Support Included With Act! Subscription

One of the major changes Swiftpage Act! is offering with their new subscription-based pricing model is unlimited free calls to gold support.

But they do draw the line – What kinds of things exactly can you call about?

In short, they’ll remotely help you:

  • Set up remote sync users
  • Installations & upgrades
  • Configure Act! supported 3rd party software

Read all the full details here.

Act! Resolution, DPI, and Display Settings Problems

This article is updated through March 10th, 2015.

Act! Display Issues on High Resolution Displays

This problem has been plaguing Act! for a few years now.  It seems every time someone purchases a new laptop or Windows Tablet, we get a followup phone call that their Act! is not displaying properly.

UPDATE: There is finally a fix available! Download here. This fix will be included automatically with all Act! versions 18.1 and later.


If you’re reading this, you probably have already experienced these issues:

  • Certain menu options — such as those within Preferences — don’t fill up the window properly.
  • Some text is too large for it’s text box.
  • Notes & History tabs, etc., are too small.
  • Menu Icons are tiny.


The cause is due to a combination of high resolution, and DPI / zoom settings.  New displays have very high resolutions, which look great.  But high res has a counter-effect of making things appear proportionally smaller.   As a counter-counter-effect, manufacturers often set the DPI (dots per inch) setting to be 125% or 150% larger.  This really throws off Act!.

The Fix

The primary fix for this issue will be bundled up and included with version update 18.1, available in May 2016.
If you don’t have version 18, you can Download and run the executable file here. (Close out all running applications before applying the fix).
Credit goes to Act! forums user JagStyles for helping out the whole Act! world for this great dev work.
Numerous users are reporting great success with the above file.

Other Workarounds

There are other ways to tinker with your display to get it workable, if the above fix did not work for you.

Fix #1:  Disable display scaling

  • Close Act!.
  • Right click on the Act! program icon from your desktop, and go into properties.
    • (If Act! is pinned to the taskbar, you can shift+right click to get into properties)
  • Click the compatibility tab
  • Check the box for “Disable display scaling on high DPI settings
  • Launch Act! and test.

We have mixed results with this one.  If you’re lucky, it’s fixed.  Often, nothing changes.  If this did not help, then go back into the properties and un-check that box to undo the change.

Proceed onto fix #2…

Fix #2:  Lower your resolution & DPI settings

  • Close Act!
  • Right click on the desktop, open Screen Resolution
  • You’ll have different resolution options depending on your display.  I typically target something around the ~ 1600 x 900 range.
  • Apply the changes, confirm changes. Keep the Screen Resolution panel open.
  • Click the link for “Make text and other items larger or smaller”
  • Choose the Smaller – 100%
  • Apply the changes.  You will need to reboot.
  • Test Act! again when it launches.
Windows DPI Settings

Windows DPI Settings

Lowering your resolution is, of course, not an ideal solution.  Nothing is really wrong with it — but it does limit you from using that nice fancy high-res display.  The new settings should still be usable to you though.  Test it for yourself — you can always roll back the change at any time.

As always, call us at 716-837-5727 for remote assistance!

Act! Compatibility with Windows 10

Microsoft has released Windows 10 on July 29th 2015.  Here are some considerations before your upgrade.

This article is updated thru October 1st 2015.


  • Windows 10 will be officially supported by, and the main focus of, Act! v18.
  • Act! Premium for Web doesn’t work well in the new Internet Explorer Edge browser, but standard IE 10 is included with Windows 10 and works normally.  This is promised to be fixed in v18.
  • Act! v16, Sage ACT 2013, and all prior versions are highly unlikely to ever get a Windows 10 compatibility update.
    • Note:  these versions can be installed in Win 10, and run, but have cryptic errors that won’t be resolved.  Such errors include the documents tab, and an error message every time you close the program.
    • You can install these versions at your own risk.  They are functional, but far from perfect.

Known Issues:

These issues will likely be fixed when Swiftpage rolls out their official Windows 10 support update.  This list is collected from various user reports, is not necessarily consistent with every installation.

