What's new in Book Collector? (page 2)
With super hi-res 4K (or even 5K) screens becoming quite common, more and more people are running Windows with the Font Size (DPI scaling) set to 125% or 150%, to keep text readable. So earlier this year, we released maintenance builds for all Windows editions to fix various layout problems when running Windows with “large fonts”.
Today, with version 18.2 we’re taking the next step: Book Collector is now fully “DPI Aware”. Starting with this version, if you have increased your font size in Windows, all screen texts will look sharper, less fuzzy, making full use of your hi-res screen.
To give you an idea, here are 2 close-up screenshots of what it looked like in the old version versus the new version:
New collection status icons
We added new collection status icons to the main screen’s list view and card view to make the screen less clogged up and easier on the eye.
- Edit Book:
- Index field didn’t have localized or custom caption
- Clicking next or previous could create a second + button in the User Defined Fields tab
- Fixed an issue where the template could become “white” if arrow keys were used on the keyboard.
- Clicking an image would show a drag/drop menu. The image now opens properly.
- Quick Search: Fixed normalization for quick searches so words with umlauts/accents etc. are now easier to be found.
- Fixed a problem with folder paths for users that have their Documents folder rooted to an external drive (program wouldn’t install properly).
- Link Screen could show “Link Selected” button even if there were no matches.
- Manage Column presets:
- Clicking in certain parts of the screen could cause Access Violations.
- Clicking the Edit menu could break the focus in the screen.
- Light Skin: Better visibility for selected items in your lists.
- User Defined Fields: It was possible to create invisible User Defined Fields which would then never show up in the edit screen.
- Add Screen: Scrollbar position wouldn’t update sometimes.
Our web-team has been working on this for a long time: a new search engine for Author/Title searches in our Core online book database.
And it is now available in your “Add Books from Core” screen!
- Faster searches: Most Author/Title searches will give you results within a second. UNLESS our Core server decides to consult our “back-end” sources like Google Books, Library of Congress and other national libraries.
- Better search results: The results are now more focussed, less fuzzy, as it will only show books containing ALL your search term words (as opposed to the old search that gave you books that matched ANY or your search term words).
- Single Search Box: Just one box for search (e.g. like Google or Amazon). No more separate Author and Title boxes. Just enter (part of) the author’s name and (part of) the title and you will get the best matching results. (see the screen shot above with “crichton jurassic” results”).
- Search by Publisher and Year: Getting a lot of results? Filter down to the book edition you’re looking for by adding the publisher and/or publication year to your search! (see screen shot below)
Fixed: Various font size and layout problems
This has been a long-standing problem: on Windows systems with the DPI or Font Size set to 125% or 150%, many screens had strange font size and layout problems, particularly visible in the Edit Book screen, but also affecting other screens.
This was a tricky one, but we have finally been able to fix these problems 🙂
NEW: Fully Automatic CLZ Cloud Syncing!
The free CLZ Cloud service is at the center of all our cataloging solutions (desktop, mobile and web), the glue that binds them all together.
Tens of thousands of users are using the CLZ Cloud syncing every day, to transfer data between their desktop, Connect and mobile software, to update their online collection list, or simply for keeping an online backup of their precious database.
Now, it is time to take the CLZ Cloud to the next level, with automatic syncing:
Add or edit books in Book Collector and these changes will auto-upload to the CLZ Cloud instantly. Did you make changes using CLZ Books or directly in Book Connect? Just start your software and changes will download automatically.
No more need to go to the Sync with CLZ Cloud screen, ever.
With “Sync Automatically” switched on…
- Your online cloud backup is always up-to-date.
- Your cloud viewer always shows the current state of your collection.
- All your CLZ tools (desktop, mobile and Connect) will always be in-sync.
Automatic Cloud Syncing is an optional feature, switched OFF by default. If you don’t want to auto-sync, or don’t want to sync with the CLZ Cloud at all, just leave it switched OFF.
Revamped Edit Book screen
A huge refresh of the Edit Book screen, bringing the look and feel more in line with the recent Add Books from Core screen. But it’s not all just cosmetic changes, here’s what’s new:
- Button bar is now at the bottom of the screen
With OK button high-lighted in blue, nice Next/Prev arrow buttons, etc…
- Re-designed user interface for adding and editing Authors
- The Author list in the Edit Book screen is now a cleaner list, showing just Display Name and Pseudonym.
