Recollector User’s Guide


Adding and Editing Data


To add new data records to your collection, select Add New Record(s) or Add a Copy of Current Record from the Edit menu. This will bring up the data-entry (and data-editing) window:




(If you chose Add a Copy of Current Record, the data-entry window will have all fields, except for the ID #, filled in, with the values present in the currently selected record.)  Enter new values into the fields for the new record.  You can use the <TAB> key to move from field to field. You can leave blank any field for which you have no data.  Some fields (like “Country” in the example shown above), may have picklists associated with them, in which case there will be a drop-down list of choices; click on the triangle button to access the picklist. A picklist may be “strict,” in which case the field must either be blank or must contain a value exactly matching one of the values on the picklist.  If the picklist is not strict, you can enter a value that is not in the picklist by simply typing it into the field.  See Using Picklists for information on how to create picklists.




When you have finished entering data for the record click either “OK” or “OK, and Add Another”.  If you click “OK, and Add Another”, the dialog will remain on the screen, but the fields will be cleared out, and the window will be scrolled to the first data-entry field in preparation for entering data for another record.







Click on the desired date in the calendar, and the selected date will be filled into the text-entry box for the date field in the data-entry window.  Notes on using the calendar:


o   The current date (today) is shown with a blue background.

o   Use the left or right arrows to move to the previous or next month.

o   Click on the month name, at the top, to jump to a different month by selecting the month in a drop-down list.

o   Click on the year, at the top, to type in a different year. Any year between 1753 and 2100 is considered valid.

o   If the date field already contained a valid date value, the calendar will initially show that date, with a red border around the day.

o   Click the cancel button (the X button at the upper right of the window) to close the calendar without selecting a date.

o   You must either select a date or cancel the calendar (as described in the previous note) before making changes to any other fields in the data-entry/editing window.

o   When you choose a date with the calendar, the selected date is formatted, as a text, and put into the text-entry box for the date field. There are a variety of date formatting options available. The formatting option used is based on a preference, that can be found on the Data Entry/Editing tab of the Preferences dialog (accessed via the Preferences menu choice on the Options menu of the collection viewer window). Whatever formatting choice you select in the Preferences dialog will be used when a date is selected in the calendar. The default formatting choice is the following: July 4, 1976 (i.e. full month name, followed by day-of-month, and full 4-digit year).




Some, or all, of the items in the menu may be disabled, depending upon whether text is selected in the field, whether the field is entirely blank, whether there is any text on the Windows clipboard, or whether previous cut/copy/past/delete operations have been performed on this field.  Depending upon what version of Windows you are running, there may be additional choices shown on the options menu.




Note: Keyboard shortcuts CTRL-X (cut), CTRL-C (copy) and CTRL-V (paste) are available for all fields.


The Insert Special Character choice lets you insert characters that are not directly accessible from the keyboard. This includes accented characters and various symbol characters.  The following dialog will show if this choice is selected:




Click on the button for the symbol you wish to insert and then click Insert (and close) (or just press <Enter> on the keyboard).  The selected character will be inserted into the text box at the current cursor position.  You can insert more than one special character at a time by clicking on more than one of the special character buttons before closing this dialog.


The Text style options (which will only be enabled if you have selected some of the text so that it is highlighted) let you add formatting capabilities to parts of the text. In addition to italics, bold, bold+italics and underlining, you can increase the font size of the selected text [Large font] or you can turn the selected text into superscript text. (These various text styles are mutually exclusive; you cannot combine, for example, bold and superscript.)  The Jump-to Link choice lets you create a hyperlink to another record in your collection database.  As an example, the following illustration shows part of the window, with an entry in a multi-line field named Information that includes a reference to another record (#107) in the collection database:




Select the ID # value (“107”) in the text and then right-click to pop up the options menu, and select Jump-to Link from the menu:




This will cause the selected text to become a jump-to hyperlink, shown as underlined blue text:




Later, when you view this record in Item Details mode, you will be able to click on this underlined blue text to jump directly to the indicated record:




Note: When selecting text to create a jump-to link, select only that text which corresponds to the actual ID # value of the target record.  In the example shown here, note that only “107” (not “#107”) was highlighted. This is because the ID # value of the target record in this case is “107” (not “#107”).


