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. . . Pathagoras 2013.5

Views: 27378 Created: 02/19/2013 07:45 am Last Updated: 01/06/2014 05:13 am 0 Rating/ Voters
(1)  Create Statistical (and other) Tables from your IDB data: You can now create tables displaying values from all or a select number of records in your Instant Database collection. This is a neat little tool that has unlimited possibilities for evaluating the data you have saved regarding your clients. Print lists of addresses. Print lists of amounts. Print lists of . . well, anything. If you saved it, you can now recall it in a list.
    If the analysis you want to perform involves math or requires charting, you can easily copy the table into an Excel spreadsheet for multiple views and robust numbers crunching.
    At present, only 6 variables from each record can be viewed, but our experience with these tables suggests that 6 is more than adequate. Read more about analyzing your Instant Database data at this link.
(2) Change Variable Names within Existing IDB Records: You can now replace a ‘bad’ variable name with a ‘good’ variable name. This 'cool tool' allows you to make your variable naming conventions more uniform. Let's say you initially called a particular variable “[Name of Client]”. As your system matured and you became more familiar and comfortable with naming styles, you now want the variable to be “[Client Name]”.
    Pathagoras allows you to make the changes in all of your source documents with Pathagoras’s Search and Replace tool. However, prior to this version, you were ‘stuck’ as to the variable names store within existing IDB records. Those clients with records saved with the old variable names were forever saved with the now 'wrong' names.
    That is no longer the case! Now, you can easily modify your existing IDB records to match your upgraded forms. With this new feature, you can tell Pathagoras to examine all existing records and change each instance of [Name of Client] to [Client Name]. Now, your old records can be compatible with your new documents.
    While currently you can change only 3 distinct variables at a time with this new feature, it goes so fast that you can change dozens of variables in just a few minutes. (Chances are you won't be changing every variable in your setups. Our studies showed that 3-at-a-time was the right number.)
(3)  Display Only Variables present within Document: Let's start with an example: Imagine that you have an existing IDB record that contains 200 variables (perhaps you have a complex trust with many beneficiaries). That would require 7 'pages' in the Instant Database screen to get from top to bottomNow let's say that the document currently under construction (perhaps it is a cover letter or a funding instruction letter) contains only 10 of the saved 200 variable. Since you don't always know where a particular variable might be in the list, it may take several 'page turns' to get to the one you want to complete or to change its value. You want Pathagoras to show just the variables that exist in the document under review.
     For many years now, you could click a button at the foot of the IDB screen in the area we call 'the green box' to display just in document variables. The problem was, even if you cut the display down to the in-document 10, Pathagoras always maintained the other 190 variables in active memory. When replacements were being made, Pathagoras scrolled through each of those 200 variables, wasting a bit of time determining whether a specific variable exists.
    Now, when you click the 'green box', just the in document variables show AND when you press the Next button, Pathagoras works against just those variables. Much faster. Much more intutive and 'prettier' on the eye.
(4) Process all Open Documents in a Single Sweep: Also perfected the ability of Pathagoras to make Options/Optional and Repeat replacements in all open documents in a single sweep. This was important especially for my real estate attorneys, who want to create and complete notes, deeds and deeds of trust, and lots of other closing documents by calling each to a separate editing screen and making Options/Optional and Repeat choices in a single step.  For example, if you answer that there are 3 members of a certain group in a Repeat block (3 buyers, 3 shareholders, 3 children, etc.), that number '3' will carry into all open documents without the question being posed when the remaining documents are processed. (Of course the various process selections must be tied together by a !group! name.) 
    Prior to this, if you wanted to make 'process selections' only once, you would have to assemble 'separate' documents as one 'large' document, process the Options/Optional and Repeat blocks, and then break the 'large' document up into separate documents originally desired. The problem with that was the formatting for each document may have been very different. Now each document can be truly 'stand alone' so the formatting for each can be fully preserved.
    Do not confuse the above feature with the Apply Instant Database against open documents. The functions are similar (and they do go hand in hand). Nevertheless, the 'process' function relates to creating the initial rough draft before it is personalized. Instant Database completes the [bracketed variables] to make the document highly personalized. Click this link to read read more.
(5) Validation of IDB values: You can quickly change the formatting of Dates, Telephone Numbers and Social Security Numbers from whatever is input by the user into a particular style that you want. So, if you quickly type in "1/28/13" into a date field, it will instantly convert to "January 28, 2013" with a simple double-click on the field.
    Pathagoras lets you set your preferred default formats for these common items. No matter the initial value input, a double click on that value will 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.  (Key words noted below.)
        (b) The right (value) side must contain at least an 'acceptable value' that Pathagoras can recognize.
    Dates: (a) The key word "Date" or "DOB" must exist in any fashion within the variable name. (b) An 'acceptable value' is anything that can be recognized as a date. (c) 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 variables name. (b) An 'acceptable value' is any 10 numbers, with or without parentheses and hyphen. (c)The 'return' will be the default telephone format you selected in the Instant Database Settings and Options screenage.
    Social Security Numbers: (a) The key word "SSN" or "Social Security" must exist in any fashion within the variable name. (b) An 'acceptable value' is any 9 digits, with our without hyphens or spaces. (c) The 'return' will be a classic ###-##-#### layout. 

