iData Pro 4 Transition Guide
August 4, 2020
The purpose of this Transition Guide is to provide links to
information that will be of use to customers now that the lone
programmer/publisher has retired. (If you have any suggestions
for improving this Transition Guide, please let me know.)
Changes to the Macintosh Operating System (MacOS) often require
changes to software. It is rare that such changes cause an
application to be completely unusable. An exception to this was the
upgrade to MacOS 10.15 (Catalina), which required that all apps be
updated from 32-bit to 64-bit compatibility. It was this change that
required many customers to upgrade from iData 3 to iData Pro 4. (
iData Pro 4 has been 64-bit compatible from the beginning.)
However, such an extreme OS change is unusual. The most common kind
of change involves changes to how specific functions are
implemented, and even those seldom cause earlier versions of the
functions to stop working altogether.
1. The idata3.com and idatapartners.com domains
will be allowed to expire in September 2021. I'm gradually setting
the iData Pro 4 update routines to use my personal domain,
raccoonbend.com, beginning with v. 4.0.48.
2. The contact links on the iData Partners pages
have been removed, since they were intended for use by new
customers, and are now a source of a lot of spam. My email address
will still be available in the Email iData Partners menu
item under the Help menu.
3. I have no plans to produce updates after v.
4.0.49, unless some serious problems show up. However, if such
problems do appear, I will probably try to fix them, since I also
rely heavily on iData Pro 4. What this means is that you
should make sure that your iData Pro update preference is set to automatically check
for updates on a weekly or monthly basis, so that you can get
any updates in a timely manner, if I do make any.
4. I do not plan to provide any tech support. You
can continue to use the Email iData Partners menu item under
the Help menu to report actual problems, such as serious
bugs, but if it is just a case of your not being able to figure out
how something works, I probably won't reply. Your main solution will
be to become familiar with the information available via the User
Guide menu item under the Help menu.
5. I've received many questions about what other
software may be available to replace iData Pro 4. I haven't come
across anything so far that can perform anything like iData Pro 4,
but if I do, I will update this Transition Guide to inform you, so
you should come back here periodically to see if there is any news.
The version number will be updated, and new information will be
added to the beginning of the page.
Info and Links
1. Back Up Your Datafiles Regularly
This is the best insurance against
losing your data.
a. You can use Save
As... under the File menu in iData Pro 4 to save a
copy of a datafile. Append the date to the name. For example, save
MyDatafile.id3 as MyDatafile 080420.
b. Compress a datafile in
the Finder, then rename the resulting .zip file using the date, so
that MyDatafile.id3 becomes MyDatafile.id3 080420.zip.
2. Exporting Data
Over the past few months, I've added three new
features for exporting iData Pro 4 datafiles in formats that may be
useful for import into other apps. They all appear in the Export
As sub-menu, under the File menu. These all have
articles in the User Guide.
a. RTFD File... - Each datafile is
exported as a single RTFD file.
b. Folder of RTFD Files...
- Each datafile is exported as a folder of RTFD files, with each
record appearing as a separate RTFD file within that folder.
c. Folder of Text Files...
- Each datafile is exported as a folder of plain text files, with
each record appearing as a separate text file within that folder.
RTFD files can be opened, searched, and edited in
TextEdit and some other apps. Although the field content, if any,
will be included, fields will be part of the text block, not
separate structures as they are in iData Pro 4.
Folders of RTFD or plain text files can be
imported into Apple's Notes app in a single operation. Each
record shows up as an editable record.
The advantage of RTFD format is that text styles
and embedded images are retained, while plain text files are just
... plain text. Both formats are searchable and editable.
3. Search Problems
Recently, the most common problem that customers
have had involve the Find routines.
Find function problems are usually caused by
inadvertently changing the Find setting. It appears to the user that
the Find function has simply stopped working
The problem is usually caused by the user
clicking the magnifying glass icon next to the Find Box, which
changes how the Find function works. You can find the details
in the Edit section of the User Guide, under Find
You can hover the mouse cursor over the
magnifying glass icon to see a tooltip that shows which modifier
keys produce which function settings when the magnifying glass icon
4. Info for New Users
In addition to the User Guide, which is
available from the Help menu in iData Pro 4, the New
Features in iData Pro (Since iData 3) item in Section I of the
Help Topics index will be especially useful to those who have
recently upgraded from iData 3.