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Customize the system interface

Notes to CatExpress users

OCLC Connexion browser is the cataloging system of which CatExpress is a part. CatExpress operates within the Connexion environment, so you use Connexion to access and use CatExpress. Most interface customization options for Connexion apply to CatExpress.

However, some options relate to advanced cataloging functions of Connexion that are not available to CatExpress subscribers.

Go to Interface Customization screen

  1. From the General tab, under Admin Options, click Preferences.
  2. From the Preferences screen, click General Options.
  3. From the General Options screen, click Interface Customization Options.

Save changes, cancel, or restore original defaults

When finished viewing and/or changing options on this screen, use the buttons at the top and bottom of the screen to take an action.

Button Purpose/Result
Go Back Return to the previous screen.
Save for Session Save changes on this screen for the current session only.
When you log off, the system restores your previous default settings.
Save My Default Save changes on this screen for the current session and future sessions.
The new settings remain in effect until you change them.
Reset Restore original Connexion settings for options on this screen.
Reverse any changes you made during the current session or in previous sessions.
Cancel Reverse any changes you made since you accessed this screen during the current session.
Your previously saved settings remain in effect.

Show or hide tabs for Connexion services

  1. From the Interface Customization screen, find the section labeled Select Service Tabs for Navigation Bar.
    • This section lists all Connexion services available to you based on your authorization and on your subscriptions to additional services.
    • A check box appears before each service name.
      Default setting: All available services are selected (check marks appear in all check boxes).
  2. Show or hide tabs for services.
    • Show a hidden tab. Click the empty check box in front of the service name. A check mark appears in the box.
    • Hide a visible tab. Click the check box in front of the service name. The check mark disappears.
  3. Save changes as default or use for current session only.

Show or hide specific options on a tab

  1. From the Interface Customization screen, find the section labeled Select Service Tabs for Navigation Bar.
  2. To select specific options, Options lists, or buttons to show or hide on a tab, in the list of service tabs:
    • Click the hyperlinked service name for the tab you want to customize.
      The system displays a screen that lists available options and lets you specify exactly which options appear on the tab.
       Note: If a service name is not hyperlinked, option selection is not yet available for that service tab.

Add a scroll bar to the navigation bar

  1. From the Interface Customization screen, find the section labeled Scroll Bar on Navigation Bar. 
  2. Select the appropriate option button.
    • Click Display If Needed to add a horizontal scroll bar to the navigation bar only if required due to changes in screen size or resolution.
    • Click Always Display to provide a horizontal scroll bar at all times.
      Default setting: Display If Needed
       Note: Adding a scroll bar removes the More tab from the navigation bar.
  3. Save changes as default or use for current session only.

Use optimized images in Connexion interface

  • The Optimize Images setting lets you determine whether Connexion displays interface elements as standard .gif images or as pixel-mapping tables that resemble images. In most cases, using pixel-mapping tables allows the browser to display screens faster, improving system response time.
  • Keep the default setting (On) for better browser performance when using Connexion.
  • Select the Off setting only if browsing is consistently slower when optimization is turned on. Before turning optimization off, contact OCLC Customer Support for assistance in diagnosing performance problems.

 Note: 

  • Image optimization works with supported Windows versions of Internet Explorer. This functionality is not available on an Apple Macintosh computer.
  • If you select Large Tab Images to enlarge the navigation bar, optimized images are not used.

Enlarge tabs and text on the navigation bar 

  1. From the Interface Customization screen, find the section labeled Size of Tab Images and Text in Navigation Bar.
  2. Select the appropriate option button.
    • Click Large Tab Images to use tabs and text larger than those the system automatically provides.
    • Click Standard Tab Images to use standard tabs and text sizes for your screen resolution.
      Default setting: Default Tab Images. The system automatically sizes the navigation bar based on screen resolution.
  3. Save changes as default or use for current session only.

