Jaap's Psion II Page

FileMaster IV Manual

The 1988 FileMaster manual is also available from this site. That manual has a completely different text, and is relevant only to the older version of FileMaster for 2-line machines. The manual below is for FileMaster IV, which works on both 2-line and 4-line machines.

Below is a page of amendments and additions, followed by the manual itself.

FileMaster IV
Amendments and additions

Printing Prompts p30

Prompts are only printed when the format is set to Label or Column Format. This is in flat contradiction to the last paragraph of page 30 but then, no manual is perfect.

Autoloading a file p47

The autoload feature will only work if the device letter (A, B, or C) is in capitals. If you type in the procedure as


it will return the message "BAD DEVICE NAME".

Datestamp p42

Many people have commented that this very powerful feature of FileMaster is only mentioned in passing on this one page of the manual.

If you create prompts for a file and end one of the names of the fields with the asterisk character (for instance if you call one field DATE* ) that field will always be set to the system date when you create a new record.

The ability to set upper and lower numeric limits on the numbers input is also described on pages 42 and 43, and is consequently missed by many people.


March 1991


Data management for the Psion Organiser II

© 1988, 1989 Widget Software Ltd
All rights reserved.

This manual and the programs referred to herein are copyrighted works of Widget Software Ltd, Knebworth, Herts, UK. Copyright registered with the US Copyright Office at the Library of Congress.

Limitation of liability

If, within 12 months of purchase this software can be shown to the reasonable satisfaction of Widget Software Ltd to be faulty and not the function substantially as described in the user manual, Widget Software Ltd will refund the purchase price or replace the product.

Apart from this warranty, Widget Software Ltd will not in any event be liable for loss, including consequential loss, caused by any error, defect or failure of the software, or howsoever otherwise arising, including but not limited to loss of use, loss of stored data, loss of profit or loss of contracts.


Cartoons by John Redmond, Leicester, UK
Printed by Horace Weaver, St. Anne's, Lancs, UK.

Paralink is a trademark of Widget Software Ltd.
Psion Organiser II, Datapak and Rampak are trademarks of Psion plc.
IBM is a trademark of International Business Machines, Inc.
Crosstalk is a trademark of Digital Communications Associates.
Mirror is a trademark of SoftKlone Distributing Corporation.


1. Introduction 2. What is a file ? 3. Starting with FileMaster IV 4. Getting around the file list 5. The File menu 6. Selection 7. Using Print 8. Opening a file 9. The record menu 10. Other ways into FileMaster 11. DPRINT 12. Copying FileMaster, Using memory INDEX


FileMaster IV is the latest version of the popular FileMaster package for the Psion Organiser II.

The new version works on both the four line screen of the Psion Organiser Model LZ or LZ64 and the two line screen of earlier models. The program will automatically detect whether you are using a two line or four line model and adjust its screen display accordingly.

FileMaster IV also includes several very powerful improvements over previous versions including

2. What is a file ?

Every trade has its own jargon, and computer programming is famous (or infamous) for it. In general, FileMaster attempts to protect the user from computer terminology. However, learning the exact meaning that programmers give to the words field, record and file, will help you a great deal in reading this manual, and that of any other database program you use.

D. W. Smith   202 3456   24 Rosslyn Hill   Hampstead

an example record
Suppose that you have saved this name and address, illustrated on an LZ screen.

On an XP, only two lines of the address would be shown.

Each line is called a field. The first field is the name D. W. Smith. The second field is the telephone number 202 3456. The illustration shows the first four fields. There may be other fields which are not displayed on the screen.

The whole address is called a record. A record does not have to be an address - it could just as easily be one of the items on a price list or a parts list. On the Organiser you can have up to 16 fields in each record.

Records are grouped into files. An address list is a file of address records. A price list is a file of records each of which store details about certain items for sale. You can keep adding records to a file until the pack on which the file is kept is full. There is no limit on the number of records you can have, other than the size of Datapak or Rampak you have.

2.1. File Names

Every file which is created must have a name. That name must start with a letter and can have up to eight characters.

For example, DATABASE, FILE2, and MYFILE are all examples of valid file names. A file name may include a number, as in FILE2, but is cannot begin with one.

On the Organiser, files can be stored either on the A: drive (which is part of the RAM inside the Organiser) or in the B: or C: drives in the side of the machine.

When FileMaster needs to know what file you are going to use, you must tell it which drive the file is on as well as the file name.

For example, if you have a file called DATABASE on a Datapak which is in drive B:, FileMaster will refer to it as B:DATABASE. If you take the Datapak out of B: and put it in C:, the file will become C:DATABASE.

2.2. The MAIN file

Each Datapak or Rampak comes with one file already set up. This file is called MAIN. You have probably been using the MAIN file already without realising it.

When you use the FIND and SAVE options on the Organiser's top level menu, you are finding and saving records in the MAIN file on each pack.

For instance, if you FIND WIDGET on A:, the Organiser will look for all the records containing the word WIDGET in the file A:MAIN.

The top level FIND and SAVE will not look in any other file on A:. Suppose you use FileMaster to open a new file called A:STOCK and you save a number of stock records in it. If you then leave FileMaster, go to the top level menu and use the FIND command, you will not find anything in your stock file. This does not mean that the items in the stock file have been lost - it just means that the top level FIND command is not looking in the right place.


up to 16 fields in each records
as many records as you like in each file
FileMaster allow you to keep up to 110 files on each Datapak

3. Starting with FileMaster IV

To start FileMaster for the first time

When you start FileMaster for the first time the screen should look like this: -

2 line screen4 line screen

This screen is the start of the file list.

FileMaster always starts by showing you the list of files on your Organiser. This lets you decide which file you are going to work on.

