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INFO: List Columns on Windows PC
Views: 4093 Created: 08-10-2010 23:54 Last Updated: 08-31-2011 10:59

ListPro provides many options that you can use to have the information you need in your lists.

Column Customization

ListPro lets you select exactly what columns your lists contain, and the order in which they appear. Use the List Properties window to configure the columns in your list.

ListPro pre-defines the following columns for every list:

  • Checkbox

  • Item

  • Flag

  • Priority

  • Amount

  • Units

  • Category

  • Date

  • Notes

You can't delete any of the above columns from your list, but you can choose to hide or display them. Hide a column by unchecking its box in the List Properties window. Information in these columns will always be available for display (by re-showing the column) even if the column is hidden.

You can also add your own columns, and you can delete the columns you add. Information in columns that you delete will be deleted; you cannot get it back. However, if you just choose to hide a column you created by removing the check from the box next to the column name, its information will become available again when you re-display it.

The List Properties Window also lets you rename and reorder the columns in your list.

When you're in the List view, you can sort your list by any column currently being displayed; tap that column's header. You can also use the Sort By menu item on the View menu to sort your list by any column, whether or not it is currently being displayed.

You won't be able to edit columns that are Autodate or calculated columns. You'll only be able to edit Linked columns in item view, since clicking on them activates them.

The following sections describe some special properties of some of ListPro's columns.

List Item Numbers

ListPro supports item numbers. This lets you list items in a specific order. To turn on the item numbers, open the List Properties window and check Show item number on the Settings tab. This is very useful for tasks that need to be done in a certain order. You can use this feature for any "how-to" types of lists as well as for outlines. Combine order numbers with Notes for detailed instructions, or use them to be sure you don't forget an important step.

Note that while you might not display the item number in your list, all items do have an associated number (position). You can reposition items in a list (with the Arrow Keys or Move Items Up/Down menu items) when no temporary sorting is in effect. Use the Remove Sorting menu item on the View menu to remove temporary sorting (only applies to Ordered Lists).

If you have an Ordered List and you'd like to automatically reposition all items using the current, temporary sort order, select Reorder List from the Ordered List submenu of the View menu. Once the list has been reordered, the order numbers, if showing, will be in order from top to bottom. You will not be able to return to the original order by picking Remove Sorting, but you will be able to reposition individual items again.

Categories

Categories let you classify your items. Once you've entered a value for a Category, that value is easily selectable as a value for its column.

You'll often want to sort the items in your list in various ways -- categories let you do this. For example, you might keep your office supplies in several different cabinets in your office. You want the supplies on your list sorted by these locations, so that you can efficiently flag what you need. But then when you go to the office supply store, you'd like your list in the order you find the items on the store's shelves. Using one category column for the location and another for the store you purchase from lets you quickly sort the items as necessary.

Other uses for Categories include: types of music in a CD collection list, kind of restaurant in a restaurant list, day vs. overnight vs. overseas for a trip packing list, etc.

Sorting by Categories lets you group items in very useful ways. Categories and their values are saved by the individual list, so that each list can have the Categories and values that will be most appropriate for that list.

When editing a Category column, a drop down list of all the current Category Values is provided. You can either type a category directly or choose it from the drop down list. When you type in a value, ListPro search the list for a match after you've typed in one or more characters. The first match will automatically be entered into the field you're typing into. If the match ListPro finds isn't what you want, just keep typing. ListPro will keep looking for matches until you've typed enough to identify the right one. Or, if you don't want any of the matches ListPro finds, just type in the entire category name. If ListPro puts anything extra in the field that you don't want, press the Delete key to get rid of the excess.

Remember that category values are not case-sensitive for sorting or filtering: Hardware is the same as HARDWARE or hardware.

Note that category values do not have to be just one word. For example, if you have a list of items you need to pick up, and are using Category for where to get them, you might be able to get batteries at either a drugstore or a hardware store. You could make an additional Category column, or just put "drugs,hardware" in your main Category column. Then, if you Filter your list by either drugs or hardware, batteries will appear. Another option would be to add more Category columns.

By default, all new values entered for a Category are added to that column"s list of Category Values. You can also edit each Category's list of values if you want to add new values or delete values you don"t need. To do this, select Category Values from the Tools menu, and you'll see the Category Values window. Choose the Category whose list you want to edit from the Category drop down list. To add a new Category Value, enter the value into the New Value field and push the Add Value button. To delete an existing value, select the value in the list and push the Delete Value button.

Notes

ListPro's Notes let you add additional information to a list item. Use Notes for long instructions, or for details about an item. For example, on an office supply list, the note for a printer cartridge might contain the model number of the printer.

