Lesson 2-- Data Entry

In this lesson you will learn how to use browser windows,in Goldenseal business management software, how to create new records, and how to enter data. You'll also see Prospect records, where you'll store details about prospective customers.

Getting Started

Before you start this Lesson, run Goldenseal and open the Sample Company File.

The Prospects Window

Prospect records contain information about possible customers. You can use the records for lead tracking and marketing.

To view Prospect records, choose Prospects from the Income menu.

You'll see a browser window that shows you Prospect records. The sample file already includes a few records.

Browsing Through Records

Each browser window shows all records of a particular class. You can see one record at a time in the window.

HINT: In Lesson 20 you'll learn how to see reports that show many records at the same time, similar to a checkbook register.

To look at different records, use the browse controls at the upper left corner of the window. The browse controls look like an open book. Each record is like a page in the book.

To move to the next record, click the right side of the book. To move to the previous record, click the left side.

You can also click on the triangle beneath the book, and drag it to the right or left. That will move you through the records more quickly.

Creating New Records

When you hear from a possible customer, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Prospects from the Income menu.
  2. Click the New button, or choose New Record from the Edit menu.
  3. Goldenseal creates a new record automatically. Most of the fields in the new record start out blank. You can fill them with details about this prospect.

HINT: Most of the data fields in Goldenseal are optional. If you don't know what to put in a field or don't have time to fill it now, just leave it blank! You can always come back and fill in more details later, when you have more time.

Record Fields

Each Prospect record contains many fields. Each field contains one piece of information about the person. A field is just a 'box' on the screen that displays some information about the record. You can enter data into most fields. A few fields show calculated data that can't be changed.

HINT: If you move the mouse over a field, Goldenseal shows help text in the lower left part of the window. You can also check the Reference Manual for a detailed explanation of each field.

Text Fields

The first few fields in the Prospect record are text fields, which can contain letters, numbers or punctuation. To enter text in them, follow these steps:

  1. Click the mouse in the field, or use the Tab key to move into the field from some other field.
  2. Use the keyboard to type any letters, numbers or punctuation.
  3. When you are done, click the mouse in a different field, or use the Tab key to move to the next field.

To replace text that is already in a field, follow these steps:

  1. Drag the mouse through the text you want to replace. You can also double-click to select a word, or triple-click to select the entire field.
  2. Type in the new text.

HINT: To select text, you click on one side of the text, hold down the mouse button, drag to the other side, and lift the button.

Use the keyboard and the Tab key to enter the prospect's name, address, phone numbers and other contact info. If you don't have something to put into a field, just leave it blank.

NOTE: Goldenseal uses the Name field in menu displays. It has a size limit of 31 characters. The Full Name field is what appears on marketing letters and other forms. It accepts much longer names.

Multiple-Line Fields

The Comments field is a multiple-line field. When a field has more than one line, enter text the same as a single-line field. If you enter more text than can fit in the first line, it automatically 'wraps' down to the next line.

To force the text to jump to the next line, type the Return key (Macintosh) or Enter key (Windows), just like in a word processor.

Viewing Excess Text

Some fields may contain more text than will fit in their box.

When you click in a single-line field that has excess text, the field expands to the right so all text is visible.

In a multiple-line field, click in the text and drag the mouse to the bottom of the visible text. The remaining text will scroll up into view.

Date Fields

The Created field is a date field. It starts with today's date, but you can change it.

When you type in a date, Goldenseal converts what you typed into a valid date (it can translate a wide variety of formats). It shows the date with the date format style that was set for this field in the layout.

HINT: When you type a two-digit year, Goldenseal nearly always uses the correct century. You only need to type in all four digits for dates that are more than fifty years before or after today's date.

For a data entry shortcut, you can enter today's date by typing command-hyphen (Macintosh) or control-hyphen (Windows). The hyphen key is located to the right of the zero on most keyboards.

Money Fields

Many fields show a money amount. Goldenseal converts what you type into a valid number . It uses the currency symbol set in your System, and the number format for that field, as set in the layout.

Popup Fields

The Referral Class field is a popup field. Popup fields let you choose from a fixed set of choices-- in this case, the type of account that referred this prospect to you. To enter an employee referral, follow these steps:

  1. Click the mouse anywhere in the Referral Class field, and keep holding the button down.
  2. You'll see a menu of possible choices. Move the mouse so the Employee choice is highlighted (darkened).
  3. Release the mouse button, and Goldenseal will enter the selected value into the field.

HINT: If you don't want to change the field, move the mouse cursor out of the menu before you release the mouse button.

Clairvoyant Fields

The Type, Referral Source and Sales Rep fields are clairvoyant fields. Clairvoyant fields display a list of accounts, list items or transactions.

Using the Popup Button

Each clairvoyant field includes a popup button. When you click on the button and hold the mouse down, you'll see a menu of all possible choices.

