Answers to common technical support issues

Page updated 12/19/2015
The information on this page was compiled from the last five year's of tech support email inquiries and replies.

Look through the list below to locate your issue.  Then, click on the link to jump to that item.

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("Setup Not Finished" message upon closing program.)


13 - Type Mismatch error

13 – Type Mismatch upon launch

429 error - ActiveX component

52 – Bad File Name or Number

Add Item dialog does not show

Asian and Foreign Lang. Support

Assy Tree – printing and exporting

Assy Tree super wide item column

Backup – automated?

Backup file – Naming

Barcodes - scanning devices

Clients / Jobs – no video chapter


Color bars on grids and dropdowns

Combining licenses

Compacting fails

Company-wide deployment

Configure Right Pane error

Controlled status – Importing

Cost changes do not show

CRLFs in data

Current Cost vs Assy Cost

CurrentCost is zero

Data file – where’s mine?

Data File Schema

Data Missing

Database error (OpenDataFile SDFP)

DEMO mode

DEMO: Does it expire?

ECO controls don’t show

ECO Number - manual entry

ECO Signoff Columns – fix

ECOs for prototypes

Eject Other Users – still can’t compact

Email POs directly?

Expand Assy Tree

Export error exporting to Excel

Extended ASCII characters

File Manager

File name extensions

Files/URLs can’t be linked/unlinked

Files/URLs import

Find dialog – print?

Find dialog error

Fonts – screen font settings


Full version number

Grid cells blank out

Group License – why?

Help file won’t open

HPREF- can’t find table

Import stock values

Invalid Control Array Index

Invalid License message

Inventory Maintenance

Labels – blank

Labels, duplicate, adjacent

License entry refused

Local database missing (recurring)


Local Settings - preserve on reinstall

Lock an entire database

Mac version?

MadeFrom breakdowns

MadeFrom cost calculations

Mfr has multiple entries

Microsoft Access

Minimum Order

Minimum Stock Qty

Mouse scroll wheel

Move Ref(t) to Ref(m)

Moving database between computers

Network Version

New Company – how to begin?

OrCAD Import

Part Spec - How to Lock?

Parts List notes – turn off on report

Parts Lists - Append

Password retrieval

Path change for Files/URLs

PO Line Item Description

PO Numbering problem

Previous version setup files

Price breaks – Import?

Price breaks for licenses

Printing blank pages

Program window “Smashed Up”

Purchase List - My quantities

PVAdmin login is unknown

Reinstallation – what to do after

Remote operation

Remove items from database


Report Layout doesn’t fit

Report Title Prompts – restore

Revision - ECO does not transition

Revision sequence

Revisit ECO

Run-time error 384

Searching – Better ways to open Find



Set Stock to zero

Setup – extra steps needed

Setup hangs (older version)

Setup Not Finished message

Ship Method – add/remove

Shipping Cost - How to include

Slow performance

Source not showing

Source, new, directly from Mfr

Sources - alternates, show

Status - Can I change a whole group

Status - set for all items on a parts list at once

Status has many invalid entries

Status: change all to U

Status=R doesn’t lock Sources

Subassembly not expanding

Suggest-Next for POs – not us

Title and Detail captions

Title is too long to fit label


Transfer data from another system

Transfer data to another system

Transfer database to new P&V version

Unit of Measure on Item Master

Units of Measure – creating new

UpdateLocalFromMain error

User Fields: Edit Captions?

What about Jobs?

What users are logged in?

Windows’ Registry

Zebra label printer



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Question / Issue / Symptom

Answer / Info / Remedy



13 - Type Mismatch error when making a Purchase List or printing from the Assy Tree.
Visit Windows Control Panel | Regional Settings and make sure that the currency character is set correctly for your locale.
Then, in Parts&Vendors, go to the menu View | Date and Currency Format | Set Currency Character and enter the same currency character as set in Control Panel.

13 – Type Mismatch upon launch (frmMain_Load), Win8/8.1

Unresolved error message - We know what a Type Mismatch error is, but when the program loads it is doing nothing that should cause it. We have a handful of users who have encountered this. A couple users have told us that using Windows as Administrator will avoid this, but we have no confirmation of that. 

429 error - ActiveX component can't create object
Some component of the program cannot be found in the registry. Reinstall the program on top of the existing installation. Typical message box:


NOTE: To preserve local settings, rename the Local Configuration File (C:\Program Files\PV6\pvpr60.tdb) before the reinstall, then name it back (overwriting the newly placed file) after the reinstall.

