20.1 Copying data from one computer to another
On old computer
Bring up a dos prompt by choosing start then run and typing the word command.
Type the following :-
copy *.tax a:
copy *.dbf a:
On new computer
Bring up a dos prompt by choosing start then run and typing the word command.
Type the following :-
copy a:*.tax forbesprotax
copy a:*.dbf forbesclients
Alternatively you could use start/search(find) to look for *.tax in your forbes folder and copy these across using explorer.
You could then copy the client database (clients.dbf) in the forbesclients folder.
20.2 Using browse.exe to edit time ledgers
browse.exe is a general purpose editor for .dbf files (dbase 3).
It can therefore be used to edit the tempus time ledger (time.dbf) and invoice database (invoice.dbf).
20.3 Creating old style icons
With release 2003.1 we made the decision to group the many different Forbes icons into folders such as tax and company secretarial.
We also added a web page style method of invoking the program.
If you wish to revert to the old style icons :-
20.4 Manually creating shortcuts
This section covers creating shortcuts to our software.
To create a shortcut, right click on the desktop and choose “New shortcut”.
The following sections detail what to fill in under target.
20.4.2 Form based software
All our form based software, e.g. tax returns and company forms is based on protax.exe.
The shortcut target should be for example “c:forbesprotaxprotax.exe /F sa100_%d.frm”.
The “c:forbesprotaxprotax.exe” indicates the program.
Amend this as necessary if your ProTax is installed elsewhere.
The /F (forward slash followed by capital F) indicates you want a specific form loaded.
The sa100_%d.frm indicates you want the sa100 for the current year.
Other examples could be “sa800_%d.frm” or “ct600_%d.frm” or “p11d_%d.frm”.
It also possible, though not recommended to create a shortcut to a form for a particular year.
For example putting sa100_05.frm after the /F would always load the 2005 return.
The shortcut target should be for example “c:forbesclientsclients.exe c:forbesclientsclients.dbf”.
The first part of the shortcut is specifying the program to run, e.g. clients.exe and the latter part which database to load.
It is therefore possible to use the client database program with multiple databases.
20.4.4 Other programs
The other programs, the target is generally just the executable (.exe) file.
|tax office database||c:forbesclientsclients.exe c:forbesprotax ax.dbf|
20.5 VT software
In VT choose Data then Export
In ProTax, bring up some self-employement or partnership pages and choose Edit then Paste boxes
20.6 ProTax field names
Each field on the form has a field name. These are used in Excel, OLE, ODBC and clipboard links and in the .tax file format.
20.6.2 Finding the field names
Click on a field then choose Help then Field Name. Alternatively, to view all field names on the printed form press CTRL ALT and F1 and select the Field names item from the menu. Print the return.
20.6.3 Special field names
The following fields do not correspond to boxes on the return
|form||the form to use||sa100_00.frm|
|year||the year of the return||00|
|subforms[x]||a list of additional pages to include||E 1|
|rid||the return ID printed along the top of each page||D G Forbes 11111 22222|
|barcode||the barcode to print on the return||-95204466782H319001m|
|modify_time||a time stamp of when the return was last changed||957795649|
20.6.4 The .tax file format
The .tax file format is a simple text file that can be opened using notepad. The entries on the form appear one per line, field name followed by one or more spaces, followed by a value.
Complete a tax return and open in notepad (or choose View then Source in ProTax).
20.7 ProTax Excel link
There are three ways of transferring data between Excel and ProTax.
The first method is by far the simplest.
Further information on the second method see section 20.8 Programming ProTax through OLE
This document will concentrate on the first.
20.7.1 Clipboard method
Produce in some part of your excel spreadsheet a couple of columns that summarise the data as in the
following example for self-employed income.
For further information on field names see section 20.6
An example excel spreadsheet is available here
20.8 Programming ProTax through OLE
20.8.2 Example in VB
Dim protax As Object
Set protax = CreateObject(“Forbes.Form”)
protax.SetField(“name”, “David Forbes”)
protax.SetField(“address_1″, “38 Station Rd”)
20.8.4 Field Names
Functions such as SetField and GetField require a field name as a parameter.
The field names are defined in the technical note 20.6.
