TinyBooks Pro: F.A.Q.

Q1: I want to buy TinyBooks Pro NOW! What do I do?
A: TinyBooks Pro is shareware, so just download it and try it out, and if you like it, buy it. The links for more information, to download the program, and to register/buy it are just above on this page.

Q2: Can I try the new TinyBooks Pro before buying it?
A: Of course. TinyBooks Pro is a shareware program. You should try it before you buy it. Just use the links on the top of this page to learn more about TinyBooks Pro and to download it and try it for yourself. The program you download IS the real thing, it's not a demo version, it's quite real. The only thing is that it will expire in a few weeks, unless you decide to register/buy it.

Q3: I'm already using an older version of TinyBooks Pro. Must I wait until next year to upgrade to the latest version of TinyBooks Pro?
A: NO! You can upgrade to the latest TinyBooks Pro v10 anytime, even mid-year. If you are now using TinyBooks Pro v7, v8 or v9, just download the new TinyBooks Pro v10 (see the links on the top of this page), and choose the applicable "Convert..." menu item from the Utility Menu. This will convert your existing TBPv7, v8 or v9 document to the latest TinyBooks Pro v10 format, and you can instantly take advantage of all that the new TinyBooks Pro offers. No re-entering any information. Note: You can even convert your very old TinyBooks (non-Pro) documents to the latest format too. Just see The Old TinyBooks web page for more complete info.

Q4: Can I get a discount when purchasing TinyBooks Pro?
A: Existing users of previous versions of TinyBooks Pro are always offered a significantly discounted upgrade path when a new major version of TinyBooks Pro is released. (Minor updates are always free to registered users.)

Q5: Do I have to buy TinyBooks Pro every year?
A: NO! Absolutely NOT! At present, TinyBooks Pro allows you to create as many documents as you want. Each document covers one business (or family) for one year. Each document can cover any tax year that you want. There's no limit. Well, actually, you can only have one document open at a time, but other than that, there's no limit. If you want to work on another document, or create another, just close any open document, and you can open or create another.

Q6: I'm having trouble ordering TinyBooks Pro? The order page keeps telling me my cart is empty!
A: Online order pages often use "cookies" to remember what's in your shopping cart. It's possible that your browser is preventing cookies or you have some kind of add-on that is preventing the ordering page from working. But, there are TWO simple solutions. The first thing you should try is to use a different browser. If you were using, say, Firefox browser, try Safari instead. That will probably immediately fix the problem. The ordering page is run by a company called MyCommerce.com. They handle the orders for thousands of different products, not just TinyBooks Pro. If you continue to have a problem ordering TinyBooks Pro, you can visit the Customer Care Center. I'm sure they'll be able to help.

Q7: Is TinyBooks Pro a Point-of-Sale program or a Cash Register program?
A: TinyBooks Pro is an accounting and/or bookkeeping program. Though, in some cases, it can actually be used as a Point-of-Sale program, there are limits. TinyBooks Pro allows you to enter up to 1000 transactions (expense or income items) every single month, but as large as that sounds, it's not quite infinite! This should be more than enough entries for any small business to enter individual consulting fees, client fees, sales at an art gallery, designer sales, gardening jobs, plumbing jobs and more. In these examples, you really do want to enter each sale individually just like a Point-of-Sale program. But, what if you owned a Candy Store, can you imagine entering 500 individual transactions for each candy bar sold every single day? In this case, though you still might want to use TinyBooks Pro to handle "bulk sales" entries, you might also want to purchase a Cash Register!

Q8: I ran out of TinyBooks Pro compatible checks. How do I buy checks for TinyBooks Pro?
A: Just visit the http://www.winograd.com/checks page. The only checks and envelopes you should see on that page are the ones that are perfectly compatible with TinyBooks Pro check printing. We did the legwork so you don't have to! (You can also order TinyBooks Pro checks by calling this toll-free number: 800-544-3427)

Q9: Does TinyBooks Pro have any transaction limits?
A: Yes. TinyBooks Pro allows you to create up to 1000 transactions each month. (A transaction is an individually entered expense or income item.) If you need more transactions than this, congratulations, your business is obviously not "tiny", and you might need something more than TinyBooks Pro!