When you start FileMaster for the first time, A:MAIN will be the first file name displayed. All Organisers should have a file called A:MAIN. The figure 5 signifies that, in this example, there are five records saved in this file.

When you start FileMaster again, it will start by displaying the name of the file you looked at most recently.

3.1. How to enter data

This section is written for impatient people who like to get on and try using a program before reading all the details. It shows you how to start a new file and enter a record. More methodical people, might like to read the next couple of chapters before coming back to this section.

One of the first things that many people want to do with FileMaster is to create a new file and enter some data in that file.

Run VU, as described above, and when the file list appears on the screen

  1. Press [N]. This is a short cut to pressing the [MODE] key and then choosing Newfile.
  2. Enter the name of the new file. If you want to change the drive letter, press [MODE]. Press [EXE] when you have finished.

    If FileMaster accepts your name, you go straight into the new file. As you have just created the file, it is empty. The screen should show the message ****EMPTY FILE****.
  3. Suppose you want to store a parts list. You want to store a part number on the first line, the selling price on the second line and the buying price on the third.

    A new file will be empty

    Press [P] for Prompt. (again this is a short cut for pressing the [MODE] key then choosing the Prompt option on the record menu).

    You should be on the first line of a list of line numbers. These numbers are the default prompts.

  4. To change the default prompts to PART, SELL AT and BUY AT -

    Press [ON/CLEAR] to remove the repeated number 1 on line 1 and type in PART instead. Press the [↓] key to move to line 2.

    Press [ON/CLEAR] to remove the repeated number 2 and type in SELL AT. Press [↓] to move to line 3.

    Press [ON/CLEAR] to delete the repeated number 3, and type in BUY AT.

    Press [EXE] and the program will set the new prompts and return to the ***EMPTY FILE*** message.

    PART:   SELL AT: PART:   SELL AT:   BUY AT:   4:
    2 line screen4 line screen
  5. Next press [S] to save a new record. The screen should look like one of the diagrams above.

    Type in a part number on the first line. Press the [↓] key to move onto the second line and then enter a selling price.

    Press [↓] again to move onto the third line and enter a buying price, then press [EXE] to save the record.

    Until you press [EXE] you can go back and change anything you have entered.

    When you have saved the record, FileMaster will return to the input screen, in case you want to save another record If you do not want to save another record, press [ON/CLEAR] once.

4. Getting around the file list

[MODE] [SPACE] and [EXE] are three of most important keys which you can press to lead to different functions. The effect of these keystrokes are shown on the map of FileMaster IV on page 12.

You can also use the arrow keys to move up and down through the file list. The [↓] key moves on to the next file, the [↑| key moves back to the last file. [→] moves on to the first file in the next pack and [←] moves back to the first file in the last pack.

Before you start opening or using files, try moving up and down through the file list just to get used to it.

4.1. The File and Record menus

FileMaster does too many things for all its commands to be listed on one menu. The different commands, are split into two menus - the File menu and the Record menu.

To reach the File menu -

  1. if the file list is on the screen, pressing the [MODE] key will bring you to the File menu. Alternatively, pressing the initial letter of one of the options on the File menu will take you straight there. For example, pressing [P] will take you straight to the Print command.
  2. if the screen is showing actual data or you are in the record menu, you can get to the file menu by pressing [ON/CLEAR].

To get to the Record menu, you must have opened a file. You open a file by pressing [SPACE] when the its name appears on the screen in the file list.

When you have opened a file and the screen shows the contents of a record, pressing [MODE] takes you to the Record menu. As with the File menu, you can go directly to one of its options by pressing the initial letter of the option.

The file list, the File menu and the Record menu are all shown on the FileMaster structure map.

Forgotten your filename ?

If you have forgotten which file contains the information you want, use the special SEARCH program, described in chapter 10.2.

FileMaster IV

5. The File menu

The options on the file menu are: Opening the current file, Newfile, Print, Select, Sort, Copy, Delete, Rename and Total. They are all operations which are performed on a whole file.

5.1. To open the current file.

The first item on the menu is the name of the current file. If you press [EXE] when the cursor is on top of the name of the current file you will open the file. You are then in the record display part of FileMaster.

Choosing the first option on the file menu is equivalent to pressing [SPACE] when the name at file is displayed on the file list.

5.2. Newfile

allows you to open a file other than the current file or to create and open a file which does not exist.

When you choose Newfile, FileMaster asks for the name of the file you want to use. Pressing [MODE] will change the drive letter for the file from A: to B: to C:. The rest of the name must be entered from the keyboard.

If there is no file with the new file name you have given, FileMaster will assume you want to open a file of that name. When you start a new file, it will be empty.

If the filename you have given does exist, the existing file will be opened. You are then in the record display part of FileMaster.

For example, suppose the current file is A:MAIN and you want to get into a file called C:XXX without going through the whole list of files one by one. Choosing Newfile, then entering C:XXX as the name will go directly into the record display part of FileMaster in file C:XXX.

5.3. Print

allows selected records to be printed in a range of formats.

When you first select the Print option, the word PRINT: appears on the screen. If you want to print all the records in the current file, just press [EXE]. If you want to specify which records to print, refer to the next chapter which describes how you can tell FileMaster the selection criteria you want.

5.4. SORT

sorts the current file into alphabetical or numeric order. You can sort on a primary and a secondary field within your file.

First choose which field you want to be the primary key. For example, suppose your file contains a list of names with the surname on the first field and the Christian (or given) name on the second field. To sort in alphabetical order by surname, choose field 1 as the primary key by moving the cursor on top of the field number 1 and then pressing [EXE]. Then choose ascending order.

Now suppose there are seven people called SMITH on your list. You want SMITH, ADAM to be sorted before SMITH, JOHN. Choose field 2, the Christian (or given) name, as the secondary sort field, again in ascending order.

