Getting the Most from Lantica's Sesame Database Manager
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Inside Sesame Issue Index
Switch to Keyword/Topic Index | Subscriber Express Index

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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 2009 issue summary. . . [order code JAN 09]

Our Biggest and Most Spectacular Issue Ever!

Managing Record-Related Files
A complete but surprisingly simple mini-system for your database that lets you effortlessly link all kinds of external files to your records, keeps track of them for you, and lets you display them from your records with the click of a button. It even creates new folders as needed on-the-fly! Sample application included in this month's download file.

Exporting Data to QuickBooks
Many of you have been asking for this. Now you can do it. It isn't complicated. And boy does it ever simplify the bookkeeping end of things. Sample application included in this month's download file.

Using XResultSet with WordMerge
All the power and versatility that XResultSet Technology brings to Sesame 2.0 can be incorporated into WordMerge to give you virtually limitless merge-printing options.

Automate Report Running
An informative survey of the ways you can significantly simplify your report printing, including creating a separate form custom designed strictly for selecting your report criteria and printing your reports. Sample application included in this month's download file.

Print a Three-Across Directory List
It doesn't take a mind-numbing PrintString program or even WordMerge to print out a gorgeous, alphabetically sorted 30-per page Name/Address/Phone directory. You can do it with a simple report.

_______________You ask. We answer.


  • Limit Field Data Lengths and Number of Words — A couple of really cool programming techniques, one to force entry of a predetermined number of characters and another to limit the length of a data value to a certain number of words. Sample application included in this month's download file.

  • Security Can Do More than Protect Your Data — When it comes to records being modified, need to know who dunnit and when? You'll need UserIDs for this. But password-protecting your application gives you other advantages as well, aside from securing your data.

  • Retrieve Records for a Date Within a Date Range — If you run the kind of business where you need to know if a date falls between a range of dates in the database (such as between arrival and departure dates), this one's for you. Sample application included in this month's download file.

  • Change Button and Tab Titles Without Renaming — In Sesame's interface you see names that you've assigned to things (forms, LEs, reports) and names or titles that Sesame assigns to things. Here's how to change how Sesame refers to your things (such as a form name on a button or tab) without having to change what you've named them.

_______________Technical tidbits you can use today


  • Recover from Typing a 'New Record" into the Retrieve Spec — We've all done it — started typing a new record into the Retrieve Spec. But what we haven't known how to do until now is take that same misplaced data and put it in a real new record without retyping a thing.

  • Avoid '()&' in Combo Boxes — Parentheses and ampersands. If you use them in your combo box choices you'll suffer the consequences when searching.

  • Re-Template Phone Fields After Translation — Q&A databases often have phone number templates. Sesame doesn't translate the templates, but we show you how to fix that in short order.

  • Tweak a Translated Lookup Table for Usability — Translated Q&A lookup tables can be hard to work with when you have to make regular changes to them. We show you how to make it easier.

  • Variables and Indirection — You can save a ton of programming in some cases if you know how to use indirection when referring to layout elements. Pity you can't indirectly reference variables as well. Or can you?

February 2009 issue summary. . . [order code FEB 09]

How to Find Out Who's Locking Records
If you try to retrieve a record that someone else has open, Sesame locks you out of it (read-only) and tells you which machine has it open — but not the person that machine belongs to. Here's how to have Sesame tell you who in addition to what.

Quick Count of Recurring Values Redux
We revisit this popular feature (getting quick totals-only screen counts of recurring values in selected fields) from the December 2008 issue to show you how to make it run like a bat out of hell even in really big databases.

How to Retrieve a Retrieve Spec (with programming)
Don't write us off as total loons just yet. You might really need this someday.

Using a String Array to Convert Numbers
The challenge was to convert Arabic (normal) numbers to their Roman equivalents, on-the-fly, in programming. You'll probably never need to do this, but the technique employed — adaptable to other, similar, conversion tasks — might help you turn a one-hour job into a 10-minute one someday.

_______________You ask. We answer.


  • Universal and Simple Searches in Subforms — Find out just how these two specialized search features work in conjunction with subforms, why they probably won't get you what you're after, and the smart way to use them on subforms.

  • Send Email from a Sesame Record — How to pass an email address, subject line and even a message to your email program with the click of a button.

  • Spell Checker Not Working in Sesame 2.1 — Here's why.

  • Manage WordMerge Documents by Database — Tweak your WordMerge program to give you a different starting folder for each database.

