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Inmagic DB/TextWorks has a lot of features you don’t find in a more generic database management system, adding over the years to suit the specific needs of the kinds of folks who use DB/TextWorks (often librarians, archivists and other cultural information managers) and their data.

One of the most often overlooked features is the subject of this blog post: the Insert Series feature.

This feature allows you to insert a predictable series of numbers or dates in a field. For example:

  • 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  • January, February, March
  • A101, A201, A301

The series is inserted as separate entries within a field you choose, and you specify the starting number, number of entries, and by much much each entry in the series should increase.

What a wonderful feature that can save time and improve accuracy over typing out a series by hand, but what’s the practical application of this?

The main intended use is when you’re cataloguing a journal or looseleaf for which you have many past issues and want to record not just a statement about all those issues, but the individual issue numbers or dates in a field. Rather than typing each individual issue number or date, have DBTextWorks enter them for you. If some issues are missing, you can then remove those numbers from the series before saving the record.

You can insert not only a numerical or alphanumerical series, but also a date pattern that increments by the day, week, half month, month and year. For example:

  • Days: May 1, 2022, May 2, 2022, May 3, 2022
  • Weeks: May 1, 2022, May 8, 2022, May 15, 2022
  • Half-months: May 1, 2022, May 15, 2022, June 1, 2022
  • Months: May 1, 2022, June 1, 2022, July 1, 2022
  • Years: May 1, 2021, May 1, 2022, May 1, 2023

This could be used anytime you have data to add to a record that follows a predictable chronological or alphanumeric pattern.

It’s not the most exciting feature, but one to keep in mind as a time saving tool when you need it, and it’s little things like this that keep DB/TextWorks popular so many decades after it was first created.

The Insert Series feature may be found when editing a record by positioning the cursor in the desired field and choosing Edit > Insert > Series from the main menu.

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