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How To Edit Style Sheets

This document explains the use of Style Sheets in Collect!. Style Sheets provide a very attractive way to display reports and letters in your browser. Each one of your operators and your Company as a whole, can have their own Style Sheet.

To use the Edit Style feature, you should have some knowledge of HTML and how to create HTML pages for your browser.

Requirements

- Setup Operator settings, User Levels, Access Rights
- Setup Report and Printer Setup
- Knowledge of HTML code
- Setup Internet Explorer or Netscape default HTML Page Editor
- Use Windows directories
- Create and Save files
- Print Reports and Letters in Collect!

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Overview

Style Sheets are HTML forms that can be modified to suit each of your operators. When a report or letter is printed, it can be printed on this Style Sheet. The result is displayed in your browser. From there, you could print a hard copy.

* In smaller companies, perhaps most of your letters and reports could be displayed and printed directly to a browser.

* Sales people could send a custom HTML page directly to clients.

* Skip Tracing operators could directly submit predefined HTML forms to the Internet service you use for skip tracing. This Skip Tracing style sheet would simply be filled with populated fields.

When you choose 'Print via Browser' in your Report and Printer Setup or on an individual Operator's form, Collect! automatically checks for a Style Sheet. If it finds one, the letter or report is printed on this Style Sheet. It is like using Letterhead stationery.

tip.gif This feature only works if the Operator is setup to "Print via Browser" from within Collect! Access rights and User level also influence whether or not a particular Operator is authorized to print the report or letter that you choose.

See Also:

- Report Options

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HTML Editor

Before using this feature, you should know which program your browser is setup to use for editing HTML pages. Three possibilities are Notepad, WordPad or Front Page Express.

tip.gif Look in your browser's options for "Programs." There will be a setting for "HTML Editor." Accept the default or choose your own favorite HTML authoring tool.

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HTML Code

You should have a thorough knowledge of the various HTML commands used by different browsers. A few basic commands can be used to produce an attractive page but you have to know how those commands are used. You can use the System.html that Collect! includes in the Demonstration database as a template for your pages.

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Editing A Style Sheet

When you click one of the Edit Style buttons located in Collect! the program that your Window system uses to edit an HTML page should open. Most often, this will be Notepad or WordPad, but your system may have a different program associated with editing HTML files.

Click on the Edit Style button in the Operator form to edit the Style Sheet for a particular Operator. Or, select the EDIT STYLE SHEET button from the Report and Printer Setup menu to edit the system Style Sheet.

tip.gif To access the Report and Printer Setup menu, select Print from the top menu bar and then select Settings, Report and Printer Setup.

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Customized Style Sheets

A Style Sheet can be developed for different types of users. A Sales Manager might have a sophisticated HTML page with marketing appeal and the Company logo. A Junior Collector might have an "in-house" personal statement Style Sheet or no Style Sheet at all.

If there is no Style Sheet for the Operator, then Collect! will use the system Style Sheet. The system Style Sheet is located in the folder CV11\styles and is named "System.html" .

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Modifying The Default Template

The System.html supplied with Collect! can be used as a template for other Style Sheets, It can be copied, pasted and then modified to meet your different requirements. Be sure to save the new HTML page in the CV11\styles folder so Collect! can find it.

tip.gif Collect!'s System.html, shipped with the Demonstration database, will produce an HTML sample page. This template can be modified and you can use your own .bmp (bitmap) logo graphic in place of Collect!'s header.

To modify the Style Sheet from within Collect!

1. Select System from the top menu bar and then select Preferences from the drop-down choices. This will display the System Setup menu.

2. Choose Reports and Printing. This will display the Report and Printer Setup.

3. Press the EDIT STYLE SHEET button to open the System.html. This HTML page will open in the program that your Windows system uses to edit HTML pages.

4. You can modify this HTML page using standard HTML tags. However, you must be careful not to alter the part of the page that reads <!End Header> and <!Start Footer> Collect! inserts your letter in between these two comments so this part of the page must not be altered or you may not get the output that you expect when you use your style sheet.

5. Choose "Save As" from the editing program's File menu. Locate the Collect! CV11\styles folder and save the system.html with a new name as described next.

tip.gif It is VERY IMPORTANT that Style Sheets are saved in the CV11\styles folder and named in the manner described below or Collect! won't be able to find them.

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Naming Style Sheets

1. The Style Sheet for your Company must remain named "System.html". This is the name that Collect! looks for when you expect to display your system-wide Style Sheet. You can modify the System.html that Collect! provides. Replace the Collect! header with your logo and edit the text. Remember to save it again with the same name, System.html, in the CV11\styles folder.

2. Style Sheets for individual operators MUST be named with the Operator ID. For instance, if you have an Operator whose ID is SAM, then his Style Sheet will be called SAM.html. An Operator whose ID is OWN would have a Style Sheet named OWN.html.

tip.gif Using the System.html, you can choose "Save As" in your HTML editing program and save the template with a new name, the name of the Operator whose Style Sheet you are designing. Use "Save As" again to save the same template with the ID of another Operator. Then these sheets can be modified as needed.

