PGdebt technical bulletin 6

Saving sent letters using the 'Save text files' facility

Please note that this facility is suitable for advanced users, who are confident with MS Windows files and folders system only !

General principles
This facility is not particularly user friendly, I am afraid, because it was not designed into the program but was added as an 'add on' to meet a special requirement. However it can be used if you take the trouble to understand it. PGdebt was not designed to save copies of sent letters, it was designed for you to print and retain the 'summary sheet' and place this in the client (paper) file as a copy, or to print two copies of all letters and retain those. The operation of the text file system is hidden away to avoid confusion and keep it clear of PGdebt normal procedures so all menu items are collected together in one sub menu In principle what happens is that once a letter has been merged, it can be saved as a text (letter) file just like any other computer file. However you must give the file a name and decide where it is to be saved. It is not associated with the PGdebt client file in any way, it's just a copy you keep for your own purposes. If you wish, extra letters can be added to an existing if you save a letter for Mr Smith to a file called SMITH, you can write a further letter the next day and add it to the SMITH file so that it now contains two letters and so on Make a special directory (folder) to hold these files. Do NOT put them in the STANLETS directory or you will build in problems for the future with the system backup.

Saving a merged letter
Open the client file and write your letter. Merge your letter (essential, only merged letters can be saved). Select, Letters/Text files/Open text file. The text files editor appears, grey background, and the 'open file' box is displayed. Open an existing file if there is one and it will appear or, if it is a new situation, simply clear the open file box to leave a blank grey screen which is an empty letter file ready for use. Select Letters/Text files/Add merged text to text file. The merged text will be added to the text file and will appear on screen if you opened an existing old text file the new merged text will be added to the end of the existing file. Select Letters/Text files/Save text file and the save file box appears. Name and save the file like any Windows file into the folder you set up for these files. NB. You must remember to save the file...there are no prompts or reminders.

Recalling old letters
Open the client file. Select Letters/Text files/Open text file. Open the file you wish to use...make sure you get the right file !!! Manipulate it as required on screen, you can edit these letters or print individual pages or just view them. NB There is no merging possible or required here...these are copies of the letter after it was merged

These old letters files are not backed up by PGdebt...its up to you to choose their location and back them up. If you wish you can save all one client's merged letters to a file which has the same name as the client file, but it will very soon become very large indeed for cases where there are a large number of creditors...remember if there are 36 creditors you will add 36 pages every time you save a letter Remember to save the file if it has changed...there are no 'file has changed' etc. warnings. If you want to use a letter for another client, save it as a standard letter. Do not keep these files in the STANLETS directory

This system is not ideal, but it does work when you know how (!). It should be used with care and not relied upon as the only record of what was sent.