Making the Mask Meaningful

   When you created the Mask (whether you manually typed in the variables or called them in automatically with a Scan), you ended up with variables in the left column and nothing in the right column. You can use that blank space to make the Input Form more 'user friendly’ by inserting a ‘completion tip' which can provide useful information to the end-user.

Example: The variable [Date] might appear in your document and therefore in your Mask. But what does [Date] mean to the end-user who might be seeing this variable for the first time?

Even if the user could figure out to what ‘Date’ refers from its context, what style of date is expected? Full date, abbreviated date, numbers only?

You can easily make the screen ‘friendlier’ by creating a Mask and typing in to the right of the [Date] (or any other) variable a ‘completion tip.’ Continuing with the example, the following would work: “Date of Offer (e.g., “March 24, 2019”)”. This tip will be saved along with the variables and displayed when the Mask is called up again.

During an actual document session, the tip will advise the operator not only to what ‘date’ the word “Date” is referring but it shows the ‘style’ of the date that is being requested (“March 24, 2019” as opposed to “03/24/19” or any of the half-dozen other possible date formats.)

See below for illustration.


Click to enlarge.

The otherwise 'blank' space at the right need not be wasted.
The above is an IDB Mask with 'completion tips' provided at the right.

    Some users may find the 'fully' completed Mask (with completion tips) too busy. You can tell Pathagoras to display the tips as 'hover over text' (instead of appearing in the variable 'values' slot). Just click the checkbox at the bottom left corner  of the 'Masks' drop down list.