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Chapter 2. User's Reference Guide

2.8 The Tools Menu

You can access the Tools pull down menu by selecting the Tools item from the menu bar. To access the Tools menu from the Data Entry Form, press ALT+T or click on the Tools item with the mouse. A pull down menu appears:

SOIC Drop down menu.  Tools menu displayed.

The pull down menu gives you six options. You can choose any one of them by clicking on the one you want with your mouse. Alternatively, you can move to the option you want with the ARROW keys and then choose the option with ENTER.

2.8.1 The Settings Option

The Settings dialog box lets you change two features of the SOIC System. You can change whether the program requires data in the Certificate ID field and whether the program displays system time on the Status Bar:

SOIC settings window.

ID Field Required. The SOIC System can be configured to require that each record have an entry in the Certificate ID field of the Data Entry Form. If this field is blank, and you move to another record, a message box appears:

SOIC Message box that indicates the Certificate ID field is blank.

This message box appears if you press PAGE DOWN, PAGE UP, CTRL+HOME, or CTRL+END, or if you try to create a new record with CTRL+INSERT. It appears if you try to exercise any of the coding options. It also appears if you move off a record through the New, Open, Save, Save As, Import, Export, Print, Exit, Find, Sort, Coding Stats, or Convert Access Database options. (You can send the record to the Trash Can without seeing the message.) The message box contains two buttons: OK and Cancel. OK is the default and is highlighted. If you press ENTER or click on OK with the mouse, the message box closes and you complete your move to the new record.

If you want to enter an ID before moving off the current record, click on Cancel with the mouse. Alternatively, you can move the highlighting to Cancel using TAB or RIGHT ARROW and then press ENTER. The message box closes, and you return to the current record. You can move to the Certificate ID field and enter some data.

If "ID Field Required" is turned on, and you do not want to be bothered by requests to enter an ID, you can turn the messages off through the Settings dialog box. To open the box, press ALT+T, S or click on Tools and then Settings. The Settings dialog box opens. It contains a highlighted check box labeled "ID Field Required," which is checked with an X, as shown above.

To remove the X, press SPACE BAR or click on the X with the mouse. If you have disabled the messages earlier and want to restore them, SPACE BAR or a mouse click will place an X in an empty check box. To close the dialog box, press ENTER or click on OK. Pressing ESC or clicking on Cancel closes the box without changing the setting.

ID Field Required is turned off the first time you install and run the SOIC System. Thereafter, ID Field Required stays the way you have set it, even if you rerun the SOIC System or open a new table.

Display System Time. This check box simply determines whether or not the time of day, as known to your computer, is displayed in the right most end of the Status Bar. There are not many reasons to turn the time display off. One of the few would be if your computer were set to an incorrect time, and you were unable conveniently to reset it to the correct time.

2.8.2 The Sort Option

The Sort option allows you to sort the records in an SOIC data table using any of the fields on the Data Entry Form as criteria. You can choose the Sort option by clicking on Tools and then Sort with the mouse, or by pressing ALT+T, O. The Sort By dialog box then opens:

SOIC Sorting window.

If you choose only a primary criterion, the program sorts only on the primary field. To choose a primary criterion, click on the Primary data entry box or on the DOWN ARROW symbol immediately to the right of the box. Alternatively, press ALT+DOWN ARROW. A drop down list is displayed:

SOIC Sorting window with drop down list of fields to sort by.

You can highlight the criterion you want by clicking on it with the mouse or pressing DOWN ARROW (repeatedly if necessary). You can display additional criteria by pressing PAGE DOWN or by using the scroll bar on the right hand side of the drop down list. After you have chosen a sort criterion, click on the OK button or press ENTER.

You have the option of choosing a secondary sort criterion as well as a primary one. If you do so, the program sorts all records on the primary criterion, and when two or more records have the same primary criterion, sorts them on the secondary criterion. For example, if Last Name is the primary criterion and First Name is the secondary one, all records are sorted by the last name, and all records with the same last name are then sorted by the first name:

  • 1. Benjamin Harrison
  • 2. William Harrison
  • 3. Franklin Roosevelt
  • 4. Theodore Roosevelt

Sort saves the active record, so no records can be restored to an earlier state with Undo Field or Undo Record. As part of the sorting, all records are renumbered.

You cannot sort non-SOIC Access tables or Xbase files.

2.8.3 The Show Coding Stats Option

The Coding Stats window shows the coding statistics for the records in the currently open table. The total number of records is displayed in the top left corner of the window. The coding statistics are displayed in the lower portion of the window. The number of records that have industry codes assigned, the number that have occupation codes assigned, and the number that have both codes assigned are shown along with their corresponding percentages. Statistics for records coded 998 (insufficient information) are counted into the overall throughput. (For more information on 998 codes, see Appendix C "The 998 Insufficient Information Code".)

An example of the Coding Stats window is shown in the following figure:

SOIC Coding Status window.

The bar graph in the upper portion of the window is a graphical representation of the coding statistics.

You can display the coding statistics by pressing ALT+T, C or by clicking on Tools and then Coding Stats with the mouse. You can print the statistics (including the bar graph) by clicking on the Print button. When you are done viewing the statistics, close the message box by clicking on the OK button.

