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Data Layers

This dialog is a powerful control center for your data. You can organize them in layers, make those layers available to other people on a local area network or connect to layers shared by others.

All data layers you create or connect to are listed in this dialog, but only those that are enabled (checked in the list) are considered active. Enabled layers are displayed on the desktop and in the Notes/Tasks View, their alarms will go off on schedule and they will be printed all together if print option is used. On the other hand, disabled layers are completely inactive, meaning their data are not displayed anywhere, alarms will not sound and they are not included when printing data. Please note that when you re-enable a layer all alarms that were skipped during the time it was disabled will then go off.

It is important to understand that all connected layers are read-only. That means you will not be able to make any changes to other people's data, you can only see them on your desktop. Likewise you will be the only one who can modify your data in layers you decided to share with others. Also, pay attention that alarms will work only on the server side. All connected (network) layers are marked with suffix [LAN] in the list. If the program loses the connection with a layer for any reason it will mark it in the list with red letters. If you keep mouse pointer over a layer name for a couple of seconds you will see last successful update date and time information in a tooltip. Network layers are automatically checked in 60 seconds intervals.

Order of layers in the list is sorted alphabetically with layers grouped so all local layers come in front of network layers and of course with primary layer that is always on top of the list.

Layer management

Add new layer

    Use this command to add new data layers. You just have to type in new layer's name and it will appear enabled in the list together with other layers. From that moment new layer name will also become available in Note/Alarm dialog and in Tasks view.

Rename layer

    Select a layer you want to rename, click on this command, type in new layer name and click Ok. Please note that if you rename a layer that you already shared with other people they will lose connection to it. So, if you have to rename shared layers do not forget to notify everybody to remove the old layer name from their lists and connect to the new one.

Remove layer

    This command will physically remove the layer file. If you were the owner of the removed layer you will not be able to get back its data unless you have exported it before as backup. If you remove layers owned by other people they will disappear from your list but you will be able to connect to those layers again later if necessary.

Clear layer data

    Use this command if you want to start from scratch and clear all data from an existing layer.

Layer properties

    Select a layer in the list and click this button to access its properties: text color and icon. Please note that if you enable some layer property in this dialog then you will not be able to access and change the same property in the note editing dialog.

    Text Color property allows you to set text color for an entire layer so all notes from that layer are displayed in the same color automatically. You just have to enable "Use this color..." checkbox and select a color you want to be used for displaying all notes from that layer. If you choose the Automatic color then the program will take the default text color that is set in the Notes/Tasks Bar settings dialog.

    Icon property allows you to set an icon for an entire layer. You just have to enable "Use this icon..." checkbox and select an icon from the library. After that all notes that belong to that layer will show up with the same icon attached.

    Desktop View property allows you to set this parameter for an entire layer. That way you can control desktop behaviour for all notes that belong to the same layer. For example, you can easily remove an entire layer of notes from appearing on the desktop if you set this property to "Invisible", or let them appear only on their own dates, or let them start showing on the desktop a week before... This way you can save some valuable space on the Notes/Tasks bar and to make it work just enable "Use this desktop view..." checkbox, select a desktop view option you want from the drop-list and click Ok.

    Calendar Marking. This allows you to exempt notes from an entire layer when calendar marking with a pin is enabled. That way you can reserve pinning for only those layers that keep your most important notes. To make this work open the Layers dialog, select a layer in the list and click Layer properties for it. Then enable "Do not pin calendar dates..." checkbox and click Ok.
Export/Import

Import data from a file

    When importing select a data file that you want to import, click Open, adjust importing options if necessary and click Finish. By default the program will import all types of data from a file to a new layer. If you want to import data to an existing layer then switch to "Import to existing layer" option, choose the target layer and tell the program what to do in case of duplicates. Importing option currently recognizes the program's own data formats, .ADC that you get by exporting and .ADX that is the internal data layer file format, plus the iCal and comma separated values .CSV (Windows) formats.

    Note (CSV): If you want to import data from a CSV file please note that it has to be formatted in the same way as a CSV file exported from the program. That means it has to have the leading row with data field names in the same order. Export a CSV file to check how exactly it should look like and here is a single note example:
       "Subject", "Start Date", "Start Time", "Description", "End Date", "End Time", "All day event"
       "Meeting in Detroit","26-07-04","00:00:01","Meeting in Detroit","26-07-04","23:59:59","true"

    One more thing is very important to note. Dates in CSV file to import have to be written in the same format as in an exported file on the same computer because date format depends on the regional settings. That means if you export to CSV on a computer that has US regional settings and try to import it on a computer that has German regional settings the import will not succeed.

Export layer(s) data

    Allows you to export your Notes, Tasks, Alarms and calendar icons within a time frame you specify. When exporting data first select layers that you want to export, click this command, choose items to export, date interval and exported file format, click Create Export File, choose the destination folder, type in some file name and click Save. To make multiple layer selection in the list keep Ctrl key pressed and make the selection. With multiple layer selection you will get all their data combined and exported to a single file.

