Using COMPASS With Windows

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If you have installed Compass using the normal installation program, Compass will be tightly integrated into Windows. This means that Windows will understand Compass and automatically perform many operations for you. If you have manually copied Compass files onto your hard drive or installed Compass in some other manner, this integration will not take place and the features described below will not work. (Refer to the discussion on Windows Configuration for more information.)


Windows Integration Features. When Compass is integrated with Windows, you can perform many Compass operations directly from Windows. Here are detailed descriptions of the of the operations:


File Associations. When Compass is properly installed, Windows knows about Compass and cave survey files. This means that whenever a Compass file appears in Windows Explorer or the Windows Desktop, Windows knows how to work with the files. If you double-click-on the file, Windows will automatically open the file using the proper Compass program. For example, if you double-click-on a Survey File or a Project File, Windows will open it with the Project Manager. Likewise, if you double click-on Terminology a Plot File, Windows will open it with the Viewer.


This capability allows you to browse through your folders using Explorer, looking for cave survey files. When you find a survey file, it is easy to edit, process or view the data by simply clicking-on the file.


Context Menus. If you select a Compass file and then right-mouse click, a menu will appear. One of the options will be the "Open" command. This command also causes Windows to open the file using the proper Compass program. This is similar to the double-clicking option described above; however, it gives you one additional capability. If you have selected a survey data file, the menu will have both the "Open" and "Edit" commands. The "Open" command will open the file using the Project Manager. The "Edit" command on the other hand, will open the same file using the Compass Editor. This way, you can directly edit a survey file without going through the Project Manager.


Creating New Surveys and Projects. Windows also allows you to create Compass project and survey files directly in Explorer. You can create them in any folder including the Desktop. You simply use Explorer to move to a particular folder and then right-mouse click. This will display a menu. If you select the "New" option, you will have the option of creating a Compass Data File or a Compass Project File. The new file will appear in Explorer and you just double click-on it to use it.