Sometimes the best replacement for a variable is not a name or a quantity or a color.

   Sometimes the best replacement for a variable is a complete document.

   Pathagoras can handle this need with elegance and remarkable ease.

   In another section (Document Calls), you learned that you can create 'clause-pointers' by enclosing the target term within a set of plain text  doubled angle brackets (e.g., <<term to recall>>.  The target clause or document will be called into the document during the document assembly session.

   This feature carries over intact into the Instant Database function. Simply type the clause you want recalled inside of plain text “<<” & “>>” markers (no quotes) on the right (replacement text) side of the IDB screen. E.g., <<term to recall>>.

   When you finish all of the variable replacement values and press Next>>, <<term to recall>> will replace the original variable  Then, <<term to recall>> is processed in the same fashion it would be had it been in the source text at the inception.  

   The search for the target clause during the assembly session follows the sequence referenced in Order of Search.

Examples:

Variable                          Replacement Text

 [Name & Address]    <<LasrisR>>  

 [Signature Line]    <<rhlsig>>

 [Property Desc]     <<C:\data\property descriptions\JonesR\description.doc>>

This feature works with multiple choice variables as well. Place the various possible signature blocks into the source document as an actual [variable]. The bracketed text would be picked up during the Scan and the options will be presented in a dropdown list in the Replacement side of the IDB screen.

Example:

   [<<rhlsig>>/<<jpwsig>>/<<kmvsig>>].

When encountered during a Scan, the choices will be displayed in a drop down list at the right side of the IDB screen. You select one of the items. Let's say it was <<jpwsig>>. The characters <<jpwsig>> will be placed into the document in lieu of the multiple choice variable. Pathagoras then will hunt down the value for the term "jpwsig" and place it into the document. Two steps in one!

As noted in the examples, you can reference a complete document within the <<term to recall>>.' Simply set out in the right side of the IDB form next to the appropriate variable the fully qualified document name in between the brackets.

Example:

  <<C:\data\property descriptions\JonesR\description.doc>>.

The Instant Database screen can be used to capture the document name you want to insert. In the blank space next to the variable, do a Shift-Click (hold down shift key while left-clicking the mouse). This screen will appear:

idb_link1

Select the 'Single File' option. Follow the steps to navigate to the file you want 'typed' in the IDB screen. (The Folder function is discussed on the next page. It allows you to assign a folder name as the variable. When clicked the contents of the folder are displayed. Instead of preassigning a file, you just preassign the folder and select the specific file at assembly time.)

 

When the replacements are made, the referenced document will be inserted at the location of the variable.

informationA fully qualified document reference as a target for a <<clause-pointer>> seems a bit much to type. However, if you strategically organize your folders and adopt a consistent naming style, and create an Instant Database Mask which contains the basic information, this can actually work quite elegantly.

Using the example above, if you put all property descriptions in the "C:\data\property descriptions" folder, and always called them "description.doc" the only non-constant value in the 'variable' is the client name. So, when the mask is recalled, only the name needs to be replaced in the <<clause-pointer>>. (E.g.) "SmithP" for "JonesR".

informationPathagoras lets you navigate to the file you want to place between the double-angle brackets. Shift-click in the replacement text box and follow the prompts to select the file.

This feature works with *Alias* variables as well.

Example:

   Let's assume that you have created a *Alias* variable called [*Signature*]. The *list* consists of

    <<rhlsig>>/<<jpwsig>>/<<kmvsig>>/<<emlsig>>/<<jsasig>>/<<mlssig>>" (etc.).

   When encountered and processed by Instant Database, the 6 choices will be displayed in a drop down list at the right side of the IDB screen. You select one of the items. Let's say it was <<jpwsig>>. The characters <<jpwsig>> will be placed into the document in lieu of [*Signature*].  Pathagoras will then immediately hunt down the value for the term "jpwsig" and place it into the document.

   By thoughtful use of variables and masks, you can transform plain Word documents into powerful interactive and automated templates, all with plain text and no hidden fields.

 

See also:

  <<Folder Function>>

Double Angle Bracket Functions

Order of Search Rules

*Aliases*

Instant Database Mask

Clause Sets