Gilbert 21 - entering ad hoc notes
Although Gilbert 21 was primarily designed to facilitate the creation of biological records from hand-held devices like GPS data-loggers, it has always had facilities that enable records to be entered directly - e.g. by translating from field notebooks - and includes a number of features designed to make that whole process faster and simpler.
The New record tool-button
To create a new record from scratch, you click the Create new record tool-button (see image on right). If you have no short-cut selected (described later in this help topic), this results in a blank new record row appearing in Gilbert's main form window. The row has no values for any of its fields except those specified in the options for Default recorder and Default determiner. Click anywhere on the record row to invoke the Record Properties form and fill in the values.
The Copy record tool-button
Sometimes when you are entering records from a notebook or another written source, you want to create records which are identical in most respects - e.g. recorder, determiner, grid reference, location name and date - and differ only in one or two important respects such as the identity of the taxon. The Copy record tool-button is one method which facilitates the creation of such records.
To use the Copy record facility, first select the record you want to copy. You can do this by clicking anywhere on the record row in the main form, but this normally invokes the Record Properties form. To select a record without invoking this form, just click on the grey column at far left of the row (where the rows are numbered). Once the record is selected, click the Copy record tool-button shown on the right. This creates a new record - and corresponding row on the main form - just below the selected row.
You will notice that not all of the field values are copied. By default, the values of the fields relating to 'what' was recorded (taxon, abundance etc) are not copied. You can control what fields are copied, and which are not, when you use the copy record button. You do this on Gilbert 21's Options form - to invoke that click the Options tool-button on the main form (shown on the right). You will see a list of fields marked Clear on copy fields. The ones that are ticked are the ones that get cleared when a record is copied or, put another way, the ones that are ticked are the ones that are not copied.
Using the short-cut feature for new records
The short-cut feature can be used in a couple of ways, but probably the most useful is as a way to create new records based on a template. For example, suppose that you regularly trap moths at a certain location, you can create a record template which includes the location name, grid reference and perhaps a complex comment like '125w mercury vapour Skinner moth trap in garden. Run through the night.' Then you can create new records based on this template using the Create record tool-button and these values will automatically be set for the new record. For the details of how to do this, consult the Managing and using short-cuts topic to see how a short-cut - or record template - is created.
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