  • Manage Changes to Your WordMerge Documents — Are your users in their infinite wisdom revising your merge docs and printing their own versions? Want to make that an exercise in futility for them? Here's the trick.

  • Use 'Duplicate Selected' to Ease Design Work — This reader has lots of forms to design and wants to know how he can place the same set of navigation buttons on all his forms without having to create and program each and every one from scratch. We show him first how to save a lot of time, then save loads more time by creating a buttons template that he can paste into any new form.

  • Open a Specific Tab Page Automatically — We show you two ways to control which tab pages display and when, helping you bring your tabbed form areas completely under your control. Sample application included in this month's download file.

_______________Technical tidbits you can use today


  • Removing Items from a String Array — Certain programming operations are best done by looping through a string array of likely items and removing those that don't fit the bill. Here's how to make doing that super efficient.

  • Setting Variables When Declaring Them — The do's and don'ts of declaring variables and assigning values to them at the same time.

  • Printing to a Dedicated Label Printer — None of Sesame's built-in printing options are suitable for printing to personal label printers. Here's what you can do it make it simple and efficient.

  • Improve Tab Label Look by Adding Spaces — Your tab layout will look much better and make it easier to see at a glance what's what if you take advantage of this simple trick.

March 2009 issue summary. . . [order code MAR 09]

Print Reports from Other Databases, Other Apps
Sesame 2 comes with a little-known programming command that enables you to preview or print any report in any database in any application from anywhere in any Sesame application. (That's a lot of "anys.") Any interest? We show how anyone can do it.

How to Put Retrieve Spec Info Into a Report Header
Remember how Q&A let you make temporary changes to a report before printing it out? That's how folks updated the report header to reflect the content of the current report. Sesame reports don't have a make temporary changes feature, but no problemo — Sesame has other tools you can use to create a custom report header on-the-fly as you run the report. Sample application included in this month's download file.

WordMerge and Subrecords Revisited
Don't you just hate it when you upgrade a program and find that something you relied on in the old version got nixed or broke in the new one? If you think you might ever need WordMerge to print subform records along with a parent record, this article's a must read.

Truth in Reporting
An underling hands you a totals-only report with "Feb Sales by Region" scrawled across the top. No year, month or date appears anywhere in the thing. Will you take the figures for granted? This article describes a few tricks you can use in your report designs to ensure that you're getting the real deal from all your reports.

Secured Apps, XResultSet and Nighttime Updates
A wee case study on using Window's Scheduled Task feature to run database updates on a secured Sesame app in the wee hours of the morning.

Reorder Rows in a Table Subform
When sorting won't suffice, what other options do you have for rearranging the items in a table view subform so you can make them print (ΰ la WordMerge) in the precise order you need. Sample application included in this month's download file.

We're building powerful, interactive sesame pop-up calendars
for all kinds of enterprises that schedule people

It's just an ad. You can ignore it.

_______________You ask. We answer.


  • Programming Events and Combo Boxes — How to make a combo box run a program the instant you select an item.

  • See More Data in Multi-Line Fields — A little trick that tells you if there's more text in a multi-line field than appears at first glance.

  • Format Pop-up Lists to Match the Field — What prevents you from doing proper math with a money-amount pick-list selection.

  • Translating Templated Fields from Q&A — Tips, tricks and traps on migrating phone number field templates.

  • Prevent Users from Pressing the Wrong F-Key — Touch typists who don't read what they're typing can hit the wrong function key and leave your records a mess. Here's a simple preventative measure.

  • Form Fields Show End Rather than Start of Data — This is an apparent (not actual) problem that has to do with the Highlight on Enter option. We explain.

  • Use XResultSet to Post Values to Multiple Records — That old XPost way of posting data to external records is so 90's. Get hip with this modern method. Sample application included in this month's download file.

  • Create a Selective Pop-up List of Entries from Another Database — Here's how you can get a pick-list of names and IDs from another database, select by name, and use the ID to retrieve the additional related data.

_______________Technical tidbits you can use today


  • Add a 'Balance Overdue' Flash Message to Your Form — Your people won't have a snowball's chance of missing this. And it'll take you all of 10 minutes to add it to your form.

  • Make Deleted Forms Recoverable — Sure, go ahead and delete that form you're not using. But before you do, better do this first.

April 2009 issue summary. . . [order code APR 09]

Create Reports Without Designer^
All about the powerful new Sesame 2.0 feature that lets you create, run and save basic reports in your runtime application without having to go anywhere near Designer.

