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Data Entry

CANDAT prompts you for information in the form of a list of choices or tables. Lists are referred to as menus, not to be confused with menus used in restaurants. CANDAT will also prompt you for single field entries as in food codes, date of recalls, etc. An entry of a blank code or a 0 for date will terminate that process.

  1. There are two kinds of menu presented in CANDAT.
    1. The usual menu expects you to make a single choice. That is done by moving the selection bar (cursor) to the choice and pressing the enter key. Another way of accomplishing the same thing is to simply enter the first letter of the choice. Pressing the Esc (escape) key has the effect of choosing the last choice in the menu or of exiting menu selection without making a choice.
    2. The other menu gives you a series of Yes/No choices which you toggle by pressing the Y or N keys. You can also make all the choices Y or all N by pressing the Alt key with your selection of Y or N.
  2. There are two kinds of table entry in CANDAT.
    1. The usual table entry allows you to enter information within each cell of a table. Some cells will only allow numbers, others, both numbers and characters. Whichever is allowed will be obvious from the context. If you try to enter a character and it does not appear in the cell, the cell is probably expecting a number. Blank cells are considered filled with characters and you will not be allowed to move out of the cell until you insert a number. A 0 is usually sufficient. If this entry resulted in an extra line being added to the table, it can usually be removed using Alt F4 (see below). Some of these tables grow automatically as you try to enter another row. Pressing the Enter key in the last cell of the last row of a table activates this feature. You cannot simply move to a row that does not exist by using cursor controls. Other rows can be inserted and deleted in these “growing” tables by using Alt F3 to add lines and Alt F4 to delete lines. To exit after having entered your information, press the Esc key. You can move from cell to cell by pressing Tab (or back Tab) and by using the cursor control keys. You can also use Ctrl Home and Ctrl End to go to the first and last cells respectively.
    2. The other type of table entry allows editing of a full line at a time. This is usually a more “free form” type of entry and you sometimes need to be more careful of the layout of the information in this type of entry. To exit after having entered this information you must press Ctrl E or Ctrl Q. Ctrl E will save your entries, Ctrl Q will quit without saving your entries.

CANDAT Environment (GRASP)

CANDAT has been developed in a consistent environment called GRASP. GRASP (General Reporting and Application Support Package) is an environment which contains standard mechanisms for communicating between the user and the computer. This allows for a consistent appearance of applications.

GRASP assumes a well defined user area on the disk (usually created at installation) and a structure of modules and tasks. The following are available in GRASP environments:

  1. Task startup menu
    Once a task has been chosen and it has been read in by the computer, the following menu is displayed:

    1. START the task
    2. CHOOSE another task
    3. ACTIVATE system utilities
    4. SET paper size
    5. CALL for help information
    6. EXIT to the Dos environment, saving this session
    7. SELECT printer
    8. QUIT and return to the operating system

    At the end of a task, the same menu appears again. You can choose at this point to restart the task by choosing the first option again.

    There are two ways to exit from CANDAT. One is temporary and leaves CANDAT in memory, ready to be reactivated. This is the EXIT to DOS choice. To return to CANDAT after choosing this alternative, simply type EXIT from within DOS and you will be returned to CANDAT. Do not try to start a new session of CANDAT if you exited this way. You will quickly use up all of your memory and may not be able to start a second session if you do so. If you choose QUIT and return to the operating system, CANDAT is released from memory and you must follow the regular mechanism for getting back in.

University of PEI

CANDAT is superior to other nutrient analysis programs because it is designed to accommodate the diverse needs of researchers. Being able to handle food recalls and records and food frequency questionnaires in the same program, to create user files of special food items not included in the CNF and to easily import files into statistical analysis packages makes it unique in Canada. Most of all, having a support person who has extensive experience with nutrition researchers makes CANDAT an easy choice for me.

I have been working with CANDAT since 1984, and have also tried a number of other nutrient analysis programs. I keep coming back to CANDAT for two reasons: the support with CANDAT is superb. I have emailed Gaetan and received a phone call within minutes. He “knows his stuff” and can pinpoint and resolve any problems or challenges quickly. The program he uses to take over the computer is amazing and very efficient.

Since he has worked with a number of academics in nutrition, he understands research and the special needs researchers have. My research group had a challenging task a few years ago which involved adapting an American Food Frequency questionnaire for Canadian use and adding data on dietary nitrates. This was a very complex and time consuming task, and Gaetan was an active participant in the research process. When we were under time pressures to complete the analysis, Gaetan committed time and was able to get us the data when we needed it. He goes beyond a technical role, and sometimes poses questions which I don’t think of, preventing problems before they happen.

Dr. Jennifer Taylor, Associate Professor & Chair
Department of Family & Nutritional Sciences
Dalton Hall 204
University of Prince Edward Island
550 University Ave, Charlottetown PEI C1A 4P3 (902)
566-0475 Fax (902) 628-4367

call: +1 (877) 977-2664 (toll free)