Getting the Most from Lantica's Sesame Database Manager
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . August 18, 2019  8:18 am. PST

Inside Sesame Issue Index
Switch to Keyword/Topic Index | Subscriber Express Index

2004  2005  2007  2008  2009  2010  2011  2012  2013  2014  2015  2016  2017  2018

As issues of Inside Sesame are published, their contents are added to our Keyword/Topic index and Issue (this) index. The Issue index is organized by year and month of issue and includes a description of the contents of each issue. The Keyword/Topic index is organized by keyword, much like the index in the back of a book. A special Subscriber Express Search Index also available to Inside Sesame subscribers. This database can be searched by keyword, topic, article title, author and various other criteria to locate the issues in which the search criteria occur. Subscribers can then view those issues immediately.

Ordering Back Issues...
Back issues are $25.00 each. (Current subscribers receive a 20% discount.) Note the order code(s) of the back issue(s) you wish to order. At the Order Form, you will be able to select them from the Back Issue pick-list.

January 2006 issue summary. . .[order code JAN 06]

Special  18-page 'New Year' issue

Publisher's Note
A few minor cosmetic changes have been made to Inside Sesame starting with this issue. Only one has any real impact: the code font has been changed to Lucida Console as used in Sesame's Program Editor. Also, we're trying (really hard) to make sure all styled quote marks in the code are replaced with plain (straight) quotes, so that programming copied from an Inside Sesame PDF and pasted into the Program Editor won't generate a test/compile error on styled quotes.

Restrict Users to Just Their Own Records
For many companies (since the dawn of Q&A) the ability to restrict users to their own database records has been a kind of Holy Grail of application design. We're pleased to bring you a viable solution to this long-standing need that requires only minor layout changes, surprisingly little programming, and no macros. You can practically cut-and-paste our solution into most any secured Sesame application. Sample application included in this month's download file.

A Bag of Tricks to Tweak Your Reports
Paginating reports, centering them on the page, adding the run date/time to them, tightening/loosening report linespacing, adding extra space after each record, force-wrapping report lines, adding separator lines under column headings, preventing split records, automatically generating an ASCII export file with a report and hyperlinking report data for sending emails, surfing the net and even displaying photos — these are some of the tricks you'll learn in this wide-ranging "spiff-it-up" article on Sesame reports.

New 2.0 Table View — At Your Request
Sesame 2.0 is headed down the tracks toward your home or office in 2006. In its carload of new features and functionality you'll find a Table view that's been totally revamped, pumped up and tricked out. In this sixth installment in our 2.0 Sneak Peek series you'll see some of the more remarkable Table View improvements.

Another WordMerge Advance
For those who use WordMerge to merge print their Sesame data with Microsoft Word documents — or are contemplating doing so — here's a revised WordMerge program that includes the ability to select merge documents from folders on remote as well as local drives. Sample application included in this month's download file.

_______________You ask. We answer.


  • Creating a Range of Numbers Using a Loop — An Inside Sesame reader wants to supply starting and ending numbers, and have Sesame generate a list that includes all the numbers in between them. A loop makes it a snap.

  • Printing Labels from a Sesame Database — Here's a short course on label printing using Sesame and a Microsoft Word labels document.

  • Working in Multiline Fields — Multiline fields can be difficult to work in, but teaming up Sesame's Expanded Field Editor with a bit of programming can really simplify the task.

  • 'Sending' Sesame Data to Outlook — A reader wants to know how to get the email addresses in his Sesame database into Microsoft Outlook, so he can send a common email. We describe what it takes.

_______________Technical tidbits you can use today


  • Make a Hide/Show Menu Tree Button — Here's a simple exercise for beginning programmers that adds a button to a form to toggle between hiding and showing Sesame's Menu Tree.

  • Getting It All from @XLookupAll/SourceListAll — Is there a trick to retrieving data from all the records in an external database? Yep, and here it is. This tip also shows how to get a quick count of all those records.

  • Use a 'Test Bed' App to Cut Development Time — Sometimes it's more productive to do your serious programming and testing in another, smaller application before porting it over to the real app. Here's what's involved.