Searching for Solutions in Back Issues
Have you ever used the Keyword/Topic or Subscriber Express search index at only to come up empty handed? Here's a back issue search option you might not have tried. And it'll get you more hits than you can shake a stick at.

When a Simple Subform Can Solve the Problem
To many former Q&A users, merge mention of the term subform conjures up images of vast complexities and brings on fits of shaking and cold chills. Relax! Subforms are really easy once you understand what they are and the basics of making one. And boy can they ever boost productivity.

_______________You ask. We answer.


  • Boolean Field Lookups Not Returning 'Yes' or 'No' — When you run an XLookup to retrieve a Boolean value, better make sure you know precisely what Sesame will return.

  • Run Sesame Server Without the GUI — Depending on your needs and circumstances, there are a variety of ways to run Sesame Server, including Minimized, Daemon mode, Admin mode and Automatic Start on Reboot. We cover then all.

  • Disable All Menu Selections — Find out how to disable (gray out) the various standard Sesame buttons and menus across the top of the Sesame window for some or all users.

  • Get Help Between Inside Sesame Issues — Other ways to get help with Sesame questions and problems.

  • 'Monetize' Report Number Totals — How to make a Sesame report summarize a number field and display totals as money.

  • Break Imported Full Names Into Multiple fields — Some clever programming that takes apart a full name and distributes the name components into separate First, Last and Middle fields.

  • Another Twist on Importing Names — A different method of parsing whole names into separate fields.

  • Prevent Records Deletes — A simple program you can add to your form to prevent some or all users from accidentally or deliberately deleting records.

  • Use Saved Retrieve Specs with Reports — You translated a Q&A database along with its reports. Now you can't get the reports to include the right records and there's no Make Temporary Changes feature. Here's how to remedy the problem.

  • Trapping Data Entry Simplified — It just got a lot easier to prevent users from leaving fields when they don't enter the correct data.

_______________Technical tidbits you can use today


  • Simplify Mass Updates for Users — You don't ever want to let users fiddle around  with the actual programming of a mass update. Yet some mass updates require that certain program variables be changed prior to each run. Here's how you can let users set those variables without mucking up the rest of the code.

  • Using a String Array to Derive an Initial Value — Got an Initial Value that needs to be reset every year? That usually means a trip to Designer. Here's a technique that automatically changes the Initial Value on schedule for years to come without having to think about it.

  • Compose Special Characters in Sesame — Registration and copyright marks, Pound and Yen symbols, foreign accented characters. Here's how to get them all in Sesame without having to cut and paste them from another program.

  • Make Deleted Forms Recoverable — More Info — We omitted an important step in last month's tip of the same name. Don't forget to Relink the XML form.

May 2009 issue summary. . . [order code MAY 09]

All About Report Printing Options
Have you found yourself scratching your head over what all those options are for  running reports? You're not alone. Here's a roundup on what they actually do, along with a strong case for just ignoring them all and printing all your reports in a more visual way that's more likely to get you the results you're after.

Copy/Paste To/From the Windows Clipboard with Simple Programming
Unless you've been paying close attention, you might have missed a couple of nifty new commands added to Sesame's programming language that let you interact with the Windows clipboard to copy and paste data with programming alone.

Print Straight to Your Label Printer
A couple of issues ago we described a way to print labels to a dedicated label printer using a WordMerge routine. Problem is, it's still a three-step operation. We vowed to keep our eyes peeled for a one-step solution — and now we have it. You can print a name and address to dedicated label printer simply by clicking a button on your Sesame form. Sample files included in this month's download file.

_______________You ask. We answer.


  • Group 'Then' Conditions by Bracketing Them — Why a reader's If/Then program is Iffing all right but Thenning wrong.

  • Totals-Only Reports — Hands down the easiest and fasted way to create a totals-only report. Sample application included in this month's download file.

  • Get Rid of Internet Explorer 8 Warnings About Sesame — The web is littered with kinds of solutions to keep Windows with IE8 from continually warning you about programs you use every day, including Sesame. Here's a quicker fix.

  • Use Mass Update for More than Updating Records — A reader wrote a program to print an invoice for the current record. Now he wants it to automatically print an invoice for all retrieved records. Here's where a Mass Update (that doesn't update a thing) is the right answer. 

