General help topics on using FadOffice : Online Contact Manager, Company List Directory, Task Planner, Mailing List Manager, Creating Web Forms, Mailing Address Labels generator, Exporting records to Excel, CSV and PDF.

Topic 1 : User Interface

Main navigation toolbar
By functionality and usage frequency, FadOffice User interface can be divided into two logical sections:

1. Settings & Preferences. The section where you manage your settings and preference such as date format, time zone, user interface style and color scheme. The section also includes your personal data such as name, address etc., system notifications. In most case, you only need to specify the necessary parameters once, save them for your account and you're set. You don't visit this section often.

2. The workspace. This is the area where you'll be spending most of your time within the system. It includes managing of records, browing, searching etc. For example, your contacts or daily task planner. By using the navigation toolbar (menu) at the top of the page, you can switch from one section to the other at any time.

Regardless of the section, at the bottom part of every page are located documented help and guidelines tabs with short description of the purpose and how to use the functionalities available on the particular page.
Footer Help tabs

System interface display styles
The system interface is skinnable, dynamically. You can change the style (theme) to any of the 10 available in the system. Simply select your preferred style, from light-shaded Flick to very Dark-Hive. Selected theme will be automatically saved and the page will be re-loaded with your latest choice. Default theme is Redmond. Theme selector is located at the top-right angle of the page. Below screenshots are few examples of themes available. Play with the rest to arrive at your preference. You can switch between themes at any time, on-the-fly.
Theme selector Theme Redmond Theme Smoothness Theme Start Theme Dot Luv

Topic 2 : Table (List view, Grid)

Records may be displayed in three different formats:

Table (List view, Grid) - renders information in a simple tabular method. The column headers are loosely presented, that is, they are not presented under any logical sequences. Tables (or grids) are equipped with navigation toolbar with action icons, located at the bottom and/or top of the table. Additionally, for some frequently-used functions (or crude operations), action icons may be located inside the table.

Table or List view with Navigation Tools Panel

Using Table (List view, Grid), you can:
navigation toolbar with action icons description (left to right)
Navigation Tools Panel
Alert icon Invokes full-page advanced form for data manipulation. If a record is selected when the icon is clicked, then the resultung form will be populated with the record data, ready for editing. If no record selected and the icon is clicked, then the new form can only be used to input (add) new record

Plus icon Invokes a modal pop-up dialog form on the current page for adding new record to the database.

Pencil icon Used for editing the selected record either inline (within the table) or via modal pop-up dialog form on the current page.

Trash icon Deletes the selected record. Deleted record can not be recovered!

Search icon Opens a modal pop-up search form (dialog) for using multiple criteria to find records in the database, to be displayed in the current table.

Refresh icon Update content/state of the current table to display latest changes (if any).

Newwin icon Export (save) records from current table to Excel file on your system.

Print icon Export (save) records from current table to PDF file on your system.

Document icon Export (save) records from current table to CSV file on your system.

Icon tool tip   All action icons come with tool tips (a small rectangular pop-up window with brief description of the icon). Hover your mouse over the icon for a moment, and the tip will pop-up.

Master-Detail View
Master-Detail View data presentation involves two or several tables on a single page. As a rule, such tables are linked to each other by relationship called Master-Detail. For example, Main contact records are displayed in the topmost table, with detailed (attached, linked, miscellaneous, custom fields) information shown in other tables below the main table.

Master-Detail View data presentation format is advanced way of displaying data retrieved from different tables, linked together by Master-Detail ("parent-children") relationship. The Master data is displayed in the top table while the Detail records at the bottom table. When you select a record in the Master table, all connected details are automatically displayed in the Detail table(s). One example is a contact record having multiple telephone numbers, multiple emails, multiple adresses etc. The system will link the contact main record (Master) with the corresponding Detail data taken from various tables - in this example, multiple telephone numbers, multiple emails, multiple adresses etc.

On clicked, most action icons of Table (List view, Grid) will activate modal pop-up dialog form, which assists in carrying out the operation the action icon is meant for. A good example is the search action icon that fires the search form.

Other uses of modal windows may include: For users' convenience, modal pop-up dialog forms are moveable and resizable by drag-and-drop method. You can move them to the necessary position on the screen or/and increase their width and height.

moving the dialog form resizing the dialog form
moving the dialog form      resizing the dialog form
Moving (re-positioning):

Topic 3 : Add, Edit, Delete Records - the basics

Generally, data manipulation is carried out within the Table (List view, Grid) used for displaying the data. This is the basic concept and convenient for most users, exceptions being situations as described elsewhere in other sections, e.g see Using Forms to Manage Records.

