Chapter 82 Data Entry

Big Business uses a variety of user interface elements to make the UI fast and easy.

This chapter covers basic techniques for data-entry, selecting from lists, adding to lists, and so on. Learning techniques like using Typeahead effectively will save you time.

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  Entering Data

Entering Data (6362)

Because Big Business contains many different kinds of data, there are several ways to enter it:
• Data fields are used for text that you freely enter?addresses, account numbers, comments, and so on.

• Predefined fields contain information that is restricted to a range of possible alter- natives. For example, when you enter a customer contact, you can choose from a number of possible titles. In most cases, you can make changes to the list of choices. There are two kinds of predefined fields: QuickChoose and QuickPop. These fields are described in "Entering Information in Predefined Fields" later in this chapter.

• Line items are for information about transactions. For example, when you create an invoice, you enter information about each item the customer purchases. You enter line item information into rows and columns in specially designated areas.

The following sections include instructions about how to enter data in each of these types of fields. The next section, "Typing Ahead," describes a shortcut you can use when entering data in certain kinds of fields.


Typeahead (6363)

In predefined fields and in some line item areas, you can save time by using the typeahead feature. If you already know what you want to enter, you can type the first several characters, then press Return or Tab. If you have typed in enough characters to uniquely identify what you're entering, the rest is filled in. If you haven't typed enough characters, a list of possible alternatives appears, with the closest match highlighted. Choose what you want to enter from the list.

When you're entering line items into windows like invoices and bills, the type-ahead feature is especially powerful. By typing just a few characters, you can enter a great deal of information about an item. For example, when you use type-ahead for an item in an invoice, the full item name is filled in along with item details like description and price.

  Entering Text into Data Fields

Entering Text into Data Fields (6364)

Data fields allow you to freely enter text and numbers. Some data fields, such as address fields, allow you to enter any combination of letters and numbers. Others, such as those calling for a dollar amount, prevent you from entering inappropriate characters. Still other fields are specially formatted for certain kinds of information. For example, phone number fields are formatted for phone numbers. All you do is enter the numbers. Big Business inserts parentheses and hyphens in the right places.

The size of a data field is a general indication of how much information can be entered:

• Small fields, like those used for a name or address, are limited to the number of characters that will fit into the visible area of the field. Some small fields, such as an address field, allow you to enter multiple lines, but each line is limited in length.

• Larger data fields, like those used for comments in some windows, can contain a large amount of text. If you enter more than will fit in the visible area, scroll bars appear. In these larger fields, lines wrap as they do in a word processor.

  To Enter Text into Data Fields

To Enter Text into Data Fields (6365)

You enter text by moving to a field and typing. Big Business uses standard text editing conventions and functions:

• The Edit menu contains the standard Undo, Cut, Copy, Paste, Clear, Select All, and Show Clipboard commands. Some of these commands have keyboard shortcuts. See "Keyboard Shortcuts" later in this chapter for a list.

• Use standard mouse techniques for selecting text. Double-clicking a word selects the entire word.

• Use the left and right arrow keys to move one character at a time through text.

• In multiple-line fields, the Return key moves the cursor to the next line. (Normally, this key moves the cursor to the next field in the window. See "Moving Between Fields in a Window," earlier in this chapter, for more information.)

  Entering Information in Predefined Fields

Entering Information in Predefined Fields (6366)

Predefined fields contain information that is restricted to a range of possible alternatives. These alternatives are stored in a list, which you can often edit. For example, when you choose the title for your primary contact in a Customer Card, you normally use one of the titles that has already been entered. If the correct title doesn't appear in the list, you can add it. See "Editing QuickPop Lists", later in this chapter.

You can recognize a predefined field by the presence of a QuickPop icon or QuickChoose icon next to the field. The QuickPop icon means that the alternatives you choose from appear in a list that works like a menu. The QuickChoose icon means that the alternatives appear in a separate dialog box.