  • Keep Your Security and Saved Specs Current — So just what is the trick to always keeping your design changes in sync with your live application so you don't lose things like saved Quick Reports, security changes you've made in runtime, and other user-defined specs.

_______________Technical tidbits you can use today


  • MergeFilePrint and Multiline Fields — If you haven't already, someday you might need to use MergeFilePrint() to merge print something. If that something involves merging a multiline field, you'll be glad you read this.

  • Set Temporary Initial Values On-the-Fly — This one’s right out of the “That’s-so-obvious-why-didn’t-I-think-of-it?” book. If you ever need to add a batch of new records that share common values in certain fields, here's a way to make those common values initial values without redesigning the application.

June 2009 issue summary. . . [order code JUN 09]

Photo Ops
A different kind of photo opportunity — the opportunity Sesame gives you to add photos — lots of them, if you want — to your database records in a way that requires no photo fields and adds virtually no overhead to the application. Not just a way to have fast and easy access to virtually unlimited numbers of photos, this is a smart, streamlined, fully integrated database photo management system.

Creating Keyword Quick Reports
A keyword field, with it's relational-like properties, is like having a subform without the subform. If you’re a former Q&A user, you may have used keyword fields — maybe even keyword reports. Although Sesame has always had keyword fields, keyword reports weren’t available until Sesame 2.0. We introduce them to you in this article.

_______________You ask. We answer.


  • Make Command Button's in Sesame 2.1 — Sesame 2.1 replaces the command tree with buttons. How does this change the way you go about creating command buttons to replace some of the menu buttons?

  • Remove Extra Forms Listed on the Button Menu — Maybe you don't want or need all your subforms (and perhaps even some of your parent forms) listed on the new button menus in Sesame 2.1. How do you hide them?

  • Remove Previously Opened File List — Does that list of recently open applications that appears when you start Sesame just get in your way. Here's how to lose it.

  • Set Your O/S and Firewall for the Best Sesame Connectivity — Are one or more your Sesame workstations periodically disconnecting from the server for no discernable reason? We tell you what's probably causing the problem and what you can do to fix it.

  • Don't Neglect the Program Editor Help Screens — Are you taking advantage of all the terrific new help features built into Designer 2.0's Program Editor? Find out how to access and use these features and you can put that dog-eared programming manual back on the shelf.

  • Stop Unexpected Mouse Pasting — The mouse wheel, when used in a certain way, can corrupt your data big time if users aren't paying strict attention to what they're doing. Here's how to tame that critter.

_______________Technical tidbits you can use today


  • Create a Vertical Command Button — Need to add a command button to your form but you're short on horizontal space? Try this nifty trick.

  • Run an LE's Program from a Different LE — Am I reading this right? Yep. Now you can economize on your programming with this handy command that gives you subroutine-like performance without a subroutine in GLOBAL CODE.

  • An Easier, More Flexible Way to Change Report Margins — If you're using IE 7 or 8, you can adjust your page's margins for the current report only. No need to use Page Setup and wind up with permanent margin changes.

  • Eliminate Phantom Report Columns in Report Preview — How to use Internet Explorer's Print Preview to find out if your report's columns are out of balance and eating up precious horizontal space.

July 2009 issue summary. . . [order code JUL 09]

Reports with Automatic Yet Flexible Retrieves
Record set retrievals for critical reports can be complex enough to warrant an Attached  Retrieve. But if you need a little flexibility, such as choosing a date range of records at runtime, an Attached Retrieve will defeat you. Here's a goof-proof alternative approach that gives you the best of both options.

Problem Importing Excel Data
For the office that relies on Microsoft Excel to receive, pre-format or manipulate data, getting that data into Sesame can sometimes prove problematic. If Sesame is rejecting your Excel .csv file imports due to inconsistencies in the data structure, here's where things are probably going wrong and what you can do to straighten them out.

_______________You ask. We answer.


  • Eliminate Duplicates in Quick Reports — A reader wants his Quick Report to show only one record for each company. "Officially," it can't be done.

  • Make Translations from Q&A Even Easier — Sesame 2.0 adds a new menu of options that can make Q&A translations go faster and smoother. We round them up for you. 

  • Copy Partial Record Info to New Records — You need to create a new database record starting with some of the data in an already existing record. What options do you have?

  • Color Your Form for Different Modes — It was an everyday issue with Q&A. And it still haunts some Sesame database administrators. Users don't always spot which mode they're in and try to "create" a new record in Search or mistakenly type their search parameters in Add Data. Here's an option that's guaranteed to prevent such mistakes by all but the color-blind.