- To add an Author, click the Add button top right. The new Select Author screen appears, showing your current Author pick list. Use the search box to find the author you’d like to add, typing just a few letters will make it appear. Select it, then click the big blue Add Author button at the bottom right. If your author is not in the pick list yet, use the New Author button to create it.
- Right-click to Modify the name and sort name of an author in the list.
- Drag the icon in the first column to change the order.
- Click the “x” in the last column to remove entries.
- Clearer blue + buttons for checkbox list fields (like Genres and Subjects)
- Same blue + buttons for dropdown fields (like Publisher, Country and Language)
- Revamped Edit screen for pick list items
Button bar at the bottom with blue OK button, smaller generate buttons, etc..
Simplified: Edit Multiple Books screen
- Now use checkboxes to explicitly indicate which field(s) you want set.
Safer and clearer, no more unexpected changes.
- To clear a field, just click the checkbox and leave the box empty.
The box will highlight in red to indicate the CLEAR action. No more hidden F8 keys.
Simplified screens for selecting Column, Sort and Folder fields.
The ability to select your own Columns for the List View is an important customization feature of our Book Collector software. The same holds for selecting the sort order and the folder fields for the folder panel.
However, the “field selection” screens for doing these customizations have always been an area of confusion. So for v18 we decided to re-imagine both the field selection screens and the system for creating/managing your own presets.
- Simplified Field Selection screen:
- Available fields are now grouped, like the tabs in the Edit Book screen.
- Easily find the field you want with the search box top left.
- Use checkboxes on the left to select fields.
- Use the “x” button on the right to remove fields.
- Drag and drop fields on the right side to change the order.
- Rename the field set at the top right.
- Simplified system for managing your field presets:
- Just click the Columns or Sort Order button to EDIT the current preset.
- Click the little arrow to the right of the Columns or Sort Order button to open the preset menu and switch to a different preset.
- Choose Manage Presets from the preset menu to edit your presets and create new ones.
NEW: “Clean” template for the details panel, in Light and Dark styles
A complete refresh, based on the recent Connect/Cloud details page updates. Clean, clear and modern, with some fresh layout ideas:
- Cleaner look, in both Light and Dark styles.
- Re-designed and more compact Author panel at the top.
- Clearer display of Genres and Subjects.
- Now uses the book cover image as a subtle background image. Or opt for the “Plain” style for a “quieter” background.
No more Standard edition: Pro-only features now available for everyone!
Since last week, we stopped selling the Standard edition of Book Collector. From now on, the Pro edition is the only edition we sell, and will just be called “Book Collector” now.
Our gift to all users on the Standard edition who have a valid Update Plan:
Starting with v18, you now get access to all Pro-only features:
- Batch editing with the Edit Multiple feature:
Save time by editing multiple items in batch, e.g. to fill in a field value for many items in one go.
- Customizable pre-sets for sorting, columns and folders:
Create your own pre-set field combination for sorting and columns. Define your own folder options, even multi-level folder combinations.
- User Defined Fields:
Create your own fields (text, number, pick list, checkbox or date) and rename pre-defined fields.
- Export features:
Export your database to a CSV or XML file.
Now sync your loan information to the CLZ Cloud
- Sync information about outstanding loans to the CLZ Cloud, directly visible in your CLZ Cloud viewer (just add the Loan columns to the list).
- Sync your loan history to the CLZ Cloud (only visible in Book Connect’s new Loan Manager)
New in Book Connect: a really nice Loan Manager feature!
- Loan books and return books, by scanning their barcodes with CLZ Barry.
- Check outstanding loans and loan history in the Loan Manager
( Coming soon: sync loan information to the CLZ Books mobile app )
- Add Books from Core: Search Results list is now loading/refreshing faster, especially for long lists.
- New option for CLZ Barry: Auto-Connect. When enabled, the built-in Buddy for Barry automatically connects to the server when you start the program or open the Add screen.
- The Expire Date of your Update Plan is now always visible in the lower right bottom of the main screen.
Big changes today! The Add Books Automatically screen has been completely re-designed, to make it both easier-to-use and easier-on-the-eye (and it’s now called “Add Books from CLZ Core”):
- A simple two-panel design: Search Results on the left, Preview on the right.