The Create/Edit Special Hyperlink choice is used to create or modify one of six special kinds of hyperlink.  These are fully described in the section on Special Hyperlinks.


The Re-wrap text to fit choice will automatically re-draw the text in the selected editor box, wrapping it so that all lines fit the current width of the box.  This is useful if you have typed in a long line of text, causing the box’s contents to scroll horizontally.


The Edit field in larger pop-up window choice allows you to edit very long text in a larger editing window. This larger window, which will pop up if you make this menu choice, makes it easier to work on adding or editing large texts, since you will be able to see a large amount, if not all, of the text at once. The larger text-editing window is also resizable, so you can make the editing window as large as your full screen.  The larger window also has the same options menu that is available for text fields, so you can do all the same operations on the text.



1.   The data entry window is sufficiently wide. The threshold is 65 “character units” (based on an average character width). Expanding the window to be near full-screen width (or maximizing the data entry window to full-screen size) will, on most displays, cause this threshold to be met. If you resize the data entry window larger or smaller, crossing the 65-character threshold, the window will automatically switch between its normal layout strategy (for narrower windows) and the compact layout strategy (for wider windows).

2.   The compact layout preference checkbox must be set in the Data Entry/Editing tab of the Preferences dialog (accessed via the Preferences menu choice on the Options menu of the collection viewer window). If the checkbox is not set (by default it is not set), the normal layout strategy will be used in all cases.


Note concerning normal vs. compact layout: With normal layout, fields are laid out, top-to-bottom, according to the Item Details field order. (See the next bullet point in this section for more information about the layout order of fields within the data entry window.) With compact layout, fields whose data type uses wide text-entry boxes (one-line text, long text and image fields) are laid out on the left side of the data entry window, and fields that use short text-entry boxes (short text, number, date, currency, dimension) are laid out on the right side. The text-entry boxes are shorter when in compact mode, allowing more fields to be fit into the visible part of the window. Within each of the two (left and right) sections of the data entry window, fields are laid out according to the Item Details field order. If the total height of the laid out fields on the left side is longer than that on the right (or vice versa), fields will be shifted right (or left) to approximately equalize the height of the two sides, thereby minimizing the overall space used and helping to make all fields visible at once.


Adding multiple records (including records with shared values for certain fields)


When you have finished entering data for a new record, you can click the OK, and Add Another button if you want to proceed immediately to data entry for another new record.  In some situations you may want to add a number of new records, where some of the fields have exactly the same value across all of the new entries.  For example, if you just acquired eight new coins for a coin collection, all acquired at the same time at the same coin auction, then the information about the source will be the same for all eight new records.  Rather than having to type the same values eight times, you can copy the values from the first added record and subsequently paste the values into the subsequent seven records.  The Copy fields and Paste fields buttons provide the means to do this.


The following images show an example of this process.  In the first added record, after having filled in some of the fields (including the fields that you want to replicate across the subsequent new records), the data entry window might look like this:




Click on the Copy fields button.  A dialog will appear that shows those fields in the current record that have data entered into them, with a check box for each.  (Fields that are blank in the current record are not listed, since there is no data in them to copy.  The ID # field is never shown, even if it has a data value in the current record, since ID # values are not intended to be duplicated across multiple records.)  Use the checkboxes to select just those fields that you want copied into subsequent records.  A checkbox at the bottom also allows you to cause the selected fields to be highlighted, by their field names being underlined, in the data editing window.  This is to help remind you as to which fields will be filled in when you click the Paste fields button. The following shows what this dialog looks like for the current example, after leaving selected only the checkboxes for the two fields that are to be propagated to the subsequent records, as well as turning on the checkbox requesting field highlighting:




