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Note fields

§1  Places where keep text

Zator's dBase allows that some objects may contain an associated text field (Note). Each of these fields can have a maximum size of 1.5 Mbytes, which in Western languages corresponds to 1,500,000 characters [1]. Its content is displayed in the corresponding window of dBase.

The purpose of this fields is to contain text, and certain basic edition features such as underlining, bold, italic, Etc. [2]. In addition, the editor identifies the Internet addresses (URLs) contained in the text, and responds to them as would your browser, so that here too, double-clicking the mouse on these links can access the resource.

Note: URLs are recognized with the following prefixes: http: file: mailto: ftp: https: gopher: nntp: prospero: telnet: news: wais:.

  Remember that if necessary, the upstairs windows and Logbook can be resized by dragging with the mouse its lower right vertex, so that the Note window, which was dragged with them, could take almost all of space available in the screen.

§2  Options in the Note fields

The background of the Note presents two colors to help distinguish the mode of operation at any given time. Initially, the field is in read-only mode (background green-blue). When in edit mode, the background color turns orange.

Note: If being in edit mode, you performs an operation that involve refresh the contents of the window. I.e. because has been selected with the mouse an item other than the owner of the present content, an alert message is displayed: Do you want save changes in Note?. Which allows saving the current content before the new one replaces it.

Assuming that we have the proper permissions to modify the content of the dBase (Owner level or above), by pressing the right mouse button on the Note, you get a context menu that allows the following options:

     Read mode      Edit mode
  • Edit Note

  • Copy

  • Select all

  • Save as file

    • Plain text (TXT)

    • Rich Edit Format (RTF)

  • Suggest alternative spell [4]

  • Find

    • Find

    • Find next

  • Print with unique font

  • Print with format

  • Content analysis

    • Count lines/words/characters

    • Count occurrences

    • Get (internal) dictionary of words [5]

    • Check against internal dictionary [5]

    • Check against external dictionary [6]

    • Copy marked words to clipboard

  • Change font


  • Save format-free and quit

  • Save with format and quit

  • Quit without changes

  • Undo

  • Redo

  • Cut

  • Copy

  • Paste

  • Delete

  • Select All

  • Suggest alternative spell [4]

  • Search and Replace

    • Find

    • Find next

    • Replace

  • Print with unique format

  • Print with format

  • Save as file

    • Plain text (TXT)

    • Rich Edit Format (RTF)

  • Import from file

    • ASCII text

    • OEM text

    • RTF text

  • Content analysis

    • Count lines/words/characters

    • Count occurrences

    • Get -internal- dictionary of words [5]

    • Check against internal dictionary [5]

    • Check against external dictionary [6]

    • Copy marked words to clipboard

  • Change font

The meaning of the various options is the one in standard Windows applications, which do not require further explanation; therefore we only point out here the peculiarities of those options that deserve further comment or clarification.

§3  Typical editing options

The options Undo, Cut, Copy, Paste, Delete and Select All have the typical behavior of Windows applications, and refer to the text area selected with the mouse or through the joint action of the [Shift] key and arrows.

The options Find, Find Next and Replace (the latter only in edit mode), also presents the typical behavior of Windows applications. The search engine of these options has its own system for dealing with differences between upper and lowercase, which is thus independent of the state of the search switch of dBase.

§4  Suggest alternative spell

This option is active only when you've selected a word or piece of text in the Note  (using a combination of the [Shift] key and the arrows of the cursor, or by double clicking on a word ) and has defined an external dictionary (see section §7.5 below).

Note: please note that when the above conditions are met, and the Note has focus, this option can also be activated by the function key [F6]. The marked text may not be longer than 35 characters and should be a single word -without intermediate spaces-.

By selecting this option, you get a pop-up window with the alternative spellings for the selected word.  This option is designed to correct spelling of discordant words -marked in red- after a comparison with an external dictionary. If the Note is in edit-mode (orange-colored),  when selecting any of the words suggested by the dictionary, the original text is replaced by the new.