Some users have reported that:

  • “Object reference not set to instance of an object” upon Act! close.  Message can be dismissed. — FIXED in latest HotFixes
  • required to manually start SQL Server ACT7 instance after a reboot.
  • Act! will open the phone info dialog when launching the program
  • Act! crashes when opening a document — Microsoft Interop Word error — FIXED: apply latest v17.2 HF 0 HotFix
  • An RPC Server error appears when attaching documents to a contact — FIXED: follow steps in KB 38199

Several of these errors do have associated knowledgebase articles that can repair them.  But they are listed here as sometimes not working right “out of the box.”

For Best Results:

Act! v17.2 seems to work well when it is a “clean” install, on a new copy of Windows 10.  If you are upgrading from a previous version of Windows or previous version of Act!, these glitches seem more common.

If you purchase a new computer that has Windows 10 pre-installed, you should be able to install Act! v17.2 fresh, apply HotFix 0, and run it fine with no issues!

Act! Moves to Subscription Pricing

ACT!’s Recent Move to Subscription Pricing – What does it mean to you?

Please note that subscription pricing only affects ACT! Premium. The lower cost ACT! Pro version is still sold as a perpetual license with optional support. ACT! Pro is limited to 10 users and this may be cut to 5 users.

“Do you purchase your car or lease it?”

Introduced in 1987, ACT! was one of the original Contact Manager / CRM products. Back then software was something you bought periodically. You started with a new license and then bought an occasional upgrade every few years to keep your software up to date and compatible with all of your other programs. Upgrades were really new versions offered to loyal customers at a discount, usually 50-60% of a new license.
Let’s say your software costs $500 new and upgrades were $300. Your software expense over time might look something like this:

Year 1 $500
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4 $300
Year 5
Year 6
Year 7 $300
Year 8
Year 9
Year 10 $300
Total $1400

Later, in effort to develop more recurring revenue, Companies like ACT! began offering maintenance and support plans that gave you each year’s upgrade and some telephone support. The plans were usually 25% – 35% of the list price. So your software spend could look like:

Year 1 $500
Year 2 $125
Year 3 $125
Year 4 $125
Year 5 $125
Year 6 $125
Year 7 $125
Year 8 $125
Year 9 $125
Year 10 $125
Total $1625

A little bit higher, but you were always assured of being in the most recent version and getting some level of support from ACT!.
Now, with Software as a Service (SaaS) or “cloudy” apps, you can sign up for software and pay a monthly fee to use it. Although ACT! is most often installed on your equipment, they have built in the ability to remotely turn ACT! on or off.

With ACT!’s new entry into subscription pricing, you have two options. The first is a perpetual license similar to what you have now. You pay $500 for the license which include 1 year of upgrades and support. After that, you have the option of renewing maintenance for $250/year. If you choose not to renew, you can continue to use your existing ACT license forever or until it is no longer practical.

Year 1 $500
Year 2 $250
Year 3 $250
Year 4 $250
Year 5 $250
Year 6 $250
Year 7 $250
Year 8 $250
Year 9 $250
Year 10 $250
Total $2750

The second option is always subscription. You pay $250/year every year. If you ever stop paying, your ACT! service is turned off. 10 years of ACT will cost your $2500.
There are discounts for quantities of licenses and for people who are upgrading. For example, a company with 10 users get a 5% discount and if they are currently on ACT 2013, v16 or v17, they get the service for $180.50/license/year. Their total cost for 10 users is $1805/year or $18,050 over tem years.
So, like leasing a car, you’ll probably pay more with subscription than you did with the old “Buy & Hold” ACT software of the past. The Buy & Hold model is no longer offered by ACT!. ACT! is no alone in this practice. You’ve most likely noticed that Microsoft Office is now on a subscription model. When Windows 10 comes out in 2015, you’ll see a lot more service based software.

