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Pushpin links to files and folders
Marvin Hlavac
A couple of years ago a user brought to my attention the following very useful (undocumented) functionality:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gratefuldeadbolt

Currently using Streets and Trips 2006 on Win XP Pro (upgraded from S&T 2005)

I am on the road all the time with work as a mobile service technician and have just found a new use for the push pins. When I get to a customers site I add a pushpin (colored depending on type of customer or information I am trying to convey) Then in the push pin text box I add valuable contact info, including HTML links if the customer or supplier has a website. It occured to me since the push pin text box allows HTML links... I may also be able to link to a folder on my computer using the following format:

file:///path to folder using %20 for spaces

For example:

file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Dave/My%20Documents/Customer%20Folder

This would open an instance of "C:/Documents and Settings/Dave/My Documents/Customer Folder"

You can save any path to any folder you like.

Now when I get to the customers site I can open the pushpin and open the directory where I save any additional info on the customer I like.

This also works with executable files such as word or excel. For example putting this:

file:///C:/TEST.XLS

in the push pin text box would open an excel file called "TEST" when I click on it.

Now I don't have to remember where I saved specific customer data... I keep their links inside of thier push pins.

Streets and trips is quickly becoming my new contact management program... Now if only Microsoft would add more Push Pin and Points of Intrest functionality in the next version!

Hope this helps some of you.
Marvin Hlavac
Th.M.Mädzulat over at www.mapforums.com posted about his inability to use the above in his Microsoft MapPoint 2002. However, he shares his solution:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Th.M.Mädzulat

Encouraged that it should work in principle I tried a little bit with the notation and found out that
file:C:Dokumente%20und%20EinstellungenAdministra tor... and
file:C:Dokumente%20und%20EinstellungenAdministr ator... and
file:C:/Dokumente%20und%20Einstellungen/Administrator/... and
file:/C:/Dokumente%20und%20Einstellungen/Administrator/...
WORKED!

But notations with
file://... or file:...
did NOT!

At least if the file was situated in a path that contained 'space-%20s' in its name.
Because
file://c:/file.jpg and file://c:/software/file.jpg
DID work...

Strange but that's it!
Source: pushpin hyperlink to user file
SpadesFlush
The information above is very useful. While I appreciate that this forum provides an opportunity for all of us to go into great detail on possible uses of Streets and Trips and AutoRoute, it still would be nice if the built-in Help file elaborated a little bit more on how hyperlinks can be used. As written now, the Help file addresses how to hyperlink to websites which is fine as far as it goes. However, the fact that these hyperlinks can be used to pull up files of many types is a powerful feature.

These hyperlinks are easy to create so long as you are very precise about the name of the file to which you are linking. Any small typo will result in a failed link. And, although file names with spaces in them are usable in most contexts, you must be sure to replace any of these spaces with the phrase "%20". So, a successful hyperlink could look like "file:c:/my%20documents/2010%20taxes.xls" (awkward as that might appear) but "file:c:/My Documents/2010 Taxes.xls" will fail to connect.

A hyperlink to a website must start with "http://www.", whereas a hyperlink to a local file must start with "file:" followed by its address on your computer.

The uses to which this Tip can be put are essentially unlimited. In addition to the examples posted by others above, you could link a series of single-day routes together by adding pushpins with hyperlinks to the other EST or AXE files for the next day or the previous day. This can be especially useful if you are creating GPS trails and/or other things that could potentially eat up valuable computing power. Or you could create a link to a side trip route file that you might want to take that would not clutter up the main route file.

Or you could Disk-Jockey your trip with pushpins along the way that link to music files on your computer with tunes that are appropriate to the locale or are just creating the right mood. Don't forget that Microsoft Anna will override the music to give you driving directions, if you elect.

Or you can use Streets & Trips/AutoRoute to document your trip after you are finished. If you take pictures along the way, you can create hyperlinks to those photos, regardless of whether you have put them on a photo-sharing site such as Welcome to Flickr - Photo Sharing or they are just on your own computer. I suppose (although I have not tried it) you could put your photos along with the route file on a CD or DVD and send that to friends and families, so long as you are careful that the hyperlinks are properly addressed. You can even customize the pushpin so that it is a mini-thumbnail image of the photo to which the pushpin is hyperlinked by making a very small BMP (less than 35x35 pixels) file of the photo.

