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OpenLobby by eXtreme Ground

  1. QuickStart guide
  2. Installation guide
  3. User Manual
  4. Technical Manual
  5. Frequently Asked Questions
  6. Troubleshooting guide
  7. Report a problem or request a feature

User Manual

OpenLobby by eXtreme Ground (OLEG) is a simple, easy to use program for adding federal and provincial riding and municipal ward information to your organization's membership lists. However, no program is foolproof, so this guide will help you work through most of the issues.

Input formats

The first thing you need to know is that OLEG expects to see your membership list in an Excel or OpenDocument spreadsheet format. Moreover, it cannot currently handle the new Microsoft OOXML format (.xlsx), just the older (.xls) versions.

Similarly, it only works with the OpenDocument (.ods) format and not the older but very similar OpenOffice.org format (.sxc).

If you have a spreadsheet in a different format, use your spreadsheet program to save it as one of the supported formats. For example, if you are using the current release of Microsoft Office, use the Save As item on the file menu, then select the Office/Excel XP format to save the spreadsheet.

If you are maintaining your membership data in a database, it probably has an export function. If it can save the data in a supported spreadsheet format directly, then do it.

Otherwise, if it can save the data in dBASE or Comma Separated Values format, you can open the exported data file in your spreadsheet program and save it in a supported format.

The second thing is that OLEG expects the first row of the first sheet of the spreadsheet to contain column headings. The remaining rows on the sheet contain the membership data.

sample membership list

The above image shows a sample membership list. Note that it is on Sheet1 of the spreadsheet and the first row contains the column headings. The membership data follows the column headings in the subsequent rows.

While the information you store about the members is not important, so long as the member's postal code is in its own column, the information must be kept in a columnar format with column headings in the first row.

The File Menu

the File menu

Open

The Open menu item allows you to select your membership list for updating. It brings up a File Open dialog that allows you to navigate to wherever you have the list. Once you select it, it will be opened and the column headings identified.

From there, you normally would verify that the columns have been identified properly, making any necessary changes, then click on the "Update" button.

Save As

Once the file has been updated, you can save it - preferably under a different name or in a different location. While it is possible to save the file directly, it's safer to keep both your original file and the updated one.

Note that the "Save As" dialog is opened automatically once the update has completed. The option allows you to reconsider if you canceled the original "Save As" or if you want to keep multiple different copies of the file.

Note that you don't have to save the file in the same format as the original. You can save it in any of the supported formats.

Import

Import allows you import updated postal code / riding information. Under normal use you can ignore this option.

Rebuild indexes

This option allows your to rebuild the database indexes on the postal code and riding tables OLEG uses. Under normal circumstances you never need to use it. However, apart from taking a minute or so (depending on your computer) to run, it does no harm.

eXit

This option quits the program. You will be prompted if there is unsaved data

The Main Panel

the Main Panel

the Postal Code field

This list contains all the column headings in the opened file. You need to select the column that contains the member's postal code. While OLEG tries to identify the correct column automatically, it cannot guarantee that it will always pick the appropriate one.

Note that you must have previously opened a file for the list to be populated.

Note also that selecting the most appropriate column is crucial. If you select the wrong column, you get wrong results.

For example, you may store both the work address and home address for your members. If you select the postal code relating to their work address, they can't tell politicians that they live in their riding.

the Riding and Ward fields

These pulldown lists contain the same column headings as the Postal Code pulldown list. They also contain an extra element "Create new".

If your membership lists already contain riding and/or ward columns, you may select them. However, you also can select "Create new" and a new column will be appened to your spreadsheet (one for each "Create new" selected).

Again, OLEG attempts to identify the correct columns to update. However, it is up to you to verify that the correct ones are chosen. Choosing the wrong column may cause important information to be overwritten (one reason why we recommend saving the updated file with a different name or location).

the Update all records checkbox

If checked (default), all data in the selected columns will be overwritten with the new information.

If not checked, only cells containing blanks or zeros will be overwritten.

The Update button

Once a file has been opened and all fields selected, the Update becomes active. When clicked, OLEG will create any new columns requested then update the selected columns with riding and ward information based on matching the postal code.

When finished, OLEG will automatically open a "Save As" dialog so you can save the updated spreadsheet.

Note that clicking on the Update button does NOT update the file you opened. You must explicitley save the updates to file. This is to prevent loss of data due to program or user error.

the Exit button

The exit button does the same thing as the eXit File menu option. If you have not saved the spreadsheet since the last Update, you will be asked to confirm that you want to exit.