New in Pathagoras 2021 (additions/Improvements since initial release of 2020.5):

Type & Get: This is the very last change before the public release of 2021. Many of you already have, and are using, the pre-release version of 2021 and have most, if not all, of the below new tools/features. But this one is really important if you want to get 'the most' out of Pathagoras. Many of you use sorting characters (numbers, letters or both) so that items in your folder (and therefore in your DropDown Lists and Clause Selection screens) will appear in a desired order. But those sorting characters can get in the way of Pathagoras’ powerful ‘type and get’ routine. (Type the name of a document, press Alt-G – to ‘g’et the clause. That’s because the sorting characters )are hard to memorize. “Family Composition” as a clause is easy, but “A1d Family Composition” is not. Pathagoras has had an ‘exclude X characters’ command for quite a while, but that required the sorting characters to be of a determined length. But Susan used sorting characters A1, A2 for simple sorts, but sometimes needed A1a and C2r. Excluding a set number of characters wouldn’t work so she didn’t use the tool. (She told me this when discussing another feature.) Ouch. So much power going to waste because I didn’t know of the problem. FIXED. I added an ‘ignore until first . . .’ routine. All Susan (and you) need to do is decide on an ‘interrupt character’ (such as a space, a comma, a period or a caret). Pathagoras will ignore the text before that character. Now ‘A1a Family Structure’ can be recalled with just ‘family structure<alt-G>’. If you are not using the original or the update ‘type and get’ routine by now, you really should.


Unlimited Interview Questions displayed. Prior to this version, Pathagoras would display a max of 10 Interview questions at a time, fewer if a branching/cascading question stops it.. Beginning with version 2021, Pathagoras can display an unlimited number of questions. This will allow you to plow through the Interview (and therefore your document under assembly) much more quickly  The actual number of questions that will be displayed in any series is still subject to your 'cascading and branching' dialogs.

More 'universal' date styles: Peter pointed out that Australia uses neither the US date styles nor what I dubbed the 'European' date styles. (Francois noted the same thing months earlier.) I learned that it's not just the "day, month, year" order, but whether a comma separates the month from the year, and whether hyphens vs. slashes are the preferred 'short date' dividers. We have now addressed these issues. Pathagoras now uses your system date styles as set in your computer's 'Region Settings'. Let me know if things are not working as expected for your region. This works in all aspects of 'date' processing. If you are double clicking in a date textbox in the Instant Database screen, Pathagoras will present local date alternatives (and if you keep clicking, it will present a few 'non-local' styles just in case you might need them). It also works when you are adding arguments to date variables.

Another date 'fix': Sometimes when you don't know the date for your [Date of . . .] variable, you just want to put in "the ____ day of ______, ____." But Pathagoras 'rejected' that as a proper 'date' and sometimes refused to move on. (Pathagoras was actually trying to convert that text to a universal date style so that other instances of that date variable with different arguments could be processed. Now Pathagoras can 'handle' that  fill-in-the-blank style 'date'.

Hover-over text change: Hover-over text is explanatory information that you can provide that will appear in a small box when you hover over an Options or AskOptions display. In prior versions, you could add such text by inserting a single '+' sign between the 'button' text and the desired hover-over text. In a rare change (but needed for other technical reasons), we had to make the divider a double-plus: '++'. Further, could not grandfather in existing single '+' markups. Sorry for any inconvenience. Most people are not yet using this feature (which explains why it took us so long to discover the programming flaw). Call us if you need help converting your '+'s to '++'s.

Fixed In-line date math calculations performed within tables. It didn't work before; it does now.

Improved 'Fill-in-the-blank' routine: You have set up really nice <<*Options* . . . >> blocks but you needed an 'Other' choice to complete on the fly. We introduced "fill-in' a couple of releases back for these 'other' situation, but have greatly improved on it's flexibility and reliability. With Fill-in, you can provide the answer that is not in the Options list OR (drum roll . . .) you can even call in an entire document! (Wow . . . what other program can do that???)

Improved Screen Displays for users with multiple monitors. Primary and secondary Pathagoras screens will now all show in the  screen that contains the current document instead of showing on a secondary screen.

Improved Adobe Acrobat interaction: As more people have used it and found errors, those error get fixed. We can now handle most Acrobat 'scrape' or Acrobat 'fill-in' processes more accurately and faster than ever before using the data you have already preserved.

A new kind of 'Mail Merge': Jacqueline has a base document that is mostly 'standard' but has a few highly personalized paragraphs for several specific companies to whom it is addressed. All paragraphs reside in the main document, making it easy to see (and edit) the universal text as well as the custom text. Jacqueline asked if there was an easier way to mark which personalized paragraphs should stay. {Simple Options} text with !Groupnames! caused text to be kept or deleted (see 'simple options with groups') but that required duplicating identical paragraphs to accommodate the numerous addressees. She wanted to be able to list as a !groupname! value the names of the various company (ies) for whom that paragraph applies, keeping the text if the company was in the list and deleting the text if it did not. What a great ideas. We wrote the function. This routine will create the appropriate document for each of up to 20 clients/customers (that number can increase as we get requests) with a single button press. Best of all (and unlike Word's mail merge, Pathagoras has (again) kept it all in plain text.

Mail Merge improvements, pt. 2: Ben has a large Excel database of hospitals and medical providers to who he sends letters requesting records for his clients (their patients). His form letter has variables for the hospital's name, address, records clerk, etc. And it has space for the client's name, address, DOB, etc. But, as you might expect, the client's name is not in the Excel database of hospitals. And the hospital data is not in the client's Instant Database record (nor should it be). Not to worry. You can (now) easily generate the perhaps dozens of hospital letters using Pathagoras' Mail Merge tool and immediately after that apply the client's personal data record against all of the generated letters. Print the now highly personalized letters, and job complete in just a couple of steps.

<<*Process*>> command. Use this in-document command to tell Pathagoras to fully process the document as it stands above the <<*Process*>> command. Once completed, then process the remainder of the text below the <<*Process*>> command. Below that command you can insert more <<*Ask*>> or <<*Set*>> commands and change other settings for the remainder of the document. Designed for use in 'reversing' operations, such as Wills, but it likely can be used for much more. Read more at the link.

Improved interaction with Named Ranges in Excel: Faster recalls. More display options. Insert data from spreadsheet in linked Excel window, into format-able Word tables.

'Actors and their Roles' (subset of the 'equivalency' function) improvements: Now works with !groupnames! so you can select an actor and that actor's address or other information (assuming that value known from a previous IDB entry) will be called and loaded.

<<*Get* functions enhanced.  The <<*Get* function obtains <<*Options* and <<Optional>> values from a designate Excel spreadsheet. Some or all values needed to generate a document can be set in Excel, but doing so is not always easy. The cascading abilities in Pathagoras <<*Ask equations are quite simple. But, to the extent you want to gather information externally (from client or customer) via Excel or other programs that translate into Excel, Pathagoras can 'get' that data and use it for document automation.

<<*GetFrom*location>> added. You can add a command to obtain Excel data from a specific spreadsheet, instead of having to navigate each time.

Added "No . . " (e.g., "No children") and "There are no . . ." (e.g., "There are no shareholders") to the list of phrases that will trigger the 'None' feature in Cumulative Options.