Sometimes, the answer to a particular question will lead to an answer to a subsequent question. In such cases, rather than responding to each <<*Options/Optional*>> text block, you can create text block ‘groupings.’ When you answer the question, or select a certain option (or set of options) from the first member of the group, Pathagoras will hunt down other members of the group and select the corresponding choices.  E.g.:


    <<*Options*!groupname!(prompt1/prompt2)(etc.)* . . .>>

  <<*Optional*!groupname!(prompt)*. . .>>

  Note: The asterisks surrounding 'Options' or 'Optional' are part of the. That's (so it will be distinguished from other appearances of these words in your text).  If you have added a !group name! or prompts/questions, or both, a final '*' must be inserted to close that 'administrative' section of the block.

  Note: At the risk of repetition ad nauseaum, but recognizing that this may be the first time you have seen this, the colors used in the examples are not required. they are for emphasis only. If used in your document, the colors will have no effect on the final product.


We suggest that the color for the living room be <<*Options*!colors!*red/yellow/burnt orange>> and the contrasting trim color be <<*Options*!colors!*yellow/purple/royal blue>>.


<<*Optional*!Disclaimer!Include disclaimer language?*We disclaim all liability if you try to shave your head with our chainsaw.>> (blah blah blah . . .) and furthermore <<*Optional*!Disclaimer!we also disclaim responsibility if you try to use our hedge trimmer to file down your fingernails.>>


The groupname (the text between the two “!” marks) can be no longer than 30 characters. We recommend 'the shorter the better' (including a single character). However, keep the end-user (who may not be yourself) in mind and make it meaningful to others who may be processing the document.

When used with an *Options* block of text, the automatic selection of subsequent choices by Pathagoras almost always depends upon the position of the first choice in the list, not its answer. So, in the first above example, if ‘yellow’ (the second option) is selected when the first block is encountered, ‘purple’ (the second option in the subsequent blocks of the same !group!) will be selected automatically when it is encountered.

There are two 'exceptions' to this rule:

(1) When you !group! a <<*Repeat* . . .> block with an <<*Options* . . .>> block, the selection of the <<*Options* .  . .>> text depends upon whether '0', '1' or '2+' is the response to the *Repeat* question. This is discussed here.

(2) When the value being selected/tested is numeric (e.g, grades, scores, temperatures), and you are using the <<*AskValue*>> command.   The <<*AskValue*>> command directs Pathagoras to select a response that falls within various ranges of values.  the <<*AskValue*>> command is discussed here.)

A !groupname! is mandatory for <<*Optional/Options*. . .>> blocks placed in headers, footer and text boxes.

<<*Optional/Options*. . .>> blocks in headers and footers cannot be processed 'stand-alone'. There must be a 'referral' to the header/footer via a !groupname! set in the document body. Therefore, the header/footer <<*Options/Optional* . . .>> block must contain a !groupname!, and that !groupname! must have its origin within the document body.
The document body origin s can be done via a 'regular' <<*Options*!groupname!* . . . .>> setup, via an Interview (e.g., <<*AskOptions*!groupname!* . . . .>> or via a <<*Set*!groupname!= . . .>>


    informationWhen creating a second and subsequent members of a !group!, the prompts (the shorthand terms used to identify a particular option), if any, need not (actually should not) be repeated. Once the first member of the !group! is processed, Pathagoras has all the information it needs to handle the remainder. The extraneous repeat of the prompt language just takes up space, will be ignored by Pathagoras, and may be confusing to the end user.

  lightbulbsmall!GroupNames! are only needed when you intend to effect the 'auto-select' functions described about. However, the !GroupName! is displayed at the top of the selection screen (above the choices). If you think the end-users could benefit from additional guidance as to the selection(s) they are about to make, a meaningful !groupname! would be appropriate.

    informationLIMITATIONS: You cannot use the following characters in a !groupName!: &,^,<,>,#,=,~,`,",*


See also:

Structure Checker

!Groups! and *Aliases*