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Getting Started

Thank you for downloading CDS-Documentation. Here are the top ten pointers for a first tryout. Please note the last item in this list if you choose to uninstall the program after testing.

1. Check here for Installation and Activation help.

2. Don't worry about the security warnings when starting up. They are standard on software based upon Microsoft Access.

3. Check out the new Help file for the Short Form (Help>CDS-D Help - Short Form). If your computer cannot open the help file, download and install the free Acrobat Reader program at

4. The help file opens with an overview of the program. For now, skip the opening link to "Getting Started". You’ll want to take that route after you purchase the program and are ready to set it up for your lab. But for now…

5. Start on page 7 of the help file, and read about the automation available in the Short Form. The short form is a simple but powerful tool for documenting smaller projects -- treatments or examinations needing only about one to three pages of documentation.

6. Run the report for the sample project. A "Preview Report" button is at the bottom of the form. Notice how CDS-D packages the information into a concise report. Feel free to click on the pick-lists, and tweak the data in the form, or attach other photos. Run the report again to see how the program presents your changes.

7. For larger conservation projects, you will use the Standard form. Switch to the standard form from the View menu. Open the main help file (Help>CDS-D Help). An overview of the Standard Form begins on page 12. This is a very powerful collection of tools for organizing an almost unlimited quantity of documentation information for conservation projects of any complexity.

8. Now run the report from the Standard Form sample project: Go to the Reports menu, and choose "Comprehensive Report." Close the report, and try adding your own data in a few places to see how the program works, and run the report again.

10. Get help to uninstall the program here.

Thanks again, and enjoy the CDS-Documentation.