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User's Guide - Orientation

This user's guide will introduces you to the user interface and some of the details of operating in Collect!.


Collect! is a flexible contact management and financial system designed to be scalable for any size operation.

It allows you to input clients and debtors with a view to tracking daily financial transactions, contacts, and other receivable management milestone events. The objective being to provide your company with an operational environment which maximizes efficiency and productivity, providing you with real-time metrics to assess the success of your strategies and workflows.

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Starting Collect!

If you are running Collect! on a network, please refer to the Help page topic Network Setup for complete details on how to configure and start Collect!. In order to begin using Collect! on a network, the RDS Server must first be activated on your main network server PC. This is the database engine which writes your data to your files.

If you are running on a standalone PC station, the RDS Server will open automatically when you click your desktop icon to start the program.

Double-click the Collect! shortcut icon on your desktop and the login screen will open.

If you are the first user to enter the system, you can do so utilizing one of the shipping default logins. We have included a sample sign-on for each user type the system supports to provide you with a representative sample of what each type of login allows a user to do in the software and what permissions are inherent in each user level the system offers.

The ID for the 'owner', is a User Level 10, System type of user which has full access to all areas and features in the software. The ID to use is "OWN" and Password is lowercase "own". You will be navigated to the Welcome To Collect! screen.

The system ships with 3 different databases for your use:

1. The "masterdb" will be your live production environment.

2. The "demodb" is a demonstration environment that you can use for both training exercises and later as a testbed environment where you can test drive any new process, report, letter, import you design without reservation that you will in any way impact your live production database.

3. The "prosdb" is intended for your inhouse sales personnel. It provides an environment of their own to track their prospects, utilizing all the same features and functions of the system with the only salient difference being the renaming of fields and menus to provide the specialized environment.

If you have been experimenting with a trial version of the product before now and are ready to begin creating your live production environment, then Select the Database to open as "masterdb" and your Database Access as Shared if are on a network. If you are on a standalone PC, the Access of Shared or Exclusive will only matter if you are attempting to run specific maintenance or upgrade processes discussed elsewhere in the Help pages.

If this is your first time viewing the software, you may wish to Select Database as "demodb" as this database contains sample data which will assist you in becoming familiar with the software.

Once you have selected the database you wish to open and the mode in which you wish to function, click the Start button to proceed.

The next screen will be the Main Menu if you are a System type user, which the "OWN" ID is. " Collector" type users are navigated directly to their Work In Progress screens.

Management, Administrative, and Clerical logins have the the Quick Search area on this screen to search debtors by the most frequently used criteria; File Number, (client) Account Number, Name, DOB, Phone Number and Email. This screen also positions the user to access all feature menus with their underlying sub-menus.

Click to view details.
Main Menu

Exiting COLLECT!

Before proceeding into the use of the system, along with knowing how to correctly enter the system, it is important to know how to exit correctly to preserve the integrity of your data and database.

One should not power down their computer while a Collect! session is open as this may cause database corruption.

This means in a network environment, the RDS Server should not be closed or the main network server be rebooted if there are any active Collect! sessions still open as this can cause loss of data and database corruption.

Always exit gracefully by your preferred exit mode:

1. Click the Red X in the upper right corner of any screen and follow the prompts to exit, or

2. Press your Escape key to navigate back to the Main Menu and click Quit, or

3. Press Alt+F4 for an express exit.

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Collect! uses 3 types of menus.

Full Screen Menus

When you click on a button on the Main Menu or make a selection from a drop-down menu and are presented with a popup window containing a list of sub-menu items to choose from, this is called a Full Screen Menu.

The menus are organized to be consolidated by job function of the user who would be most likely to be accessing these screens.

Example: The Daily Administration button on the Main Menu navigates the user through a series of sub-menus for daily batch processes such as account grouping, assigning accounts to collectors, running contact plan automations, letter printing, figure recalculating. System Administration menus lead to sub-menus pertaining to setups and system configurations which are intended for your personnel who manage operations/IT Techs. Collectors do not have access to either of these areas.

Click on the menu of interest, then use Arrow keys or mouse clicks to move and navigate between items. Press the the Enter key or click your mouse to select a presented option.

Top Menu Bar

The Top Menu Bar provides quick access to several specific command functions and sub-menus in the program.

Toolbar Menu

The Toolbar Menu provides quick access to basic actions like Search, Print, go to First, go to Last, create a New record, Edit an existing record. If the buttons are greyed out, then they are not active for the screen you are currently on.

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Collect! Help

The system ships with user Help access readily available from anywhere in the system. Context sensitive Help is available 2 ways.

1. Blue popup windows will present if your mouse is hovering unmoving for a set number of seconds on a screen or field. The system interprets this pause as the user being unsure of what they want to do next and offers information about what the mouse pointer is currently hovering over.

