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Postings here will focus mainly on Advanced Accounting software updates, tips, and related topics. They will also include general comments relating to troubleshooting PC/Windows/network problems and may also include reference to our other software products and projects including any of our various utilities, or to the TAS Premier programming language. We considered setting up separate blogs for different topics so that users/others could subscribe to topics mostly aligned with their interests, but decided that it would be better to keep things simple since some topics cross over into others. We would nonetheless welcome your feedback/input in this regard. Our web site URL is www.addsuminc.com. Call us at 800-648-6258 or 801-277-9240. We also maintain www.advancedaccounting.us so that older Business Tools users in particular have a greater chance to find us.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Inserting special characters into data input fields

Recently an accounting software user asked us how to insert special characters or symbols such as the copyright and trademark related symbols into data entry fields such as inventory descriptions.

In Windows-based systems (including Advanced Accounting), there are several ways do to this.

(1) Direct data input method:

Special characters or symbols can be entered directly into string (aka alphanumeric) fields provided that you know what the symbol or character is (more on that below).  Examples:

™  (trademark superscript) Alt-0153

®  (trademark registration) Alt-0174

©  (copyright symbol)  Alt-0169


(Proper usage of these symbols is beyond the context of this post but generally: use trademarks as verbs rather than nouns whenever possible; do not use the trademark registration symbol unless the mark is actually officially registered with the USPTO; and the copyright symbol should always be followed the year and the copyright owner and not used by itself nor without the year.) 

Detailed steps to insert a special character or symbols into a data entry field:
  • Press your keyboard's Num Lock key and/or make sure the Num Lock key is on;
  • Press and hold one of the ALT keys (with your left hand;
  • With your right hand and using ONLY the numeric key pad portion of your keyboard (and not the keys across the top), enter the four digit code (must be preceded by a zero);
  • Let go of the ALT key.


Example of the ™ symbol entered into an Advanced Accounting 7i description field

You could also enter a special symbol into the message line or a sales order or purchase order or into any word-wrapped note (memo field) in the system.

But how do you determine what the code is for the desired symbol or character?

There are on-line lists and other references for these codes, but the simplest way perhaps is to lookup the code using the Character Map option provided in all Windows operating systems.


Windows 10 Character Map after clicking on  © symbol

So in the example above, clicking on the copyright symbol provides the ALT code for that symbol.

 (2) Copy/paste method:

For more or less any source you and also copy/paste in characters.

From the Windows Character Map, an example follows:



Windows 10 Character Map clicking on the ® symbol and clicking on Select

After clicking on the desired character or symbol then click on Select and then Copy and the character is available to be pasted (CTRL-V) into the desired data input field.


Regardless of the font chosen, the font will be 'converted' to the font that has been specified for that entry object on the underlying Windows data entry form. So the font will not necessarily be rendered in the same font as the source from which it was copied.  In Advanced Accounting, the default font is Arial and that is the font therefore that the special character or object would be rendered in after pasting it into the desired field.

Word processing programs typically have similar options from which special character or symbols can be copied and then pasted.  

Microsoft Office:
https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Insert-a-symbol-or-special-character-81e64967-74c0-4fd9-814a-3aa867d4cfce


OpenOffice:

https://wiki.openoffice.org/wiki/Documentation/OOo3_User_Guides/Writer_Guide/Special_characters




Additional information for TAS Premier 7i  programmers:

End users can utilize the direct entry method with a number of different objects including:

TTASENTER, TTASComboEnter, TASMemo, TMemo, TListBox and TTASDataGrid cells that are string-based.

Further, the direct data input (ALT) method will even work with label and button captions and data grid headers in the Screen editor (as well as with label captions and objects linked to data or that have TStrings properties in the Report designer) should you need to use a special character or symbol as a caption or header.

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