The Resources pane is the second one after the Institution pane. You can select it by clicking on "Resources" at the right side of the workspace.
The Resources pane is divided to several pages, one page for each type of resource. Use the toolbar at the top of the pane to navigate between these pages.
As you have learned already, the program is generic and is suitable for different scheduling scenarios. For this reason it is possible to rename and customize the original generic names of resources. However, to address a broad audience of readers, the naming convention that we will be using in this user's guide is the generic one. We will be referring to the resources by the following generic names: day, period, theme, group, participant, supervisor, location and equipment.
It is important to understand the role of each type of resource in the scheduling process and their limitations. For example, a human resource cannot be scheduled to two different activities at the same time (unless explicitly uniting the activities into a "Set") whereas a location or equipment resources allow double booking depending on their properties like how large a location is or how many items of the same kind of equipment are in stock.
It is also important to understand that resources are not the ones that are actually scheduled – you never schedule a standalone resource. What you do schedule is Activities. An activity is formed by associating one or more resources together. Even if only a single resource needs to be scheduled, an activity has to be created for that single resource. Whenever an activity is scheduled, all its associated resources are considered as scheduled as well. The scheduled activity will appear in all their personal schedules.
There are 4 types of time resources: weeks, days, time scales and periods. There are 3 types of physical resources: human resources (groups, participants and supervisors), location resources (you may know them as venues, rooms or buildings) and equipment resources. There is 1 type of conceptual resources: thematic resources (themes and sub themes). An activity can include resources of any type. An activity does not necessarily have to include all the types of resources.
Weeks and Days
There are two modes of operation concerning weeks and days. The first mode is working with actual weeks and dates which you pick from a calendar. In this mode there is no need to enter anything in the Days page of the resources pane. You can skip this page and continue to the next one.
The second mode, however, is when you need to schedule activities on generic, "template like" days. Such days usually form the basis for a weekly, bi-weekly, or some other kind of recurring schedule.
If this is the kind of schedule that you are constructing, you need to enter week(s) and days in this first page of the Resources pane.
The list in this page is organized in a hierarchy of top-level items which are weeks and sub-items which are days. As opposed to a week in a calendar, the weeks that you enter here are not required to have 7 days. They can have less or more days. Still, if you have more than 5-7 days, you should consider organizing them in a multiple-week structure for two reasons. First, once you have a series of days being listed under a single week, selecting that week in any popup list in the program automatically selects all that week's days. That is more convenient than having to select each day separately.
The second reason is related to the Changes module of the program in which you can make changes to the generic schedule on a daily basis. You see, each week can be mapped to a different range of actual calendar dates, so if you are constructing a generic schedule for several semesters in advance, you can use Weeks as equivalents of semesters. Once you do that, switching to the Changes mode will allow the program to show the correct schedule on each day of each semester because the program will know which date corresponds to which week's day.
If you enter several weeks which share the same range of dates, the days of these weeks will alternate over that period of time. For example, if you have two weeks with 5 days each, the first date in the range will be mapped to the first day of the first week, the 6th day will be mapped to the first day of the second week, the 11th day will be mapped again to the first day of the first week and so on. To add weeks or days to the list, click on the green plus button at the right toolbar. A menu will open up with the following options:
- Weekdays – One week and 7 days will be added. The days will have the weekday names Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If needed, you can delete the unnecessary weekdays after adding them.
- Week – One week will be added, without any days.
- Day – One day will be added.
- Days (7) – One week and 7 days will be added. The days will have the names Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6 and Day 7. If necessary, you can delete the unnecessary weekdays after adding them.
To delete a week or a day, select it by clicking on it and then click on the red minus button at the right toolbar. You can also reorder weeks or days using the black up and down buttons at the right. Select an item in the list and then use these buttons to move it to a different position.
If you click on a week or a day in the list, the Properties pane will display their properties. Here are the available properties.
- Name – The full name of the week.