Sort leaves records in alphabetical or numerical order

When FileMaster finds two primary fields are equal, as happens when two people both have the surname SMITH, FileMaster will then look at the secondary field, where it will sort SMITH, ADAM before SMITH, JOHN.

In sorting, no distinction is made in FileMaster between upper and lower case. Numbers are sorted before letters - i.e. 1st Class Motors will be sorted before A1 Motors.

Punctuation marks and spaces are considered to come before both numbers and letters, so that #1 Motors will be sorted before 1st Class Motors.

5.5. Select

allows selected records to be copied to another file. The next chapter tells you how you can specify which records are selected.

Once you have said which records are to be selected, you must then say which file they are to be copied to.


asks if the records should only be copied (leaving the original copies in the current file)

or whether they should be transferred, in which case all the records will be moved from the current file to the new file.

If you choose TRANSFER, the records in the current file will be deleted after they have been copied to the new file.

5.6. Copy

copies all of the current file to another file. You will need to enter the name of the file you want to copy the records to.


As with Select, COPY leaves the original records in place, whereas TRANSFER copies the originals across then deletes them from the current file.

5.7. Del

deletes the current file. You are given a chance to change your mind. If you delete a MAIN file, all the records in the file will be erased, but the file itself will immediately be re- created with no records inside.

You can also delete a file directly from the file list by pressing the [DEL] key.

Warning: this command deletes all the records in a file. If you only want to remove one record, use the Delete command on the record menu instead.

5.8. Rename

renames the current file. Note that you cannot rename a MAIN file.

5.9. Total

will add up all the figures on one field of the current file. If you have not set any field names the next screen will be a menu with the following options:-

TOTAL_1: 2: 3:   4: 5: 6: 7: 8:

TOTAL menu on 2 line screen
If you choose the TOTAL_1:, FileMaster will work of the total all the numbers in field 1 of every record in the file. If you choose 2:, FileMaster will work out the total of every number in field 2.


Suppose you had only two records in a file :-

Record 1Record 2
Field1:1 inch nails2 inch nails

If you use the Total option on field 2, the answer given will be 52.

Total will ignore all characters after the first character which is not part of a number.

If you totalled field one in this example, the answer would be 3, as FileMaster would ignore the part of the record containing the text ' inch nails'.

6. Selection

When you use Select or Print from the file menu, or Find from the record menu or the separate Search command, you can specify the range of records you want to see very accurately, using a range of logical commands.

This chapter illustrates how the you tell FileMaster to select records with the Select command. Print, Find and Search specify which records to choose in exactly the same way.

6.1. Text selection

Lets take Select as an example. Suppose you want to copy all selected records from the file C:MAIN to file B:MAIN.

Make C:MAIN the current file in the file list by pressing the arrow keys to move up or down through the list. Press [S] as the short cut to Select on the file menu, then press [EXE].

The screen will now show the word SELECT on the top line. The simplest type of selection is to select all the records containing a word or phrase.

For example, if you type LONDON next to SELECT and press [EXE] when the word AND: appears on the screen, and FileMaster will copy all the records containing the word LONDON to the other file.

FileMaster can also copy all the records containing the word LONDON and the name SMITH. Simply enter SMITH on the second line next to the AND: on the screen.

Now suppose you wanted to copy all the records containing the word LONDON or the word EDINBURGH. Enter LONDON on the first line, then when the word AND: appears on the screen, press the [MODE] key. AND changes to OR, then you can enter EDINBURGH on the OR line.

SELECT PRINT and FIND look through a
file using up to five search clues.

Up to five words or phrases can be used as search clues in this way. FileMaster continues asking for clues until you press [EXE] without entering another search clue. You can mix AND and OR in one search as many times as you like.

If you search for LONDON AND SMITH OR EDINBURGH, FileMaster will find all the records containing LONDON and SMITH and all the records containing EDINBURGH, whether or not they contain SMITH. In mathematical terms, it will find (LONDON AND SMITH) OR EDINBURGH. FileMaster will always evaluate joint AND and OR statements from the front.

6.2. Numeric example

FileMaster can also select records numerically. For example, suppose C:PRICE is a price list file. The first field of each line contains the name of a product and the second contains its price.

If you make C:PRICE the current file and enter
SELECT :2>20
then press [EXE] to ignore the AND, FileMaster will copy all the records in C:PRICE where the price (the second field) is greater than twenty.

SELECT :2=20
will copy all the items with a price (the second field) equal to twenty.

You can use

= equals
< less than
> greater than
<= less than or equals
>= greater than or equals
<> not equals

in any combination of AND and OR. The number on the left hand side of the sign must be the field number, between 1 and 16.

6.3. Numeric example

Suppose you are selecting from a file listing all the microcomputers used in one organisation. Each record contains details about one microcomputer.

The structure of each record is as follows:

Field 1: Brand name of computer
Field 2: Location
Field 3: Internal RAM
Field 4: Hard Disk capacity (if any).

A typical record might be
1: Olivetti M24
2: Reception desk
3: 512 KB
4: 20 MB

Even though there are letters as well as numbers on lines 3 and 4, you can use Select to copy numerically specified groups of the computers.

For instance SELECT :3>256 will select all computers with an internal RAM grater than 256 KB.

If Select is looking for a number, it will ignore all characters after the first character which is not part of a number. In this case, the space is the first character which is not a number, and Select will evaluate the characters on line 3 before the space.

6.4. Comparing letters

You can also select records by comparing letters.

will copy all the records where the first field begins with letter below M in the alphabet.

Numbers, spaces and most punctuation marks are considered to be less than the alphabetic letters, so a record which started with a number would be selected as well.

In FileMaster, no distinction is made between upper and lower case letters, so that SELECT :1<m will have the same effect as SELECT :1<M.