  • Know Your Subform Record Count at a Glance — Here's a little programming trick that tells you how many Form View subform records you've got without having to click into the subform itself.

  • Trim @ServerTime() — Why is it almost always better to use @ServerTime() instead of @Time? And how do you trim the seconds off of @ServerTime() when you don't need them?

  • Unbound Text Boxes No Longer Trigger @Modified — In Sesame versions prior to 1.1.3, changes to unbound text boxes would cause Sesame to display that irksome "...this record hasn't been saved..." warning message when exiting the record or pressing F7 for a new search. This alone is worth updating to 1.1.3.

  • Print Just the Current Record — If you don't know how to do it, you could accidentally send hundreds of records to your printer when you meant to send just the one you're looking at.

  • Use Global Values to Store 'Sticky' Preferences — Many of today's programs have user preferences you can set for the way you like to use the program. Such preferences "stick" until you change them. Here's how to achieve a similar kind of functionality in a Sesame application.

February 2006 issue summary. . .[order code FEB 06]

Special 16-page issue

Introducing WordMerge Lite
A "Lite" version of WordMerge? What's that all about? It's simple: though the original WordMerge is versatile and powerful, it takes too many steps and too much know-how for non-developers to easily deal with. So we made it easier. Easier to set up. Easier to work with. Easier for developers to deploy. And in some ways, it's even more powerful than its predecessor. WordMerge Lite doesn't replace WordMerge, but provides an alternative for those with limited know-how who want to get up and running with merge printing fast. Sample application included in this month's download file.

Instantly Find and Jump to Related Records
What are related records and why would you be interested? Well, many kinds of databases contain related records — records that have something important in common with one or more other records. Want to know how many related records there are in your database? Want to be able to jump back and forth between them with a mouse-click? Here's a revolutionary way to save steps and time by bypassing the Retrieve Spec. Sample application included in this month's download file.

Prefilter Those Lengthy Picklists
Do you want a picklist (or combo box) with 600 items on it or just the six you need to choose from? This clever approach prompts you for a few starting letters, then displays a picklist with just the items that begin with them, eliminating the overhead and delay caused by retrieving and processing humongous lists.

_______________You ask. We answer.


  • Counting Occurrences in Reports — A reader knows how to get a count of records in a report, but not how to get a count of occurrences — where a field contains a particular value in some records but not others. We show two methods that do the trick.

  • Report Column Headings on Every Page— Need your report column headings repeated on every page? Now you can have Sesame do just that. And it takes just a minute to put the fix in. 

  • Expanding Read-Only Fields — Suppose you've got some read-only fields filled by programming or whatever. You don't want anybody editing them, but you'd like to be able to see what's in them when their contents extend beyond the element's borders. How do you "expand" a read-only field so you can see its entire content? We show you how.

_______________Technical tidbits you can use today


  • Undocumented FileWrite() and FileWriteLn() Feature — These two commands can do a lot more than what you've been told.

  • Save Time Entering Passwords — Make it a lot easier on yourself when developing and testing an application with security.

  • Jazz Up Your Command Buttons — Sesame supports a variety of graphical icons you can put on your buttons to provide snappy and effective visual cues.

  • How to Reverse Sort a String Array — It's easy to sort a string array in ascending order. But what if you need a descending sort? The solution is surprisingly simple.

March 2006 issue summary. . .[order code MAR 06]

Spellchcking Spellchecking Sesame
Databases often include extended text values such as comments, descriptions, notes and the like. These can wind up in documents that travel outside the office. Ever longed for a way to quickly spellcheck such fields? Well now you can. It's a breeze to set up and costs less than taking the kids to the movies. Sample application plus sample Microsoft Word doc included in this month's download file.

Watch Out for Those Windows Updates!
If you're using Sesame in a network environment, you should know that automatic Windows Updates can cause a great deal of trouble. Here are the details on what actually causes the problems and how you can avoid them without missing important security updates.

Make One Report Do the Work of Many
Part II of the November 2005 article, "Why Make 10 Reports When One Will Do?" More timely tips and tricks to minimize unnecessary "report proliferation" in your company. Sample application included in this month's download file.

