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  1. #1
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    Lost Field (97/2k/xp)

    For several years I have run with a field denoting who my wife and I send Xmas cards to. I did this with a field I added, and a custom contacts form which I built. I confess that this was rather a trial and error process, but I got there, and I had custom views which gave us each our own lists etc.

    For some reason when I come to this year, the field is blank, all except for one relatively new record. All the contacts are there and correctly categorised, but my custom field is blank. All the records use the same custom form which is also the default for the contacts folder

    It is easy to suggest that my original field somehow got detached from the form, and that the new record started populating a new instance of the field, but why? how? and above all is my data still lurking there somwhere?

    Any ideas gratefully received. I do use a PDA synchronised to both my work and home contact lists ("master" perceived as being at work), and they are all in the same state.

    Mike C

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    Re: Lost Field (97/2k/xp)

    Are you saying that the Custom Category is no longer there either - or did you not create a Custom Category to accomplish this?
    Gre

  3. #3
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    Re: Lost Field (97/2k/xp)

    errr - custom category?

    Do you mean adding a category to the master category list, in which case no, I did not do that at the time, (though I have now started to re-build the information that way). I just added a new field and created a cusom form to show it. the form had a new page which had two existing outlook personal fileds - spouse, children, and this new one "xmas".

    Thanks for interest

    Mike C

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    Re: Lost Field (97/2k/xp)

    Hopefully you won't have to rebuild your data. From the sound of it, you have been upgrading your Outlook installation and I am wondering whether that has been having an adverse impact on the performance of your Custom Form. I take it that you don't have a spare older machine available on which you could run an older version of Outlook - and see if (at least) the historic data is available that way? Alternatively, perhaps your template of the Custom Form itself has become corrupted. Is there any way that you could access an older version - from a previous configuration (say a backup)?
    Gre

  5. #5
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    Re: Lost Field (97/2k/xp)

    Thanks for staying with this. First, let me say this is now not any longer either urgent (too late!) or important (I have reconstructed the data, it being seasonal and a bit necessary). What I have done this time is to use a category, not altogether satisfactory because not that easy to work with multiple categories for everything.

    However I am sure that there is a learning point here that I shouldn't miss. I assume that when you create a new field the data goes into the pst file that contains the folder that one is working in. If you view a folder in table mode, go to field chooser and add add a new field it just turn up in the table. If you delete it again, there is a warning that the data can be left in an item in which has used it, but the field will go from the folder. Not sure how / where you would see the field on those items in which it has been left. I have also noticed that items seem to retain their own version of forms (unless you force in a common form). Also not sure whether such a field would be carried over to a PDA through the synchronisation process, nor how you would get access to it if there was also a second synchronised PC (which is where I am!).

    Overlay this with the use of custom forms which access that field, and how you transfer those between computers and I think you drop something down the gap in the middle.

    Am I making this too hard?

    Mike C

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    Re: Lost Field (97/2k/xp)

    I feared that you were going to end up having to do things the long way. <img src=/S/groan.gif border=0 alt=groan width=16 height=15>

    If you wish, you could put an underscore in front of each of your two Custom Categories - so that they show at the top when displaying your Contacts in Category View.

    As a possible last gasp on you previous system, you might try compacting the PST. Right-click on the Personal Folders file and follow the sub-options per the attachment. It is possible that your Custom Data may have become "displaced" as your PST has expanded - as you suggest. Compacting may, hopefully, force it back into its "proper" place.

    The other possibility is that, over time, your Custom Form has become "corrupted"; possibly affected by minor changes in the PST model and/or interaction with PDAs. Corruption also happens with heavily reused Excel spreadsheets and Word documents.

    What you may find useful is that, since Outlook 2K, there has been the option to create User-Defined Fields - at the last tab of the default Contact Form.

    HTH
    Gre

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    Re: Lost Field (97/2k/xp)

    Thanks again - I will try that.

    I looked at that last page last night - the one with the user defined fields. I couldnt seem to make them persistent. Every time I visited the tab I had to drop down the field "type" and show the defined field. Yes I could then see the content / update the content.

    Can I change this?

    Mike C

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    Re: Lost Field (97/2k/xp)

    The data entry IS tedious - and it doesn't change with Outlook 2003.......

    One way to smooth it slightly would be to choose a "Yes/No" Data Entry Type - making the Contacts either be yours or your wife's. This would mean having all your non-Christmas Card people in a separate folder. Provided you set the new folder up correctly, however, having more than one Contacts folder should not be too arduous.

    The only other obvious workaround would be to try making a Custom Form - which would bring us back to where we came in.

    From what you have said already, it appears you are already comfortable with tailoring Custom Views to include User-Defined items and Grouping in, say, Address Card View.
    Gre

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