"Validating a Variable" is geek for making sure that the data input is consistent with the request made and in the right format.
Pathagoras cannot yet make sure that you put in only numbers when, let's say, a phone number is requested, but you can insure that the formatting of Dates, Telephone Numbers and Social Security numbers is proper before the replacements are made from whatever is input by the user into a particular style that you want. (e.g., "1/28/13" becomes "January 28, 2013" with a simple double-click on the field.)
Pathagoras let's you set the default formats for three common items: Dates, Phone Numbers and Social Security numbers. No matter the initial value input by the user, a double click on the text box in which the value is input transform it into the proper format.
The requirements are simple:
(a) A key word must exist in the variable name so Pathagoras knows what kind of data you are working with.
(b) The right (value) side must contain at least an 'acceptable value'. (If you want to convert a telephone number that contains letter, or an insufficient number of digits at the right, Pathagoras won't know what to do with it.) More on this immediately below:
Dates: (a) The key word "Date" or "DOB" must exist in any fashion within the variable name. (b) An acceptable value is anything that appears as a date. The 'return' will be the default date format you selected for other Word functions.
Telephone Numbers: (a) The key word "phone" or "fax" must exist in any fashion within the variable name. (b) An acceptable value is any 10 numbers, with or without parentheses and hyphen. The 'return' will be the default telephone format you selected in the Instant Database Settings and Options screenage.
Social Security Numbers: The key word 'SSN' or 'Social Security' must exist in any fashion within the variable name and the value must be all numbers and 9 digits long. The 'return' will be in the format XXX-XX-XXXX.