Brain Teaser Contest
Get the answer right and you could win a free issue added to your subscription.

WordMerge Lite a Hit — A reader reports on how things went when setting up the Sesame users on the office network with WordMerge Lite (reviewed in last month's issue).

_______________You ask. We answer.


  • Retrieving Q&A Data Into Sesame — A reader wants to know how to mass update their Sesame database with data from their untranslated Q&A databases. It can be done — and it's easy.

  • Real Sesame Crosstab Reports — Sesame's Report Designer doesn't do crosstab reports — or does it? Our Help Desk editor has been waiting for somebody to ask. Somebody did, and we show how it can be done. Sample application included in this month's download file.

  • I Want My Custom Start-Up Screen — Want to pitch your Sesame development services in your distributed applications? Here are some ideas that could bear fruit. Sample application included in this month's download file.

_______________Technical tidbits you can use today


  • Get More from Your Tooltips — Make those tooltips do a lot more than merely remind the user what goes in the field.

  • New Layout Element Attributes Table — Data dictionaries coming in Sesame 2.0.

  • Add a 'Print Record' Button to Your Form — Have you ever inadvertently sent a whole bunch of records to the printer when you meant to print just the  displayed one? It's too easy. Here's how to help prevent it.

  • Undocumented Quick Dates — A few date-related options you probably didn't know you had.

  • Convert to ALL CAPS On-the-Fly — You're picky. You want the text displayed in ALL CAPS as you type it, without having to hit the Caps Lock key. And you want the text saved in ALL CAPS as well. We show you what it takes.

April 2006 issue summary. . .[order code APR 06]

Converting a Q&A Lineitem Database to a Relational Application
Finally, someone has documented a sure-fire way to turn most any Q&A database containing lineitems (invoice, sales order, purchase order, donations) into a true natural-linked relational Sesame application. We take you step-by-step through the procedure in this exclusive article.  Sample original Q&A database and resulting Sesame application included in this month's download file.

Merge Subrecords with WordMerge Lite
Folks all over are now successfully using WordMerge Lite (reviewed in the February 2006 issue) to handle their routine merge printing needs. With a recent enhancement to this powerful Sesame add-in, you can now optionally merge subrecord data right along with the main form data. This article shows how. New WordMerge Lite program included in this month's download file.

Data Entry Templates Coming in 2.0
Data entry templates encourage users to enter data in the correct format by taking care of the formatting for them. Things like phone and social security numbers are particularly amenable to template formatting. Find out how Sesame 2.0 does it.

Simplify Your Emailing with Sesame
When it comes to sending email, Sesame offers some nice options. In fact, Sesame can even do things your email provider can't or won't do.

Brain Teaser Contest
Here's the solution to last month's challenge.

Simply Spellchecking Sesame — A hot-key approach to running a spellcheck on any text field in any database. No buttons or programming required.

'Automatic Updates' Upsets — An article in last month's Inside Sesame makes a reader a hero.

_______________You ask. We answer.


  • Drawing Vertical Lines on Forms — How do you draw a vertical line on a Sesame form? It's easier than you think.

  • Aligning Form Elements on Their Labels — An "old school" Q&Aer likes to left align his fields where the label starts, rather than where the field starts. We show how it can be done with precision.

  • Looking Up Data Containing Reserved Characters — You want the items on your picklist or combo box to lookup additional info, but sometimes the XLookup doesn't work. What's the fix?

  • Opening External Documents in Sesame — What's the easiest way to display a Word, PDF, .HTML, Excel or image file without leaving the database record you're on? Sample application included in this month's download file.

_______________Technical tidbits you can use today


  • Unhide File Extensions with WordMerge Lite — Having trouble telling your Word merge docs and their corresponding .htm files apart? Here's a quick fix.

May 2006 issue summary. . .[order code MAY 06]

Push-Button Exports
Recurring exports — the kind that are done on a regular basis and need to produce the same type of export file saved to the same filename and location every time. Find out why Sesame's built-in export facilities may not be the best choice for these kinds of exports, and how you can reduce routine exports to the simple click of a button. Examples include how to automate generating an export file even when the data is in a different application. The sample push-button export program included in this month's download file can be used in any form.