2.8.4 The Database Information Option

The Database Information option provides information about the currently active database file and table. (If an Xbase file is open, the table is equivalent to the file.) You can display the Database Information window by clicking on Tools and then Database Information, clicking on the question mark button on the Button Bar (the Database Information button) or pressing ALT+T, D. A window opens that is similar to the following example:

SOIC Database information window displays information on current table being used in SOIC.

This display shows that the currently active table is Demo, which is stored in the file C:\PROGRA~1\SOIC2\Userdata.MDB. The last line, labeled Default: Path, shows where the SOIC System expects to find its Userdata.mdb database.

Even though the Database Information window looks like a dialog box, you cannot select fields in the box or edit the displayed information. The only action you can take is to close the box with ENTER or ALT+F4; by clicking on the OK button; or by clicking on the X button in the far upper right of any Windows box.

2.8.5 The Convert Access Database Option

Microsoft has released several generations of the Access database management system. Unfortunately, successive versions of Access do not share a common file structure. If an .mdb file was created using one generation of Access, it is usually necessary to convert it before it can be used with another version.

Version 1.5 of the SOIC System uses the Access 2000 file format. Version 1.3 of the SOIC System used the Access 2.0 file format. These file formats are not identical. If you have been using SOIC 1.3 and wish to begin using SOIC 1.5 with your old files, you must convert the Access 2.0 files used by SOIC 1.3 into the Access 2000 files used by SOIC 1.5. The Convert Access Database Option lets you do this even if you do not own a copy of Access 2000. The Convert Access Database will convert a database created by previous versions of Access into an Access 2000 database.

To open the Convert Access Database dialog box, click on Tools and then Convert Access Database, or press ALT+T,A. The system displays the following box:

SOIC Convert Access table window.

In principle, you could type the name of an Access file that you want to convert directly into the Open File text entry box. In most cases you do not want to do this, however, because you do not know which folder is considered active by the dialog box. Instead, click on the Browse button to the right of the Open File text box. (Alternatively, move to the Browse button with TAB or ALT+TAB and press ENTER .) The program then displays a file management dialog box, similar to the following example:

SOIC File dialogue box.

The folder that opens when you click on Browse can vary. In some cases, the folder may be the last folder opened. In other cases, it may be a Windows system default.

Use the file management dialog box controls to locate the Access 2.0 file you want to convert. Highlight the name of the .mdb file in the File List to copy the name to the File Name data entry box. Then press ENTER or click on the Open button. The name of the .mdb file, complete with the full path of the file, is copied to the Open File field in the Convert Access dialog box:

SOIC Convert Access table window. File selected.

If you want to save the new Access 2000 file in the same folder as the old file, just type the new file name into the Save File data entry box. If you want to save the new file in a different folder, you can either type the full path and file name into the Save File data entry box, or use the Browse button to set the folder and file name for the Save File field.

You cannot save the new file with the same name in the same folder as the old file-that is, you cannot over write the old file with the new one. If you try to do this, the system displays an error message. If you try to save the new file to a non existent folder, the system also displays an error message.

2.8.6 The Trash Can Option

The Trash Can contains records that have been deleted from SOIC System data tables. You can restore records to an SOIC System data table from the Trash Can. You can also remove one or more records from the Trash Can, thereby destroying them forever. The Trash Can is a safety device that allows you to clean up SOIC System data tables without committing yourself to irretrievable deletions.

You can only place records in the Trash Can when an SOIC System data table is open. If you delete records from non-SOIC Access tables or from Xbase files, they are erased immediately and permanently.

You can access the Trash Can by clicking on Tools and then Trash Can with the mouse, or by clicking on the Trash Can button on the Button Bar located immediately below the menus. Alternatively, you can press ALT+T, T or ALT+T, UP ARROW, ENTER. The Trash Can opens:

SOIC trash can.  Records in trash can listed in this window.

If the Trash Can contains more than 15 records, the program displays a scroll bar on the right hand side of the window. You can view the additional records by using the scroll bar, pressing PAGE DOWN, or repeatedly pressing DOWN ARROW. Likewise, only the first five fields of each record are visible. Additional fields can be viewed either by using the scroll bar at the bottom of the window or by repeatedly pressing RIGHT ARROW.

You can highlight a record by clicking on the record line with the mouse, or by moving to the record with DOWN ARROW or UP ARROW. The highlighted record can be restored or deleted by clicking on the appropriate button below the table. Alternatively, you can restore highlighted records with ALT+R and delete them with ALT+D. Before any record is restored or deleted, the program displays a verification message box.

You can highlight multiple contiguous records by using most of the standard Windows techniques for selecting multiple items on a list. You can place the mouse pointer on the first record to be highlighted, press and hold the mouse button, move the pointer to the last record, and lift the mouse button. You can hold down shift while you repeatedly press UP ARROW or DOWN ARROW. You can highlight the first record, move the mouse pointer to the last record, press shift and then the mouse button. A group of highlighted records can be deleted or restored together.

The purge command, available by clicking the Purge button or pressing ALT+P, deletes all records in the Trash Can. Before a purge, the program displays a verification message box.

The Trash Can contains the records deleted from all SOIC data tables. There is no straightforward way to tell which table a deleted record came from. The Trash Can therefore can serve as a simple method of transferring small numbers of records from one table to another. Delete the records in question to the Trash Can, close the table, open another table, and restore the records. The records are now moved.