Remember that you can see and edit the Note for any item even if you don't have Notes displayed in the list, using either ListPro's Notes Pane (select Show Notes Pane from the View menu), or the Item View window (just double-click the item).

Amounts and Units

ListPro's Amounts feature gives you a powerful numeric column. You can use Amounts to include any numeric information for items in your list. The Amounts column lets you add up its information. Use Amounts for anything you might want to count: boxes you're shipping, dollars you're spending, bottles you're unpacking, ounces, cups, hours, minutes. At any time, you can display a total of the Amounts you've entered. In addition, the sum of the Amounts of all items currently being displayed is shown in the Status Bar.

To make it more useful, you can set up your list to ask for the Amounts when you're "running" your list (checking items or flagging items for inclusion in a Shopping or Two-Step List, perhaps). For example, you can set up your list to ask you for an amount each time you check an item. This lets you easily track your spending while you're shopping, or time spent on each task of a project. Alternatively, you can set up your list to ask you for amount each time you flag an item to be included on your List. This lets you enter a quantity of items to be included on the final list. For example, when you flag "stamps", you're asked how many. Then, when you choose the Flag Tool to display your list, the number of stamps you need appears. To set up these options, use the Column Properties window for the Amount column. You can open Amount Column Properties either by picking Column Properties from the column header context menu, or by opening the List Properties window Columns tab, selecting Amount column and choosing Modify.

The Units column lets you total Amounts by unit (using the Totals Window). This is useful if your Amounts are in different units. For example, if you're using Amounts to track time on a project, you might sometimes enter minutes, and sometimes hours. If you use Units, your totals will make sense. Remember that you don't have to use the units to use Amounts.

Priorities

The Priority column lets you assign a priority number to each item. Priorities have an advantage over item numbers because several items can have the same priority number. You can sort the list by Priority to look at them in order of their importance.

User Defined Columns

In addition to the default columns that you get with every list, ListPro lets you add your own columns. You can add a column using the Columns tab of the List Properties window. Just press the Add button to see a menu of column types. You can choose any of the following column types:

  • String - a String column simply holds a string of text, allowing you to enter just about anything into it. Strings are limited to 255 characters.

  • Category - a Category column is like the default Category column. You can enter any text into it. ListPro will maintain a list of all the values currently used in the column. When editing the column you can drop down the list of current values and choose one of the listed values rather than typing in the text. You can also use any category column to get subtotals when using the Totals window. Remember that Categories are not case-sensitive.

  • Yes/No - a Yes/No column works like ListPro's Flag or Checkbox columns except that you can choose one of several icons to be displayed in the column. Push the Modify button to see a window that will allow you to pick the icon to display. Each icon has a set (yes) and unset (no) appearance and you toggle between them by clicking on the column in the list. You can configure your list to clear user-defined flag columns when the list is reset.

  • 3 State - a 3 State column is similar to a Yes/No column, but it has three states instead of two (they could also be called Yes/No/Maybe columns). You can select the icons for 3 State columns just like Yes/No columns. Clicking on the column in the list cycles between the three states.

  • Number - a Number column must contain a number. You can use the Totals window to find the total and subtotals for any Number column. By opening the Column Properties window for a number column you can also set a Number column to perform simple calculations.

  • Date - a Date column holds a date, such as the starting date or due date of a task. Note that dates appear in the format set by your regional settings (in the Windows Control Panel).

  • Linked - a Linked column holds the name of a file or a URL. The file name can be either a full path or a partial path beginning from the directory where the current ListPro file is stored. For example, if the ListPro file is in C:\\My Documents\\, then a partial path such as My Pictures\\Clouds.bmp would refer to the file C:\\My Documents\\My Pictures\\Clouds.bmp and a full path such as C:\\Windows\\Chord.wav would uniquely identify the file regardless of where the ListPro file is. A URL must always have the proper prefix (http://, ftp://, mailto: or file://) in order to be recognized as a URL. Clicking on the Linked column in the list will cause the URL or file to be launched. For example, clicking on a Linked column containing http://www.iliumsoft.com will cause your browser to open and show the Ilium Software web site. Clicking on a Linked column containing "Readme.txt" will open the file ReadMe.txt in the same directory as the ListPro list file.

Changing Column Type

To change a column's type, open the context menu of the column's header (usually done by right-clicking on the column header above the column) and choose Change Column Type.

Two kinds of column changes are allowed: You may change a Number column to a String column and you may change a String column to a Category column. Once you've converted a column, ListPro provides no function to convert it back to the original type of column again.

If you convert a String column to a Category column, all the current values in the column are added to the column's category value list (so they will appear in the drop down list that is used when editing the column).