Format Your Subform Data On-the-Fly
When you use programming to extract and output subform data, what you get isn't always what your records show. Here's a clever generic approach (works with any form/subform) that automatically makes your programming aware of the kinds of subform data values its dealing with and so able to format them for output. Featured are four one-line User Defined Functions (UDFs) for on-the-fly formatting of dates, numbers, money and Booleans. Sample form/subform application included in this month's download file.

Interactive Data Entry Templates
Sesame doesn't support Q&A-style field templates, but that doesn't mean you can't have them. Templates simplify data entry and encourage users to enter data in the correct way by taking care of the formatting for them. Things like phone and social security numbers are particularly amenable to template formatting. Find out how you can provide format-as-you-type data entry templates for your users.

Copy Forms/Reports Across Databases
You put a lot of time and effort into your layouts. Why should you have to create them all over again just to use them with a different database? The good news is, you won't. Sesame 2.0 will feature a new relinker that enables you to copy any form or report design from one database to another, then relink it to the fields in that other database.

Converting a Q&A Lineitem Database to a
Relational Application, Part 2
Last month we showed you a sure-fire way to turn most any Q&A database containing lineitems (invoice, sales order, purchase order, donations) into a true natural-linked relational Sesame application. Here in part 2, we show a different approach, one where all the work is done strictly in Sesame on the post-translated database. Sample beginning, intermediate and final Sesame applications included in this month's download file.

_______________You ask. We answer.


  • Report Retrieve Spec Temporary Changes — Got a report that requires a complex Retrieve Spec, but don't want to limit your options by attaching the retrieve to the report? Here's how you can start with that complex retrieve and easily modify it for temporary changes.

  • Using Subforms in Reports — Answering a reader's question, this quick tutorial shows how to design a report to show main form along with subform data.

  • Translating Q&A Reports — When you translate a Q&a database, Sesame translates any columnar reports in the database as well. Here are a few common issues with translated reports and how to quickly remedy them.

_______________Technical tidbits you can use today


  • Make Things Blink & Flash On Error — To keep data entry on the straight and narrow, you might want to draw the user's attention to something questionable without bringing everything to a grinding halt. Here's a cool way to do it.

June 2006 issue summary. . .[order code JUN 06]

Special 16-page issue

No-Programming Navigation Groups
When you organize the fields on your form into logical groups, you can wind up with a navigation problem when moving from field to field. Solutions? Well, you can either customize the form's Tab Order or put ThrowFocus() commands in all the fields. But there's another, cooler option that probably never occurred to you.

Add Instant Web Site Upload to Data Export and Reports
If you read last month's "Push-Button Exports" article, you know how to reduce recurring exports to one-click simplicity. Now, find out how to just as easily have Sesame automatically upload those export files to your Web site. This article shows how to create then upload an export file using a programming-only report, how to automatically run an export/upload procedure at set times throughout the day, and how to have Sesame download and import data stored on a Web site.

Printing Hard-to-Print Forms
It can be hard to strike a balance between designing a form for data entry and designing it to look good when printed out on paper. If the form contains Tab Pages, for example, the Print Form option on the Menu Tree will only print the tab that's currently visible. This article features some generic programming (which can be used in most any form) that "flattens" the tabs so they all print out.

_______________You ask. We answer.


  • Exporting Templated Phone Numbers — Your phone number fields in Q&A may have been templated with parentheses around the area codes, a space, and a dash between the first three and last four digits. What are your options for templating your Sesame phone number fields this way?

  • The Same Mass Update Running Twice — If you're not careful, you can accidentally run the same Mass Update multiple times. Here's how it can happen and what to do to make sure it doesn't.

  • Import Field Count Errors — When importing an ASCII file, you get an error message. You check the administrative log and find something like "Record 1728 had 17 fields, 20 were expected." What causes this and how do you fix it?

