Pathagoras works (sometimes simultaneously, usually sequentially) with a wide variety of files. They are stored in locations that after you peruse this article, you should find to be logical. However, without a solid understanding of how the various files work with each other, understanding Pathagoras' file locations strategy will still be a bit daunting to the novice user.
Note: We could 'force' the placement of all files in a specific location. Other programs do that. But one of Pathagoras' great strengths is that it imposes little in the way of where you must (or even 'should') store your files. It works with what you currently have, and let's you change things if you want to modify things later on. We elected not to change that.
The below should provide the user with a good working knowledge of the different kind of files that Pathagoras uses and how their placement on your computer or on your network affects how things are done. Here is a listing of the five 'kinds' of files on which Pathagoras depends.
This is the actual document assembly 'engine.' The installation routine will determine and then place this file in the startup folder of the version of Word you are using.
The typical path to the Word startup folder is "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\OfficeXX\Startup"
'XX' in the above model represents the version number assigned by Microsoft to the copy of Word you have installed. Here are the values: Word2000 = 9, Word2002/XP = 10; Word2003 = 11; Word2007 = 12; Word2010=14, 2013=15, 2016=16).
Other Administrative Files:
The 'administrative' files required by Pathagoras to provide information to the various screens and overlays are located in the folder "C:\Program Files (x86)\Pathagoras."
These files are typically simple Word or .txt files that support how the program operates in your specific situation. They include local Help System files, the DemoData (files used to illustrate the program), and certain licensing information. These files are common to all installation.
Also included is the specific information about 'Library and Book' and 'Profile and SmartPath' assignments you have made. These files are the collections of 'pointers' to the various folders which contain your source documents. These pointers are stored as text files.
Instant Database Files
Other sections of this Manual describe how Pathagoras uses [bracketed variables] as place-holders for personal information. After you have assembled a document and activate the Instant Database system, a screen appears presenting any [bracketed variables] at the left and a space at the right for you to provide 'personal' values to replace those variables.
These variables-to-values pairings can be saved and reused (that is the Database part of Instant Database). All such saved pairings appears at the upper right of the Instant Database screen.
But "Where are these files?" is the question that will be addressed here.
The initial (default) storage location of Instant Database records is "C:\Program Files\Pathagoras\IDBs". If you navigate to that folder you will see a series of .csv files (csv stands for 'comma separated value') which bear the names that either you or another user assigned, or which reflect demo files and names that shipped with Pathagoras.
If you have but a single license, you probably should just leave the files here.
However, if you have Pathagoras installed on multiple computers, a whole new set of issues arises. If the default location is preserved, each user will be pointing to their 'home' folders. For many customers, that is perfectly okay. Many customers do not want or need to share data with other users. Many customers have office environments such that the client/customer lists in one section are distinct and should be maintained separately from the other sections.
On the other hand, many customers do wish that all users in the organization (or at least all users in a specific section) share a common collection of stored client/customer data. To make that happen, you need only to point each user's IDB records location to a common folder. This is very easily done. See this page for instructions and illustrations.
Instant Database Input Form Masks
An 'Input Form Mask' is Pathagoras version of an Interview Form. A list of such Masks appears at the upper left of the Instant Database screen. These masks are entirely optional. In brief Masks contains the variables used in the particular 'genre' of document you might be composing ('will', 'contract', 'bids and proposals' etc.), but in addition to the variables, the masks have completion tips and examples to guide the users as to how to fill out the Instant Database form. They are discussed in more detain here.
Masks are typically stored along with your Instant Database client/customer data records. But they can be stored separately. Some users want to share the company's Input Masks ('don't reinvent the wheel') but don't need, and don't want, to share the client/customer data records ('my clients are mine, yours are yours'). That is also easily accomplished. See this page for instructions and illustration for sharing Masks independently from Data Records.
*Aliases* are powerful tools which allow you to effectively present to a user at document assembly time a long list of options, but you reference those options by a single word. Think "*States*" as representing the 50 United States of America. Click the above link for a full discussion of this feature.
*Aliases* can be shared. To share a common list, just make sure that all users point to the same location. Read the text found in the *Aliases* section of this manual for more information.
