Chicago ACT! USER GROUP
Meeting Date: February 11, 1997
NEWS YOU CAN USE: ACT! 3.0
users, the latest release of ACT! is version 3.0.3. (Use the command HELP,
ABOUT ACT! to check which version you have.) If you don't have the latest
update, you can download it from Symantec's Web site (or use ACT!'s
LiveUpdate feature). Patch disks will also be available at User Group
MEETING FEATURE: This
month we took the opportunity to conduct an ACT! "mini lesson" at our SIG
meeting. We focused on one of the basic features of ACT!:
Put simply, lookups enable you to cull out
or select contacts on the basis of the specific criteria of your choice.
For example, you can look up everyone in your database who is a customer,
or, all contacts in Peoria. These simple lookups are called quick lookups.
This is because they are fast and they search on specific parameters
(fields) appearing on the LOOKUP drop-down menu. These fields are: First
Name, Last Name, Company, City, State, Zip, Phone, and ID Status. Each of
these fields is "indexed" by ACT!, therefore making lookups
ACT! 3.0 users can perform more
sophisticated lookups without becoming experts in Boolean algebra thanks to
a new feature which enables you to "build" lookups. This feature makes use
of a new dialog box having three choices: Replace, Add To, and Narrow.
Here's an example. To look up all contacts in Texas and California who are
customers (i.e., ID Status = Customer) the commands would be: LOOKUP, STATE
(TX), LOOKUP, STATE (CA), then check off "Add" in the dialog box. Next,
LOOKUP, ID STATUS (Customer) and check off "Narrow" in the dialog
This new dialog box appears only when doing
quick lookups - i.e. lookups on indexed fields. If you find that you are
frequently performing these sorts of lookups involving other fields, you
can designate these other field(s) as indexed fields. The command to do so
is EDIT, DEFINE FIELDS. Click on "Advanced" in the Define Fields dialog
box. Then check off "New Index". A word of caution: define indexed fields
judiciously. Adding indexed fields will slow down your system.
Other ACT! 3.0 lookups include Keyword
lookups and Lookup By Example. Keyword lookups allow you to search
contacts, notes, history, activities, and e-mail addresses for specific
words or phrases. The command LOOKUP, BY EXAMPLE replaces ACT! 2.0's
LOOKUP, OTHER command and permits users to type Boolean operators (such as
>, <, or = ) right in fields.
This makes it possible to easily find all
contacts who were sent a letter after January 1, for example. To find these
contacts, use the lookup by example command and type ">1/1/97" in the
Letter Date field. You can refine searches by entering search criteria in
as many fields as you would like.
ACT!'s advanced searches are called
Advanced Queries. They represent the most sophisticated and detailed
searches and are written in Boolean algebra. Advanced queries can be saved
as files for later use as needed. The easiest way to create an advanced
query is to start with the LOOKUP, BY EXAMPLE command and to plug in as
much information as possible into the contact screen. The command QUERY,
CONVERT TO SMART QUERY will convert the query into its Boolean equivalent.
At this point, the query can be altered, appended, or saved.
Tips and Tricks for Lookups
· Search for blanks in any field (such as
missing phone numbers) using "CTRL F5" to designate a blank
· Search for the presence of any characters
in a field by typing ">*" in the appropriate field to designate any
· Acceptable Boolean Operators in Lookup By
Example searches are >, <, =, >=, or <=.
· Search for any specific text in a field
by using asterisks to designate 'include'. For example, typing "*vice*"
into the Title field tells ACT! to find all contacts whose titles are Vice
President, Executive Vice President, or Service Technician (among
· When writing advanced queries, use
parentheses to specify which algebraic operations are to be performed
Deleting the Contents of a Field
Q How can I delete the contents of a single
field in my entire database??
A As a first step, it is a good idea to
back up your database. It is impossible to recover this information once a
field is deleted. Next, execute the command EDIT, CURRENT LOOKUP. Move the
cursor to the field of interest and hit the keys CTRL F5 simultaneously.
This inserts "<<>>" (a blank) in the field. Click OK to
execute. In ACT! 3.0, the command is called REPLACE.
Q How can I get Caller ID to work with ACT!
A The first step in getting Caller ID to
work with ACT! is to get Caller ID to work without ACT!. This means making
sure the hardware is appropriate and the correct drivers are properly
configured. You'll need a TAPI (Telephony Applications Programmers
Interface) compliant modem. (The standard fax/modem that came with your PC
probably won't work.) The TAPI modem operates through a TAPI port (not a
Once the correct hardware is properly
installed and configured, you'll need to configure ACT!. To do so, execute
the command EDIT, PREFERENCES. Select Use Dialer and Lookup Contact Using
OUR NEXT MEETINGS . .
of the ACT! User Group will be on April 8
(ACT! 3.0 Mini Lesson on Writing Form Letters) and on May 13 (ACT! and
The ACT! User Group (a SIG of the C.C.S.)
holds meetings on the second Tuesday of the month eight months out of the
year. User Group meetings are free and open to all C.C.S. members. They are
held at the Midway Motor Lodge in Elk Grove Village. Call E Tech Systems at
847-352-4770 or visit www.etechsys.com for details.
© Copyright 1997 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