Suppose that a client’s records are just a pile of invoices. We cannot sensibly scan them with optical character recognition, so we will need to type them in. We can guess that a fair number of the invoices will be for petrol, and now we only need to press the F9 key on the keyboard to enter “Petrol” as a narrative. If the client changes to a Diesel-engined car during the year, we can press Alt-F9 and this will enter “Diesel fuel” as a narrative. It will also make a permanent change to Diesel, which will be remembered in future years.
If we press Alt-F9 again it will switch to “EV Charge”, and if we press Alt-F9 yet again it will cycle back to “Petrol”. Let’s say we have a car powered by a new type of fuel, say hydrazine, then we will need to type in “Hydrazine” and then press F9 while on the same line to teach the software to remember it, which will then be done for all future years.
After we run the Ctrl-T macro, a mapping table will be generated which the clerk can code up. If the clerk moves the cursor over “EV Charge” or “Hydrazine” in the table and presses Ctl-Alt-G, then the software will start up Google and search for “EV Charge Carlisle” or “Hydrazine Carlisle” to ascertain what they are. We can easily change Carlisle to some other town depending upon where the client is located. The mapping table is of course re-used in future years.
All these new facilities will speed up the work of processing client information, especially when we cannot use OCR. One of our key ambitions is “graceful degradation”, a concept which says that we should not fall off a cliff edge when OCR is useless. What may be called the OCR mentality should go on working for us even in the most difficult circumstances.