What's new in Book Connect? 2017
In this “between Christmas and New Year” week, a huge update to the look and feel of our Connect web-based software.
- We removed the tabs at the top that let you switch between the programs, to give you more screen space for the software you are in. (you can still switch using the app-switcher button top right).
- Dark toolbars with white text and buttons everywhere, while keeping your list and details pages light and clear.
- All tools and feature are now accessible from the “hamburger” menu on the top left.
- Your account settings and log out options in a “user menu” on the right.
- TIP: the new look is also available in your free CLZ Cloud viewer!
All Connect apps: Manage Pick Lists, edit, merge and remove pick list entries.
A Manage Pick Lists screen is now available in Connect!
Finally, you can easily manage your pick lists for Artists, Authors, Series, Genres, Formats, etc… To edit your sort names, merge duplicate entries or remove entries.
The new Manage Pick Lists screen can be found in the Tools menu top right (the wrench icon).
- New fields you can now sort your books on:
New fields for Edit Multiple
We’ve expanded the amount of fields you can edit in the Edit Multiple screen.
We’ve made it more clear how you can clear information from specific fields for all selected items you’re editing. Use the X button to clear a field for all selected items.
Using “Edit Multiple”
Quick reminder how to use Edit Multiple: Click the “Select” button at the top of your Connect page, select a couple of items, and click “Edit” (again, at the top).
Be advised that changes you make here affect all selected items, and can not be reverted once done!
New in Book Connect: Loan/Return books and a Loan Manager feature!
You can now loan books in Book Connect: just find and select a book (or select multiple with the Select tool), and click the “Loan” button at the top!
Click the wrench icon, top right, and then Loan Manager to access the new Loan Manager where you can see all your loaned out items, and directly return them. Alternatively you can also use CLZ Barry to scan an ISBN of a book, find it in your outstanding loans, and return it.
In the Loan Manager, you can click on a loaned item to modify the loan date, due date, return date, loaner and notes about the loan.
- Loan books by selecting a couple in your list, or by viewing the details of a book, and then click “Loan” at the top.
- Return books straight from the loan manager or by scanning their ISBN barcodes with CLZ Barry.
- Check outstanding loans and loan history in the Loan Manager.
- Edit outstanding or returned loans by clicking on them.
All loan information can also be synced to Book Collector for Windows. We will also be adding the syncing of loan information to CLZ Books for iOS and Android and Book Collector for Mac.
Book Connect and the CLZ Cloud for books have just been improved to better handle the sort names for your authors.
Plus, you can now actually edit your author entries to change the sort name and have more control over how your books are sorted!
Here’s what’s new:
- The cloud storage has been changed to allow each user to have their own sort names for their author entries (previously, author sort names were used from the Core).
- This also means that Author Sort Names now sync better between the desktop and mobile software.
- For Book Connect and CLZ Cloud, it fixes sorting differences between the folder panel and the book list panel.
- In Book Connect, you can edit your author entries (including their sort name) from the Edit Book screen and also straight from their entry in the author folder panel (using the little pencil icon, see screen shot below)
With all the sharing features we’re building we’ve now added a way for you to set a default view for your friends so they can browse your collection the way you want them to.
To set a default view for your friends:
Go to your CLZ Cloud / Connect page, login at the top right and set the columns, sorting and folder view you wish your friends see when they browse your collection.
Once you’re happy with the setup, choose Settings from the “wrench” icon menu top right. Then click the blue button “Set current view as default view” and you’re done! Anyone viewing your collection for the first time will now get the view you’ve just set for them.
You can now quickly share your entire collection or one single item in your collection with anyone using the Share button at the top of your collection. You can share your collection or single item on Facebook, Twitter, via email or just copy a direct link using the Share icon top right.
Go to your cloud page, login at the top right, and use the Share icon at the top to begin:
Share entire collection
For your entire collection, make sure you’re on your Cloud / Connect page with all your items in view and then click the Share icon top right:
Share one single item
For one single item, click the item in your collection and then click the Share button at the top:
This is a new way to show your collection list to specific people, without making it Public. Just set your Cloud Visibility to Private, hiding it from public view, then generate a secret Private Cloud Sharing link. Send this link to your friends and only they will be able to see your collection. Best of both worlds!
To change our Cloud Visibility, go to your cloud page, login at the top right, then choose Settings from the “wrench” icon menu.
Previously, the search feature in the cloud viewer took you to a separate page showing the search results.
Now, the search is fully integrated into the regular collection viewer. Which means that you can now search, then further drill down using folders and/or the alphabet bar. Super handy, especially for large collections.
