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Working with Descriptors
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Descriptors help categorize time records for your business. Each time record can be categorized by up to ten descriptor types:
What Descriptors Do
The descriptors help ensure that everyone who records their time puts it into the correct category. Since you pick an existing descriptor from a drop-down list, this helps prevent typos and incorrectly categorized time. Descriptors help ensure Database Integrity, which makes it possible to produce accurate reports and invoices.
NOTE: If you have already clicked the "More >>" button on the Stopwatch or Time Record Editor windows (the "More >>" button changes to the "<< Less" button in this case) and you do not see one of these descriptors, the Terminology for the descriptor has probably changed. See: Global Options Window/Terminology Tab.
Adding, Changing and Deleting Descriptors
You can change descriptors directly in the Time Record Editor window or the Stopwatch window (if Allow Changes to The Descriptor Database During Time Record Editing And/Or Importing is checked under your Global Options), or you can choose Records/Edit Record Descriptors to open a window devoted to descriptor editing. In either case, each descriptor type has an assigned combo box (a drop down list box).
Add a Descriptor:
Change a Descriptor:
Delete a Descriptor:
The three buttons at the right of each descriptor control let you add, edit, or delete the descriptor, respectively. Note that those buttons will not be present in the Time Record Editor window or the Stopwatch window if Allow Changes to The Descriptor Database During Time Record Editing And/Or Importing is Un-checked under your Global Options.
Add a Descriptor Value
Click the button with the green plus sign to the right of the Descriptor Type you wish to add. Enter the new value in the Add/Edit a Descriptor Window.
Important: Keep the "Link to:" radio button set at "None (that is, Not Linked)" until you have read the Important Details below and the topic: Descriptors - Linking
Change (Edit) a Descriptor Value
Select the Descriptor value from the list that you wish to change (edit) and then click the button with the yellow pencil to the right.
NOTE: If you have used Descriptor Linking to link this Descriptor value to other parent Descriptors, then after you click the yellow pencil button you will see a window that allows you to select exactly which one to change. See: Which Descriptor(s) Window.
Important: Changing Descriptor values in the list of Descriptors does NOT automatically change the Time Records with the old value to the new value.
For example: if you change the Project "Fix Mispeling Problme" to "Fix Misspelling Problem" then any Time Records that were already entered with the misspelling will still contain the old misspelling. To change the Project "Fix Mispeling Problme" to "Fix Misspelling Problem" on all existing Time Records, see: Modify All Filtered Records
Delete a Descriptor Value
Select the Descriptor value from the list and then click the button with the red minus sign to the right. Confirm your choice to delete this Descriptor value by selecting Yes on the confirmation window.
NOTE: If you have used Descriptor Linking to link this Descriptor value to other parent Descriptors, then after you click Yes to confirm your choice you will see a window that allows you to select exactly which one to delete. See: Which Descriptor(s) Window.
Important: Deleting a Descriptor value in the list of Descriptors does NOT automatically delete or change any existing Time Records with that value.
For example: if you delete the Project "Change the World" then any Time Records that were already entered with the Project "Change the World" will still remain unchanged. Additionally, when you use the Filter Time Records window, you will not see the Project "Change the World" in the list of values because it has been deleted. Remember that you can always type your own value on the Filter Time Records window so that you can Filter for all Time Records with the Project equal to "Change the World."
1) In a multi-user environment, we suggest that you consider protecting your Descriptors.
When managing descriptors in a multi-user setting, we suggest that you:
When the above settings are in place, you manage the Descriptors here: Records/Edit Record Descriptors and you need to Global Options password to access that window. Note that you do not have to turn on the Global Password.
2) Time Logger Can Automatically Add Unlinked Descriptors!
There are two situations where Time Logger will automatically add unlinked descriptors.
A) By default, whenever you edit an existing time record in the time record database, Time Logger will add the descriptors in that record to the list of descriptors for that type as unlinked descriptors if they are not already present. So, for example, if you were to delete the Client descriptor "XYZ Corp" then edit a time record that contains "XYZ Corp" in the Client field, "XYZ Corp" would be automatically added back into your database of descriptors and re-appear in the descriptor list of clients.
B) By default, whenever you import time records Time Logger will add the descriptors in that record to the descriptor database as unlinked descriptors if they are not already present.
While this is a feature that most users appreciate, it can cause problems if you are closely managing your descriptors in a multi-user environment and/or are using descriptor linking and wish to avoid unlinked descriptors.
If you use descriptor linking or you want old descriptors that have been deleted but are still present on existing past time records to remain out of your descriptor lists, turn off automatic descriptor updating by choosing Tools/Global Options/General, and uncheck "Allow Changes to the Descriptor Database…"
NOTE: This has the side effect of making it so that descriptors cannot be updated on the Time Record Editor and Stopwatch windows. Thus, to edit descriptors, use the option: Records/Edit Record Descriptors.
3) The Edit Descriptors window shows only ONE instance of a Descriptor value, even if there are multiple links.
If you are using descriptor linking, please understand these two points.
1) On the Edit Descriptors window, only each unique (or distinct) value for each of the descriptors is displayed. For example, if you have added the $120 Rate multiple times and it is linked to other descriptors like this:
$120 -> not linked (error - see 4 below)
$120 -> linked to: Client - ABC Corp.
$120 -> linked to: Client - Microsoft
$120 -> linked to: Person - Micky Mouse
you will only see one $120 Rate in the drop-down list. When you select the $120 Rate and click the Change or Delete buttons, the system will pop up the Which Descriptor window and you can then select which of the above $120 Rates you wish to work with.
2) The Edit Descriptors window ignores any linking hierarchies that you may have created and lists all of the unique values for each Descriptor Type.
4) If you want ONLY Linked Descriptors to appear, then all Unlinked Descriptors must be removed for that Descriptor Type.
The example in 3 above shows an error in the set up of the $120 Rate if you want ONLY linked Rates to appear. Because there also exists a $120 Rate that is not linked, the $120 Rate will always appear, regardless of which Clients or Persons are selected. If you want the child descriptor with the value ABC to only appear when its parent descriptor(s) is selected, make sure that there are no unlinked descriptors with the value ABC. See the help for the Graphical View to learn more: Descriptors - Graphical View of