  • Import Fixed (Table) ASCII Data Files — Sesame imports only delimited ASCII files, but you need to import an old-style fixed ASCII file. If it's a one-time thing, Excel is a good tool. But if it's a regular chore, here's your set-and-forget Sesame option.

_______________Technical tidbits you can use today


  • Make Your Reports 'Default to Non-Repeating Values' — Q&A could do this by placing a simple "R" code in the Column/Sort Spec — and we loved the effect. How do you do it Sesame?

  • The Easy Way to Add Separator Lines Under Report Column Headings — Sesame doesn't automatically print separator lines between your report's column headings and body. But you can do it in two minutes without having to add an entire Group Header just for those lines.

  • Run Quick Reports Even Quicker — Why not set things up so your users can run all their Quick Reports from a pop-up pick list? Sesame 2.0's new @SpecCommand in conjunction with @LoadQuickReportSpec and RunQuickReportSpec make running Quick Reports an absolute no-brainer.

  • Trouble When Form & LE Have Same Name — A tale of great woe and disaster. (Well, not really. But it did have us buffaloed there for a while.)

August 2009 issue summary. . . [order code AUG 09]

Automatically Remove Duplicate Records from a Report
In Q&A you could design a report to exclude all but the first record where, say, a company appeared multiple times in the database. You can do this in Sesame, too, but the technique is altogether different.

Word 2002/2003/2007 and WordMerge
If you're currently a WordMerge user (WordMerge is an add-in that comes bundled with Sesame) or are planning to be, here's some vital information you need on the various Word versions and the problems you could run into if you don't take a few steps to deal with compatibility issues.

_______________You ask. We answer.


  • Make Uppercase Data Stay that Way — Are you plagued by reports, exports or other Sesame operations that don't output your data in all uppercase even though your form displays the data that way? Here's the fix.

  • More on the Database 'Locked' Message — No cause for panic when you can't open an application because Sesame says it's locked. Here are all the reasons why a DB file might be locked and the simple steps to follow to unlock it.

  • Why Does My Cursor Disappear? — Suddenly, for no obvious reason, the cursor vanishes from your form and you have no idea where the focus is. Here's the cause and the cure.

  • Speed Up Fixed ASCII Imports — A brief tutorial on two new Sesame 2.0 Trim commands that do a lot of work for a small investment.

  • Program Execution Order Revisited — Having trouble getting your On-Form-Change programming to execute in the same order and with the same result as the original Q&A database it came from? Here are a few things you might be overlooking. 

_______________Technical tidbits you can use today


  • A Better Initial Caps Solution — Sesame's Initial Caps data formatting option, like Q&A's, leaves a few things to be desired. Here's a custom Initial Caps routine that does a better job of it and makes the format more sticky, so things like reports and exports automatically pick up the initial caps.

  • Control Where Report Wraps a Long Value — Got a lengthy value you want  wrapped in a report column? You can even tell Sesame where to wrap it.

  • Use a Header Row When Importing — "Data Shift" is the biggest problem when importing data from another source. Here's a handy way to spot it before it turns into a huge problem.

  • Cure Slow Searches by Setting On-Site / Off-Site Image Paths — An image path setting that's wrong for the machine the application is running on can slow things down to a crawl. Here's a quick and easy way to deal with it.

  • Beware of @AVG in Q&A Translations — This data averaging function works entirely differently in Sesame than in Q&A. Better check for it and fix it up after translating a database. Otherwise, your data could go south in a hurry.

  • Add Alternating Green Bars to Reports to Improve Readability — Remember that old green bar computer paper for printing wide dot-matrix reports? The alternating colors made the data more readable. Now you can add green bars to your Sesame reports — and you don't even need to print them out to enjoy the effect.

September 2009 issue summary. . . [order code SEP 09]

Better Notes Management with a Table Subform
A company was looking for a way to simplify adding notes to their records, protecting those notes, and managing them more effectively. Some unusual capabilities were involved and you might be able to use a few of them yourself. Sample application included in this month's download file.

Check for Locked Records When Posting or Mass Updating
Whenever you have a routine that posts data to a record in another database using any method, good practice demands that you should always have a way of checking to ensure the post succeeded. We show you how. Sample application included in this month's download file.

_______________You ask. We answer.


  • Strange Characters Appearing in Fields — You may not have seen these yet, but when you do you'll know what caused the problem and how to fix it.

