Contents - Index - Previous - Next

Tutorial -- Exploration

Exploration -- Starting the Program
If you accepted the defaults when you setup the program on your computer, a set of files named "Example Files" have been copied to your program drive. The example files are for a bowling league. You will be able to create data files for your sport league when you are ready. These files will be in the same directory as the program file, LeagueAssistant.exe. For all users the program drive will be a hard drive. If you don't have a hard drive, I suggest you get a copy of the DOS version of this program. It will work on a PC that has only one 360K floppy drive. You will need the example files to follow along on your PC. If you don't have these files available, re-install the program to restore all the distribution files including the "Example Files". 

If you selected the defaults when you installed the program, the program file will be in the League Assistant directory on your hard drive. The installation will also create a desktop group containing The League Assistant icon. Click on the Windows Start menu, select Programs, select The League Assistant group and click on the icon to start the program.

Exploration -- Shareware Notice
The first window that appears when the program is started is a notice that this program is shareware and not free. If you have registered a license for a version of the program, a message stating that this is a registered version will appear at the top of the window and  this window will disappear in about 3 seconds. You will see the seconds left for the notice in the lower right hand corner of the window.  If you have an unregistered version, this window will appear much longer. At the top of this window is the banner that states that this program is Copyrighted by me. The banner also identifies the date of the program, the name of the program and the version number. If you need to contact me, it is important that you tell me the version number you are working with. Also on the ABOUT screen is a statement that defines this program as shareware and indicates how you should evaluate and register it. Also on this screen are directions for how to contact me.  After the shareware notice disappears the main program window will become visible.

Exploration -- Main Program Window
The files for the last league you worked on will be loaded each time you start up the program. This allows you to continue from right where you left off the last time you used the program. If you have not loaded or created any new data files and you accepted the defaults when the program was setup, then the "Example Files" will be loaded. If you did not follow the defaults and the "Example Files" are stored in an alternate drive or directory on your computer. Select Open from the File menu. Locate the "Example Files" on your hard drive and load them.

Please take a minute to inspect the main program window. At the top is the program title. Under the title are the pull down menus -- File, Edit, Setup, Reports, Graphs, Option, and Help. Under the menu line on the top left you will see the following two lines:

     League: Example League
Data Files: C:\League Assistant\Example Files

Example League is the name of the league. The second line specifies the directory and file name for the data files in use. The directory name may be different on your system if you have not stored the demo files in the C:\League Assistant\ directory. 

In the center is the overall average for the league which is the total number of scores (pins in bowling) played divided by the number of games played.

Overall League Average: 150

In the upper right under the menu bar are the following three lines:

    Week 4 of 9
Session 1 of 1
11-30-02  8:30 PM

This informs you that scores have been entered for 4 of the 9 weeks of competition and that there is only one session (no split season). It also gives your computer's current date and time.

In the center of the screen is a spreadsheet that lists the current team standings.

Under the spreadsheet you will see notices of the special awards that have been earned during the competition.

Exploration -- Getting Help
There are several ways to activate help with The League Assistant. You can press function key F1 at any time to bring up help for the form you are working on. You can see the contents listing for the help file by selecting Contents from the Help menu. You can search for help by pressing function key F1 while holding down the shift key or by selecting Search from the Help menu. In all cases you will be directed to some point in this help file. From within the help file you can also see the table of contents or search for help by clicking on the buttons at the top of the help form. You can also click on any of the underlined words to learn more about them.

You will find a Help menu selection on each form which will bring up context sensitive help on that form.

Many of the forms have prompts in them that change to indicate the allowable range of choices.

Another help feature available are Tool Tips. You can turn these on by making sure there is a check mark next to the tool tips selection on the Option menu. If there is a check next to this option, help will appear in a yellow box on the screen for different parts of the form. The tool tip help will appear as you move the mouse around the form.

Exploration -- The Menus
Now that the program is loaded and ready to respond to your needs. Take a few moments to pull down each of the menus. There are seven of these menus.

The first menu on the left is the File menu. On this menu are New, Open, Save, Save As, and Delete. The function of these menus should be familiar to any Windows user. Backup and Restore Backup are also on this menu. These selections will help ensure that all your hard work in data entry is not lost. Export Raw Scores and Export Averages are on this menu. These features are provided for registered users who are interested in exporting raw score data or final averages to a spreadsheet application such as Microsoft Excel. Exit is the last selection on this menu and this is how you will normally finish each session with The League Assistant.

The second menu from the left is the Edit menu. The first four items on this menu are the standard Windows editing functions, Undo, Cut, Copy, and Paste. The fifth selection on this menu is Bulletin which allows you to edit a bulletin to be included on the standing sheet. The sixth item is Weekly Scores which is the form you will use each week to enter the scores for your league. The last two items Statistics and Raw Scores are used for editing of processed data and are only available with the registered version of the program.

The third menu from the left is the Setup menu. The first nine items on the menu, Scoring Options, Split Season Options, Award Options, Teams and Subs, Customized Special Awards, Classifications, Lanes and Schedule, Officer and League Names, Extra Statistics and Fees, Team Prizes, and Brackets will be used to set up and manage your league record keeping. New League is the next to last item on this menu. It allows you to copy the setup for the current league to a new league. This can be a big help in moving from one season to the next. The last item on this menu is Sport Information. It allows you to customize the program for different sports.

The fourth menu from the left is the Reports menu. Listed here are the eight pre written report menu selections that will summarize and communicate every detail of your league. You'll find later that you will be able to customize the reports to the range of data you want to report on based on selections you make. The reports will only be printed to the screen unless you have registered your copy of the program.

