A feature lacking in Author-it is the ability to get a list of the variables defined in your library. Sure, you can do screen captures of the variables from within the Author-it Administrator, but it is not very convenient, especially if you want to manipulate the variables in a spreadsheet or text file.

Below is how I get a list of variables, and their default values, from Author-it. There are two methods – depending on whether you are using an SQL Server or Jet library.

Notes and warnings:

  • Only use these methods if you have a sound knowledge of SQL and databases. Using these methods you access the Author-it database directly. Although the SQL commands are ‘read-only’ commands, if you do not know what you are doing, you could cause serious damage to your Author-it Library.
  • If you are using a Jet library, you will need the database password. This password can only be obtained from Author-it, so do not ask me for it (and they may not give it to you)!

 

Using SQL Server 2005

  1. Open Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio and connect to the server.
  2. Expand the Database node in the tree and select your Author-it database.
  3. Right-click on your database and select the New Query option.
  4. In the query window, enter the following query:
    SELECT NAME, DESCRIPTION, VARIABLE_VALUE FROM VARIABLE v, VARIABLE_OBJT vo
     WHERE v.VARIABLE_ID = vo.VARIABLE_ID
       AND vo.OBJT_ID=0
       AND vo.JOB_ID=0
     ORDER BY NAME
  5. Click the Execute button.
  6. In the Results tab, right-click and select the Select All option.
  7. Right-click again and select Copy.
  8. Paste into Excel.
  9. Format and print.

 

Using Jet and Microsoft Access 2007

  1. Open the Author-it library in Access:
    • Open Microsoft Access.
    • Click the 'Orb' and select the Open option.
    • Navigate to the folder where your Author-it library is located.
    • Show all files by selecting 'All Files (*.*)' in the file type drop-down list.
    • Select the Author-it library and click the Open button.
    • Enter the database password and click the OK button.
  2. From the Ribbon, select the Create tab and then click the Query Design button (in the Other group).

    The Show Table dialogue box is displayed.
  3. Click the Close button.
  4. From the Ribbon, click the View button (in the Results group) to show the SQL query window.
  5. In the query window, enter the following query:
    SELECT NAME, DESCRIPTION, VARIABLE_VALUE FROM VARIABLE v, VARIABLE_OBJT vo
     WHERE v.VARIABLE_ID = vo.VARIABLE_ID
       AND vo.OBJT_ID=0
       AND vo.JOB_ID=0
     ORDER BY NAME
  6. From the Ribbon, click the Run button.
  7. Press Ctrl-A to select all of the results.
  8. Press Ctrl-C to copy the results.
  9. Paste into Excel.
  10. Format and print.

 

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