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Modifying Existing Style Sheets

After Style Sheets have been created for Operators, they can be accessed from the Operator form if you want to modify them.

1. Select System from the top menu bar and then select Rights, Operators. Select an Operator to open the Operator form.

2. Select the EDIT STYLE button. If a Style Sheet exists for the Operator that is being displayed, the HTML editing program will open as described above.

tip.gif Be careful not to alter the part of the page that reads <!End Header> and <!Start Footer> Collect! inserts your letter in between these two comments so this part of the page must not be altered or you may not get the output that you expect when you use your style sheet.

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Setup Print Via Browser

Sheet Designed In Collect!

1. After you have designed your Style Sheet, close the editing program. You will be at the Report and Printer Setup screen again. If you modified a Style Sheet by pressing Edit Style on the Operator form, you will be at the Operator form again.

2. If "Print via Browser" is not switched on, you can switch it on here to enable the use of your Style Sheet.

tip.gif If you are on the Report and Printer Setup, remember that print settings are system-wide on this form. Settings on individual Operator forms over-ride these settings. You may prefer to change the print setting at the Operator level instead. See "Sheet Designed Outside of Collect!" for details.

Sheet Designed Outside of Collect!

tip.gif Be careful not to alter the part of the page that reads <!End Header> and <!Start Footer> Collect! inserts your letter in between these two comments so this part of the page must not be altered or you may not get the output that you expect when you use your style sheet.

If you did not design your Style Sheet from within the Collect! you will have to go into Collect! to check the print settings before trying out your new sheet.

1. Sign into Collect! and pull down the System menu.

2. Choose Rights, Operators and open the Operator form for the Operator ID that you are signed on as.

3. Select "Print via Browser" from the "Printing" pick list in the Operator Detail.

tip.gif System-wide print settings are accessed through the Report and Printer Setup as described above. Settings for individual Operators over-ride the system defaults. So make sure "Print via Browser" is enabled at the Operator level.

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Reports And Letters

When the Print via Browser switch is 'On' all reports and letters printed will go to the Browser. For this reason, it is necessary that those documents are designed with the HTML Printer Control Codes or they won't display properly. Simple letters may not be affected, but there are differences!

See Also:

- Printer Control Codes
- How To Control Print Attributes
- Default Printer Codes

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Adding Images To Your Style Sheets

You can use standard HTML tags to add an image to your style sheet.

tip.gif Be careful not to alter the part of the page that reads <!End Header> and <!Start Footer> Collect! inserts your letter in between these two comments so this part of the page must not be altered or you may not get the output that you expect when you use your style sheet.

Images, like your Company logo, and all other images which you reference in your HTML tags must be placed in the CV11\bin\global\masterdb\ debtor\letters folder. This is the folder that will contain any Debtor reports or letters that you print. The images have to be in the same folder unless you specifically name a different path in your HTML tags. You could also create a GIFS subfolder, in the CV11\bin\styles folder for instance, put all your images there and reference it in your HTML tags.

tip.gif Changing the System.html at a later date will NOT automatically alter any style sheets belonging to operators who have their own Style Sheet with their own filename. To change any of them, you must repeat the process described above to open the particular Operator's HTML file in an editing program.

If you are using the default System.html, then changes you make to it will be immediately recognized after you save the file again and print something.

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Previewing Your Report

You can preview a page created with the System.html at any time. After you have created operators' Style Sheets, you can preview them as well.

tip.gif Make sure the Operator you are signed on as is setup to "Print via Browser". Also, the Access rights and User level for the Operator must allow printing of the report or letter that you choose. See above.

1. Choose a report or letter to print. The Operator must have access rights to the report that you choose. You can always choose Quick Print to try out your Style Sheet.

2. When the Print screen is displayed, choose Printer, Preview. This choice is visible only when "Print via Browser" is switched on.

3. Press Print.

tip.gif If you perform these steps for an Operator without a Style Sheet, Collect! will use the System.html instead, as long as "Print via Browser" is switched on for the Operator.

4. The browser will open and your report will display complete with the graphics and text you added to your Style Sheet.

tip.gif Be careful not to alter the part of the page that reads <!End Header> and <!Start Footer> when you edit your page. Collect! inserts your letter in between these two comments so this part of the page must not be altered or you may not get the output that you expect when you use your style sheet.

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HTML Report

The report that is created is named with the ID of the Operator, a number and the .html extension. For instance, own2.html. Whenever a new report is printed, the number is incremented. The file is created in the CV11\bin\global\masterdb\letters folder. You can print it from the Browser window or send it as an HTML page.

tip.gif If you send the HTML page to someone, remember to include any images that the Style Sheet depends on for display purposes.

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