Click the Copy selected fields button and the values for those fields will be remembered.  When you proceed to the next record (by clicking OK, and Add Another in the data-entry window), you will notice that the Paste fields button is now enabled.  In addition, if you requested highlighting, then names of highlighted fields will be underlined (as shown in the following image).  Click the Paste fields button to automatically fill in the copied fields.  The following image shows what the data entry window looks like immediately after clicking the Paste fields button:




Note: Each time you click the Copy fields button and select a set of fields for copying, the prior choice of fields, as well as their associated values, is discarded and replaced by the new choices.  If you had previously specified a set of fields for copying, but now want to eliminate the prior choices (so that the Paste fields button is disabled), you can go into the Copy fields dialog, click the Clear all button, and then click the Copy selected fields button.  You will be warned that no fields have been specified, but will be given the option to reset the set of saved fields, so that no fields are available for pasting.


Note: If you ask to paste fields into a record that already has data entered into one or more of the target fields, the program will warn you, and give you an opportunity to cancel out of the paste operation.  If you choose to proceed with the paste operation, the previous contents of the selected fields will be overwritten by the pasted values.


Entering Data into Image/Audio/Video fields:


If you have defined an Image Directory, then you need only specify the filename (e.g. “10.jpg”) when entering data into an image/audio/video field. The program will automatically append the filename to the Image Directory to produce the full pathname (e.g. “c:\mycollection\mypix\10.jpg”) of the file. If you want to specify a file that is not in the defined Image Directory (or if your image, audio or video files are in various places and you choose not to define an Image Directory), then you must specify a full pathname for the file. The filename should begin either with a one-letter drive specification and full path (e.g. C:\…) or with a World Wide Web path (beginning with http://). Any fully specified pathname or World Wide Web path will be treated as is, and will not be affected by the Image Directory path.


There are two easy ways to specify a link to an image, audio or video file. The first is to select one or more files in a Windows Explorer window and then drag and drop the selection onto the image/audio/video text-entry field in the data entry window. The other way is to use the Browse button located next to the field on the data entry window. This will open a file selection dialog that will let you navigate to and select one or more files, without having to type in a file name. After selecting one or more files with either of these methods (dragging and dropping or clicking Browse and using the file selection window), the program will check to see whether you have an Image Directory defined.  If you do, and if the selected files are not in the Image Directory (or a sub-directory of it), the program will ask whether you want to make a copy of the selected file(s) to put into the Image Directory.  If you choose to make a copy, the program will check that a same-named file doesn’t already exist in the Image Directory, and get your permission to overwrite it if it already exists.  The program will transfer the name(s) to the image/audio/video field, taking into account the Image Directory definition where appropriate: If the selected file or files are in the Image Directory, only the filename will be given (e.g. 123.jpg); whereas, if the selected file or files are not in the Image Directory (nor in a sub-folder descended from the Image Directory), the full pathname of the file(s) will be given (e.g. C:\Users\Fred\ Pictures\123.jpg).


You can enter more than one filename into a single image/audio/video field. Use a semicolon (;) to separate multiple items. Each one will appear as a separate clickable thumbnail image or clickable link in the Item Details display. If you use drag-and-drop from Windows Explorer, or if you use the file selection dialog invoked with the Browse button, you can select multiple image/audio/video files in the same directory in one operation. The program will automatically insert the necessary semi-colons between the individual entries.


There is also a Test button next to each image/audio/video field in the data-editing window. You can click this button to ensure that the specified name for the file works. For images, a window will pop up with the image displayed in it; or, if this cannot be done, an error message will indicate that the specified image file is either not there or is not in a standard image-file format.  For audio or video files, the Windows Media Player will be opened and passed the file to play.  If you specify more than one file in a single image/audio/video field, then the program will test each in turn. Press the Close button on the image test window to move on to the next file; for audio or video files a Click to test next media component query will prompt you to proceed to test the next file.


Image files that you link to on your local computer can be of any of the common kinds (JPG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, WMF, PNG, etc.), though the program does not support JPEG2000 images.  All of these common image types will be displayed as thumbnails in the Item Details view and will be shown as large-size images when you click on the thumbnails.


