Sometimes you want to provide a value for a document without having to use the Instant Database The Instant Database allows you to provide values for [varaibles] enclosed within plain text square brackets, and save the variables-to-values pairings in a database that can be repetitively reused.. Pathagoras offers that with the 'fill-in' option of the options tool.

   In most cases, when you are using <<*Options* blocks, you are supplying the text from which you wish your users to choose:

        My favorite fruit is <<*Options*apples/bananas/peaches>>.

  But occasionally you want to allow the end user (or yourself) an opportunity to provide an alternative value as a response to the Option. Beginning with version 2017.1, Pathagoras lets you do that. You can provide a 'stop and ask' phrase in your list of options. By default, the phrase is 'fill-in'.

   My favorite fruit is <<*Options*apples/bananas/peaches/fill-in>>.

  If the stop-and-ask phrase is selected, Pathagoras will stop and present a text box for completion. Provide a value response and press Okay. Pathagoras inserts the value at the point of the Options block (erasing all other options and administrative text in that block).

information   The term 'Options' obviously connotes two or more choices. But Pathagoras offers a singular exception (pun intended) for the 'Fill-in the blank' term. If you decide not to pre-place one or more options, this is still a properly constructed options block:

   My favorite fruit is <<*Options*fill-in name of your favorite fruit>>.

   The last example above illustrates one additional feature of the 'Fill-in the blank' tool. The wording of the prompt must contain the stop phrase, but need not be just the stop phrase. So you can offer a meaningful prompt to your end users.

information    'Fill-in' is the default 'stop and ask' term for generating the action described above. However, you can assign any other term you wish. E.g.,  "Stop", "Pause" "Insert your answer here".  To reset the 'stop and ask' phrase, navigate to Utilities/Settings | All Settings | Options & Optionals tab. Insert a different phrase (replacing 'Fill-in') (1). You can also designate whether the 'stop' phrase must be exact or just must be included somewhere in the Options choice (2).


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If the '. . .exact match' box remains unchecked, any of the below examples will trigger the 'stop and ask':

My favorite fruit is <<*Options*apples/bananas/peaches/fill-in>>.  (Multiple choices & fill-in.)

My favorite fruit is <<*Options*fill-in>>. (No choices. Just fill-in.)

My favorite fruit is <<*Options*apples/bananas/peaches/favorite fruit (fill-in)>>.

My favorite fruit is <<*Options*please fill-in your favorite fruit>>.

If the 'exact match' box is checked, only the first two examples above will trigger the 'stop and ask.' See Notes below regarding the proper 'spelling' of your 'fill-in' term.


information        !Groups! GroupNames work fine with the 'Fill-in-the-blank' feature. However, 'position' still controls. So, if the chosen member of the group is a 'fill-in' (let's say position '3'), and other group members have 'hard values' for that same position, the hard value occupying position '3' in the other group members will be chosen.

 If the 'stop-words' used within separate members of a !group! are identical, the value provided for the first instance will carry through to other members of the group. But if you use a different 'stop-word' in any member of the group, Pathagoras will 'stop and ask' for a value.


 My favorite fruit is <<*Options*!fruit!apples/bananas/peaches/favorite fruit (fill-in)>>.

 My favorite fruit is <<*Options*!fruit!plums/kiwis/kumquats/favorite fruit (fill-in)>>.

 The value provided in response to the above fill-in request will replace both instances of the options block.

 My favorite fruit is <<*Options*!fruit!apples/bananas/peaches/favorite fruit A (fill-in)>>.

 My favorite fruit is <<*Options*!fruit!plums/kiwis/kumquats/favorite fruit B fill-in)>>.

 Since the fill-in text is different in each Options block, a prompt will be presented for each 'fill-in' option (if selected).


The fill-in feature is also available for the Simple options construct. {Fill-in} and {!group!Fill-in} are acceptable commands. See more here.

We stated it above, but it is worth repeating. The 'fill-in' values you provide are inserted in place of the <<*Options*>> block (or the specific option if more than one are selected) in the current document, but they are not otherwise preserved. This feature, therefore, is not a substitute for Instant Database. But when you don't intend to save values, and don't want to activate the Instant Database routine, you may find this is a perfect alternative to completing variable type text.

The words 'fill-in' in the above examples must match your system's 'stop-and-fill' word. So in all of the above examples, use your stop-and-fill term in place of 'fill-in'. (While 'spelling' counts, the case, color or emphasis does not. Use any 'variety' of the stop-and-fill word you wish: UPPER CASE, lower case, Mixed, etc.