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David Marchak

Export Files

Starting in version 3.10, Paritek has a whole set of menu options to export information for use in other programs. This topic covers creating export files, some of the technical details of what they will look like, and what you can do with them.

Creating an Export File

To export some of the data stored in Paritek, use the Export menu (of course). Just like reports, you can export system codes, family information, donations, and sacraments. For each menu option, there are different choices you can make to determine what information will be exported. For example, if you are exporting weekly donations, you can select one date or a range of dates, a range of envelopes, which type of donations (weekly, special or both), etc.

Once you have made your choices, you will be asked to enter a file name to Export to. This works like the Save As... menu option in other programs. The file name you enter should be something you will be able to find when you are ready to open it in another program. Paritek will supply you with a suggested name, but you may enter (almost) anything you want. For example, you may not include special characters like an asterisk or the question mark in the file name.

You may also enter a full path name to save the file in another folder, another drive, or even another computer on your network. If you do not include the path name, the program will save the file in the folder where the Paritek program is installed. There is also the concept of the file extension -- a period and three letters at the end of the file name -- which helps other programs know what type of file you have created. No matter what file extension you use, Paritek will still create the same type of file.

File Name Explanation
weekly.csv A file named weekly will be saved in the folder where Paritek is installed. The .csv extension tells other programs that this is a "comma delimited" type of file.
c:\paritek\weekly.csv Assuming that Paritek is installed in the c:\paritek folder, this would be the same as entering weekly.csv.
a:\weekly.csv The file will be saved onto a floppy diskette in the a: drive (assuming you have a formatted diskette in the drive).
\my documents\weekly.csv The file will be saved to another folder on your computer (in this case, the \my documents\ folder).
c:\paritek\newfold\weekly.csv Paritek will not create a folder that does not exist. However, you could use Windows Explorer to create a new folder and save your files there.
weekly information? This file name would not be allowed because it contains a question mark.
weekly information.csv This file name is acceptable (spaces are allowed) and would be saved to the folder where Paritek is installed.
weekly.exe While this file name is acceptable, you may confuse other programs into thinking that this is a program or application (like Paritek.exe).
weekly.tps Paritek will not allow you to overwrite important files (in this case, your entire collection of weekly donations).

If you haven't memorized the names of all the files and folders on your computer, you may want to use the Export to... window, by clicking on the file lookup button. You will be able to select the drive, folder, and name of the file to save. Once you have done this, click on the OK button. The name, including all the confusing punctuation, will be displayed in the Export to field.

Start the export procedure by clicking on the Begin button. Assuming you have entered a valid file name, the program will export the information you requested.

Comma Delimited Files

Paritek, like all other programs, stores information in a unique way. If you opened a Paritek data file in a word processing program, you would see a mess of special characters, letters and numbers. This is why the export features were created.

Paritek exports information using a format known as "comma delimited". It is a simple format which can be read by almost any other program (at least the programs I know of). Each column of information is separated by a comma, with words enclosed in double quotes and numbers appearing as unformatted numbers. If you open a comma delimited file with a text editor it would look something like this:

"5","Mr. & Mrs. Aaron Christie",15
"6","Wayne & Sheila Cotton",12
"7","Lorne & Robin Coulter",10
"8","Graham and Caroline D'Arcy",2.5
"13","Mr. & Mrs. Paul Elder",5

This formatting looks odd because it is designed to be used by spreadsheets, where each comma represents a new column. By importing the file into a program like Excel, you could format the information using all the fancy features available. You could turn the above file into something like this:

Env. Name Amount
Mr. & Mrs. Aaron Christie
Wayne & Sheila Cotton
Lorne & Robin Coulter
Graham and Caroline D'Arcy
Mr. & Mrs. Paul Elder
$ 15.00
Total of all donations $ 44.50

It would take several hundred pages to explain your options once you export information from Paritek. I will leave it to your imagination to decide what kind of reports, graphs, fonts, charts, and colours you will want to see.

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Content copyright 2001-2009 David Marchak
This page last updated June 15, 2009