Chicago ACT! USER GROUP
Meeting: March 14, 1995
Tips and Techniques from Open
During our monthly open forum we discussed writing macros
and purging an ACT! database of duplicate records.
Macros are great when you need to condense a regularly
executed series of keystrokes into one simple command. To record a
macro in ACT!, execute the commands: EDIT, MACRO, RECORD MACRO. Once
you're in the record mode, each keystroke or click of the mouse is
recorded up until the EDIT, MACRO, STOP MACRO command is
The most reliable results can be obtained by using the
keyboard, rather than the mouse, to enter the commands you want
recorded. For this reason it is advisable to select the Ignore Mouse
option under "Mouse" in the Record Macro dialog box. To run a macro,
execute the commands: EDIT, MACRO, RUN MACRO.
Purging duplicate records is an important aspect of database
management. Regular purging saves money in postage when doing
mailings and speeds up database searches. It also eliminates the
confusion that results when updating a contact record with notes or
an address change!
Unfortunately, there is no easy, automated way to accomplish
this. However, the following procedure has proven effective. The
first step is to perform a lookup by last name (LOOKUP, LAST NAME).
If no name is entered, the contacts in the database will be
conveniently sorted alphabetically by last name. Then VIEW, CONTACT
LIST to search the database for duplicate entries. Make sure to
consolidate notes for duplicate contacts in one record. (The CUT and
PASTE commands will come in handy here.)
Next, perform a lookup by company. Leave the company name
blank and again search the contact list for duplicates. Finally,
perform a lookup by phone number. Search the contact list one last
time for duplicates.
By following this three-pronged approach to purging on a
regular basis, you'll be assured of a streamlined
MEETING FEATURE: MapLinx for
MapLinx is a software package designed to give the user a
visual representation of a database. Any group of ACT! contacts can
be viewed in the form of a U.S. map. MapLinx represents individual
ACT! contacts as dots located at the post office location for a
particular zip code. The zoom feature enables MapLinx to display a
full U.S. map or a chunk of a metropolitan area.
MapLinx can map up to 10 databases at one, display U.S.
state highways and interstates, and calculate distances between any
two points. You can shade regions of the map so you can see where
business is hot - and where it is not! For instance, all counties
with more than 10 customers might be shaded green. Those with 5 to 10
customers might be shaded yellow, and so on. MapLinx files (maps) can
be saved and printed so they can be included in letters and
Aside from the ability to view contacts graphically, MapLinx
offers the user the option to query an ACT! database graphically. It
is possible, for example, to select all contacts within a 50 mile
radius of any city. This would be helpful if you were planning a trip
and wanted to use ACT! to create letters notifying customers of your
upcoming visit. Alternatively, you can select contacts by just
circling them on the screen using the mouse.
Since MapLinx is designed to work with ACT! (as well as with
a variety of other databases, spreadsheets, and word processors)
transitions between MapLinx and ACT! are seamless and can be executed
by clicking on an icon.
MapLinx is designed to run on a PC with an 80386 or higher
microprocessor and Microsoft Windows 3.1 or higher with 4 MB RAM and
requires 13MB of disk space.
© Copyright 1995 by Alan M. Lee, all rights reserved. Other
nonprofit computer user's groups may reprint this material providing
credit is given the author and C.C.S. Future rights for publication
reserved by Alan M. Lee. ACT! is a registered trademark of Symantec