- Abbreviated – The short version of the week's name. It can be displayed in the schedule instead of the full name. [Optional property]
- Start Date – The calendar date which is mapped to the first day of this week. Used in the Changes module to display this week's schedule on actual dates and allow you to make daily changes to the planned schedule. [Optional property]
- End Date – The calendar date which is mapped to the last occurrence of the last day of this week. If the range of dates specified by the Start and End dates is longer than the week's length, the program assumes the week repeats itself during the time frame specified by the Start and End dates. [Optional property]
- Continues to Next? – If set to "Yes", this means that the first day of the next week fluently follows the last day of this week. This is important only for the sake of one scenario – in case there are night shifts in your institution which span over two days, e.g. night shift starts at 10:00pm on one day and ends at 7:00am on the following day, the program needs to know that it can "connect" the two days.
- Name – The full name of the day.
- Abbreviated – The short version of the day's name. It can be displayed in the schedule instead of the full name. [Optional property]
- Weekday – The weekday(s) which this day is mapped to. Relevant to the Changes module only. When the program has to map weeks and days to actual calendar dates, it needs to know which weekdays map to which days. This is especially important to define in case of a few alternating days such as Day 1 and Day 2 which could for instance be mapped to Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Tuesday, Thursday (accordingly). [Optional property]
- Week – This property contains the parent week of this day. You can move a day from one week to another by changing this property.
- Continues to Next? – If set to "Yes", this means that the next day succeeds this day. In this case, if a night shift starts on the current day, the program will know that it fluently continues on the following day. Relevant only in case there are night shifts in your institution. [Optional property]
Time Scales and Periods
The second page in the Resources pane is the Time Scales and Periods page. A Time Scale defines the layout of the time axis of the schedule which is usually the y-axis (unless the axes are flipped). There are two types of layouts. The first type is when the time scale displays exact hours and minutes such as 8:00, 8:30, 9:00 etc. The second type is when the time scale is comprised of named or numbered periods or shifts such as Period 1, Morning Shift, Lunch, etc. The program supports both types and even a mix of them.
Time Scale of Hours and Minutes
If you need the schedule's time axis to show hours and minutes, the minimum that you have to do in this page is add a single time scale. To do this, click on the green plus button at the right toolbar and select "Time Scale". Once you do that, the time scale will be added to the list.
The name of the newly added time scale will be "Resources: All". What does this mean? It means that this time scale will be applied to all the resources. You see, the program is designed to support a multitude of scheduling scenarios, including ones in which there are different times scale configurations for different resources. For example, one resource's schedule could start at 8:00am and end at 6:00pm and another's start at 5:00am and end at 4:00pm. For this reason, the time scale's name depicts the resources for which it is applied. If you have such a need for several time scales, you can add more of them using the green plus button and configure the resources for which each should be applied in the Properties pane. The properties of a time scale are explained further below.
Time Scale of Periods
If you need the schedule's time axis to show periods which have names or numbers, you need to list them in this page. The most basic configuration is defining one series of periods for all resources and all days.
However, the program does support different sets of periods for different resources and even different periods for different days of the same resource. For example, the same resource can have one series of periods on Monday through Thursday and a different series of periods on Friday.
To support all configurations of periods, even the complex ones which have different periods for different resources and days, the list in this page is organized in a 3-level hierarchy. The first level contains a "time scale" item which defines a collection of resources. On the second level, underneath the time scale, is the "time scale days" item which defines a collection of days. On the third and last level, underneath the "time scale days", are the enumerated periods. If you look at it from bottom to top, each period has a parent item which defines the days on which that period should appear, and a grand-parent item which defines the resources for which that period is relevant.
Notice that the above hierarchy allows having multiple items on each level, thus enabling you to define different periods for different resources (by defining several first level "time scale" items, each containing its own set of resources) as well as different periods for different days (by defining several second level "time scale days" items, each containing its own set of days).
To add periods or time scales to the list, click on the green plus button at the right toolbar. You will have the following options to choose from.
- Time Scale – Adds a "time scale" object to the list. You can select the resources of this time scale in the properties pane. By default, all resources are selected.
- Time Scale Days – Adds a "time scale days" object to the list. It will be added under the currently selected time scale. You can select the days of this "time scale days" object in the Properties pane. By default, all days are selected.
- Period – Adds a single period to the list. It will be added under the currently selected "time scale days" object.
- Periods (5) – Adds 5 periods to the list. They will be added under the currently selected "time scale days" object.
You can rearrange the periods in the list using the black up and down arrows at the right toolbar. Select a period and then use these arrows to move the period up or down in the list.
Here are the properties of a "time scale", "time scale days" and "period" objects.
