Managing and using short-cuts

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Gilbert 21 - managing and using short-cuts

The steps below describe how a short-cut (which you can also think of as a record template) can be created. To create a template, first use the Create new button from the main form to create a new empty record row. Now set the values of all the fields that you want the short-cut to set.

For example, if you were creating record template for your garden moth-trap you could set the following values:

Once all the fields that you want to feature in your template have values, click the Manage short-cuts button (shown on the right). This invokes a form where you can save the template. In this form, you need to give the template (short-cut) a name in the box labelled New short-cut. The name must start with the hash symbol (#). It is usually best to keep these names short, so if this template referred to a garden moth trap, for example, a good name would be '#gmt'. Once you've typed in the name, click the Add button and the form will close. (If you open the form again, by clicking the Manage short-cuts tool-button, you will see your new short-cut in the list.)

Using a short-cut as a template for a new record

This short-cut is now ready to be used - either by selecting it before a new record is created, or by typing its name into the Common name field on the Record Properties form. The example given above would typically be used as a template for a new record when many records need to be entered with the same values in a number of fields, such as a would happen when entering the catch results from a moth trap.

To use a short-cut as a record template in this way, you would first select the short-cut by name from the short-cut drop-down list on the tool-bar which is just to the right of the Manage short-cuts tool-button of the main form (see image on the right). Whenever you use the New record tool-button with a short-cut selected in the drop-down list like this, the new record will be populated with the values you used to construct the short-cut.

Using a short-cut as a quick way of entering record details

To demonstrate the other way of using a short-cut, consider this situation. You regularly go out bat recording with a heterodyne detector. You mostly record Common Pipistrelles and Soprano Pipistrelles and you always enter the comment 'Identified using heterodyne detector' when you record in this way. You could create a couple of short-cuts as follows.

Short-cut with the name '#pip':

Short-cut with the name '#sop':

So to very quickly enter the details shown above for a Common Pipistrelle, all you need to do is to enter the text '#pip' into the Common name field of Record Properties form and then hit the return key. The values associated with the short-cut are then used to populate the relevant fields (regardless of the tab on which they appear). Likewise to enter the values for a Soprano Pipistrelle, you only need to enter '#sop' into the Common name field and hit the return key. Note that this method is not dependent on the record being created using the new record tool-button - and works just as well for candidate records that are generated, for example, from Visiontac / Columbus data-logger files.

Using the special #adhoc shortcut

When you use the manage short-cuts button from the main form, you will notice that, by default, a short-cut called '#adhoc' is highlighted. This is useful for creating templates on the fly. As an example of how this can be used, consider the '#gmt' template described earlier in this help topic. This was a template that could be used to enter records for moths collected from a garden moth trap. Clearly it was not appropriate to enter the date as part of this template since this will need to be changed for each moth trapping session. On the other hand, for each session there could be dozens of moth records to enter and if new records are based on the '#gmt' template, the date will have to be entered afresh for each record.

The '#adhoc' template allows us to address this as follows. First create a new record based on the '#gmt' template. Then use the Record Properties form to set the relevant date for the trapping session. Now click the manage short-cuts tool-button. The Manage Short-cuts form appears with the '#adhoc' short-cut name already entered into the New short-cut text field. Click the Add button. This updates the '#adhoc' record template which will now be exactly the same as the '#gmt' template with the addition of the correct date for the current moth trapping session. When the Manage Short-cuts form disappears you will see that the '#adhoc' short-cut is already selected in the main form so you can how use the New record tool-button to create new records with all the relevant moth-trapping values and the correct date already set.

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