iData Pro Datafiles are stored in
(Extended Markup Language) format. This is a structured
(human-readable) format, but freeform text (containing styled
images) is encoded as numeric data. XML is related to HTML
Markup Language), which is used for the creation of Web pages.
Users of iData 2 and 3's
sometimes ask why the current datafiles are so much larger. This
to the fact that the data is in human-readable format, rather
raw binary format. Although this results in much larger files,
also a much more robust format, increasing the chances of data
in the case of file corruption.
If you're interested in what XML
like, you can drag one of the sample datafiles supplied with
onto the TextEdit application icon. (Do not save any changes
datafile when closing it in TextEdit, as changes made in any
application other than iData Pro will probably damage the
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 Pro 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. This help page will also show the function of each button. You can always simply place the mouse pointer over any button to see a tooltip that explains its function.
To switch between Classic and Minimalist
styles, select Toogle
in the View menu, or
updating to a version of iData Pro that adds new toolbar
be necessary to re-customize the toolbar in order to get the
buttons to show up.
The Find Box shows only a single line of text in a single style. The font and point size used in the Find Box can be changed in the Format tab of Datafile Settings.
At the far left, it shows the number of the
record. The record number is actually the title of a little
on the record number to bring up a dialog that will let you go
record by entering that record's number. (See Go To Record Number
to learn how this works.) The current record number is based
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.)
If a datafile has one or more fields, it can be displayed in either of two views:
A freeform datafile can be displayed
only in List View, with the rows in the Fields Area showing
line of text from the Freeform Text Area. However, freeform
are printed as if they were in Basic View, since the text in
Area merely partially duplicates the text in the Freeform Text
(See Printing Your Datafile
below.) So, whenever the User Guide refers to viewing a record
View, this can be ignored if you are working with a freeform
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 Datafile Settings.
When you create a new field-based datafile,
the first time the window
for that datafile opens, the field portion of the window will
first record, and the first field will be active.
If a datafile has no
fields, and if you do not need to see the first line of the
multiple records in the Freeform Text Area, you can move the
way to the top of the Fields Area. The line between the bottom
Status Bar and the top of the slider will disappear, and it
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
formatting commands from the Format menu--including those in the Text submenu.
1. Select New Datafile... in the File menu (or type command-N). The New Datafile window will open.
2. If you want a freeform-only datafile, just click the Finish button. If you change your mind later, fields can be added to a freeform datafile later, using the Modify Fields command in the Fields Sub-menu, under the Edit menu.
3. If you would like to add
Insert Field or
A new entry, called "New Field", will show in the Field Name
4. Type a name for the field. You can add as many fields as you like. Fields can be rearranged by dragging a field name up or down in the list. The Show checkbox determines whether the field will show in List View. All fields will show in Basic View.
Fields can be added, deleted, rearranged, or renamed at any time in the future, using the Modify Fields command.
5. When you are done adding fields, click the Finish button. The new datafile will open and ask for a name to save it with. Type the name of your choice and click the Save button.
(Note: iData Pro 3 and 4 datafiles must have an .id3 file name extension. The Finder Preferences dialog has a setting that controls whether file extensions are seen in the Finder. If the name shown in the Save As: field includes ".id3", be sure not to remove it.)
The suggested location is in the
iData Pro Datafiles
folder. If you save
in this location, it will appear in the Datafiles menu.
iData Pro can sort records on the basis of the data contained in fields, or in the Freeform Text Area. It can treat that data as alphabetic text, as numbers, or as dates.
It can also sort records on the basis of the date when they were created, or of the date when they were last modified.For details on sorting your datafiles, see the Sort Datafile help page.