The program uses the Windows Media Player to play audio and video files.  Therefore any file type supported by the version of Windows Media Player running on your computer can be used.


Notes on Special Formatting Capabilities:


Within multi-line text fields, inserting an extra blank line within the text instructs the program to format this text as multiple paragraphs, when displayed in the Item Details view of the collection viewer window. This allows very long texts in a field to be broken into paragraphs, to make a more readable presentation in the Item Details display.


As an example of the various formatting capabilities, if you entered the following into a multi-line text-entry box for a field named Information:


This map was described in an article entitled Explorer’s Maps in the Golden Age of Discovery that was published in the festschrift Josef Hofnägel – 50 Years of Geographical Glory.


Another copy of this map, but one not published in the festschrift, but rather three years earlier, can be seen in map no. 123.


The map was engraved by Friedrich van Wissel.


then the Information section in the Item Details display for this item would look like this:


Information:     This map was described in an article entitled Explorer’s Maps in the Golden Age of Discovery that was published in the festschrift Josef Hofnägel – 50 Years of Geographical Glory.

Another copy of this map, but one not published in the festschrift, but rather three years earlier, can be seen in map no. 123.

The map was engraved by Friedrich van Wissel.


Special Hyperlinks


There are six types of special hyperlink that you can insert into segments of text in text fields.  All of these will appear as blue-underlined text in the Item Details view, just like the jump-to links described earlier.  However, the behavior of five of these six, when you click on these special hyperlinks, differs from the behavior of jump-to links (which take the Item Details display to a new record).  Two of the kinds of special hyperlink, when clicked on, open up a web browser onto a particular web page (URL).  A third kind of special hyperlink causes a small extended information window to open at the bottom of the Item Details view, and additional information related to the clicked-on text is displayed there.  A fourth kind of hyperlink opens up Windows Media Player and plays an audio or video clip when the link is clicked on.  A fifth kind of hyperlink opens up a file with whatever application is associated with it. The sixth kind of special hyperlink is just a variant of the jump-to link described earlier.  But, unlike the jump-to link described earlier, this special hyperlink allows you to have the visible text of the hyperlink be something other than the ID number of the destination record.


These six kinds of special hyperlink are referred to as W-links, P-links, X-links, R-links, M-links and F-links.  The following table summarizes these six types and shows what happens when the user clicks on one of these links displayed on an Item Details page:

Link Code

Link Type

Click Behavior


Web hyperlink (full URL)

Opens the user’s default web browser and displays the target web page.


Web hyperlink (URL pattern with parameters)

Opens the user’s default web browser and displays the target web page.


Footnote-style extended information

Displays the extended information in a footnote pane at the bottom of the Item Details window.


Jump-to hyperlink

Jumps to the Item Details view for the record associated with this hyperlink.


Media link

Opens Windows Media Player and plays the associated audio or video clip.


Associated file

Opens the appropriate application on the specified file.

All six of these links are implemented as text strings with a particular coded format, using pairs of percentage characters (%%) to bracket the hyperlink entry.  The format of these coded strings is somewhat complicated, but the program provides tools that make their creation (and modification) very easy.  If you are interested in understanding the details of how the special links are coded, read the information in the following boxed section.  Otherwise, skip past the box and read about how to create and modify these special hyperlinks using the built-in tools provided by the program.


Details of the coding format for special hyperlinks

All the coded strings have the following form:

%<code>%<key_or_URL> ; <visible_text>%%


<code> is a single letter (W, P, X, R, M or F) that identifies the link type.

<key_or_URL> is the key (plus optional parameters, for P-links), the URL (for W-links), or the full-path filename (for M-links and F-links).

<visible_text> is what will be visible as the blue-underlined text in the Item Details view.

Notice that all these coded strings begin and end with a pair of percent signs (though the opening pair includes a code letter between the two percent signs), and all of them use a semi-colon to separate the first and second parts of the string’s content.

