As discussed in the immediately preceding section, not only can you provide a hard coded reference to file (or a multiple choice list of file name) you can provide a reference to an entire folder of documents. Chose from among the current contents of the target folder.
New v. 2019: In addition to listing the items in the target folder, a new 'navigate' element was added. When clicked, it allows you to navigate to any subfolder beneath the target folder. This is perfect for obtaining a client specific document. E.g., the description of a parcel of land being sold. Simply set the value of the variable to the 'Clients' folder as the parent. When you click 'Navigate', a standard Word explorer window displays. Navigate to the desired file. Click OK and the target file is inserted as the value for the variable. When 'Next' is pressed on the Instant Database screen, the full content of the target document is inserted in place of the variable.
After you have pressed Alt-D (or otherwise displayed the Instant Database screen), complete the variables as you ordinarily would. When you encounter a variable that you wish to be replaced with an entire document, follow these steps:
Manually (type by hand):
If you know the full name of the folder you want to reference, you can simply manually type it into the field. You must enclose the name within "<<" and ">>" markers (This is not 'code.' These are simply doubled 'lesser than' and 'greater than' characters found above the comma and period on your keyboard. The last characters must be "\*.doc").
Navigate to file or folder:
You can also navigate to the file, or to the folder containing a number of possible file choices. To start this more automated process, Shift-click inside of the 'value' field to the right of the variable. When you Shift-click, a menu like the below will appear:
Choose the appropriate selection. "Folder" if you want Pathagoras to display all files in the target folder or "Single file" if you want to select a specific file. Navigate to the file or folder (if 'folder,' navigate inside of the folder and select a single file, it matters not which one --its just to lock in the folder selection. Press OK.
The file or the folder will appear in the IDB screen. If you selected "Folder" all of the files in the target folder are shown in a drop down list.
The 'assign variable to folder' feature is also useful when want to save the Instant Database data as a Mask or Data Record, but don't always know the name of the file you want to use as you are creating the mask. Not a problem. Link the variable to a folder and, at document assembly time, select the document from the dropdown list of the folder's content. (Yes, the desired document will at least have to be within the designated folder, but hopefully that will not create too much of a burden.)
"This seems a lot like a DropDown List. How does it differ?"
Well, it actually is based in the DropDown List module. Except for its location, they are indistinguishable in their ultimate operation. The differences are, however, real, if not subtle:
•With DropDown Lists, you insert the selected document or term where the cursor is at the time you make the call from the list. To make sure it is in the right place, you may have to navigate to the right location in your document before you select the text you want to insert. With the Variable=Folder feature described above, the selected document or term is inserted at the location of the variable. you don't have to worry about finding it because it is already set.
•With DDL, the selection is always optional. You insert a clause because you see a need, but there is no reminder. With the Instant Database version, the selection is obligatory. There is an actual variable in a document that needs to be completed, and there is an affirmative reminder to you of that need.
•Plus (and this is a big plus), if the content of the target file is needed in multiple locations in the document under construction (e.g., property descriptions are frequently found in multiple locations), Pathagoras will automatically replace all instances of the variable with the target file when the Instant Database routine is run.