Working with Filters

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
What are Filters

 

Filters are used to limit the set of records that are visible and displayed in the Display Window to those that meet the filter(s) specifications.

 

Filters are viewed and managed in a separate window, the Filter Management Window. You can open that window in three ways:

  • By clicking on the funnel icon (     ) on the toolbar of the Display Window. 

  • By selecting the Filter Management submenu option under the Windows menu item 

  • By using the key shortcut 'shift-command-F'.

 

Like Records, Filters are copied to iCloud (when the iCloud feature is used) and synced between devices connected to the same iCloud account.

 

Note that there are three categories of filters: those created automatically by the application (identified with an [a] next to their title), those that are imported as part of a Pre-Built Timelines (identified with an [i] next to their title) and those created by you.

Automatically Created Filters

The application automatically creates filters that are based on the tags associated with Records. Hence, for every tag used by your Records, a separate filter will be automatically created by the app and added to the database under the 'My Tags' group. A special 'untagged' filter is created for all untagged records.

 

A 'Show all records' filter is also created by default and is the active filter the first time the app is started.

Note that all automatically created filters are identified with the letter [a] before their title.

Automatically created filters cannot be edited, viewed or deleted by the user.

 

Imported Filters

When you select to try or buy a Pre-Built Database, the database comes with its own set of filters. Those filters are identified by the letter [i] before their title.

 

Like the automatically created filters, imported filters cannot be edited, viewed or deleted by the user.

User Created Filters

Users can create their own filters to help them manage the records in the database. To create a new filters, tap on the “+” icon on the Filter Toolbar of the Filter Management Window. A new window, the Filter Components Window (shown below) will appear where you can define your filter. See next section for those details.​

Filter Management Window

 

Filters are viewed and managed in the Filter Management Window shown  below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The window is divided into 3 parts:

  1. A Filter Toolbar

  2. A left 'All Filters’ table that lists all the filters saved in the database(s)

  3. A right ‘Active Filters’ (or 'Selected Filter') table that contains the filters that are selected and currently active

 

The following sections describe the content of each part.

Filter Toolbar

The Filter Toolbar provides acess to the following features (starting form the left):

  • “+” which opens the Filter Components Window where you can define a new filter.

  • "Search field" which provides a mechanism to search for a filter amongst those listed in the windows

  • (     ) which will show the value of the filter being applied

  • (     ) which will remove all the filters from the Active Filters table.​

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All Filters

The left part of the Filter Management Window displays a table that lists all the filters in the database.

 

The filters are shown using an outline format that structure the filters into their defined Groups and SubGroups.

 

The example in Figure 1 shows 3 Groups of filters: ‘Generic’, 'My Filters' and ‘My Tags’. Furthermore, the ‘My Filters’ Group has two SubGroups named 'Compound Filters' and 'Simple Filters'. The other two groups have no defined subgroups which result in the filters being grouped into a 'None' subgroup.

 

You can define the Groups and SubGroups to use when you create your filters (see the ‘Filter Components’ section).

 

Two Groups are special: ‘Generic’ and ‘My Tags’. Both are created automatically by Istoriam. 

 

‘Generic’ is the default Group and is created with the “Show all records” filter. While you can add, delete and edit filters to the ‘Generic’ Group, you cannot do any of these functions to the “Show all records” filter. 

 

‘My Tags’ group contains special Filters that filter the database based on the tags you added to you records. For every tag you used with your Records, a corresponding filter will be added to this group. You cannot add, edit or delete filters from this Group. 

 

The filters are listed in the table within their defined Subgroups. Each filter is displayed showing the filter title and description with 4 associated icons:

  • (     ) to see the value of the filter

  • (     ) to edit the filter

  • (     ) to delete the filter

  • (     ) arrow to select the filter

 

Note that some of those icons might be disabled based on the type of the filters, the details of which are described in the next sections.

 

Finally note that next to each filter title additional set of characters might appear. Those are:

  • [a] for filter created automatically by the application

  • [c] to identify the compound filters

  • [i] for filters that are imported from the Pre-Built Databases

 

Active Filters

The right part of the Filter Management Window contains a table of the filters that were selected and that you want to apply on the database.

 

A Left arrow is associated with each filter to de-select it.

 

A boolean ‘OR’ will be used on all the filters that are listed in that table. E.g., if you apply two filters, Filter 1 and Filter 2, the Display Window will display all the records that satisfy either Filter 1 OR Filter 2 (or both).

 

Applying Filters

 

To apply a filter click on the 'right pointing arrow' icon next to the filter name. The filter will then be added to the Active Filters table. The new set of active filters will automatically be applied on the database and the displayed records updated.

 

The application uses a Boolean OR between all the filters listed in the Active Filters table, i.e., the app will display all the records that satisfy ANY of the filters listed in the table (as opposed to the Boolean AND that would display records that satisfy ALL the filters).

