By Version 3.0, PostSearch™ was becoming a mature application. The changes from Version 2 to Version 3.0 were a series of user-requested features.
This post is comprised of two parts:
- Product page from the website while PostSearch™ still was being sold.
- User’s Guide
PostSearch™ for Windows is a database search post-processor for BRS, Data-Star, DataTimes, DIALOG, DJN/R //TEXT, NewsNet, NLM, Orbit, Ovid and STN whose functions can be divided roughly into three main groups:
- after filtering
Filtering is the root of post-processing in PostSearch. Most other functions are performed on filtered record files.
Filtering means to clean up a database search. The contents of a captured search file are passed through a filter to screen out everything but the records. Logon sequences, menus, prompts, help screens, expanded terms, etc. are filtered out. The filters label and number the records in the form Record – 1, Record – 2, etc.
After filtering a database search, you might:
- query by form
- port DIALOG TAGed records to Microsoft Access
- divide records individually into separate files
- renumber record labels
- delete record labels
- replace record labels
- insert page breaks
- remove hard carriage returns (in DIALOG TAGed records)
- undelimit DIALOG TAGed records
- create a diction list
- create a file header or cover page
Sifting means to edit a filtered search on a record-centered basis. Though a filtered record file is sheer text, not a database, and though the records are of variable length, the sifter commands can act at once on a whole record as a discrete unit. You can:
- view records, navigating through them record-by-record (rather than line-by-line or page-by-page as in a word processor) with the commands Next, Previous, First, Last and Jump (directly to a record by number)
- write chosen records to one or many new files with the commands Keep, Keep Express, and Write Kept with no need to highlight, cut-and-paste, perform block operations or otherwise manipulate the text constituting a record
- reorder records with the commands Order and Write Order, specifying the currently displayed record’s new order by simply typing a number.
Query by Form
The Query command applies query-by-form (QBF) to a filtered record file. Records selected by the query are written to a new file. The query form implements Boolean operators, nesting and truncation.
Ranking reorders records by weighted frequency of terms. You can specify up to six terms with or without right truncation assigning each a weight from 1 to 9.
Sorting alphabetizes records on a field. For example, you can alphabetize records by author by specifying the AU- field. Sorting requires field tags at the left.
The Port command automates portage of DIALOG TAGed records into Microsoft Access .MDB database format. This allows you to exercise Access’s considerable powers of the data, such as reordering fields, deleting fields, deduping, sorting, searching and generating reports.
Insert Page Breaks
In preparation for printing, you might need to go through a file and insert page breaks. For example, two abstracts might fit on each page, and you might not want an abstract split from page to page. Or you might not want full text records to begin in the middle of a page, preferring that each one begin on a new page. PostSearch allows page breaks to be inserted automatically every N records automatically.
Remove Hard Carriage Returns
In preparation for printing, you might want to remove hard carriage returns so that your word processor can have control of the margins, fonts, etc. PostSearch can reformat DIALOG TAGed records to remove hard carriage returns within fields. See Susan N. Bjorner, “Of Wits and Magic and Micro Worlds: Removing Unwanted Carriage Returns from Search Output,” Online, p. 85 (January 1992).
The Header/Cover Page command lets you create a stylized memo documenting the search, and either attach it to the data file as a Header or as a separate cover page, or save the memo as a separate file.
The linked file captures the text of the User’s Guide, reformats it from its original book-sized pages, and presents the pages as one run-on letter-size PDF.