Another productive week here for our Connect pages! Our web developer Joe has finished work on 2 improvements for your Connect page:
New layouts in Edit Screen
We recently took a look at our Edit Screen and figured it was time to change some fields around as we thought they weren’t all logically placed. So for all 5 Connect titles we’ve now changed the layout and placements of your fields in the Edit Screen. We also consolidated all “Cover” tabs in the edit screens so they work the same in all 5 Connect titles.
New: Duplicate feature
You can now duplicate an item in your database. To do this, click on an item in your database to view its details, then at the top click on “Duplicate”.
The new duplicated item will be an exact duplicate of the previous item, but it will be unlinked. You can Link the duplicated item with the “Link” button at the top of the details page.
We’d love to see more users enjoy the fun and ease of adding items to their database by scanning barcodes with their phone or tablet. So we also decided a couple of weeks ago to make our CLZ Barry app FREE (previously US $10).
New: Directly connect to CLZ Barry from Connect
Previously you needed a special program to connect and send barcodes to your computer, but today we added a direct connection to CLZ Barry on all “Add by Barcode” pages on Connect, which means you can directly connect to any mobile device running the barcode scanning app “CLZ Barry” and scan barcodes straight into your Add by Barcode page on Connect!
Reminder: What is CLZ Barry ?
CLZ Barry is the Collectorz.com barcode scanner app. It lets you:
- Scan barcodes with your mobile device’s camera.
- Instantly send the barcodes (the 12 or 13-digit numbers) to the Add page on Connect.
How to get started with CLZ Barry
Improvements to “Selection Mode”
You can now enter selection mode and use the “Select All” button top left to select all items in a list, or use “Shift clicking” to select a bunch of items in one go (hold the Shift button on your keyboard and click a couple of items to select/deselect them).
Use these selection mode improvements to select a subset of your database and quickly export them to PDF for instance!
New “None” folder added
We added a new “None” folder to your folder group view. The “None” folder will display when the field you’re folder grouping on is empty for that item.
Example: if you folder on “Genres” but you have one item where the Genre is not filled in, that specific item will appear in your “None” folder!
Print to PDF: Field Names on every page
We added a new checkbox in the settings for Print to PDF to include the field names column header on every single page.
New statistics added
We added some more collection statistics to the statistic screen. In your Connect page, click the “wrench” icon top right and then “Statistics” to check them out!
At the moment our entire web-team, 3 developers, is working full-time on our Connect editions. And it shows: lot of improvements and small tweaks are being released in rapid succession.
An overview of last week’s updates, now live in your Connect account:
This is a big one, as it makes editing your entries in Connect a lot quicker (and less annoying!).
Previously, after editing an entry, the entire list refreshed which A. was slow and B. caused you to lose your place in the list.
Now, the list does not refresh anymore. After an edit action, the edited item is simply updated with the new field values. Which is super quick and leaves you right where you were before you opened the Edit screen.
NOTE: this change has one implication: If your edit action would cause the item to be sorted in a different place in the list, or even to be moved to a different folder, that will not happen immediately. A simple manual refresh is all it takes in that case.
Updated Statistics screen
We re-wrote the Statistics screen using different charting tools, which makes them look and animate nicer AND solves several browser-specific problems.
Print to PDF enhancements
The new Print to PDF feature can now be used on a selection of items. So just go to Select mode, select some items, then choose Print to PDF in the toolbar top right.
Also, we have added a Margin setting, that lets you control the width of the margins of the generated PDF output.
More column and sort fields
We are regularly receiving requests for more fields to be available as column and sort fields. If technically feasible, we are adding these as we go. Some recent additions:
- Comics: Release Date and Cover Price are now available as column fields.
- Comics: Read It is now available in the Field Defaults settings.
- Movies: Director and Format are now sortable fields.
- Movies: Title Sort is now available as an Export field.
- Games: Genre is now available as a sort field.
New in the CLZ Cloud viewer and Book Connect: a Print to PDF feature!
Generate a PDF file from your book list, ideal for printing.
Whilst we make daily backups for you on our own servers, you can now create your own backup of your Connect database and download it to your computer!
If you ever make a big mistake and lose valuable data, you can upload a previously downloaded backup file and restore it to your current database.
Import any Text or .CSV file into your collection
You can now import any text file (.txt) or comma separated value file (.csv) into your collection on Connect using the new import page in your Connect account.
With this new import tool you are able to quickly import a list of books from for instance an existing collection you may have in a spreadsheet or different software. All you have to do is export those books from your other software to a text or CSV file and follow the steps on the new Import page in your Connect account.
Do you already have a list of your movies, books, cds, comics or games? E.g. entered in a spread-sheet program, or created using a different cataloging tool, then exported to CSV?
Cool, you can now easily get that list into your Collectorz.com program (desktop, mobile or Connect). Just use our new flexible import tool to import your existing list into the CLZ Cloud. This will make your list instantly available in Connect. Or sync to the mobile app or desktop software using the CLZ Cloud syncing.