Instructables

How To Make An Effective Instructables Material List

For this tutorial i will be using a piece of software that i made. You can find a tutorial / guide to that here: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Manage-Project-Costs-etc/

This tutorial will guide you through how to make an effective materials list with a piece of software that you can then put on instructables. The list will be saved in a .txt format from the software so you can just copy it from there into your instructable !!!

Latest version of software: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=9TT3PAI7

Now there is an editor !
 
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Step 1: Quick Tutorial

Adding:
Using the fields under the subtitle 'Add New' Fill out according to the product / thing and then when you are finished editing then click the add button. Don't forget to check add to pre set gallery if you want to save the item.

Removing:
When you click something on the list to the right of the form if you have correctly selected an item then you will be able to see its name in the remove field, just click the button with a '-' sign in it to remove that item from the list.

Presets:
When the program is first run it will create a file called library in the folder that the application is currently in. This will contain items that you add to it from the software. You can use multiple libraries by moving them in/out of the applications folder.

Saving:
Saving is pretty simple just go to the file menu and click save as... or save if you have already saved it in a location. For instructables list making see next step =>

Step 2: Making An Instructables List

Capture11.JPG
This isn't much different from saving a list all you have to do is click on the button that says make instructables material list and select location and name for the file to be saved. When that has done find the file in your favourite text editor and copy the contents into your instructable.
REA3 years ago
is this an open source program? if so, what language is it written in?
PREDATOR_UK (author)  REA3 years ago
This program was written in visual basic and you can modify it if you want but only if you give credit to me somewhere, email me if you want to get into that kind of thing :)
REA PREDATOR_UK3 years ago
visual basic


so its not linux portable =(

PREDATOR_UK (author)  REA3 years ago
If I get enough interest and downloads then i will see about making a linux version and maybe even mac ! :)
REA PREDATOR_UK3 years ago
... why mac?
PREDATOR_UK (author)  REA3 years ago
mac is starting to catch up with microsoft in terms of leading operating system therefore more people are using it.
REA PREDATOR_UK3 years ago
but youre still looking at a meager 7.2%.
dchall83 years ago
This is a great idea! Too many I'bles are made without a good idea of how to do this.

Suggestions for you:
Don't assume the Pound Sterling is the currency of choice.  Either leave that column heading without that detail or allow changes to be made.

When you hit the + key in your program, clear the fields for the next item.

Allow changes to the groups or just eliminate them.  My first entry was a piece of plumbing pipe and you don't have a group for that.  My concern from the programming point of view is that you can't anticipate every possible category so make it optional or give the ability to create personal groups.  The group distinction I like is "Tools" for the tools you'll need to make the project, "Materials" for the parts you will buy and consume for each project, and "Supplies" for the stuff you'll have on the shelf and not use it all - such as glue, solder, flour, water, toothpicks, or whatever.  

Add a field in the program for the quantity of items the builder will need.  

If the Notes section is blank, there is no need to put N/A in the output.  

I like the display of the different groups on the right side of the window.  I was hoping the output would be in that format but it is not.  It would be nice to see everything listed under the headings of Materials, Tools, and Supplies.  

My printed list started with item 0.  Shouldn't it start with item 1?  

Is there a way to change the order of the items?  

Is there a way to change the price or the store without deleting the items and starting over?  
PREDATOR_UK (author)  dchall83 years ago
Hi,

Thanks for the constructive feedback I am currently programming in your suggestions and would ask if maybe you would try the new version. I will send you a message when its finished.

Thanks again,
PREDATOR_UK
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