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Quick start

When you first run Parsnips, you will see the License dialog come up asking you to enter your license information. If you have purchased a license string, enter it and the other requested information at this time. If not, just click the "Evaluate Parsnips" button. Parsnips will run for 14 days unlicensed but fully featured. If your evaluation period has expired and you are still seriously evaluating Parsnips, please contact Otherwise for an extension.

After Parsnips has started, you will see the following main window. This picture shows Parsnips after some data items already created. When there are no items defined, Quick Start information is displayed instead.

There are three main regions of the window. Across the top is the Query region which contains the field in which you type your search string. The Query region also contains navigation buttons to move backwards and forwards between previous search results. The Home button reverts to showing all items in the database and corresponds to an "empty" search.

Results of a search are displayed in the Results Pane in the left half of the window. To the right is the Display Pane which is used to display and edit items selected in the Results Pane.

Query Region
The Query region is where you formulate your search queries. Simple searches are made by typing a single word and pressing Enter or Return. This will show all items containing that word anywhere in the title, keywords or main body of text. More complex searches can be made using combinations of words and field names (e.g. title:, keywords:, contents:, url:). See Searching for more details.

To assist in making more complex queries, an advanced search window can be brought up by clicking the Query Builder label to the right of the query field.

Additional help on the query syntax can also be obtained by clicking the Search Help label.

Results Pane
Once a search has been made, results are displayed in the Results Pane in the lower left. For each item matching your query, Parsnips displays the item's title, a sample of the item's text, and, if there is one, the URL associated with the item. The last modification time of the item is also displayed.

If there is no explicit search being made, all the items in the database are displayed, with newer items being first in the list. If there is a search string, the items matching the seach are displayed, sorted either by relevance or by date.

Clicking the title displays the full text of the item in the Display Pane on the right. Clicking the URL, opens the URL in the browser or, for local files, in the default application associated with that file type.

Display Pane
The item whose title is currently selected in the Results Pane is displayed in the Display Pane. The item's title, URL, keywords, and full text are displayed. All of the the text fields are editable.

If the text in the main body of the Display Pane contains a URL (web page address), it can be opened in your browser by control-clicking (command-clik on Mac) the URL.


Creating New Items

Before using Parsnips to search, you must first create some items of information. To create new items you can:

  1. Choose the New Item command and manually type in the title and text of the item.
  2. Select some text from another application and drag and drop it onto Parsnips. You can drop the selected information either onto the Results Pane or onto the Drop Window.
  3. Drag and drop a file or directory of files onto the Results Pane or the Drop Window.
  4. Drag the URL icon from your browser's location field onto the Results Pane or the Drop Window.
  5. Use the "Send to Parsnips button on your browser's bookmark toolbar. Click here for installation instructions for the "Send to Parsnips" button.

Newly created items are displayed at the top of the results list when there is no explicit search criteria.

Editing Existing Items

An item that is displayed in the Display Pane may be edited by clicking in the a field and making whatever changes are desired. After making changes, choose the "Save Item" command to save them back to the database. To discard all the edits that have been made since the last save, simply click the "Discard Changes" button in the upper right of the Display Pane.





Quick Start