Additions/Improvements since initial release of 2020
Indenting, bulleting, numbering preserved when text inserted in formatted paragraph.
Pathagoras (and other programs that allow mid-paragraph insertions of text) always faced the challenge of maintaining formatting when inserting at 'normal' text level (no indenting, headings, etc,) but preserving the receiving paragraphs formatting when inserted mid-sentence. We have uncovered the 'secret sauce' to allows the formatting you want.
<<*If* logic greatly enhanced (but still all plain text)
<<*If equations are used to conditionally set new values or to ask questions based on the values of precedent groupnames.The underlying logic is "If THIS, then THIS, else THAT." You can now add 'Enters' and Tabs to segregate the major sections of your <<*If* statements. The formatting lets you separate the primary 'If' question from the 'If True' section and the 'If false' section.
You can now list two or more 'results' of an <<*If* equation (true side or false side). Just separate the results with a '|' (pipe) character.
The <<*If*. . .>> command measures a 'true' or 'false' value of a statement and then performs either the 'true' or 'false' side if the equation. Previously, the 'If' statement could compare only one value at a time. Now, Pathagoras can be asked to compare multiple values with the AND or OR connector. Further, the comparison can be made with 3 different 'arguments',. So you can easily determine if 'any,' 'all' or 'none' of a previously set or determined value is 'true' (or 'false'). These tools greatly expland the logic you can apply to get the 'answer' you need.
Completely redesigned. Get from named cells or from spreadsheets with simple two column or two row structure. Use 'gotten' value in Options, Optional and Repeat blocks.
A 'gotten' value can now be a document name. That document can be directly inserted into the current document. This is more than cool. It adds a whole new level of assembly capabilities.
'Mass search & replace' improvements:
'Mass' here means 'all documents in a folder'. Our earlier versions did not allow replacements in headers and footers. Now it does. Need to comform variables (some documents have [Client Name] and others [Name of Client])? Now it's easy to make them uniform.
Enhanced Speed Features:
• Faster *Alias* calls for complex documents. Previously, a call for an *Alias* list would open the *Alias* spreadsheet (the 'multichoice.xlsx' file), read the list for the requested values then close the spreadsheet. When *aliases* were rarely used, there was no speed issue, but we have found that users are creating many more lists than we anticipated. (This is a good thing!) While each call would be but a split second, lots of calls added up. Pathagoras now holds the *alias* spreadsheet open until processing is complete.
• Faster switches between templates/style-sheets. Assign up to five 'personal' style-sheets on top of those available in Word's default collection. These are style-sheets that are very personal to your office: letterhead; fax coversheets; memo forms; numbered lines; anything. Pathagoras can replace (now practically instantly) the headers, footers, body-text style definitions in the current document with those of the selected style-sheet. It's kinda' cool watching your document rotate among a variety of looks. However, we mainly designed it so that you could 'quick change' text on the screen from 'memo' to 'fax' to 'letterhead', etc.
• CaratOr separator: To determine the proper scope of a particular option within a multiple choice section of a document, when the choices were indicated by a slash (/) or slashOR ('/OR'), Pathagoras will convert nested options and variables that contain 'slashes' into other characters. The process is quick and typically unnoticeable. For complex and heavily nested documents, however, the process of converting 'in' and then back 'out' can add a significant amount of processing time (still just seconds, but they add up). You can now use ^OR as a divider for top (parent) level options. That will avoid the 'slash-switching' altogether and should dramatically improve processing speed of those complex nested document. Multiple ^OR set in a single document are permitted. but ^OR separators cannot be themselves nested within another ^OR section. (We are working on creating a heirarchical system of nesting to allow easier to create (and easier to 'read') and faster processing nests.
• Faster replacements for short options blocks. Instead of processing each element of a multiple choice (options) block for a keep or replace decision, Pathagoras can search for the presence of an entire raw <<*Options* block and directly replace it with the desired value. The change is subtle, but the speed-up in processing time when identical text is involved is real.
Enhanced Logic Features
•New <<*If(arguments). . .>> Easily create powerful logic formulae based on a selection of single or multiple choices. You can direct Pathagoras to set new values and issue specific assembly commands based on whether, 'one,' 'any,' 'all' or 'none' of a specific set of options was chosen. Cascading logic has never been easier.
•New <<*Set* . . .>> command features You can use the <<*Set*>> command to establish a value for multiple !groups! in a single pass. (Pre-2020, settings had to be made one-at-a-time.) Useful when setting baseline or default values to 'true' or 'false'.
•GroupNames set to 'False' by <<*Optional*, <<*AskOptional* or <<*Set* command will now delete a multiple-choice '<<*Options* block bearing same GroupName. Pathagoras will assume a 'False' value for a Group means <<*Options* (as wel as <<*Optional*) text blocks bearing the same GroupName are not relevant are can be deleted. (Advanced users will understand the above gibberish. For others, you'll understand what an improvement this is as you experiment with creating complex logic blocks.)