If you have been touring and visiting interesting sites and collecting brochures along the way, you could scan those brochures when you get home and attach the resultant PDF files to the respective attractions rather than just stuffing the brochures into a shoe box. If you are using Streets & Trips/AutoRoute in a business situation and collecting documents as you go, you could scan the documents (probably at the end of the day) into PDF files and have them instantaneously organized in a logical fashion. Note that, in addition to the visible pushpins on the map, you will also have a list of the pushpins under the Matching tab of the pushpin set properties. Of course, all such pushpins can be collected handily into named sets for further organization.

Note also that hyperlinks do not have to be to single files. You can also link to a folder so that when you click on it, it opens Windows Explorer to the folder of the hyperlink. So, for instance, if you are a salesman organizing a day's schedule of visits to existing clients, you could set up a folder for each client with relevant files, documents or spreadsheets or scans, in it. Then when you visit the client, you can review what you need to and prepare for the meeting by opening up the hyperlinked client folder. Also, note that this allows you to recycle this sort of pushpin from one day's route to another by simply copying the pushpin from an old route file to a new one. Even if the contents of the folder have changed, it won't matter if the folder is still in the same place.

I am sure there are tons of other cool uses to which you put this feature to use; have a ball!
Ken in Regina
Hi SpadesFlush,

A couple of things...

Did you try file:"c:\my documents\2010 taxes.xls"?

Please note the positioning of the double-quotes around just the actual filename.

For web links you just need http://. You don't need the www unless the actual site URL requires it. Most don't require it these days. No point in typing any more than necessary.

...ken...
Marvin Hlavac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina

For web links you just need http://. You don't need the www unless the actual site URL requires it. Most don't require it these days. No point in typing any more than necessary.
It may work, but I wouldn't skip typing the www if the website uses it. Some sites use it, some don't, and many web sites redirect the "wrong" URL version to the "correct" URL version.

For example, if you attempt to access:

http://laptopgpsworld.com

you will be automatically redirected to

http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/

Using the correct version (the version the site uses) saves time and resources by avoiding the redirecting from one URL version to the other.
SpadesFlush
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin Hlavac
It may work,...
Using the correct version (the version the site uses) saves time and resources by avoiding the redirecting from one URL version to the other.
And not all websites are just "www."; some use "www2." and others. Fortunately, typing it in is something you would do just once when you are creating the pushpin link.
SpadesFlush
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
Hi SpadesFlush,

A couple of things...

Did you try file:"c:my documents2010 taxes.xls"?

Please note the positioning of the double-quotes around just the actual filename.
...
Thanks, Ken. I tried it just now and it did not work for me. The blue font and the underscoring stops at the first space, i. e., between "my" and "documents."
Marvin Hlavac
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
And not all websites are just "www."; some use "www2." and others. Fortunately, typing it in is something you would do just once when you are creating the pushpin link.
Actually, there is no need for typing. Instead, access the site, copy the URL, and then paste it where you need it.
SpadesFlush
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin Hlavac
Actually, there is no need for typing. Instead, access the site, copy the URL, and then paste it where you need it.
Yes, that also minimizes the typo risk.
SpadesFlush
I just thought of another potentially nifty use of pushpin hyperlinks. If you are planning a multi-day trip staying overnights in pre-reserved hotels or RV parks, it would be nice to have the confirmation for each set up as a PDF, copy of the e-mail confirmation, or other file with a pushpin hyperlink to that file for each overnight destination. Then, when you get there, a simple ctrl-double-click on the pushpin pulls it up for you without fumbling around for the paperwork. In fact, you would never have to print what you get from the host at all, just save it on your laptop and link it.
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpadesFlush
I just thought of another potentially nifty use of pushpin hyperlinks. If you are planning a multi-day trip staying overnights in pre-reserved hotels or RV parks, it would be nice to have the confirmation for each set up as a PDF, copy of the e-mail confirmation, or other file with a pushpin hyperlink to that file for each overnight destination. Then, when you get there, a simple ctrl-double-click on the pushpin pulls it up for you without fumbling around for the paperwork. In fact, you would never have to print what you get from the host at all, just save it on your laptop and link it.
Another good idea. That's one of the uses for the memopad travel notes on my Palm. Confirmation number (and quoted room rate and cancellation policy) side by side with my Wyndham Rewards member number. I find the Palm fits better in my pocket when I walk into the hotel's registration desk.

...ken...
SpadesFlush
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
... I find the Palm fits better in my pocket when I walk into the hotel's registration desk...
While I am sure YOUR Palm fits in better in YOUR pocket, MY Viliv S5 fits OK in MY pocket without having any data transferred.
Ken in Regina
Touché!!

...ken...
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