- Name – This is actually a read-only property. Its value reflects the resources selected for this time scale.
- Time Scale? – If set to "Yes", the time axis of the schedule's grid will be forced to display hours and minutes even though periods are defined. The periods will be displayed inside the grid as cell placeholders separately on each day. This property is meaningful only when the time scale contains periods.
- Start Time – The earliest hour on the time scale axis.
- End Time – The latest hour on the time scale axis.
- Interval – The length in minutes of one row in the grid. The shorter the interval, the more rows will be displayed. This value does not have any adverse effect on the length of scheduled activities. You will be able to schedule activities of any length without any relation to the interval of the time axis that you define here. The interval is only a display feature. This property is meaningful only when the time scale does not contain periods or when the "Time Scale?" property is set to "Yes".
- Sub Interval – The length in minutes of one sub row in the grid. You see, rows are divided by horizontal lines into sub intervals. This is also merely a display feature. The most common configuration is to have an interval of one hour and a sub interval of 30 minutes, but you can adjust it however you like.
- Precision – This is the precision with which you will be able to schedule activities. A default precision of 5 minutes will allow you to schedule activities on 5 minute boundaries, e.g. 8:05-8:55. You will not be able to drag and drop an activity to 8:07 for example. However, if you set the precision to 1 minute, you will have this ability. Depending on your institution's scheduling needs, you can keep this property at 5 minutes; change it to 1 minute; or 10 minutes; or 15 minutes for instance.
- Resources – All? – This property determines whether the time scale should be applied to all the resources. Set this value to "No" if you would like this time scale to be defined only for specific resources.
The following properties are like the last property, only each for a specific type of resource. For example, you can have this time scale be applied only to the Groups in your database by selecting "Resources – All? – No" but "Groups – All? – Yes".
The last properties of the time scale allow you to select discrete resources in case this time scale is very unique and should be applied only to those specific resources.
Time Scale Days
- Resources – Contains the parent "time scale" item. It is possible to move the "time scale days" item from one parent item to another by changing this property, although this is rarely done.
- Name – A read only value which reflects the selected days.
- Days – All? – This property determines whether the periods listed under this item should be applied to all the days. Set this value to "No" if you would like to have a separate list of periods for different days.
- Weeks, Days, Start Date, End Date and Weekdays – All these properties allow you to select the weeks, days, dates and weekdays for which the underlying list of periods is relevant. You can have as many "time scale days" items as you need, each with its own series of periods.
- Hide cell times? – This is rarely used. There is an option in the view settings (which are explained later on) to display the starting and ending time of each cell. This property makes it possible to override this ability and have the program hide these times.
- Days – Contains the parent "time scale days" item. It is possible to move this period from one parent item to another by changing this property.
- Name – The name of the period. It can have a numeric or textual value.
- Abbreviated – The short version of the period's name. It is possible to have the program display the abbreviated names instead of the full names in the view settings.
- Start Time – The start time of this period.
- End Time – The end time of this period.
In order to define a night shift, i.e. have the period end on the following day, add 24 hours to the end time field. For example, if the night shift starts at 8:00pm and ends at 6:00am on the next day, enter "30:00" as the end time. The value will be substituted with "06:00am +1", meaning 6am plus one day.
The third page in the Resources pane is the Themes page.
Each activity can be assigned one or more themes. A theme is not a physical resource, thus it does not have the capability of causing conflicts due to double booking. However, themes serve several important other purposes.
First, they provide a title for what an activity is all about and encompass the idea of what people are doing by participating in an activity. The theme of an activity appears in each cell in which the activity is scheduled. Like any resource, a theme can be assigned a color, and one of the options is to have all the cells in which a theme is scheduled have the background (or text) color of the theme.
Second, the program allows a centralized view of all the scheduled activities of a specific theme on any day. Because themes can be organized in a hierarchy of main themes, sub-themes, sub-sub-themes (and so on), this is especially comfortable because when you view the schedule of a theme, you also see all its sub-themes' activities. Organizationally-wise this can be an advantage for large institutions.
Themes also play an important role in the enrollment of participants to activities. You see, instead of pre-enrolling participants to activities, there is the possibility of selecting "elective" themes for participants. Once a participant has elected a theme, the program can offer a user friendly selection of that theme's activities for the participant, together with the information of which of these activities would not cause a conflict in the participant's schedule.