  • Importing Data with Carriage Returns — You can't successfully import an ASCII file where the data itself contains carriage returns, because a carriage return always indicates the end of a record. But what if you really need to retain those carriage returns in the data?

  • Multiple Subform Record Confusion — When using form-view subforms, here are some tricks you can use to make sure your people know that the subform record that happens to be showing isn't necessarily the only one.

_______________Technical tidbits you can use today


  • Store and Reuse Local Values — Sesame supports Global Values, a special kind of variable that any user of the application can access from any part of the application. But what if you need to store specific information about or for individual users of the application? Here are some options.

  • A Few Handy Editing Shortcuts — Including a substitute for Q&A's Shift-F4 (delete contents of current field).

  • Save Your Programming As You Work — When making a lot of programming changes or writing a long routine, how do you perform quick interim saves to protect your work without closing the Program Editor and saving the layout?

  • Navigate Faster When Programming — Switching back and forth between different programmed layout elements can be a pain when you've got lots of them. Here's a handy shortcut.

  • Use Field Color to Tell Add from Update Mode — Here's an easy way to help your people avoid mistaking a blank Add mode record for an empty Retrieve Spec, and vice versa.

  • How to Deal with 'Ghost Clients' — Is Sesame Server reporting more users connected than actually are? Here's what causes it and how to handle it.

July 2006 issue summary. . .[order code JUL 06]

Special 16-page issue

That's right. Crosstab reports. We've got 'em! Q&A for DOS has had them since version 4.0. Sesame doesn't translate or support them. Until now, this disparity has meant migration issues for those who've come to depend on the kind of information only their Q&A crosstabs can provide. We've made creating crosstabs easy with a  generic crosstab template. Now you can add a crosstab report to most any database in 10 minutes. Sample applications included in this month's download file.

Create a Billing Statement Report
There are many ways to print monthly billing statements. One of the easiest is to create your statements in Report Designer and simply print them as a report, complete with a new starting page for each statement. We show you how. Sample application included in this month's download file.

New Tab Group / Tab Page Options
Starting in Sesame 2.0 you'll be able to create tab pages with the tabs on top, on the bottom, or with no tabs at all. New programming commands will allow you to open a particular tab page in a tab group, as well as hide and show individual tab pages.

_______________You ask. We answer.


  • Creating a Unique Record Key — Some tips on how to string together several descriptive values to create unique key values for your database records.

  • Easing Data Entry with Form Design — With some applications you can simplify or complicate data entry just by the way you approach the design. Here are some examples of different approaches and the advantages of each.

  • Changing Form Layout Element Properties — Do you get a little confused when trying to change things like field names and data types in Sesame Designer? This could help.

  • Automated Query Screen — Here's a special kind of application where you start by typing in a few characters and Sesame helps you complete the search. Sample application included in this month's download file.

  • Running Totals in Reports — We help out a reader with a checkbook database who needs to add running totals to his checkbook report.

_______________Technical tidbits you can use today


  • Color Your Retrieve Spec to Prevent Confusion — A bold way to let users know when they're not in Add Data mode. Sample application included in this month's download file.

  • Don't Change System Date to Test Programming — Remember when you'd simply set your computer's date ahead or back to test your date-sensitive programming? Not a good idea these days. We tell you why.

  • SetStringArraySeparator() and the X-Commands — If one day you change string array separators to process some data and suddenly your X-family commands stop working, hopefully you'll remember this tip. 

  • Search Google & Wikipedia with Sesame — Look up word definitions and all sorts of other nifty things on the Web using this handy Sesame trick.

August 2006 issue summary. . .[order code AUG 06]

Special 14-page issue

Crosstabber2 — Mighter, Faster
Last month we introduced the Crosstabber for Sesame — a report template with drop-in programming that enables you to quickly create basic crosstab reports. Now, with just a bit more setup, your crosstabs can have more rows and columns, include much larger result sets, and run up to 15 times faster.  Sample applications included in this month's download file.

Mailmerge Subrecords the Easy Way
If you're a WordMerge user, perhaps you've been looking for a way to include subrecords in your merge docs. Now you can — and it's easier than you might have thought with this clever technique. Sample application included in this month's download file.