Q10: I have a Support Question that is NOT answered here. Can I email you directly?
A: Yes. I'd be glad to help if I can. For information on sending a support request, please refer to the TinyBooks Pro Support section.

Q11: My Mac won't allow TinyBooks Pro to open. Why not?
A: Starting with Mac OSX 10.8, Apple has added a feature (called Gatekeeper) to the latest Mac Operating Systems which allows the user to customize which applications are allowed to run on his or her Mac. This is to protect against any malware. By default, Apple has allowed only applications downloaded from the Mac App Store and applications downloaded from identified developers to run. If you try to run TinyBooks Pro, and the Mac pops up a warning saying the program cannot run because it comes from an unidentified developer, you are no doubt running an old version of TinyBooks Pro. Just download the latest version of TinyBooks Pro and you'll be all set. The latest versions of TinyBooks Pro are properly "code signed" and Apple knows we are an "identified developer."

Q12: How do I move from month to month?
A: If you open or double-click a TinyBooks Pro document, TinyBooks Pro will display the expense and income entries corresponding to the current month according to your computer's date and time. To switch to a different month, you can select a month from the TinyBooks Pro Month Menu (or use the easy keyboard equivalents), or you can click one of the left or right arrow buttons on the main window, or you can type one of the left or right arrow keys on the keyboard. When you switch to a new month, the Income/Expense Window will immediately reflect the entries for the new month selected.

Q13: How do I change the name of the company?
A: The name of the company that you entered when you first created a TinyBooks Pro document is displayed and/or printed as a header in various reports and on the main window. If you need to rename the company (or fix a spelling error), choose the Company Name and Tax Information item from the TinyBooks Pro Utility Menu. Other company information such as mailing address, web site address, email address, phone and more can be customized using the Invoice Company Info dialog also available in the Utility Menu.

Q14: How do I modify an account name?
A: All account name changes are handled using the Accounts item in the TinyBooks Pro Utility Menu. When you select this item, the Accounts Dialog will appear. This dialog will show a list of all the accounts. To modify an existing account (for instance, to change the name "Postage Expenses" to "Mailing Costs"), just click the account name in question, and then click the "Configure..." button. Make the desired change, and click OK.

Q15: How do I delete an account name?
A: All account name changes are handled using the Accounts item in the TinyBooks Pro Utility Menu. When you select this item, the Accounts Dialog will appear. This dialog will show a list of all the accounts. To delete an existing account, click the account name in question, and then click the "Delete..." button. Note, that you cannot delete an account that is in use.

Q16: How do I add an account name?
A: All account name changes are handled using the Accounts item in the TinyBooks Pro Utility Menu. When you select this item, the Accounts Dialog will appear. This dialog will show a list of all the accounts. To add an account, simply locate an available position in the account list where you'd like to add the account (in the Deductible Expense section, the Non-Deductible Expense section, the Taxable Income section or the Non-Taxable Income section), and click the "Configure..." button. Type the name of the account, and click OK.

Q17: Why does TinyBooks Pro use Account Numbers all the time?
A: Account Numbers makes things easier in lots of ways (for the programmer and for the user), but don't worry...anytime there's a field that requires an Account Number, just type the first letter of the Account Name that you are looking for ("P" for Postage, for example.) A pop-up menu, or an Account Name Dialog, will immediately appear and you can easily choose the Account you are looking for by name without having to remember any numbers. Continue to type the same letter again and again, and you'll automatically be taken to each entry that starts with that letter. When the correct account appears, press RETURN or click OK, and both the name and number of the account should be inserted automatically.

