Related Information Examples & Tutorials
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“ I never needed any assistance with Collect! as it is so simple to use. ” Judy A.

Screens & Popup Message Prompts

This topic discusses the use of windows, screens and popup message prompts.

Requirements

- Access Rights to all the menus and screens.

tip.gif It is helpful to explore this topic in the demonstration database, logged in as user OWN/ password own. This will ensure you are using a login that has the Access Rights permissions set to levels that will allow you to explore all the features in details.

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Overview

All interaction between the program and the user takes place through the use of screens and message prompt windows. There are many types of each.

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Data Entry Screens

Most of the screens involve inputting information into your database. When you enter data into the fields on the screen, the information is written to a database record when you Save it. Collect! predominantly uses an " OK" button as your save function. Also encountered will be popups where your "Yes" response will save for your entries, and occasions when pressing F8 will have your content. Use F8 to save updates to Pick Lists and Control File snippets.

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Lists

A List in Collect! is the compilation of records which are displayed when you opt to Browse any record type such as Debtors, Clients, Transactions, Contacts etc. Once you have access to the List, you have choices as to what you want to do. These appear as buttons along the bottom of the window with labels like New to add a new entry, Edit to modify an existing record, Delete to remove one or more records, arrow keys to page through the existing records. At the top of the screen, you have Menu Options such as Find to open an Edit Search Criteria window to query the list with specific conditional parameters of your choosing, as well as Print if you wish to run a report or letter against one or more of the records in the list.

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Procedure Prompts

Several automated processes in Collect! involve multiple steps. As you are guided through the process, the system will interactively communicate with you by providing information about what is taking place or prompt you with a message popup when there is a decision to be made regarding options available, or directions the process is to take.

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Screens To Enter Or Modify Settings

System configuration and operational preference settings are managed in Collect! via a series of Setup screens. These contain check box software switches allowing you the flexibility to set preferences which may be changed at a later date if you wish, without the necessity of technical assistance required. The combination of these switches checked and unchecked determine how the system will handle various processes and data management.

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Prompts For Input

Collect! is designed to be interactive. If you are running a process for which the system requires additional information to proceed, you will receive a popup message asking you specifically for the information or choices from which you may select.

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Information, Warning And Error Messages

The system will also notify you of any error conditions it encounters as it is programmed to display specific messages that have troubleshooting diagnostic significance. Collect! is a stable system not prone to periods of down-time that prevents your staff from being able to function. Contacting our office for assistance in the event of an error message will ensure that whatever issue was encountered is corrected in the shortest amount of time.

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Screen And Popup Message Features

Certain features are common, such as:

Title Bar

This is the color shaded bar that you see at the top of every window or popup. It will always display the title of screen you are viewing. Since every new window will change its Title as you navigate through the system, the name in the title bar will always act like a tracking device to identify to you where you are at any time.

Fields

Most windows that you will use contain several fields where you can input free-form data. This type of screen is often called a "Form" due to its similarity to the fill-in-the-blank document it is named after.

Buttons

All windows, screens and message popups have buttons. Examples are: to Cancel or Close a window; to start processes; acknowledge the completion of processes; edit existing information; delete existing information; add new information; quick keys that assist you to navigate through lists; and instructions to initialize processes to begin or stop on demand. Some buttons are menu links to sub-screens located behind a main window which you may need to access such as the Advanced button that exists on both the Debtor and Client windows, located in the lower right corner bank of buttons.

Tabs

Files such as Debtor and Client have sub-records associated with them. The Tabs located in the lower third of the screen which allow you to access notes, contact, transactions etc are composites of data which are associated with the main window information, but are stored as separate data record "types". Understanding how to access these sub-records is key to becoming expert in creating ad hoc reports and letters.

Example: To extract information from the Debtor Transaction Tab, first you need to have access to the Debtor PLUS access to the Debtor Transactions.

tip.gif When you are looking at the physical tabs on Debtor and Client screens, if the tab itself is a uniform grey color, then there is nothing currently stored in there. If the tab itself is bright yellow - like a light was on - then there is data in that tab available to be viewed.

Check Boxes and Radio Buttons

Some screens contain check box squares or circles where you can click your mouse and either leave a check-mark or a dot inside the circle. These are software switches and options that are considered turned ON if they are marked and OFF if they are left unmarked and blank.

Status Bar

At the bottom of the Collect! screen, you will see additional information that changes depending on the procedure you are performing at the time.

The Status bar will tell you when you currently have a list tagged by highlighting with color the "T" in the status bar.

Similarly, if the "S" is shaded, then you have Search Criteria currently invoked on a list of records.

Information Window

Some windows carry a textual message in the upper portion of the display that provides information about the menu, screen or function you are currently located in.

Pick Lists

If a field evidences a small drop-down arrow at the extreme right end and when you click on it, you get a list popup with a series of choices you can select from to populate this field, then this is a pick list by definition.

You will see Pick Lists being used to describe debt Type, Status Code, Operator ID, Sales ID, Mode and more. As well, you will see pick lists used in Contacts, Cosigners, Attachments, and Phone Tabs etc. Besides visual recognition of information detail, these pick lists provide you with the means to segment data at a report level because the same may be used as parameters in conditional logic. Example: you only want accounts with the status PRP in your report OR you want a list of clients who have Sales ID that is not HSE, etc.

Field Icons

Several fields have small icons attached to them at the extreme right end of their screen position. These can be clicked to initiate an action such as clicking the phone icon beside a phone number to automatically dial the number in the field if your system is configured for Auto Dial. Similarly, clicking on the calendar image beside a date field will popup a calendar, clicking the email icon will popup a message window to send an email, file folders will popup stored images and metafiles. At the extreme right of Attachments, you have a folder icon to navigate to a saved file; a print button to print the file, a trash bin to delete the attached file and a magnifying glass to navigate to where the file is stored.

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Moving Around

To move from field to field or button to button, you can press the Tab key or use the Arrows on your keyboard. Pressing Enter will also move to the next field or button.

If there is a pick list attached to a field, pressing the F2 function key will display it for you to make a choice.

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Navigating Screens With Tabs

The F5 will take you into a subscreen such as Notes if your mouse is currently on some part of the main Debtor or Client screen. If you have entered a subscreen Tab such as Transactions (Debtor) or Invoices (Client), pressing F5 again will open the first, highlighted record. Press the Esc key to be returned to the main, outer screen.

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Expanding The Tab View

You can maximize the Tab window you are viewing. Click on the small square in the upper right hand corner of the Tab window you have entered and the Tab will expand from the limited line view with a scroll bar to a full screen view.

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Exiting A Screen Or Popup

You can exit several ways:

Press F8

This is the best way to close a screen or popup. Any changes you have made will be saved to your database and the window will close. This returns you to the previous screen.

Press the OK Button

This will save any changes you have made.

Press the Esc Button on your keyboard

This will close your current window and move you back to the previous screen.

Click the 'x' Icon

In the upper right hand corner of each window, you will see a square with an 'x' in it. This can be pressed to close the window.

tip.gif If you close a screen by pressing the 'x' icon, Collect! does NOT automatically save your changes and they may be lost. To save and close, use F8 to exit.

Press the Cancel Button

Press this button to ignore any changes you have made. This will close the active window and return you to the previous screen.

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See Also

- New User Basics

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