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Crafters across multiple disciplines like quilting, sewing, knitting, crochet, rubber stamping and needlework will find out how easy it is to use Organized Expressions, an organizing software specific to their craft by going through the tutorial below to get up to speed quickly.


Expressive Quilters' Newsletter
Supporting The Expressive Quilter In Tradition, Innovation, Art & Computer Quilting

May 2002: Issue 13
Editor: Sharla R. Hicks
Table of contents for this issue
Newsletter index for all issues

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Getting Started with Organized Expressions™
. . . A Notebook and Diary Software

by Sharla Hicks © 2002

Use this organizing software your inventory, sewing room, classes, threads, fabrics, supplies. It even includes an address book!

more info here on features specific to each version, includes screen shots for each program.

This tutorial assumes you have opened one of the following versions of Organized Expressions™:

Note: The following how-to information does NOT apply to Organized Expressions™ for People Who Sew


Help files and how to use them:

A good place to start in any program is a quick overview of program features. The best way to look around Organized Expressions™ is to access the Help files. The Help files are well organized and very extensive.

There are 3 ways to access Help Files:

Method 1. Direct access to the Help file Contents: Click help button.

Underlined links are active and take you directly to the section
help menu
Help Menu

Method 2: Go to the top menu bar and select Help. From the Help menu, select Contents.

Method 3: When you are working the program and you want more how-to information for that area, simply press the F1 keyboard key. The Help file opens directly to a section overview and that directs you where to go.

F1 key overview
Press F1 key for overview of screen section
and view directions on where to look next.

If you want a printed copy of the Help files there two ways to do this.

  • One is to print them yourself. A previous Computer Quilting BYTES article called What is in the Help Files? shows you how to:
    • Maximize your searching options
    • Amend help files with your own information
    • Print help files.
  • Another option is LNS Software Systems, the distributor for Organized Expressions™, has a manual you can purchase directly from them for $10. Additional information on how to do this can be found under the Help Menu.

Getting started using Organized Expressions

Note: Each version of Organized Expressions you have loaded, except the Sewer's version* has its own folder. REMEMBER, this tutorial does not apply to the Sewer's Version and the Sewer's Version has a different interface.

Now let's dive right into the program and use the Navigation Window to navigate.

1. Go to the Navigation Frame and if your version folders (i.e.. Quilter, Needleworker, etc.) are not visible, click the plus beside Applications Applications.

2. Open the Version folder by clicking on the plus.

3. Each Version Folder has subfolders that are topic specific.

  • Inventories
  • Personal
  • Address Book

Documenting and Recording Inventories

Several of the inventory screens work the same. When you understand one, you understand them all. Entering inventory is made easier because Organized Expressions has many of the category types, manufacturers and other pertinent details prelisted that are common to the Inventory types you are working with.

Each column's list can be added to and your additions can always be edited. As a precaution to NOT accidentally wipe out program prelisted inventory items, the items that are prelisted cannot be edited or deleted.

Tool and Fabric Inventory Input

Note: Fabric Inventory is only available in the Quilting Version and Sewing Version. REMEMBER, this tutorial does NOT apply to the Sewer's Version and the Sewer's Version has a different interface.

The Fabric and Tool Inventory items work the same.

Threads and Yarns with multiple companies that have a wide variety of thread have their own lookup interface. If you wish to go to the Thread Inventory, click here.

Open a database

1. To open the columns associated with the personal inventory screen you are planning on adding or editing, go to the Navigation frame and click on Fabric or Tool Inventory icon. The associated inventory screen opens.

NOTE: Do NOT select the Thread Inventory at this time as it works differently.

NOTE: When you start the program for the first time, the columns are blank. You will not see data until you begin the inventory data input.


2. If the open inventory window is not activated (greyed out), click anywhere in the Window of the Inventory screen database.

Viewing Area Adjustments

Optimize your ability to type, view and print the data by resizing the table columns and adjusting the size of the Navigation Frame and the Inventory Frames.

1. To increase or decrease the size of your navigation frame or database viewing areas move your cursor to the dividing frame between the Navigation Frame and the database, an appears.

  • Click and hold the mouse button and drag the frame to make it smaller or larger, your preference.

2. To resize the Database columns, click on the line between two columns, an appears, drag to desired size.

3. You can have multiple Inventories open at the same. With a little care and staggering you can easily move between inventories making comparisons and changes as needed.

  • Move between databases by click on the section of the window related that section. NOTE: If something is hidden, go to the Navigation window and click on the section you wish to come to the front.

