Overall, data entry in the program is divided between 3 panes. The first pane is called the "Institution" pane.
It contains initial data about the institution, the vocabulary used throughout the program to reference the different types of resources and also the custom properties of resources. You are not really required to enter or change this data from its default values, but it does allow you to customize the software. After all, the software is very generic and suitable for many types of institutions, yet we do want it to be adjustable in a way that will make you feel that it was made just for you.
After selecting the institution tab, the toolbar at the top of it will display 3 icons corresponding to the 3 pages of data entry in this tab: institution details, vocabulary and properties. The first page is the institution details. It contains general information about the institution such as name, type, director, telephone, fax, address and notes.
Except for the institution type field, all the fields are simple text fields. To edit these fields, first click on a field, and then take a look at the Properties pane below the Institution pane. The Properties pane will display the field you clicked on and allow you to edit its value.
When you are done editing, press Enter on the keyboard or click with the mouse anywhere on the screen outside the edit field. This will apply the value you typed.
In general, all the editing in the program takes place in the Properties pane at the bottom right corner of the workspace. However, there is another way to edit the fields that you see in a list and that is by switching to the Editing mode. Switching to the Editing mode is done by clicking on the pencil button at the top right corner of the screen. When the Editing mode is active, clicking on any item in a list allows you to edit it. So if you turn the Editing mode on, you can, for instance, click in the Value column to the right of the "Institution Name" field and edit the value right there in the list.
The "Editing" mode is especially useful when editing many resources or filling in many activities, but we will get to that later on in the user's guide. To quit the Editing mode, click again on the pencil button. It will toggle it off.
The institution type field has the following effect. Depending on the type you select, the program adjusts the default vocabulary and icons of resources throughout the whole program's user interface. For example, if you select "University", Activities become "Classes". If you select "Conference", Activities become "Sessions". Like we've said, this only changes the default vocabulary, which means that you still have the option to modify it yourself. What you need to do is select the type of institution which is the closest to yours. If your type is none of the listed types, leave the type as "Generic" and continue to the Vocabulary page to adjust the phrases to what you are used to.
The vocabulary is the second page in the Institution tab. It allows you to define what phrases will be used throughout the program as the names of the resources.
For example, the generic resource "Participant" can be renamed to "Student", "Nurse", "Attendee", "Passenger" and so on. You can define both the single and plural forms of the phrase. In addition, you can change the icon that is associated with every type of resource. The changes you make to the vocabulary affect both what you see on screen and what you print or export. In printouts and reports the names of the resource types appear in column headings for example.
Just like in the institution details page, the vocabulary can be edited either using the Properties pane or by enabling the Editing mode (using the pencil button at the top right corner). In both cases, remember that you need to edit the right value. The left value is the original phrase, e.g. "Supervisor" and the right value is the field in which you can type your preferred custom phrase, e.g. "Instructor".
Icons can be customized in a similar manner. The icons are stored in image files that come with the program, and that is why the icon field contains an image file name and a number. The number is the index of the icon inside that large image file. If you click on it (in the Properties pane or directly in the list when the Editing mode is turned on), a button will appear. Clicking on that button will display a popup list of relevant icons. The program contains several icons for each type of resource which you can choose from.
Since we are discussing the vocabulary, it is worth mentioning that there is even a way to modify any textual phrase used in the program, not only the names of the resources. However, this is a slightly more technical task and it is described later on.
Custom Resource Properties
By default, the database of the program contains a minimal dataset of information about resources which is required solely for scheduling. Resources have a name, an ID, an associated color and a few other attributes. This is enough for the program, but may not be enough for you. In order to allow you to extend this basic dataset and add additional attributes to resources – custom properties are introduced. Custom properties are basically text fields which are saved as part of the database for each resource. These fields can be displayed in visible and popup lists throughout the program, inside the scheduled cells, in printouts, in reports and in all exported data.
In addition to adding properties, it is possible to modify the existing predefined ones. What you can change are the names of the properties, select whether they should be displayed in lists, adjust their column's width in lists or even disable some properties altogether. This is useful, for example, when your institution does not require scheduling some type of resource, equipment for instance. You can disable the Equipment property of Activities and the Equipment column will completely disappear from the Activities list as well as from the properties' display of each activity.
Custom properties are defined in the third page of the Institution tab. When you switch to this page, you will see a list of all the types of resources. If you expand one of the resources, you will see all the properties of that resource. Each property has a Type such as text, number, color, list of other associated resources, etc.
To add a new property, first select the resource type for which you want to add the new property. Afterwards, click on the green plus button at the right and select "Property". The new property will be appended to the end of the list of that resource type's properties.
Once the property is added, you can set its name and column width (if required) in the Properties pane which is below the Institution pane. To change the name click to the right of the Name property and type the new name.
If you want the property to be displayed in the list of resources you need to type a column width. A column width can be specified either in pixels or in percent. For example, a column of 80 pixels will have the value "80" in the column width and a column that should take a third of the width of a list should have the value "30%".
To delete a property that you have added, select it and click on the red minus button at the right toolbar. If any of the predefined properties is irrelevant for your institution, you cannot delete it but you can disable it. Select the irrelevant property, and change the "Enabled?" field in the Properties pane to "No" instead of "Yes". The disabled property will no longer appear anywhere in the program. If you need to enable it in the future, return to this page and change the "Enabled?" field of the property back to "Yes".