Using a Macro to Select/Change a Search Index

The Voyager search indexes are very extensive, but finding the one you need can sometimes be time-consuming. In the Cataloging Module there are 30+ indexes to select from. If you are a cataloger, you probably use the Staff Name Search index frequently to do authority checking. The Voyager search window usually opens with the Title index on top:

In Voyager you change the index--if your hand is steady--by pulling down the scrollbar, scrolling down until you find Staff Name Heading, and then clicking on it.

Or, you can click in the Search by box and type "s" until Staff Name Heading comes up. The second strategy works pretty well because the most heavily used indexes float to the top.

But if you select an index like Staff Subject Heading and then want to change to Staff Name Heading, you will have to type "s" in the Search by box 13 times (or pull down the scroll bar and click 6 times in the reverse direction and then click on Staff Name Heading). Or, if you didn't remember that you have to click in the reverse direction, you could click 22 times forward and then figure out that you were supposed to click in the reverse direction. Or you could remember that Staff Name is close to Title and Title always comes up first, and type "t" and then "s").

Or, you can use the Search Staff Names Heading Search macro.

First make sure the macro has been activated. To activate the macro, follow the instructions at: Activating a Macro. If you have difficulty following the instructions, get help from your Expert User. The activation instructions are also listed on the Tips for Expert Users section on the Macro Express at Yale home page.

Once the macro has been activated,

-open the Search window (Title will probably be the index displayed in the Search by box); note that the cursor does not need to be in the Search by box

-press down the keys Alt, Shift, and y, and then let go (the keys used to run a particular macro are called hot keys)

-the Search by menu will scroll automatically to Staff Name Headings Search and place the cursor in the Search for box

If you're new to Macro Express, note that you have to let go of the hot keys before the macro can run. All 3 keys need to be pressed down before you let go in order for the macro to run successfully. Don't press down Alt, let go, press Shift, let go, and press y: the macro won't run and the only result will probably be the letter y in the Search for box. You also don't have to snatch your hands away from the keyboard when you let go of the keys, the program will give you enough time to let go. Practice running the macro a bit until you get a feel for the response time of the program. In the documentation and in the Macro Express program's window, it is a convention for the hot key sequences to be punctuated by the plus sign; if the key sequence is given as Alt+Shift+y, don't hold down the plus key when you run the macro.

If you find the Search Staff Name Headings Search macro to be useful, consider activating other Search selection macros, such as Search Staff Subject Headings Search. The Search macros you activate should depend on the nature of the work you do. If you use the ISBN index a lot, activate the Search ISBN (020a|z) macro . If you use the Call Number index frequently, activate the Search Call Number macro. Remember that the index will not work if the database you are working in does not not use it. For example, the Search Staff Name Headings index is not available when the Cataloging Module is opened from Acquisitions.

Why do the Search macros need to be activated? There are around 40 Search macros. Different searches need to be used depending on the kind of work you are doing; most of us don't need to use all of them. Every macro activated means one less key sequence that can be used for custom hot key mapping to macros that might be far more useful for your work. (Most Search macros have their unactivated default hot keys mapped to Alt+Shift, which has been reserved for customized, workstation specific macros.)

Kudos to Eric Friede for creating all of the Search macros. If you have specific questions about the Search macros or ideas about improvement, you can e-mail him by clicking on his link on the Macro Express at Yale page.

Effective Date: 
February 12, 2014