To add theme(s) to the list, click on the green plus button at the right toolbar. A menu will be shown with two options: Theme and Themes (5). The first option adds one theme to the list and the second adds 5 themes. You can edit the selected theme's properties in the Properties pane. Here are the available properties.
- Name – The full name of a theme.
- Abbreviated – The short version of the theme's name. It can be displayed in the schedule instead of the full name by changing this in the schedule's view settings.
- Color – A color associated with the theme. This property is optional. If filled, it's possible to define that all the cells in which the theme is scheduled be painted with this color. This can be defined in the view settings.
- Sub Theme of – This is where you can turn a theme into a sub-theme of one or more "parent" themes. In the list the theme will appear underneath all its parent themes. All the activities of sub-themes appear in their parent theme's schedule.
- Participants – This is a "two-way" property, meaning that it's possible to select here the elective participants for a theme, and it is equally possible to select the elective themes of a participant via participants' properties later on in the Participants page. In any case, both properties sum up the enrolled resources of the opposite kind (this property right here will sum up all the participants which have elected this theme).
To delete a theme, select it and click on the red minus button at the right toolbar. To change the order of themes, select a theme and then use the black up and down arrows at the right to move it up or down. You can also sort the list by clicking on a column title.
A group is a gathering of people which share a common interest or activity.
A group can be symbolic or explicit. This means that a group can be created with or without actually entering its participants as separate resources which are enrolled to it. When the group is symbolic, the program would raise a conflict only when two activities of that group are scheduled at the same time (so the group itself is double booked). When a group contains explicit participants, the program would also raise a conflict when any of the enrolled participants is booked at the same time as the group is.
Groups can have sub-groups. A group can be both a sub-group and a "parent" group (have sub groups on its own). A group can be a sub-group of multiple parent groups. Such a group will appear underneath each of its parent groups in the list. All the sub-group's scheduled activities appear in the schedules of all its parent groups (and their parent groups as well and so on). Two sub groups of the same parent group are not considered as conflicting (even though they share the same parent) unless there is at least one explicit participant who is enrolled to both of them. In such a case the program would raise a conflict upon attempting to schedule them at overlapping times.
Although we have not reached the chapter explaining about activities yet, it should be clear by now that activities are the building blocks of a schedule and they are the ones being scheduled. Now, as you know, an activity is a bundle of resources. Both groups and standalone participants can be assigned to an activity. This raises the question of what would be the benefit of creating a group, then enrolling participants to the group and then creating an activity for that group compared to – skipping the group creation, creating an activity straight ahead and enrolling the participants directly to the activity. Well, there may be two benefits depending on the circumstances. First, if the same group of participants takes part in more than one activity, it makes more sense to create a group once, enroll the participants to the group, and then go ahead and select that group for all its activities instead of selecting participants individually. Second, by creating a group resource, you get the possibility of viewing the group's schedule, and seeing all its scheduled activities. Otherwise you only have the possibility of viewing individual participants' schedules. If any of these two benefits is relevant, it makes sense to create groups. Otherwise there is no point and you can enroll participants directly to activities (note that we have not been talking about symbolic groups here, only about groups which explicitly list their participants).
Since the program allows you to monitor capacity conflicts, such as when too many people are scheduled in one location (e.g. room), symbolic groups which do not explicitly list their participants still have the option to enter their overall number of participants. This way you can benefit from not having to worry about capacity overruns without actually entering all the participant names in the database.
Although in the above explanation we have been referencing participants, it is equally possible to enlist supervisors in groups. Groups have a property to enter enrolled supervisors just like they have a property to enter participants. A group may contain both. However, if an activity contains a single supervisor it is more comfortable to enlist the supervisor directly in the activity, and not bundle him/her with the group. If there are several supervisors involved who do form some sort of a group, it may be worthwhile to consider creating a dedicated group resource for those supervisors.
To add one or more groups to the list, click on the green plus button at the right toolbar. You will see two options. The first one ("Group") adds a single group to the list and the second one ("Groups (5)") adds 5 groups to the list. A group has the following properties.
- Name – The full name of the group.
- Abbreviated – The short version of the group's name. You can toggle between displaying full or short group names in the schedule or in lists all over the program.