    The conversion routine is triggered by a double click in the right (value) side of the IDB screen. Pathagoras looks to the left column to see if the key term (a) is present in the variable name, then looks to the replacement value to see if it is in a recognizable format (b), and if it is, will convert the value to the designated format. If so, it returns the converted value (c) properly formatted.
    Prior to this release, selecting a value from an <<*Options*!Groupname!*>> group, resulted in the selection of the answer to other members of the group based on the position your selection occupied in the inital list. For example, an initial option block looks like this: <<*Options*!fruits!*A/B/C>>. A subsequent options block further down in the document is this: <<*Options*!fruits!*Apple/Banana/Cherry>>. If the user selected the third choice 'C' in the first instance, the same (positional) selection would be made for any subsequent options blocks, in this case "Cherry."

    With newly implemented 'value selection', Pathagoras records both the actual value of the selected '!group!' as well as its position. Later in the document, you can create on or more optional text blocks that are directly tied to the value of the original choice.

    So, an Optional block of text displayed below the text where the choice has been made can now just be:
        {!Groupname is Value! . . . .}
        Alternatively: {!Groupname is Value! . . . .}  (an equal sign instead of the word 'is') 


Next week I am going to visit {!state!AlabamaOR/Arizona/ORColorado/ORFlorida/ORVirginia/ORNew York}.


With 'positional coding' (demonstrated above), the positional selection made in the first instance leads to the same (positional) selection for subsequent options bearing the same group name.

So, when you selected a particular State in the 'I am going to visit . . .' line,  the appropriate capital would be the result in the second block by vitrue of its position in the list.

With value coding, Pathagoras stores the value of the selected '!group!' as well as the position, and the value can be used to process an Optional text block. You set up a simple equivalency statement as shown below. The optional text will remain if that equivalency is met. It is deleted if not.

Here is the 'states' list again, followed by several equivalencies:

Next week I am going to visit {!state!AlabamaOR/Arizona/ORColorado/ORFlorida/ORVirginia/ORNew York}.

{!State is Colorado!Colorado has great skiing.} 

{!State = Virginia!History buffs find Virginia an incredible place to visit.}

    (Read in 'If . . .' to understand the coding: 'If' State is Colorado; if State = Virginia).

    Note the exclamation marks are still used to define the group or the equivalency based on the group.

If the equivalency is met, the optional text remains. If not, it is deleted.

(It is not necessaary to have a value for each option. So we are leaving out a value line for New York to prove the point..)

You can cut and paste the example text into a document and see the action via <Alt-P>. 
    This function should be particularly useful when a lot of choices must be presented in the initial request for value (e.g., a list of all 50 United States), but you don't want to put a whole bunch of empty 'slashes' as holding places when no additional text is required for the majority of the selections. Consider what some call the 'California' exception. If California (or Florida, or New York, etc.) has special language that must be included in a contract, but such text is not required by the other 49 States, use this tool to identify whether Califionia was selected in the initial instance and to put in (or delete) the special California language.

(7) Mail Merge Improvements: Since Pathagoras 2012.1, you have been able to perfom Mail Merges using plain text variables. (Think mass mailings, such as holiday cards or announcements of an office relocation or addition of a partner or associate.) Plain text Mail Merges is a Pathagoras exclusive.
     If you were using your Instant Database records as the source of the names, addresses, etc, such merges could only be performed from the records located in Pathagoras 'top' IDB folder (typically c:\program files\pathagoras\IDBs).
     This actually wasn't so bad since relatively few people had taken advantage of the Instant Database 'tree service' (which allows you to store your IDB data in subfolders).
     Now you can perform mail merges from any folder you desire. Read more about plain text Mail Merging at this link.
(8) More Bulk Conversion Options (conversion operates on single file or on entire folder of files)
  • Convert .rtf to .doc or .docx files.
  • Convert HotDoc fields representing variables to plain text bracketed variables (i.e, Pathagoras style; bulk conversion).
  • Convert Word fields representing document variables to plain text bracketed variables (i.e, Pathagoras style).
  • Convert WordPerfect files to .doc or .docx files.
  • See our conversion