Changes to the "Universal" File

The Universal file contains the basic information about your organization: its name, logos, address, phone, eddress, website, etc. Up till now, there was just enuf of this information that it couldn’t fit conveniently on a single page, so we used 2 separate data-entry screens — General and Stationery — to accommodate it all.

Well, with the advent of wider computer monitors and the availability within FileMaker Pro of tabbed subscreens, we can now get the whole works onto a single screen (click to enlarge):

General information appears down the left side, while the right side contains 4 tabs:
  1. “Stationery”, the frontmost tab, contains what used to be on the old “Stationery” screen.
  2. “Logos and Finance” contains the 4 container fields for logos as well as 2 fields — Generic Benefits and Sales Tax Rate — with financial implications.
  3. “Org Picker” is new. It lets you (well, me, really) jump to the organization you want to work with. That’s because, to make life simpler for myself, I’m now including base data for all my client organizations right within this single file. You’ll probably never need to use this tab.
  4. “Agents” is also new. It lets you jump directly to the person you want in the Agents table.

There are also several new features in the Universal file.

There’s now a Motto field where you can enter a single-line slogan, statement of purpose, aspiration, or boast. Like everything else in Universal, once you’ve entered it there, it’s available everywhere else in your system.

The basic address-component fields have also undergone an expansion. This is what they used to look like:

We’d pre-assemble these components into 2 ready-made fields — Address Oneline and Address Multiline — that were available thruout the database system:

Well, it turns out that this didn’t address all situations, so now we’re looking at a few more components and a few new ways of assembling them. In particular, we didn’t allow for the possibility that a post-office box (mailing) address might have a different zip code, or even a different city, than the physical (shipping) address. So now we’ve made the distinction explicit:

As indicated by the blue-green color of the mailing-address components, each of those values is auto-entered to be identical to what you type into the corresponding shipping-address component. You can, of course, change it thereafter if appropriate.

We still pre-assemble these components into 2 ready-made fields — Address Oneline and Address Multiline — that present both types of address (non-redundantly if there’s duplication), but in addition we provide you with 2 new pre-assembled fields — Address Ship and Address Mail — for those occasions when you very specifically want exactly that.

In addition, 3 more consolidated fields — Letterhead, Contact Info Medium, and Contact Info Wide — continue to be available for use elsewhere. But now you can initially fill these with a reasonable guess at what you’d like by clicking the Guess button. Immediately thereafter you can customize the information to make it fit more neatly or to add more info that’s not part of your standard address components.

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