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Basic Tutorial -- Step 10: Find and recover text

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Finding text

When you want to search for text you know is in the project somewhere, use the Tools | Find menu item, which brings up a search dialog. As you search, each rule that contains the text in one of its fields will be selected in the table, map or browser and will be loaded into the rule editor panel.


If you simply type over something unintentionally, or delete a rule accidentally, you can use the multi-level undo facility to restore your work. Use the Edit | Undo menu item for this. Note that there are separate undo lists for the player window and the world editor window -- accessed via their respective edit menus. The text of the undo menu item will reflect the action you can undo or redo. You can undo the most recent 1000 things done in each window.


If you undo something and then change your mind, you can redo it with Edit | Redo. If you undo multiple times, and then make some other change, you can no longer redo any of the undone things -- those undone changes are lost (except for some text recovery possible via the change long).

The change log

The last thing to try is to looking at the
change log. We all have had the experience of constructing a perfect piece of prose and then losing it somehow. Even though it is almost always better written the second time, that's often no consolation. To help prevent that initial loss, all new text you enter and save in a rule is stored in a change log.

Text is saved in a rule when you tab out of a field, do some menu action or mouse click that would require the current value of a rule (including doing an undo), and whenever you mouse click within the reply field. Text is only saved if it has changed somehow. Replies are always saved when changed; unique contexts, commands, moves, and other fields are only saved the first time they are created.

You can view the change log by using the Tools | Log File menu option. Try it to see all the text you have entered in the tutorial. The window that comes up allows you to copy text from it using the Copy selection button. Note that the text is pretty much in the order you entered it. However, there is no way to determine what piece of text was intended to go with what rule.

The wizards also add text to the change log. If you decide to undo the rules produced by a wizard, you can use the change log to get what you previously typed into the wizard for a second try. The text entered in a wizard is not added to the log until you either finish or cancel from the wizard. If you worry about your computer crashing, and you use the new contexts wizard to create long entries (with dozens or hundreds of contexts at a time), it may be safest to do the initial work in a word processor with a good incremental save facility (like Microsoft Word) and then paste the results into the wizard. In practice though, you will probably very rarely create more than a dozen or so entry lines at a time in the new contexts wizard.

If you are using Story Harp in a public place like a school computer lab and want to keep your work private, you may wish to use the Clear button on the change log window before you finish to permanently clear out the change log. A backup copy is made even in that case which you would have to delete by hand (or by clearing the change log a second time).

The change log provides a place of last resort to look to recover the textual part of your work. You should still save your world file often, keep incremental versions of your worlds (v1, v2, v3 etc.), and make backup copies of your work.

This concludes the basic tutorial. You now know enough to build a simple world. The intermediate tutorial will teach you something about sound and music, requirements and changes, browsing, and debugging.

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Updated: March 10, 1999. Questions/comments on site to
Copyright © 1998, 1999 Paul D. Fernhout & Cynthia F. Kurtz.