Equals or includes

If you use equals in comparing letters, the entire length of the fields is used when deciding whether which are exactly equal to the letters given will be selected.

SELECT :1=M will only find records where the first field has only the one letter M. It would not select a record where the first field was "MICKEY MOUSE".

If you want to find all records which include the name MICKEY at any point on the first line you must use the + sign.

SELECT :1+MICKEY will find all records in which MICKEY appears at any point on the first line. It does not have to be at the beginning of the line.

Similarly, the minus sign is used to select all records which do not contain a certain string on a given line.

SELECT :1-MICKEY would find all records which do not have MICKEY on the first line.


Although all the examples given are for the Select function on the File menu, FileMaster's Print, Find and Search commands use exactly the same rules.

finds all the records containing the name MICKEY, whichever line it appears on

finds all records where the first field is exactly MICKEY, no more no less. MICKEY MOUSE will not be found.

finds all records where the name MICKEY is on the first line. MICKEY MOUSE will be found, as will be MOUSE, MICKEY.

finds all records without MICKEY in the first record.

finds all records where the first field is below MICKEY in alphabetical order. M MOUSE will be included in this selection, because the space between M and MOUSE is counted as coming before the I in MICKEY.

SELECT :1<100
finds all records where the first field is a number less than 100. If the field is a mixture of numbers and letters, select will evaluate all the digits before the first non-numeric characters.

You can also use <=, >, >=, = and <> (not equals) in numeric expressions.

At any point, you can press [ON/CLEAR] to leave the selection criteria and go back to the last menu.

The Search command, described on page 45, uses the same method of joining search clues, but it looks for them in every record in every file on your Organiser. It can be very useful if you want to find a record, but cannot remember which file the record is in.

7. Using Print

FileMaster can print out to a printer, either through Widget's Paralink or through a Psion Comms Link. FileMaster's print options can also be used to send data to another computer.

7.1. Print and Rprint

There are two different print commands in FileMaster

  1. The Print option on the File menu is used to print a number of records out at once.
  2. The Rprint option of the record menu prints only the current record.

FileMaster allows you to print out selected data in a variety of different formats. You can only set the format to be used from the Print command on the File menu, but the format you choose affect printouts made from both print commands.

7.2. Rprint

Suppose you want to print out a single record which is in the file A:MAIN. The simplest way to do it is as follows:-

  1. Start VU from the top level Organiser menu and go though the file list. Press [EXE] until the file name A:MAIN appears.
  2. Press [SPACE] to enter the file A:MAIN. The first record of the file will be shown on the screen. If there are no records in A:MAIN the message ***EMPTY FILE*** will be displayed.
  3. If you want to print the first record in A:MAIN, press [R] for Rprint. If you want to print another record, to move to the record you want, then press [R] for Rprint.

If you want to change the format in which the printout appears, you will have to go into the format options of the main Print command.

7.3. Print command

If you want to print out more than one record at a time, use the Print command on the File menu. (If you cannot find your way to the File menu, look at the map on page 12 which explains the structure of FileMaster).

When you first choose the Print command the screen shows only the word PRINT. Print waits for you to say whether you want to select which records to print, or whether you want to print all the records in the current file.


Waiting for selection criteria
(2-line screen)
If you press the [EXE] key without entering a search clue Print will assume that you want to print all records in the current file.

If you want to define which records to print, you can select using all the text and numeric selection clues shown in chapter 6.

For example, you could at this point enter PRINT :3>100 which would print all the records where the third field started with a number greater than, 100. Refer back to chapter 6 if you want further details of how the selection criteria work - although all the examples given use the Select command, the Print command uses the same rules.


When the selection criteria have been entered the screen shows another menu. This menu allows you to change the format of the printout and to send the output to a file.

7.4.1. PRINT

The first option takes you straight to printing. It is put first on the menu so that you can just press [EXE] and go through to printing quickly.


allows you to change the format of the printout. If you choose the FORMAT option from this menu, the format menu comes on to the screen. Choosing one of these items decides how the records you print will appear when they are printed out.

For example, if you go to the format menu, move the cursor until it is over the word Commas, then press [EXE], you will have chosen Commas format. Until you go into the format menu again, everything printed out would come out in the form listed in the first example below.

Each time you go into the format menu, you can choose a different format. FileMaster will not change the format of its printouts until you go into the format menu again - there is no 'home' format to which printouts automatically return.

7.5. The format options

Commas format would print out the example record used on page 22 like this:-

Olivetti M24,Reception Desk,512 KB,10 MB

Spaces format would print out the example with spaces instead of the commas:-

Olivetti M24 Reception Desk 512 KB 10 MB

Newline format would print the record with each field on a new line rather than across:-

Olivetti M24 Reception Desk 512 KB 10 MB

Labels format would also print the record down the page, rather like Newline format. The differences between labels and newline format are

  1. labels are always printed out to a set length. Normally this is 10 lines. With Newline format, longer records use more lines than short ones.
  2. you can re-arrange labels so that some fields are missed out or so that the order of the fields are re-arranged.

If you try printing in label format and only blank lines appear on your printer, it probably means that you have not created a label layout. Before you can use label format, you have to create the layout of your label using Editlabl. This is described in the next section.

Columns format would print out the example record in columns of equal width across the page. This format is useful if you are printing a table of values.

Olivetti M24 Reception Desk 512 KB 20 MB

Page is not a format option of its own - it simply amends the size of page used to display records printed out in the main format you have chosen.

On most printers, A4 paper is usually 70 lines long, and continuous computer listings paper is usually 66 lines long.

At normal print sizes, most computer printers are usually 80 or 132 characters wide, although some portable printers (including the Psion printer) are only 40 or 20 characters wide.

Prompt is another option which amends the main format rather than being a format in its own right.