When filling in a predefined field, you can choose from the list or type into the field. If you type into the field, you can save time by using the type-ahead feature. If your entry doesn't match a list item, a dialog box appears. You can choose or add an entry in the dialog box. See "Typing Ahead," earlier in this chapter, for more information.
See the following procedures for instructions about choosing from QuickPop lists or QuickChoose dialog boxes.

  To select from a QuickPop list

To select from a QuickPop list (6367)

To select from a QuickPop list:

1. Click the QuickPop icon next to the field and hold down the mouse button.
A list of possible alternatives appears.

2. Select the alternative you want from the list, then release the mouse button. The information appears in the field.
If you want to edit, add, or remove entries in the list, choose the Show List selection at the bottom of the list. A separate dialog box appears. See the next section, "Editing QuickPop Lists," for more information.

  To select from a QuickChoose dialog box

To select from a QuickChoose dialog box (6368)

To select from a QuickChoose dialog box:

1. Click the QuickChoose icon next to the field.
A dialog box containing a list of alternatives appears.
Click Edit to open the selected record so you can make changes to it.
Select alternatives by clicking with the mouse, using the arrow keys, or typing ahead.
Click OK to enter the selected item into the QuickChoose field.
Click New to create a new record.

2. Select the alternative you want and click the button. As a shortcut, double-click an alternative in the list.

The list window disappears and the alternative you chose appears in the field you're working on.

  Editing QuickPop Lists

Editing QuickPop Lists (6369)

You can add, edit, and remove entries in QuickPop lists. You make changes to the list in a dialog box that is displayed by choosing the Show List option. This same dialog box appears automatically if what you type in a predefined field doesn't match an item in the list for that field.

Similar lists are used in some other contexts?to maintain tag lists, for example. You make changes the same way. See "Assigning Tags," later in this chapter for information about tags.

If you remove or edit an item in a QuickPop list, Big Business asks if you want to make the change to the item wherever it appears or just in the list.

To revise an entry in a QuickPop list:
1. Choose Show List from a QuickPop list.
2. In the dialog box that appears, select an item in the list and click the button.
A dialog box containing the text of the entry appears.
3. Revise the entry as necessary, then click the button to place the revised item in the list.
4. Choose the item in the list, then click the Select button. The revised item is placed in the QuickPop field you started from.

  To add an item to a QuickPop list

To add an item to a QuickPop list (6370)

To add an item to a QuickPop list:
1. Choose Show List from a QuickPop list.
2. In the dialog box that appears, click in the Item to Add field, then type the new item.
Tip: You can use the Tab key to switch from the list to the Item to Add field and to switch back to the list.
3. Click Add.
The new entry is added to the list and the dialog box disappears. The new entry appears
in the field you're working on.

To delete an item from a QuickPop list:
1. Choose Show List from a QuickPoplist.
2. In the dialog box that appears, select an item in the list.
3. Click the button to remove the item from the list.
4. Choose another item in the list to enter in the field you started from, then click the Select button.

  Entering Line Items

Entering Line Items (6371)

When you fill out invoices, bills, and other transaction windows in Big Business, you enter line item details much as you would on a paper form--by typing information into rows and columns. Big Business makes the job easier, however, by automatically filling in some information and letting you type ahead.

For example, when you are filling out an invoice, you can fill in almost all the information about a line item by typing just a few characters. If you type the first few characters of the item code or description, then press the Tab, Enter, or Return key, Big Business fills in the item code, description, and price. All you have to do is enter in the quantity.

Line item areas have and buttons in the upper-right corner. You use these buttons to add and delete items. In addition, there is often a Go To button that you can use to get more information about line items. See "Getting More Information About Line Items," later in this chapter, for more information.

Some columns in line item lists are gray to show that you don't enter information in them. These columns are filled in automatically, usually with data that is calculated by Big Business--extended prices, for example.

  To Add a Line Item

To Add a Line Item (6372)

To add a line item:

1. Click in the Line Items area of a window to make it active. Alternatively, use the
Tab, Enter, or Return key to move to the area.
The Add (+) and Delete (-) buttons become available along with the GoTo button. If no line items have been entered, there is a blank line at the top.

