The Datafile Window

Each iData datafile window contains a Toolbar, a Status Bar, and three main text areas, the Find Box, the Fields Area, and the Freeform Text Area.


The Toolbar contains a variety of buttons that duplicate functions that can be found in various menus. The purpose of the toolbar is to let you select those functions without having to go looking through menus, and without having to memorize command key combinations.

See Modifier Keys for Toolbar Buttons for information on using modifier keys (control, shift, option, command) with toolbar buttons.

The Toolbar can be modified to fit your personal needs. See Customizing the iData Toolbar to learn how to customize the toolbar to show only the particular buttons that you want to see, or to change the order of the buttons that are shown. When updating to a version of iData that adds new toolbar buttons, it may be necessary to re-customize the toolbar in order to get the new buttons to show up.

Status Bar

The Status Bar is a narrow horizontal area that sits between the Find Box and the Fields Area (see below).

At the far left, it shows the number of the current record. The record number is actually the title of a little button. Click on the record number to bring up a dialog that will let you go to a particular record by entering that record's number. (See Go To Record Number to learn how this works.) The current record number is based on the current record selection. (See the next paragraph.)

At the far right, it shows the total number of records in the datafile, along with the number of records currently selected for viewing. This text is actually the title of a little  button. Click this button to bring up the record selection dialog. (See Selecting Records to learn about selecting records for viewing.)

Find Box

The Find Box is where you type text that you want to search for. (See the Find Sub-Menu help page for information on searching for text.)

The Find Box shows only a single line of text in a single style. See the Datafile Settings help page for information on how to change the font and point size used in the Find Box.

To the left of the Find Box are three buttons. The appearance of these buttons can change, depending on how you have set the Find function to work.

The following shows the default Find setting. The buttons shown, from left to right, are Reverse Find, Toggle, and Forward Find.

Clicking the Toggle button (the magnifying glass) changes the Reverse Find button to a Select All button, and changes the Forward Find button to a Quick Select button. Clicking it again changes them back.

Holding down the option key while clicking the Toggle button changes its appearance. It flips horizontally, and instead of having a small & inside the lens, it has a " inside and another " to the right of the lens. Option-clicking it again changes it back.

This version of the Toggle button also works to toggle the Reverse Find/Select All buttons and the Forward Find/Quick Select buttons.



To learn how the various buttons work, see the Find Sub-Menu help page.

Record Lock Button

To the right of the Find Box is the Record Lock button. This button works as a toggle.

The default setting is unlocked, in which case it appears as follows:

To lock the current record, click the Record Lock button and it will change as follows:

When the Record Lock button looks like this, the current record is locked. To unlock the record, simply click the button again.

A locked record cannot be edited. The locked status of each record persists when a datafile is closed.

Fields Area

The Fields Area is below the Status Bar, and shows the content of each field. Field content is displayed as cells in a table of horizontal rows and vertical columns.

If a datafile has one or more fields, it can be displayed in either of two views:

All cells in the Fields Area shows text in a single style. The font and point size used in the Fields Area can be changed in the Format tab of the Datafile Settings window.

Freeform Text Area

The Freeform Text Area is a text window, below the Fields Area, that can contain multiple paragraphs of styled text. (This means that, as in a word processor or text editor, different parts of the text can be set to display in different fonts, point sizes, styles, and colors. Tabs can be set and links can be inserted. See the Text Sub-Menu help page to learn how to learn more about the text formatting features of iData.

There is a horizontal slider bar between the Fields Area and the Freeform Text that can be moved up and down to change the relative heights of the two areas. If a datafile has no fields, and if you do not need to see the first line of the text of multiple records in the Fields Area, you can move the slider all the way to the top of the Fields Area.

To change the style of a block of text, highlight it using the mouse (or by using the arrow keys with the shift key held down), and select the desired formatting commands from the Format menu--including those in the Text submenu.

There are two ways to insert an image into the Freeform Text Area:

  1. Copy an image from any source and paste it at the cursor position.
  2. Drag an image file and drop at the desired location in the Freeform Text Area. The main types of image files that iData recognizes are JPEG (with the .jpeg file name extension), GIF (.gif), and TIFF (.tif or .tiff).

NOTE: In addition to image files,  many modern music and movie files can be dragged into the Freeform Text Area. In general, it's probably not efficient to load up datafiles with huge embedded media files. Sometimes inserting links to media files will work as well, since clicking those links will open the files in appropriate applications.

Imported email and text copied from Web pages and other sources may include font and other formatting information that iData will use when that text is put into the Freeform Text Area. If you want to reset the text to the defaults for that datafile, the Format menu includes several commands that can help with this, depending on just how much text you need to modify:

    1. Apply Default Font and Ruler to Selected Text
    2. Apply Default Font Settings to Current Record
    3. Apply Default Font Settings to All Records

Command Keys for Activating the Text Areas

Sometimes you will want to activate one of the text areas without clicking in it (which could change the insertion point or deselect highlighted text). iData provides three command keys for this purpose:
 Return to Main Help Page