Q18: Do I really have to run TinyBooks Pro every time I have an expense or income item to enter during the month?
A: No, of course not. Many people do like to just keep TinyBooks Pro open and running all the time, and enter transactions as they happen in real time. But, many others (including myself as it happens), find it more convenient to enter expenses (and/or income and mileage) as they occur, on paper first, and then use TinyBooks Pro at the end of the month to enter all the info at one time. TinyBooks Pro includes an option to print out handy paper forms to enter any expenses, income or mileage incurred during the month. Just choose the Print Interim Forms item from the Utility Menu of TinyBooks Pro. There's also an option to print some of the older interim forms available in prior versions of TinyBooks Pro for those who are accustomed to the old forms and want to stick with them. This option is also available in the Utility Menu.

Q19: Does TinyBooks Pro support Fiscal Years other than January to December?
A: YES! When creating a NEW TinyBooks Pro document (a new "set of books"), you will have the option of customizing the Fiscal Year. TinyBooks Pro does support non-calendar fiscal years.

Q20: Does TinyBooks Pro handle Business Mileage? How about Charitable and/or Medical mileage?
A: Yes! The latest version of TinyBooks Pro handles business, charitable and medical mileage. Mileage is entered using the Mileage Settings and the Mileage Entry items in the Utility menu. TinyBooks Pro also includes a handy assortment of paper forms that you can print out to facilitate keeping track of mileage when you are not in front of the computer. See the Interim Form Printing dialog in the Utility Menu.

Q21: Can TinyBooks Pro be used for my family books?
A: Yes. TinyBooks Pro is basically a program that makes it easy to enter, and report on, expenses and income, in various categories. This is something of value whether you are doing a company's books, or the books of your own family. You can create different accounts to keep track of different kinds of expenses and income. At the end of each month, or each year, you can easily view or print reports on where the money is going and where it's coming from. It can be as detailed or as general as you like. It's up to you. You're in charge of what accounts you want to create. If you choose very detailed accounts, for instance, you'll be able to see quickly that you spent too much on chocolate and not enough on vegetables (assuming you created separate accounts for these two vital food groups.) If you just create one account called Food, such realizations may be lost to you.

Q22: Explain Deductible and Non-Deductible Expenses?
A: See your accountant or lawyer for the real explanation, but what follows, I think, will give you the gist of it. Let's say you're the owner of a small business, and you ship one of your products to a customer. You go to the Post Office and they charge you $10. THAT is a deductible expense. That means you can DEDUCT the cost of that shipping expense from any income you might earn in your business. And, until your business earns more than that $10, you don't even have any profits to declare! But, now let's say your daughter comes down to your business and says "I need a new dress?" You open up the business cash register and give your daughter a twenty dollar bill (OK, obviously, I don't have a daughter or buy dresses!) Well, that twenty is NOT deductible. It's got nothing to do with running your business. You still want to make note of the fact that the business paid out twenty dollars, but the government doesn't allow you to deduct that amount. It's considered a non-deductible expense. TinyBooks Pro can easily be used to account for both kinds of expenses. (Note: In a similar manner, TinyBooks Pro includes both Taxable and Non-Taxable Income accounts.)

Q23: How do I backup my TinyBooks Pro data?
A: GOOD question! TinyBooks Pro is one of the most simple applications you can imagine in terms of where everything is stored. When you first create a new set of books, you are asked to name the company, give it a year, and SAVE IT. You choose any name you want. (I might name my document "Winograd-2018-Books", for instance.) That ONE file has everything in it...all your expenses and income entries, totals, account names, etc. That is the ONE file that you would want to back up. Always assume that lightning will strike when you least expect it. Back up often. TinyBooks Pro includes an item in the File Menu called "Backup TinyBooks Pro data..." that makes it trivially easy to backup your data. See the TinyBooks Pro Help Window for more complete information. To be frank, YOU are the best form of backup protection. No matter what facility is built-in to TinyBooks Pro, it won't help if your data is lost, or stolen, or nailed by a lightning strike, or a hard-drive crash. It really is up to you to ensure a proper backup strategy.

