Chicago ACT! USER GROUP
Meeting: April 11, 1995
Tips and Techniques from Open
During our monthly open forum we discussed dates in form
letters, creating a new "my record", and looking up contacts with
multiple parameters in a single field.
We are often asked: "How do I eliminate the day of the week
in form letters? This is not an ACT! problem, at all. ACT! is simply
deferring to a choice made in Windows. To solve it, change the date
format under the "International" section of the Windows Control
Panel. (The Control Panel can be found under the "Main" grouping
under Program Manager.)
Click the "Change" button under the Date Format box and
alter the Long Date Format to your liking. Note that one of the
choices for day of the week is blank. Choosing this option eliminates
the day of the week from the date. An example of the format appears
at the bottom of the dialog box.
Note that when a form letter is written (as in the command:
WRITE, FORM LETTER) the current date is always automatically inserted
in the chosen letter template. The date is updated whenever that
template is used. To change the date in a letter template to one
specific date, manually delete and replace the date by manually
typing it over. (Though it looks the same on the screen, this inserts
text instead of a "live" field.)
Alternatively, the EDIT, INSERT DATE command can be used.
(Make sure the "Do Not Update" box is checked.) Writing the word
"Date" (instead of "May 15, 1995") in the heading of your letter
template will serve as a reminder to insert the proper date in
whenever you use the letter.
If it is necessary to create a new "my record" for an ACT!
database you have two possibilities. The first is to change the "my
record" by modifying existing information. However, if you need to
change the User ID (the name automatically inserted in Notes) it is
necessary to create an entirely new "my record". This can be
accomplished by creating a new database. An easy way to do this is to
save the currently opened database as one with a new file name. Use
the commands: FILE, SAVE AS. Enter the new "my record" information
when prompted to do so.
It is sometimes useful to look up contacts meeting more than
one criterion in a single lookup. You might want to perform such a
lookup to send all "customers" and all "vendors" an address change
notice for your office. (Customers and vendors are both an ID
You can perform this lookup by using the commands: LOOKUP,
OTHER, then EDIT, CLEAR. Next, type "customers" (the first of the two
criteria) in the ID Status field. Now execute the commands: QUERY,
CONVERT TO SMARTQUERY. You'll see the words: "(ID_Status =
"Customer")". Now type in the Boolean operator "OR" followed by
"(ID_Status = "Vendor")". To run the query, use the command: QUERY,
EXECUTE. You'll get a list of all customers and vendors.
MEETING FEATURE: ACT 2.0.4
The recently released 2.0.4 upgrade (for Windows) is
designed to upgrade Act! versions 2.0 or higher. Aside from offering
a number of improvements, it is necessary for use with ACT! Mobile
Link. Mobile Link permits a user in the field to retrieve information
from and update an existing database on another PC. Mobile Link began
shipping this past April.
Improvements offered by the upgrade include:
. A Group button permitting quick access to all groups. In
addition, the group function now operates more reliably. A new menu
item, Group Membership, allows you to see which groups a contact
belongs to. (It is still advisable to create groups from simple
lookups. That way, if groups are lost, they can easily be
. A more intuitive command for printing address book pages.
The address book printing feature is now accessed via the FILE, PRINT
command when a database is open.
. Improved keyword search. Previously, the only choice was
to search all fields, notes, and history. Now the user may specify
which of five areas (Contacts, Activities, Notes, History, or E-Mail)
are to be searched. By narrowing the search up front, search time is
. A new phone location. Three sets of phone locations can
now be accommodated: Home, Office, or Mobile. This is helpful for
those who have ACT! on a laptop and use ACT! to dial the phone from
different locations. By switching ACT! from "Office" to "Home" after
the commute, ACT! dials the appropriate area code.
. User-specified default fonts for word-processing and
notes. Default fonts can be set via the command: EDIT, PREFERENCES,
ACT! 2.0.4 automatically saves new contracts upon upon
entry. The printing of labels has been improved. In
. Re-indexing is 6-8 times faster, and
. Importing data is 4 times faster.
ACT! 2.0.4 is available from Symantec Customer Service at
1-800-441-7234. The cost is $9.95.
© Copyright 1995 by Alan M. Lee, all rights reserved. Other
nonprofit computer user's groups may reprint this material providing
credit is given the author and C.C.S. Future rights for publication
reserved by Alan M. Lee. ACT! is a registered trademark of Symantec