Working with Compound Documents in Alchemy
Compound Document Overview
Compound Documents in Alchemy are a way to group together related documents. Think of it like an electronic paper clip that binds documents together into a grouping. Compound Documents always have one Parent Document (1) and one or more Child Documents (sub-documents) (2). A Child Document could even be another Parent Document of a nested Compound Document, but for this discussion I will only focus on the Parent Child relationships of a single Compound Document.
Grouping documents in Alchemy can be performed through several different strategies:
- Store Related Documents in a Common Folder
- Relate Documents Using Common Profile Field Values
- Group Related Documents Together Using Compound Documents
Each strategy has it’s strengths and weaknesses. For this topic article we will focus on the Compound Document and how its strengths and weaknesses compare to other grouping strategies.
Viewing the Parent Document
Selecting a Compound Document (1) in the tree view of Alchemy opens the book and allows you by default to see the Parent Document and its profile field information. When viewing the parent document, selecting the Launch Document (2) option will open the parent document in it’s associated native application. Additionally, if the File > Send To > Mail Recipient option is utilized at this point, only the parent document will be added as an attachment within the email. The child documents (sub-documents) will not be included.
To view a child document list in the viewer pane instead of the parent document, click the Compound Document Icon (3) to toggle between compound document display modes.
Selecting Multiple Child Documents (Sub-Documents)
There may be times when you wish to select multiple child documents for actions such as Email, Batch Profiling, Drag and Drop Operations, etc…
By toggling the Compound Document viewer toolbar icon (1), you can switch between viewing the parent document and a list of child documents. Because only one item can ever be selected in the tree view, this can be useful when you need to select combinations of the child documents for operations. While this does add some additional usability to compound documents, keep in mind that you still have no option to select all of the child documents AND the parent document for any operations. This can be a limiting factor with compound documents that often lead users to choose the Folder grouping option instead.
Viewing a Child Document
Selecting a Child Document (1) in the tree view of Alchemy opens the book and allows you by default to see the Child Document and its profile field information. When viewing the child document, selecting the Launch Document (2) option will open the child document in it’s associated native application. Additionally, if the File > Send To > Mail Recipient option is utilized at this point, only the child document will be added as an attachment within the email. The parent document and other sibling documents will not be included.