Though both W-links and P-links provide a way to create a hyperlink to a web page, W-links are appropriate for cases where you have a single instance of a link to a particular web site, whereas P-links are appropriate when you have multiple links to various pages (or to the same page) at a particular web site.  The following sections describe the six special link types in detail.


In a W-link, the full destination URL must be specified in the <key_or_URL> segment.  This URL must begin with http:// and must include the entire URL that will be passed to your web browser when you click on the hyperlink.  Here is an example:

%W%;Roman coin of Claudius, A.D. 50-54.%%

When looking at this link in the Item Details view, you would see:

Roman coin of Claudius, A.D. 50-54.

When you click on this link you will be taken, in your web browser, to the University of Virginia web page that displays this coin.


In a P-link, only part of what might be a long and complicated URL needs to be specified in the coded string.  The rest of the URL is specified as a pattern, with an associated name, and this pattern needs to be specified only once, no matter how many places in your collection you make use of the particular pattern.  Here is an example, based on exactly the same web page referred to in the previous W-link example:

%P%UVA:n1994_6;Roman coin of Claudius, A.D. 50-54.%%

Instead of specifying a full URL, this P-link specifies just a pattern name (“UVA” [for University of Virginia]) and a single parameter (n1994_6).  The UVA pattern (which need be specified only once, no matter how many times one includes P-link references to the University of Virginia digital numismatic collections) is as follows:$1

Notice that this pattern is almost the same as the URL shown in the W-link example, except that the last component in the W-link example (n1994_6) is here replaced by $1. The $1 represents a parameter, whose value is specified in the coded string immediately after a colon that follows the pattern name (“UVA” in this example).  This P-link example would have exactly the same appearance and behavior, in the Item Details view, as the W-link example given earlier.

Patterns can contain up to 3 parameters (specified as $1, $2 and $3 in the pattern).  In the coded string, the parameter values are separated by a vertical bar (|) character.  Here is an example of a coded string for a pattern that uses two parameters:

%P%Ryhiner:1302|41;Ryhiner Collection image%%.

To complete this two-parameter example, here is the P-link pattern for this Ryhiner example:$1&pic=Ryh_$1_$2.jpg

Note that the first parameter ($1) is used twice in the pattern.  Though not common, this is allowed.

P-links without any parameters can also be specified.  This is useful if you have multiple places within your collection data where you want to provide a link to a particular URL.  Rather than specifying the full URL via a W-link each time you create such a link, you can instead create a pattern that is the full URL.  Then, using a P-link, only the key for this pattern needs to be specified each time you create a hyperlink to this particular web page.  In this case, the P-link does not need to have a colon character after the key name for this pattern, since there are no parameters present.  Here is an example:

%P%MapRecord;Home of MapRecord Publications%%

And the corresponding pattern would just be a full URL, with no embedded dollar-sign parameters, such as this:


X-links provide a convenient way to let you see additional information that, if presented in full in the original Item Details text, would cause the Item Details to be undesirably lengthy or verbose.  You can think of X-links as a footnote capability, where clicking on the link displays the footnote at the bottom of the page. A good example of the use of X-links is for reference citations.  For example:

%X%Smith (64);Smith (1964)%%

This would be displayed in the Item Details view as:

Smith (1964)

Each different piece of extended information has a key, or the name by which this extended information is tagged.  In the example here, that key is Smith (64). The extended information associated with this key, to be displayed when you click on the link, might be the full bibliographical citation for this reference, for example:

Smith, Alexander Hanchett, Keys to genera of higher fungi, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Biological Stations, 1964.

Note: Since the semi-colon character is interpreted as marking the beginning of the <visible_text> section, you cannot use semi-colons in the <key_or_URL> section of the coded string. (You can use semi-colons in the <visible_text> section, since only the first semi-colon is used to delimit the two sections of the string.)  Similarly, for P-type links, you cannot use a colon within the key name, since a colon is interpreted as delimiting the key from the parameters, and you cannot use the vertical bar character within a parameter, since vertical bars are interpreted as separators between multiple parameters.  Percent sign characters, despite being used to mark the entire coded text, may be used within the coded text itself, though not, of course, doubled, since a double percent sign is interpreted as marking the end of the coded text.


