What's new in Book Collector?
Version 21.4 is now available for your Book Collector software, with a nice graphical update for your folder panel. The folder panel now show horizontal bars in the background behind the folder entries, representing the “relative size” of the folder, that is, relative to the biggest folder in your collection.
- Date fields didn’t always transfer correctly
A nice new v21.3 update is available for Book Collector now, in which we introduce a new super useful database management tool, called Transfer Field Data (new in the Tools menu).
In short, this tool lets you copy field values from one field to another, in batch, so for your entire database, or for a selection of books.
It is important to have your book entries linked to the corresponding entries in our Core online book database, especially when syncing to the CLZ Cloud and/or the CLZ Books mobile app. Because a correct Core link is what gives you all automatic book details, like cover images, subjects, genres, Dewey, plot description, etc..
All book entries you added through the Add Books from Core screen, will of course be linked with a Core entry automatically. However, if you added books manually, or if you imported a list of books, e.g. from a CSV file or by adding eBook files, some of your entries may arrive “unlinked”. In which case you would need to do the linking afterwards.
Previously, linking books with Core was done in an old and clunky screen, based on a very old version of the Add from Core screen. But not anymore!
As of today, Book Collector has a completely new Link Books with Core screen.
Last week, we added many new fields to the CLZ Cloud storage and the web-based Book Connect software, all based on feedback from our users.
Of course, new fields in the CLZ Cloud won’t help you much if you can’t sync them from Book Collector 🙂 So in today’s v21.1 update, we enhanced the CLZ Cloud syncing system to support all the new fields.
The following extra fields now sync to and from the CLZ Cloud
- Printed by
- First Edition (yes/no)
- Paper type
- AND: web-site links!
BTW: an update for the CLZ Books mobile app is coming up soon, so that you can fully sync the new fields all the way to (and from) your mobile device too.
Instead of jumping on the next big feature update, we decided to take a couple of weeks to work on various small improvements and fixes. Here’s what’s new and fixed in today’s update:
New: Clear your CLZ Cloud right from the Sync screen
No more need to login to the CLZ Cloud site and use “Clear Database” there. It is now possible to clear/reset your CLZ Cloud straight from the Sync screen, using the Clear CLZ Cloud button at the bottom.
BTW: please only use this when strictly necessary, in case of problems. Clearing the cloud and re-syncing all items is a heavy operation and causes seriously load on our servers. Thank you!
New: Find Duplicates results can now be exported to a TEXT file
By popular demand: you can now export the results of the Find Duplicates screen, either to take with you as a text file, or for printing.
New: Use the Statistics screen on a selection
Something that “got lost” when we replaced the old Database Totals screen with the fancy new Statistics screen: being able to see totals for the selected items in the main screen.
So… now that feature is back! Just select items in the main screen, using the checkboxes or Select All, then open Tools / Statistics to see totals and charts for just those items.
New: Filter area in status bar now highlights when a filter is active
A common question in support: “Why don’t I see all my items anymore”. Always turns out that a filter is active, either in the Quick Filter Panel, the Alphabet Bar or the search box.
To make this clearer, the Filter area in the status bar at the bottom now highlights in yellow when a filter is active.
Improved right-mouse click context menus, with sub-headers
Through the years, new commands kept being added to the right click context menus, and to be honest, they became a bit messy. So about time we cleaned them up.
All main screen context menu’s have now been cleaned up, re-ordered and re-grouped with nice sub-headers.
- Card View: mouse wheel scrolling was broken
- After Select All in list, some action bar button did not show up
- After editing, the list did not scroll to the edited item anymore
- Statistics: rare Access Violation while loading the screen
- Picklist item images are now automatically resolved when folder changes
- Update File Links: manual mode missing trailing slash by default
- Unrecognized ISBN screen did not handle unstable internet connections well
- Editing books with “content” could throw a “List Index out of Bounds” error
We’re well into 2021, so it’s time for Book Collector 21.
In this update we bring you a great new time-saving tool in the Add Books screen.
