Tutorial

iData Kwik Basics


Tutorial Topics

For best results, simply read this page once from beginning to end--especially if you are new to iData Kwik. Then read it again and follow any external links when you need to learn more details.

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The History of iData Kwik
iData Kwik File Types
File Locations
iData Kwik Preferences
Opening Your iData Mobile Datafiles in iData Kwik

The History of iData Kwik (back to top)

iData Kwik is the latest in a chain of applications that started with Casady & Greene's little desk accessory, QuickDEX, back around 1987. QuickDEX was designed as an on-screen Rolodex emulation. Each record appeared as a card-sized block of plain unstyled text. Customers requested more room for data, and the next version, QuickDEX II, replaced those fixed-size windows with resizable, scrollable windows. A separate application, PrintDEX, was created to permit the printing of labels and envelopes, and the combination was sold as Super QuickDEX.

QuickDEX II was actually too large to be a desk accessory and required some tricks with memory to work at all. As customers requested new features, and as Apple started on the path to eliminating the desk accessory format, it was decided that QuickDEX III would be a standard application, and work on this began in 1995. For various reasons, the new version was named InfoGenie, rather than QuickDEX III.

Label and envelope printing capabilities were added to InfoGenie itself, so there was no need for PrintDEX as a separate application. One of the features that was often requested was some kind of field structure. However, many (probably most) QuickDEX II users really liked the freeform record format, and as we began designing InfoGenie, it was decided that the freeform text area would be the core of each record, with fields as options. This approach has been continued and improved up through iData Kwik.

With the advent of Mac OS X, InfoGenie became iData Pro, and text formatting and image insertion capabilities were greatly improved. iData Pro 1.0 was based on Carbon features and some OS X features were not readily available.

In 2002, Mike Wright purchased the publishing rights to InfoGenie and iData Kwik, and when Casady & Greene went out of business in 2003, he and Robin Casady, with the help of David Sinclair of Dejal Consulting, began working on the next version. iData 2 was an interim Cocoa-based application that lacked label and envelope printing. Finally, iData 3 added those features back in, along with many others that rely on system capabilities that are easily available only through Cocoa.

We attempted to design iData Pro in such a way that those who prefer the simplicity of QuickDEX could just ignore most of the advanced features, but those features are there for those who need them.

When we decided to come out with a new version, iData Kwik, to be sold through Apple's App Store, we decided to drop label and envelope printing and phone dialing. Due to problems with using Apple Script in App Store apps, we also dropped the "Grab Web Address" feature.

iData Kwik Datafiles (back to top)

iData Kwik files, which we refer to as "datafiles" contain your data, organized into records. The datafile format has remained essentially the same since iData 3, so datafiles all have a .id3 file name extension. This permits them to be opened in iData Pro, as well as in iData Kwik.

Each record has a "Freeform Text Area" that can contain styled text, embedded images, and embeded sound files.

When you create a new datafile, you can also specify one or more "fields". A field consists of two parts: a field name, which is the same from record to record, and field content.

A datafile that does not have any fields is referred to as a "freeform datafile".

A datafile that has one or more fieds is referred to as a "field-based" datafile.

File Locations (back to top)

NOTE: In the past, we've seen that some customers assume that their data is somehow stored inside the iData Kwik application itself. This is not the case. The data is stored on your hard drive as datafiles.

Here are where your iData Kwik files should be placed, and where others may be found:

         1. The iData Kwik application should go into your Applications folder, or in a sub-folder within it.

         2. By default, datafiles should go into an iData Kwik Datafiles folder, inside an iData folder. The iData folder should be inside your Documents folder.

Users
         <your user name>
                   Documents
                            iData
                                     iData Kwik Datafiles

or said another way: ~/Documents/iData/iData Kwik Datafiles  (The tilde ~ is commonly used as shorthand to indicate your personal folder, which is located inside the Users folder on your start-up drive. Folder names are separated by the forward slash / character.)

The iData Kwik Datafiles folder is used to build the Datafiles menu in iData Kwik.

Although you can put your datafiles anywhere, you must specify the location of the iData folder when iData Kwik asks for it. Only those files that are in that location will show up in the Datafiles menu in iData Kwik.

If you need to put datafiles in other locations, you should make aliases to those datafiles, and then put the alias files into the iData Kwik Datafiles folder. It is also possible to put your  iData folder, and its contents, in some other location--even on a different drive or drive partition. In that case, you should create an alias to that iData folder and place the alias in your Documents folder. Then, remove the " alias" from the name of the alias folder (making sure to remove the space in front of "alias").

You can also create sub-folders within the iData Kwik Datafiles Folder, and use those to further organize your datafiles. Sub-folders will show up as sub-menus in the Datafiles menu. Only one level of sub-folders is supported by the Datafiles menu.

         3. If you want to share datafiles with other users who log in separately, you can place them in the /Users/Shared/ folder on your hard drive, and then place aliases to them in each user's iData Kwik Datafiles Folder.

         4. The iData Kwik preference file is named com.idatapartners.idataKwik.plist and appears in

Users
         <your user name>
                   Library
                            Preferences
                                     com.idatapartners.idataKwik.plist

or said another way: ~/Library/Preferences/com.idatapartners.idataKwik.plist

At some point, Apple decided to make the Library folder invisible, but you can still get into it as follows:

       1. In the Finder, select Go to Folder... in the Go menu (or type command-shift G).

       2. A window will open with a Go to the folder: field.

       3. In this field, type ~/Library and click the Go button, and the Library folder will open.

On rare occasions, you may need to trash your preference file, so it's a good idea to know where it is located.

iData Kwik Preferences (back to top)

iData Kwik is highly customizable. Although the default preferences are generally the most convenient and useful, you may wish to change some of them. To do this:

    1. Select Preferences... under the iData Kwik menu to bring up the iData Kwik Preferences dialog.


    2. Select the desired preference category by clicking its button in the toolbar.

    3. Make any desired changes in the preference settings. To learn about the details of the various preferences, see the following help pages:

       General
       Special

Note: In addition to Preferences, which apply to all datafiles, each datafile has its own Datafile Settings, which can be set differently from one datafile to the next.

Opening Your iData Mobile Datafiles in iData Kwik (back to top)

If you have previously created iData Moblie-format datafiles (with a .idm file name extension) for use in iData Mobile and/or iData Lite, you can import an individual datafile or an entire folder of datafiles. (Note that iData Mobile used .idm datafiles, while the newer iData Mobile Plus uses .id3 datafiles.)

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