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Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains answers to common questions handled by our support staff, along with some tips and tricks that we have found useful.

Note: In these answers we will follow a few shorthand conventions for describing user-interface procedures. Key combinations will be presented like this: Ctrl+Alt+Delete, which means that you should press and hold down the Control key, the Alt key, and the Delete key at the same time. Menu selections will be presented like this: File->Exit, which means that you should open the File menu, and then select "Exit".

Is the data in CDS-D searchable?

Does the conservator have to keep a computer at the worktable during treatment?

What will happen to my data if Conservation Data Systems goes out of business?

What if we use multiple computers in our lab? 

There are so many text boxes. Do they all have to be filled out?

Will I be able to export my data electronically?

What kinds of help are available for CDS-Documentation?

If I replace my computer, what should I do?

I get macro warnings when I start CDS-D. Is it safe to run the program?

 


Is the data in CDS-D searchable?

 

The newest version of CDS-D (3.2.2) provides search and reporting capability across projects. You can now list, for example, all projects in which a particular standard procedure was used.

You can search all projects using the menu or ctrl+f, specifying a text string from the Project form.  

Within a particular project, you can also search for a component, condition type, standard procedure, or search the action records.  Whenever a form has a record navigation bar at the bottom of the form showing multiple records, you can search that subset of records using ctrl-f. In the case of graphics records and analysis records, you can click on the button for viewing all graphics (or analysis) records in the project, and search them all with ctrl-f.

You can search all projects by maintaining an archive of comprehensive reports in .PDF format (using third party PDF generator). The archive can be searched as a whole for any specified content using the operating system’s built-in search capability, or other desktop search software.

New search features are being added to CDS-D regularly.

 

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Does the conservator have to keep a computer at the worktable during treatment?

Not necessarily. CDS-D provides a printed “Activity Log” for paper recording between data-entry sessions. It does not provide the fields of the database, but a place to record the date and short reminder about the new data and the form to which that data should be recorded.

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What will happen to my data if Conservation Data Systems goes out of business?

CDS-D does not attempt to be an archive itself, but produces “archival” reports for paper or, with PDF capture software, searchable digital archives. In the unlikely event of CDS’s demise, or if your lab/institution should decide to switch to an alternative documentation solution, output the last of the active projects to paper and/or digital archives and delete the program. No data will be lost.

Note that the actual data in CDS-D is stored in the very popular MDB file format that can be read or imported by major database engines.

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What if we use multiple computers in our lab? 

There are several options for using CDS-D in a multiple-computer environment. Keep in mind that a CDS-D data file contains multiple projects, and the data file also stores all your setup information (including your own customizations like standard treatment procedures, condition nomenclature, staff names, etc.) 

If you want two or more computers to access the same data file, you can keep the data file on a network, where multiple computers can work on it simultaneously. If you do not have a network, you can shuttle the data file between computers, perhaps using a flash drive. 

If you choose to use multiple data files, you may want to get most of your lab-specific customization set up in one data file first, then copying that data file to the other computers. Otherwise, all setup must be done separately on each computer. 

 

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There are so many text boxes. Do they all have to be filled in?

No! Only the few text boxes marked with the red asterisk (*) are required for the program to function. All the remaining text boxes are available if you need and want them for the information you wish to record.  In some cases, the presence of a text box may prompt you to record information that you might not have thought to record, but which improves the quality of your documentation, but you should use your judgment about whether each text box is really needed. Remember, your best coach is the report itself. If it has unnecessary information, you will know what text boxes you could have skipped. 

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Will I be able to export my data electronically?

At present, the way to capture data electronically is to use a third-party capture software that intercepts reports before they reach the printer. Adobe Acrobat and similar programs can do this, creating a Portable Document Format (.PDF) which can be emailed, stored, searched, or printed. There are a number of very inexpensive and even free programs that can create .PDF files from CDS-D. You can email us for more information. Other forms of export are planned but not yet implemented, including .SNP and XML.  

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What kinds of help are available for CDS-Documentation?

The most quickly available field-by-field help is in the status line at the bottom of the CDS-D screen. Click on any field, and the status line offers suggestions about how to use that text box.

The help file is the first item in the CDS-D help menu. This is an extensive help system with many screen-shots. It is a PDF file containing many hyperlinks and a table of contents. It can be electronically searched for specific information, and it can be printed.

This website designed for licensed users is updated regularly, and may include tips and helps that have not yet been added to the main help system

 

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If I replace my computer, my old activation key will no longer work. What should I do?

Just backup your data file, download the new, public-domain version of the program from the CDS website and load the new software.

 

I get macro warnings when I start CDS-D. Is it safe to run the program?

For information about the macro warnings look here.

 

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