R-links provide a way to make a section of text be a hyperlink that will take you to the Item Details view for a different record.  This is the same capability provided by the jump-to link, described earlier on this page.  But a jump-to link requires the visible, hyperlink text to be exactly the ID # value of the destination record.  With an R-link you can have the hyperlink consist of whatever visible text you like; the ID # need not be part of the visible text.  The key for an R-link is the ID # of the destination record.  For example:

%R%123;Blaeu’s map of France%%

This would be displayed in the Item Details view as:

Blaeu’s map of France

Clicking on this hyperlink in the Item Details would cause the Item Details display to switch to the display of the record whose ID # is 123.

R-links do allow the visible text and the key (ID #) value to be the same, in which case the program allows you to specify the value just once and to omit the semi-colon:


This (or the spelled out version: %R%123;123%%) is completely equivalent (in terms of appearance and behavior) to the jump-to link described earlier (in the section on formatting capabilities).

R-links also allow you to link to a record in a different collection, as long as the target collection resides in the same directory as the current collection. To provide a link to a different collection, the key should consist of the filename of the other collection, followed by a colon and the ID # of the record in the other collection.  For example:

%R%MyAtlases.xml:12;Blaeu’s atlas of Europe%%

This would be displayed in the Item Details view as:

Blaeu’s atlas of Europe

Clicking on this link will bring the atlas collection window to the front (opening that collection if it is not already open), and will take you to the Item Details page for the item with ID # 12 in that collection.

Note: As shown in the example, above, the filename of the target collection in a cross-collection R-link must be given as the filename, including the “.xml” filename extension.  No path should be specified, since target files for cross-collection links must be to collection files that are in the same directory as the source collection file. Also, cross-collection links will only function when the target collection is in the list of known, recently-opened collections. (You can see this list by choosing Open Recent from the File menu.)  If you want to make an R-link to a record in a target collection that isn’t in the recently-opened list of files, use Open from the File menu to open the target collection. This will cause that collection to be put into the list of recently opened files, where it will remain (whether or not it is currently open in Recollector).


An M-link provides a way to show a link that, when clicked on, will play an audio or video clip (using the Windows Media Player).  Here is an example:

%M%C:/MyMediaClips/Gong.mp3;Sound of a Chinese gong.%%

When looking at this link in the Item Details view, you would see:

Sound of a Chinese gong.

When you click on this link Windows Media Player will open and the Gong.mp3 audio file will be played.


An F-link lets you include a link in a collection record to an associated file. When the link is clicked on, the program will launch whatever is the appropriate application for opening the file.  The file type (the filename extension) is used to determine which program to use to open the particular file.  For example, files with an extension of .pdf will typically be opened in Adobe Acrobat; files with an extension of .doc will typically be opened in Microsoft Word; files with an extension of .xls will typically be opened in Microsoft Excel.  The actual program used to open a program depends, however, on how Windows on your computer has been configured, in terms of the association between filename extensions and the programs used to open that type of file.

Here is an example of an F-link:

%F:C:/MyDocFiles/Item3Documentation.pdf;Documentation for this item.%%

When looking at this link in the Item Details view, you would see:

Documentation for this item.

When you click on this link the associated file would be opened, probably in an Adobe Acrobat window.

To create a new special hyperlink, select the text that you want to become the visible link. Or, if that text doesn’t already exist, enter the desired text into the text field where you want the link to appear, and then select that text.  Right-click on the selected text and choose Create/Edit Special Hyperlink from the options menu:


This will bring up the Special Link dialog:



The dialog shows the text that will become the user-visible hyperlink.  (You can edit the visible text here, if you want, and it will be changed in the original text edit field when you return from this dialog.)  Click one of the six radio-buttons at the top to select the kind of link you want to create.

