The easiest way to narrow down records to the ones you are looking for is to enter or select filter text phrases for one or more columns, also called “field filters”. The filter text phrase is then compared to the data in the corresponding column to narrow down, or filter, the data to only the subset that matches. Filters are entered in the space just below a column heading.
In some cases a dropdown list will be available from which to select a standard filter.
While the following entry rules are applicable in most cases, details regarding filters for each module are discussed in their corresponding sections of this guide.
• Typing a text phrase will narrow down the data to records where the column text begins with the entered text phrase (e.g. typing “smith” will find both “Smith, Jane” and “Smith, John”; see also the next entry rule).
• Typing an asterisk (*) at the beginning of a text phrase will narrow down the data to records that contain the text phrase anywhere in the column text (e.g. typing “*enterprises” will find both “ACME Enterprises” and “J & K Enterprises”). Depending on the general module option When Filtering or Searching Data by Column in a Browse Window, searching for the text phrase anywhere in the data instead of only at the beginning of the data may be configured as the default (i.e. without the need to enter the preceding asterisk; see the module option “When Filtering or Searching Data by Column in a Browse Window” under General Module Options).
• Typing an asterisk followed by a question mark (*?) will narrow down the data to records that contain any phrase in the column text (i.e. the column is not empty).
• Typing double apostrophes ('') or double quotes ("") will narrow down the data to records that contain no data in the column text (i.e. the column is empty).
• As with regular entry fields, leading zeros will be added automatically to account and form numbers so it is only necessary to type in significant digits (e.g. typing “1234” will find customer 0001234 or repair order 00001234; see also Entering Numbers).
• A specific numeric value may be entered directly for exact comparison, or may be prefaced with a mathematical symbol for comparison. Valid mathematical symbols are “=” for all records that match the number exactly, “>” for all records that are greater than the number, “>=” for all records that are greater than or equal to the number, “<” for all records that are less than the number, “<=” for all records that are less than or equal to the number, or “<>” for all records that are not equal to the number (e.g. typing “50” will find the number 50, while typing “>=50” will find all numbers that are greater than or equal to 50).
• As with regular date fields, dates may be entered using any standard Windows format, however they will be displayed according to your Windows regional settings (see Entering Dates). Dates may also be prefaced with the same mathematical symbols as numbers for comparisons (e.g. typing “07/22/2001” will find the date July 22, 2001, while typing “<Jul 1” will find all dates that are earlier than July 1 in the current year).
Pressing the Enter key or moving out of the filter entry area for the current column applies the filter and refreshes the list of records in the browse. Pressing the key repeatedly moves from the filter area to the first record in the browse and then progressively down through the records. Pressing the key repeatedly from the records area moves progressively up through the records and then back into the filter entry area.
To reset all field filters, click the button on the toolbar, select View Reset Field Filters from the main menu, or press the Ctrl+Q key combination. If configured to default to saved field filters (see below) then the default field filters will be restored, otherwise the field filters will be cleared. To clear the filter for a specific column, delete the filter text or select Clear … Field Filter from the context menu (see Context Menus).
TIP Therefore, the most efficient way to look up an individual record is to type in a filter (e.g. a repair number), press the key once, which will apply the filter and move to the first record, and then press the Enter key to open that record for editing. Then to select another record after leaving the edit window, press the key to return to the filter area or the Ctrl+Q key combination to clear the filter area, and repeat the above steps with a new filter.
The last column in every browse window is a wildcard filter column represented by an asterisk.
Entering a filter text phrase in the wildcard filter column searches for the entered text phrases in all columns simultaneously.
If the same set of field filters needs to be used repeatedly then those filters can be saved instead of re-entering them each time. For example, if a technician only ever serviced or repaired items of a particular make, then they may want to save a filter that defaults to always limit the repair orders browse window to only display repair orders for that make.
To save the currently entered field filters, select View Field Filters Save Current Field Filters from the main menu. To manually restore the saved field filters, select View Field Filters Restore Saved Field Filters from the main menu. To clear the saved field filters from memory, select View Field Filters Clear Saved Field Filters from the main menu.
To toggle whether or not the saved field filters are automatically used as the default every time the browse window is open, select View Field Filters Default to Saved Field Filters from the main menu. If the program is set to automatically default to the saved field filters then the reset field filters button on the toolbar will appear depressed as a reminder.
To prevent field settings from being accidentally changed by a particular user, toggle the lock status of all browse view settings on or off by selecting View Lock View Settings from the main menu while logged in as that user.
Saving field filters is available only for licensed users of version 2.6 and higher.
When all field filter columns are empty, the browse displays all records by default. Optionally, you may toggle to display no records by selecting View Clear Browse When No Filter from the main menu. When this option is enabled, the record count in the lower-right corner of the browse window will be displayed as 0 of nnn where nnn is the total number of records in the database. If only a subset of the total number of records have been returned then the record total will be highlighted by a red background.
TIP When working with a large amount of data (i.e. thousands of records) it is highly recommended that you clear the browse when there is no filter in order to speed up the browse module, and to reduce network traffic (see also Limiting the Size of Search Results).
To prevent the clear browse setting from being accidentally changed by a particular user, toggle the lock status of all browse view settings on or off by selecting View Lock View Settings from the main menu while logged in as that user.
See Optimizing Program Options for Speed for information on configuring this user option, along with all other user efficiency options for the currently logged in user, in one step.