There are a myriad of settings possible for your IDB module. They are available via the Instant Database |Instant Database Settings and Options selection found in the Pathagoras drop down features list. (This same screen can be accessed by clicking 'Power Tools' and then 'More Tools' from the Instant Database screen.)
Instant Database Settings and Tools.
Note the various categories of the display. Your Instant Database is practically infinitely customizable. The primary "Display & Initial Actions" settings are set out at the left of the screen. The "After 'Next>>' Actions" are provided at the right and a wide variety of other settings to customize Pathagoras for your particular office needs are made available in the bottom section of the screen.
Instant Database Tools (Custom Settings)
The various options and switches found throughout this screen allow you to highly personalize the IDB system to your needs. Here are several IDB settings which may be of particular interest:
In the Display and Initial Actions section:
•AutoScan: Pathagoras will scan the underlying document for variables without your having to press the Scan button. (If you frequently call in records from you list of existing records, you will probably not want this option checked. It is a bit of a time waster for Pathagoras to scan the document only to have you then select a record from the list, which essentially overwrites the scanned for records. But see the 'ReScan' feature below.)
•AutoRun IDB: After the assembly and processing of the document, Pathagoras is automatically activate the Instant Database screen and scan the resulting document for variables without any action on your part.
•AutoReScan: After you call a record from the Existing Records list (upper right corner of IDB screen), Pathagoras to rescan the document for variables in the underlying document that are not in the record, and if any are found, will add them to the bottom. This allows you to continuously update a client/customer's record, adding new variables as they are 'discovered' in new document.
Note: An AutoReScan on long documents with many variables, can take several seconds. If you know that the ReScan will not discover more variables, you can temporarily disable the AutoReScan setting when recalling a record from the list of records in the Instant Database screen. Press Shift-Click on the record name (as opposed to a simple click).
•Connectors: You can change the 'structure' of a string of values from "apple, banana and strawberry" to "apple, banana, and strawberry." (Note the comma after the penultimate element.) This is a personal style choice.
•'Legal' variable length: Pathagoras 'gives up' on identifying text as a variable when it exceeds a certain length. 40 is the default 'max'. If you typically to provide 'explanatory text' within your documents using square brackets you use for your variables, you can set Pathagoras 'give up the search' length to exclude that explanatory text. (However, the better practice is to change the boundary markers of either variables or of the explanatory text.)
•Variable boundaries: You can change the characters used to denote variables. Square brackets are the default, but you can use anything so long as it does not conflict with the 'simplified options/optional text characters, which are show as well on this screen.
•Preserve Variables: In the 'typical' Instant Database session, the [bracketed variable] is overwritten by the replacement text. 'Preserving the variable' keeps the original variable as hidden text. This in turn allows you recall a previously assembled document, call up the Instant Database, correct a spelling error, change an address, etc., and then 'update' the document. Read more at this link.
•Highlight Remaining Variables: If, after running Instant Database against the document, you did not complete all variables, and you chose not to delete uncompleted variables, you can ask Pathagoras to highlight those that remain. This can serve as a visible reminder that there is still work to be done.
•Tree Service: Instead of storing all data records in a single folder, you can create sub-folders of your records, each sub-folder perhaps representing a major client or customer, or perhaps a major practice area. Individual data records can be stored into (and recalled from) those sub-folders.
Other Tools and Tabs: Click the various tabs along the top of the screen and other important information and data regarding the following topics will be displayed.
•File Locations: See where your IDB records are being stored. Or easily change the location where they are being stored. Some offices wish to share a common folder for all IDB records. In such case, point all users to the same location. Other offices wish to maintain separate files. In such case, make sure that all users point to separate location.
•Variables: Not really a 'tool,' but a brief lesson of how to create and use variables within the system.
•Matching: An advanced function. Match IDB variables with data from an external database (e.g., Excel®, TimeMatters®, Act®, etc.) and use the values from those databases as if you had manually typed them into your IDB.
•Archives: If your IDB Data Records are becoming too numerous, save them out to an archive folder. Quickly restore one or more record if needed.
•Custom Settings: Under this tab, you can change the width and depth (number of records displayed at one time) in the two drop down lists on the page. You can direct Pathagoras to immediately print your document to the default or to a selected printer. (This latter feature can be viewed both as a convenience feature and as a security feature. By requiring that the assembled document be printed after assembly, there is some assurance that it has not been modified by the end-user or others.)
See Also: Multi-Choice Lists