New In Version 3:
Virtually every new feature in the latest release comes from a suggestion
made by a user. Thanks, everyone, for the great ideas! Yard Office has really captured the interest
of model railroaders, and I value greatly all of your support and comments
– both pro and con. I appreciate all
of you who have recommended the program to fellow modelers, club members,
and all the kind words on various forums.
Especially thanks to those who have registered the software.
Here’s a quick look at the new features:
|Option To Remove Price from Some Reports:
The suggestion was made that sometimes an inventory roster or labels sheet would be nice
to share with fellow modelers or club members, but we don't necessarily want
to share the financial data. A new "Include price?" check box is
included on some of those reports.
New Simple Roster Reports:
Turns out, even our "Brief" roster report wasn't that brief...
so I added a couple of new simpler rosters.
Margins For Binders:
Someone pointed out that a lot of rosters will wind up in a three ring binder,
but our margins were too narrow to accommodate that. Fixed.
Some really advanced users have always wanted the ability to design their
own custom reports. I've included a custom report generator in the new release.
Some will find it rewarding to create reports laid out exactly as you want.
Others, I'm sure, will just find that sort of thing tedious. For them: use
the existing reports that I designed, and use the time to run trains!
Multiple Instances of Same Road Names:
It's been pointed out that sometimes it would be nice to use different road
heralds (railroad logos) for the same road name on different types of cars.
Yard Office won't let you enter two instances of the same road name. A new
feature allows you to create one road, say "BNSF (old)" and another
"BNSF (modern)" with the swoosh logo. On screen you'll see the road
names exactly as entered to avoid confusion. But on reports, only "BNSF"
will print. (Anything inside of () will be removed for reports.) This feature
may be turned on or off so that you can also choose to print them as is.
A continual request I've had is the ability to use multiple databases for
different layouts (mine and my grandson's or my HO and my N). I've always
resisted this one since I like the idea of just using filters to control such
things and keeping it all in one database. But for those who want it, I've
Another feature that I've resisted is the use of the "Quantity"
field. Some users have asked that reports with financial data respect the
Quantity entry and calculate accordingly. It makes sense, so Yard Office now
does that. Why do I resist? I like entering a separate record for each car
so that you can track maintenance, price differences, etc. separately for
each. But for those who still choose to use it, Quantity now calculates correctly.
I've added the ability to show manufacturer logos on inventory screens...
a nice quick way to see who made the model.
|"Repairs Needed" Tracking:
A new "To-Do" check box has been added to Maintenance Logs to allow
noting repairs that need to be done but are not yet completed. Notice a problem
with a locomotive? Create a log entry describing it and check the "To-Do"
box to address it later. When you're ready to get to work, run the new "Scheduled
Repairs" report. As you do the repairs, set the filter to "Repairs Needed" and only those pieces with "To-Do" checked will appear.
|Send Report Output to a Text File
Registered users may now select "Text File" as an output option for all reports. The system creates a simple ASCII text file which may be edited and printed using your favorite word processor (like Word or Notepad). This is useful if you want to alter any report's appearance before printing.
New In Version 2.0:
Interface: The most
noticeable change is the new tabbed input interface. The older version of Yard
Office presented a rather cluttered screen for input, and the vast majority of
requests from users were for additional fields that were needed to keep track
of rolling stock in the way they wanted. There simply wasn't room for
everything on one screen, so I divided the information into tabbed pages. You
can set a preference to force going to the next page as you exit the final
field on each page. I did create an
"Everything" tab for those who still like the idea of having access to all fields
without switching to the next tab. It's a bit cluttered in our eyes, but some
may like it. Think of it as "Classic Coke."
& Added Value Logs: Another major, highly
requested addition is the ability to track any and all changes to your
model whether it’s repair, upgrading, add-on detail, paint, decals,
weathering, or just an inspection.
You can also track costs of the add-ons which add to the total for
the piece. Click the “Log” tab to
view and edit a chronological listing of your work on each item. There is a new report (Maintenance Log
Roster) which lists all activity.
The log listing also shows up at the bottom of the
one-page-per-item Roster (Full w/ Photos) Report, or when you click the
“Print Page” button on the main screen.
Anything: Previously, filters were limited to key
fields and a few date ranges. You
may now filter on essentially any field in the system. Just want to see a list of red cars and
engines… filter by color scheme!
- New Fields: Numerous users requested additional fields for their
inventory goals. Remember, you can change the label of any field by Double-clicking
on it, so if there's a new field that's not meaningful to you, but one you
would like is missing... just change the name and use it as you like! I've
- Height, Length and
Weight for more prototype detail.
- Added Value costing
detail for tracking things like painting cars, weathering, new couplers
or trucks, and detailing.
- New "Purchased
Configuration" key field to indicate if the piece is brass, plastic,
a kit, purchased undecorated, etc. One of our most requested changes.
- "Owner" for
clubs who want to track individual ownership of rolling stock.
- "DCC type"
for an extra bit of DCC information such as 28/128 step, or other decoder
- "Set" and
"Quantity" to allow indicating if the piece is part of a set or
if there are several of these items on your layout.
Fields Preference Settings
- Chances are, with all
the new fields, there will be some you’ll want to rename for other uses,
and some you’ll just never need.