New Pre-fill screen that pops up when adding books
When adding a book to your database using the Add Books screen, it will now pop-up a new screen called “Pre-fill book details, letting you set various fields right then and there.
Fields available in the Pre-fill screen:
- Purchase Date
- Purchase Store
- Purchase Price
No more need to edit your added books afterwards!
(BTW: of course, using the new Pre-fill screen is optional. If you don’t want to use it, just uncheck the “Show Pre-fill screen” toggle at the bottom. You can always re-enable it through the program’s Options screen.)
- Editing a local file link popped up an error
The Manage Pick Lists screen is one of the most important screens of your Book Collector software. This is the screen you need for:
- Merging duplicate author entries
- Correct an Author sort name
- Fixing typos in Genres, Tags, Locations, etc…
- Removing unused pick list entries
- etc… etc…
But… judging from daily questions in our support channels, many users don’t even know of its existence. (Hint: it can be opened from the Edit menu). So with today’s update we are aiming to increase the awareness the Manage Pick Lists screen and to make it easier to access from anywhere.
From the main screen folder panel
In the main screen, you can now easily access the Manage Pick Lists screen for the selected folder field. Just click the new button right above the folder panel:
From the Edit Book screen
The Edit Book screen now has a big Manage [..] List button at the bottom, that automatically changes to match the field you are currently at:
From the Add/Edit item screen
- User Defined Yes/No fields are now available as options for the folder panel.
- Edit Multiple: Updating date fields wasn’t always working correctly if you only filled in a year.
- Edit in List: Editing the Collection Status field did not work.
- Folder panel: “Collection Status” folder option has been moved to “Personal” heading.
A big update for the Book Collector software today, with several improvements and fixes, all based on the daily feedback we are getting from our users.
Changing your folder field is now much easier
The folder panel is one of the most powerful tools of your Book Collector software. However, in our support conversations with users, we are finding that most users are always leaving their software on the out-of-the-box Author folders and never use anything else.
Which is sad, as they are missing out on a great tool. The folder panel instantly lets you group and filter your database on other fields too, e.g. by Publishing Year, by Genre, by Subject, by Location, etc.. Super useful and fun!
Now… I must admit that changing your folder panel to a different field was not very easy or obvious. As you had to create a “preset”, add your desired field(s), give the preset a name, save it, then finally activate the new preset in the folder panel.
So… we decided to make this all *much* easier, especially for single field folder settings.
- You can now directly select any folder field for the folder panel, without having to create a preset first. Just instantly pick your desired folder field under the “Folders” heading in the menu of the Folder button.
- Presets are now called Favorites.
- You can still create your own Favorite folder options, e.g. for multi-level folder settings (e.g. Year, then Author), or just to make a specific 1-field setting easily accessible.
- Your Favorite folder settings are listed at the top of the menu, under the Favorites heading.
- New: no more need to manually name your Favorites. Sensible names are created automatically (the selected fields separated by slashes).
Columns and Sorting
- For Columns and Sorting, “Presets” have been renamed to “Favorites” too.
- For Sort Favorites: no more need to manually name your Favorites. Sensible names are created automatically (the selected fields separated by slashes).
Edit Book: add multiple authors, credits, etc.. in one go
The Select screen for adding authors, credits, characters, etc… now includes checkboxes, so that you can multiple in one go. No more need to go back and fort between the Select and Edit screen to add multiple.
The new checkboxes for selecting multiple values in one go are now available in the Select screen for the following fields:
- Using “Select All” in your list was very slow. Super fast again now 🙂
- Print screen: “Field ID 221 has no XML tagname” error, when printing the Collection Status field as a column.
- Removed the annoying “beep” when searching in the Add Books screen.
- If cover downloads were disabled, the program would still download a cover URL
- If no rating was set, it would show with rating “0” in the rating column. It now shows “nothing” in the column again.
- If no rating has been set for a book, it would show in a “0” folder, and now shows in a “[None]” folder in your folder panel.
