the national website.  This couldn't be simpler, just email your event result to

The best format for these results is an Excel spreadsheet - this is easy for CTT to process and can be quickly converted into a result on the website.  Other formats, such as Word documents and PDF files are much more difficult to process (a scanned document is even worse!).

(When emailing results to riders and helpers a PDF file is probably the best option.  See the separate articles on and  But when emailing the result service a spreadsheet is best.)

Reading the CTT entry form (and .docx files) in older versions of MS Word

The MS Word version of the CTT entry form uses the latest version of MS Word.  If you don't have the latest version here are several ways you can access it without buying more software:

Free Alternatives to Excel and Word

Most organisers these days are using some computer assistance, eg for managing lists of riders or calculating results.  For most, this means purchasing Microsoft Excel and/or Word.
But there are some very good alternatives which are free:

Tips on printing course details

To print the details of a course, nicely formatted, in MS Excel - try the following procedure:

Calculating Vets Standard Times in Excel

If you are using Microsoft Excel to calculate your result sheet - here's a tip for calculating vets times.  As you probably know, Excel doesn't handle negative times very well - so when you subtract one time from the other and the result is a "minus" it fails to display properly.  You have to use some roundabout methods to get at the time.

Here's a very simple, but little known, solution:

How to send emails using BCC

If you are an event organiser sending emails to many recipients it is a good idea to put the destination email addresses the BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) field, rather than the TO field.  This will prevent recipients from being able to see everyone else's email address, which some people might object to.

It's very easy to do once you know how, no more difficult than sending a normal email.

Here is some links which tells you how to do it using various types of email software:

How to create PDF files

Many organisers prepare their start and result sheets using Microsoft Word or Excel.  This is great, of course, but when you email the documents out to the competitors they can have trouble reading them:

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