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How to Clone from Line Item Databases

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This video illustrates how to speed up creation of custom line item databases by cloning entire categories from the same database and also cloning in individual categories or entire databases from other line item databases.

Read this related article: How to Appeal to Everyone Reading Your Proposal

Proposal Pack HelpWatch this related video: How to Create a Custom Line-Item Database

In this video we're going to show how to use the cloning operations for categories. This is a way to copy categories and their related fields from one database into another and saves you the time of having to manually recreate stuff that's already existing. That will speed up your custom database creation.

This is all done in the Preferences. Go into Data and Display, Line Item Database. Typically we're going to be cloning from other databases or within the same database.

We're going to start with one of our existing databases. We're going to use the Basic Product and Service Sales. This has two categories, one for products and one for service sales with very minor differences between the two categories.

Mainly in the labels really and we're going to expand on this with some extra things from other databases. We're just going to clone this first. You should always clone databases instead of using the stock ones.

We're just going to call this Custom DB. We're just going to make a copy. Our Custom DB is now just a copy of this one up here and now we can edit it without disrupting our stock database.

So what we're going to do is go into Edit Definition. Let's just take a quick look at our global fields. We see a couple globals for the Products category, the sub totals, total weight, a global sub toal for the Services and then the overall globals.

We can see the categories in this database are a product and a service category so the first cloning we're going to show is cloning a category that's already in our current database and just basically making a copy of it. For example, we want to have say two different categories of products. Maybe you have a reason you want to split up your product listings and have different subtotals for each.

We'll just highlight ProductCat and let's do Clone Category. We want to clone the category from the current database because we're making a copy of our Products category. So, just click that first and it will use the existing information here.

It just puts the word Copy after it. Let's just make this ProductCat2. Okay, now you see this category, we'll just move that up.

Now we have two product categories and you can see the category fields. Now, instead of having to manually add a new category and then manually add all these new fields and make sure we get them all right they're already copied. If we are going to clone a category from with our within our existing database we do have to be aware of how the globals will work.

You can see here we cloned the category but it didn't clone the globals. That has to be done done manually. That's mainly because there can be so many variations on globals and how their calculations are done it can be pretty complex.

So you just have to be aware of that. Now that we cloned that category we've got to go and manually make new globals for that new category. We have a clone option here for individual fields.

We'll just go clone these two globals for the first product category. This is ProductCat2 and let's clone this one. All right, now we have new globals.

Let's go and edit these, that all looks good. We don't have to make any changes. The important thing is you know this is the sum of the amount in the second, the cloned category.

And this is the sum of the weights for the second category. Now in this database we have other globals which are the sums of the original product category and services category. As we look through our calculations we see this one we probably want to edit which is the overall subtotal for everything.

We'll go in here and we'll just copy that, paste that in, put a two after it. There, now our overall subtotal for the entire set of all the categories is the sum of the original product category, the newly cloned category and the services. Now that we have this done that's how we've cloned a copy of an existing category in the same database and then updated all the globals.

Now we'll do a quick test and make sure we didn't make any mistakes, at least the test has come back with no errors, that's good. All right, so the other type of cloning is when we want to clone in a category from an external database. Now there's one place where this happens automatically in the Wizard.

When you are in your project screen and you are adding new chapters to your your project and you've added a page chapter that has a database associated with it and you already have another database attached to the project the Wizard will have to clone in the categories from that new page into your existing database. So there is a cloning operation that happens automatically within the Wizard. We're going to just do that here manually and we're going to use the second button down here Clone a Category from a Different Database.

If we click this we see a list of all of the loaded databases. We also see a list of all the component page databases. Now these are the ones that get automatically cloned in when you say add a budget chapter to an existing project and it has a database that doesn't have the budget information in it.

It'll just clone this in. You also have all the sample proposals so there's about a 100, almost 100, sample proposals and they have various different customized versions of the stock databases and you can clone in any of these as well if you happen to know one that you you want to use. Then we have example databases.

Usually you're not going to clone in one of our example databases because they've been custom created just for showing you specific ways of using the system. But if there is one that you wanted to clone in you can do that. Now we can look at previews.

So say we want to look at the Technology Business Plan we just click the Preview and it's going to pop open a PDF of what the final output of using that custom database. So you can see this particular sample, it has a funding request database with a few categories for expenses, salaries, so on. It has an income projection database that goes out for 3 years, it's got a break even analysis database, it's got a budget database.

We could clone in all of these into our current database if we want. We're going to do one it's a little simpler. We're going to go up to the Component databases.