52 – Bad File Name or Number

When you run Parts&Vendors, it attempts to open the database it had open in its last session. If that file is not longer available due to having been moved, renamed or the path changed, then you'll get that error message.

Either reinstate the database to its original path and name, or go to the program's menu and choose File | Open and browse to its new location.

Add Item'dialog does not show when I click the 'Add' button.
Close, and then reopen Parts&Vendors. Hold the shift key when clicking the Add button to restore the dialog's on-screen position. You can then resize and position the dialog as you wish.

Asian and other Foreign Language Support

Our Parts&Vendors software does not support Windows Regional and Language options that require Unicode characters. That includes Asian languages and some other world languages. The program is primarily a US English program and does not have localization features.

Assy Tree – printing and exporting

After making any column changes to the Assy Tree view (or the Buy page's Cost Summary Tree), you MUST refresh the display (ctrl+R or snowflake button on toolbar) before printing or exporting. This includes changes to which columns to show, their left-to-right order, and column widths. After refreshing, then expand the tree to show the rows you want to print (from the popup menu opened from the first row), then Preview or Print.

If you print the Assembly Tree from the program, the printed report will approximate the on-screen view.

When viewing that listing, go to the menu and choose File | Page Setup. There are several options there that apply to the printout of that listing, including whether to graphically represent the tree structure, or not.

Another option is to represent the indents of each subassembly with an "indent" character. This defaults to a dot (a period), but can be set to other more prominent characters if you desire. You must close the Page Setup dialog for a change in the indent character to take effect.

Exporting the listing to a CSV file adds a couple of columns-- one for Parent Assy P/N, and another for numeric representation of indent level (1, 2, 3... etc.).

Assy Tree super wide item column

You have a circular reference in your tree structure. That is, a P/N for an upper level assembly is also on the list as a subassembly at some level. The program interface will prevent a user from creating that, but will not prevent an imported circular reference. Carefully examine your imports to avoid this.

Backup – automated?

Automated backup every hour? Sounds like a recipe for disaster. How do you prevent the file from being copied while it's in use? I.e., while records are being saved. In my opinion, it sounds like a terrible idea that might result in an unopenable backup file and a broken active file.

Backup file – Naming

Whenever you or your colleagues make a copy of the file for backup purposes, or ANY purpose that makes it not the *active* file, then be sure to put the DATE into the file name. That will identify it as NOT the active,  *working* copy.

Barcodes - scanning devices

You have two options for barcode scanning. One is a directly connected scan device (wand, gun, etc.) that returns the scanned code to the computer as though the characters had been typed on the keyboard. The second is a portable device that you can take to your stockroom, and that saves its scanned and keyed in data (stock count) to a file. Then, you can import that CSV file to bring the stock count data into Parts&Vendors.

Clients / Jobs – no video chapter

There's not a lot of functionality behind the Clients and Jobs sections of the database. But, they work very much like the Vendor and PO sections. You are correct, there's no video chapter that covers them.

The Client entry must exist first (on the Client page--- you might be trying to create a Job without first specifying a Client). Then, at the top of the Jobs page, choose the client from the dropdown list. Then, create a new Job by either clicking New or ctrl+N and specifying a Job number. These Job numbers can be the same as on PO line items, or not. They are not linked in the current version of the program.

Above the list area, click the Add button to add items from the database to the Job. Remember, just like with POs, you can create a non-database line item by clicking the 'Other' button on the Add Item dialog, and then editing the item to be what you want.

Fill in prices, quantities, etc. (Remember, price is a function of demand, not of cost, so don't look for a 'markup from cost' option.)

From the single Jobs | Line Items listing you can print several reports-- look at the File | Preview or File | Print menus.


Sorry, no. Parts&Vendors is a simple desktop application that does not have an option for other "back ends." It is designed to work on your LAN. Because it is not a true client/server system, each copy of the program opens the entire database, not just a subset of records. Because of that, the data is large (and growing), and it is not practical to open the database across the internet.

To accommodate a *single* remote user, we recommend dedicating a computer in your home office for use with Remote Desktop software, such as Citrix's "Go To My PC." That dedicated computer can handle only a single P&V user at a time, however.

Color bars on grids and dropdowns are a problem. How to Change?

For the grid: From the ‘List Settings’ menu (small, gridded button just above list area), choose Alternate Line Color.

For the Control Pane dropdowns:  Right click in any field on the Control Pane (left side of program). Choose ‘Alternate Line Color; from the menu.

Combining licenses


(We ordered a Dedicated license, then we ordered a Group license.)

