Operational and Display Issues

Instant Database

DropDown Lists



Q. I don’t see a Pathagoras icon on my desktop or in the listing of programs in my start menu. How do I start the program?

A. You actually don’t start Pathagoras, you just start Word. When you are in Word, Pathagoras is automatically running. (Pathagoras is a Word add-in and runs from within Word. It has no ‘stand-alone’ capacity.)

Q. After I installed Pathagoras, Word takes longer to load than before. Why?

A. To make it do what it is supposed to do, Pathagoras has to set quite a few switches, read a couple of text files, and assign values to quite a few variables (like every other program in your computer does). It takes just a bit more time to do this when you first load Word. Once loaded, you should see no performance speed issues.

We hope that the slightly longer start time is well offset by the time savings you will experience in locating, saving moving and deleting files and in building and personalizing documents.

Q. All of the sudden, Pathagoras has disappeared. The toolbar is gone and none of the hot-keys work. What happened?

A. This is a rare, but easily fixable issue. It most frequently occurs when you load another 'add-in' program which runs along side of Pathagoras. These new programs sometime shut down 'sister' add-ins.

Click here for the fix in Word2003 and earlier versions.     Click here for the fix in Word2007/2010

Q. When I press <Alt-G> for an on screen recall, I only get a copy of the document, not the actual document. Why?

A. That is on purpose. <Alt-G> is a document assembly function. It inserts documents, glossary terms, etc. into the current document. It does not open the original document. To recall (as opposed to insert a copy of) an original document, an additional key is required, but it is still easy: use <Ctrl-Alt-G>.

Q. I would like to perform 'keyword' searches in order to find the best document for my needs. I note that you do not offer that feature. Why not?

A. In a word, "Google" (and all of the other absolutely terrific desktop search engines that are on the market). These products do it for you. They are free or can be obtained at a nominal cost. Pathagoras cannot possibly compete with the search power of these standalone tools.

For this very same reason, we also don't add a PDF maker to our product. Almost everyone has one already. And if you don't, the cost of a new one is small. Pathagoras does what it does best, which is document assembly.

Q. I am trying to save a term to a glossary using Term Works! but I am receiving a 'File is Read Only' message. What do I do?  

A.  If the glossary you selected has been opened as 'Read Only' (or has it 'Read Only' attribute set to 'on'), Pathagoras will not be able to save to it until the 'Read Only' attribute has been removed. You must remove the attribute before certain actions involving writing to the file can be accomplished.

   Pathagoras cannot unset the 'Read Only' attribute for you. You must manually do so.

   Sometimes the reset can be done simply by re-opening the glossary and, when prompted, saying 'No' to the question 'Do you wish to reopen this file as Read Only.'

   Other times a more 'physical' approach must be made. From a Word or Windows navigation window, locate the file and right click on it. Select 'Properties' from the menu. Uncheck the Read Only attribute.

   If the above does not work, see your system administrator.

   An alternative to removing the attribute is to copy the original document to a new document using 'Save As'. (This technique may be required if the Read Only attribute appears 'locked' in place.) Name the new document with a slightly different name (perhaps the old name with one letter added to it). Navigate to the folder and delete the original and then rename the copy to that of the original.

Q. I know that there are clauses in the book I have selected in the Libraries & Books screen that are not appearing in the Clause Selection Screen. Where did they go?

A. Two possibilities:

1.You have a 'prefix filter' in operation. Look in the lower right quadrant of the Libraries & Books screen. There is a text box entitled "Prefix." If there is any text in the prefix box, Pathagoras will limit the display to those documents/clauses which begin with that prefix.

2.If no prefix filter is in play, Pathagoras may be reading clause names from a Clause Name Table. When the Clause Selection Screen is in view, look in the lower right quadrant of the screen, to the left of the Cancel/Close button. If there is the letter 'T' inside of a square box, that signals that a Clause Name 'T'able is in operation. Click the More>> button to display the Clause Name Table options and either regenerate or delete the Table.  All terms should appear the next time the Clause Selection Screen is displayed.

Q. I moved my glossary/folder of clauses to a new location. What steps do I need to take to make sure that Pathagoras will recognize the new location?

A. You need to make sure that the various pointers registered by Pathagoras when you originally shelved the book now all point to the new location. See the discussion under 'Moving a Book.'  

Q. When I delete a book or a library, am I deleting any actual text?

A. No. A book is merely a pointer. When you delete a book from a library, you merely are deleting a single line of text in the 10 line "text file" that represents the library. Likewise, when you delete an entire library, you are merely deleting a group of pointers, but not substantive text.



