Report:DialogClassic and Classic Web/Search Interface/Introduction
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Dialog Classic runs using a piece of desktop client software known as DialogLink. This software is installed on the user's computer and is used to access the Dialog system.
DialogLink5 uses a familiar Windows-style interface with a Work area that is split up into three different panes along with an icon toolbar along the top. The three primary panes in the interface are described below.
The DialogLink interface is broken up into three panes: The Retrieve Buffer, the Type Ahead Buffer, and the Linking Pane.
The Retrieve Buffer serves as the primary display screen, in which command prompts, entered commands and results are displayed. Users familiar with other text-command based systems such as MS-DOS or UNIX will catch on quickly to the no-frills text-only interface.
Type Ahead Buffer is where the user inputs commands and queries while connected to Dialog. This also serves as a place for the user to enter and edit search commands before going online (and incurring associated charges).
The Type Ahead Buffer is made up of four tabs: Command, Previous, Reports, and Chemical Structure.
The Command Tab is where the user enters commands. Search commands can be entered and edited before logging on to be submitted once logged in. Additionally commands can of course be entered at the user's own pace once logged on to Dialog. Command scripts may also be created ahead of time using word processing software, saved as a .txt file and loaded into DialogLink using the File > Load Script option in the menu.
The Previous Tab presents the user with a list of his or her previous search sessions. These sessions are grouped by date and by BEGIN command. This tab can be used to recall previously entered commands into the Type Ahead Buffer to be used again. This is done by selecting the check box(es) next to the desired command and clicking the Copy button.
The Reports Tab is used to create reports from search results. Reports may be generated in either Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Word formats. See the Analyzing Results section for more details.
The Chemical Structure Tab is used for performing chemical structure searches on Dialog.
The Linking Pane is divided up into three subsections: Help and Information, Set Links, and Session Navigator. Each section contains hyperlinks that act as functional shortcuts for the user.
The Help and Information section contains links to Dialog help and other associated documentation that may be of use to the user such as the Dialog Bluesheet for the current database.
Set Links displays links to sets that are created while searching in Dialog.
The Session Navigator portion of the Linking Pane can be used to 'jump' to a different section within the Retrieve Buffer during a Dialog session. As commands are entered during a session, Links are created within the Session Navigator, making it easy to navigate back to a previous part of the session.
Each of the three sections of the Linking Pane may be collapsed out of view, and the Linking Pane itself may be resized or hidden completely.
The toolbar can be used to execute a number of housekeeping features, such as:
- Load Script: Displays the Load A Script window. The user can select a script file to load into the Type Ahead Buffer.
- Edit Script: Opens a script file in the appropriate text editor.
- Display Marked Text: Navigate between Marked Text and Session windows
- Stop: Stops processing the current command at the next logical breakpoint
- Unlock/Lock Type Ahead: Locks or unlocks the Type Ahead Buffer
- Log Off/Log On: Logs the user on or off of Dialog
- Order Documents: Order documents in print or PDF form
- Email Dialog Team: Send an email to the Dialog Support team
- Dialog DataStar with eLinks: Accesses DataStarClassic on the Web