There are wrinkles to the plan depending on what version of ACT you have, how many and whether you are on an existing business care plan. Also, if you host your own ACT or want a ACT! or another hosting partner to host it for you. So many wrinkles that we cannot explain them all. Please call us to review your situation and needs and we’ll work out the best solution for you.

In short, ACT! is now bundling their upgrades and support into their product, causing the price to rise. In the past, these services were optional. ACT! is still a fairly low cost CRM system. Consider Salesforce at $65/user/month or $125/user/month for the Enterprise version. Twelve/Three also sells other SaaS CRM products such as Zoho CRM. You have plenty of options with ACT and even with other CRM products.

Using Act! with a Microsoft Surface Tablet

Act! can be installed on Surface Pro Tablets, but there are major downsides.  Here are some of our concerns. Surface RT Act! can not be installed on the inexpensive, more “lightweight” Microsoft Surface RT.  The Surface RT runs a version of Windows 8.1 that only has the metro interface – this means that it lacks the “full desktop”, […]

Free Act! Classes

We host an Act! learning webcast every week.  100% free and always will be. Twelve/Three wants you to get the most out of your Act! software.  That is why we created our Virtual User Groups.  These VUGs are held every Tuesday morning via GoToMeeting at 9:30 am EST. The webcasts typically run 20 – 40 minutes […]

Act! Tips & Tricks

We want you to get the most out of your Act! software.  Here is a quick list of some good practices to keep everything running smoothly! Clean out the history of your Act Contact Record – Every Act user has a contact record in Act. When you log into Act, your Record is the first one […]

Act! v17 Road Shows: Buffalo & Rochester

Twelve/Three’s Act! Roadshow is Coming! See what’s new in the 2015 release, Act! v17. All attendees receive discounted upgrade pricing! Our Act! Roadshow is a free hands-on demo of the new software, where you can ask questions, network with business owners who use Act!, and learn a few things on the way. Not to mention, […]

Act! version comparisons (Act! v18 through ACT! by Sage 2005)

Release Enhancements Chart

All versions include features of prior versions, in addition to those listed.

Version Features
Act! v18
  • Compatible with Windows 10, Office 2016, and Chrome and Internet Explorer 11 browsers
  • Web API platform enabled, allowing for meaningful connections to business productivity tools
  • Advanced subscription management and easy access to the newest features and updates available for Act!
  • Act! emarketing and Call List improvements including advanced administration for user roles, and new filters for Call Lists
  • Fresh, modern look for Act! Premium for Web
  • All-new Act! Premium Cloud Trial includes the ability to upload and add your own data to your own secure database – no downloads or installs needed
Act! v17
  • Enhanced emarketing, including Team access, Lead Capture, and new Smart Task options.
  • Productivity enhancements such as new Outlook® sync options, integration with popular business tools, and more Smart Task options help you save time and stay organized.
  • New streamlined configuration and access options give you faster access to support, easier onboarding, and peace of mind – making deployment a snap!
  • Discover the new, modern look of Act!, and easily access resources, tools, and a variety of apps that help you get more out of your solution.
Act! v16
  • Streamlined Company Management & Global Actions Increase Sales Effectiveness
  • New Calculated Fields Drive Prioritization and Maximize Customer IQ
  • New History View Provides an Insightful Look Back
  • Act! Premium Mobile9 Enhancements Drive Productivity in the Field
  • Usability and System Improvements for Speed and Peace of Mind
Sage ACT! 2013
  • Sage ACT! Premium Mobile10 – now includes Opportunities
  • Social Updates11, view and interact with customers’ LinkedIn® and Facebook® profiles from within their contact record
  • Smart Tasks now run offline12 and include data/field triggers13 for automatic updates
  • Optimized download and install experience, identifies and installs missing technology components
  • Usability improvements based on customer feedback
  • New wizards to help create a remote database, moving and sharing a database
  • Mobile clients work with Android™ Device Browsers 2.2, 2.3, 3.0, and 4.0, and Safari® for iPad® and iPhone® iOS4, iOS5, and iOS6
  • Works with Windows® 8, Windows Server® 2012, Windows® SBS 2011m Internet Explorer® 10, and iOS 6
Sage ACT! 2012
    (April 2012)

