Linking to Other Records Within a Datafile

Suppose you have a couple of records that contain related data, so you put them next to each other in the datafile. What happens when you sort? How much trouble will it be to get them back together again? Also, what if you have several records that you need to associate with each other?

iData Pro permits you to insert links to other records within any record.

Creating Record Links

(Assume the records in question are #14 and #15.)

1. Go to record #14 and type command-L, or select Copy Link to Current Record under the Edit menu.

    This will copy a link to record #14 into the clipboard. That link can be pasted anywhere you like, but it will only function within the same datafile.

    The links use a record's unique ID, which is always attached to that record, and which is independent of the position of that record within the datafile.

2. Go to record #15.

3. In the Freeform Text Area, type some meaningful text that will tell you what the link is to.

4. Select that text and type command-control-L to open the Link panel. Or, click the button in the toolbar.

5. Type command-V to paste the link into the Link destination: box. You will see a link beginning with "uuid://", followed by a series of numbers, hyphens, and letters, as shown in the following illustration.

6. Click OK.

7. Now you will see that the link has become active, but before you test it, type command-L to copy the link to record #15.

8. Click the new link, and it will take you to record #14.

9. Repeat the process of typing some meaningful text, selecting it, opening the Link panel, and pasting in the link. Click OK, and you now have a working link to record #15.

Save your changes, and each record now has a link to the other. If you sort the datafile in such a way that the two records end up being #48 and #2, those links will still connect them.

The Details

You are not limited to single links either to or from a given record. You can create as complex a web of interconnections as you need--much the way Web pages can contain links pointing to a variety of other Web pages.

You can also paste a link directly into a field, but unless the field name gives you a clue, this may not be very useful, since the link text looks something like this:


The FB46C5E8-FB87-4AFF-B931-5D11DC76D391 portion is the unique record identifier. If you were to delete record #15, its unique ID would go with it, and clicking the link to it in record #14 would then produce an alert telling you that the target record no longer exists.

If you click a link to a record that is not part of the current selection, you will be informed of this and given the option of selecting that record and going to it, or of canceling.

An Example

The programmer has already found a great use for this feature. He has a datafile that contains tablature and sound files for banjo tunes that he is learning. The first record contains a list of all of the songs that he is working on, which serves as a practice list.

Now each tune name can be a link to the record that has the music for it. When he's working his way through the list, if he needs reminding of how a tune goes, he just clicks the link, and there it is.

The tune list becomes a sort of clickable table of contents.

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