X-links (extended information)

If you are creating an X-link (footnote-style extended information), then you simply need to use the drop-down list to choose the key associated with the extended information text.  If you have not yet created a new key and value for the desired extended text, click on the Add a new extended key+value button.  This will bring up the following dialog:


Fill in the two text fields, providing a key and the extended text.  For example, the filled-in dialog might look like this when completed:


Note that in this example the key chosen (“Burden”) happens to be the same as the visible text (see earlier illustration).  This is not required, but it is both sensible and convenient to choose keys (for both X-links and P-links) that match a part or all of the associated visible text.  It is particularly convenient because when you invoke the Special Link dialog, the program examines the provided visible text, and it then searches the already-created X-link and P-link keys, looking for a key that is likely to be the intended association to the visible text.  If it finds a likely key, the dialog is initially configured as specifying that key.  This makes creating new links on existing X-link and P-link keys very quick, since the Create Special Link dialog will be pre-set to the correct settings. For the X-link case, you need only click the OK button.  (As described below, for the P-link case you will need to specify the parameter values and then click OK.)

Note also that you can use formatting within the extended information text.  This is done by selecting text and bringing up the options menu (by right-clicking with the mouse) to choose a text style.  This gives you the same formatting capabilities (excluding jump-to links and hyperlinks) that are described earlier on this page for formatting text in text fields.  In the extended information example shown here, the title of the book has been set in italics.  When the user clicks on the extended-information hyperlink, the following footnote-style display will be shown at the bottom of the Item Details window:


If you are working with an X-type link using an already-existing key (by choosing an existing key from the Extended Key dropdown list), two additional buttons will appear that let you modify the extended text (Edit the extended info value for this key) or delete the extended information key and value (Delete this extended info key+value).

P-links (web hyperlinks using a URL pattern)

Creating P-type links is very similar to creating X-type links, except that in addition to specifying a key, you must also specify any required parameters.  For example, suppose you had created the following pattern for a P-type link to the web pages at the Library of Congress’s American Memory web site:


If you are editing a multi-line text field that has the following contents:


you can select the Library of Congress – American Memory section of this text and then right-click and choose Create/Edit Special Hyperlink from the options menu.  Click the P-type link: Patterned URL radiobutton, and choose LC – American Memory from the dropdown list. After these steps the dialog will look like this:


Note that there are two parameters that need to be provided.  This is because the corresponding pattern uses two parameter placeholders ($1 and $2).  The completed dialog might look like this:


(This particular example would ultimately result in the following URL being sent to your web browser when you click on the associated hyperlink in the Item Details window:

The Edit the pattern definition button and the Delete the pattern definition button allow you to modify or eliminate existing P-type link patterns.  Select the pattern key that you wish to modify or delete from the Pattern key dropdown list, and click on the appropriate button.

W-links (web link with a fully specified URL)

To create a W-type link, select the W-type link: Full web URL radiobutton.  For W-type links you simply enter the full URL into the URL field. Make sure that a full URL (beginning with http://) is specified.

When you return to the data-entry window from the Create Special Link dialog, you will see the full coded text, and it will be selected, for example:


The final appearance of this link (with just the visible text, blue and underlined) will only be seen when you exit from the data-entry window and return to the Item Details window.

R-links (record jump link)

To create an R-link, select the R-type link: Record jump radiobutton.  Then enter the ID # of the desired destination record:


If you have other collections that reside in the same directory as the current collection, the dialog will have additional controls that allow you to specify that the destination of the link is a record in a different collection:

M-links (media [audio/video] links)

To create an M-link, select the M-type link: Media (audio/video) link radiobutton. Then enter the full pathname of the audio or video file that you want played when the link is clicked on.  You can more easily provide the file name by clicking the Browse button and then navigating to and selecting the desired media file.  You can also use drag-and-drop, by selecting a file in a Windows Explorer window, dragging it to the Special Link Dialog and dropping it into the Media file text-entry box.

