The files and folders 'pointer' concept

   The 'plain text' operations that define Pathagoras are made possible because of its equally simple programming design. Pathagoras doesn't create a new subset of your documents, or create a database of your files requiring calls to retrieve or save a document to be intercepted by the program for initial processing. Pathagoras merely points to where your documents currently reside (or to the location where you save or move them using normal Word and Windows techniques).

   An understanding of this incredibly simple 'pointer concept' is helpful if you wish to fully implement the program and integrate it into your practice.

  redarrowA book is simply a pointer. A Pathagoras book is a pointer to a folder. And a folder is just a standard Word/Windows folder, just like the kind you used before Pathagoras. It is a folder into which you can manually enter and from which you can manually retrieve clauses whether Pathagoras is in use or not. (It is nice to know this latter fact because if Pathagoras should ever 'crash', you are not stranded. Just navigate to the folder to retrieve the desired document.) When you assign a folder to a book shelf (let's say #8 represents the physical folder "c:\my documents\contract clauses"), Pathagoras lets you refer to the physical location by the number 8, but otherwise the folder is 100% intact.

   By extension, a book is not a collection of the documents it points to (although to the end user, it definitely feels that way). Rather it is simply a pointer to those documents. With that definition in mind, let's explore the positive consequences of this arrangement:

You technically cannot add text to a 'book' (since the book is simply a pointer). You add text to a folder, just like you have always done in the past. It becomes part of the book simply because you added it to the folder. When Pathagoras rereads the folder's contents at the next document assembly session, the new document will be automatically added to the display.

When you delete a document from the folder, the book is diminished simply by that action.  When Pathagoras rereads the folder's contents at the next document assembly session, the deleted document won't display due to the mere fact that it is not present in the folder. You (as operator) don't need to perform any other task to keep your books in sync with your folders.

When you delete a book, you are deleting just the pointer reference, not the physical folder. So, you can add and remove books from shelves in your library with abandon.

A book cannot exist independently from a library. (To be useful to you, these 'books/pointers' have to be stored somewhere, and the concept adopted by Pathagoras is that these books are collected within libraries.) Which leads us to the next main topic . . .

  redarrowA library is a collection of pointers. Following the same line as above, a library is not a large collection of files.  The libraries refer to files, but are not the files themselves. (This differs from other programs where the files that make up the library are moved, encrypted or compressed into a single container. Rather, a library is no more than a collection of up to 10 books/pointers. Indeed, a library is simply 10 lines in a simple text file. Each line in that text file will be either a pointer to a folder in the style of "c:\my documents\contract clauses", etc.), or it will be a blank line, representing an as-yet-unassigned book.

   When you delete a book, you are not deleting the folder. You are deleting only the pointer which references the folder. Likewise, when you delete a library, you are merely deleting a collection of pointers, not any text in the actual folder to which the book points.

   By way of illustration (and possibly by way of overkill, but it is important that we drive home this point): Let's say that you wrote the name of a folder on a piece of paper. You then took an eraser and scrubbed that folder name off the piece of paper. You have merely erased a bit of text, not the content of the folder that the words represented. If you want to physically delete or move a folder, you can do so, but must do so using standard Word/Windows techniques.

   To see where a specific book is pointing, just hover your mouse over the book in the Libraries & Books screen. A small 'tip' box will appear telling you where it points.

  redarrowDropDown Lists, similarly, point to collection of files (typically documents, but can be anything) in a designated folder. The top-most and bottom-most elements of each List contain the information as to the whereabouts of that folder. When you click on a file name from the list, Pathagoras checks for the folder name and then quickly finds and inserts the appropriate file into your document.

  redarrowInstant Database records are individual text files typically saved on the user's computer. By default, Pathagoras can store them/find them because the initial IDB point is set to "C:\program files\Pathagoras\IDBs". But your Instant Database files can be stored anywhere and shared with anyone. To move them, just re-point the program (via the Instant Database settings screen) to the folder where you want your records stored. If you want others on the network to use those same files, just point them to the same location.

  Click here to learn how to set a new location to which Pathagoras should point to find you Instant Database records.

   Don't overthink this. Setting a location for your Instant Database records is merely 'pointing' Pathagoras to the location where those files are, or where you want them to be, stored. You are not activating a proprietary database where the records are encrypted, compressed and stored in a fashion that is inaccessible unless you have Pathagoras. To the contrary, your Instant Database files are stored in normal Word/Windows folder and readily accessible to any program.

See:

Pointing/Repointing a Book

Pointing/Repointing to the Instant Database Records

Pointing/Repointing to your *Aliases*

Pointing/Repointing to DropDown Lists

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