- In some case, new entries added through Add from Core would get images with .tmp extensions, instead of .jpg.
- Editing pick list items directly from the folder panel did not work anymore.
- Dragging items between folders did not work anymore.
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger!
Here’s another big update for your Book Collector software, with two further performance improvements:
Faster image downloads
We were able to make several improvements to the way images are downloaded (covers), making it much faster than before.
This change affects all places where images are downloaded from our servers, that is, when Adding Books from Core, when Updating from Core and when down-syncing from CLZ Cloud.
Faster Update from Core
On large collections the old Update from Core feature was quite slow, as it updated your books one by one, that is, doing separate requests to our server for each and every book.
So for this update, we also complete rewrote the Update from Core feature to do the updates in batches of 100 books at a time, making it much much faster! (roughly 4 times as fast).
Remember: Update From Core can be used to update your local book entries with possible extra data from our Core online book database. To use this feature, select some books, right click, then choose Update from Core.
- Add Books from Core: when adding by ISBN and the ISBN is not found, it now automatically pops up the Unrecognized ISBN screen, so that you can 1. add the book anyway and 2. report the missing ISBN to our Core.
- When using My Rating as the folder field, the “0” folder was missing.
- When using multiple levels of folders in the folder panel, sometimes the displayed counters were wrong.
- Images View: it is now possible to change thumb size using Ctrl + mouse wheel.
- Templates: Audio book length was missing in certain situations.
- Templates: Better visibility of authors that have a wiki-link if a book has multiple authors
- Images View: Improved spacing between thumbnails
- Images View: Mouse over on images didn’t show the title of the item
- Cover Flow: Now uses big sharp images instead of the small thumbnails
- Find Cover: Could give an Access Violation when finding GIF images
- Templates: Improved visibility of authors if a book has multiple authors
When users send us screenshots during support conversations, we are seeing that many of you are using the Shelves View when browsing your collections. And we can’t blame you, that IS a cool looking view 🙂 However, it *could* be a bit slow and jerky, especially when displaying many cover images in one list.
So our Windows guy Joe has spent several weeks to make this Shelves View faster and smoother. At the same time, our in-house graphics man AJ has created two new Shelf styles. Here’s what’s new:
- Images are now loading a lot faster.
- Scrolling is faster and smoother.
- Shelves background is smoother, no more visible tile edges.
- Shelves now always continue over the full width, even when a row is not full.
- Two new Shelf Styles are now available: White and Concrete.
TIP: here’s how to get to Shelves View:
in your program’s book list panel, click the vertical Images tab on the right, then from the toolbar above the list panel, choose a Shelf Style. Use the slider to control the size of the images.
The new “White” style:
The new “Concrete” style:
- Fixed several issues with AutoSync that could cause Access Violation errors
Faster CLZ Cloud syncing!
We have made several structural changes to the CLZ Cloud syncing, making it much much faster than before, especially when syncing large amounts of entries up to the CLZ Cloud or down from the CLZ Cloud.
To enjoy the faster syncing, you need to use the actual Sync with CLZ Cloud screen.
(The Auto-Syncing in the background is also slightly faster now, but if you need to sync many entries up or down, please use the Sync with CLZ Cloud screen.)
Improved stability when using Auto-Syncing
At the same time, we have resolved several issues with the Auto-Syncing in the background, problems that could cause Access Violations in some situation. So this 20.1 version should provide a more stable experience too.
- Some statistics weren’t shown correctly on screens with higher DPI settings.
In this update a re-design of the Tag editing interface and faster and more stable cloud syncing through our brand-new dedicated Sync-server.
Edit Book: improved interface for adding/editing Tags
In version 20, we changed the user interface for adding/editing Tags to a checkbox list. Of course, we did so thinking we were improving this, making it easier for you all. Instead of having to type in the box, just checkbox from your existing tag list, quick and easy 🙂
Boy, were we wrong here. After the v20 release, we received complaint after complaint about this change. Most users were very upset about not being able to copy/paste tags in anymore, others criticized having to scroll through long tag lists to find the ones they want, yet others, found it way too difficult to add new tags (some even missing the possibility) and finally some even reported it as a serious database corruption that they now suddenly saw all tags in all their books (which was of course not the case).
