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How To Use The Attachment Form

The Attachment form provides a convenient place for storing extra information about a debt or a Debtor. It may be used to store any kind of additional information with an account--even documents and files. You may want to use it for information about insurance, or doctors or equipment. Perhaps you want to store credit reports or credit scores, skip tracing data, or other information that your suppliers send to you. You may also use the attachment to record all incoming data for auditing purposes. You can store virtually any number of attachments with each account.

How can attachments be of the most benefit to your operations? The flexibility of the attachment form requires that you spend some time thinking about this. You may want to customize several of the Attachment field labels to reflect the kind of information you are storing. You may want to use the indexed fields or modify the pick lists. As in most things, it is best to start with simpler uses and add functionality when you are more familiar with using attachments.

On the Debtor form, you will see the Attachment tab. Select this to create an attachment or view the list of attachments that are already connected to the account. Choose an attachment or press New to create one. This takes you to the Attachment form.

This topic covers two aspects of using attachments:

The Attachment Form, containing many fields where you can enter information.

The Attachment File, where you can put the filename of any type of file that you want to attach to the debtor's account.

At the end, you will find links to topics that explain some of the special ways you can use attachments.

Attachment Form

This is a very flexible form. It has many fields that can be filled in. Several fields can be used as indexes to speed up find and sort routines. There are date and currency fields. A pick list can be attached to any field. Field labels can be renamed to be intuitive. Information from the fields can be pulled into reports and letters.

Press F1 from the Attachment form for more information on each field, or hold your mouse over the field for popup help. Additional information about various types of fields is provided further on in this topic.

This form should not be used for addresses. Please use the Others form for addresses. Press F1 from the Debtor form for more information.

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Attachment File

On the Attachment form itself, there is a File field. This field can hold the filename of an attachment file. Any type of file can be attached to the account. As long as Windows is set up to handle the file type, you can instantly display any type of original information about the account. Additional information about using the File field is provided further on in this topic.

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Field Labels

You can change the field labels on the Attachment form to suit your needs and make them more intuitive.

See Also:

- Aliases
- How To Set Field Or Form Properties

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User Fields

Fields labeled " User" can be filled in any way you want. They are text fields. You can even display a note that starts in one of these fields and continues on into several others. This note will be visible immediately to the operator when the Attachment form is opened. Please only use the "User" fields for this kind of information. Other fields have different uses as described below.

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Numeric Value Fields

Several fields in the upper right hand area of the Attachment form are designed to hold numeric values. These fields, by default, are labeled "Value", "Factor", and "Result". The fields labeled "Credits" and "Debits" hold dollar amounts.

These fields can hold whatever values you need to store. In advanced use of the Attachment form, they can display the results of calculations performed behind the scenes using a control file.

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Index And Date Fields

These fields should only be filled in when you intend to use the information for search and find routines. Pull down the Browse menu. You will see a " Find by" choice. View the submenu that opens when you highlight Find by. Notice the Index and Date items at the bottom. These are the Index and Date fields from the Attachment form.

Index 1 and Index 2 are text fields, and they are indexed for rapid access. Date 1 and Date 2 are date fields, and they also are indexed. Date 3 is not indexed. You can use it as you wish, for a date value.

When you have a real need to "grab" attachments of a certain kind, these fields provide a fast way to do this, right from the Browse menu.

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Class

This field displays a pick list. Use it to categorize your attachments. Please see the Help on How To Modify Or Create A Pick List for information about building your own list or adding to the defaults provided by Collect!.

When you pull down the Browse menu and choose Attachments, the list that displays is sorted by the Class field. You can quickly scroll through it to view the Class of attachments you need.

If you are using Dynamic Attachments, the selections in this field will change the values in the Type field pick list.