•Option/Optional/Repeat Equation Editor: Supplementing the Create Options Wizard, this new tool is designed to help the more experienced user create compliant equations for document logic purposes.
Content Control functions and features This new tool offers limitless applications. Using the same command-creation styles with which you are already familiar, you can create, process, list and navigate Word's powerful Content Controls. When implemented in your form documents, you can provide for simple lists, insert dates, and change the timing of the appearance of certain commands. (Not available for Office 2007 installs.)
Instant Database 'exact replace' option. During the process of replacing a 'left' column variable with a right column replacement value, Pathagoras goes through many steps to determine exactly how the replacement should be made. (Case, font,emphasis, which one(s) of a multiple choice, etc.) We have added one more checkbox in the Advanced Array that turns Pathagoras into a super exact Find and Replace tool. Great for replacing items that Pathagoras sees as coded (such as *aliases* and <<*Options* text blocks.
Many of you have had the improvements discussed below, for a while, but since the initial release of v.2019 but prior to the formal release of v.2020, we also made the following improvements.
•A new <<*Break*>> command. <<*Break*>> inserted between other commands in an <<*Ask* . . .>> table tells Pathagoras to temporarily stop processing any more commands and to display what it has so far. (Normally Pathagoras will display up to 10 'questions' at a time. <<*Break*>> allows you to better control the groupings of the questions.)
•A new <<*Remarks*>> command.. <<*Remarks* . . . . .>> inserted between other commands in an <<*Ask* . . . >> table lets you add explanatory comments to your equations and commands. Helpful to you and your end users.
Improved 'hover over' text use and capabilities. You can easily add tips and usage instructions to your various AskOptions/Options and Variables selections to efficiently guide your end-users to the best selection. End-use hovers mouse over a possible selection. A small instruction box appears with your guidance.
List !Groups! We have added a 'List !GroupNames!' option to the Structure Checker. This routine will list all !groupnames! used in the document being checked. That way, you can insure consistency in the spelling of your groupnames. You can also add !groupnames! to your Variables DropDown List. Look for that element near the bottom of an existing list.
Step-by-Step Tutorials We found this really cool product called Iorad (I have no idea what it stands for) that allows us to create tutorials in a way no other program we have found can. It allows us to easily create hands-on tutorials that let you actually perform many of the steps involved for a particular action.On top of that, it 'talks' you through the various steps. Check these out. And let us know what other ones you would like to see.
<<*Prompt*>> command. You can now insert a <<*Prompt*do this action. . .>> command to direct, instruct, remind, etc. the end user to perform a certain task. You can set up to 5 prompts, cleverly numbered <<*Prompt1*>>, <<*Prompt2*>>, etc. The commands can appear in any location in the document so you can direct the end user to a specific spot for a specific action.
QuickLinks: You can add a custom extension of '.jpeg'', '.pdf' or other extension to your QuickLinks assignments. Want to display just pictures when you call on a QuickLink? Add "jpeg" as an additional argument to your QuickLinks setup.
Excel: Call from a static file. It is easy and efficient to set up a macro in the database program to export data for a particular client/customer/contact. Some will create a new file for each new record. but some may wish to export that data to a single 'universal' file (overwriting it each time a client's data is exported for a project). You in turn can point Pathagoras to read the latest iteration of that same file into the Instant Database. (So, the filename remains static, but the data changes at your command.) You can record that static filename for Pathagoras's use and import the data more or less automatcally (or at least with far fewer steps) from the revised file. It takes just a single click. This is a 'best of both worlds' situation. Pathagoras plain text variables are preserved (no document fields are needed to clutter your documents) but you have practically instant access to the desired data.)
New Excel scraping and write-back tools. These new tools mimic those adopted in our Adobe Acrobat collection of tools. (Most of these tools already existed in other forms. This is a new presentation in a familiar interface for many, as opposed to a new feature. The original methods still work just fine.)
Cumulative Options now tied to assigned Repeat setting. So,if you assign "3" as the <<*Repeat* or <<*AskRepeat* value, that value is assigned to other repeat blocks of the same !groupname! but also to <<*Options(cumulative)* blocks carrying the same !groupname!.
<<*Repeat*(return) now has option to return BOTH Arabic and spelled out number (together). Before, you could return either the Arabic number of the repeat value (e.g., '5') or the number spelled out (e.g., 'five'). Now you can return 'five (5)' into your document. (Thanks, Joe. Wish I had thought of it myself.)
DropDown Lists: New printout functions for the content of your various DropDown Lists
Reading XML files. We now have the ability to read XML (and XML based files, such as '.adb' files created by WealthCounsel) into an Instant Database record. This is a new addition, and will require some refinements to become intuitive, but we wanted to announce it now so those who see a need can contact us early in our development phase and offer suggestions. Very high end. Beta tests who use XML data sought. The Read XML file is accessed via 'Instant Database | Power Tools | Import | XML'