Modify collections with the Collection editor

The Collection editor allows you to easily edit event-resource connections (collections) using an optimised timetable view. The system displays and automatically prevents all possible overlaps that may occur when the collections are modified. Since event structures and timetables depend on each other, it is often useful to see them in the same time. Adding resources to events is generally much easier when they have not yet been scheduled.

The editor allows you to view and edit the timetables and events in conflict mode (by clicking the [Conficts] button on top of the screen) and revealing why some of the event and resource combinations are impossible and how this problem can be solved. This selection is the opposite mode of displaying only available event resource combinations.

The editor is opened from the Tools menu Tools|Modify collections.

On the upper half of the window you see the timetables of the selected event and resource. Click a cell of this grid if detailed information of a particular timetable cell is needed. If all weeks are not currently visible, you can scroll them to the right and left. On the bottom left there is a list of all events and on the bottom right a list of all resources that are to be modified. Use the buttons between them to select the desired action.

Used scheduled cells by the current resource are marked here with blue colour, whereas those of the current event use yellow colour, and the numbers indicate the current time period (1,2,3,...). If you have selected the Conflict mode (see below), all overlapping slots are marked with red Xís. When clicking them, they can also be removed.

First week to check conflicts from ignores all conflicts that occur prior to the selected week. In this way the user has more degrees of freedom if the previous weeks are not taken into account. This feature is enabled, when there are more than one week in the planning period. When you want to add a resource to an event (or vice versa), and some of the periods in past week(s) cause the conflict, you can often clear those slots, since they are not anymore needed, but they also prevent from changes in the current or upcoming timetables.

At the start, First week to check conflicts from points to the first week, and it checks for all conflicts. If you change its value, you may be able to create conflicting timetables.

Buttons:

Navigation by resources: First select the resource from the list on the right that you want to add. Then select the event from the list of candidates on the left and click this button to confirm the addition.

Navigation by events: First select the event from the list on the left where you want resources to be added to. Then select the resource from the list of the candidates on the right and click this button to confirm the addition.

Use this button to activate the (default) [Add] direction mode. You can select to find suitable resources for a selected event or vice versa.

This button activates the [Remove] mode. If you select an event from the list on the left, the event collection is shown on the top, and if you select a resource, all events having this resource in their collections are listed on the top. If you want to remove one or more items from the list, select them and click the Remove button again to confirm removal.

Displays the resources of the active event in tree form (Event info).

The function of this button is identical for the left and right box (events and resources list). Click it to enable only the currently activated category to be displayed (instead of all categories). This option is often useful to limit your search to a specified set of the code list.

This button activates the Conflict mode, which is the opposite action to the [Add]. You can then see only the conflicting combinations of events and resources, and no additions are then permitted. All overlapping periods are marked by X on the grid. You can then mark all or selected conflicting periods from the timetables (marked with X). Right-click to see the menu of the permissible actions.

When the Conflict mode is activated, this button becomes active, and by clicking it you can clear all conflicting slots (of the active event and resource) at once. This is the same functionality as selecting Clear conflicting slots in the pop-up menu.

Conflict mode

When you have clicked the Conflicts button, the application finds - contrary to available combinations - only impossible event and resource combinations instead. Click one of the events on the left box to see which resources cannot be added to the event and why it is impossible. You can also split the events and then change the resource lists of the new events. See more information here about Event split.

When scheduling more periods and making bookings in timetables, less available combinations will become possible and the scheduling task becomes more complicated. This tool enables to locate the bottlenecks easily by showing the dependencies of the timetables and events.

When you have selected one event and resource from the lists on the bottom of the screen - as in normal mode - all event slots are marked with event colours and resources in their colours. When they two overlap, the slot is marked with an "X" (white X on red background, if default colours are used). These slots indicate the reasons why the selected resource cannot be added to the selected event. User can mark any of the event slots for clearing the slots and/or splitting the event into two parts (marked slots have an yellow "X" on navy blue background).

You can right-click on the timetable grid to see the pop-up menu below with the tools you can use to resolve conflicts. The first step is to mark those slots you want to remove or split the events in two parts (without the need to manually change event the structure).

You can [Double-click] to "mark" each event slot separately or mark several slots at once. "Mark remaining xx slots..." marks all event slots of the active event and "Mark xx impossible..." marks only the slots which are conflicting with the selected resource. After you have marked one or more of the event slots, selecting "Clear marked xx slots..." will remove the those slots from the timetables.

Note that the five first selections in this menu are intended only for marking and unmarking slots (of the current event), and they do not itself change the timetables. In the other selections you can then either clear the selected slots or split the event into two parts.

If you now want to clear only the marked slots from the timetables, select "Clear marked xx slots..." and if you want to clear all conflicting slots of the selected event and resource (without marking them), select "Clear all xx impossible..."

In the latter case, you have cleared only those slots from the event which overlap with the selected resource and you will now that this combination disappears from the current view, but it becomes in the normal mode (when you click "Conflicts" button again).

The last selection splits the event into two events according to the marked slots. After split, both events have the same resources, and the total number of periods remains the same. In most cases, you want to first "Mark xx impossible slots..." before split operation. This operation will create a new event from those slots which do not overlap with the current resource.

You can also find the list and status of all the slots of the current event from the drop-down box on top right of the screen. This is useful, if you have several weeks, which are not all visible at the same time.

Opening the list box on top right displays all slots of the selected event, conflicting slots with the selected resource and also all marked slots.

When you select to Split event, first a copy of the original event is created and all marked periods are moved from the original event to the new event, without changing the total number of periods. After that the resources of both events can be changed (added, removed, replaced) accordingly. For example, you can change the teacher just for selected slots. This corresponds the case "3: Arbitrary split" in the picture below:

When the new events are created from the original event, their codes are automatically changed by appending letters 'a', 'b', 'c' to the end of the code to keep them unique. If you want to preserve the original event code after split, you can attribute new events by inserting the original code in front of the new event names using the options below:

You can now to Events view to edit the resource lists of the events that have been split.