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    By Gary Mann

    I thought I would write about the Cymap “Notes” feature because although they are a favourite feature of mine, judging by the projects I receive they are not often used. This may be because they are not known about or not valued for most of us?

    Would they have more appeal if we called them “Knowledge, K” instead of “Notes, N”?

    What I am talking about is the fourth characterpic5.png  nested between the Level Indicator and the Calculation standard in the lower right-hand corner of the Cymap screen.pic6.png

    I was prompted to highlight these by the receipt of a project from Steve Evans, a Cymap Champion who had amassed extensive notes on all aspects of his project. Not only did these impressive notes assist me in resolving his issue, but should another individual have to take over the project, Steve had ensured that anything he had not yet resolved could easily be identified and dealt with. I have included only the first few lines from his project below for inspiration, but they could easily have taken the whole page if I had included them all.

    pic7.png

    On starting a new project, the Notes file is empty and the character N is greyed out with a different Grey background (two shades of grey). Once a note is added the character N becomes emboldened in black on a green background. (Many of the Example and Tutorial files have informative notes added). The dialog is resizable by dragging in both dimensions.

    The Notes file can also be accessed via the Tools\Notes ribbon as shown below.

     pic8.png

    Note also that the file defaults to the project name appended with the Extension ‘.NTC’

    e.g. Cadtry1.NTC is the Notes file for the Cadtry1.CYC project.

    The screenshot below shows how you can include or exclude the “Notes” file when emailing or making a project backup simply by removing or adding a tick.

    pic9.png

    When outputting the results to a printer, the notes are displayed within certain documents, allowing the notes section to be used as a clarification sheet to a client.

    To summarise, here is a list of what could be included in your next project notes.

    • A “to do” list, or questionable Items that require confirmation.
    • A repository for storing technical text and emails.
    • Important dates or project milestones, project decisions reached, when & why.
    • Quality Assurance. Contains traceable inputs e.g. names, dates and sources.

    When I receive a project that requires a programmer’s input, I always copy the issues and any emails from customers into the “Notes” file. If you only send the project and include your requirements in the email to which the project is attached, the attachments are downloaded onto your favoured location and from then on are distant from the parent email. Copying into the “Notes” or “Knowledge” file ensure that they are more inseparable.

    pic10.png

    Another example of a good use of a Notes file is above, this time an *.NTR file or Radiator Database Notes, showing who added what, when and where from. So if you edit a project file or database, remember to qualify what you have done, for all to see and make use of?

    Drop me an email if you add notes or if there is something else you would like to see.

    Thank you. At your service - gary.mann@cadline.co.uk

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