21. Importing Reminders from a text file

In some cases it is easier to write the questions and answers to a text file and then import them into Timely Reminders. For example, one person might want to write a series of questions and answers on a particular subject and share them with a friend who writes questions and answers on a different subject.

It is possible to do this using the “Import” button.

Using your wordprocessor, write a text file as shown overleaf (this was created in Notepad which ships with Windows but any wordprocessor will save text files).

Note that the extension of this file is “.txt”. Only a text file with this extension will be recognized.

Do not worry about the meaning of “trs:” etc. for the moment. Save the text file somewhere where you can locate it again.

For the purposes of this example, we have saved the file to a floppy disc since we are assuming that these questions and answers have been written so that they can be shared by several people.

In the subjects screen, click on the “Import” button.

After clicking on “Import” an “Open” dialogue box is shown from which you need to select the text file to open.

First click on the down arrow on the “Look in:” box and select the “a: drive”.

Then click on the down arrow next to “Files of type:” and select “Text Files (*.txt)”.

Click on the filename e.g. “French.txt” and then click on the “Open” button.

The text file is quite quickly imported into Timely Reminders. The subject “French” is created and the two questions are put into the Bank.

To view the two questions, highlight the subject “French” and click on the “View Bank” button.

If more than two questions and answers had been written these would all have been imported into the Bank.

The Bank shows the two questions. These can now be moved from the Bank and dealt with in the normal way. Four fairly simple bits of “code” were required in the text file that enabled Timely Reminders to deal with the import.

tri: everything that follows “tri:” will be ignored by Timely Reminders. This enables you to write some introductory text at the beginning of the text file or even to insert additional explanations at a later point in the file. “tri:” stands for Timely Reminders Ignore.

trs: what follows on the line below “trs:” will be taken to be a subject heading. Everything after the first line below “trs:” will be ignored. “trs:” stands for Timely Reminders Subject.

trq: everything on the line below “trq:” will be taken to be a question. “trq:” stands for Timely Reminders Question.

tra: everything on the line below “tra:” will be taken to be an answer to the previous question. “tra:” stands for Timely Reminders Answer.

Further codes are used to refer to pictures and sounds, as seen in the following example.

trpq: everything on the line below “trpq:” will be taken to be the pathname of a picture to be shown as part of the question. “trpq:” stands for Timely Reminders Picture Question. trpa: everything on the line below “trpa:” will be taken to be the pathname of a picture to be shown as part of the answer. “trpa:” stands for Timely Reminders Picture Answer.

trnq: everything on the line below “trnq:” will be taken to be the pathname of a sound file (“n” stands for noise!) to be played as part of the question. “trnq:” stands for Timely Reminders Noise Question.

trna: everything on the line below “trna:” will be taken to be the pathname of a sound file to be played as part of the answer. “trna:” stands for Timely Reminders Noise Answer.

It is important to note that the pathname for a picture or sound file will be interpreted exactly. If the picture or sound is not where it is stated to be it will not be shown or played. It is therefore recommended that all the picture and sound files are placed in one location so that there is less chance of an error occurring when writing questions in a text file. At installation, a folder called Media is included as follows: c:\Program Files\CALSC\Timely Reminders\Media\ and sound and picture files may be placed in this folder.

If a picture or sound file cannot be located an error message is displayed when the Reminder is first shown in the Reminders screen and not when the import process takes place in the subjects screen or the Reminder is first created in the Bank of Reminders. An example of an error message is shown below.

The location may be manually edited or the “Browse” button may be used to locate the file. If the “Browse” button is used a window similar to the following will be shown.

Suppose that in this particular example the “dna.jpg” picture file is actually located in the Media folder. Double clicking on the Media folder in the “file open” dialogue box shown above and then clicking on the “dna.jpg” picture file will enable the correct folder to be used to find the picture file in future, as shown overleaf.

N.B. The “Files of type” box in the dialogue box shown above is searching for image files. If you are browsing for a missing sound file click on the down arrow in the “Files of type” box and select “Sound Files”.

If the location of the picture file is incorrect then, in many cases, it will also be incorrect for other Reminders in that subject. For this reason, after browsing for a missing file (picture or sound) the following dialogue box is shown.

Clicking “Yes” will mean that all picture or sound files for the relevant subject will be searched for in the folder that contained the missing file, in this case the “Media” folder. If your sound and picture files are located in several different folders do not click on the “Yes” button otherwise you will have to search for all the files that are not located in the Media folder all over again.

CALSC may produce modules of Reminders that have pictures and sound files that are contained within what is known as a DLL. All the pictures and sounds are compressed into a single file, the DLL, and will not generally be available for use in other Reminders written by the user. These will be referred to as follows.

trdpq: Timely Reminders DLL Picture Question
trdpa: Timely Reminders DLL Picture Answer
trdnq: Timely Reminders DLL Noise Question
trdna: Timely Reminders DLL Noise Answer

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