Personalize Your First Document

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  Definition: 'Personalizing' a document is simply replacing the variables in the newly assembled text with appropriate names, addresses, quantities, colors, etc.

   While we ordinarily don't want you working on the original of any document (see the framed text in the next section titled 'Assemble Your First Document'), we want to show you early on the automation features of the program. While we hope you will not make a habit of this, we will start with an 'original' document.

Your turn:

1.Open the document you created in the previous exercise. Perform a SaveAs in order to create a new document and avoid the possibility of overwriting your original. (In normal operations, Pathagoras never calls up the original document, only a copy. But we are in a special circumstance here at the early stage of the learning curve and will start with the original for a brief moment.)
2.Press the <Alt-D> key combination. The Instant Database Screen will appear. See Figure 1.

If for some reason the <Alt-D> function doesn't work, do not panic. Click the Pathagoras features menu and select the Instant Database entry in the list.

3.Note the two columns of the Instant Database form. The left side will contain the variables in your document. The right side will contain the personal data that you want to substitute for the variables.


Figure 1. The Instant Database Screen

With initial installations, the AutoScan feature is 'on.' The bracketed variables in your document will automatically be displayed in the Instant Database screen. But many users prefer to disable the AutoScan feature. (This is especially so when data records have been saved and regularly recalled.) If you have turned off AutoScan, click the <Scan> button at the left (toward the bottom) of the Instant Database screen to get Pathagoras to populate the screen with variables.
Your job now is to put 'real people' values in the right side. Just type in a real (or not) value next to each variable name. Press the tab button to move from field to field.
4.When you have finished placing 'client/customer specific' values in each box next to a variable name, Press the Next>> button in the lower right corner of the screen.
5.At this step, Pathagoras will present the following question: "Do you want to save the contents of this Instant Database screen as a new data record?" Say "Yes" and, when prompted, give the 'record' a name--(maybe the last name of the real or fake person you are completing this form for). The pairings of [variables] and personal data will be saved by the system for reuse with another document.

This is the 'Database' part of the system. It is optional. It is perfectly ok to answer the question ‘No.’ Indeed, you should answer 'no' when you know that you will not need the information again.

6.Immediately after you save the data record (or elect not to), all of the variables in the document that match the variables in the Instant Database screen will instantly be replaced with the personal values you provided.
7.Close the document, making sure not to overwrite the original. Either do a 'SaveAs' or simply say 'no' when you are asked if you want to 'save changes.' (Once you learn about, and use, DropDown Lists or the Libraries & Books screen to insert text, you never will have to worry about overwriting an original document.)
8.Now, let's try out the 'Database' aspect of Pathagoras.

a.  Recall another document to the screen. (Actually, you may wish to recall the same document to the screen, since it may be the only one you have 'Pathagorized' to this point. Just pretend it is a different document for the remainder of this exercise.

b.  Press <Alt-D> just like you did in step 2 immediately above. However, instead of <Scanning> for variables when the Instant Database screen appears, click the drop down box at the right of the screen labeled "Existing Records." (See screen shot above.) A list will appear. This list contains the personal data records you have created to date, as well as the client/customer you added in step 5 above.

c.  Click on the name of the record you saved in step 5 above. Press Next>> and the replacements are made. See how the database part works? (Close, but do not save, the completed work.)

   You have 'Pathagorized' a document, called up a copy of the source text, and personalized it with the Instant Database. But you don't yet have a document assembly 'system'. Let's create a simple one. Keep reading.