Adding Information to the Personal Inventory Lists


1. To add new fabric or tools, open one of the New Inventory input boxes.

Note: Do NOT select Thread Inventory at this time, it has it own set of instruction.

  • Go to the top menu bar and click

2. Note in the New Inventory input box several categories have buttons with 3 dots beside some of the entry boxes, the button indicates that there are lists to be selected that your inventory item can be added to.

3. To open a list to select, add to, click . This opens the Lookup dialogue box.

Fig. 1
New Inventory Input Box


4. When the Inventory list is longer than the View Window, click the arrows or drag the slider bar.

Note: You can add multiple items from the Lookup List to ONE inventory column. A good example of this would be a fabric that has several categories it can be added to.

Adding multiple category to a listing is very useful when it comes time to search through your personal inventory items.

5. Add multiple categories from the found in the Lookup Inventory dialogue box to the inventory item you are adding:

  • To add random items from the list, hold down the keyboard CTRL key and click on each category you wish the item to be listed with. (See example)
  • To select a several items in sequence from the list, hold down the keyboard SHIFT key and click on the first and last item in the list. All items between the two will auto-select.

6. To insert selection(s) into the category column, click . The selection(s) will list in the field.


To add a category not listed in the Lookup Inventory dialogue box:

  • Click . This opens the New Inventory Tool Type.
  • Type your new inventory category in the box.
  • To enter the new category to the Lookup Inventory, click . This returns you to Lookup Inventory Type.
  • To select newly added item, repeat steps 4-6.

8. To remove an unwanted listing from the Lookup Inventory list YOU added, click . (See Note below)

Each Look up Inventory List YOU add can be edited or deleted.

As a precaution and to prevent deletion of prelisted categories, the original Prelisted Inventory canNOT be edited or deleted. The list are ready waiting for you to add them your Personal Inventory.

9. To complete all the categories of information for each personal inventory item you adding, return to the the Inventory Input box (See Fig. 1) and repeat steps 2-8. Once you have completed your item category choices, click

Shortcut to adding like or similar inventory (for example, magazines)

When you are inputting multiple items that have similar information like Magazines where the only difference is the date, use Edit Inventory SAVE AS option to save you time.


Edit an Item already listed in your Personal Inventory.

Two methods to open the Edit Personal Inventory input boxes.

Method 1:

  • 1. Double click on the row of the Personal Inventory Item

Method 2:

  • 2. Go to the top menu bar and click on .

3. Note that the Edit input box is very the similar to the Add New Inventory box. Use the same steps to edit your listing as outlined in the Add Inventory instructions with ONE EXCEPTION, use the Shortcut Save As check box when editing adding new items that have only 1-2 category changes.


Edit Thread Inventory

One of the best features of Organized Expressions is the Prelisted Thread Inventory to make your job easier for tracking your thread collection.

Simply select the thread company and the rest is done. All that is left for you to do is select from the prelisted threads the ones for your personal inventory needs

Thread Inventory has a different Lookup window to accomodate the prelisted companies and individual thread lines for each company.

NOTE: The thread lists are updated yearly, these updates are avaliable for purchase for all those who have registered their programs. For persons who have large inventories of threads and yarns, this is a life saver.

1. To open the Thread Inventory lists.

  • Go to the Navigation Window and select Thread Inventory. The Thread Inventory list boxes open.

The order you open the Thread Inventory options is important:

1. Click on the Thread Company. The Thread Types list opens.

2. Click on the Thread Type you wish to input. The thread content and corresponding website when avaliable are listed and the thread numbers of current and past threads lines list.

3. Double click on the thread you wish to add to your Personal Inventory list and the Edit input box opens.

4. Make your additions and REMEMBER to click to personal your inventory list even further.

5. To Save and exit the Thread Input box, click

6. To add additional Threads, repeat steps 1-5.

REMEMBER: Preprogrammed lists are not editable. In the threads input box, the items that cannot be edited are greyed out. Any category that is in black, you add to or can be changed.


Adding links to scanned pictures and other documentation

One of the best features of the new upgrades released last year for the Quilters, Needlework, Crochet & Knitting, and Rubberstamp versions is the ability to track and open documentation done in other programs. By being able to add links to your other documents and graphics extends your ability to have instant access from one central location. How many times have you used the Windows Find feature and still cannot locate that file you know you have? By adding your links to the Inventory list, you eliminate lost files.