The prompt option on the Record menu allows you to give names to each field, to remind you what each field is.

If you choose the prompt option on the format menu, the message "Prompts on" will be displayed. Next time you print out, these prompts will also be printed out, whichever format you choose.

If you want to remove the prompts from the printout, just choose the prompt option on format menu again and the message "Prompts off" will be shown.

7.6. Editlabl

Before you can print out in label format you need to design the structure of the label you are going to use. You need to choose the Editlabl option to do this.

First the program asks the length of the label you are designing. The default length for a label is 10 lines, but you can set the label to be any length between 1 and 16 lines inclusive.

01:Blank...   02:Blank...   03:Blank...   04:Blank...

Editlabl - 4 line screen
When you first edit a label, all the lines will be set to blank.

The list of blank lines is actually a menu. To start creating your label, move the cursor onto the first line (the one starting 01:) and press [EXE].

FileMaster will then ask you to enter the number of the field which you want to print out on the first line of the label. If you want the first field to appear on the first line, enter the number '1' and press [EXE]. You will then return to the list of lines, with the number 1: on the first line.

1:   02:Blank...   03:Blank...   04:Blank...

Field 1 on line 1 of label
If you have set up prompts for the current file, the prompt for the first field will appear instead of the 1: on the top line.

For example, if the prompt for field 1 was "name", the word "name" would appear on line 1.

You can continue to build up the layout of the label by landing the cursor on a line of the layout, pressing [EXE] and entering the number of the field you want. You can change lines which you have already set in the same way.

If you enter 0 for the field number, the line will be blanked.

If you want to blank all the lines and start again, press C for Clear-All (one of the options at the bottom of the menu).

When you are happy with the layout you have set, either press [ON/CLEAR] or E for Exit. This label layout will remain in force for all files until you enter the Editlabl option to change it again.

7.7. Sending data to another computer

The Print command also allows you to send the selected records to another computer rather than to a printer.

You may want to do this so that you can use the formatted output from FileMaster on your other computer.

If you only want to send an unformatted file to another computer, you can already do this using the Transmit option of from the Comms menu. The Comms Link manual describes how to transmit files in this way.

This section describes how to send the formatted data which FileMaster can produce to another computer. How you do this, depends upon which communications program you are using on the other computer.

The standard Psion Comms Link includes a disk containing a program for an IBM PC called CL. Psion also manufactures a version of CL for the Apple Mac. Widget Software Ltd sell a program called Transfile ST CL, which performs the equivalent functions for an Atari ST.

7.7.1. Using a program other than CL or Transfile

For the most popular microcomputers, there are many communications programs available which can be used to communicate with the Psion Organiser II. There are several hundred on the market for IBM PC compatible computers, including CrossTalk, Mirror and Procomm Plus.

If you are using a communications program other than the PC or Mac version of CL or Transfile ST CL, then FileMaster can send data to your computer in exactly the same way as it sends data to a printer.

If you are using another communications program, set your program to receive ASCII text, choose the PRINT option on the PRINT FORMAT TO_FILE menu and FileMaster will send data to your computer.

7.7.2. Using CL or Transfile

The IBM PC and Mac version of CL and Transfile ST CL are not set up to receive plain ASCII text. They need to receive information controlled by the Psion protocol.

If you want to send data to a computer using CL or Transfile you have to save the formatted data on to one of the Organiser's packs, then transmit that file from the Comms Menu.

  1. Use the TO_FILE option on the Print form. FileMaster will ask you the name of the file you want to save data in.

    You will need to give the name of a file which can be used for storage. Use a new file or one which you know is empty.

    Since the data is only temporary, we suggest that you store it either on a Rampak or the main RAM of the Organiser. If you are going to use the main RAM of your Organiser you will need to check how much space you have left.

    When you have entered the file name, FileMaster will display a message saying that it is printing, but in fact it is sending the formatted output to the file, not the printer.

    Instead of sending the data you have selected to the printer, FileMaster is storing it in a file on a pack.
  2. When FileMaster has finished sending the output to file, press [ON/CLEAR] until you are out of FileMaster.

    If you have the Comms Link in place, select the Comms option on the top level menu. Your Comms Link should be set up so that it is using the Psion protocol (see your Comms Link manual for further details).

    Run CL or Transfile on your other computer and use the Transmit option on the Comms menu to send the file you created earlier to the other computer. Details of how to transmit a file are given in the Comms Link manual.
  3. When the file has been successfully transmitted, we suggest that you go back into FileMaster and delete it from the Organiser - it will probably be using up space on your Rampak or in your internal RAM.

8. Opening a file

When using FiIeMaster, you can only alter or change data on one file at a time. Before you can type in data you must let FileMaster know which file will contain this data. Indicating which file you want to work on is called opening a file.

When you run FileMaster by selecting VU, you start by viewing the file list.

Pressing [EXE] steps onto the next file.

Pressing [SPACE] in the file list tells FileMaster to open the file currently shown at the top of the screen.

Pressing [MODE] takes you to the file menu, which is described in chapter 5. The Newfile option will open a file.

For example, if the current file on the screen was A:MAIN, and you knew that you wanted to use file C:DATABASE, you could

Press [EXE] repeatedly until
file name C:DATABASE
appears on screen then
Press [SPACE]
Press [N] for Newfile.
Enter name of file
Press [EXE]

The arrow keys will also help you move up and down the file list until you get to the file you want to open. In the example above, it might be quicker to press [←] once (which would move from A:MAIN to C:MAIN in one go) then press [EXE]- until the right file appeared.

You can also open a file from the file menu, by selecting the first option on the menu, which is always the name of the current file.

