Frequently Asked Questions

General questions

Why Mimosa is available only in English?

At the time of this writing we have clients from 86 countries plus trial or free version users from over 190 countries. We have received localisation requests in 30 languages, but this task would multiple the current software prices. Not only the captions and prompts within the application, but also other items require constant changes and their localisation when we update Mimosa, which occurs pretty often. Today Mimosa has:

  • Help files containing over 100,000 words
  • Over 800 menu selections
  • Over 8,000 other visible controls

To provide frequent and free updates and to keep our software prices low, we are not planning to localise Mimosa. However, we provide on page Reports tutorials with other languages than English, and when publishing timetables, you can configure the captions and vocabulary of all reports in Options|Report titles and in Options|Vocabulary so that your audience can read the reports with the language you have personalised.

What operating systems Mimosa supports?

Mimosa is compatible with all current Windows operating systems and also Mac and Linux when using suitable emulators:

Windows:
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows XP
  • Windows 2003
  • Windows 2000
  • Windows ME
  • Windows 98
  • Mac OS:
  • VirtualBox
  • VMWare Fusion
  • Parallels
  • plus others
  • Linux:
  • VirtualBox
  • Debian/Wine
  • plus others
  • Why do you update Mimosa so often?

    Mimosa is updated fairly frequently, since we thankfully take into consideration all wishes and improvement ideas of our customers. We implement and verify them as many of them as fast as possible, if they are aligned with the Mimosa scope and concept in general.

    Do I have to register to use the free version of Mimosa?

    No. We do not require your registration at any stage when you are using our freeware versions. If you have contacted us, you will later on receive information about latest features and changes of Mimosa.

    Suppose I want to move my data from my spreadsheet application to Mimosa. What should I do?

    You have to organise the data in a simple manner in your spreadsheet program and use the clipboard to transfer the data. Mimosa offers tenths to ways to copy its data back to spreadsheet applications. You find the appropriate commands normally under the Edit menu of the current window (Copy to the Clipboard, Paste from the Clipboard). See the chapter Clipboard for details.

    Invoke the spreadsheet application and Mimosa and go through this example.

    How can I extract all data related to selected teachers into another file?

    This operation is done with the menu selection File|File Split as follows:

    1. Select File|File Split
    2. Click the Clear button to clear the current selection (all)
    3. Click then Links to include only events linked with selected teachers
    4. Pick from the list the selected teachers and click [OK]
    5. Click again [OK] to accept the selection and give a name to the file to be extracted
    6. Read the extracted file into Mimosa with File|File Import

    Network

    Can I use Mimosa on network? What is the maximum number of simultaneous users?

    Yes, you can. Mimosa works on ANY network or with single PCs, and there is no maximum number of simultaneous users. Mimosa synchronises (or merges) the files of several users, but accessing the same file by several users in the same time (which is also possible) is in most cases not recommended. View the topic File|Network for more information. The same operations can be done without network as well, and any two Mimosa files can be merged also with File|File Add command.

    Each of the Mimosa users can create and maintain one or several Mimosa files (with the extension .mfw) and each user can merge (or synchronise) their files with any files of others to create a combined Mimosa file. Due to the nature of scheduling data, each item in the file is dependent on each other, and if several users were able to access the same file in the same time, it would cause either eternal waiting or integrity problems.

    Therefore Mimosa enables users to merge an unlimited number of Mimosa files when they want to collaborate with others. The result is the same as when several users were accessing the same file, but there are no waiting or integrity problems. To be able to do that, the Mimosa file must be converted to text format (with the extension .mxt), using the File|File Export selection. After that users can merge that text file to their own files with the File|File Add selection. At this stage, Mimosa automatically removes the minimum necessary conflicts from the timetables, resulting in a valid Mimosa file.

    This practice of merging files is constantly used in universities and other large educational institutions where many departments want (and are forced) to create their own schedules, but due to partially shared common resources (typically teachers and rooms), they cannot do that independently. This is where file merge comes in.

    Merging of files is done in various ways: sometimes users email their Mimosa files to other users; sometimes they are stored in a folder or web site which everyone can access. This arrangement ensures that users can work independently and publish the results to others when they want. After merging, users always have a valid Mimosa file at hand.

    Merging of files, exporting them to other applications and importing and adding them from other applications can be done fully automatic by using the command line parameters.

    Events

    How can I take the room capacity into account?

    Please go to section Concept and tools and select Capacity of rooms for more information.

    We combine two classes together, or the pupils of one class are split to two groups and for two teachers. How do we solve these cases?

    In the simplest case, the events consist typically of one class Class 1, teacher Teacher 2 and room Room 3. If the class Class 1 (consisting of 13+17 pupils, for instance) is split for two teachers Teacher 1 and Teacher 2 (and two rooms Room 1 and Room 2), the list of resources in this event contains them all: Class 1, Teacher1, Teacher2, Room 1, Room 2. Mimosa does not care how individual students have selected their teacher, but when the event is scheduled, all its resources are always scheduled in the same time.