    Note: You can choose between three file formats here. One is Active Desktop Calendar's proprietary .ADC format and the other two are well-known iCal and comma separated values .CSV (Windows) formats supported by many programs.

Sharing (LAN)

Connect new layer

    Use this command to connect to other people's data layers. You have to know the location of the data layer file (extension is .ADX) on your local network. Then just click on this command, go to that folder, select the layer file you want to connect to and click Open. It will appear in your list as a new layer. Layer name will be the same as file name with suffix [LAN] added. Please note that you also have to have enough privileges to read the data layer in the shared folder. If you have some problem with file access consult your network administrator.

Notification

    When the connection to a network layer is lost for any reason the program will notify you by blinking in the system tray. Then you can double click on that icon to see which layer is lost. Those layers are also marked with red letters in the list and if you keep mouse pointer over a layer name for a couple of seconds you will see last successful update date and time information in a tooltip. You can also check the errors log (that option is available in the Help menu). If you want to disable system tray notifications then just click on this command, switch the option to "do not show notification" and click Ok. You can re-enable notifications the same way.

Replicate (to share)

    When you want to share a data layer with other people you have to use this option first to create an external data layer file. This way the program maintains a layer replica in a file that other users can easily connect to through Connect new layer option described above.

    Here are steps you should take to make some of your layers available to other users. First select a layer you want to share, click Replicate and choose some folder for it. Then enable sharing for that folder, or if that is already done check the permissions and security settings in the folder properites to make sure other users will be able to see and access files in it. If necessary check also the security permissions for the layer file itself. Data layer files have extension .ADX. Once permissions and security for the shared folder and data layer file are correctly set it should be easy for other users to connect to your layer. If you have some problem with access permissions and security settings consult your network administrator.

    Note: this option is available only for local layers and Outlook layer, you can not use it for Google and web layers.

Disable sharing

    Use this option to stop replicating a layer that was previously set for sharing. What actually happens when you click the button is that the program only stops with further updates to the layer's replica .ADX file, but the file itself will not be deleted. It works like this on purpose for a case where you want to keep the file for sharing without any further updates. If necessary you can simply delete the file yourself and it will not be created again. 

Internet layers

Add Google layer

    Click on this button to enable Active Desktop Calendar's integration with Google calendar. To connect to your personal Google calendar, or any public calendar, just give it a name and enter its full iCal address.

    After you add Google calendar that data are refreshed automatically on 60 minutes cycles (default, you can also set the refresh cycles to 10 minutes or 5 hours through the Settings - Notes/Tasks Options dialog). If you keep the mouse pointer over a Google calendar's layer name in the list for a couple of seconds you will see the last successful update date and time information in a tooltip.

    Google calendar data are read-only. You will not be able to relocate, rename and clear data in this special layer. You can only disable it in the list or remove it completely.

    IMPORTANT: Please note that in order to connect to your Google Calendar data, Active Desktop Calendar has to use your Internet connection.

Add web layer

    Click on this button to make a connection with any iCal .ICS calendar file existing somewhere on the web. All you have to do is give that new web layer some name and enter a URL of the iCal .ICS file you are connecting to.

    Web layers are refreshed automatically on 60 minutes cycles (default, you can also set the refresh cycles to 10 minutes or 5 hours through the Settings - Notes/Tasks Options dialog). If you keep the mouse pointer over a web layer's layer name in the list for a couple of seconds you will see the last successful update date and time information in a tooltip.

    Web layers are read-only so you will not be able to relocate, rename and clear data in this special type of data layer. You can only disable it in the list or remove it completely.

    IMPORTANT: Please note that in order to connect to a web layer Active Desktop Calendar has to use your Internet connection.

Outlook layer

Add Outlook layer

    Make sure your Outlook is up and running and click on this button to enable Active Desktop Calendar's integration with Outlook. By default you will get all tasks and next seven days of appointments from Outlook's default calendar visible both in Active Desktop Calendar and on the desktop. You can extend this up to four weeks through the Settings - Notes/Tasks Options dialog.

    Outlook's data are read-only and kept in a separate layer named "Calendar [OUTLOOK]". You will not be able to relocate, rename and clear data in this special layer. You can only disable it in the list or remove it completely.

    IMPORTANT: When you start/reboot your computer and Active Desktop Calendar is started you also have to start Outlook and keep it running for at least a couple of minutes so the connection is established. After that Outlook's data are refreshed automatically on one minute cycles (default, you can also set the refresh cycles to 5 or 15 minutes through the Settings - Notes/Tasks Options dialog). If you keep mouse pointer over Outlook's layer name in the list for a couple of seconds you will see last successful update date and time information in a tooltip.

    SIDE EFFECTS: Once Active Desktop Calendar establishes connection with Outlook it will check its data on one minute cycles. Therefore Outlook's engine will remain in computer memory even if you close Outlook itself. This is normal behaviour. As a side effect any .PST files you worked with will remain locked and your reminders will continue to work normally and pop-up in due time. For that reason before you can do anything with .PST files (e.g. backup) you have to exit Active Desktop Calendar first so Outlook's engine is released from computer memory.

 

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