  • Spacing Quick Report Columns — Yes! You can put some white space between those columns to make your Quick Reports more readable.

  • Need a Quick Report Button? — Run all your Quick Reports simply by clicking a button and choosing the one you want from a self-updating pop-up menu.

  • Real Page Breaks in Reports — Need we say more? Here's how to get them.

  • Reports — Count and Sum only Records with Data in Those fields — What? — you didn't think it was possible? Here's how — and it's a snap.

  • Another Alternative to Sesame's Image Field — Got pictures you want to display in full size and resolution right from your database records. Here's a surprisingly simple routine that can make that happen for you.

  • Check Import Files Before Importing — How to run a quick check on the file you're about to import and save yourself a lot of grief.

_______________Technical tidbits you can use today


  • Auto-Update Related Records in Another Database — If you've got two or more databases where some of the information is duplicated (Customers and Invoices, for example), we show you how to automatically update the information in one when something changes in the other one.

  • Use Special Character to Adjust Report Column Width — An easy little trick you can take advantage of to add more space between your report columns.

  • Measure a Value's Length in the Target Font & Size — If your data is destined for a printed publication where the columns widths are fixed, here's a way to check at the data entry end to make sure the information will fit.

  • Exporting High ASCII Characters — Here's what you need to know about Q&A if you have accented characters in your data and you're planning a Q&A-to-Sesame translation.

October 2009 issue summary. . .[order code OCT 09]

How to Design an Accounts Receivable Aging Summary Report
If you need a way to instantly know owes you what and how much of it is overdue in ranges of days, a summary report like this can give you the answers at a glance.

Logging Subform Record Deletes
You may need to protect those subform records but still permit the occasional necessary delete. A simple log like this one will tell you whodunnit, when, and exactly what data got zapped.

Automated Report Printing Revisited
Pushbutton reports that prompt for a date range, automatically retrieve and sort the pertinent records, then print the report. But with a twist. The routine also restores the Sort spec you were using before running the report.

_______________You ask. We answer.


  • Pseudo Combo Box Prevents Unwanted Entries — Four ways to restrict users to just the items on your pick-list, including one that looks and acts like a combo box, complete with type-ahead. Sample application included in this month's download file.

  • Special Totals-Only (almost) Report — A totals-only report that includes some detail as well. Sample application included in this month's download file.

  • Make Lengthy Popup Lists Easier to Edit — When your programmed lists are long, they can be a pain to update in the Program Editor. Here's a little trick that simplifies the process.

  • Manage Long Entries in Popup Lists — If your list items are too wordy to display horizontally on screen, this method abbreviates what appears on the list but returns the full value to the target field.

  • Change Field Labels only — The differences between fields, layout elements and labels, and how you can change your labels (each year, for example) without impacting existing programming.

_______________Technical tidbits you can use today


  • Spruce Up Your Forms with Image Buttons — A Sesame command button can have a text label or a graphic image. A picture? Really? You bet. Here's how to make those buttons look like desktop icons or the icons you see along the top of Microsoft Word or Excel.

  • Fine-Tuning LE Position on a Form — An easy little trick to get around an aggravating idiosyncrasy in Sesame Designer.

  • When Sesame Designer Won't Open a File — Have you checked the capitalization of the two filenames?

  • Importing From Excel — In a Nutshell — Six easy steps that will make your Excel exports / Sesame imports go more smoothly and reliably.

  • A powerful, interactive Sesame add-on for offices that schedule people.

November 2009 issue summary. . .[order code NOV 09]

The Checkbox — Hero or Villain?
Checkboxes look attractive and are easy to use. They make a form look modern, and an array of them can appear to be quite the business. But just how well do they really work? There are a number of issues with them, not confined to Sesame alone but due to the nature of Boolean (“Yes/No”) fields and a graphical user interface. Find out what the strengths — and weaknesses — of checkboxes really are.

XResultSetSearches Using String Arrays
If you work with XResultSets at all, you might one day find yourself looking for a way to get an XResultSet from Database B that’s dependent on the records in Database A. But just how do you manage such a thing? We stumbled on an undocumented XResultSetSearch feature that can be hugely useful in successive dependent searches. 

Add Global Report Font/Size Preferences to Your Applications
That's right. A little gizmo added to your application's main menu can enable each user — on-the-fly — to set his or her own font and font size preferences for any or all the reports they run. You're definitely in coolville with this one. Sample application in this month's download file.