Q24: How do you spell Bookkeeping?
A: The correct spelling of the word Bookkeeping is as one word, not two separate words Book Keeping. Bookkeeping is an interesting word because it has 3 pairs of doubled characters in a row. (Try to think of another!) Of course, you do tend to see Book Keeping listed as two words quite often, so I've listed it in this part of the FAQ just in case someone searches for it. Actually, TinyBooks Pro is properly spelled as one word also. But, if you happen to search for Tiny Books, I hope you'll make it here as well.

Q25: Does TinyBooks Pro handle recurring expenses?
A: Yes! TinyBooks Pro can easily handle recurring expenses. One of the buttons on the main monthly window is called RECUR ITEM. Just click on any expense or income item in the monthly list and click the RECUR ITEM button to designate that expense (or income) as a recurring expense (or income) item. When you choose to recur an item, you will be asked exactly how you would like TinyBooks Pro to recur this item (for instance, whether it should copy the actual amount, or just put a "0.00" in the Amount as a placeholder, etc.) On your approval, the chosen item will then be duplicated (recurred) in the following months of the business year.

Q26: Can I use my old TinyBooks (non-Pro) documents with the latest release of TinyBooks Pro?
A: ABSOLUTELY! A lot of effort was expended to ensure that no existing user of previous versions of TinyBooks or TinyBooks Pro would be left behind. Complete information on how to convert any and all old TinyBooks (v1 through v6) or TinyBooks Pro (v7, v8 or v9) documents so that they can be used with the latest TinyBooks Pro (v10) is included on The Old TinyBooks web page.

Q27: I've got more clients than TinyBooks Pro has income accounts! What do I do?
A: Imagine you are running a lawn-mowing business and you have 100 different clients. You obviously have more clients than TinyBooks Pro has individual income accounts. But, this is not a problem. Create a single new taxable income account and call it "Lawn-Mowing Income". In TinyBooks Pro, everytime you add a new item to any account, that item always includes room for a Comment or Description about the particular item. In the Comment field, you should put the client's ID#, or the client's name, or the client's initials, or whatever is appropriate in your case. Later, when you are creating reports, TinyBooks Pro offers great flexibility in deciding which items to include in any report. You can, for instance, choose to report on all items in the "Lawn-Mowing Income" account, in which case you'll get a report of the total income generated by all your lawn-mowing clients. But, if you'd prefer to get a report on just the income generated from a single client, you could just instruct TinyBooks Pro to include only those items in the "Lawn-Mowing Income" account that have your particular client's ID, name or initials as part of the Comment Text. You are thus able to support an almost infinite number of clients, even though TinyBooks Pro has only a finite number of accounts. (And, note that this same technique can be used to expand the effective number of expense accounts too, if needed.)

Q28: My TinyBooks Pro windows don't look right! The columns don't line up!
A: TinyBooks Pro uses a font called Courier. (Older versions of TinyBooks also used Courier New.) These fonts are known as fixed-width or mono-spaced fonts, where each character in the font is the same width. If this font is not available on your Mac, you may well see columns that don't line up properly. Courier, by default, is always installed on your Mac. But, if you are running an Apple or a 3rd-Party font utility that can turn on and off different fonts, make sure that you do NOT accidentally turn off Courier, as TinyBooks Pro requires that font. If you have any font-related concerns, please contact the author directly.

Q29: Can I EXPORT my TinyBooks Pro data into Excel or other spreadsheets?
A: Absolutely. In TinyBooks Pro's Accounts, Bottom Line Reports, and Reports and Transaction Search windows, there is a button called EXPORT that will allow you to save (i.e. Export) the contents of the window as tab-delimited text. Tab-delimited text is a standard output format that is easily imported by Excel (as well as virtually all other spreadsheet programs.)

Q30: When I print an invoice (or other form), all I see is my company name. Where's the address?
A: By default, TinyBooks Pro will use the information in the Company and Tax Information dialog (which can be found in the TinyBooks Pro Utility menu) when it prints an invoice or other form. If your invoice or other form is missing the address or phone (etc.) of your company, you just need to fill in the missing information in the Invoice Company Info dialog available in the Utility Menu. Once entered, new printed invoices (or other forms) will include all the appropriate information.