2. Pressing your F1 key on any field or screen in the system will immediately trigger the opening of an internet browser on your station and you will be navigated directly to an area in the Help pages on our website that describes the use/purpose/function of the field of screen you were on when you pressed F1.

For general access to reference material, your Help Menu drop-down offers the following options:

Takes you to the Help Contents page. This is the equivalent of a table of contents to a full User's Manual organized in order or operations from initial setups to usage of the system.

Quick User's Guide...
Takes you to a convenient user's guide that steps through all the basic functions and features.

How To...
Displays a list of all the How To topics.

Keyboard Tips...
Shows you all the Quick Keys to navigate with.

Displays the Help Index, an alphabetical list of all topics in the Help system. While there is standard industry terminology, different regions and generations of industry professionals have their own common names for various aspects of the business. We have tried to insert help terms with as many synonyms as possible so that no matter what you call it, you can find Help about it in the Index.

Disable popup help...
Allows you to Disable or Enable the Popup Help feature. You may wish to leave popup help enabled while you are getting started and disable it when you are acclimated to the system's basics. Disabling the popup help feature from the Help menu is for the active session only. It will reset to Enable with your next login. You can turn it off completely from a software switch in your Operator setup screen discussed elsewhere in the Help pages.

Member Services...
Takes you to the Member Center on our website.

Training Videos...
Takes you to the Training area of the Member Center where you can select tutorials in Flash video format.

Report Library...
Takes you to the Member Center Report Library where you can view document samples and download templates to add to your report libraries.

3rd Party EDI...
Takes you to the Member Center Electronic Data Interchanges area where you can view details and download working versions of import routines.

Upgrade Software...
Takes you to the Member Center Downloads area where you can review your upgrade or patch update options, and view the latest new features and revisions lists.

Version Check...
Compares the latest shipping version available online to the version you are running. If there is an update available, a message will display letting you know this. You can then select the Upgrade Software option to proceed to the Member Center.

Renew Membership
Takes you to our website where you may renew your membership with all the features and options you are currently licensed for and purchase additional features. This option is only displayed if you currently own a license to Collect!.

Order Now
Takes you to our website where you may purchase a license to Collect!. This option is only displayed if you do not currently own a license to Collect!.

Displays information about the Collect! program. This is useful for your Techs inhouse and our office to assist you quickly and efficiently by being aware of what version you are currently running.

Printing Help
You may print a Help topic by clicking File, then the Print command from your internet browser when viewing the Help topic of interest.

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User Interface Screens

The software maintains consistent conventions throughout the system to provide you with an intuitive, user friendly environment. It is designed to accommodate users who favor mouse point-and-click as well as keyboard control navigation.

Click to view details.
Main Menu

The Top Menu Bar
This menu is topmost on your screen and contains a series of drop-down lists containing the commands or sub-menu options available for selection. A user's level and type determines which of these are enabled for access or greyed out/inaccessible.

The Toolbar Menu
The Toolbar Menu is displayed at the top of the screen and contains buttons for performing several basic functions like enter a New entry, fast-path to the First or Last record in a list, Edit an entry, etc.

Status Bar
A message line is displayed at the very bottom of the screen. In the lower left corner is a word that identifies what you are currently doing, i.e. Browsing or Editing. Next to the identification of what you are currently doing, you will see a display of where you are in the system at present, i.e. Debtor, meaning you are in a debtor screen or debtor lookup list.

Continuing to the right along the Status Bar at the bottom of your screen, you will see a series of capital letters. These are indicators which become highlighted during various processes. Their definitions are as follows:

B or E - Browsing mode, means you are in a list. Edit mode means you have selected an item and can edit if you wish.

M or R - Modified and not yet written to disk. This indicator changes to R for Ready when the system is waiting for you to choose to do something.

S - Search criteria via clicking Find or F6 has been selected and a search key set is currently active.

I or O - This indicator shows you whether you are in Insert mode - input will move any existing data to the right as you type OR Overstrike mode - input will overwrite existing data.

T - Indicator that there is currently an active Tagged list of records.

In the extreme right corner of the the status bar, you will find 2 counter fields. The right-most corner gives you the total records counted in the list you are viewing or have selected by search criteria. The sub-counter to the immediate left displays where you are in the current list if you are scrolling through.

Also in the status bar in the lower right of the screen, you will notice a moving blue bar which is your indicator of completion whenever any type of process is being run.

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Your keyboard contains both normal and extended keys used to control the program. These may be used individually and in combination throughout the system.

Normal Keys
Normal keys include the alphabetic and numeric characters, the punctuation marks and the spacebar. They are used for data entry but their use can be modified when used in conjunction with the Extended or Function keys.

