Throughout the program you will find many common features.  Let's start with the Tool Bar menu at the top of the screen.  The buttons displayed will change depending on the type of screen or view you are using.  The next screen shot is of the tool bar when the Member Details view is open.  It just so happens that the Family Name field is selected to so a button named "Open Families" is shown to allow you to view the Family record related to this member.  Starting at the left item on the screen is the NEW button which will allow you to open a screen with all entries blanked out and ready to add a record.  If you happen to click the bottom half of this button a menu will pop out letting you choose the type of data for which you want to add a new record.  

NOTE: When you click the bottom half of a NEW button, a drop down menu will let you choose the type of Data you want to update with a new record.

The Navigation can be set up to be a Navigation Bar, Accordion or Tree View.


Next to the NEW button you will sometimes see a CLONE button.  When you click the Clone button a details view will be shown with the same data as the record selected when you clicked the Clone button.  Say for example you wanted to add several attendance records for the same Member of a Class.  Click the Clone button and then just change the Attendance date for the new cloned or copied record.  

When you begin adding or editing a record the Save button will be enabled.  In the screen shot above it is disabled because no changes have been made yet.  The Save and Close button will commit the changes and close the screen you were editing returning to the List view.  The Save and New button will save the changes but keep the screen open ready to add another record.  The Deleted button will - after prompting, remove the selected record from the database.  In many screens I have set rules, such as an item may not be blank or must be unique. These rules will be checked when you Save a record, but if a Validate button is visible you can check the rules by clicking the button.  The Refresh button is most useful if using the program on a Local Area Network (LAN) for example to show changes others users may have made that were not yet shown on the screen.  The Rest View Setting button is useful if you have made changes to the layout of a screen and it will restore the screen to the original design.  The Show In Report button will be displayed if the Data Type has any reports set with Is In Place Report check box enabled.  The report will be launched with the selected record(s) included in the Report.  The next button, Show In Document is similar to Show in Report but is for Mail Merge Type documents.  The Arrow buttons just let you move from one record to another and the Close button will close the screen and return you to the related view.

In list or grid view you have the option to sort and filter on columns.

If you click the Filter icon on a Date field type the choices are different.

When you choose to filter on a numeric field, you have other options such as a slider.

Choose filters from grid columns like this creates a query filter that you can see at the bottom of the screen.  At the far right are the words Edit Filter.  Click there to edit the filter in the Filter Editor.  Also note on the left side of the screen a check box that you click to remove the filter and an "X" that will clear the filter and remove it from recently used filters.

In the top section of the Filter Editor you can see a visual that you can interact with.  You can change from "and" to join condition to "or" for either condition.  You can click to change the Field, Operator or Values being used to create the filter.  In the lower portion of the editor is a text based filter statement which you can also use to edit the filter.  

Now there are many reasons why applying a filter is useful.  Filtering like this very common in Microsoft Excel.  It may you prefer to do certain things in Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Word or other program.  So it is good to know another Common Feature, or Interface Component of Church Secretary for Windows 2021.  Exporting from Grids or Reports, as well as Dashboards and Analyses are provided to a variety of formats. When you have a grid screen open choose the File Menu option, then down to Export To: and you have a variety of Export options.  The final option is to export to a new Report.  This will allow you to create a new report using the columns selected in the order you have the grid.

In the next screen shot, I used the Column Chooser to remove certain columns and dragged and dropped columns to reorder them.

Below is where I Exported this list to a Report.

If we look at this report in Design View you can see that the Report uses any filter that was in effect on the grid in the report.

You can remove the filter in Design View and then see all records.  When you have a grid created as a report the name will be the data type default. So you may want change the Report name.  These Exported reports will show up under Modern Reports rather than Classic Reports.  See below.

In addition to renaming any grid created report you will likely want to use the Report Designer to modify the report such as changing column widths.

The Tool Bar below is slightly different, as it happens to be from a List View of records. If reports for the data type in the grid have been set as In Place Report  by right clicking on a report in the grid and choosing Edit.. you will be able to mark as an Inplace Report...

Then the report will be available in the Show In Report option.  You can select more than one record in a grid or row of records using Ctrl and Clicking or Shift select First Record hold and then click last record.  Those Reports will be used to filter the report you select.  Similarly the Show In Document button will launch the Mail Merge Document with the rows selected.

Notice the Text to Search button.  Enter a word or phase in this box and the list will be filtered to show only records with that text. After searching click the X button to remove the filter and show all records again.

There are two additional tabs on the Main Tool Bar.  The View Tab contains a number of features to let you change the appearance of the program to suit your needs.  You can change the size of fonts, colors and styles and more.  When you choose The Bezier theme from the Appearance box a Theme Options button will be displayed to let you choose from additional color palettes.  

The Tools option only has one button labeled Edit Model.  The ability to Edit the Model of the program is very powerful but also allows you to make unintended changes easily.  I strongly recommend making a backup of the Model file before using the Edit Model for any purpose.

The next Tool Bar is shown when viewing a Report in Preview mode.  The options on this tool bar allow you to zoom in or out, Export the report to a file and save it for later use, or Export a file and launch your email program to send it as an attachment.

The new Mail Merge feature adds yet another Tool Bar, or actually multiple Tool Bars.  Below is a glance at those buttons.  When you have the cursor in the letter area of the mail merge template the File option provides buttons on the Mail Merge ribbon to Insert a Merge Field, Show All Field Code, Show All Field Results and View Merged Data.  

The Editing Ribbon shows buttons which are common to most word processing programs.

The Insert Option should also be familiar to most of you.

In earlier versions the main navigation was an accordion or button style.  In Church Secretary for Windows 2021 the initial navigation is by a Tree on the left side of the screen.  You can change this option at anytime using the Model Editor.  Also in earlier versions I had Main Files and a Separate Navigation for Lookup Files.  In this version lookup lists can be edited using the Model Editor to change Predefined Values that appear in a drop down list.

The screen shot below shows the Files list expanded in the tree view.  If you expand an item on the Files branch, you may see a list of reports that are related to that file and set as In Place Report as well as any Pivot Tables/Charts.  For example the Contributions Files has a number of reports that I set up as In lace Reports.


When you expand the Reports branch of the tree, you will see Analysis, Dashboards, Mail Merge Templates, Reports - Classic and Reports Modern.

If you select one of these options you will see a list of available items in the right side of the screen.

When you right click on a column header the menu shown below pops up.  We will go through the options available on that menu next.


The first 3 options an the grid menu are related to sorting for the selected column. The next set of options have to do with the columns in the grid.  You can hide columns one at a time or use the Column Chooser to configure several columns visibility at one time.  You can also use this menu option to set width of columns. The next options allow you to use the Filter Editor discussed earlier, a Find Panel to search records and a Show Summary Panel to let you view counts or totals for the records in a grid.

Next you have the options to group on a column and can show the Group By box.  This could be helpful to group members by type or status or below to group by contribution date.

Now when we click on the column we have grouped on additional options are available such as Full Expand, Full Collapse as well as the Ungroup option and the Hide Group By Box.

Note in the next screen shot I have added the Auto Filter Row.  Here I can type a value and instantly filter the grid based on the value I types in the search area.  You can also change the search or filter operator for example from Contains to equal.  I You get the idea.

Showing the Find Panel will let you search all columns for text and then matches will be highlighted.

I hope this section helps you to learn more about the many common interface components included in Church Secretary for Windows 2021.