§5  Change font

This option allows select the font and letter size of the Note. The selection has effect throughout the work session. However some printing routines and some "paste" operations from external text sources, can alter temporarily the selected font.

§6  Print

This option allows you to print the present contents of the Note field. The process shares some characteristics that are common to all printing options which deserve some comment.

Besides of selecting the output device (printer), the printing routines allow select the font type and it size; page size, as well as the margins within it and other features, such as orientation of the paper, and elements of the item that will be included in the printing process. However, to obtain the desired results it is important to highlight that all printing processes perform a paragraph formatting on the Note window prior to send it to the printer device. This has some side effects:

  • The window adopts the font and font size selected in the printing menu, so after the printing, it may be necessary to re-select the initial font if a different one was selected for the printing process.
  • After printing, the contents of the window is erased, so it may be necessary to refresh its correct value by clicking with the mouse on the "owner" of the Note field that you want to view.
  • The page size selected in the print menu should correspond with the size of paper used in the printer. At the same time, the top and bottom margins determine the number of lines that fit on the page using the font size selected in the print menu.
  • The left margin defines the separation from the left edge of the page to the beginning of each line, but the line length is determined by the length -to the font size selected- fit in the Note window. In other words: the line length is not determined by the width of the page and the difference between right and left margins selected in the print menu (in fact the right margin actually selected in the print menu has no significance in the output).
  • As a result, it may be that, depending on the font size used and the actual width of the Note window, the lines are too short regard to the paper, or too long (losing his far right). In order to achieve the desired result there are two resorts:

    • The font size selected in the printing process (using the option § 2.2 Change font , check the appearance of the text -especially the line length- in the window, before make any printing).
    • Tune the width of the Note window at the time of printing.  Check line length that result modifying the width of the window, which can be done by dragging the right side of the Logbook, which will force to the Note window follow it in its displacement.
§7  Content analysis

This option presents a sub menu with several options whose meaning and operation is as follows.

§7.1 Count Lines/Words/Characters

The result is obtained on the bottom status line. The hard lines refer to line breaks included in the text (which defines how many paragraphs and interlining exist in the document), while the soft lines correspond to the number of lines that make up the text in its current form, which depends the font size, and the current width of the window.

§7.2 Count occurrences

This option provides a window where it is possible to include a text (string) whose occurrence in the contents of the Note field want to check. Can be selected the discrimination between upper/lower case, and if the string must appear isolated, or can be counted occurrences when it appears within longer strings (words).

The system allows for successive scans. After each one, is obtained a result, but it is also possible to save the result (number of occurrences and chain used in the exploration) as sub-items of a item selected to that effect, so that the result don't need be annotated manually. The selection of the item who hold the results should be carried out beforehand using the option this item> Select as target for Results of Analysis in the context menu of the upper windows.

The selection of a destination is valid within the working session and while not change the working area of dBase. Once selected, each time you use this option, creates a new item with the result of the recount, but keep in mind that the result is not cumulative between successive scans, so if you conducts the search for the same chain in two different texts, you get two result entries without indication of which one corresponds to each. If you want to discriminate between the results for different texts, you must select a different destination in each analysis.

The corresponding option in the sub-menu Utils in the menu bar allows control the item currently selected as destination for the results.

§7.3  Get dictionary of words

This option allows create a dictionary of the words contained in a Note, and store its words in a given destination. The words are stored in lowercase letters or with the original script, according to the state of the switch to distinguish case in searches. The process discards all words containing a digit (numeric character) in its composition, and those whose length exceeds 245 characters.

To enable this option, it is necessary to select previously an item as source/target of the dictionary. The words appear as sub items of the selected item -in the next window-. This selection is done by selecting this item > Select as Source/Target of internal Dictionary in the context menu of the upstairs windows of dBase.

Note: the origin and destination used as address of the internal dictionary, are only valid within the current working session and with the work area that was used when the selection was done. Once rebooted the application or changed the work area, the choice is no longer valid -is automatically disabled-.