- Color – The associated group's color. Cells in which the group is scheduled can be painted with this color.
- Sub Group of – A selection of the parent groups of this group. A sub group appears under all its parent groups in the list.
- Participants – A selection of the participants who are enrolled to this group. This is a two-way property. Participants also have a property in which they can select the groups in which they take part.
- Supervisors – A selection of the supervisors who are enrolled to this group. This is also a two-way property with regard to supervisors.
You can rearrange groups using the black up and down arrows at the right toolbar. You can also sort the list by clicking on a column title. To delete a group, select it and click on the red minus button. You can select multiple items in the list by holding down the Ctrl key while clicking on an item.
A participant is a human individual who takes part in one or more groups or activities. Like all human resources, trying to schedule a participant in two different activities at the same time would cause a conflict (unless the activities are united into a "Set", something that's explained later). As explained in the previous section about groups, participants can be enrolled to groups or directly to activities (or of course a mix of both). When a participant is enrolled to a group, any activity which the group is part of is considered as an activity in which the participant also takes part.
Participants can also be enrolled to specific cells. This means that an activity can be created without specifying participants at all, and individual scheduled cells of that activity can have various participants assigned to them dynamically on the fly, after they are already scheduled. Each cell can have a different list of participants. This is somewhat contradictory to the idea that complete activities must be created in advance, but it does provide a degree of freedom required by some institutions when it comes to participant scheduling. The selection of participants for a cell takes place in the Properties pane, as you will see later when cells' properties are explained.
Participants can also be enrolled to elective themes. Enrolling a participant to a theme means that the participant is required to take part in an activity of that theme, but the actual activity is yet unknown (assuming of course that there is more than one activity of that sort). Now, once you enter the activities, the program becomes aware of which activities are associated with which themes. This makes it possible then to offer you a selection of the relevant activities for each participant, and even point out whether enrolling the participant to any of these activities would cause a conflict in his/her schedule.
Since a list of participants can be a very long list in large institutions, there are 3 ways to display that list. The first is the regular format in which all the participants are listed and can be sorted alphabetically. In the second format the participants are arranged by groups. In this format the list contains groups at its top level, and underneath each group is the list of participants enrolled to that group. The 3rd way to organize the list is by themes. This is just like groups, only now themes appear as the top level items in the list and underneath each theme are the participants who elected that theme. The format can be selected in a tab above the list of participants. The format can also be selected in all popup lists throughout the program. There it is selected in a tab which appears below the popup list.
To add one or more participants to the list, click on the green plus button at the right toolbar. You will see two options. The first one ("Participant") adds a single participant to the list and the second one ("Participants (5)") adds 5 participants to the list. A participant has the following properties.
- Name – The full name of the participant. It may contain both the last name and the first name.
- Abbreviated – The short version of the name, if applicable.
- Color – The color associated with the participant. It's possible to request the program to paint all the cells in which the participant is scheduled with this background color.
- Groups – This is the property which allows enrolling the participant to groups. It is a two-way property. Groups also have a parallel property in which participants can be selected.
- Activities – This property sums up the activities to which the participant is directly enrolled. The actual assignment of the participant to activities is usually done in the Activities pane and not here.
- Themes – The participant's elective themes. This is where a participant can be enrolled to themes. The assignment of the participant to groups or activities based on these elective themes is explained later because a prerequisite of this process is having entered activities, and we haven't got to explaining about activities entry yet. At this stage it's enough to select the themes that this participant is interested in or just leave this property empty.
You can rearrange participants using the black up and down arrows at the right toolbar. You can also sort the list by clicking on a column title. To delete a participant, select the appropriate row and click on the red minus button. You can select multiple items in the list by holding down the Ctrl key while clicking on an item.
A supervisor is a human individual who takes part in groups or activities. Usually supervisors are enrolled directly to activities, although they can be enrolled to groups as well. Most commonly, an activity has a single supervisor and multiple participants (but this is not mandatory). Like all human resources, scheduling a supervisor in two activities with overlapping times causes a "double booking" conflict in the supervisor's schedule.
There is one advantage to creating groups of supervisors and that is the ability to view team schedules. By enrolling several supervisors into a group you are in fact creating a team group resource. Even if you do not create any activities for that group, it could still be beneficial to create the group because it would allow you to view all its team members' activities in the same schedule. This is helpful when several supervisors have something in common and you are interested in quickly viewing their combined schedule (which is an "intersection" of all their personal schedules).