1. To add a link to other program files, open the New Inventory input box.

  • Go to the top menu bar and click

2. Click on the Notes or Pictures Folder. This opens up the Open dialogue box.

3. Locate the file or picture you wish to link to and click .

4. To open the file or picture you are linked to, go to the top menu bar and select to open a file and to open a picture. This automatically starts the program needed to display and view the file or picture you have selected.

Adding Personal information

Personalize Organized Expressions to:

  • Keep a diary to tract your projects
  • Document the classes you took
  • Track your book, magazine and pattern purchases which even includes a column for document who you loan out items to, so you know where they are at all times.
  • It also has an Address Book.

  • Again note the ability to add your own custom information to any category can be done when you see a beside some of the entry boxes.

  • You also have the ability to link to Notes and Pictures in other programs.

Note the number of ways offered in each input boxes to personalize and track your projects, purchases, and friends. Using Organized Expressions brings all your information to one place.

Viewing Database and preparing to print in Organized Expressions

Remember: Whenever you need a quick look at an item and the data is obstructed, the database columns are adjustable. If a refresher is needed, click here

Printing your inventories, personal information and address books.

IMPORTANT: The information to be printed will go to your default desktop publishing program like Word or Word Perfect where you can format the look you want for the printout.

Printing allows you to Print all the list, selected rows and even allows you to select which criteria from a row you wish to print.

REMEMBER: For the best printout, adjust your columns before you begin printing.


1. Go to the Navigation bar and open the the section of the Organized Expressions you want to print from, for example, select Threads Inventory or Tools Inventory.

2. To print the complete inventory list, move to step 4.

3. To print criteria from selected rows only:

  • Go to the Inventory list
  • To print random rows from the list, hold down the CTRL Key to click on each row you wished to print.
  • To print a section from the list, hold down the keyboard SHIFT Key and click on the first row to print and the last row to print. This action selects all the rows between the two

4. To make the criteria selection from the category for the printed report, go to top menu bar and select the Printer Icon A dialogue box appears. The example below is the the Print dialogue box for the Threads and Inventory section.

6. Select the items you wish to print. A check mark indicates the item will print.

HINT: Many times, the selected will print across multiple pages. Use Print Preview in your printing program to determine if you want to make criteria selection adjustments.

7. Clicking opens the file in your desktop publishing program (for example Word or Word Perfect). Your selected items appear on the screen.

8. Format the page to look the way you wish to have it printed. NOTE: When selecting several columns to be printed, you may wish to change the Setup of the page from portrait to landscape

IMPORTANT: Be sure to use Preview BEFORE printing so that you know what you printout is going to look like. Depending on how many columns you selected to print, the report can print across multiple pages. If that is the case, you may wish to change which criteria/columns you want printed.

Searching your database in Organized Expressions

This is where Organized Expressions shines. Suppose you are working with a cross stitch pattern and need to know how many threads you already own that the pattern calls for. Or what if you want to know how many Fabrics you have that are Christmas Prints.

Use Search to find out what you have and what you may need to purchase. Printout your search report and you are ready for a very targeted shopping trip. No more buying the same colors or fabrics 3 and 4 times because you cannot remember if you have it on hand or not.

1. Go to the top menu bar and select the Search Icon . This brings up a unique Search dialogue box depending on which section of the database you want to search. Here are a couple of examples:


This example shows how the regular inventory screen searches works.


This example shows how the Thread inventory search works.

2. Select and/or type in your criteria for your search.

3. For a hardcopy of the search results, print your search results by selecting . Refer to the previous section on how to print.


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For each Organized Expressions program


Organized Expressions™
A Notebook and Diary Software

20% off
when purchasing 2 - 5 versions

Organized Expressions™
A Notebook and Diary Software

Item Code: G01
ISBN / SKU / UPC: 665396800230

Sold Out, No Longer Available at Soft Expressions
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Organized Expressions™
A Notebook and Diary Software
for People Who Sew

Item Code: G01B
ISBN / SKU / UPC: 665396800049

Sold Out, No Longer Available at Soft Expressions
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Organized Expressions™
A Notebook and Diary Software
All Needleworkers

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Organized Expressions™
A Notebook and Diary Software
Knitters & Crocheters

Item Code: G01C
ISBN / SKU / UPC: 665396800223

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Organized Expressions™
A Notebook and Diary Software

Item Code: G01F
Weight: lb
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Organized Expressions™
A Notebook and Diary Software
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Item Code: G01D
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