A Different Approach, Easy as Pi

   The previous and subsequent topics suggest using options, multiple choices and groupnames to help you to make the various selections your ultimate documents will require.

   There is an alternative approach that many using Pathagoras have adopted. We are not recommending this as a preferred approach, but as you study this more, you will see inherent benefits, including:

   Not having to program much in the way of options and optional text, and pronoun 'switchers'. Since they are preassigned as part of the Client Intake process, there is no need to have anything other than plain, simple variables.

   Only variables that are in the specific document under construction are used during the personalization phase of document assembly. This is a more intuitive approach to many.

   Only the variables within the document (and that appear in the IDB screen) are processed. In the 'standard' approach, all variables are displayed, and Pathagoras will process each variable in the list to see if it is present. The process of determining whether a variable is present is very quick, but there is still some delay when hundreds of variables are being processed. Here, since far fewer variables are actually processed, there can be is a time savings.

   Drawbacks: Pathagoras cannot write back to the source data record. Therefore, if changes to the data are expected, you should not use this method to display the data.

   Here is how it works.

Create a 2 column table (a simple Word table will work)

In the left column, type all the variables you think that you want to collect, including 'administrative' values (Client Name, Client address) which you want to manage clients in general, and more document specific variable names (Testator Name, testator sex, child@1 name, etc.) that might used in your documents. Don't worry at the beginning if you don't capture all variables. You can easily add more later. Pathagoras can handle 999 variables.


Here is what the start of the simple table might look like.


   BTW, you can use Excel to create a similar table. Just make it two columns. Pathagoras will be able to import it.

   To import the table, activate the Instant Database (Alt-D). Click Power Tools and click the Import Button.

   Choose the appropriate button to import the data. Pathagoras will automatically add brackets to the variable names. Save the record with an appropriate client/customer name.

   When you are creating documents, use the variable names that appear in left column. Here you will want to use the square brackets to denote the variables.

   Save you document in the appropriate file locations. (Pathagoras never dictates this. Store them where you want.)

   When you are ready to assemble a document, display the document on the editing screen. We of course recommend that you use one of Pathagoras document assembly tools (clause selection screen or DropDown List or Alt-G. That way, Pathagoras will call up a copy of the document, not the original. If you call up the original, be sure to SaveAs the document as soon as possible so you don't forget (and accidentally overwrite the original).

   When you are ready to replace variables, press Alt-D to bring up the Instant Database screen. Normally we would have you call up the client's record at this point, but this is the 'different approach.' Click the Scan button to display just the variables in the on-screen document. Then, look for the small checkbox just to the left of the Data records list in the upper right corner of the IDB screen. Click it. Now select a data record. Very quickly, Pathagoras will pair any variable showing at the left with it value contained in the data record. ONLY THE DOCUMENT VARIABLES WILL BE DISPLAYED.




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