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Aliases

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Definition: An 'Alias' is a word or phrase that represents a long list of multiple choice items. (Long is a relative term, as a practical matter, long might mean in most of your work 'more than 5,' but a alias *list* can be as few as two choices.) When you reference the series of choices in a variable by its 'alias,' Pathagoras On Cloud converts the alias into a display of the choices.

 

   So think the 50 United States, or all the countries of the world, or a product line, or the attorneys in your office or the counties served by your practice. If you had to insert each item within a regular variable as shown on the previous screen, the 'footprint' of the list could be enormous. For example:

 

Travels ‘R’ Us is pleased to advise you that we have completed the itinerary for your summer vacation. On the first leg of your trip, we have scheduled you to visit the great state of [Alabama/Alaska/Arkansas/Arizona/California/Colorado/ Connecticut/Delaware/Florida/Georgia/Hawaii/Idaho/Illinois/Indiana/Iowa/Kentucky/Louisiana/Maine/Maryland/ Massachusetts/Michigan/Minnesota/ Mississippi/Missouri/Montana/Nebraska/Nevada/New Hampshire/New Jersey/New Mexico/New York/North Carolina/North Dakota/Ohio/Oklahoma/Oregon/Pennsylvania/Rhode Island/South Carolina/South Dakota/Tennessee/Texas/Utah/Vermont/Virginia/Washington/West Virginia/ Wisconsin/Wyoming].

 

   That's just plain UGLY! Long multiple-choice lists within a document can be very distracting and downright annoying. It is actually too daunting for the end user to visually process. But if the list of states was compressed to a simple alias such as States, then the visual is quite pleasing. Check out the use of an Alias:

 

Travels ‘R’ Us is pleased to advise you that we have completed the itinerary for your summer vacation. On the first leg of your trip, we have scheduled you to visit the great state of [*States*].

 

   Much 'cleaner,' no?

 

   This 'alias' is simply placed in the source document between two asterisks in lieu of the long multiple choice list. (The key to telling Pathagoras On Cloud that you are referencing an alias is just those asterisks.)

 

Add new Aliases (and their related lists):  

 

   Two ways:

   1.  Directly add a term to the Alias *List* is easy. Navigate to, and open (double click will work) the file called 'Multichoice.csv" in the IDBs folder to and open it. You will note that It is a simple text file. Following the pattern you see in that document:

"AliasName","item1/item2/item3"

add as many aliases and corresponding multichoice lists as you please.

 

   2. Prepare a list of any kind of items, separating each with a slash (e.g., "apples/bananas/cherries"). Press the 'Add to Multichoice list' button found in the Pathagoras Tools tab ('Selection' section).

When requested, provide the alias (the term by which you wish to refer to the list). Pathagoras will append your list to the Multichoice.csv file. Refer to the list in your document as discussed above.

Alias Append