Q.  My DropDown Lists have disappeared. Where did they go?

A. Activity in Word will sometimes cause DropDown Lists to hide themselves among the other 'hidden' toolbars.

Re-display the DropDown Lists by right-clicking in the 'gray-area' of the toolbar section of the screen. A long list of the available toolbars will appear. Click "Term Lists" and (if it exists) "Term Lists2" to restore them.

Q.  My DropDown Lists show only 'prefix/suffix' style Name of my documents How can I get them to display the more descriptive Subjects?

A. Scroll down to the near the bottom of the list. Click the "<<Show Subjs>> entry. This is in the nature of a toggle button, so you can go back and forth with the displays.

Q.  My DropDown Lists no longer accurately shows the current content of the folder it represents. How can I update it?

A. Scroll down to the near the bottom of the list. Click the "<<Refresh>> entry.  The complete folder (or glossary) listing will quickly appear in your List.

Q. My DropDown List menu area now appears as a 'blue dot' in the Pathagoras Tool bar. Why is that happening?

This is more a function of Word than Pathagoras, but you can control some of the behavior by following one or more of the following suggestions:

(1)Always run Word in a maximized screen. The more space that Pathagoras has to display items, the more items it can display.

(2)You don’t have to fill all  5 of the first tray before starting on the second one. So, if you are using 8 or fewer DropDown Lists, spread them out over 2 trays (rows). This is a manual operation (delete the 5th DDL and add a new one to the second tray, but once done, you don't have to repeat.

(3)In conjunction with the above, add more collections. You can have up to 4 Collections. (If you practice multiple disciplines in your office, you should be seriously considering Collections anyway.)

(4)Eliminate some of the buttons that displayin the Pathagoras toolbar. Make these selections via the ‘Pathagoras Features (top half) | Initial Views/Settings” tab. Check or uncheck as apprpropriate to minimize the footprint taken by buttons you don’t need. (These changes are ‘permanent.’)

(5)If the 'The Button’ button is still displayed, click it to run it. Then exit Word and restart. That button won’t appear again. (This is the 'red herring' button we use to instruct newcomers to the program that they can use Pathagoras without pressing any buttons.)

(6)If the above doesn’t work for your situation, consider elevating one or more of your ‘favorite’ Lists to the QAT. Just rght click on the list you want to elevate and select ‘Add to Quick Access Toolbar’. (This is a good idea with regard to ‘favorite lists’ regardless of space issues. That list will always be visible and you won’t have to click the Pathagoras tab to access it.)



Q. There are extra (or not enough) paragraph markers inserted between the items that I have inserted.  How can I prevent this?

A. The source documents probably have an extra (and unnecessary) paragraph marker at the end. Open each source and remove any unnecessary paragraph markers at the foot of the document. Note: Word demands a paragraph mark at the very end of every document, so you cannot remove the last marker. That should be okay. Pathagoras accounts for that situation.

   To prevent any paragraph marks from appearing between elements that you want to be a 'continuous, single line, list,' make sure that you select the 'Linear' as opposed to 'Stacked' choice in the Clause Selection screen.

  If the extra spaces occur where <<*Optional/Options*>> text block formerly existed, check to see if the closing ">>" encloses the offending 'enter' marker. Move it if necessary to the beginning of the next line. (By the same token, if there are not enough 'enters,' move the closing ">>" marker up to insure that the desired 'enter' remains in the document.

  Sometimes the style of an inserted paragraph calls for double spacing, and that adds extra space between paragraphs. To determine if this is the problem, click the 'Show All' button in Word's tool bar -- it is the 'pilcrow' ('¶)  symbol. If the problem is too many 'enters' (which can be resolved using the suggestions at the beginning of this question, you will see the offending pilcrow(s) in the body of the document. If if it too much space assigned to the style, you will have to do this. Locate the source clause. Right click on the offending paragraph. Click 'Paragraph' and choose single space and 'No spacing' after the paragraph. This should 'cure' the problem, but if it does not, it may be a 'same style-name' issue. Read more under 'Style Issues'.

2007noteThe 'Show All' button for Word 2007/2010 is located in Word Options section. Click the Office button in the upper left corner of the Word window, and choose Word Options button at the bottom. Choose 'Customize'.

Q. When I build a document or insert a term, the formatting of the inserted material is different from its formatting in the original source document. Why is this happening?

