The premise behind the Details tab is to have a place to store information pertaining to a common theme that may require multiple entries (e.g., Email Addresses and Web Sites).
This data is organized into categories called “detail types,” and each can have as many or as few entries as necessary. Each entry, called a “detail record,” can contain several pieces of data. This is in contrast to a contact record field which can only contain a single value.
Email Addresses and Web Sites are examples of good usage of detail types. Others include Accounts, Login Information, and Dependents. All of these have two things in common – you will need a place to store information for multiple entries of each type and the number of entries for each type will vary by the contact record they pertain to. This is why the Details tab provides the added flexibility needed for storing such data.
Each row in the Details tab corresponds to a separate detail record. To add a new detail record, first have the appropriate Contact Record window active, go to the Details tab, right-click anywhere inside of it, and select New.
The “Detail Properties” window pops up allowing you to select the desired detail type from the lookup list of the “Detail:” field.
The “Reference:” field allows you to be more specific about the detail type you chose and the type of information you enter here will vary according to that detail type. You can also add any other miscellaneous information in the “Notes:” field, if appropriate.
Detail records can hold up to 12 other distinct fields of data. Click on the Info tab to see which ones the selected detail type is using. Each of these fields can be configured with a custom name and lookup list specific to the detail type that has been selected. Once all of the known/relevant data is entered, click OK and you’ll see the detail record added to that contact’s Details tab.
The tab itself displays:
- The date each record was added (which cannot be modified)
- The detail type of each detail record
- The “Reference:” information for each detail record
You can also view detail record information from the Preview Pane, located on the right side of the tab. Select the desired detail record and the fields are displayed. The Preview Pane can be viewed on the Details tab and any new tabs you create. You can hide this feature by clicking on the double arrows to the left of the pane. Restore it by clicking on them again.
To edit the information in a given detail record, you can double-click on it or right-click on it and select Edit. Note that you won’t be able to change the “Detail:” field. This is because once a detail record is added its detail type cannot be changed. Instead, an entirely new detail record with the correct detail type would have to be added. Make the desired changes to the rest of the fields and click OK to save your changes.
When creating a new Record Type do not rename or edit any part of a detail type that already exists. Instead, you can create your own. Be sure you know ahead of time what you want to call the new detail type and what information you want stored in it. Do not label your custom detail type the same as one that already exists, as this could cause confusion, resulting in data inconsistency and/or corruption. Once you have everything ready, go to the Details tab of any contact record, right-click inside it and select New.
The “Detail Properties” window will pop up again. Add your new detail type to the lookup list of the “Detail:” field, so click the arrow to open the lookup list and then click the New button in the upper right.
Type in the name of the new detail type, click OK, and then click Select.
Now you are working with a new detail type and can create a separate lookup list for the “Reference:” field whose entries will only appear when working with that particular detail type.
Similarly you can decide which, if any, of the 12 other fields you want to use for extra data storage and give them proper labels and lookup lists. Clicking the Info tab will show that, by default, all 12 fields are turned on and given generic field labels. You can customize the labels by clicking on the Setup tab.
To turn one off, put at least two asterisks in place of the label. Otherwise, type in a new label. These labels should not be left blank so that the purpose of each field is clearly understood. To help you decide what field should be used for what data, the number inside the square brackets at the right of each field tells you how many characters it can hold. This number cannot be changed.
To save and review the new configuration, return to the Info tab click Yes to save the new field labels. Click Setup again to make any additional modifications, such as adding a field label that was not being used previously.
Any detail type, excluding “E-mail Address” and “Website”, can be given its own tab from the Setup tab, and then typing a label into the “Tab Name:” field at the bottom. Once you’ve labeled the new tab, click on the Info tab and then Yes to confirm your changes to the detail type.
Giving a detail type its own tab means that the date, the “Reference:” field, and up to the first six fields being used in the Info tab will be displayed for each record in that new tab. Be sure not to assign a tab name that is already being used. You can also assign the new tab a hot key by typing an ampersand (&) in the tab name immediately before the letter you wish to use as the hot key, thereby allowing anyone to press <CTRL> and the assigned letter to quickly jump to the tab. Only up to two tabs can share a hot key.
You can now add a detail record of that particular detail type from the new tab. Right-click anywhere within the tab, select New and the “Detail:” field will already contain the corresponding detail type. Any changes or additions made in such a tab automatically propagate to the Details tab as well (and vice versa) because it’s the same data, just displayed in separate locations for convenient viewing.
When a detail record entry gets deleted, the detail type still exists. In order to remove a detail type, you must remove it from the lookup list of the “Detail:” field within the “Detail Properties” window. Note, however, that if a tab exists for a given detail type, that tab name should be removed before the detail type is deleted. Deleting a detail type does not delete any of the detail records that were created with it. They will still be accessible from the Details tab and must be deleted separately if you no longer want them there either.
Deleting a detail record is as easy as right-clicking on the desired record and selecting Delete.