Extended Keys
Extended keys are used to navigate within the program and also to exercise control over the program. They include any of the keys which are not ordinary data entry keys.

Movement Keys

Tab Next field
Shift+Tab Prior field
Right Arrow Move 1 character right
Left Arrow Move 1 character left
Home Go to the start of field
End Go to the end of field
PgUp Next record
PgDn Prior record
Ctrl+PgUp First field
Ctrl+PgDn Last field
Ctrl+Home Go to the start of list
Ctrl+End Go to the end of list

Editing Keys

Enter Save field and go to next
Del Delete cursor character
Backspace Move cursor left, overstriking/removing data
Ins Insert/overstrike
Ctrl+Enter Save and exit
Ctrl+X Cut
Ctrl+C Copy
Ctrl+V Paste
Esc Discard changes

Control Keys

Alt Activate menus
Ctrl Activate buttons
Ctrl+A Select All
Ctrl+F Find. Equivalent to F6
Alt+X Exit the program

Function Keys

F1 Help
F2 Pick from list
F3 Create new record
F4 Edit field
F5 Open form detail
F6 Find record
F7 Delete current record
F8 Save and close

Shift+F1 Record macro
Shift+F2 Play macro
Shift+F3 Paste from the clipboard
Shift+F4 Copy record to clipboard
Shift+F5 Cut record to clipboard

Alt+F4 Exit the program
Alt+F6 Prior record

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Functional Details


Buttons and icons are available commands. Buttons contain a label and icons present with a representative image of what the icon is for - phone icon to dial, folder icon to save a document, printer picture to print a document etc.

Clicking on a button or icon will open a sub-menu, initiate a command, function or process.

Navigating in Lists

Arrow Keys To move up and down in a list and highlight records to be selected.
Enter To Select.
Esc To discard and exit.
Ctrl+PgUp Go to top of the list. Equivalent to clicking First button.
Ctrl+PgDn Go to bottom of the list. Equivalent to clicking Last button.

To Find A Record
From a List, arrow or click into the column header containing the data you wish to search on, i.e. Debtor Name, and type the name of the person you are looking up. The software will fast-path you directly to this record if it exists or to the record which most closely matches. The same method may be used search a list by any criteria column your list contains.

To Add A New Record
There are 3 ways to launch a new entry screen that are consistent throughout the system:

1. Click the New button at the bottom of the window, or

2. Press Ctrl+N, or

3. Press F3.

To Edit a Record in the List
Select a record and press F4.

warning.gif WARNING: This is a full Edit mode that will have you making a live change to the record in question without opening the record. F4 while in a list is a tool for line editing.

To open the record before editing, select the record by highlighting it with your arrow keys or by scrolling. You can then choose your preference of clicking the Edit button, pressing Enter or clicking on the record to open it to view. After making your modification, you can then click OK or F8 to Save and Exit.

To Delete a Record
Select the record you want to delete. You may choose your preference of pressing your F7 or Del keys or clicking the Delete button at the bottom of the screen. You will be asked to confirm your deletion. When prompted by the popup message box to confirm, click Yes to proceed with the deletion or No to cancel the command.

To Copy a Record
Select the record you want to copy. Press Ctrl+C to copy the record to your clipboard and acknowledge the popup prompt that your item is copied. Then press Ctrl+V to paste it.

If you have reason to place your copy in a different location in the list, first navigate to where you want the copied item to appear before executing the paste. Your copied record will be inserted immediately BELOW where you have your highlighted bar situated in the list.

tip.gif If you are undertaking a letter/report/import map modification, it is always recommended to first make a copy of the untouched original template for rollback and/or audit trail.

Alternatively, you can click the Edit drop-down menu from the top of the screen and select the Copy and Paste options.

To Move a Record
Select the record you want to move. Press Ctrl+X to cut the record, then navigate to where you want to reposition it and press Ctrl+V to paste it.

Alternatively, you can click the Edit drop-down menu from the top of the screen and select the Cut and Paste options.

warning.gif WARNING: Do not use CUT as a substitute for Delete. This creates records with data and no names, file numbers or other details associated with them. The records with null fields generated this way will be problematic on a variety of levels.

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What To Do Next

To install the program, refer to the Installation Guide.

To ensure that your system is correctly set up with appropriate user logins and access rights, and that the name and address of your company are correctly entered, refer to the User's Guide - System Administration.

Once you know that these areas have been set up according to your needs, the next step depends on the functions you want to perform.

Refer to the User's Guide - System Administration for configuration of functions and features.

Refer to the User's Guide - Office Administration/Clerical for day-to-day data entry and clerical functions.

Refer to the User's Guide - Working Accounts for collector details.

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