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Type

This field is particularly useful for quickly accessing attachments from the Debtor form. You will notice on the Debtor form, three tabs labeled A1, A2 and A3. These tabs refer to Attachment types. They can be whatever categories you need to access most frequently. You can attach a pick list to this field for 1, 2 and 3. These are the only choices that will be recognized by the A1, A2 and A3 tabs.

When the tab on the Debtor form is selected for A1, A2 or A3, a list of all the Debtor's attachments of that Type will be displayed.

If you are using Dynamic Attachments, the choices in the pick lists for this field will change depending on the selection you make in the Class field. Also, labels on the Attachment will change according to Class and Type.

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Subclass

This is a hidden field that you can display in your Attachments list view if you are using Dynamic Attachments. It stores the textual value of the Type pick list for each Attachment. This makes it easier to browse Attachments. Class, Subclass and Description give you all the information you need to quickly locate and examine the Attachments you require.

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Description

Use this field for a description that is meaningful to you.

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File

Most frequently, an attachment will be used to store a scanned document that relates to the Debtor. Collect! does not expect files to be in the Attach folder. You can attach a file from anywhere in your system, giving you quick and easy access to files anywhere on your PC or your network. This field can contain a filename up to 255 characters.

To the right of this Attachment or File field, there are four buttons. Use these buttons to

- Open a file

- Print a file

- Delete a file

- Select a file from the Attach folder, or from another
location on your PC or your network.

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Open A File

If there is a filename in the File field, select the button with the small folder icon to open the file. Collect! will instruct Windows to launch the associated program to display the file.

When the File field is empty, selecting the Open button is the same as selecting the Select button (the magnifying glass).

tip.gif If you put a URL in this field, Collect! will use your web browser to go to the web site when you select the OPEN button.

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Print A File

To Print the file whose filename is in the File field, select the button with the small printer icon. This prompts you to print the file to your default printer.

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Delete A File

To delete the file whose filename is in the File field, select the button with the stylized X on it. This prompts you to delete the file.

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Select An Existing File

To attach an existing file to your attachment without opening it, select the button with the magnifying glass icon. This opens a Select Attachment dialog so that you can navigate to the file you want to attach to this account. Attach any kind of file that your operating system is set up to handle. You can instantly display any type of original information that you need to store.

tip.gif As long as Windows knows how to display the file type, you can attach it. For example, *.docs, *.html pages, *.xls spreadsheets, or even *.pngs can be displayed quickly.

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Viewing Attachments

If there is a filename in the File field, select it to open it or select the Open button. Collect! will instruct Windows to launch the associated program to display the file.

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Advanced Features

* With control files, choices made in the Class field pick list can change the fields and labels displayed in the Attachment form. This allows you to enter and display different information depending on the category of attachment you are viewing. Please refer to How To Modify Or Create A Pick List and How To Use Control Files.

* Fields on the Attachment form can be customized, and used with batch processing and import/export, to create a sophisticated, indexed data set. Please refer to How To Store Scanned Documents in Accounts.

* With control files, complex behind-the-scenes calculations can be performed by Collect! and the value fields in the Attachment form can display the results. One exciting use for this feature is Credit Scoring which allows Collect! to easily perform operations for you that ordinarily require additional expensive software. Please refer to How To Use Control Files and How To Do Credit Scoring.

* If you already receive credit reports or other query results in an ASCII text file, you can use import/export to read the file, pull information for an account and attach it to the File field for quick retrieval. Please refer to How To Attach Credit Reports To Debtor Accounts.

Please consult Comtech Systems if you would like more information about implementing any of the advanced uses of the Attachment form.

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Summary

The Attachment form provides a convenient way to store any kind of additional information with an account. Any number of attachments can be stored. The form is flexible and can be customized for many uses. Indexed fields, pick lists, and control files add to the functionality of the attachment form. The File field allows any type of file to be stored with an account. Attachments can be used with import/export to attach credit reports, query results and other information to accounts. This information can easily be displayed or printed.

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See Also

- Dynamic Attachments
- How to Do Credit Scoring

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