Anyway, to cut a long story short, we made a big boo-boo there :-).
Our sincerest apologies!
So in today’s v20.0.2, we have again re-designed the tag adding/editing interface, to take away all complaints, to resolve all problems. We are convinced that with the new design, we are giving you the best of both worlds:
- Clear overview of which tags are currently set.
- Easy adding of existing tags, using the Add Tags popup screen, which lets you:
- Find existing tags using a search box,
- Checkbox tags to add them.
- Even lets you checkbox multiple tags in one go.
- The big “paste-box” is back for easily adding multiple tags by copy/pasting.
Now uses our brand-new CLZ Cloud Sync-server
Previously one big server was handling the Connect website, the CLZ Cloud website AND the CLZ Cloud syncing from the desktop programs and the mobile apps.
But this week we have set up a brand-new dedicated Sync-server to handle just the CLZ Cloud syncing.
In today’s update, Book Collector has been updated to sync through this new server, which should result in faster syncing and a more stable syncing experience during high load times (weekends).
- Add Books: Region settings weren’t included in the search.
- Solved several different “Access Violation” errors.
- Added number of pages.
- Author count could be of because of books with multiple authors
- Changed colors of statistics screen for Light Skin.
We are 2 weeks into 2020, so it’s time for Book Collector 20! Today in v20, we’re bringing you 2 super useful and time-saving improvements for the folder panel, plus a brand new Statistics screen.
With all the big comic and game related releases going on, it has been a few months since the last Book Collector update. But we didn’t forget you! In the background, we have been “secretly” working on a big update, which is available now as version 19.3!
Here’s what’s new:
- Many more fields now sync with the CLZ Cloud / Book Connect:
- Audiobook length, Abridged (yes/no), Narrator
- Illustrator, Edition, Extras, Cover Price
- “Original” fields: Title, Subtitle, Publisher, Publication Date, Country, Language
- AND the Back Cover image!
- The Location field has been moved to the bottom of the Edit Screen
- Collection Status field is now a dropdown menu
Today’s fix version repairs the link screen that yielded no results when only searching for author and title. It’s also the first version built with our updated developer tools.
If you’re encountering any new issues with this version, contact us through support.
- Link Screen sometimes gave no results at all
- Bigger buttons for the find cover screen and options screen,
- Filter Screen: Drag/Drop of pre-set filters could give an Access Violation error
- Duplicate Finder:
- Updated the standard set of columns (you can also pick your own using the column button top right)
- After searching for duplicates twice, the screen could show “0 found” even if it found duplicates
- When running the program on 2 or more screens with different DPI settings, you could get a “List Index out of Bounds” error
- You can now bypass the “Lock File” warning if it appears on start up
- Add buttons in the Add Screen are now disabled while data is being downloaded to prevent an Access Violation
Based on user feedback we found out users were looking for and expecting a tool to find duplicate entries in their database. Some way to find out if you’ve accidentally added multiple versions of the same book, but perhaps with a different ISBN.
After quite a few requests and discussions with users about this, to find out how they got duplicates and what they would expect from such a Duplicate Finder tool, it’s here today: Find Duplicate entries in your database!
New: Find Duplicate Books
Click menu Tools > Maintenance > Find Duplicates to begin.
Then select which field to find duplicates on. You can find duplicates based on:
- Title & Author
- All Fields
Click “Find Duplicates” and see what it comes up with. Use the blue “Keep” button to keep a group of duplicates, or use the red “Remove” button to remove a duplicate!
If you click “Remove all duplicates automatically” the program will remove all duplicate entries and will only keep 1 single entry (the oldest one) in your database.
Tip: use the columns button, top right, to set up the columns you’d like to see!