Q31: Can I add my own company logo to an invoice/estimate? And, can I print my company name in my own choice of fonts?
A: Yes. By default, TinyBooks Pro will print an invoice (or other form) using the information in the Invoice Company Info dialog (available in the Utility Menu.) This information is attractively printed in the upper-left portion of an invoice (or other form.) TinyBooks Pro offers you a few built-in options to tweak the look of this area. But, if all of the built-in features are not sufficient, you are also welcome to choose a picture of your own design (using your own logo or fonts, etc.) to replace the company-area of a typical invoice. See the Invoices section of the TinyBooks Pro built-in Help window for more info on these options.

Q32: Does TinyBooks Pro use File Extensions?
A: Yes. All TinyBooks Pro documents (v7, v8, v9 or v10) should have a file extension of ".TB7", ".TB8", ".TB9" or ".TB10" respectively. Sometimes, though, your Mac might be configured to NOT show file extensions even if they exist. But, you can change this...

In the Finder, choose the Preferences item from the Finder menu. Then choose the Advanced section of the Preferences, and make sure that the "Show all file extensions" checkbox is indeed checked.

Now, you should see if the TinyBooks Pro document in question does indeed have the proper file extension. If it does not, you can add it yourself.

For instance, if your TinyBooks Pro v9 document was called "My-2018-Books", just change that to read "My-2018-Books.TB9". Now, try double-clicking the document and see if it opens up with TinyBooksProV9 as it should. If it does, you're all set.

If you still can't open the TinyBooks Pro document with a double-click, you might also try "reminding" your Mac that TinyBooksProV9 (the application) should be used to open TinyBooks Pro V9 documents. This procedure is explained in the next question (Q33).

Q33: Why did my TinyBooks Pro icon disappear? If I double-click a TinyBooks Pro document, it doesn't open. Why not?
A: Over the years, Apple has changed the method that they use to associate a document with the application that created the document. If you double-click a TinyBooks Pro document, and TinyBooks Pro (the application) doesn't automatically start running to open up that document, the association between the document and the application that created it might be lost. If this happens to you, you can fix it.

Note: When Apple released Mac OSX 10.11 (known as El Capitan), they did change how documents are associated with the applications that created them. If you are using El Capitan (or later) and have a problem with documents not opening correctly, the fix may simply be to upgrade to the latest version of TinyBooks Pro (which made changes to comply with Apple's new requirements.) If merely updating to the latest TinyBooks Pro does not fix your problem, continue reading...you can still fix the problem yourself...

This problem is most likely to appear when you upgrade to a new Mac Operating System (as mentioned just above), or you move a document from one computer to another (maybe via DropBox), or for other reasons. But, whatever the reason, you can fix this problem by performing the following steps:

In the Mac Finder, right-click the TinyBooks Pro v9 document that you are having trouble opening, and choose GET INFO from the resulting choices. (Or select the document by clicking once on its icon, and choose GET INFO from the Finder's File Menu.)

Look down the Info page that is presented, and find the "OPEN WITH" section. In the Popup Menu, if TinyBooksProV9 is one of the items available to be selected, just select it and you're done.

If TinyBooksProV9 is not available in the popup list, you should choose the "Other..." menu item. The Mac will then present you with a dialog box that allows you to choose which application should be used to open up your TinyBooks Pro v9 document.

You obviously want to navigate to wherever you put your TinyBooks Pro v9 application. It might be in the Mac's own Applications Folder, or you might have it placed in an Accounting folder you created, or on the Desktop or somewhere else. Wherever it is, navigate to it, select it, and that should do it.

Once you've selected TinyBooksProV9 as the application you wish to use to open your TinyBooks Pro v9 document, you might also check the "Change All..." button that you will see. This will alert your Mac that you wish ALL such documents (TinyBooks Pro v9 documents) to automatically use TinyBooksProV9 as the chosen application. This will save you from having to perform this step for all TinyBooks Pro v9 documents.