Add a Go button to the navigation bar

Purpose. Add a Go button to provide a keyboard-only method of navigating via the Options lists.

How it works

  • With Go button. When the navigation bar includes a Go button, navigating via Options lists requires 2 steps. First, select the list item. Then use the Go button to complete the selected action.
  • Without Go button. With the Go button hidden (the default setting), when you select a list item, the system does the selected action immediately.
  1. From the Interface Customization screen, find the section labeled Show or Hide Go Button.
  2. Select the appropriate option button.
    • Click Show to add a Go button to the right of the Options lists on the active tab.
    • Click Hide to display the Options lists without a Go button.
      Default setting: Hide. Go button does not appear on the navigation bar.
  3. Save changes as default or use for current session only.

Use the Go button with Options lists

Go button off. If you did not add a Go button,

  • Keyboard. Press the shortcut key for the Options list (see table). Then press <down-arrow> once to select the first item on the list.
  • Note: Without a Go button, you cannot use the keyboard to select any item on the Options list; only the first item is accessible.
  • Mouse. Open the list, point to the item you want, and click once to select the item.

Go button on. If you added a Go button,

  • Keyboard. Press the shortcut key for the Options list (see table). Then press <down-arrow> one or more times to select the item you want. Then press <Enter> to take action (if you have not moved the cursor from the Options list). Or press <Alt><8> to take action (if you moved the cursor to a position in the lower frame of the screen.
  • Mouse. Open the Options list, point to the item you want, and click to select the item. Then click Go.
Options list (on active tab) Keystroke
Search Options <Alt><!>
Browse Options Not on Express tab
Or
Admin Options on General tab
<Alt><@>
Create Options
Not on Express tab 
<Alt><#>
Show Options
Not on Express tab 
<Alt><$>
Other Options
Express tab only
<Alt> <%>

Show or hide OK/Cancel prompts for record actions

  • This option applies to selected actions for bibliographic records and authority records.
  • Your setting for this option does not affect some actions, which always require you to respond to an OK/Cancel prompt. These actions include: Delete Constant Data Record, Delete Save File Record, Delete Holdings, and Report Error.
  1. From the Interface Customization screen, find the section labeled Show or Hide OK/Cancel Messages.
  2. For Final Actions and Editing Actions, select the appropriate option button.
    • Click Yes to have Connexion prompt you to approve or cancel before executing requested actions.
    • Click No to have Connexion execute requested actions without prompting you for an OK or Cancel response.
      Default setting: Yes for both options. Before executing final actions and editing actions, Connexion prompts you to respond with OK to proceed or Cancel to cancel the action.
      • Final actions included:
        • Produce and Update Holdings
        • Replace and Update Holdings
        • Replace Record (bibliographic record only)
        • Submit to Nat'l Review File
        • Update holdings
      • Editing actions included:
        • Cancel Changes
        • Control All Headings and DDC
        • Derive New Constant Data Record
        • Derive New Record
        • Lock Master Record
        • Release Record Lock
        • Set as Default Constant Data
        • Unedit Record 
  3. Save changes as default or use for current session only.

Show or hide logoff warning for active records

  1. From the Interface Customization screen, find the section labeled Show or Hide Logoff Warning.
  2. Select the appropriate option button.
    • Click Show to have the system warn you, before ending your session, that records remain open in edit mode.
    • Click Hide to prevent the system from displaying the logoff warning for records in edit mode.
      Default setting: Hide. The system ends the session immediately. The system does not check for active records. No warning screen appears.
  3. Save changes as default or use for current session only.

Show or hide quick tips

  1. From the Interface Customization screen, find the section labeled Show or Hide Quick Tips.
  2. Select the appropriate option button.
    • Click Show to see all available tips on all Connexion screens.
    • Click Hide to hide all tips on all Connexion screens.
      Default setting: Show. Any available tips appear on all Connexion screens.
  3. Save changes as default or use for current session only.