    More examples can be found Create and edit events.

    Suppose that one teacher has to teach pupils from two classes in the same room?

    Using the notations of the previous question, the event contains four resources: the two classes Class 1, Class 2 (with 28 and 32 pupils for example), one teacher Teacher 1 and one room Room 1: Class 1, Class 2, Teacher 1, Room 1.

    More examples can be found in Create and edit events.

    In some instances the pupils from several classes are mixed between several teachers. How this case is represented?

    The most common way to define those set of mixed events containing several teachers and classes is to include all classes (Class 1, Class 2), teachers (Teacher 1,Teacher 2,Teacher 3) and rooms (Room 1,Room 2,Room 3) in the same event. Mimosa neither knows nor cares which one of the pupils is attending the periods of each teacher. The event, when defined in this way, keeps always all classes (and other resources) scheduled at the same time, and the list of resources is: Class 1, Class 2, Teacher 1, Teacher 2, Teacher 3, Room 1, Room 2, Room 3. You may prefer to order the list of resources for the timetables and other reports so that the teacher is always followed by his/her room, as follows: Class 1, Class 2, Teacher 1, Room 1, Teacher 2, Room 2, Teacher 3, Room 3.

    More examples can be found in Create and edit events.

    When do I have to define and use subjects?

    Using of subjects as resources in events is basically descriptive, informative and optional. The name of the event normally tells to others the necessary information about the event. Adding a set of subjects to the event tells the readers additional information. The subjects can also be used as comments and for other special purposes. By default, resources of the "Info" category are NOT checked for conflicts, which enables to schedule the same resource in this category simultaneously by other resources of this category. You can define those categories you want to prevent conflicts for in Options|Timetables. Note that for those categories you cannot create timetables, since they do not represent any physical object.

    When you add the subjects to the events, you can insert them where the corresponding teachers and rooms are, to make them more readable in printouts.

    I am ready to move to personalised teaching so that students have their own timetables. What should I do?

    Add the students in Resources view, using the category of P:Students, for instance; (define and or change this category name in Options|Categories). If you denote the students by symbols Student 1, Student 2, Student 3,... you should then have events with collections of the type (Student 1, Student 2, Student 3,..., Student n, Teacher 1, Room 1), where the number n of the students varies by event.

    When defining events, it is not necessary to specify all its students immediately. As with any other resource, you can add them later on to the event. according to your preferences and limitations caused by other events and/or bookings. In Resources view or Events view you can then change the student-event relationships, and the application automatically takes care about conflicts prevention. You can also take the more advanced Tools|Modify collections selection into use, where you can view the timetables simultaneously when creating and removing connections between events and resources.

    Weeks

    Can we generate different schedule throughout the weeks (schedule week 1 different than schedule week 2)?

    Yes. Many schools create timetables for several weeks (maximum number of weeks is 255 in Mimosa), and user can copy periods across weeks, delete and insert weeks. It is typical for some schools that their timetables are created weekly and also weekly schedules are completely different. Each school year typically lasts 40 weeks, and some of them are different, some are almost alike.

    How can I move a week to another location?

    This is done in Weeks view similarly as with spreadsheet applications, where you also need several column operations to complete the task.

    1. Click on the grid the week where you want to move the week into.
    2. Select Edit|Insert week from Edit menu to create an empty week.
    3. Click on the week which is going to be moved and select Edit|Copy week to store it.
    4. Click on the new empty week and select Edit|Paste week to copy the week to this empty week.
    5. Finally, click on the week where the week was copied from and select Edit|Delete week to clear the week which was moved.

    Can I copy all timetables from the previous week, but just interchange all periods of Tuesday and Thursday?

    Yes. In Weeks view, click Edit|Copy week on the week you want to copy timetables from (source week) and then click on the empty week you want to copy timetables to (target week). Select then Edit|Paste week Special.... You are next asked how to map days of week from the source week to the target week. Select always the same day of week on the source and target week, except select to map Tuesday to Thursday and Thursday to Tuesday. To make an identical copy of a week, use the selections Edit|Copy week and Edit|Paste week instead.

    One term of 7 calendar weeks should be divided into two terms of lengths 5 and 2 weeks. What should I do?

    Activate Weeks view and click the grid on the term that is going to be split. Select then Edit|Split week to create two identical weeks with different lengths (of 5 and 2 week). Give a name for the new term and edit it if necessary.

    Timetables

    How can I restore the current state in Timetables view?

    Select Edit|Set bookmark to store the current state. After making changes to timetables, you can go back to this state by selecting Edit|Go to bookmark. Selection Edit|History enables to choose from any of the previous states you have been before.

    Bookings

    Where do I make bookings to teachers and rooms to prevent scheduling of periods in the specific cells?

    Making a booking to some of the cells in the timetables of any resources informs Mimosa that any periods cannot be scheduled in them before bookings are cancelled (that is, the selected cells become unavailable). When making bookings into individual cells (or removing them), it is simplest to click [SPACE] on a cell in Timetables view. When changing the booking status of a range of cells, you can also paint a range in the timetable and click the booking button. You can perform the same operation for weeks in Weeks view with [SPACE].