Unless otherwise specified, the Table (List view, Grid) accomodates three separate action icons for adding, editing and deleting records. Namely, left to right, Add, Edit, Delete icons Plus icon, Pencil icon and Trash icon respectively. Note that the first action icon (Alert icon) can be used both for Adding or/and Editing record in Advanced Form mode - see managing company records in 3 diffrent ways below.

Also note that the action icons can be located either on the navigation toolbar at the bottom or top of the Table (List view, Grid) or directly inside the Table (List view, Grid) itselft, at the extreme left. In the latter case, clicking the icon will result in what is called inline mode of operation, i.e. you can add or edit record directly inside the table. In the former case, clicking the icon will result in a modal window with form popping-up out of the table.

Adding New Record (pop-up form)

Editing Record (inline)
Editing Record (pop-up form)
Deleting Record
For lookups such as Company groups, Contact groups and Lead sources, you should manage lookup values directly in the respective section, presented in form of treeview:
Contact Groups Lookup with counter


clickable link in listview

Topic 4 : Lookup tables (categories, name prefixes, lead sources , countries etc.)

Why use lookups?
Lookup is a predefined list of values, that a record can inherit from another source of records. Lookups ease your work, acting as "helpers", and are used when adding or editing major record entries.

For example, consider a situation where you have 20 contacts to add to your database. All these contacts are located in one city, and in one country. Each of the contacts has 3 telephone numbers for different purposes - home, office, fax, cell. Further, these 20 contacts work in one company, so they belong to business contacts group or category.

The old traditional way of adding information about these contacts to the database would have been: create a Table and add one record each for all the 20 contacts, repeating the city name, country name and also making remarks for telephone types (home, office, cell, fax) for every record!

That is not all. You must also add the company name, address, telephone numbers, type of business activities, etc to each contact's record. Manually. 20 times! The process could be time-consuming and, worse still, unproductive. This is where lookups come in.

Lookup enables you to enter once, in a separate table, any repeating information in the database and use it each time you have occurrence of such information in other tables. In unlimited number of times and tables.

In the example above, all we need do is create five different "helper" tables - lookup tables. In the first "helper" table we will add city names, second table will be for countries, third table will contain information about the telephone types, fouth for the group, and the last fifth table - company information with address, telephone, fax etc. Each record entry in its lookup table must have at least a name and a unique identification number (ID), automatically assigned to the record by the system, so we do not have to worry at all about this. Nor do you need worry about creating the tables. The system will take care of that. Your only task is to fill-in information into the tables and save the changes.
Contact Groups lookup table       Contact Groups Lookup

Now, let us go back to our CONTACTS table. It must have been linked to the lookup tables by the system, in such a way that instead of manually entering information (city, country, telephone types, group and company, in this example) repeatedly for each of the contacts, all we do is select the information from the appropriate lookup table, shown to us in form of choice list. You will not see or notice the entire process, but each time we choose a name or item from the list, what we are actually doing is this: we are telling the system to select corresponding unique identification number(s) for the name from the lookup table(s), add and save them to the Contacts (main) table. From that moment, the system will use these numbers (IDs) to locate in the lookup tables and show us the actual names (text value) in the main table.

Another advantage of using lookups is that in future if any of the lookup values, for example company name, changes, all you need to do is edit the value in the lookup table only once. The new value will be automatically applied to all the 20 or more contacts concerned.

You will also find lookups such as Lead sources invaluable when in future you want to analyze the channel(s) your contacts are using to find you.

1. Other known definitions of lookup table are: cross-reference table, bridge table, join table, map table, intersection table, link table.

2. Countries, Gender, name Prefixes lookup tables are system defaults, so you can neither edit nor delete records from them. Other lookups you must create and manage.

For lookups such as Company groups, Contact groups and Lead sources, you should manage lookup values directly in the respective section, presented in form of treeview:

Topic 5 : Using Forms to Manage Records

Generally, data manipulation is carried out within the Table (List view, Grid) used for displaying the data. This is the basic concept and convenient for most users. However, there are situations whereby special forms have been developed and applied for extended/advanced functionalities. One of such situations is when generating webforms for your website to capture visitors' data they will submit directly to your database on the system - for more details, see the section on automatic webform generator.

Another example - Advanced Form for adding/editing company information (COMPANIES section of the system). The form pulls data from 16 different tables, establishes relationships/links among them. Further, After you have filled and submitted the form, it fires instructions to initiate connection to the database, locate and update records in the tables as needed.
Simply put, the form performs a complex task, far beyond the capabilities of any single table in the system.
Advanced form option

Same narrative holds true for Advanced Form format option for manipulating contacts data in the database.
Advanced Form format option is elaborated form for adding/editing contact information. Using the form, you can add not only basic contact information, but also extensive information such as multiple telephones, multiple emails, multiple adresses etc. For example, Home telephone, Work telephone, mobile or/and Emergency telephone numbers. The form also enables you to create unlimited number of custom fields to store such information.