Sorry, no, we cannot combine the licenses. But, all is not lost. Assign that license number to the installation of your most *power user.* That user will *never* be locked out of the database by the Group license having been clocked up to its maximum.

Some companies will even intentionally buy one Dedicated license for this purpose, to be used with their Group license. You can use the one you have. All licenses (of compatible Versions and Editions) can be used alongside each other.

Compacting fails when some users’ have their P&V programs open.

Parts&Vendors has an "Eject Other Users" feature that usually works to shut down idle copies of the program. From the menu, choose File | File Utilities | Eject Other Users. Then you can Compact or Back up your database.

This feature only “talks” to running copies of the P&V program. I won’t clear “orphaned” connections on your server to already-closed programs. Server tools exist to close those connections, or a server reboot will also do that.

Company-wide deployment. We want to put everyone on it.

Your mention of 40 employees does not match with our vision of the Parts&Vendors product for the following reasons:

a) As you know, this is not an mrp/erp system nor does it try to be a production tool. Parts&Vendors is "Software for Engineers," and as such it might not be appropriate to deploy it company-wide.

b) As you also know, unlike a true client/server system, P&V uses "simple file sharing" to provide a multi-user environment. Each copy of the program opens the data file in a non-exclusive mode. This exposes the data file to the behavior of all the separate computers. 

As the number of users increases, so does the possibility of database corruption. Unfortunately, a workstation cannot be "measured" for offending behavior. The only way to determine a badly-behaving computer is by "process of elimination." (Joe was not logged in when the corruption occurred, therefore his machine is not (yet) suspect.)

For this reason, we've always maintained that a P&V workgroup of a maximum of a dozen is probably about right.

Configure Right Pane error
Version of grid component is incorrect. Download PVGrid.exe and run it to correct this situation.

Controlled status - Importing

For the imported value of the Controlled field, use 0=false and 1=true. You will only need the Item Part Number column as your key field and Item Controlled as your data column. Be sure to check the 'Overwrite' box in the last (Transfer) step of the import.

Cost changes do not show up in my assembly’s total (Last Calc Assy Cost).


The costs for an assembly (or whole product) are refreshed and totaled when you make a Purchase List for the product. Costs are always quantity dependent, so the update does not happen automatically.

Do check out our online Video Tour which shows how to use the program-- particularly the chapter on the Buy page's Purchase List.

CRLFs in data

Can happen by pasting in data from other sources. Normal operation of the program disallows entry of these unwanted characters.

Microsoft's 'dumbing down' of newer operating systems masks the display of unwanted carriage-returns/linefeeds.  Here's a view in WinXP, on a grid with 'Wrap Text' turned off (normal setting for 1-line grids).

Here, in Win98, Win2000 and WinXP, you could put the ShowAll grid into its editable state and remove these unwanted characters.  But, you can't see them in Win7 and newer. Thanks, Microsoft.

Go to the menu and choose File | File Utilities | Maintenance | Clear CRLFs from Job numbers.  It will also clear Titles, Details, Mfr P/N, Vendor Desc and Vendor P/N.

Current Cost vs Assy Cost

Current Cost is always and *only* the directly linked Primary Source cost (for the UseAs side of the Unit of Measure). It's most commonly useful for independent items (DWGs and PSs).

The total cost for an assembly (PLs and CATs) (the sum of costs of parts contained within) is calculated when you make a Purchase List on the Buy page. The total is stored on the Item Master under the Assy Cost tab, and is called Last Calculated Assembly Cost.

For an assembly, Current Cost comes into play if you use that to bring in direct labor charges. In that case, the vendor will probably be your company's manufacturing floor. The other use for a directly linked source for an assembly is when you buy it as a finished piece from an outside supplier, such as a contract assembler. In that case, the assembly is also set to not expand, when in the context of a subassembly.

CurrentCost is zero.

But when I bring up the assembly tree, it says current cost is zero despite all of the components being priced. Is there something I need to do to get P&V to total the cost?

Current Cost is always, and only, the directly linked Primary Source cost for an item.

It is normal for an assembly to not have a directly linked source (see item above).

The total for your assembly, after you run a Purchase List for it, will be Last Calc Assy Cost, shown under the Assy Cost tab in the group of tabs on the Item Master pane.

Data file – where’s mine?
The full path and file name of your database is shown in the title bar of the main program window.
If you can't open the program to identify the file, then instead go to Windows taskbar and click Start | Programs | Parts&Vendors 6 | Utilities | Support | Get Current Data File.

Data File Schema – do you have a document?

