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Creating variables -- let me count the ways

Views: 3716 Created: 01/26/2014 06:18 am Last Updated: 01/26/2014 06:44 am 0 Rating/ Voters

There are many ways to insert variables into you documents, and to edit them once they are there. Here are a few techniques. These techniques are cumulative, not mutually exclusive. Mix and match as best meets your needs and comfort level.

1. Just type them in. This is the most intuitive method, albeit not necessarily the most efficient. (On the other hand, if you you need to insert only one or two variables and you know how to 'spell' them, it may very well be the most efficient technique.) Just type a bracket, a variable name of your choosing, up to 40 characters, and a closing bracket. That's it! E.g., [Client Name], [Customer Contact], [Date of Agreement]

2. Copy and paste. Many variables are used in multiple locations in a document, and in multiple locations throughout your various forms. Once you have created a variable in a document, you need not retype it. You can copy and paste it wherever you need it. Remember -- Pathagoras is a plain-text document automator. You don't have to worry about missing or 'de-linking' a field or a variable.

3. ALT-V -- the Create Variables Wizard. Highlight an existing 'real name' (e.g., 'John Doe') in your document. Press Alt-V (for 'v'ariable). When the Wizard appears, type the name of the variable you want all 'John Does' to become (e.g., 'Client Name'). You don't need to type in any brackets. Pathagoras will handle that for you. When you click 'Next', Pathagoras will replace all instances of John Doe with [Client Name]. All done in the blink of an eye.

4. '+' markup. Take a 'real' document (one with real names, addresses, etc.) and mark the first instance of each item of personal text with an opening '+[' and a closing ']'. 

E.g., "Mary Smith agrees to sell to John Doe a 1967 Corvette for $500,000." might become

"+[Mary Smith] agrees to sell to +[John Doe] a [+1967 Corvette] for $+[500,000]."

Press Alt-V for 'v'ariable and click the button marked "+[. . .]" near the top of the screen. Pathagoras will quickly display onto a new screen each +[ . . . ] markup found. You can then tell Pathagoras what variable you want the various 'real' values to become.

We have named process "Sanitizing Document". If refer to the process of scrubbing out personal values from the document and replacing them with variables.

5. Drag and Drop. Display the Instant Database screen and from either of the dropdown lists in the upper corners, click on a record or a mask to populate the Instant Database screen. Click the PowerTools button. Check the box that says 'Enable Drag and Drop.' Now, left click on a variable you want to insert into the document. Drag the variable to where you want it. Release mouse button to 'drop.'

6. Point & Click List: Display the Instant Database screen and from either of the dropdown lists in the upper corners, click on a record or a mask to populate the Instant Database screen. Click the PowerTools button.Click the button labelled 'Point & Click' List. Pathagoras will generate and display a listing of all variables in the record or mask. Click an item (or two or more) and the click "Insert". A double click on an item is the same as a selection + insert.