_______________You ask. We answer.


  • Make Element Labels Serve Two Purposes — Find out some of the clever things you can do with field labels to help your data entry people along.

  • Sort Designer Lists with a Right-Click — Virtually all the lists in Designer can be instantly alphabetically sorted to help make your redesigns go faster. Here's how.

  • Delete Old Reports and Other Things in Designer — Need to get rid of an old report or a field that's no longer used. It takes just a minute if you know where to look.

  • Search for Empty Fields — Everybody knows how to do this. Do you?

  • Enter Multiple Selections from a Single Picklist — Got a Keyword or other field you want to fill, from a picklist, with multiple entries? Here's the trick.

  • Escape Without Saving — I've screwed up this record royally. Just get me out of here fast without saving any of my changes.

  • Find and Modify the Sesame.ini File — There are dozens upon dozens of useful features you can turn on and off in your application by tweaking the sesame.ini file. But where the heck is it?

  • Better Initial Caps — Got Initial Caps turned on for a field but now the McDonalds are being turned into Mcdonalds? Here's a fix.

  • Larger Window and Font in the F6 Editor — Now you can not only custom-size the F6 field editor window size, you can set its default font size as well. No more squinting at that flyspeck type.

  • Replace a Field with One of a Different Type — Need to replace a regular text box field with a combo box, or change a multi-line field into a text editor field? It's easy and safe if you follow these simple steps.

  • See Current Values in Property Editor — A slicker way to pop the selected LE's name or label into the Property Editor for updating.

_______________Technical tidbits you can use today


  • 'Upgrade' Q&A's Restrict Values in a Translated Database — A faster, simpler way to make those field restriction warnings work the same way in Sesame that they did in Q&A.

  • Indent Report Subtotal Labels for Readability — A neat and easy trick for your reports that makes subtotal lines much easier to spot.

  • Accounts Receivable Aging Summary Redux — We revisit last month's article to point out a few goofs and make this powerful summary report work even better.

  • Reports Plagued by Too Many '0.00's? — In Q&A you could suppress 0's or blank values in reports, making them easier on the eyes. Here's the trick to doing the same thing in Sesame reports.

December 2009 issue summary. . .[order code DEC 09]

Mass Update, Batch Posting, and a Curious XResultSet Command
Now you can run Mass Updates and Batch Posts (even those from Q&A specs that use the F8 calculation statements option) from anywhere in your application. We show you how to make Sesame run a mass update or post, automatically and invisibly, once a day, when the first user opens the app.

Gain Report Printing Flexibility with XResultSetPrintReport
We take an in-depth look at this powerful Sesame report-generating command and find a great deal more than meets the eye, including the ability to choose from a host of report options on-the-fly at runtime to make one report do the work of many.

_______________You ask. We answer.


  • More on Locked Databases — One of these days Sesame will tell you that your application can't be opened because it's locked. Here's what happened and what to do about it.

  • Make Changes Stick with State Programming — Are your XLookups firing when you don't want them to? We give you the fix.

  • Print Reports to Multiple Columns — This trick enables you print something like a name and phone list in either a snaking columns format (like a phone book) or a snaking rows format (across and down).

  • Use Valid Screen Resolutions for Sesame — Sesame too big for your screen? Can't see all of your form or reach portions of dialog screens such as the Reconcile Now button? We tell how to fix the problem.

  • Q&A Translation Error — Field Name Matches Form Name — Neither Sesame's translator nor Designer's programming Test feature will snag this one, but it'll stop your programming cold at runtime.

  • Put Quotes Around Dates in Calculations — Watch out for that @D() function, particularly in a translated database. Q&A and Sesame react differently to the way you format the date, and getting it wrong will throw your date calculations off big time.

  • Field Names vs. LE Names in Programming — If you're transitioning from an XLookup-based routine to XResultSet, here's the gotcha most likely to getcha.

  • New & Improved Text Editor Form Element — If you're using multi-line fields in your forms, you definitely need to take a look at this new layout element type for adding and editing lengthy notes or comments.

_______________Technical tidbits you can use today


  • Enjoy Password-Free Design and Testing — Does your application-under-construction make you enter a userID and password every time you need to test something? Here's an easy way to temporarily turn that off without having to remove the password protection.

  • Removing/Deleting Duplicates from an XResultSet — Want to remove dupes from an XResultSet or permanently delete them from the database? We show you how.