So let's say for our custom database where we now have two product categories and a services category, what if we want to add in a production schedule. Now there's multiple schedule type databases. They're almost all the same or similar.

They might just have slightly different output. Sometimes they have slightly different fields or what fields are shown versus not shown and so on. You can click through all of these and find a schedule you like.

If you just highlight Production Schedule. If you notice these logos and graphics, these are just for illustration purposes. Whatever design theme you've got installed, that's what the visual look of your documents will look like.

These graphic designs won't be part of what gets cloned in, they're just for illustration. You can see this Production Schedule database, it has a category with Tasks Start Dates, End Dates, Durations, Start Date, Completion Date, Days to Complete. If we look at this Scheduling database, again pretty similar.

Instead of Task it just has Description as the label. Very minor difference there. Maybe Construction Schedule, okay we can see this is a little different, says Construction Job Description instead of Task or Description.

That's a very minor difference, still has start dates, end dates, durations. This one has Weeks to Complete instead of Days to Complete. Now all of these schedule type databases they actually have multiple calculations under the covers.

They'll all have global fields for days to complete, weeks, months, years. Then you can decide in your customization which one of those you want to use, if any. Pretty much any of these schedule databases work the same, we'll just pick Production Schedule and click the Clone from Selection.

Now it's going to pop open another screen, and if there were multiple categories it would give us a list of all the categories within this custom database or this component database and you can individually check on which ones you want. There's also another box here, most often I would say you're going to want to check that because that's going to cause the Wizard to pull in the entire database, all the categories, all the globals. Okay, so we'll check that, click Clone Category.

It gives us an option to change the identifiers and the display names. All of these component databases are set up with unique identifiers so there shouldn't be any conflicts when you start cloning in any of these. If there are you can always just rename them.

Click Okay. All right, now you can see that Production Schedules now part of our database. We can look at the category fields.

We see all the fields and if we go over to the globals. If we scroll down here we can see if you look right here this will tell you what pages are associated with all the globals. We can see it pulled in all of the Production Schedule globals and you can see what I mentioned earlier.

You have Days to Complete, weeks months and years. So all of these calculations are available and then you decide which one of these four for example you want to put visibly in your output. All right, so now we have our cloned category and you can clone in as many of these as you want.

We'll go click Okay. Let's do a quick test. Everything tested without any problems and we can go into Quote Templates here.

Let's see how many custom, okay, so you can see there is a custom template for the schedule. Go pop that that open and you can see this is the layout for that schedule. You can see here you don't see the logos, the colors, and everything.

This is the version that's going to get incorporated into your documents and then your color scheme, logos, design theme elements will be reapplied. You can see how we have Days to Complete. Now we can change that to any of these others.

You can see this Q–PSCOMPDAYS, well we can just change that to weeks, months, years. What if I want to make this, I can just manually retype this in the template say Weeks to Complete. We're going to change this from Days to Weeks.

Q–PSCOMPWEEKS, so that matches. As long as you get the tags typed correctly everything will work fine. So now we have a custom template, we've changed that field that gets output and all of this is ready to use in a project.

All right, so now we'll go add our Custom DB, click Manage Data. Now you can see we have four different categories to add line items to the products, the cloned products category, the services and the production schedule and for globals we've got our main globals. Might go with a 6% tax rate, little bit shipping.

All right, so I'll make this maybe a $20 discount, $20 shipping, a 6% tax rate and then for the schedule we just have tasks, durations, days till next. Okay, so we've added some line items with some durations, it's calculated out the start and end dates, all the totals. If we go up and click View Globals we haven't added anything for the costs or anything but it's calculated out our days, weeks, months, years to completion.

So weeks is what's going to get output to our custom template. All right, so we've added a few line items, we got the globals in there. Do a quick Test and Preview.

All right, so the preview is done we can kind of see what the invoice is going to look like with our multiple products categories, services category, all the sub totals. You could do some further customization here. This can be tightened up a little bit, like these extra blue lines can be removed, we can remove the white space, we can create a custom table that is a little little tighter and get all that into one page probably.

This is what the schedule will look like and the cost summary. Now we can just throw that all together if we like that the way it is into a full document. All right, have full documents been built.

We'll open that up take a look at it. You can see the invoice again. Now it's added in some of the design elements, it's got our cloned in category, the subtotal, adds in this new category and you can see how the full document starts with our cover letter, front title page, got the full cost summary.

It's got this production schedule with the customization we made to put the Weeks to Complete instead of days. That is the basics of cloning in categories from your existing database or external databases to help speed up your database customization.

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