2. If there isn't a blank line, click the Add (+) button or press Command-Return to create a new line.

3. Enter information, using the Tab key to move from column to column. In some cases you can type ahead when you enter information.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each item you enter.

  Delete Line Item

To Delete a Line Item (6373)

To delete a line item:
1. Click the item in the list to select it.
2. Click the Delete (-) button.
The item is removed from the list.

To revise a line item:
1. Select the line and column that you want to revise.
Tip: You can only revise information that is typed in. Calculated information like extended prices or totals are revised based on changes to the data they are derived from.
2. Revise the existing information as necessary.

  Getting More Information About Line Items

Getting More Information About Line Items (6374)

When you see a line item displayed in Big Business, chances are that you can get more information simply by double-clicking it. This feature, called Go To, allows you to move through multiple layers of data quickly to find what you need.

For example, if you click the History tab in a Customer Card, you see a list of all of the transactions involving the customer. If you need more information about a particular sale, you can go to the original invoice. From that invoice, you can go to the Item Cards for the individual items.

Each time you go to another window, the original window you started from stays on the screen. You can return to it simply by clicking in it. In the example from the preceding paragraph, you would have a Customer Card, an invoice, and one or more Item Cards on the screen at the same time.

  To Use Go To

To Use Go To (6375)

There are two ways to use Go To--by double-clicking an item, or by selecting the item and clicking the Go To button located in the upper-right corner of the list area. The appearance of the button depends on what kinds of records are displayed in the list. You can usually double-click to open items, but in some cases the double-click function is reserved for text editing. For example, in the Line Items lists of transactions like invoices or bills, you must select the item and click the Go To button.

To use Go To:
Double-click a line item. Alternatively, select the item and click the Go To button.

  Understanding Locked Windows

Understanding Locked Windows (6376)

There are times when you can't enter or change information in a window that you open. When you can't make changes to a window, it is considered locked. When a window is locked, a small lock icon appears in the upper-right corner, near the path icon.
There are two ways windows can be locked:

• When the Big Business administrator protects information within certain periods to prevent unauthorized changes. In this case, the date of the window is displayed in red to tell you that it falls within a protected period. See "Setting Maintenance Preferences" in Chapter 12 for details about protecting data.

• When it is inappropriate to make changes. For example, once you have made a payment against a bill, you can no longer make changes to the bill.

  Adding Comments

Adding Comments was requested by a customer that loves the platform--using the database for specifics of their industry (architectural hardware) and Big Business for their accounting--and has contributed greatly to Big Business. Adding Comments lets them record searchable comments--for Misc Bills for transparency, auditing, or review--quickly and efficiently.

This Solution describes Adding Comments on Misc Bills and Misc Sales (6393)

You can add comments to invoices, quotes, bills, and other transaction windows that
you create in Big Business. There are two different kinds of comments:
• Printed comments appear when you print the window. They supply information to
the recipient.
• Internal comments appear only in Big Business and do not print. You can add information about changes you made to default values, reminders about follow- ups, or anything else about the transaction.

To add comments:
1. Click the Comments button in a window. The button is located near the bottom of the window.
2. Type text into the Printed Comments and Private Comments areas as appropriate.

  Carrying Information Forward

Carrying Information Forward (6394)

To save time, Big Business allows you to carry information from some transaction windows into others. For example, you can carry information forward from a quote into an invoice or from a purchase order into a bill.

There are two ways of carrying information forward--converting and loading.
• Converting means changing information from one form into the next logical form. For example, you can convert a quote into an invoice. Converting is done by clicking a button in a preliminary window. The button varies in appearance depending on the destination--the button for converting to an invoice looks different from the button for a sales order.
• Loading means importing information from a preliminary form. For example, in a bill, you can load information from a purchase order whose number you specify. Loading is accomplished by entering the number of the transaction you want to use into a field in the window. This field is labeled appropriately--"From Quote Number" or "P.O. Number," for example. If you are unsure of the number, you can use QuickSearch to find the record and its number.