A. This is a 'Microsoft styles' behavior and is a necessary consequence of the way that Microsoft has programmed Word. The rule is for identically named styles: "The receiving document always controls a conflict." The conflict is (almost always) that a style name in the source document matches that in the receiving document, but the styles themselves are not identical. See Styles for the two main solutions.



Q. When I scan my document for variables, it Pathagoras doesn't process the variables in the document's headers and footers. Why?

A. Scanning in headers, footers, text-boxes and other non-"main document" locations is an optional process. (Explanation is provided below.)

To enable scanning in non-main document locations, check the box labeled "Scan in Headers, etc." just below the Scan button on the Instant Database screen.

(Scanning in non-"main document" locations slows the replacement process down considerably in long documents, or a document with many variables (more that 30 +/-)). If you are working with a long document, or one with many variables, and you sense this 'drag,' uncheck the box if you know that there are no variables in those locations.)

Q. I have lots of variables. The replacement process seems to drag a bit and flash a lot. Any way to speed it up?

A. Yes. Try two things. (1) If you have not headers or footers or text boxes which contain variables, turn off the "Scan in Headers, etc." check-box found just below the Scan button on the Instant Database screen. (2) Perform the replacements with Word turned "off." This is done by checking the small, unmarked, practically hidden box to the upper right of the Next>> button on the IDB screen. When you press Next>>, Word will disappear while all of the substitutions are being made. Caveat: make sure that the process runs with 'screen-on' before trying it with 'screen-off.' If an error occurs, you may not be able to recover.

Q. I am not able to read the entire variable name (or the replacement value). Is there any way to make the fields wider?

A. Yes. In the lower right hand side of the IDB screen is an left and right pointing arrow. Click it to make the screen, and its primary elements, wider.

Q. I have lots of variables and want to get to the last page of variables. Is there a way to do so without turning the pages one at a time?

A. Yes. Shift-click the right arrow next to the page numbers at the top of the screen. (And if you are near the end and want to go to the beginning, Shift-click the left arrow.) Except for the extreme positions, however, you will have to turn individual pages.

Q. I have a multiple choice variable that I want to take on different values when it appears in different locations within my document. Is there a way for this to happen?

A. Each variable must be distinct in order for Pathagoras (and Word) to know that you want it to represent different things in different locations.

This is easy to do for a single element variable. Just change the name, or at the very least, append a simple number or other character at the end. E/g/. "[Variable1]", "[Variable2]", "[Variable3]" etc.

With multiple choice variables, append the '@' sign and a distinguishing single character or single digit number. E.g, "[Red/Blue/Green@A]", "[Red/Blue/Green@B]", "[Red/Blue/Green@C]", etc. (The '@' sign prevents the distinguishing character or number from being appended to the last of the multiple choice elements.)

Q. When I 'Scan' for variables, I get a message that a variable is 'too long.' Is there a way to turn off this message?

A. Yes. But first a little explanation. Variables are presumed to be short in length. When a variable exceeds a certain length (initially '40' is set as the default maximum number of characters), Pathagoras assumes that there was a mistake--probably a missing bracket to close the variable -- and reports this back to you.

You have several options. You can increase the default maximum length. Or you can tell Pathagoras to ignore completely errors of this kind.

The settings for this feature are found in the Variables tab of the Instant Database Setting screen. To access the screen, click the Pathagoras dropdown features menu. Click the Instant Database entry and then the Instant Database Tools item.

Q. What is the purpose of those squares above the Next button on the Instant Database screen?

A. Those squares are intended to look ornamental, but they actually have use for advanced users. We call them the 'Advanced Array. See this page for an explanation of the various uses of the Advanced Array.

Q. My document has many <<Options>> and <<Optional>> text blocks which, if processed first, would greatly reduce the number of variables the end user would have to complete. But when I press <Alt-D> the Instant Database displays all of the variables in the document, and handles the <<Options/Optional>> blocks last. How can I reverse that order?

A. Well, as you describe it, you are actually doing things backwards. The cause? We are 99.9% sure that you are working on the original document (as opposed to a copy). And if you are, you must not have seen the warnings in the Manuals that say "NEVER WORK ON THE ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS." See in particular this page, and in particular on that page the blue box.

To avoid the processing of variables first, make sure that you always create/assemble new documents by invoking Pathagoras document assembly routines. There are two basic routines from which you can choose. Create a document by clicking the "Document Assembly: Libraries & Books" button from the Pathagoras menu or by using DropDown Lists. Either one of those routines will always cause any <<Options/Optional>> text in your document to be processed first. Sound like that's just what you want.