You should now be able to simply double-click a TinyBooks Pro v9 document, and TinyBooksProV9 (the application) will automatically start running and open the TinyBooks Pro document that you double-clicked.

Note: This file extension discussion is needed because some very early versions of TinyBooks Pro (v7 or v8) did NOT automatically add nor require a file extension. But, when Apple made changes to Mac OSX, a file extension became mandatory, and later versions of TinyBooks Pro fully complied with this. The only problems that should surface is if you are trying to convert an older document without a file extension to a later version. Without the file extension, TinyBooks Pro might not be able to recognize the older file. So, at worst, you may have to manually add the proper file extension to an older doc. Now, file extensions are all handled automatically.

Q34: What's in the future for TinyBooks Pro?
A: Since its inception in 2003, I've always considered TinyBooks Pro to be a work-in-progress. And, that hasn't changed. I hope to continue to improve TinyBooks Pro with each new release. This is something I'm able to do and something I enjoy doing. But, every now and then, it's also healthy to "re-boot" your computer life and I'm very open to that too. Many users have asked me for a version of TinyBooks Pro for the PC, and many more are hoping for an iPhone or iPad version. Both of these are more possible than ever before, but I'm not ready to announce anything yet. I am also working on other programs (unrelated to TinyBooks Pro) and hope to spend considerable time on these other programs as well. I always hope that my best new and updated programs are still ahead of me. We'll see...

Q35: Whatever I do, when I click somewhere, I hear BEEP BEEP BEEP! TinyBooks Pro is open, but I can't seem to interact with it!
A: For reasons unknown (maybe you changed your monitor's resolution, or switched to a different monitor, etc.), a TinyBooks Pro window might be mistakenly positioned where you can't see it. As a result, it looks like you are locked out of using TinyBooks Pro, because the program thinks you are interacting with a window you can't actually see. For instance, let's say you just opened up your TinyBooks Pro document, and tried to add a new transaction. But, for some reason, the New Transaction dialog opened up in a location that you can't see (maybe off to the right where it would show up on a larger monitor?). You can't even see that the Enter Transaction dialog is open, but it IS open, just in the wrong place. If you suspect that the problem might have to do with window visibility or positioning, you can fix this yourself. Just Quit TinyBooks Pro (or Force-Quit it if you have to), then run it again, and open up the TinyBooks Pro document you are having trouble with. Then, before doing anything else, choose the RESTORE DEFAULT WINDOW POSITIONS menu item in the UTILITY MENU, and your problem might be immediately fixed! All TinyBooks Pro windows will be reset to their default positions and sizes. If you mistakenly had windows "out in the boondocks" they will reappear when you next open your document.

Q36: What does it mean that TinyBooks Pro v10 is a 64-bit program?
A: Every now and then Apple, thinking for the long term benefit, makes some major changes to its operating systems that determine whether old programs can run on new Macs and new Mac Operating Systems. Some of these major changes can render obsolete a certain types of programs. In the past, for instance, Apple switched the Mac from using PowerPC-based microprocessors to Intel-based microprocessors. When they made that major move, old programs that were written for PowerPC-based microprocessors wouldn't work anymore. (Well, actually there was a short transition period where Apple offered a temporary way to use PowerPC-based programs in an Intel environment, but that was only temporary and now all programs for the Mac must be Intel-capable.)

With that in mind, Apple has strongly hinted that the future of Apple programs will be 64-bit (that refers to the default size of an integer). As I write this, we are again in a transition period, where Apple is allowing both 32-bit and 64-bit programs to run on the Mac. But, the expectation is that one day, Apple will completely disallow 32-bit programs from running on a Mac. And, that will obsolete all versions of TinyBooks Pro prior to v10. (They've already mandated that only 64-bit apps are allowed to run on iOS devices...iPhones, and iPads.) So, the good news is TinyBooks Pro v10 is now ready for this transition, whenever it actually happens.

Last Modified: March 28, 2024

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