Calculate Elapsed Time Down to the Second
Precision elapsed time calculations are handy for more than races. They can be helpful when establishing exactly how long a programmed procedure takes to complete its work, determining if users should be kept informed on progress, or finding out how long they're taking to update the records they work with. Sometimes seconds count. And it's nice to have a way to count them. Sample application included in this month's download file.

Adding Images to PrintString Documents
When printing letters, invoices, labels or the like using Sesame's PrintString() command, you might want to include a graphic image such as a photo or your company's logo. It's easy with the companion PrintImage() command, but there's some essential know-how required to ensure your images always look their best in the output and print at the perfect size.

_______________You ask. We answer.


  • Keep Consistent Colors with Make Like Me — Tips on using a time-saving Sesame Designer tool to help keep form element attributes uniform even when designing on different PCs.

  • Make Empty Copies of Applications — How to make Sesame give you the same result as Q&A's File / Copy / Copy Design Only feature.

  • Print Special Messages Not Visible on the Form — A reader wants a special footer to print on records when using Print Form(s), but doesn't want the footer text to show on the form itself. Here's how it's done. 

  • Sesame Form not 'Big' Enough — We clear up some confusions between Q&A for DOS forms and Sesame forms.

  • Easy Navigation in Multi-Database Applications — It's flat-out easy to have several database forms open in different modes and instantly switch back and forth between them, but some Sesame users haven't yet discovered the "trick."

_______________Technical tidbits you can use today


  • Name Your New Reports as You Create them — Is Sesame naming your reports NewReport, NewReport0 and so forth, and you have to go into Layout Manager to assign them meaningful names? You've missed a step, that's all. There's a much easier way.

  • Why Use @IsNew Instead of @Add? — In Sesame (as in Q&A), you can get into trouble if you don't take into account certain factors when using the @Add context function to do things like conditionally assign unique ID numbers. Here's why @IsNew may be a smarter choice.

  • Watch Out for the '@' Sign When Printing with Printstring() — Got any "@" signs in your data? They'll leave you scratching your head when your PrintString output doesn't coming out right. Here's how to safely print them.

September 2006 issue summary. . .[order code SEP 06]

Special 15-page issue

All About Global Values
Some argue that Global Values are among the most powerful, flexible and broadly useful (yet underutilized) in Sesame's rich feature set. Just what are they and what can you do with them? Here's everything you need to know about Global Values. Sample application included in this month's download file.

Edit Your Combo Box Lists On-the-Fly
Ever opened a picklist only to find that the item you need isn’t on it? That’s one reason why combo boxes are so handy. They’re picklists, but they let you type in a new non-listed item as needed for the current record. Trouble is, there’s no way to immediately add that new item to the list should you want to — until now, that is,  Sample applications included in this month's download file.

Scheduling Appointments
Many businesses need a way to make and track appointments or schedule jobs. Here's a nifty little application that does just that for a repair shop. It's adaptable to a wide range of businesses. Sample application included in this month's download file.

_______________You ask. We answer.


  • Translated Q&A Databases Don't Autocalc — How to change Manual Calc Mode to Autocalc (so you don't have to press F8 anymore) after translating a Q&A database.

  • Auto-Sorting Subform Data — You need to sort your table view subform a certain way, and perhaps even set a default sort that will automatically kick in with every record you display. How do you go about that?

  • Money Calculations Off by a Penny — Are your Sesame money calculations sometimes off by a penny when compared with the same calcs in Q&A? Here's why and what you can do about it.

  • Make Combo Boxes Wider On-the-Fly — Is the width of your combo box keeping you from seeing the entirety of lengthy selections? Here's how to make a combo box automatically widen when you open it, then shrink back to its normal layout size once you've made your selection.

  • Data Not Merging in WordMerge Lite — When one or more fields fails to appear in the merged document, here's the probable cause.

_______________Technical tidbits you can use today


  • Find Any Date's Quarter — It's easy to look at a date and know what quarter of the year it's in. But what if it's your program that's looking at it?

