Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to use this?

You need Windows Excel 2003, 2007, 2010 or 2013. It will not function on Mac 2004/2008 or on OpenOffice variants. This application is an Excel application utilizing VBA, web services, and XML. All you have to do is open the excel file, just like a normal spreadsheet, and the application will do the rest.

Are there any special setup instructions for Basecamp?

No. And since March 2011, API access is now automatically enabled on all accounts. Check with your Basecamp admin if you are unsure about enabling API access.

Does this work with Basecamp Classic or Basecamp Next?

This ONLY works with Basecamp Classic.  Unfortunately, 37 Signals radically changed Basecamp features when they created Basecamp Next, the new version of Basecamp.  There are no more milestones in Basecamp Next, so it makes the entire approach of BCViewer – visualization of milestones and related todo-items – completely unworkable.  We were working on a new version of the product for Next, but it didnt really seem to add any value so we have since stopped all work on any new version to support ‘Next’.  We will continue to support Basecamp Classic for as long as 37 Signals keeps it available.  There are many customers who have refused to move to Next because it does not meet their project management needs now.

Why is the application built in Excel?

The biggest single thing that this application needs is a large grid for layout of all the projects and all the milestones. Excel is an ideal layout tool for this. VBA for Excel is a powerful programming language and delivering web enabled applications is fast and easy. Excel is almost ubiquitous as the spreadsheet tool in business. This also means you can capture the current projects as a snapshot, and use this in your team project reviews without being connected to the web. You can then also save those snapshots as an archive, or email them to other team members or interested parties.

We aren’t out to add complexity to Basecamp at all. Many so-called add-ons are actually full project management replacements for Basecamp. We believe in the less is more ethos as it applies to simple project management tools, and getting things done. There are no separate servers, no separate synchronization, and no headaches. We want to Keep it Simple and just provide an easier way to view your existing Basecamp data.

What is the difference between the free version and the paid version?

Compare Features

What if we don’t use Milestones in Basecamp?

If you don’t use the Milestones feature in Basecamp, the main milestone summary by day is going to be pretty much useless to you. It’s entire purpose is to give you a simple cross-project at-a-glance view of all the milestones for all your projects in one wallchart. You will be able to view Todo Items on your first three projects though.

Subscription licenses offer full support for Todo Item management for all your projects depending on your basecamp plan.

How much will the subscription version cost?

Pricing is available on the Pricing page, and it follows the same subscription model that Basecamp/37 Signals uses.

Is there a per user cost or license as this is a desktop / web tool?

No. You can freely distribute the Excel application. As many people as you like can all download a copy of BCViewer, and every user will have access by way of your single monthly subscription. Just like Basecamp. The service is connected to your basecamp account using web services. Each Basecamp account you have will require a Basecamp Viewer ( account.

How do I know your spreadsheet macros are safe?

All our spreadsheet products are digitally code signed. This assures you that the VBA application code has not been tampered with since it was certified. We always use datestamps on our certifications, so the code is safe. We use Comodo as our Certification Authority. The certificate is signed by pCapacity LLC which is the company that developed BCViewer.

Why did you do the ‘inheritance’ thing on Todo Items?

The due date and owner inheritance helps visualize where things are and who has them on their plate. For me (the creator of BCViewer) as a project manager, it is valid when initially creating Todo Items and lists to not have to worry about explicit due dates for everything, and perhaps also not to assign every item to an actual person. At the outset of a project you cannot be so granular for every task in the plan. But what I think is safe to assume then, is if a Todo Item is not yet assigned to a person, then it is still the responsibility of the Milestone owner until such times as it is assigned to someone explicitly. This helps ensure it gets on someone’s radar. Likewise, my approach to due dates on Todo Items is that every task must have a due date. If it is not explicitly set on the Todo Item, then if a Milestone is related to this item, it will inherit the Milestone due date. If no milestone is related, then the Todo Item is considered due ‘today’. This again focuses the project manager and assignee on setting and managing realistic expectations, or have the project running ‘yellow’ every day.

Is there a help or getting started guide?

Yes. The application contains an Info page, which has version, build, and demo login information. The download zipfile also contains the Getting Started PDF.  Check it out!

If you have other questions, please contact our support desk at