There is a new page in the Preferences section which allows you to
rename fields or disable them.
- If you change a field’s
name, the new label will show up on all screens where it exists and in
- If you disable a field,
you won’t have to press enter in the blank each time you go through it…
the system will just skip over it as if it didn’t exist.
- If you disable a field,
but want to enter something into it one time only, left click the “Enable
All” button in the upper right corner.
Right click to return disabled fields to your preference settings.
- New Reports:
new DCC Roster Report and DCC labels are lists of those items with DCC
decoders and include Decoder, Sound, DCC Type, and DCC Address.
- Car Cards for Operations
– another one of our most requested additions – prints a portrait 3X5
card for each car you want to use in your operations session.
Add a pocket to the bottom front by attaching a piece of transparency
or card-stock for waybills. I like
it, because it includes a photo of the car for quick identification… something
the preprinted operations cards don’t do.
- Maintenance Log Roster
- Report Selector Wizard: Several folks mentioned
to us that our reports page was "confusing." I can't disagree. To simplify when
you're not sure which report to choose, click on the new "Report
Selector" button to quickly find the type of report you want using
visual samples of each layout.
- New Import/ Export Formats: It turns out (somewhat
to my surprise) that importing and exporting this data is a big need among
our users. I've added the SYLK and CSV (comma delimited text) formats for
importing and exporting. These are mainstream data formats which almost
any program will import/ export to. This allows you to use your Yard
Office data in any software you like. (Special note for Excel 2007 users:
I've found that the new Excel Compatibility mode really isn't, so
importing from and Excel 2007 worksheet directly into Yard Office doesn't
work. To import an Excel 2007 worksheet, export from Excel to SYLK or CSV,
then use that format for your Yard Office import).
- Other Changes:
- The name of the former “Add”
button has been changed to “New” to better reflect what it does: create a
new record. This terminology is
more compatible with most current software.
- Pressing F2 toggles between
the Lookup Table and the field you were working in. F3 toggles between
the Scan Window and the field you were working in.
- I have added an “ID
number” at the bottom right of the Main page. Several users requested a unique
identifier for each car.
- Yard Office now
remembers the last folder you used for back up data, rolling stock
images, and heralds.
- Password protection is
now available (What? You forgot to
tell that sweet spouse of yours how much all this cost????). Click Preferences; Start-Up; Set
Password to require a password to start Yard Office.
- The “Brief” Roster now
allows running with or without car counts for each grouping. Sometimes, you just want a simple list
with no subtotals.
- DCC fields are now
enabled for all items, not just locomotives. Users indicated to us that they are
adding decoders or sound to several other kinds of rolling stock.
- In preferences, you may now select how you want to sort road numbers:
numerically (512, 1234, 2345, 1234567) or character-wise/alpha (1234,
1234567, 2345, 512)
- Plus, of course, lots
of minor glitch fixes, cleanups, and such.
As always, the upgrade is
transparent and requires nothing more than the installation on your part. Data is upgraded during the first run of the
system automatically with no loss to your existing work.
New From Version
- Add as many images as
you like for
each item in inventory (well, up to 999,999) for each item. Images
rotate each time you use Yard Office.
- View matching inventory for each look-up item
in edit lookup tables. (For example, view a
quick list of all PRR pieces, or all Atlas pieces).
- Access prototype notes from the main inventory
window. Different notes available for road names, manufacturers,
dealers, categories, types, and status.
- Import or export to and from Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. *
- Save filters to allow quickly
reactivating frequently used filter set-ups. *
- Quick clear filters directly from main screens. *
- Several new settings in "Preferences" including you choice of
date format, hiding sold items, and the ability to erase old Auto Complete
- Numerous New reports: Roster detail, Roster Value, Detailed Roster
with photos, Analysis, Photo Sheets and Labels. Ability to include
notes on reports. *
- Redesigns on older reports including car counts on roster lists.
- Ability to click any heading in browse to sort by
- New fields: "Built" (for prototype use eras on
each car), and "Condition."
- Date stamping feature automatically marks each item with the date
that you entered the data for it.
- Date filtering allows you to view only those items acquired, sold or
added to the database in a certain time period. *
- More space in all six key fields for those who want to type more
than just a code there.
- New "Find" window allowing you to search
on any key field, not just the once currently selected.
- Scrollable windows for most screens to accommodate users with low
resolution monitors. (We still recommend running on the highest
- Window size memory to keep track of your window resizing, and start-up the
way you left it. Better window manipulation overall has been
implemented allowing multiple browse windows, and browsing while leaving
detail window accessible.
- Light-up headings on the Scan Inventory
and Lookup windows on the main inventory screen to quickly alert you when
one of those windows is active.
- Duplicate car checking will alert you if you
enter a second instance of the same road name and number. Of course
you can continue with the item if that's what you want, but it might let
you know that you're entering the same car twice.
- File Back-Up allows you to create a copy of your data for safety.
- Total button at the bottom right of the main window allows you to
see a quick view of your inventory statistics (either all of it or the
filtered* portion you're currently viewing).
- Tips & Techniques now will appear at start-up (if you choose) and may be
accessed on the Help menu.
Many of these upgrades were suggested by our users. Email us if you
have comments or thoughts!
* Features marked with asterisk require
registration to activate.