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Copy & paste taxa and grid refs into queries (Tip)

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Copy & paste taxa and grid refs into queries (Tip)

by AndyAmphlett » Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:03 pm

A TIP, not covered in the DDb user manual is that it is possible to copy and paste strings or lists of taxon names or grid references into queries. See below. This is very useful.


Copy and paste a list of taxon names into a query

Rather than searching for records of a single taxon per query, or for two or more taxa by adding additional taxon rows to a single query, you can paste a whole string of taxon names into a query. This can be done by copying a list of names from a spreadsheet, from a table in word processing software or from text format. There does not appear to be any practical limit to the number of names you can paste into a single query; certainly hundreds of names will work ok. The DDb will match synonyms, and will give a warning if any names cannot be matched.

Used in this way, the DDb will not recognise hybrid names in the format Hyacinthoides non-scripta x hispanica = H. x massartiana. This name would need to be shortened to Hyacinthoides non-scripta x hispanica. This can be done manually before copying and pasting a list of names, or in Excel you can use the 'Data > text to columns' function, splitting the text string at the '=' sign. This does leave a trailing space after the species name, but the DDb ignores this.

The DDb occasionally fails to recognise what seem to be valid names (when pasting a list of names). In such cases, remove that name from the copied list, and add manually into a new taxon row in the query.

Copy and paste a list of grid references into a query

It is also possible to copy and paste a string of grid references into the grid reference field in a query. The DDb can cope with poorly formed grid references (eg with spaces or limited stray bits of text mixed up in the grid references). However, for optimum reliability, grid references should use OS formatting conventions, without punctuation. If listing multiple references, separate each with a comma, e.g. SD59A, SD6456 or for Ireland e.g. S34. Numerical references are also understood, e.g. 33/4496 is understood to mean SJ4496. From Excel, it is ok to just copy and paste a column of grid references. Again there appears to be no practical limit as to how many grid references you can paste into a single query.
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name: Andy Amphlett

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