View diacritics and special characters while editing

  • Option applies to edit views only. In display views, Connexion always displays the typographic forms of diacritics and special characters.
  • CatExpress users should accept the default setting.
  1. From the Interface Customization screen, find the section labeled Diacritics and Special Characters in Edit View.
  2. Select the appropriate option button.
    • Click Display Diacritic or Character to see the correct typographic forms of diacritics and special characters.
    • Click Display Bar Syntax to view the bar syntax representations for diacritics and special characters in the ALA character set.
      Default setting: Display Diacritic or Character.
  3. Save changes as default or use for current session only.

Set options for the session inactivity timer

  1. From the Interface Customization screen, find the section labeled Session Timer Options.
  2. For Inactivity Countdown Timer, open the list and select the number of minutes you want. You can specify from 10 to 40 minutes, in 1-minute increments.
    Default setting: 40 minutes. The system automatically ends a session after 40 minutes of inactivity.
     Note: The option to shorten the inactivity timeout is not available for Dewey Services-only sessions. It is not needed because Dewey-only sessions do not incur access and user support fees or count against simultaneous-session limits.
  3. For Inactivity Countdown Timer, select the appropriate option button.
    • Click Display in Header Bar to place the digital countdown timer on the header bar above the navigation bar.
    • Click Display in Status Bar to place the digital countdown timer on the status bar at the bottom border of the browser window.
    • Click Hide to hide the digital countdown timer.
      Default setting: Display in Status Bar. The countdown timer appears on the status bar at the bottom border of the browser window.
  4. For Timeout Warning, set the following items:
    • From the list, select how many minutes in advance of automatic logoff you want to see a warning message. You can specify from 1 minute to 9 minutes, in 1-minute increments.
      Default setting: 5 minutes.
    • Select the appropriate option button to control whether, and where, the timeout warning appears.
      • Click Do Not Display to turn off the timeout warning.
      • Click Display in Navigation Bar Area to have the system present a timeout warning message in the navigation bar.
      • ClickDefault setting: Display in Navigation Bar Area. The timeout warning appears in the navigation bar. Display in Popup Window to have the system display a timeout warning message in a separate window on top of other open windows.
        Default setting: Display in Navigation Bar Area. The timeout warning appears in the navigation bar.
  5. For When Timer Expires, select the appropriate option button.
    • Click Display Logoff Screen to have the system display the logoff screen that lists the time you logged on, the time you logged off, and the duration of your session. At the bottom of the logoff screen is a link to the logon screen, so that you can log on again conveniently.
    • Click Keep Current Display to have the system end the session at the screen you last used. This can help you resume work efficiently. However, if you select this option, you will not see the logoff screen that reports your session duration.
       Note: The system cannot retain the current display after logoff if you specify a timeout interval under 40 minutes (when the server ends an inactive session). To end a session after a shorter inactive period, the system uses a logoff command, which always displays the logoff screen.
  6. Save changes as default or use for current session only.

About the session timer and inactivity timeout

Inactivity timeout

  • The inactivity timer ends a session automatically after a period of no interaction with the server.
    • For cataloging sessions, 40 minutes of inactivity is the default setting.
    • For Dewey Services-only sessions, the default inactivity timeout is 120 minutes.
  • For cataloging sessions, you can specify automatic logoff after as little as 10 minutes of inactivity. This setting uses a timer monitored by the browser. If you close the browser without logging off, the 40-minute inactivity period monitored by the server is in effect. However, the automatic logoff function (on by default) ends the session when the browser closes.
     Note: The option to shorten the inactivity timeout is not available for Dewey Services-only sessions. It is not needed because Dewey-only sessions do not incur access and user support fees or count against simultaneous-session limits.
  • The inactivity timer prevents a session from remaining open indefinitely (and incurring access and user support fees) after a user stops working but neither logs off nor closes the browser. Specifying a shorter inactivity timeout further reduces the potential for problems caused by unused sessions.