  • Sage ACT! Premium Mobile14, real-time access to Sage ACT! Premium contact and calendar details from iPhone®, iPad® or Android™ device
  • Automatically post e-marketing messages to LinkedIn®, Facebook®, and Twitter® with Social Sharing15
    (September 2011)
  • Sage ACT! Scratchpad, a convenient, virtual notepad
  • Expanded Universal Search
  • Seamless interaction with Gmail™
  • Google Contacts™ and Google Calendar™ sync
  • Mobile access to Sage ACT! contacts and calendar with Sage ACT! Connect16
  • Connections Page provides central access to web-based services, including Sage Connected Services
  • Works with Internet Explorer® 9 and Firefox® 4
Sage ACT! 2011
  • Smart Tasks, which is like workflow, only easier
  • Leads with Sage Business Info Services for ACT!17 powered by Hoover’s™
  • Outlook®® contact and calendar sync
  • Direct import from Excel®, no .csv required
  • Works with Office 2010 and Windows® 7
ACT! by Sage 2010
  • View LinkedIn®, Facebook®, and more from within Sage ACT!
  • Email marketing with Sage E-marketing for ACT!18
  • Reports view
  • Simplified navigation
  • Welcome page with feature tours, help, and news from Sage
  • Customizable opportunities
ACT! by Sage 2009
  • Related contacts
  • Seamless interaction with Microsoft® Outlook®® email
ACT! by Sage 2008
  • Graphical dashboards
  • Duplicate checking by first and last name
  • Duplicate checking for groups and companies
  • Advanced Queries for groups and companies
ACT! by Sage 2007
  • Last email field
  • Specify linked contact and company fields
  • Field-level security19
  • En masse security for notes, history, and opportunities
ACT! by Sage 2006
  • Customizable opportunity field names and types20
  • Citrix® and Terminal Services
  • Automatic database backup and sync21
ACT! by Sage 2005
  • Multi-select values
  • Customizable drop-downs
  • Rich text formatting
  • Attach documents to activities, notes, and history
  • Groups with dynamic group membership
  • Company records
  • Multiple calendar views
  • Opportunity list view
  • Instant quotes using supported versions of Microsoft® Excel® and Word
  • Sample sales processes
  • Graphical sales pipeline
  • Preformatted reports
  • Export to Excel®
  • Query-based sync

9 Act! Premium mobile requires setup and configuration of Act! Premium (access via Web). Data access available via active Internet connection from supported device browsers. Review Act! system requirements at You are responsible for all data-related charges.
10 Sage ACT! Premium Mobile requires setup and configuration of Act! Premium (access via Web). Data access available via active Internet connection from supported device browsers. Review Sage ACT! system requirements at You are responsible for all data-related charges.
11 This feature is not available in Sage ACT! Premium (access via web).
12 Sage E-Marketing for ACT! steps will not run offline.
13 Data/field triggers are only available in Contact and Opportunity entities.
14 Sage ACT! Premium Mobile requires setup and configuration of Sage ACT! Premium (access via web). Data access available via active Internet connection from supported device browsers. Review Sage ACT! system requirements at You are responsible for all data-related charges to your device.
15 Requires a subscription to Sage E-Marketing for ACT!.
16 Requires additional subscription.
17 Requires additional subscription.
18 Requires additional subscription.
19 This feature only available in Sage ACT! Premium
20 This feature only available in Sage ACT! Premium
21 This feature only available in Sage ACT! Premium

Act! Link for Sage 50 Accounting (Peachtree)

Access customer information in an instant With Act! Link for Sage 50 Accounting / Peachtree and Act!, you’ll have the details of your customers and vendors such as credit information, current balance, last invoice and payment, open quotes, sales orders, receipts, and more, right at your fingertips! Act! Link for Sage 50 Accounting is included […]