A wide range of tools and additional features reside behind the <Power Tools> button on the IDB screen.
Pressing it reveals at screen bottom a collection of editing tools and other resources:
Here is a brief explanation of what each button controls:
•Alphabetize entries: Some users who wish to create an Input Form Mask want the variables displayed in alphabetical order. Use this button to achieve that result.
The feature can be used to quickly detect spelling errors in your source documents involving similarly named variables. Let's say you have typed what you intended to be the same variable, but used a slightly different 'spelling' of the variable at various locations in the document. (E.g., [ClientName], [Client Name], and [Client_Name].) You can quickly determine whether all variables are properly 'spelled' by scanning the document and 'Alphabetizing' the results. Using Power Tool button 'Go to 1st instance of Selected Variable.,' you can quickly locate the 'offending' variable(s) and make the appropriate corrections.
When does '100' come before '2'? When you are sorting numbers alphabetically (which is how it is done in the Instant Database):
Alpha-sorting of numbers is always done by the first character of the number, then the second, then the third, etc. It is identical to the way we alphabetize with letters.
So if you want 'numeric' variables to sort 'alpha-numerically', you need to pad the 'shorter' numbers with an appropriate number of '0's to make the shorted number the same length at the longest. In the above example, '100' may come before '2', but it will definitely come after '002'.
•Edit Source File: Should you even need to access the actual source record (not recommended), click the 'Manually Edit IDB source file.'
•Display Source Folder: Likewise, should you ever want to look at (for editing, or just edification) all of the Instant Database records, click 'Open Folder.'
•'Go to selected variable' is self-explanatory. Just make sure that the cursor is on the proper field.If there is more than one, it will jump to the first instance only.
•Highlight Variables: If you want the variables to 'jump out' on the screen, click. The highlighting is 'on-screen' only. It does not print.
•Display hidden variables: When Pathagoras is processing documents, it oftentimes must 'record' the values of certain selections so that they are available in later processes. This is especially true re: !groups!. Use this selection to see these recorded values.
•Clicking 'Print/Transfer/Export' brings up a menu that will allow you to:
oCreate DropDown List'. This will place all variables in the left side of the Instant Database screen into a drop down list in the toolbar area of the Word screen. With this list, you can point-and-click those variables into a document under construction. Speed up the creation of source documents, and avoids spelling errors during the placement of variables. You can refresh this list as you add new (different) variables to your document. See IDB Drop Down List for more on this topic.
oInsert List of all variables that are displayed in the current screen. You are given three options. You can insert the list into (1) the current document or (2) into an new document. Either of these documents can easily be made into a client or customer intake sheet. Thirdly, you can insert the variables into your 'Variables' DropDown List.
oYou can Export the current display of variables (and values, if provided) to an Excel spreadsheet. You can edit the data there. The result will be immediately usable by Pathagoras for Word.
•Click the 'AutoScan' check-box to tell Pathagoras to automatically scan the document for [bracketed variables] whenever the IDB screen is called up. We recommend that experienced users NOT check this box.
•Enable Drag and Drop: Easily move a varialbe into your document . . . drag and drop easy. No more spelling errors.
•Replace variables across an entire folder. Check the box that reads 'Whole Folder Search and Replace'. When you click the Next button on the main screen, Pathagoras will ask you to navigate to the folder which contains the documents in which you want to make the replacements.
•Edit Current Display: The stand alone boxes toward the center of the Power Tools strip allow you to manually edit the Instant Database display. You would use this feature if you were creating (or editing) an Input Form Mask. You can move rows, insert blank rows and delete existing one.
•You can Import or Export IDB records to share with external users or external programs.
•Resize Screen: If the Instant Database screen is not wide enough to show the full name of the variables, or you wish to show more variables than the default '10' you can widen the screen or you can make it taller by clicking the appropriate Page Sizer buttons. To lock-in the resized screen, click the small bar which the Sizer buttons surround. (You can also change the width of the two dropdown boxes, and the default number of records each can show, by making changes in the Miscellaneous Settings. This is found under the "More Tools and Settings.")
•Change brackets: If you prefer to use characters other than the default '[ and ']' (square brackets), change them here. You can use any combination of one or two characters except '<<' and '>>'.
•External Database Link: Pathagoras can draw data from other data sources. See External Database for more information and setup instructions.
•Mail Merge: Pathagoras can create several copies of the same form letter that you want to send to multiple addressees. See Mail Merge for more information.