  • Getting the Birthday Cards Out — You want to retrieve all the records where the person has a birthday next month. How do you do it?

  • Drag 'n' Drop Text Into Your Records — A fast and easy way to copy data from other programs into the fields in your records.

October 2006 issue summary. . . [order code OCT 06]

Special 15-page issue

Using Programming to Import Data
Sesame's import facilities require the import file to conform fairly narrow formatting restrictions. But now you don't have to conform. We show you how to import most any kind of ASCII data file using programming only — with a powerful added option: the same program can manipulate the data on-the-fly as it's being imported!  

Control Page Breaks Across Browsers
With some types of reports, you need a page break to occur at the beginning of each new section or group. Report Designer includes a "Page Break" layout element type, but you may have found that it doesn't always do the job. Here's a sure-fire way to get those page breaks right where you need them — in any browser.

Faster Forms with SBasic
Have those forms of yours begun to get a bit sluggish as you've added more and more programming to them? Check out these tips and tricks to reduce your overall code volume and breathe new life into those forms.

Mining Subform Data for Reports
Along with the form/subform relationship in Sesame, you get support for subreports. But do you really need a subreport in order to capture subform data for a main report? Not always, it turns out. Find out what your options are.

_______________You ask. We answer.


  • Sizing Subforms for a Good Fit — After designing your subform, you're ready to drop it into your parent form. Problem is, you don't know how to size the  window to make the entire subform is visible without Sesame adding those unsightly scrollbars. Try this handy trick.

  • Not Allowed to Run Sesame on Main File Server — Here's a problem that's cropping up more and more. The IT guys insist that all the Sesame data must be stored on the main file server for configuration and backup purposes, but they won't allow the Sesame Server program to run on that server. The solution is surprisingly simple, and doesn't require having to shoot the IT guys.

  • Copying Data Between Main Form and Subform — Now here's an interesting scenario. An Inside Sesame reader not only needs to copy data from fields on the main form to a new record in a table view subform, at other times she needs to copy data from a subform record into fields on the main form. We show how to have it both ways.

_______________Technical tidbits you can use today


  • Add Graphical Lines to Your Forms the Easy Way — To get a graphical line on a form, all you have to do is click on the form and press one key. You can then move or resize the line to your heart's content.

  • Mailing Labels and Word 2003 — There's a Big Bad Bug in Word 2003 that you could run into if you use Word 2003 to print your mailing labels with Sesame data. We show the workaround until a fix is released.

  • The Ultimate Inside Sesame Index — You already have it! You just need to know how to use it. Now you can search for any word, phrase, string, function or command name, and quickly find all the Inside Sesame issues that contain it.

November 2006 issue summary. . . [order code NOV 06]

Special 14-page issue

On-the-Fly Merge Faxing
If you fax things to customers or clients, or would like to, you'll want to check out this remarkably easy method that fully automates the process. You simply pull up the client's record, select a merge document from a pop-up list, and Sesame merges your data with that document and faxes it along with a professional-looking cover page right from the database record you're looking at. Sample application included in this month's download file.

Link Scanned Documents to Your Database Records
Do you scan documents related to your business — signed agreements, checks received, or important correspondence? If you've ever wondered if you could somehow quickly and easily link these documents to your database records where you could then conveniently view and print them on demand — now you can! Sample application included in this month's download file.

A Better Browser for Your Sesame Reports
Sesame outputs reports to your browser. For previewing reports, this is fine. It's when you print a report from your browser that an issue or two can arise. The browser's margin settings might not be right for your reports, and you might not like what the browser prints across the tops and bottoms of your pages. Fortunately, there's an easy fix that allows you to keep your browser's settings for everyday Web surfing while having your reports print with their own special settings — just page numbering, for example.

_______________You ask. We answer.


  • @XLookup and Disappearing Data — Q&A does it. Sesame does it, too. An @XLookup runs and the data in the target field mysteriously disappears. What's the skinny on this, and what does it take to prevent it?

  • More XLookup Cautions — A bevy of tips and tricks to make your lookups work better and faster, including how to use looked-up data in calculations.

