To Scan a document for bracketed variables:

1.Press the <Alt-D> key combination to display the Instant Database screen. The screen will be blank. See Figure 1, below.

If the AutoScan feature has been selected, the screen will be populated with terms located in the AutoScan in the left column. (In other words, the next step was automatically performed.)

2.If AutoScan did not populate the screen, click the blue Scan button in the lower left portion of the IDB screen.

3.Pathagoras will display the results of the scan into the left column of the IDB screen. Figure 2. (If multiple choice variables were discovered during the scan, the choices are show in the right column, but otherwise the right column will be blank, awaiting replacement values from the user.)


All bracketed words are presumed to be the document’s variables. Occasionally, Pathagoras will identify a bracketed term that you did not intend to be a variable.

Example: Author and secretary initials are frequently presented at the foot of a letter in brackets. they will be picked up on the scan. When that happens, you can simply ignore it. It will remain in your document perfectly intact.

Pathagoras’ default 'enclosing' characters for Scanning are ‘[’ and ‘]’. However, you can change the default characters to any character or character sets of your liking. They can be a single character (more traditional) or up to 3 characters (e.g., “[*&” and “&*]”)

Exception 1 to the above 'anything goes' rule: The enclosing characters “<<” and “>>” are reserved by Pathagoras for other purposes. They cannot be successfully used as enclosing characters for the Instant Database system.

Exception 2 to the above 'anything goes' rule: The enclosing characters for variables must be different from those chosen for 'Simple Options.' While it may seem obvious, it is still a 'rule'.

4.'Scope' of the Scan. By default, Pathagoras will scan for variables in just the 'main' document (and not within headers, footers, text-boxes and other non-main document locations). However, if your documents contain (or may contain) variables in headers, footers, etc., just check the box just above the Scan button that reads "Scan in Headers, Footers, etc."  The setting is 'sticky' and will remain set for all future sessions (unless, of course, you uncheck it).

5.Once the scan is done, your job is to provide replacement data for each variable. Hand-type the personal data to replace the variables. Figure 3. It is perfectly fine to leave the value for a variable 'blank.' You can complete it later.

If a Data Record was previously saved for a specific client or customer, you can simply recall the Record. It will appear under the Existing Data list in the upper right section of the screen. No retyping required (unless of course, you need to change a specific value from the saved record).


Figure 1.  A 'blank' Instant Database screen.  The ‘search for’ text (typically a Document Variable)
appears in the left column. You would provide the ‘Replace With’ text in the right column.



Figure 2 Document scanned. Bracketed variables placed in left column.
Multiple choice variables are shown in dropdown lists.



Figure 3. A 'completed' Instant Database form.


See Also:

Data Records


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