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Using Quick Filter to Locate Information

Many of the various lists appearing throughout Total Office Manager share common controls and are used in a similar manner.  Most lists which display more than a handful of columns have a Quick Filter as well as a Filter Center.  The displayed contents of lists can generally be adjusted, sorted, and selected the same way.

This topic covers the use of the Quick Filter as a part of list management in Total Office Manager.

Quick Filter Usage

The Quick Filter is used to filter records displayed in a list, without having to create a custom filter (like a User Filter).

To use the Quick Filter:

  1. Choose the column on which to filter from the drop-down box, then

  2. Enter the criteria by which to filter.  As each alpha-numeric character is entered, the list is pared-down, becoming more and more specific, automatically filtering records based on the Quick Filter setting.

Understanding the Available Conditions Found in the Quick Filter

The Quick Filter can be configured in system preferences to use either of two conditions:  “Like” or “Starts With”.  See the related topic, “Preferences – Quick Filter” for more information on system preferences.

The “Like” Condition

The “Like” condition is both powerful and forgiving.  It is similar to the condition “Equal” but not picky about what appears before or after the criteria.

For example, let’s say the quick filter is being used to find a customer named David.  Here are examples comparing the condition “Equal” and “Like”.

  • If the Quick Filter used the condition “Equal”, then filtering for the letters “dav” would only produce records matching EXACTLY “dav”.  It is likely that this setup would produce no results unless a customer actually had the name Dav.

  • However, the Quick Filter uses the condition “Like”, so filtering for the letters “dav” would produce all records containing the string of letters “dav” regardless of what precedes or follows it.  Results like “Dave” and “David” and “Davidson” would all appear in the list, because they all contain the string of letters “dav”.

Most users discover in short order that they like the “Like” condition built in to the Quick Filter.

The “Starts With” Condition

The “Starts With” condition works exactly as its title suggests, by filtering for entries which start with whatever characters are entered in the Quick Filter.

Other Conditions

When the Quick Filter is set to focus on some fields, two condition fields will appear instead of a single field.  For example, when the focus is set on the “Balance” column, two condition fields will appear to the right of Balance instead of one. This allows the filtering of a range of data rather than a single data point.

When the focus of the Quick Filter is set to a field which allows filtering of a data range, the range will either be by date or by amount, depending on the focus.  The default condition for both kind of range filtering can either be “Equals” or “Greater/Less Than or Equals”.  Adjust these default in Quick Filter system preferences (see related topics, below).

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