8.1. Inside a file

When you have opened a file, the first record of the file is shown on the screen. if the first record in your file was the example record on page 22, a four line screen would show:-

Olivetti M24   Front desk   512 KB   20 MB

A typical record

If there is nothing on the screen this means you must have saved a record with nothing in it. Try pressing [→] to move on to the next record.

If there are no records in the file, the message "empty file" is displayed.

When you are displaying a record pressing

[ON] leaves the file, going back to the file list
[→] moves to the next record
[←] goes back one record
[MODE] leads to the record menu
[EXE] repeats the last key you pressed
[O] turns the Organiser off without leaving FileMaster
Pressing the initial letter of any command on the record menu goes directly into that command, e.g. Pressing R goes directly to Rprint.

9. The record menu

Commands on the record menu:- Find Save Edit ←Back Next→ Unfind Rprint Info Copy Delete Prompt Quit Y(first) Z(last) Off mostly relate to operations on individual records.

The quick way to use an option on the record menu is to press the initial letter of the command while a record is displayed on the screen. This is a short cut through the record menu. For example, pressing [O] turns the Organiser off, using the Off command.

9.1. Find

Find looks through the records in the current file, using up to five search clues, linked with AND or OR and using FileMaster's powerful test and numeric comparisons, as described in chapter 6.


Use Save to input new data. Use Edit if you want to amend existing records.

When you choose Save, unless you have set alternative prompts using the Prompt command, the lines numbers (1:, 2: etc) are displayed on the left hand side of the screen. These are to remind you where you are while you are typing in data from the keyboard.

When you have entered everything you want to enter on line 1, use the [↓] key to enter line 2. You can go back to line 1 by pressing the [↑] key.

When you press [EXE] the record will be saved and FileMaster will expect another record to be entered. If you do not want to enter another record press [ON/CLEAR].

9.3 Edit

If you choose Edit, the current record will appear on the screen, together with either the line numbers (1: 2: etc) or any prompts you have set with the Prompt command.

You can then delete any of the characters on the first line by pressing the [DEL] key or [SHIFT] and [DEL]. You can add new characters from the keyboard. If you press the arrow keys, you can move up, down, right or left within the record.

When you press [EXE] you finish editing the record and the menu Replace Add appears.

If you Replace, the new version of the record will be saved in preference to the old one.

If you Add, the old version of the record will be left untouched and the new text will be saved as well.

9.4. ←Back

moves back one record in the file. For example, if you are currently looking at record 3 on the screen, choosing this option will move you back to record 2.

Pressing the [←] key has the same effect as choosing ←Back

9.5. Next→

moves the record display on to the next record in the file, for example from record 3 to record 4.

Pressing the [→] key has the same effect as choosing Next→.

9.6. Unfind

goes back to the last record you found with FileMaster's Find command.

For example, suppose you choose the Find command from the record menu, enter FIND:Birmingham. Suppose that when you press [EXE], FileMaster finds the word Birmingham in the 40th record.

If you then press another key to move forward or backwards in the file you can move to another record.

If you then press [U] for Unfind, FileMaster will move back to the 40th record.

9.7. Rprint

prints the current record to a printer, using Paralink or a Comms Link. If you want to change the way the printout is laid out, you will have to leave the file and use the main Print command from the file menu. This is described in detail in chapter 7.

9.8. Info

displays information about the current Datapak or Rampak and the current file.


copies the current record to another file. Like the Copy command on the file menu (see page 16), this command asks which file you want to copy the record to.

When the record has been copied, you will go back to the record display. The only way to see the result of what you have done is to leave the current file and open the other file you specified.

9.10. Delete

deletes the current record, after asking you if you are sure. You can also use the Delete command by pressing [DEL] while the record is being displayed.

This is the record delete command. It only removes one record. This makes it less dangerous to use than the delete command on the file menu, which deletes a whole file of records.

9.11. Prompt

allows you to change the prompts given at the left hand side when you use Save, Edit or Print.

Before you use the Prompt command, line numbers (1:, 2: etc) will be used as the default prompts. Editing the prompts is just like editing any other record in FileMaster.

When you use the Prompt command the existing prompts will be displayed on the left hand side of the screen, followed by colons. To the right of the colons the prompts are repeated. To change the prompts, edit the repeated version on the right hand side.

The original prompts remain on the left hand side to remind you what they were. The colons cannot be removed - they are always put in to keep the text and the prompts apart. .

The example on page 6 shows you how to change the prompts.

Changing the last character of the prompts allows you to specify whether you want the input to be a letter or a number, and if a number what range it should be in. The section at the end of this chapter explains how this works.

9.12. Quit

Pressing [ON/CLEAR] or selecting Quit from the record menu, closes the current file and takes you back to the file list.

9.13. Y(first)

takes you to the first record in the current file. The [F] key is already used by the Find command, so this command uses [Y] as its initial letter.

9.14. Z(last)

takes you to the last record in the current file. To select this option while you are looking at the record display, press [Z].

9.15. Off

If you find yourself using FileMaster most of the time you are using your Organiser, you may find it more convenient to turn the machine off from within the program. If you turn your Organiser off from the record menu, you will immediately be able to start work on the same file you were last using.

9.16. Range checking

Range checking allows an experienced user to set up data input so that the data entered is automatically checked to see if it is in a certain range.

Adding the symbols % . $ and * to the end of the prompt strings specifies the type of input expected.

As explained above, the Prompt command in the record menu can be used to change the field prompts displayed for data input. The print format can also be set so that these prompts are printed out.

The prompts cannot, however, be set to appear when a normal record appears on the screen.

The examples given previously only demonstrate changing the text of the prompts. If you add the following symbols to the end of the text of the prompt, the corresponding type of input will be forced.

SymbolType of Input
% integer
. floating point number
$ monetary (2 dp)
* date stamp

For example, if you give a field the name Partnumber%, you will be prompted for the upper and lower limits which the inputs can take. These limits, and the input, must be integers.