Alternatively the names can be found using the OLE functions GetNumberOfFields() and GetFieldName().
|ShowFieldNames||none||none||display the field names on the return – useful during development|
|SetForm||string:form||none||selects a form e.g. SA100_00.FRM or SA800_99.FRM|
|GetNumberOfFields||none||integer||returns number of fields on the form|
|GetFieldName||integer: index||string: field name||returns the name of the nth field|
|SetField||string:name, string: value||none||sets a field and updates display|
|SetFieldData||string:name, string: value||none||sets a field without updating display|
|GetField||string:name||string:value||Gets the value of a field|
|LoadClient||string:name||none||Loads a client|
|SetPage||integer: page number||none||Changes the page showing|
|SetPrefix||string:prefix||none||All setfields will be prefixed by e.g. "SE1."|
|Calculate||none||none||re calculates boxes on page|
|Goto||string:name||none||moves focus to a particular box|
|SelectClient||string: path||none||loads data|
|SaveClient||string: path||none||saves data to disk|
20.9 ProTax ODBC link
By default, ProTax stores each tax return for each year in a separate .tax file, e.g. smithj99.tax, smithj00.tax. It is also possible to set ProTax to store all tax returns for all clients in a table in an ODBC compliant database. It is also possible to switch between implementations. ODBC drivers are available for a wide range of databases incluing Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL server, dBase, FoxPro, Oracle, Informix, DB/2. Typical by default the drivers for Access and SQL server will be installed. For other databases, refer to the database vendors documentation for instructions on installing a driver. Once you have the driver installed you need to create an empty database, or make an existing database available for ProTax to create tables in. For Microsoft Access users there is a suitable empty database called forbes.mdb in the c:forbesclients directory.
20.9.1 Setting up an alias, creating the tables
In order to use a database throught ODBC you need to set up an alias through the ODBC icon in control panel. This alias should be “FORBES”. For most databases this step has been automated within ProTax. You will also need to create tables in the database. Again this step has been automated. If for any reason the automated setup has failed please contact technical support before attempting to set up the tables yourself. To start the setup, run ProTax. Once ProTax is up and running, press CTRL ALT and F1 at the same time. This will bring up the hidden advanced menu of ProTax. Towards the bottom of the menu, select the entry “Create ODBC tables”. You will be taken step by step through creating the ODBC alias for your data source and the creation of the tables. Once the tables have been created you will be able to use ProTax exactly as outlined in the normal manual, however the open and save operations will now read and write to the ODBC datasource.
20.9.2 Settings in protax.ini
After you have set up the odbc link there are several ini file settings that you can alter.
The settings shown above indicate that ProTax should load data from the ODBC source, save data back to the ODBC source and the ODBC source is called FORBES. By altering these settings it is possible to use more than one database (by changing the dsn line) or to import from the database and save to flat files (open=1, save=0) etc.
20.9.3 Structure of the data
The main table, TAXDATA, contains 4 columns. The first two, client code and year select the appropriate return. THe remaining two, BOX and VAL contain the data for the boxes on the return. The box names are defined in the technical note ProTax field names.
20.10 Adobe portable document format (PDF)
Adobe PDF format is a portable document format. PDF is a universal file format that preserves the fonts, images, graphics, and layout of any source document,
regardless of the application and platform used to create it.
Many documents are available in this format because anyone, anywhere can open a PDF file. All you need is free Adobe Reader software.
To view these documents you can use the free Acrobat reader from Adobe.
In all likelyhood this is already installed on your machine and
you will probably have viewed pdf files before. If you think you need the
pdf viewer, visit www.adobe.com.
20.10.3 Creating PDF files
To create PDFs you need more than just the basic Adobe viewer. PDF writers are available from many different companies, with
varying degrees of quality of output. Adobe distiller, the seminal software, is availabe for around £195. There are a number of cheaper
alternatives which are listed below. The pdf creator installs as a ‘virtual’ printer.
This means that whatever software you are using, if it is capable of printing, it can produce pdf files.
When you have completed your document, e.g. a ProTax tax return, or an excel spreadsheet, just go to file, then print, and
select the pdf creator rather than your default printer.
20.11 PDF import
See section 20.10 for more information of on Adobe PDF format.
The pdf program described below, enables you to view a pdf file and then extract data using input masks.
20.12 XML Format
ProTax supports an xml format for tax returns.
They can be read simply by choosing File Open or passing the path on the command line.