  • Reconciling Issues — Reconciling changes to a database in a multi-user environment can be risky. Here's a concise rundown of the things you must do before Reconciling, or you could risk damaging your applications.

  • Pop-Up List Gotchas — There are four things that can ruin an otherwise perfectly good pick-list. Here's what they are and how to avoid them.

_______________Technical tidbits you can use today


  • Find Records with Duplicate Values — It's likely that this one never occurred to you, even though it's among the easiest of all the methods.

  • Make Help Messages Appear Briefly — For fast data entry typists who need only gentle reminders when something they just did isn't right, it's hard to beat this non-invasive way of guiding them along.

  • Cut Down on Non-Essential XLookup Fields — Are you retrieving more data from external files then you really need? If so, then you may be crowding your records with fields that really aren't necessary. Here's a clever way to retrieve just the essential data but still have the option to review what you might only occasionally need to see.

December 2006 issue summary. . . [order code DEC 06]

Giant 17-page Holiday issue
(with lots of presents under the tree)

Add a File Finder/Viewer to Any Form
Ever wished you had a way to navigate your file system (including mapped network drives) from within your database? Maybe to view a file and link it to the record? Maybe just to check some info you need to fill a field or two? Now you can with FileFinder for Sesame. FileFinder can be dropped into to any form in minutes. Just add a button and paste in the program. Sample application included in this month's download file.

Automatically Create Merged PDF Files
In today's increasingly paperless offices, tamper-resistant PDFs of contracts and other critical business documents are de rigueur. We show you how to create merge documents with your Sesame data using a pushbutton procedure that automatically generates perfect PDFs. Sample application included in this month's download file.

Fire-Off Emails with Merged Data and Attachments
How'd you like to be able to send email (with attachments) right from the database record you're working in — without even having to type anything? If your business requires sending lots of routine emails each day, you can add this slick little email facility to most any form and begin using it today. Sample application included in this month's download file.

More on Sesame Merge Fax — Custom Cover Sheets
If you found last month's "On-the-Fly Merge Faxing" article of any interest, you'll want to know about some further developments on the subject that have to do with fax cover pages. Yes — now you can now include a separate cover page with your merge or non-merge faxes, giving you lots more faxing options. Sample application included in this month's download file.

_______________You ask. We answer.


  • Reports Using the Wrong Records — You've got a report with an attached Retrieve Spec. Everything's going along hunky-dory until suddenly, the report starts using the wrong records. Here's what you did, then didn't do.

  • Lookup Tables After Q&A Translation — You've translated several Q&A databases. Now, sensibly, you want to merge them into a single application. But when you try, you get an error message like, "Failure while merging application..." Don't panic. Chances are it's just a little thing you overlooked.

  • Q&A Translation Makes Fields Too Long — The reader who submitted this question is right — it does. But why does it? The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our Sesames, but in ourselves.

  • Complex Field Names Not Translated Correctly — In this case, the fault lies with ourselves and Q&A, because of what Q&A let you get away with when you named your Order Date field Order Date...........: or Order Date        :

  • Q&A Translation — External Lookup Caution — A single Q&A XLookup can retrieve data from multiple fields. A Sesame XLookup can't. So after translation you change the XLookup to @XLookupSourceList instead. But you can't get it to work nohow. Here's what you may have overlooked.

  • Displaying Phone Numbers and Zip Codes — ZIP Codes showing with commas you didn't put there? Phone numbers printing with a bunch of zeroes tacked on? Omigod it's totally weird!

  • Q&A Translation and Initial Values — Your Q&A database automatically puts the date and time in each new record. Sesame doesn't. What's the deal here?

_______________Technical tidbits you can use today


  • Get More Out of Table View with F6 — Sesame's expanded field editor can be a lifesaver when working in table view or a table view subform. Here's how to make the most of it.

  • Turn Any List Into an 'OK' String Array — When using lists with separators other than a semicolon, you'll need SetStringArraySeparator and RestoreStringArraySeparator, right? Maybe not. You may be able to avoid both, saving yourself some code not to mention anxiety.