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Pastor Don's "Beginner's Guide" to EccoPro Concepts (Popularity: 3598 )

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Show the link to this post Pastor Don's "Beginner's Guide" to EccoPro Concepts
12/18/07 at 07:50:31

Once you understand what ecco is doing with data, then you will understand what is happening on the screen in front of you. I don't plan to try to explain everything in this post, but as you work with ecco and talk about it here, things will become clearer. Also, there are old issues of a newsletter called "Easy Ecco" available. You can pick up some of the ecco lingo from there also. GaryE had a post recently that touched on the heart of what ecco is doing. You can find that post here:
The basic piece of data in ecco is an item. An item is associated with various folders (sometimes also called columns), by a folder value. So if I have an item like this: Smith,Joe - that item could be associated with the phonebook by a checkmark value in the phonebook folder/column. The same item can exist in relation to other folders without being in the phonebook at all. When I put an item "in" the phonebook, I do so by giving it a checkmark value in the phonebook folder.
My analogy of this is that items exist in ecco like a sputnik. The round ball part is the item, the little antennae stuck around the ball are the folder values. In ecco, I can only "see" the item if it happens to have a particular folder value and I am looking in that folder.
Ok, enough theory. There are other analogies out there that can help as well.
What you did when you created your custom form was you clicked the button "New Field" to define your items. This is where confusion enters into ecco because it uses terminology like this that is similar to databases you have worked with in the past, but they don't behave in exactly the same way in ecco. The "new field" is actually a folder. It can assign values to items, thus putting the items "in" those folders. Folders can be displayed in any view as columns.
When you are creating a new phone form in ecco, with custom fields, ecco immediately adds them to the phonebook view, creating the scrolling tabs at the top of the view. You don't have to have them display in the view, you can simply remove them while retaining the folder in the folder structure.
So for example, you have a contact at an organization, Joe Smith of Any Charity. Your item will have values like this:
Item: Smith,Joe Phonebook: checkmark Organization: Any Charity
This is where you have created a text folder (new field) and typed in Any Charity as the value for Joe Smith.
You can have the folder "organization" or any other custom folders displaying as columns in the phonebook view, or not, as you prefer. There are several ways to remove columns from the view: you can do it from the Column Menu, or you can right click on the column and select Remove from View, or you can create a toolbar button for the process.
If the item "Any Charity" hasn't got any text in the Company field then ECCO envelope printingskips the empty fields. The solution is simply to create a PhoneBookentry like this with the organization's name as the item text and leave the Company field blank. You can Print Preview this and you'll see that ECCO automatically skips the line typically reserved for Company when there is no text in the Company field.
While we're at it here, it might also be useful to note that ECCO makes it simple to display both work and home address. But ECCO will only print one of them. Click the Phonebook menu and then Address Printing if you want to designate the Home rather than Work address as the item's default print address, or witch the global default for new item between home and work.
If... your envelope is picking up the item "Any Charity" and printing that in bold because that is the item, the "Name". Then it is picking up the Company, "Any Charity" because that is the value in the Company folder. You could probably create a custom envelope for organizations only where it prints just the name and leaves out the "Company" value entirely. I am not entirely clear on this point, because I do all my printing from Word, after an export and mail merge
Some fields do work a bit differently from your custom fields (folders), but here is what is happening with ecco putting the 'company' name in the Name field. Basically, the Name "field" is the item. All data in ecco has to be an item. So when you create a new entry by just entering a "company" in the company field, you haven't created an item. You have assigned values to nothing. So ecco takes the data in the company field and assumes that to be the item, copying the text from one field to the other. Thus you have an entry that looks (in part) like this:
Item: Any Charity Company: Any Charity
Really what you have is an item "Any Charity" that has a value in the Company folder of "Any Charity". So if you wanted to know what items were in the "Company" folder, you could create a notepad based on the company folder, and all the items would show up, including individuals like "Smith,Joe" and the organization "Any Charity".
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« Last Edit: 12/18/07 at 10:40:24 by Admin »  

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