Advanced contact management form icon

Topic 6 : Browsing Records

Browsing Records

Topic 7 : How to Search for Records

As you add more and more records to the database, there comes a time when you will need only a portion of the records meeting certain conditions. It can be your contacts in a particular city/country, or tasks list for a particular day. This is when you turn to the search mechanism of the system.

FadOffice provides two distinct types of search tools, namely: Toolbar Filtering entails entering your search term(s) in the input boxe(s) immediately below the necessary column headers and then hitting the "Enter" key. If the column is a lookup field, then a drop-down choice list (select) box will be displayed, if a date-time field - an interactive date-time picker.
Column header filters

Toolbar Filtering can be used either solely or in combination with Complex Filtering.

Complex Filtering or Advanced Search mechanism enables you to carry out search on single or multiple columns (fields) using various search criteria. In Complex Filtering or Advanced Search mode, you can combine several columns (fields) and give each column the criterion (condition) it should meet for your search.

Advanced Search Box icon

Advanced Search Box fields     Advanced Search Box form

Available search criteria include:
    a) equal ( = );
    b) not equal ( <> );
    c) less ( < );
    d) less or equal ( <= );
    e) greater ( > );
    f) greater or equal ( >= );
    g) begins with ( like%);
    h) does not begin with ( NOT like% );
Other possible conditions that you may use for your search are: 'is in', 'is not in', 'ends with', 'does not end with', 'contains', 'does not contain'.
After you have used Complex Filtering or Advanced Search method to retrieve the main records you want, you MAY additionaly apply Toolbar Filtering to further limit the data displayed in the table.

In conclusion, here are the steps invloved:

Topic 8 : How to Sort Records

See: Browsing Records

Topic 9 : How to Re-arrange table columns display order

By default, the Table (List view, Grid) display data in a simple tabular method. The column headers are loosely presented, that is, they are not grouped under any logical sequences. You may find it necessary to re-arrange the table columns. Use drag-and-drop method to achieve this.

table column order before re-arrange table column order after re-arrange
contact manager table column re-arrange - before operation      column width resize - after operation

Another option is to invoke and use the special Column Chooser

Topic 10 : How to Hide/Show Table Columns

You can limit the number of table columns to display by hiding/showing them.
Column chooser
Another way you can use to hide/show columns is by holding down the CTRL key while you use your mouse to select/de-select the columns in the box.
To select/de-select all columns, hold down the SHIFT key then use your mouse to select the first and last column on the list.

Topic 11 : How to Resize Table Column Width

Table columns are resizable, i.e you can adjust the width.


column width before resize column width after resize
column width resize - before operation      column width resize - after operation

Topic 12 : Mailing Address Labels Generator

Mailing Address Labels Generator processes records in an easy way to export the data in form of labels with recipient addreses - contacts, organizations or both. Address Labels can be saved to file, printed and used as stickers for envelopes. This may be useful if you want to send business offers, product catalogs etc. to the postal addresses.

Address Labels uses advanced mail-merge functions of FadOffice system. Contact Name*, Company Name, Postal Code (ZIP), Region, City, Street, House No., Address, Country are processed not as columns, but as lines to form a single block called address label.

Line 1: Contact Name (if available)
Line 2: Company Name
Line 3: Street, House No.
Line 4: City
Line 5: Region (district)
Line 6: Postal Code (ZIP)
Line 7: Country

Address Labels are generated from CONTACTS or/and COMPANIES data sources and can take several forms:

Under the CONTACTS block we have:

Under the COMPANIES block we have:
Address Labels under the CONTACTS block
Address Labels (Personal)
   Address Labels (Business)

Address Labels under the COMPANIES block
Address Labels (Personal)
   Address Labels (General)
As usual, apart from browsing the records, you can filter(search) using the search form, carry out complex search with multiple combinations of criteria, sort the addresses in alpha-numerical order, view them in separate forms. Lastly, you can export(save) the labels as Excel, PDF files to your system.


Topic 13 : How to Export(save) Records/Reports to File

FadOffice comes with advanced Reporting system. From exporting "raw" simple table list to complex Mailing Address Labels, the system offers three possible reporting file format options - Excel, PDF or CSV.

Export records from sql database to files - Excel, PDF, CSV


How to use: Click the content menu at the top-right corner of the page to open the topics and then select the necessary item on the list. All Examples are static with screenshots. To see live examples of the topics discussed, you must log-in to your account on the system. Creating user account is free.

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