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B. User Interface Basics

The User Interface (UI) is your dashboard or control panel 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 few quick basics before we start. Your "input data source" or input file is the file that you will be extracting the data from. The project file is the file (name.converterx) the TextConverter uses to store everything about the project, including the locations of the input and output data sources, your templates, and any script, you may have used.  An output preview is generated while you work.  This is not the same as your "output data source" or output file.  The output data source is only updated when you push the running man (Run Conversion) icon or Run Conversion button. When you run a process a log file is generated at %temp%target_process_n.dbf that lists what happened when the process was run.  The log path is shown and can be edited under "View" "Project Properties".

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.

Input Preview: The window pane in the upper left is the input preview. Open an Input File(Load 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. Select a line of detail data and right click to get started. 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.

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 (Connect Fields), Disconnect input-output(Disconnect Fields), Reset Output Dictionary(Disconnect Fields), 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. 

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.

Output Preview/Script: This section of TextConverter has two tabs: Preview and Script. 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. 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. 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.