Presently, Search mode in all modules feels a bit like a dead end when looking at the toolbar menu. One has the ability only to run a query or to go to New Record mode. It is not possible, without going to New Record mode, to clear all search terms from the query form. I would like to propose two new toolbar options in query mode for all modules...
1. Clear Search or New Search. It can be useful, especially for complex queries with parameters entered on multiple tabs, to be able to simply click a button to clear the search form. That would make it possible for users to completely redefine a search without leaving query mode or having to go to New Record mode to get a fresh start.
2. Return to previously retrieved results. If the last view was of query results, allow users to click a toolbar button to go back to viewing those. That would allow users to change their minds if they decide that those were actually the desired results after going to query mode or to go back to be reminded of data from those results for query revision. Ideally, this would not require rerunning the query or records retrieval as those can, in some cases, take a good amount of time.
I would love to know thoughts from other users on this topic. I still consider myself fairly new to EMu, but have seen similar features used regularly by all levels of user in other collections management software.
Museum Database Consultant
New York, NY / Philadelphia, PA
As the focus in your post is specifically on Toolbar functionality, it's unclear to me if you're aware that it is possible to clear all search terms without exiting New mode (you probably are, in which case, please excuse me!). There are two options:
Select Edit>Clear All from the Menu bar
Use the keyboard shortcut, Shift+Del
Either option will clear all search terms, including default values from within Search mode.
A Toolbar button to do this might also be handy.
Thank you for your reply. I was not aware of those options. They will be useful. I had expected to find that feature in the toolbar based on the presence of similar buttons (previous search, new search) in Edit and New Record modes. So, I still think it would be intuitive to have this option in the toolbar.
A couple of notes to add to Gerard's post.
New search will lose all the previously retrieved records, which is not something you can undo. Ever missed "previous search" and lost all your records? So frustrating!
New search will bring you back to your chosen query defaults (which for most of our users is justt he Base Defaults as specified int he registry).
Shift-Del removes ALL data from all fields, inclusing all Query Defaults. This is worth remembering if you use the Record Status field on the Security tab as we do. For us, the Base Defaults are to only show Active records in most modules, thus filtering our "retired" records. Using Shift-Del can be a bit of s surprise for users who don't expect to see retired records in their results.
Mark Bradley – Assistant Registrar, Documentation (EMu)
National Gallery of Australia
I should point out that Shift+Del doesn't remove data from read-only fields. If you don't want users to be able to search for the "retired" records, you can set up the Record Status field to be read-only in Search mode, with a value of "Active". This way the predefined query defaults are fixed and cannot be modified by users, even if they use Shift+Del.