iData Pro 5 Datafile Formats
Main Help Page
Two Datafile Formats
iData Pro datafiles can be identified by their
file name extensions. Datafile file names end in either .id3
In the Datafiles menu, the .id3 extensions are omitted,
but any .idm extensions will be shown.
These two file name extensions have different characteristics
and, in some cases, different behaviors. Here are the details.
1. Datafile file names ending in .id3
are in the standard format. The Freeform Text Area (FTA) of
records in this format can contain multi-styled text.
This means that the text in
the FTA can have a variety of fonts, point sizes, and colors.
In addition, the FTA can
contain images. Images can be dragged or pasted into the FTA.
2. If you have previously used iData Lite or
iData Mobile, you may have some datafiles with names ending in .idm.
The FTA of those
datafiles can display only mono-styled text. In other words,
only one font, one point size, and black text.
The FTA cannot contain any
The .id3 datafile format was the standard format for
iData 3 and iData Pro 4. It is now the standard for iData Pro 5.
When the iPhone first came out, text views (like the FTA) could
contain only mono-styled text. When iData Mobile was written, it
was necessary to introduce a datafile format that included a
mono-styled FTA. And, in order to be able to synchronize
datafiles between the iPhone and the Mac, iData 3 needed to be
able to handle those datafiles, which were identified by the .idm
file name extension.
Eventually, the iOS operating system added multi-styled text
handling to the iPhone (and iPad). Shortly after this, iData Pro
4 was released. It was then decided to replace iData Mobile with
iData Mobile Plus, which was written to be able to use .id3
As a result, the .idm datafile format was no longer
needed. Since handling two different datafile formats adds a
great deal of complexity, the use of that format is being phased
out in iData Pro 5. Most functions that previously worked with
both .id3 and .idm datafiles now work only with
.id3 datafiles. Therefore, users who have some .idm
datafiles should use the Save As iData Pro Datafile
function (under the File menu) to save a copy of each .idm
datafile in .id3 format. The original .idm
datafiles will still exist, but it would be a good idea to move
them to a different location so that they will not appear in the