 

Un-Applying Filters

 

To un-apply a filter click on the 'left pointing arrow' icon next to the filter name in the Active Filters table. The filter will then be removed from the Active List table. The new set of active filters will automatically be applied on the database and the displayed records updated.

 

If no filter is left in the Active List, then all the records in the database will be displayed.

 

Deleting a Filter

 

To delete a filter, just click on the 'trash can' icon next to the filter name.

Note that you cannot delete:

  • Filters that are active. To delete an active filter, remove that filter from the Active Filters table first.

  • Filters that are created automatically by the app. Those filters are indicated with the letter [a] before the name of the filter.

  • Filters that are imported as part of the Pre-Built Timelines. Those filters are indicated with the letter [i] before the name of the filter.

 

Editing a Filter

To edit a filter, just click on the 'pencil' icon next to the filter name. The Filter Components Window will appear with the fields already pre-populated with the filter components. Change the components as desired then save the changes. If the filter is active, the new specifications of the filter will be automatically applied.

Note that you cannot edit:

  • Filters that are created automatically by the app. Those filters are indicated with the letter [a] before the name of the filter.

  • Filters that are imported as part of the Pre-Built Timelines. Those filters are indicated with the letter [i] before the name of the filter.

 

You can however edit filters that are active.

 

Viewing the value of a filter

 

To view the value of a filter without editing it, click on the 'eye' icon next to the filter name. A drop down window will appear with the filter name and its value.

 

Note that you cannot view the value of:

  • Filters that are created automatically by the app. Those filters are indicated with the letter [a] before the name of the filter.

  • Filters that are imported as part of the Pre-Built Timelines. Those filters are indicated with the letter [i] before the name of the filter.​

Filter Components Window

 

The Filters Components Window is divided into two parts: Filter Identifiers  and Filter Composition. The first identifies the filter while the second defines the filter predicates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filter Identifiers

Five identifiers are used to identify a filter. Those are:

  • Type

Two types of filters are supported: Simple and Compound.

Simple filters are filters that are defined using the Record Attributes, i.e., Start Date, End Date, Tags, Level, etc.

 

Two examples of a Simple Filter would be

  1. 'Start Date >= 1/1/1901 AND Start Date <= 12/31/2000' (with a name = '20th Century') 

  2. 'Tags contain US' (with a name = 'US Events')

 

Compound filters, on the other hand, are filters that are built from Simple filters (or other Compound filters). An example of a Compound filter (using the previously two defined Simple Filters) could be: ''20th Century' AND 'US Events'', which would return the US events that took place in the 20th century 

 

  • Name

The Name given to the filter. Any string text is accepted.

 

  • Group: 

Filters are categorized into Groups (and Subgroups) to facilitate the navigation through a long list of filters. The Group field assigns the filter to a group. You can add a Group to the list of existing ones by clicking on the + icon next to the drop down field.

 

  • SubGroup: 

The SubGroup field assigns the filter to a subgroup within the filter's Group. The SubGroup drop down list will only show the SubGroups that are already created under the selected Group. You can add a SubGroup to the list of existing ones by clicking on the + icon next to the drop down field.

 

  • Description

A short description of the filter. Any string text is accepted. Note that this field is optional and can be left empty.

 

An example of a filter identifiers would be:

  • Type: Simple
  • Name: Georges Washington

  • Group: US Leaders

  • SubGroup: US Presidents

  • Description: Records describing US events during Washington's presidency

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Filter Composition

This section is where you defines the rules to be used for filtering. The content of this section will vary based on whether you are defining a Simple or a Compound filter.

 

Simple Filter Option

When creating a simple filter, three drop down menu are provided:

  • Predicate: where you select the predicate to be used. Supported predicates are: Record Type, Start Date, End Date, Tags, Level and Parent ID.

  • Operations: the operation to be executed on the predicate. The list of possible operations will vary based on the selected predicate. Example of operations would be '=', '>', etc.

  • Value: the value of the predicate to be filtered on. Here too, the accepted values will be dependent on the selected predicate.

 

Once the three attributes are defined, click on the 'Add' button to add that rule to the filter definition.

 

An example of a Simple filter rule could be: Tags contains 'georgewashington'.

 

You can add as many rules as you want. When many rules are used, Boolean operators (OR, AND or NOT) will be used to join them. You can also bundle the rules with parentheses.

 

Two ‘Up’ and ‘Down’ arrows are provided to change the order of the added rules.

 

Once you have completed the definition of your filter, click on the “Save” button to save it.

 

Compound Filter option

When creating a compound filter, a single drop down menu is provided that list all the filters already saved in the database. A text field is also provided that display the description of the selected filter in the drop down menu.

 

Select the filters (one at a time) that you want to add to the filter you are creating then click on the 'Add' button to add it to the filter definition.

 

You can add as many filters as you want. When many filters are used, Boolean operators (OR, AND or NOT) will be used to join them. You can also bundle the filters with parentheses.

 

Two ‘Up’ and ‘Down’ arrows are provided to change the order of the added rules.

 

Once you have completed the definition of your filter, click on the “Save” button to save it.