Supervisors can be enrolled directly to cells. This means that it is possible to create an activity without specifying a supervisor at all or with specifying several possible supervisors, and then be able to choose a different supervisor for each occurrence (each cell) of that activity.
To add one or more supervisors to the list, click on the green plus button at the right toolbar. You will see two options. The first one ("Supervisor") adds a single supervisor to the list and the second one ("Supervisors (5)") adds 5 supervisors to the list. A supervisor has the following properties.
- Name – The full name of the person. It may contain both the last and the first names.
- Abbreviated – The short version of the person's name, if applicable.
- Color – The color associated with the supervisor. By default, all the cells in which the supervisor is scheduled are painted with this background color.
- Groups – A selection of the groups in which the supervisor takes part. Every activity which one of these groups is a part of will appear in the supervisor's schedule as well.
You can rearrange supervisors using the black up and down arrows at the right toolbar. You can also sort the list by clicking on a column title. To delete a supervisor, select the appropriate row and click on the red minus button. You can select multiple items in the list by holding down the Ctrl key while clicking on an item.
A location is a venue such as a room or a building. Locations can be organized in a hierarchy of "parent" locations and sub-locations. The simplest example is buildings being the "parent" locations and rooms being the sub-locations. The existence of "parent" locations does provide the possibility of displaying their sub-locations' combined schedules (such as all the activities taking place in a certain building) as well as defining distances between buildings, but if these features are not required it is perfectly reasonable to define all the locations as a single list without using the hierarchical structure.
In contrast to other resources, a location is a resource which does allow multiple activities, groups or individuals scheduled in it at the same time – but only up to a predefined capacity. Once that capacity is overrun, a conflict is declared by the program. For each location it is possible to specify 4 separate maximum values: the maximal amount of participants, supervisors, groups and activities which can fit in that location. It is also possible to set these 4 capacities to unlimited values.
Locations can specify distances from other locations. A distance, in this case, is the average time it takes to travel from one location to another. These distances are closely monitored by the program when you schedule activities. If a person is scheduled in two activities, each activity being in a different location, the program verifies that the duration of time between the moment the first activity ends and the moment the second activity begins (i.e. the gap between them) is at least the specified distance between these two locations. If it's not, the program will warn you about a distance conflict.
Each occurrence (scheduled cell) of the same activity can have a different location assigned to it. This means that it is possible to leave the location field of an activity empty or with a few selected optional values, and assign the location separately for each cell during the actual scheduling phase (and not during the activity entry phase).
To add one or more locations to the list, click on the green plus button at the right toolbar. You will see two options. The first one ("Location") adds a single location to the list and the second one ("Locations (5)") adds 5 locations to the list. A location has the following properties.
- Name – A textual name or number of this location.
- Abbreviated – The short version of the name or number, if applicable.
- Color – The color assigned to this location. This is an optional field. If used, cells in which the location is scheduled may be painted with a background color matching this color.
- Sub Location of – If this location is located inside a larger "parent" location, you can specify the parent location in this field. It is even possible to specify multiple "parents".
- Max. Participants – The maximal number of participants which can fit in this location. For an unlimited value, type "0". If you do, the value will turn into the infinity symbol ∞.
- Max. Supervisors – The maximal number of supervisors which can fit in this location. For an unlimited value, type "0".
- Max. Groups – The maximal number of groups which can be scheduled in this location without causing a conflict. For an unlimited value, type "0". The default value is "1" (meaning that trying to schedule more than one group in this location is considered as a conflict).
- Max. Activities – The maximal number of activities which can share this location without causing a conflict. For an unlimited value, type "0". The default value is "1" (meaning that trying to schedule more than one activity in this location is considered as a conflict).
- Equipment – This field allows you to specify which equipment resides in this location.
- Distances – This is where distances from other locations are specified. The way to do this is by opening the popup list in this property and typing next to another location the distance (in minutes) from this location. Note that it is actually enough to specify distances between the parent locations (e.g. buildings) without having to specify distances between each and every pair or sub-locations (e.g. room) within them.