Document Assembly Source Files ('Books')
This may be the easiest of all Pathagoras concepts, but sometimes 'easiest' is hardest as new concepts are introduced. You simply need to experience it to appreciate its underlying simplicity. Many other programs cannot operate unless the source text is stored in a specific folder (or sub-folder within that specific folder). Pathagoras has no such limitation. Many Pathagoras users come to us after having used those other programs. We need to rid you of any such preconceived notions. The question "Where are the source clauses stored? is answered simply "Where you last put them -- and just leave them there."
Pathagoras document assembly modules operate on a pointer system. We have elsewhere defined a 'book' in Pathagoras as a collection of files that can be assembled into a complete document. But that definition is not fully accurate. A 'book' is actually just a pointer to a folder, not the folder itself. When you call upon Pathagoras to assemble a document, you select a book from the displayed library. When you click the Next button, Pathagoras does not literally 'open' the book and present the clauses within it (as the metaphor might suggest). It merely follows the pointer reflected by the book, and, using normal Windows/Word functions, reads the names of the files in the folder. It then presents the document names to you for selection.
It doesn't matter to Word/Windows where you store files. And it doesn't matter to Pathagoras either. Pathagoras can find them regardless of where you store them. So, store your source files on your local system. on your local area network (LAN), on a Virtual Private Network (VPN), on a SharePoint server, etc. It just doesn't matter. Then simply point or re-point the book to that location. It could not be simpler. Read more here on mapping a book to a folder.
One more important observation. A Pathagoras 'pointer' is just that -- a pointer. It is not the actual folder or the actual files. So, if you delete a book, you are merely deleting the letters that make up the pointer. You are not deleting any files to which the pointer points. So you can 'erase' a book without fear that you are somehow erasing or deleting your target files.
After you have assembled a document, you likely will want to save your work, and you likely will save it in a location quite 'distant' from the location from which the source file came. As indicated in the paragraph immediately above, source files are accessed by pointers called 'books' which are collected in libraries. Client/Customer files should not be mingled with your source files, and Pathagoras segregates them with an entirely separate document management system called PathSmart and SaveSmart. Just like books, your client/customer files can be saved anywhere, and the method by which you point to them is a system similar to that of 'books.' That is, you just point a SmartPath to the folder which contains the client or customer's files. Click here to read more about Pathagoras document management system.
Common Profiles Path
If you have purchased 3 or more licenses of Pathagoras you are entitled to unlock the networking package that makes sharing of Libraries and Profiles easier.
Let's make one thing clear at this stage. Whether you have one or one-hundred licenses, Pathagoras always operates in any network environment. The networking features discussed here do not enhance a user's ability to recall or save or use documents across any network any easier. Such power is already present in the base program.
That said, picture the following. Let's say that you have created a Real Estate 'Library'. In that Library, you have shelved 10 individual books. It took you all of 3 minutes (it can be done very quickly) but even so, you want to save the other users on your multi-licensed system any time that you can. (Imagine further that you are the administrator of the system. The other users in the office did not participate in the design of the system and they simply may not know where the individual books are located. It's your job to 'set them up.') That's what the Networking Features are all about. They are administrative in nature, not substantive.
The Networking Features allow you to create a Common Profiles Path and to upload the Real Estate Library to that location. Keep in mind that, as discussed above and in other places in this Manual, a 'Library' is a collection of pointers to the source text, not the actual source text.
The other registered users can then download the Library to their local computers by visiting the Network Files tab in their Utilities/Settings screen. Once you have post a Library to the Common Profiles Path, you can use the messaging features and send a note to the registered users to download the new/modified Library. (One more reminder: if the location of source text is changed (i.e., a new folder), the Library must be changed and users should be notified. If the source text is simply modified or augmented, but the folder location has not changed, the Library -- file pointers -- has not changed. No notice needs to be sent.)
Click there to read more about creating and using the Common Profiles Path.
NOTE: Pathagoras has implements (v/20161.1) a more 'user friendly' approach to sharing setups called Mirroring. The advantage of Mirroring is that the administrator sets all the values (Libraries and Books, DropDown Lists, IDB pointers, etc., and the end user automatically is updated. It does restrict some of the end user's flexibility, but removes the anxiety associated with the end user having to set these items up him or herself. See Mirroring.