The fifth menu from the left is the Graphs menu. Listed here are three basic graph types that you can build based on options that you specify. The graphs will help you to visualize statistics and progress for teams and individuals. The graphs will only be printed to the screen unless you have registered your copy of the program.

The sixth menu from the left is the Option menu. On this menu you will be able to toggle automatic data file backups on and off, toggle tool tips on and off, specify whether you want the reports to go to the screen, the printer, or a file, setup your printer, use margins on your printed report, or toggle alert boxes displayed on the screen for awards on or off. (Printing to a file or a printer are supported only in the registered version).

The seventh menu from the left is the Help menu. From this menu you can activate help, find out about the Copyright for the program, and enter your registration information (or find out about upgrading the program or print an order form for the program).

Exploration -- Closing Windows
On the top right of most windows and data entry screens you will find the close "X" button. If the window or data entry screen has a "Cancel" button then the clicking on the "X" button will produce the same results as clicking on the "Cancel" button. If there is no "Cancel" button, then clicking on the "X" button will produce the same results as clicking on the "OK" button. Although the "X" button has been provided for your convenience, it is recommended that you use the "OK" and/or "Cancel" buttons to be sure that you will get the intended result.

Exploration -- File Management
It was stated above that the "Example Files" data files for the demonstration should be located in the C:\League Assistant\ directory if you accepted the defaults when the program was set up. In practice you can save your files on any drive or directory. When you open a new set of data files with the New selection on the File menu, you can select the drive and directory where you want to store the files. This is the same as with any other windows program. This is also the case with the Save As selection on the file menu. Let's try this now.

Before we do a Save As for the current data files, pull down the Option menu and make sure that there is no check mark next to the Automatic Backup option. If there is a check mark next to it, click on it and the check mark will disappear. Place a blank formatted floppy disk in your A drive, a writable CD in your CD-RW drive, or a removable drive such as a flash (jump) drive in your USB port, or perhaps ready a location on a cloud drive. Select Save As from the File menu. Change the drive to the drive with your removable media or cloud drive and enter the file name in the text box. You can keep the "Example Files" name or change it. Click on OK and the files will be saved. If you examine the directory of the media you used using Windows explorer or a file manager, you will see that nine new files have been written to your media. You'll also see that the files all have the file name you entered in the text box but they all have a different extension. Each file contains different kinds of information about your league. Some of the files are ASCII text files and you can read them with any text readers. Other files are binary and can only be read with the program. The integrity of the data in the files can be lost if you change them in any way. You should only modify these files using The League Assistant program.

Let's restore the demonstration files on the hard drive. Select Open from the File Menu. Change the drive and directory to the one that the demonstration files are on. Select "Example Files.DT0" from the list in the list box and click on OK. You have now restored the data files and created a simple backup of the data on media external to your computer system.

The only file management option we haven't explored is the Save selection on the File menu. Select it now and you will see that the data is saved to the hard drive. Backup and Restore Backup are also on this menu. Read about them in this help file to learn how to use them most effectively.

Exploration -- League Reports
With the example files loaded try running each of the reports on the Report menu. Examine the results on the screen or print them to your printer (registered version only). If you need to know more about each report read the section of the help file that describes the report and how to use it.

Exploration -- Changing the League
With the demo files loaded explore each of the items on the Setup menu. Read about each of the forms in the help file. Try making some changes. Change the name of the league or the names of the league officers. Try changing the name or starting average for a player. Try swapping players between teams. Try adding a new substitute player. Explore it all. Try everything. If you want to restore the data files to the way they were before you started your exploration, you can always open the data files you saved above on a floppy diskette and do a Save As to overwrite the files you've changed. Now is the time to learn about each of the forms and how to use them. Learn it now before you need to use it for your league.

Exploration -- Entering Weekly Results
If you didn't already do so in the last section, enter weekly scores for week five. Before you enter any scores, I recommend that you read the help file section on this subject. When you feel you understand how the form works, make up some data and enter scores for each team. When you have entered scores for all four teams, the results will be processed and the statistics will be updated. You'll see that the spreadsheet on the main program window has been updated with the results from the fifth week of competition. You can try running the reports again and see how the scores you entered have changed the reports. If your team uses team difference handicapping you will want to learn about how the "Opponent" button works so that handicaps will be computed properly.

If you feel you want more practice with this before you work with your league, make up some data and enter the results for additional weeks. If you are familiar with spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel or Open Office Calc, you will find the spreadsheet easy to use. Use the tab key to move from cell to cell and the Enter key to change rows. If you want to enter the scores for the team that opposed the team currently displayed on the screen, click on the Opponent button. When all the scores are entered you will be asked if you want the scores to be processed and the statistics updated. If you think you may need to make some changes in the scores, don't process them now. You can process the scores at any time by selecting Weekly Scores from the Edit menu, click on OK, and select to have the scores processed when asked.

Exploration -- Exit the Program
The exploration section of the tutorial is finished at this point. Whenever you are finished with the program you will want to exit the program by selecting Exit from the File menu. This will close all files and return you to the desktop. THIS IS IMPORTANT! ! If you simply turn off the computer without exiting from the File menu the data files will not be closed. All your hard work and important league data will not be saved. Perform a normal exit from the File menu. If Automatic Backup is checked on the Option menu, a backup of the data files will be made before the program terminates. I highly recommend that you keep the automatic backup feature enabled to protect the investment in time and effort you have made to setup the league and enter weekly scores.