You can rearrange locations using the black up and down arrows at the right toolbar. You can also sort the list by clicking on a column title. To delete a location, select the appropriate row and click on the red minus button. You can select multiple items in the list by holding down the Ctrl key while clicking on an item.
Equipment is pretty much any kind of movable physical object which may be required by an activity. An equipment resource is unique in the way that it is the only resource which has a quantity property. This property depicts the number of items of that resource available in stock. It is assumed that these items are all equivalent to each other. The program would allow scheduling multiple simultaneous activities which use that equipment only up to the specified number of items. Otherwise a conflict is reported by the program saying that there are not enough items to accommodate all the overlapping activities which require that type of equipment.
The equipment page contains a regular one level list with all the types of equipment. To add a new type of equipment, click on the green plus button at the right toolbar. You will see a popup menu with two options. The first option ("Equipment Item") adds a single equipment item and the second option ("Equipment (5)") adds 5 items. An equipment item has the following properties.
- Name – The full name of the type of equipment.
- Abbreviated – The short version of the name, if applicable.
- Color – A color associated with this resource.
- Quantity – The number of items of this particular type of equipment available in stock. It is assumed that these items are equivalent to each other and interchangeable with one another. If not, you should add a new equipment item for each unique type of resource.
The list of equipment can be sorted by clicking on a column title in the list. You can also rearrange it manually using the black up and down arrows at the right toolbar. Select an item in the list and then use these buttons to move it up or down.
Bulk Color Assignment
Instead of manually assigning a color to each resource, the program has an option to assign colors to all the resources at once. This is done by clicking on the paintbrush button at the right toolbar. A popup menu will open up with two options. The first option "Assign random colors" will simply assign colors randomly. If you don't like the result, you can repeat the random color assignment or you can amend some colors manually. The second option in the popup menu, "Assign shades of a color", will first let you select some base color and then assign shades of that base color. It will start from a dark shade of that color and move on to assigning lighter and lighter colors.
If there is a single selected resource in the list or no selection at all, the colors will be assigned to all the resources in the list. However, if there are multiple resources selected, the assignment of colors will be applied only to those selected resources. You can exploit this behavior, for example, by selecting several resources which have something in common and applying shades of the same color to them. This may distinguish them from other resources while maintaining a similarity pattern.
In order to speed up the process of data entry, the program provides a possibility to edit the resources' properties inside the list itself (like in spreadsheet applications), without having to go through the Properties pane. This editing mode is turned on by clicking on the pencil button at the top of the right toolbar.
In the editing mode, clicking on any resource in the list lets you immediately edit the value that you clicked on. You can continue the entire editing process using only the keyboard: move between values of the same resource using the Tab key on the keyboard, and move between resources using the up and down keys.
Naturally, the editing mode allows you to edit only the properties visible in the list. The properties which do not have a dedicated column in the list and are visible only in the Properties pane can only be edited there. However, remember that in the Institution pane you can select which properties are displayed in the list (and set their column width and position). So you can always go there, define a column width for the required property (even if only for the sake of bulk editing) and then be able to edit that property in the editing mode. Once you are finished editing, you can go back and hide that property's column by setting a column width of zero.
Bulk Property Editing
Suppose you need to set the same property value to many resources, e.g. select the same parent group for 20 groups, you do not have to do it one by one 20 times. What you can do is first select the 20 resources and only then edit the property in the Properties pane. You see, the Properties pane will apply the newly edited value to all the currently selected resources as a single operation.
There are 3 ways to select multiple items in a list. The first way is to hold down the Ctrl key on the keyboard pressed and then click on the items you wish to select. Holding down the Ctrl key informs the program that you would like the clicked-upon item to be added to the existing selection. The second way is applicable in case there is a range of subsequent items that you would like to select: you select the first item simply by clicking on it, then scroll down to the last item, hold down the Shift key on the keyboard and then click on the last item. This selects all the items in between as well. The third way is by using the mouse. You can click on an item and without releasing the mouse button move the mouse down to the next item. It will be selected as well. Continue moving the mouse until you reach last item and then release the left mouse button.
One last note, the above described steps for selecting multiple items are irrelevant if the editing mode is turned on because in the editing mode clicking on an item initiates its editing and not its selection. In such case, to enable multiple selections, first turn off the editing mode by clicking on the pencil button.