In either case, all of the information, including any modifications to default values, is carried forward into the new form. You can change it as needed before saving and printing.

  To Convert a Window

To Convert a Window (6395)

To convert a window:
• From a quote, sales order, or purchase order, click the Carry Forward button for
the type of window you want to convert to.
A new window of the appropriate type appears. It contains all the information from the window you started with.

To load information:
1. In the appropriate field of a sales order, invoice, or bill window, enter the number
of the record whose information you want, then press Tab, Return, or Enter. You see a dialog box asking you to confirm that you want to load information from the
quote, sales order, or purchase order you specified.
2. Click the Load button.
Data appears in the window, replacing any previously entered data.

  Working with QuickChoose Lists

Working with QuickChoose Lists (6396)

A QuickChoose list displays all of the records of a particular type--all the Bank Cards, all the Vendor Cards, and so on. You see QuickChoose lists in three different contexts:
• When you click a tool for a card in the toolbar, you see a list where you select the card you want to open.
• When you click the QuickChoose action button in a card, you see a list for that type of card. You can use the list for reference or to open a different card.
• When you click a QuickChoose icon for a predefined field in a window, you see a list where you can choose the entry you want.

Depending on the type of card, the list window may contain more than one column. If it does, you can change the sort order using standard Big Business techniques. See "Sorting Lists," later in this chapter, for information.

  To Choose Items in QuickChoose Lists

To Choose Items in QuickChoose Lists (6397)

There are several ways to choose items in the list:
• You can click an item to select it, then click the OK button.
• You can use the up or down arrow key to select an item, then click the OK button.
• You can use type ahead to select an item, then click the OK button. Big Business finds items based on the characters you type, using the column that is currently used for sorting.
• You can double-click an item to open it or insert it into a field.

When you open a QuickChoose list from a predefined field, the dialog box contains an Edit button along with the button. Clicking the button (or double-clicking) places the selected item into the field. Clicking the Edit button opens the record so you can make changes.

  Using Tool Tips

Using Tool Tips (6404)

You can use Tool Tips to get help about Big Business windows and features. When Tool Tips are turned on, small messages containing text appear as you move the mouse pointer over different elements on the screen.

To turn on Tool Tips:
1. Go to Notes toolbar to Notes Prefs.
2. Under Tool Tips choose Show.
3. Click OK to save Notes Prefs.

  Close Button

Click the Close Button to close any window. On the Mac it is in the upper left. In Windows it is in the upper right.

Click the Close Button on the Toolbar to Exit or Quit the program.


  Entering Foreign Addresses in Big Business

“The name and address fields are not set up for international customers. Many foreign countries don't use the city, state, and zip code format this country uses.”

While this is true, Big Business does allows ample room for most sorts of addresses. If you run into a difficult address use the guidelines below to achieve best results.


Using a Customer Card as an example for an address record, and an Invoice as an example of transaction record, the following tips will help achieve better results with difficult addresses:

The Billing Name and Address consists of:
Three (3) lines of 32 characters
A City field of 16 characters
A State field of 3 letters
A Zip field of 10 characters
A Country field of 16 characters

The Bill To address field on an invoice will hold 32,000 characters

The Bill To address field on a printed Invoice (Plain Paper) is four (4) lines of 32 characters.

Working within these limitations, here are some examples:

Four Seasons Hotel (leaves the state blank)
10-8, Sekguchi 2-chome
Tokyo, 112 Japan

The Box Office Manager (uses the three letter state)
Sydney Opera House
PO Box R1225 Royal Exchange
Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia

U. S. Information Service (skips city, state and zip)
2 rue Saint-Florentin
75832 Paris codex 08

Keep in mind that the limitation is on the Customer Card in what is “pastes” into the shipping or billing address. These fields are really 32k on an Invoice, for example. Some creative Users, who use Custom Forms with larger text blocks, use tricks such as keeping half an address in one of the Additional Contacts and concatenate with a cut and paste.