If a user tries to enter a figure which is not an integer or which is outside the limits specified, FileMaster will beep and refuse to accept the input.

If you specify a field as a date stamp, when you move onto the line for that field, the date set on the Organiser will appear on that line. This date can be edited in the same way as any text field. The date appears in numeric, European format. This is the only format supported on FileMaster.

10. Other ways into FileMaster

FileMaster is designed to be a flexible program which can adapt to your way of working. So far, we have assumed that you will want to use FileMaster by running VU from the top level menu. There are, however, several other ways to get into FileMaster.

This chapter shows you how you can use Sort, Select and Print direct from the Organiser's top level menu, how you can write your own OPL program to go directly to a file which you use frequently, and how to search for a record when you do not even know which file it is in.


The Sort, Select and Print commands on the file menu can also be called directly from the Organiser's top level menu (the one which normally begins Find Save Diary etc).

When these commands are called directly from the top level menu, they will act only on the files A:MAIN, B:MAIN and C:MAIN. A file other than a MAIN file, can only be sorted, selected or printed by going into VU.

To install Sort on the top level menu

  1. Press [ON/CLEAR] until you are looking at the top level menu.
  2. Move the cursor round the top level menu until it is at the position you want the word Sort to appear.
  3. Press the [MODE] key. The Organiser will ask you to "insert item". Enter the word Sort then press [EXE].
  4. If you have an Organiser with a four line screen, an additional one line menu "Opl Notes Files" will be displayed. Press [EXE] to accept Opl.

Now you should be able to run Sort direct from the top level menu. The same procedure can be used to add Print, Select, Dprint or Search to the top level menu.

When you first run Sort it asks which file you want to sort by giving you a menu - "A:MAIN B:MAIN C:MAIN". Move the cursor until it is on top of the file you want to sort, then press [EXE], as with any other menu selection. Sort will then work exactly as described on page 14.

Select and Print can also be run from the top level menu in the same way. Sort, Select and Print are the only three options from the file menu which can be run in this way.

10.2. SEARCH

Search is another program in FileMaster which can be installed and run from the top level menu, as with Sort above.

Search can be used to find a record, even it you do not know which file it is in.

Search will look for up to five search clues, linked with AND or OR as described in chapter 6, going though every file until it find a record which fits.

To use Search, install it on the top level menu, and enter the search clues just as you would for Select or Print.

When Search has found the first record which fits your search criteria

Pressing [EXE] goes on to look for another suitable record

Pressing [MODE] once leads into the record display area of VU, from whence you can press [MODE] again to get the record menu, or press any of the other keys which work from the record menu.

FileMaster's Search is similar to the Search on the LZ's utility menu. FileMaster's version has the advantages that it uses FileMaster's advanced searching abilities and can skip straight from Search into the record display part of FileMaster.

10.3. Autoloading a file

If you use one file many times, you may want to be able to go directly to it from the Organiser's top level menu, rather than having to scroll though the file list each time.

FileMaster allows you to do this through OPL, the programming language built in to every Psion Organiser II.

For example, suppose your most important data is kept on the file C:MAIN. You can, of course, find information in the file directly from the Organiser's built-in Find function, but then you would not be able to use the advanced features on FileMaster on that data.

To write an OPL program to go directly to the file C:MAIN

  1. Press [ON/CLEAR] until you are at the Organiser's top level menu (the one which normally begins Find Save Diary etc).
  2. Press [P] for Prog. The Organiser should show a new menu starting with the word Edit.
  3. Press [N] for New. The message New A: should appear on the screen. If B: or C: appears instead of A:, press the [MODE] key until A: is shown.
  4. Type in JUMP and press [EXE]. JUMP is now the name of the program we are going to write - because it is going to jump right in to the file we want, bypassing the file list.
  5. JUMP: should appear on the screen of your Organiser, with the cursor flashing to the right of it. Press [EXE] to move on to the next line - it is very important that nothing should appear to the right of the colon on the first line.
  6. Type in DISPLAY:("C:MAIN") on the second line. There should be no spaces on the line. It does not matter whether it is in upper or lower case letters, but the quote marks and the colons are important.
  7. Press [MODE] then [EXE] to translate JUMP. If you have made a mistake in entering the program, the Organiser will report an error and you will have to go back and edit the program again.
  8. When the screen says Save A:JUMP press [EXE] again, which will return you to the program menu. Press [ON/CLEAR] to go back to the Organiser's top level menu.
  9. Now you can install the program JUMP on the top level menu. If you do not know how to do this, follow the example of installing Sort on the top level menu given on page 44.

10.4. Running FileMaster on a POS model

Psion produce a number of specialised versions of the Organiser for corporate applications, These machines are usually called the POS range.

If you use FileMaster on a POS Organiser, it will automatically load and run VU.

An alternative way to use FileMaster on a POS machine is to put the FileMaster pack into C:, and put a bootable pack in B: which runs a program along the lines of the JUMP program in the previous section.


Sort, Select, Print can be run directly from the Organiser's top level menu, where they act only on the three MAIN files.

Search can also be put on the top level menu. It searches all files on all packs and allows you to go directly into the record display part of FileMaster when you have found what you are looking for.

FileMaster's record display and record menu can be accessed directly from an OPL program of the form

PROG: DISPLAY("X:filename")

You can also use the DISPLAY call in the middle of a more complicated program, but remember that FileMaster is a copyright program and an original copy of FileMaster must be bought for each machine any it is used on.


FileMaster also includes a separate program, Dprint, which prints out the contents of the diary between two dates.

The simplest way to run Dprint is to install it on the top level menu in exactly the same way as Sort is installed on the top level menu on page 44.

