•Timing the entry of data, dates or 'prose' entries:
There may be times when you do not want to make an 'options' choice or date selection at the beginning of document assembly (Pathagoras' default). You want to delay typing the 'long' explanations, discussions and summaries (including Options and Repeats that are part of those discussions and summaries) until after you have completed other sections of the document. You may not want to assign a date until you are ready to dispatch the letter.
Content controls, a relatively new Microsoft Word tool (it's not available pre-2012), is the perfect vehicle for this. Content Controls, as implemented by Pathagoras, is even 'perfect-er.' As discussed in other sections, you can now easily insert Content Controls, and you can include Pathagoras commands within those controls. You can now complete any Pathagoras command (or other element) to when you are ready. When initially processing the document, Pathagoras will ignore any <<*Options/Optional/Repeats* commands and any document calls that appear inside of content controls. To call the command on your own time, just click inside the Control and then press Alt-P (for 'p'rocess.) Only that control will be processed.
SO, if this appears in your document:
<<*Options*I prefer apple pie./Crème broulaise is my favorite dessert./Cherries jubilee is the best dessert ever.>>
it will be processed in the order discovered by Pathagoras.
BUT, if you enclose it within a Content Control, thusly:
<<*CC_Text*!desserts!<<*Options*I prefer apple pie./Crème broulaise is my favorite dessert./Cherries jubilee is the best dessert ever.>>>>
(or if you manually place the text within a Content Control), Pathagoras will not process it UNTIL you click inside the Control and press Alt-P (for ‘p’rocess). To manually insert and Options/Optional/Repeat block inside a Content Control, highlight the block. Then click Pathagoras Features | Process Controls | Content Controls. (You can also add the item to the Quick Access Toolbar or to your Quick Picks menu
•'Early' vs. 'late' creation of the control.
It matters not when you create the actual Content Control. While <<*CC_ . . .>> is not (yet) a Content Control (it is a command to create one), Pathagoras will convert all <<*CC_. . .>> commands at the very beginning of document assembly (if using Document Assembly or DropDown Lists). It will also create it when you press <Alt-P> to force the processing of the underlying document.
But you do not need to wait until you are actually assembling a document to create the Content Controls. (Waiting until assembly we call 'late creation'. But you can have 'early creation if you wish, and populate the document with actual controls before making the document available to the end users.
Once you are sure that the title and the prompt/text/choices/date style/checkbox titles, etc. are what you want, you can tell Pathagoras to convert the markups to actual Content Controls. To convert the <<*CC_ . . .>> command to actual Content Controls, open the Content Control Menu (discussed in the previous page) and select the first item: "Convert." Once converted, save the document. When recalled for assembly the Content Controls will be in place.