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Basic Users Guide to Tracy

Monique D. Reed
M. David Minnigerode

Before you begin

Loading up and logging in

Customizing your work environment

Adding and editing records

Finding records

 The Results window

Before you begin

1. Make sure you have the proper system requirements and have Tracy correctly installed. Refer to the instructions for downloading and installing the program.

 2. Make sure your screen is set to the right size display: 1024 x 768 pixels. Under Win95/NT4, this can be changed by right-clicking on the desktop. Select "Properties" from the menu, then "settings", then click on the sliding bar to adjust the screen size; click "OK". It will then ask you if the new setting is what you want. Tell it "Yes".

Loading up and logging in

1. Open Tracy from the Start->Programs menu.

2. As the program loads, watch the message under the grass graphic. When it instructs you to hit a key or click on the image to enter, do so.

 3. If you are a new user, click the "click here" button, enter your name, your user ID (the name you you will log in with), and the password you will use for each session. Note, that Tracy is NOT a secure system, therefore do NOT enter in a password that you are using for any other login.  If you are an "old user", type in your user name (the name you log in with) and your password. You are now ready to customize Tracy to suit your needs.


Customizing your work environment

After the login you will be presented with two windows that will allow you to select the families you will be working with and the default collection id that you will be using.  This will take only a few minutes each time the system is started and you can change these settings at any time while using Tracy.

1.  Tracy will show the screen which allows you to Pick Families for use in the Drop down Lists. You may choose any number of families. You can pick a single family by double-clicking on it, dragging and dropping it, or highlighting it and hitting the ">" button. You can hold the shift key down and select a block of families to move, or you can click the ">>" button to have all the families available (this is often the easiest). Families may be removed from the loaded list by double clicking on them, dragging and dropping them back in the "pick-from" list, or highlighting them and hitting the "<" button. The "<<" button will clear the loaded list. When you are satisfied with your list, click "OK".

2. The screen now shows the Set Default Collection ID screen. When you select a default collection by clicking it and hitting "OK", Tracy will automatically add this to each record you enter. You may chose not to specify a default collection, but then you will have to add the collection ID to each record individually. At this point, you may also specify a new default collection if the one you want is not on the list. (It will be possible to change the collection default during an input session, so don't feel you are committing yourself irrevocably.)

At this point the application will start.  You will see four windows on the screen:

If you choose, you can now change settings via the Tracy window (which will appear as a narrow horizontal bar at the top of the screen).
The operations the Tracy window provides are:

1. Opening the System menu will give you the option to exit or to go back to the log-in screen--this allows a change of operators without shutting down the system.

2. The Options menu will let you do a number of things.
3. The Export menu will let you dump your database to a delimited ascii file or to a plain text file.
4. Finally the Windows menu will allow you to show and hide the various windows that make up tracy as well as allow you to force the windows to redraw themselves if needed.  See the Edit and Find displays section above.

Adding and editing records

A few notes about the Edit window: Adding new records is done from the same window that edits existing records. When the program loads, it will automatically bring up the first record in the database. Be careful! You want to be sure you aren't making changes to this record!

Across the bottom window is a row of buttons.

"|<" will take you to the first record in the table, ">|" will take you to the last record, "<" will move you to the previous  record, and ">" will move you to the next record. The solid "^" (edit) puts the current record in edit mode. "+" (insert) will insert a blank record and put it in edit mode for you to modify. "-" (delete) deletes whatever record is showing--be careful with this! The "check mark" (post) button posts the record with its additions or changes to the table and makes the data available to lookup tables and "use-last" functions. The "X" (cancel) button cancels any changes made to the current record.

In most cases, you will move from field to field of the window with the tab key. You may also use the mouse. Wherever a drop-down list is available, it can be called up by clicking the little solid down-arrow button with the mouse or by hitting ALT and the down arrow simultaneously. The drop-down lists are type-ahead lists. Usually, it is only necessary to type a few letters to get the entry you want to the top of the list. When this happens, simply hit "enter" to put that item in the field.

Adding a new record

The Accession Panel

The Taxon Panel

The Collector Panel

The Location Panel


The Misc. Panel


Posting the completed Record to the database

Editing Records

Editing a record uses the same features and the same functions as adding a record. You can bring up a record to be edited in one of three ways. You can use the FIND function and search for the accession number, or you can use the "New Record" button, type the accession number, and TAB twice to load the record into the editor. You can also click on any record displayed in the Results window. After that, use the tab and/or the mouse to move through the record, making corrections and using the drop down lists as necessary. When finished, clicking the "check" button or using TAB to go back up to "New Record" posts the changes to the table.


Finding records

 To locate records that are in the Tracy database you may use the Find window.  The Find window is composed of the exact same panels that are present in the Edit window with the addition of a sixth panel that contains field for the date the record was entered (or last edited) and the username of the person who entered (or last edited) the record. All of the fields that support drop down lists in the Edit window also support drop down list in the Find window. Using the Find  window can be very simple or rather complex.  This section outlines the simple features of the Find window.  More advanced users should refer to the Tips section of this web site, there they will find information about the use of the "+Find!" and "SQL" menu items as well as how to use wild cards and search for blank fields.

Basic operation

The typical find operation in Tracy is to locate all records that have a particular field set to a particular value. To accomplish this you simply enter the value you want to search for into the appropriate field and then click on the "Find!" menu item.  Tracy will then locate the matching records and return a list of them in the Results window. If you make a mistake entering the constraint values you can simply delete the value or you can click the "Clear!" menu item and the entire Find window will be cleared.

Options for setting the constraints

Rather than just typing the constraint values into the Find window by hand you can drag-and-drop information from the Edit window on a panel by panel basis. The Find window below shows the result of clicking on the Taxon panel of the Edit window and dragging the panel information across the screen and dropping it on the Taxon panel of the find window.
Edit Window Find Window
Here again, you can now just click the "Find!" menu item and all the records that match the above constraints will be found and displayed in the Results window.

The Results window

All record returned from a find operation will be displayed in the Results window.  As noted above you can use the Select Fields for Results window to determine the fields that will be displayed.  Remember that the fields are sorted in  left to right order, so if you want to resort the Results window you will need to open the Select Fields for Results dialog and rearrange the items in the right hand list.

Once you have a set of records displayed in the Results window you make click on any given record and it will be brought up in the Edit window.  Changes may now be made to the record.  Note, that these changes will not be reflected in the Results window until the next "Find" or "+Find" is done.

Find and Replace

The Results window contains two menu items.  The "Clear!" item simply clears the Results window of all data.  It does not affect data stored in the database itself. In contract the "Replace!" menu item does affect data in the database.

The "Replace!" item is used to do "find and replace" operations on the data set.  It will only operate on data that is currently visible in the Results window.  For example, if you have 100 "candicans" records in the Results window and you use the "Replace!" item to change the collector name from "Bud Johnson" to "Bud R. Johnson" you will only be changing the "Bud Johnson"s of the records that are in the Results window.

Using the Replace dialog

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