When you run Dprint, FileMaster asks

Enter Starting   day dd ? _

This is the starting date of the diary entries you want to print.

By default the program will show today's date. The program then asks for the starting month and year. The day, month and year must all be entered as numbers.

For example, March must be entered as 3, 1988 must be entered as 88.

To clear the number which is displayed for day, month or year, press [ON]. If you press [ON] twice, or press the [↑] key, you will go back to the starting day.

Entering the end date is similar.

All diary entries between the two dates (including the start day and end day) will be printed. The improved diary in the Organiser versions LZ and L264 already includes software to print diary entries, duplicating the function of Dprint.

12. Copying FileMaster, Using memory

Unlike many other software manufacturers, we allow our customers to make one copy FileMaster onto their own Datapaks or Rampaks or into A:, for their own use only.

We make life easier for you by allowing you to make this copy. Please respect our copyright. Copies of the program should only be used by the original purchaser of FileMaster, not be given to anyone else. No copies should be made of this manual.

The descriptions below all assume that you have the blue FileMaster pack in drive B:, the upper slot in the Organiser, and are copying the program to a Datapak in slot C:.

You can, of course, also copy FiIeMaster into A:, but as it will take up 16k of memory and then need another 8k in order to run, we only recommend this if you have an LZ64. The last section in this chapter deals with memory usage.

FileMaster IV is written in a combination of OPL and machine code. How you copy these different parts of FileMaster depends upon which version of the Organiser you use.

Only the original FileMaster pack will automatically install the word VU on the top level menu - copies will not have this ability.

12.1. Copying on the LZ and LZ64

  1. Press [ON/CLEAR] until you are at the top level menu of the Organiser, the one which usually starts Find Save Diary etc.
  2. Press [U] for Utils, then [C] for Copy. The screen should now be asking you to select which type of file you want to copy. Press [EXE] when the cursor is over the All option.
  3. The screen should now show

    COPY ALL   From B:

    If a drive letter other than B: shows, press [MODE] until B: appears on the screen. Type in the star character *, and press [EXE] twice.
  4. The Organiser now asks which drive you want the program to be copied to. If C: is not displayed, press [MODE] until it is shown, then press [EXE] again.

The Organiser should now copy everything on the FileMaster pack in B: to C:.

12.2. On the XP or CM

Copying on the XP and CM involved two operations, one to copy the machine code files and one to copy the OPL files across.

First of all, install the word XCOPY on the Organiser's top level menu, using the same method described for installing Sort described on page 44.

  1. Run XCOPY. It will only work if the blue FileMaster pack is present in the machine and automatically installed on the top level menu, as described in chapter 3.
  2. Press [EXE] when XCOPY: appears on the screen. The drive letter which appears on the bottom line is the drive to which the programs are to be copied.

    If the drive letter is not C:, press [MODE] until C: appears, then press [EXE]. XCOPY should announce that it is XCOPYING.

    XCOPY copies the machine code parts of FileMaster. Now you have to copy the OPL parts of FileMaster.
  3. Return to the Organiser's top level menu by pressing [ON/CLEAR]. Press [P] for PROG, followed by [EXE] if need be and the screen should show a menu

  4. Press [C] for Copy and the Organiser will ask


    Press [Y]. If this question does not appear then you are in the wrong part of the Organiser's operating system. Go back to stage c) and try again.
  5. Copy from B: to C:, making sure you get the right drives by pressing [MODE] then [EXE] as for XCOPY above.

12.3. Main memory full

There must be at least 6K of RAM free before you can use the file list and file menu of FileMaster. In order to use the record display and most of the options on the record menu, you need 7K of RAM free.

In order to use the Save, Edit and Prompt options from the record menu you need 8.2K of free RAM. This means that you cannot use the Save, Edit and Prompt options on a CM.

If you do not have enough free RAM, you will meet the message "Main Memory Full". You will then have to delete something from the Diary, from the A: drive or, on the LZ or LZ64, from the Notepad in order to use FileMaster.

You can use the Info option from the top level menu on a CM or XP, or from the Utils menu on an LZ or LZ64 to find out how much free memory you have.

On a CM you will need the A: drive to be empty in order to run any part of FileMaster. On an XP or LZ you need approximately 34% of A: to be free. (The A: drive can only use 23K of the XP and LZ's memory). On an LZ64 you need approximately 15% free.


Although FileMaster is a copyrighted program, we allow you to make one additional copy for the use of the purchaser only.

Both the OPL and machine code parts of File-Master must be copied in order for the program to work from another pack. On the LZ and LZ64 both parts can be copied from the Utils Copy menu. On the XP and CM, the OPL part of FileMaster has to be copied from the Prog menu, and the machine code parts copied by a utility called XCOPY.

FileMaster needs 8.2K of free RAM memory to run properly. If this is not available, the message "Main memory full" is displayed.


A:drive (2) Alphabetical Apple Atari Autoloading Back CL CM Columns format Commas Comms Link (2) Copy (2) COPY or TRANSFER Copying FileMaster Copyright Dale stamp delete file record Diary Dprint Edit Editlabl EMPTY FILE Field definition File definition empty list File list (2) File menu File Names FIND (2), (3) First Floating point number FORMAT IBM PC Info Integer Labels format Last Line numbers LZ (2) LZ64 Mac

Machine code MAIN file (2) Main memory full Map Memory usage Monetary Newfile Newfile Newline Next→ Numeric Numeric selection Off Opening a file OPL (2) Page Paralink (2) POS Primary field PRINT (2), (3) Printer (2) Prog (2) Programming Prompt (2), (3), (4), (5) Quit Record definition Record menu Rename Replace Add Rprint (2) Save SEARCH Secondary field Select (2), (3) Sort Spaces Top level menu (2), (3) Total Transfile Unfind Utils VU (2) XCOPY XP