    How booking texts and the default booking type are changed?

    Select Options|Categories to change the texts displayed in bookings for timetables and weeks. The simplest way to do it instantly is just click [Ctrl+O] in Weeks view or Timetables view.

    How the bookings are made in several timetables at once and how they are cancelled?

    In selection Options|Limits you first paint the cells in the timetable area marked as, select the booking type from the three available choices and then click either [Make bookings]or [Cancel bookings]. You are then prompted to select the timetables you are supposed to edit, and the weeks (if you have timetables in several weeks). This technique enables to set bookings to specific slots, weeks and timetables with one click and in this selection you can also make and cancel all day activities with descriptive comments.

    How the bookings are copied to other weeks?

    If you want to copy the bookings of single timetables from one to week to other weeks, you can do it in Tools|Show timetables. If you want to copy the bookings from all timetables of the entire week to another week, activate Weeks view, click the grid at the week you want to copy the bookings from. Select then Edit|Copy week to mark it as the source week. Click then the grid at the week where you like to copy the bookings to and select Edit|Paste week Special|3 Bookings to this week.

    Reports

    Can a summary be printed of all teachers not utilised in one timeslot?

    Go to the Timetables view and then activate the timetable of some of the teachers. Selecting Edit|Copy to the Clipboard|6 Free slots in timetables copies on the Clipboard the free slots of all timetables of the current category (in this case, those of the teachers). Paste the selection then onto your spreadsheet application.

    I want to create a summary of the periods of a single teacher only. How can I do that?

    Go to Resources view and select from Edit|Copy to the Clipboard the submenu 8 Codes, names and periods of events in weeks. Pick the teacher from the list and then select the events which are going to be included in the report.

    Can we generate reports on teacher/classroom utilisation?

    Yes. Mimosa contains up to 40 report formats that are copied to the Clipboard and some of them can be directly used as utilisation reports (to estimate how effective each resource is used). These can be found under the Edit|Copy to the Clipboard menu selection in all Mimosa views.

    Can we export the reports to a .csv file?

    Yes. All reports that can be copied to the Clipboard can be copied also .csv files. The selection Options|Clipboard target contains also the other alternatives .txt, .htm and .html

    Other topics

    We have varied time-intervals for each slot. Is it possible to use Mimosa for such a schedule layout?

    In selection Options|Time you can enter any texts (up to 11 characters) to represent the layout of your schedule. You can also change them in Timetables view, by clicking the appropriate cell on the Master timetable. Some schools use descriptive texts instead of time periods (like hh:mm-hh:mm), and some have extremely varied class or teacher based time periods (causing restrictions for other timetables).

    Mimosa supports only one set of time periods for each file (30 slots, 11 characters for each slot). If they vary (by classes or day, for instance), it is a good practice to use letters (A, B, C, ..., J) or some other convenient symbols instead of time periods and map them to the time periods of each class (or teacher) and day of week.

    Sometimes we have lack of rooms. How can I schedule the periods in different rooms without the need to create a new event for each instance?

    If your event has only one room, you can use the selection Tools|Select rooms manually to schedule the periods in different rooms. Check that you have not included any rooms in the event collection - otherwise you cannot use this option. In Timetables window, you can also easily change the manual room assignment on the fly by [Ctrl+R]. Manually selected rooms can always be overwritten by normal room selections or room bookings, so it is advisable to try to assign those "leftovers" after other events have taken their places in timetables. There is also a maximum limit of 10290 of periods where you can assign rooms manually.

    From a certain week on, we cannot use the same rooms in the event. How can we solve this problem?

    Following the steps below can do changing the event structure from a certain week on:

    1. Activate Weeks view.
    2. Click the grid at the appropriate event row and week column.
    3. Click the right-hand mouse button to activate the pop-up menu.
    4. From this menu, select the command Split allocation.
    5. Splitting results in two events, with "a" and "b" appended to their codes.
    6. Activate the "b" event and click [Ctrl+H] to display Event info.
    7. Select [Edit?] to change the new event structure.

    More information about how to split an event can be found Concepts and tools.

    Can we input the minimum numbers of hours a teacher must work in order to be registered full time?

    Yes. In selection Options|Weeks user can set limits for the weekly periods for teachers (like for groups, rooms and other resources). This limitation does not restrict the number of weekly periods, but the colours indicate when the set limit is exceeded. It is also possible to copy a table of the weekly of teachers and other resources to the Clipboard (and paste to Excel) enabling to create a comparison chart.

    Can you optimise timetables or other elements in Mimosa?

    Yes. Currently Mimosa contains at least nine optimisation tools, which are summarised here.

    How many different methods Mimosa provids for scheduling?

    Today Mimosa has 10 different scheduling tools, plus specioal tools for Block scheduling, Cycling tumetables and Intake scheduling.