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Old 03-11-2012, 01:16 PM   #1
Sandwich
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Custom Columns and Anthologies

I'm not sure how to best word this; apologies if I'm unclear.

Is there a way to create a custom column that has an auto-complete function which would be populated on-the-fly from the existing values across the entire library of another column?

Perhaps an example would be best...

I have a file of an anthology book (Flatlander, by Larry Niven), which contains 5 short stories. I also have those 5 short stories as separate files.

I'd like a custom column for the anthology, "Contains", where I can select all of those individual short stories as part of the anthology. The behavior would be similar to how the "author" column auto-completes what you're typing based on the existing values across the entire Library - just in this case, it would provide suggestions from the "title" field.

So Flatlander's "Contains" field would have the values, "Death by Ecstasy, The Defenseless Dead, ARM, The Patchwork Girl, The Woman in Del Rey Crater".

Alternately, is there already some built-in way to manage anthologies that I'm utterly unaware of?
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Old 03-11-2012, 01:41 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandwich View Post
I'm not sure how to best word this; apologies if I'm unclear.

Is there a way to create a custom column that has an auto-complete function which would be populated on-the-fly from the existing values across the entire library of another column?

Perhaps an example would be best...

I have a file of an anthology book (Flatlander, by Larry Niven), which contains 5 short stories. I also have those 5 short stories as separate files.

I'd like a custom column for the anthology, "Contains", where I can select all of those individual short stories as part of the anthology. The behavior would be similar to how the "author" column auto-completes what you're typing based on the existing values across the entire Library - just in this case, it would provide suggestions from the "title" field.

So Flatlander's "Contains" field would have the values, "Death by Ecstasy, The Defenseless Dead, ARM, The Patchwork Girl, The Woman in Del Rey Crater".

Alternately, is there already some built-in way to manage anthologies that I'm utterly unaware of?
Simple answer: No. you would have to build a Tag type list manually

The current record has no knowledge of the contents of other records.
That applies to Titles, It applies to Authors It applies to every thing you see in a record.

Authors and tags are (inter)links to other tables and only appear related. That relation is only for the current record. Each additional record has to re-define the relation.
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandwich View Post
I'm not sure how to best word this; apologies if I'm unclear.

Is there a way to create a custom column that has an auto-complete function which would be populated on-the-fly from the existing values across the entire library of another column?

Perhaps an example would be best...

I have a file of an anthology book (Flatlander, by Larry Niven), which contains 5 short stories. I also have those 5 short stories as separate files.

I'd like a custom column for the anthology, "Contains", where I can select all of those individual short stories as part of the anthology. The behavior would be similar to how the "author" column auto-completes what you're typing based on the existing values across the entire Library - just in this case, it would provide suggestions from the "title" field.

So Flatlander's "Contains" field would have the values, "Death by Ecstasy, The Defenseless Dead, ARM, The Patchwork Girl, The Woman in Del Rey Crater".

Alternately, is there already some built-in way to manage anthologies that I'm utterly unaware of?
A couple of suggestions.

If you have hundreds of collections and anthologies, generate a csv catalogue and do this in a spreadsheet. Long time since I did spreadsheets but I think lookup columns are fairly simple. The result could be pasted into a calibre field.

If you have less than 100 it might be faster and easier to copy the TOC from each book and either paste as is into a comments type column or edit it to include seperators and paste it into a tags type column. A bit more complex for anthologies with multiple authors, but doable.

Using cut and paste from the calibre viewer to a comments type column takes a few seconds per book.
If you need it as tags, you could generate a catalogue of those books only either csv or html and edit/paste into tags typ column.

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Old 03-12-2012, 02:40 PM   #4
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I leave the title alone and the Author is the Editor(s)
The contents, I paste into Comments.

Be aware that 'Get Metadata' overwrites Comments, do that FIRST or create a Comments-like column and use that.
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Old 03-13-2012, 07:37 AM   #5
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@Daffy- yes for Collections the Author is best being set to the Editor of the book, but for "Anthology" leave as the author.

The way I've being doing it is like the above posts.

Have a custom column, with the type of book, novel, magazine, collection, Anthology
I use this as the definition:
Collection being a collection from more than one author
Anthology being a collection from the same author
etc

Then listing the individual stories in the book details

Getting the list, either search the book on google for a nice txt list, or open the book and get the list if its in txt. If its in the book as a contents, just screen grab it and past the image into a program that will convert image to txt, I use onenote.

Past the list into book comments, select and format as numbered.

Good idea to also have an excel list of these type of authors, to easily see if you have the story as a standalone novella as well as in a collection.

Searching can be set to include comments, so the stories show up.


Thats just the way I'm doing it now, open to any other way that works too though.
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:47 AM   #6
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That looks nice

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Old 03-16-2012, 05:23 PM   #7
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Ok, so having read all y'all's workarounds for this (though not without some measure of cringing and wincing at the hoops being jumped through), I can't help but wonder if perhaps it's time for this to be made a feature request...
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Sandwich View Post
Ok, so having read all y'all's workarounds for this (though not without some measure of cringing and wincing at the hoops being jumped through), I can't help but wonder if perhaps it's time for this to be made a feature request...
So make one? I am sure there are others who would find it useful. Me I wouldn't as the TOC is often in the book.

I read Anthologies mainly when I am hoping to stumble on a new author I adore. I read short stories when my attention span is low (finished last book and want to read a bit more before sleeping, or in a doctor's waiting room perhaps)

I would not have the patience to look at various anthologies and try to figure out if I wanted to read them based on the stories they contain. I just go for it and pick a random one based on genre.

Similiarly I would not want to delete my short stories because they were contained in an anthology. (I did this once upon a time and I was sorry). If I want to read a short story on my ereader I don't want to figure out which anthology it is contained in. I just search for short story on my reader and pick one. Or go to author I like and pick one.

I prefer to think of the above posts as helpful suggestions for a unique desire/requirement not as workarounds. Workarounds imply a way of handling a defect (bug) for an advertised or common feature. I do not see that as the case. Perhaps I am wrong.

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