- The Search Results now show cover images.
- Automatic Preview of selected result (no more double clicking).
See it in action:
Here’s the full list of improvements:
We’ve expanded the quick search box to now also allow “search-as-you-type” with suggestions for pick list fields.
How does it work?
In the quick search box top right of your screen you should see a “dropdown” button. Use this to select which field you wish to perform a search on. If “search-as-you-type” is available for that field, it will instantly work once you start typing in the box.
You can now select the field “Author” in the quick search box, start typing an author name, and instantly see suggestions (based on what you typed) of authors you have in your database. Click on an author to see all his/her books.
Try it with the “Publisher” field too! Instantly see which books you own from a specific publisher you type in the quick search box.
Fixes in this version
We also fixed some issues with the program in this version:
- Images Popup:
- “size window to picture” showed image slightly smaller
- .tiff images were not showing
Quick Search: Search-As-You-Type suggestions
Instantly find and select a particular book in your local database:
- In the Quick Search box, just start typing the first few letters of the author or title you are looking for.
- While typing, a drop-down list will appear, showing the first five matching books.
(for most books, it only takes 2 or 3 letters before it shows up.)
- Once you see the one you were looking for, use the up/down keys to select it, then hit Enter.
- The book will now be selected in your list, with the details showing in the Details Panel.
Improved “Unrecognized ISBN” screen
- NEW: integrated Find Cover tool.
Easily pick a cover images from internet search results for the ISBN.
- Two extra fields: Publisher and Year.
- Author box now has drop-down with your Author list for easy entry of existing author names.
- Dragging and dropping cover images did not work for HTTPS URLs.
- Person grids: problems adding authors when multiple authors exists with the same display name.
- Link/Update Books now also supports the “Unrecognized ISBN” screen
- Quick search now also supports Regular Expressions. Enter “matches:” followed by regular expression in the quick search box.
- In Add Books Automatically, when an ISBN is not recognized, a new “Unrecognized ISBN” screen will appear.
- In this screen, just type the Author and the Title, then click Add Book.
- This will:
- Instantly add the ISBN/Author/Title entry to our Core online book database.
- Add the book to your own database with ISBN, Author and Title filled in AND linked to the new Core entry.
In other words, this new screen not only helps you in adding unrecognized books,
but it also helps your fellow Book Collector users by adding the missing ISBN to the CLZ Core.
( BTW: this screen replaces the “Report Missing ISBN to Core” web-form. Of course, you can still provide more info for the added ISBN using the Submit to Core button in the Edit Book screen. )
NEW: Choose between Light, Dark or System skins
Yes, We’re getting rid of the gray!
Book Collector now comes with a skin system, which affects the look of all screens in the program,
main screen, edit screens, add auto-screen, sync screen etc.. even the settings screens.
We have designed two different skins for you to choose from: Light and Dark.
The third option “System” is basically the old pre-v16.3 look.
New view for the main screen: Card View
Next to List View, Images View and Cover Flow, we have added a Card View, a multi-column view with little info cards for each book, showing the main book details and a small cover thumbnail.
- Add Automatically: right click menu didn’t popup when there were no results showing
- Content View: Folder grouping on a field with inheritance didn’t take the inherited book values into account
Find Image Online tool now uses Bing Image Search
The Find Image Online tool previously used Google Images to find images.
However, it turns out that on December 1, Google terminated the free Google Image Search API
that we were using, causing our Find Image Online functionality to stop working.
Google provides a new paid version of the Search API, but it is limited to max 10K searches per day.
With the amount of customers we have, we need at least 20K daily searches (600K per month!) 🙁
The solution: Switch to BING!
Webcam barcode scanning
Use your webcam as a barcode scanner, to add or find books by ISBN.
- Scan barcodes with your webcam
Just use the live camera view to point your webcam at a barcode
and let our software detect the barcode that is in view.
- Use the webcam scanner to add books by barcode
Pop-up the scan window and scan ISBN barcodes,
either using Direct Search or scanning into the Queue.
- Or use it in the main screen to find books by barcode
Scan an ISBN barcode while in the main screen,
to quickly search your local database by barcode.
- Works best with auto-focus or manual-focus webcams
Fixed focus cameras will not work well (or at all).