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A1. User Interface

This page describes the features of the User Interface (UI) for authoring projects in TextConverter. All of the borders between the window panes can be moved to suit your screen size and work habits. Changes to the window sizes are stored in the registry and persist from project to project. All other settings are saved within the project. A blue vertical pencil indicates a panel that can be opened to reveal additional controls.











TextConverter User Interface



The Menu and Button Bar: Menu: File, Extract, Connect, and Help. Buttons: New Project (), Open Project, Save Project,Run Conversion(Run Conversion), Run Target Reports, Run Free Form Reporting, Help.

Open/Save Dialogue - This is the box that will come up whenever you want to open or save data to a document or database.

All of the target platform components have automatic data source adaptation. The replace data sources dialog will show data sources that have been adapted or moved to a new location and missing data sources or data sources that the project cannot find. The ability to quickly and easily replace data sources makes projects portable from environment to environment, for example, you may wish to move a project from development to QA acceptance testing, to production.
Replace Data Sources - TextConverter has automatic data source adaptation. The replace data sources dialog will show data sources that have been adapted or moved to a new location and missing data sources or data sources that the project cannot find. The ability to quickly and easily replace data sources makes projects portable from environment to environment, for example, you may wish to move a project from development to QA acceptance testing, to production
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Task Scheduler - Use this to automate any schedule activity with TextConverter.

Input Preview: The window pane in the upper left is the input preview. Open an Input File()to get started. You will see a preview of the text in your document in a uniform font with all images removed. The features associated with this view can change depending on the Mode selected in the Options pane and the type of document. If you have created more than one template, the tabs at the top allow you to switch between templates. Every project should have a detailed template to generate output records.

Note: If an input column contains a lot of data, you can scroll the view to the right to see the next column.
    • Select a line of detail data and right click to get started.
    • Adjust the properties of the detailed template and input fields until all the records you want and only the records you want are shown.
    • Right click to "Add top level template" use these higher level templates to collect additional information (fields) about each record
    • To search the data displayed in the input view press CTRL+F and a search dialog will appear.
    • You can cut and paste literal text to create a field mask (to include or exclude records) or use regular expressions

Template Properties: The template properties pane is divided into three sections, Template Properties, Input fields, and Field Properties. Above this section there are buttons, Connect input-output (), Disconnect input-output(), Reset Output Dictionary(), and Context help. To create a template, right click in the Input preview pane or select add template from the Extract menu. Once you have created a template you can customize the properties for the template and for each field in the template. These properties give you ultimate control over the template and the data extraction process. 
Template Properties: Choose a name for your template, for examples "details" or "section header". Fixed templates are the most common type and are applicable to most detail data where the columns do not overlap.
Template Properties: Choose a name for your template, for examples "details" or "section header". Fixed templates are the most common type and are applicable to most detail data where the columns do not overlap. A template can be single-line or multi-line, but each grouping should repeat in the same basic format.

Input Fields: Each field has a type and can be connected to any output field. Choosing a restrictive type like Date will limit the lines that qualify as records. Use the connector buttons, or VBScript, to connect an input field to any field in the output dictionary. Script also allows you to connect input fields to data objects to populate multiple output tables typically in a relational database. Sometimes you will create input fields from data you do not need extracted to give structure to the template. These fields do not need to be connected to output fields.

Field Properties: Changing input field properties is different from changing output field properties. Input field properties determine what data will be extracted from the input document for the field and also determine if a line qualifies as a valid record. Lines are either included or excluded based on the individual field properties.
Name your field anything you like. If you drag a field to the output dictionary, the name and type will propagate but can then be changed without any loss of data.

Choose a type: String, Alphanumeric, Word, Numeric, Date, or Mask. Masks are expressed in the form of regular expressions.
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Trim the left and right to remove unwanted spaces

Can be empty. Set Can be empty to No if this field must always be populated. If the field can sometimes be blank set this to Yes. "Must be" Empty can be a useful setting, in certain circumstances, to remove extra lines that should not be included as records.

Can touch left field or right field. By default, there must be at least one space separating columns. Select this option if you columns are allowed to touch.

Exclude and Include allow you to create regular expressions for data in a field used to control which lines will be extracted to the output, that is, which lines will qualify as records for the template.

Output Dictionary: The output dictionary is the upper right window pane of the user interface (UI). It is divided into two sections: Output fields and Field properties. Above this section there are buttons, Clear the database table connection (), Set output table name(), and Browse the output data table(). Right click to create a new field, connect, disconnect, etc. The blue pencil opens a small panel where you can save your data dictionary or import a dictionary from a table or file. The Field properties section is exceptionally powerful. Here you can find features like Use lookup, Composite input, Use calculated field, and don't miss the "New record" property for features including "Input file name". Feel free to delete fields from the output dictionary that you do not need. If you need more than one output table (or file) for you project, create a DBCreator data object in the Script pane (below) and use just as you would the output dictionary.
              • supports the following:
                •  - These are flat and file-based database tables
                • ODBC - This helps with ODBC (Open Database Connectivity), providing access to different database systems 
                • OLEDB - This helps connect you to an OLEDB (Object Linking and Embedding Database) provider 
              • Date Formats - This is a list of all of the date formats available. You can even create your own date formats.
              • Numeric Formats - This is a description of all of the number formats available 
              • Output Field PropertiesThese properties are used to help you specify your output fields. Here you can access custom setups, such as calculated fields or lookup tables, as well as the very powerful composite input field option. 

            • Output Preview: This section of TextConverter has two tabs. There is a collapsible section on the left containing the list of Target Variables, which could be accessed from within the script. To add variables use the fly menu. For example you can add Data Objects for accessing additional data sources.
              • Preview -  The Preview tab shows the output table sample and allows you to select/highlight each element to see the corresponding element highlighted in the Input text table. 
          • Script. When the script tab is clicked the Script Editor pane opens and the Preview tab is no longer visible. To search the script being edited press CTRL+F and a search dialog will appear. To search and replace, press CTRL+H. 
Working with Data Objects, Variables, and Script: a screenshot of the scripting tab

        • Options: TextConverter offers many Options to adjust, including record and field delimiters. After making changes to the options, it may be necessary to reset the output dictionary using the reset button on the Tool Bar