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SimplyPats Portable Appliance Testing Software
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:55 pm 
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Grouping and Sorting your PAT Testing Data for easier viewing

SimplyPats V6 has some very powerful grouping and Sorting features that may not be obvious, so below we will give a brief overview of the options available.

Finding an Appliance in the current Data File is pretty straight forward if you know the Appliance Id, pressing Ctrl + F or choosing Records > Find Appliance from the File Menu will bring up the Find Appliance window, simply enter an Appliance Id or Appliance Description and SimplyPats will find and highlight the Appliance on the main screen.

Sometimes however, you may want to find or view specific Appliances or those Appliances in certain areas. You may want to view all Appliances that were tested on a particular date or all Appliances that are due for retest on a given day, if so this is where the Sort and Group functions come in.


Sorting Appliances is pretty straight forward, simply left mouse click on any of the column headers on the main screen. SimplyPats will now sort the Appliance Data based on the column header you have clicked on, clicking on the same header again will reverse the sort order to either Ascending or Descending.

The following image shows the data sorted by Appliance Id (Note the “Ghosted” Triangle in the App Id Column header), the image on the left shows the data sorted by Appliance Id Ascending, while the image on the right shows the same data sorted by Appliance Id Descending.

The data could quite easily be sorted by Description, Site, location, test Date, Time, Retest Period or Retest Date etc, simply click on the relevant header.

File comment: Sorting and Grouping your PAT testing Data
sort_group_02.gif [ 9.97 KiB | Viewed 14906 times ]

Note that the Sort order will not be carried over to the Print Preview or Print Reports screen, this has its own sort order options.
Grouping Data

The Grouping Function does exactly what it says and allows you to Group together Appliances based on certain criteria. You may find this feature extremely handy if you want to single out a group of particular Appliances in your PAT Data File. Think of is as an advanced search tool that allows you to find and view Appliances of the same type, in the same location or those that have the same retest date for example.

Single or multiple grouping can be applied depending on how complex your criteria is, sorting is also supported when grouping is active and works in exactly the same way as discussed above.

To apply Grouping Press and Hold the Left Mouse Button while dragging any of the Column Headers into the Grouping Area, release the mouse button to apply Grouping. In the example below we have Grouped our Appliances by Appliance Description.

Single Groups

File comment: PAT Testing Data Management, Single Group by Appliance Description
sort_group_03.gif [ 60.93 KiB | Viewed 14906 times ]

Once Grouping has been applied, you can see that all of our Appliances are now contained within their own group and separated by their own Grey Header Row.
Remember that Grouping can be applied to any of the Column Headers, we could have chosen to Group by Location if we wanted to make viewing all of the Appliances in a certain Location easier.

If you have a file with a large number of different Appliance Descriptions you may still find the list on the main screen too cluttered if you are trying to focus on a particular group of Appliances, in this case we will collapse all of the Groups and Expand the single Group we are interested in.

To collapse all of the Groups (or Expand), on the File Menu click View and choose Expand / Contract Groups.

To Expand the Group you are interested in simply click on the + icon to the left of the Description.

More than one Group can be Expanded at a time.

If you want to clear ALL Grouping click the Clear Groups Icon situated on the Main Screen.

File comment: PAT testing Data, managing the Sort and Group options
sort_group_04.gif [ 51.76 KiB | Viewed 14905 times ]

To collapse all of the Groups (or Expand), on the File Menu click View and choose Expand / Contract Groups.

If you want to clear ALL Grouping click the Clear Groups Icon situated on the Main Screen.

Multiple Groups

Multiple Grouping can be applied by dragging further column headers into the Group Area, this is handy when you really want to drill down into the data and focus on one particular group.

In the screen shot below we have Grouped by Appliance Description and Location, note that you can still Expand and Contract Groups within Groups.

File comment: Managing your Portable Appliance Testing Data
sort_group_05.gif [ 41.21 KiB | Viewed 14905 times ]

Our example file here only has 37 Appliances so it is fairly manageable anyway, but if you have access to a file with anything from a few hundred or even 20,000 Appliances you will instantly see how powerful this feature is.

Sorting within Groups

Sorting still works within Groups, clicking the Column Header gives you the option of sorting a columns data in ascending or descending order, however we would recommend that you apply the sort order before applying any Grouping.

Moving Column Headers Horizontally

Column Headers can be moved and re-arranged, simply left mouse click and hold while dragging a Column Header in between other Column Headers, let go of the mouse button when you have the desired layout, there is no reason why the Retest Date information cannot be right next to the Appliance Description.

Endless Possibilities

Regardless of how many Appliances you have in your current PAT Data file, the Sort and Grouping features give you the tools to make other features easier, applying changes to multiple Appliances or creating printed or exported PAT Reports containing specific Appliances are all made easier by using the Sort and Group Features that SimplyPats gives you, this is something we will hopefully expand on in a future guide.

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