As in the previous case (§7.2 ) the sub-menu Utils in the menu bar, lets control the item that defines the position of the dictionary. Note that there may be different dictionaries in each dBase. The only limitation is that only one of them -in the current dBase- may be active. Note too that this dictionary address is independent of the selected position for the results of analysis ( § 7.2), but if necessary, both directions can be the same.

§7.4  Check against Internal dictionary

This option allows to compare the words of the Note field with the internal dictionary (see previous section), and mark those words of the text who mismatch. Once performed the check, you get the total mismatches, and the discordant words appear outlined in red. But remember that these mark suppose a circumstantial aspect, and that any transaction involving refresh the field, makes it disappear, returning the text of his standard color.

To enable this option, it is necessary that has been defined a source/target for the internal dictionary in the current work area -see the note in the previous section-.

§7.5  Check against External dictionary

This option allows you to compare the words of the Note field with a external dictionary. The mechanics are similar to that described in the foregoing section (§7.4). For that, the address of the external dictionary need been defined, what can be done with the adequate option in the sub-menu Utils of the menu bar.

Note: remember that the title of this item should be precisely the direction (path-name) of the main file (.dic) of the external dictionary.

As in previous cases, the Utils option in the menu bar let see the address selected for the external dictionary, but unlike in previous cases, this data is remembered when changing the work area and between the various sessions of the application.

When the Note has the focus (have clicked on it) this comparison can also be obtained by means of the function key [F5]. The difference with the selection via the context menu is that in the latter case, the analysis is more detailed, obtaining a final statistics with the result of the comparison.

Zator allow to use dictionaries developed by the Lingucomponent group of the Open Office Project. Although the database included as example in the initial installation includes one of these dictionaries in the subdirectory Dict  (dictionary for English-USA), its location can be anywhere, either in the local system or anywhere on the intranet. The only condition is that such files must be accessible from the application [3].

§7.6  Copy marked words to clipboard

This option copy on the clipboard the discordant words (marked in red) that would exist in the text after comparing a Note text against a dictionary (see previous points).

§8 Save as file

This option lets save the content of the Note field as a text file in various formats.

§9  Import from file

There are three options to incorporate the contents of a text file to any Note. The operation is similar in all cases; when selecting any of them, a window appears, in which you can navigate through directories/network nodes, to select the desired file. Once selected, the import is done automatically within the size limit allowed for these fields (1.5 MB).  If the field contains some previous text, the insertion is produced from the cursor position at the time of importation.  Note that the sum of text you have in the window at the time of insertion, and the imported text can not be greater than the maximum size allowed.

The treatment in the case of import text and import OEM text is slightly different, although in both cases it is assumed that this is plain text in which each byte is a character in the text.

Text mode OEM mode
It should be used to texts based on the ANSI character set.

Each line ends in a couple of characters: carriage return and line feed (CR / LF).

The first null character means the end of data.
It should be used to texts based on the OEM character set.

Each line ends in a couple of characters: carriage return and line feed (CR / LF).

The first null character means the end of data.



[1]  To give an idea of size, note that the full text of the Spanish version of the novel "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" by the novelist JK Rowling contains approximately 665,000 characters, while "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" by the same author, contains 1,198,700 characters.

[2]  Zator has the ability to store text with any kind of format. See load in the rows of Logbook.

[3]  Besides being used by the Open Office suite, these dictionaries are also used by the Mozilla Firefox browser, so if you have these applications or browser, you may have already installed some dictionary on your computer and can exploits them for use in Zator. You can locate them with the file explorer (usually the C: drive). Each dictionary is made up of a couple of files with the endings .dic and .aff, and names like es-ES.dic; es-ES.aff; en-US.dic; en-US.aff, and so on. In Windows XP, the address of the default installation for the Us English dictionary of Firefox can take an appearance like: C:\Documents and Settings\HP_Administrator\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\pbxg33xo.default\extensions\\dictionaries\en-US.dic. There are dictionaries for almost all the languages, if you want to download any further, please do so in

[4]  This option is only available if has been defined an external dictionary and a word has been marked with double-click on it.

[5]  These options are only accessible if you have defined the direction of an internal dictionary.

[6]  This option is only available if has been defined an external dictionary.