Why unexpected timeouts can occur

  • The system cannot recognize activity that does not involve interaction with the server.
  • When you edit or type in a text box, for example, you are working locally: changes occur on the displayed screen, but you do not interact with the server. The system does not recognize these changes as activity until you take an action that involves the server; for example: starting a search or browse, selecting a record from search results, saving a user note, etc.
  • If you spend more than 40 minutes working locally without taking an action that requires interacting with the server, the inactivity timer may log you off.

Prevent unexpected timeouts

  • Timer display. Check the time remaining before a timeout on the digital timer display. You can locate the countdown timer on the header bar or on the status bar. The display shows the number of minutes and seconds remaining before an inactivity timeout will occur. For cataloging sessions, the timer counts down from 40 minutes (or an interval of 10 to 40 minutes you specify) until you interact with the server (120 minutes for Dewey-only sessions). After each interaction, the timer resets and counts down again until the next interaction.
  • Timeout warning. The system automatically warns you 5 minutes before a session is about to expire due to inactivity. You can specify that the warning appear from 1 minute to 9 minutes before the session will expire. And you can have the message appear in a pop-up box (instead of in the menu area or the Connexion screen) to make it more noticeable.
  • More frequent interaction. While working, periodically take an action such as switching screens, moving between records and a results list, etc. Make a habit of interacting every few minutes, just as you make a habit of saving your work often while using desktop software.

Automatic logoff on browser close

  • This option controls the Connexion function that automatically ends a session when you close your browser.
  • After automatic logoff, you incur no access and support charges for the session, and the session does not count against simultaneous logon limits if you subscribe to Flat Fee Internet access or Dedicated TCP/IP access.
  • Keep the default setting for this option unless it causes a problem.
  • Before changing the setting, contact OCLC Customer Support for assistance. CSD staff can verify that automatic logoff functionality is causing the problem you have and, if necessary, help you select the best automatic logoff setting for your workstation, operating system, and browser configuration.

Automatic logoff option

  1. From the Interface Customization screen, find the section labeled Automatic Session Logoff on Browser Close.
  2. Keep the default setting.
    • On - Use default method for your browser. With the default setting selected, your Connexion session is logged off automatically when you close your browser.
    • After automatic logoff, you incur no access and support charges for the session, and the session does not count against simultaneous logon limits if you subscribe to Flat Fee Internet access or Dedicated TCP/IP access.
  3. (Optional). Change setting.
     Note: OCLC recommends that you use the default setting unless you are advised to change it by Customer Support staff.
    • Select Off - Do not log off when browser window is closed if you do not want your Connexion session logged off automatically when you close the browser.
    • Select Always use session monitor window if your session remains active after you close the browser window, indicating that the default automatic logoff method does not work for your browser. With this option, a small session monitor window opens in the background when you log on. The window detects when you close the main browser window, resulting in automatic logoff.
  4. Save changes as default or use for current session only.

No automatic logoff (not recommended)

  • If you turn off the automatic logoff function, closing the browser does not end a session. The session remains active until the Connexion server ends it after 40 minutes of inactivity.
     Note: Setting a shorter inactivity timeout period via the Session Timer option does not work to end a session after you close the browser. The browser, not the Connexion server, monitors inactivity intervals less than 40 minutes.
  • When a session remains open, the system treats that session as a regular user session. The open session counts against simultaneous logon limits for libraries that subscribe to Flat Fee Internet access or Dedicated TCP/IP access. You (or others from your institution) may be unable to log in again until an inactivity timeout ends the "lost" session.
  • OCLC Customer Support staff can end the active session.

Change background color

If you find the default white background of interface screens uncomfortably bright, you can choose a light blue background.

  1. From the Interface Customization screen, find the section labeled Background Color.
  2. Select the appropriate option button.
    • Click Light Blue to use a light blue background on Connexion screens.
    • Click White to use the default white background.
      Default setting: White
  3. Save changes as default or use for current session only.
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