Keeping Galleries sorted and 'Saved Options'

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Manual: v5 - pages 99-102, v6 - pages 38-42

Either start with a saved Gallery or use Window -> New (or Ctrl+G) to create a new Gallery. Now save it by using Window -> Save Gallery As... (or Ctrl+Shift+S) giving your Gallery a name in the process.

You can begin to customise. Use View -> Customise (or Ctrl+D) -> Customize Gallery dialog, Saved Options tab. Check the Keep Gallery Sorted option and set sub-options, the Field to sort on and Ascending/Descending sort order.

There are two other options. The first is to 'Open at Startup' - you can set this flag for as many Galleries as you want but note it will affect loading time if there are lots of records. The second allows you to call a saved (i.e. pre-defined) Find when the Gallery is open, giving you control over which records are actually displayed.

The 'Load Saved Find when Opened' option allows you to set a pre-saved Find to be used to ensure a particular set of records are displayed when you open the Gallery.

Don't forget to save the Gallery when done. Changes to any Gallery are not saved until you actually Save (Ctrl+S) it - clicking OK on the Customise Gallery dialog is not enough. You can tell if a Gallery is altered and unsaved as the Gallery window's title bar will show an asterisk * after the Gallery name.

Using the Sort palette and its 'Keep Sorted' checkbox has the same effect if setting a Gallery window to a 'dirty' state, i.e. altered but unsaved. This is a bit counter-intuitive and the reason you can get a list of Warning dialog (only if using Publisher or Administrator mode) when you close Portfolio asking if you want to save Galleries you though were already saved. This problem doesn't occur at lower access levels as the user does not have permission to save Galleries so on closing they resort to the stored saved condition (i.e. as at start up). All in all a great method of causing confusion for the poor user!

Using Edit -> Preferences, you can set the 'Prompt on Untitled Close' option. According to the state of the option you will, or will not be prompted to save any Untitled 'default' style Gallery. The option's dialog is shown below.

Some experimentation with Galleries shows that the Gallery's Saved Options (saving requires access in Publisher/Admin modes) only really work when the Gallery is opened from the Gallery list. The trouble is that unless you remember to set the 'Keep Catalog Open' option (well hidden on the fly-out button of Catalogues palette - see picture below) closing the last open Gallery closes the Catalogue.

Is this a problem?

Well, yes, especially for those newer to Portfolio. Portfolio's concept of use hinges around Galleries, i.e. reports in a normal 'office' database (e.g. Access, FileMaker etc.). The 'Untitled' Gallery window that opens by default with a new Catalogue is effectively an unsaved, unnamed Gallery which uses default sorting (Cataloguing date). Given the importance of Galleries to the way the Catalogue functions, this is not the best window to do all your work in.

You need to save that default 'Untitled' Gallery with a name (and desired options) for it to persist in the Catalogue. Also, if you save - one or more - Galleries and set them to open at start up, an 'Untitled' Gallery will not appear.

So how does sorting in Galleries take effect?

  1. You can save a persist by setting the 'Saved Options' and saving the Gallery (see above).
  2. Once you have saved a Gallery with a sort order you can't alter the sort without going through action #1 above to unchecked the 'Keep Sorted' option.
  3. Doing a Find, from the Find dialog or using a saved Find, does respect any saved sort order if the Gallery has one set.
  4. You can't do a Find into a gallery with a saved sort order and then just click a column header you must go via #1 again and de-select the saved sort order first.
  5. 'Find All' does not respect a saved sort order and forces a sort based on Cataloguing date (a bug, IMO). In fact you have to go via #1, uncheck sort, save, re-check and save again. One way round this is to call the active Gallery again from the saved Galleries drop-down list, you will re-activate the window with the last saved format (but with a set of records which, note, may not be all records in the Catalogue); note also that you will now have two windows based on the same Gallery - dismiss the first one without saving to maintain the original sort order.
  6. If you do a Find into a Gallery with no saved sort, you seem to get results sorted using the last sort used, though a bit proves this is not always the case (another undiagnosed feature!).

So if your end-users are working at Reader/Editor access level then careful planning of saved Galleries/Finds (and Galleries saved so as to use saved Finds) and making sure one such opens at start-up should help avoid the sort problems you describe. To say more I'd need to see your Catalogues!

You may by now realise that although you can achieve what you want with Galleries, a little planning is required and the general behaviour is not very intuitive when starting out.

A last tip. If you have set a Catalogue to remain open but have closed all the Galleries you can still access the Galleries from the saved Galleries list. Alternatively, if there are no saved Galleries, double click the Catalogue in the Catalogues palette and - hey presto - it pops an Untitled 'default' Gallery.

Question: Keeping Galleries sorted and 'Saved Options' [FAQ00026.htm]
Last Update:- 01 June 2006

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