For example, when you click on the popup button next to the Type field, you'll see a list of prospect and address book types.

HINT: A new (empty) file won't show any items in the menu. Use the Sample Company File for this tutorial so you'll see some real data.

To enter an item into the field, choose it from the menu.

To erase the contents of the field, choose None.

To see more about the current Address Book Type, choose View this Address Book Type. You can also choose Edit Address Book Types from the bottom of the menu to change the list of possible choices.

Using the Keyboard

You can also use the keyboard to enter data into clairvoyant fields. This feature is useful if you don't want to switch your hands between the keyboard and the mouse, or if you have a large number of items to see.

To enter 'Jobsite Neighbor' into the Type field, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Tab key until you are in the Type field, or click the mouse within the data entry field.
  2. Start typing the first letter or two of 'jobsite'.
  3. A scrolling list of all available address book types will appear on the screen. Keep typing until the desired item is selected.
  4. You can also use the up and down arrow keys to select an item from the clairvoyant list, or use the mouse to click on a list item, or click in the scroll controls to move up or down in the list.
  5. When the desired item is selected, press the Tab key, or click the mouse elsewhere in the window. Goldenseal will enter the selected item into the field.


A checkbox is a small square on the screen that lets you enter a 'yes or no' value. When the box is checked , the answer is 'yes'. When it is not checked , the answer is 'no'. Each click changes its value.

To use this record for one-time prospects that you type in each time, turn on the Allow One-Time Names checkbox.

Calculated and Disabled Fields

The Last Contact and Number of Contacts fields are calculated-- you can't type a value into them.

HINT: Calculated fields usually don't have a border.

In some other records, fields are disabled when it wouldn't make sense to enter a value, or when a transaction has posted and can't be changed.

HINT: Disabled fields usually have a dotted border.

Action Buttons

Address Book records include several action buttons. Click on the View Appointments, View Contact Log, View Document Log and View Estimates buttons to see contact records for this prospect.

HINT: If there are no records, the button is disabled.

You'll use the Convert to Customer button in Lesson 9.

Status Field

Each transaction window has a Status field on the left side of the window. It shows the completion status of the transaction.

For a Prospect record, you can choose any value from the Status menu. Later on, you can use the Find command to find prospects that have a particular status (see Lesson 16).

Flag Box

Use the Flag box (in the lower left corner) to mark items for later action. Click in the Flag box to turn it on . Click again to turn it off .

HINT: Later on you can use the Find command to locate just the flagged items (see Lesson 16). You can also base calculations and reports on just the flagged items (see Lesson 20).

Printer Flag

Click on the Printer Flag (in the lower left corner) to mark items that need printing. See Lesson 19 for more about printing.

Form View

The form view button (in the lower left corner) lets you change the display for a transaction. You can view some accounts and transactions as a Short Form (with a reduced number of fields), and you can use the button to switch between dimension layouts in Estimates (see Lesson 4).

Fixing Mistakes

If you make a typing error while entering data, choose Undo from the Edit menu. It will restore the previous text in the field you are currently using.

If you make mistakes and have not yet saved a record (see page 17), choose Revert from the Edit menu to restore the contents that were there when you first opened the record.

To fix mistakes in a record you have already saved, open it and re-enter the correct data.

To fix mistakes in a record that has already been posted and ‘locked’, you’ll need to delete or void the payment that locked the record.

Help Messages

When you move the mouse over a field, a help message appears in the left side of the window-- it tells you a little about that field. The help message also appears for controls in the browser window.

HINT: If you'd like to stop seeing help messages, choose Preferences from the Options menu, choose Interface from the submenu, and turn off the Show Help Messages checkbox.

Saving Records

When you have finished entering a Prospect record, press the Enter key. Goldenseal will automatically save the record (you'll hear a thunk). Once you save a record, it is stored on your computer's hard drive.

Goldenseal also saves a record when you close its window, click the New button to create another record, print, reconcile, or scroll to a different record. In each case the current record is saved before you leave it.

If a record affects other records, information about it is automatically 'posted' while the record is saved.

HINT: It usually takes only a small fraction of a second for Goldenseal to save a record, but very complex records may require a few seconds to post, especially if you have a slower computer.

Some records include required fields that cannot be left blank. If they are empty, Goldenseal warns you about the problem when you try to save the record. You can't leave until you fill in the data.

HINT: If you can't finish an incomplete record and want to leave it, change the Status field to Closed or Void.

Finishing Up

You will use the data entry techniques that you have learned in this lesson in just about every part of the Goldenseal software.

This lesson has covered a lot of material! Before you move on, you may want to take a break so you can absorb what you just read.

This might be a good time to eat something from the toaster oven. Or listen to a CD. Or put a CD into the toaster oven, and while it is still warm, shape it into a chic, iridescent hat.

HINT: If you have a pet, they'd probably enjoy getting a new hat as a birthday present.