Note: If your media file is located in the collection’s Image Directory folder, you can provide the simple file name, without the complete path. For example, if your Image Directory contains the file named SampleSong.mp3, you can simply specify SampleSong.mp3 as the Media file value, rather than having to specify a full path name (such as C:\MyCollection\Collection_Images\SampleSong.mp3).



F-links (links to associated files)

To create an F-link, select the F-type link: Associated file radiobutton. Then enter the full pathname of the associated file. You can more easily provide the file name by clicking the Browse button and then navigating to and selecting the desired media file. You can also use drag-and-drop, by selecting a file in a Windows Explorer window, dragging it to the Special Link Dialog and dropping it into the Associated file text-entry box.

Note: If the associated file is located in the collection’s Image Directory folder, you can provide the simple file name, without the complete path. For example, if your Image Directory contains the file named Auction23_lot104.pdf, you can simply specify Auction23_lot104.pdf as the Associated file value, rather than having to specify a full path name (such as C:\MyCollection\Collection_Images\Auction23_lot104.pdf).



Editing existing special hyperlinks

You can edit an existing special hyperlink either by making changes directly in the text edit field, or, if you prefer, by selecting part of the coded text string and then right-clicking and choosing Create/Edit Special Hyperlink from the options menu.  This will bring you back into the Special Link dialog, with all the fields filled in.  Make whatever changes you like and click OK. 

As with the special formatting capabilities described earlier, the Special Link dialog is only accessible from text editing fields (via the right-click options menu).  It is not available for image, numeric, dimension, date, or currency fields, or for short text or one-line text fields associated with a picklist.

Editing Data


Editing data is exactly like adding data, except that the data-entry window will appear with current information already filled in:




Any changes you make will be applied to the data fields when you click OK.  Alternatively, you can click on OK; go to previous record or OK; go to next record and the data-editing window will stay in place, but the contents will be changed to reflect the prior or subsequent data record of the collection window. In any of these cases, the changes made in the data-entry window will be immediately reflected in the collection window.


When you go to the previous or the next record in the data-editing window, the collection viewer window’s contents does not normally change.  However, if you turn on the Keep collection window synchronized with this window check box, then the collection viewer window will track the data-editing window, and it will change to the previous or next record as you change to the previous or next record in the data-editing window.  This can be particularly useful if the collection viewer window is displaying Item Details, and your records include images.  By keeping the windows synchronized, you can add or edit information in the data-editing window while you are looking at the same record, including its thumbnail images, in the collection viewer window.  Note that even if you have turned the Keep collection window synchronized check box on, you can still go to the collection viewer window and request to see a different record than the one currently displayed; this will not cause the record shown in the data-editing window to change.  The synchronization only works in one direction: When you change to a new record in the data-editing window, the collection viewer window’s record will switch, if necessary, to show the same record.  Also, when you check the Keep collection window synchronized check box, the collection viewer window will be updated right away, if necessary, to display the same record as is shown in the data-editing window.


When editing data, the title-bar of the window will show the ID # value for the record being edited.  This allows you to keep track of which record you are editing, even if you have scrolled the display such that the ID # field is no longer visible.


The data-entry window has a Search menu, with Find and Find Again menu choices. This provides an easy way to quickly locate a particular word or phrase that you know is at or near the place where you want to make some editing changes. The search is performed across all fields in the record: If necessary, the data-entry window will automatically scroll (and long-text fields will automatically scroll), so that the next occurrence of the desired word or phrase is visible. The found text will be highlighted. An option is provided to let you search be case-dependent or case-independent. If the searched-for text occurs more than once in the record, doing a Find Again will move on to the next occurrence in the same record, wrapping back to the first field when the last field has been searched.  If the word or phrase is found in a field that has a picklist, the entire text of the picklist field is highlighted.  Unlike searching in the collection window, searching in the data-entry window does exact matching for accented characters. So if you search for Goteborg (no accented characters), this will not match Göteborg (with the accented ‘ö’ character).




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