We do not have such a document for public consumption that describes each table of the Parts&Vendors database. But, the file is essentially self-documenting. 

Using a retail copy of Microsoft Access (2000 or newer), you can open each table in the Design view and examine all its properties. If you expect to use external tools to execute queries or for whatever purpose, MS Access is your "power tool" for all your manipulation of the database design and/or its contents.

From the Tools menu, you'll want to open the Relationships window, as that provides a look at the key joining fields between tables. That information will be helpful (necessary, actually) in creating queries.

Opening your P&V database and looking at the contents of each table will help inform you as to its purpose.

The format of Parts&Vendors' JET 4.0 database is that of Access 2000. Do not "convert" it to a newer version when prompted by Access.

Data Missing

In working with the Microsoft JET database engine and file format (the same back end as used by their Access program) for 20 years, one thing we have learned-- The data does not spontaneously disappear. 

Compacting, while reducing file size after deletions, does not bear on the issue.

Whenever a user has reported that his data seems not to be consistent with his recollection, the one thing that usually comes up is that he has opened a database (the document file) that is different from what he thought he was opening. Perhaps an older copy. Please look at that possibility to see if that is the case.

Database corruption – hidden problems in repaired data file?

Zero chance of hidden corruption in the repaired database. That's because we do a table-by-table transfer, to make sure the database schema is entirely healthy before the data is saved.

Database error when opening or attempting to open a new data file. or when attempting to Compact.

"SDFP - File is read only or corrupted"
"Unrecognized database format"
(SDFP = Service Data File Password – first opening of main database.)
If Compacting fails to clear the error, or reports an error itself, then it is likely that the database has been "broken" by a hardware or software or network glitch. Not a good thing, but usually repairable.







Two choices:
1) Zip the database file and attach to an email to and we will attempt to fix it.
We will, of course, consider your database to be company-private and will not reveal its contents to anyone for any purpose.
Turnaround time for the repair, during normal tech support office hours, is often less than one hour. During that time you should consider your database to be out of service, since when you receive the repaired file back, it will replace your original file.
2) As a tech-savvy person, fix it yourself with our step-by-step instructions and database repair kit.

DEMO mode - My P&V installation on Win8 keeps reverting back to DEMO mode.

Sometimes the program cannot read Windows’ Registry where the license number is saved. Maintenance update 6.0.141 sidesteps this problem by saving the license number in its own text file in the program folder. The link to download that update is on the PV6 Update page.

DEMO: Does it expire?

Parts&Vendors runs in demo mode until you enter a purchased license number. Both the demo and the license are perpetual (they do not expire).

ECO controls don’t show in program.

The ECO Edition license gives Parts&Vendors certain capabilities. However, for the ECO controls to show in the program, you must first install those features into your database.

Check out the relevant online Video Tour chapters. You can access the Video Tour right from Parts&Vendors' own program menu. Choose Support | HowTo: Video Tour. Or, if you're already on the website, go to the site menu and choose Support | User Area. Then, click on the big Video Tour link at the top of that page.

Look at the chapters titled:

1) Security, User Permissions and ECO Signoff Depts.

2) All the ECO chapters.

ECO Number - How to manually enter one (out of sequence, or to fill in a blank)?

As a PVAdmin user, go to P&V's menu, choose File | File Utilities | ECO Settings. Look under the "Other" tab-- last checkbox option. As a PVAdmin user, you can edit the dates on the ECO page.

ECO Signoff Columns out of sync

If you have the ECO Edition (and ECO features are enabled in your database), then go to the menu and choose File | File Utilities | Maintenance | Set ECO Signoff Dept Columns for This File. You must be logged in as PVAdmin user to do this.

ECOs for prototypes

You're running your prototypes thru the ECO process? Not in my company, you're not. Talk about handcuffing your engineering effort. Adding this bureaucratic layer to development is not what we had in mind, nor is it, to our knowledge, how the rest of the world operates.

Release individual components as their specs are finalized, irrespective of the multiple projects (and those projects' Status) that the part may be used on. When the design is complete, those items will already be in your library of resources. Release the assemblies for a product when the design is complete. 

Waiting until the assembly is finished before you release all the parts contained within it is like waiting until Sunday night to do your homework.

For what it's worth...  Good luck.

Eject Other Users still not allowing compacting

The 'Eject User' feature only talks to the other (running) copies of Parts&Vendors and tells them to close. You may still have "orphaned" connections to the file itself, on your server, which are not live connections. These could have been left by terminated program copies sometime in the past.

There are server tools available that can be used to close those connections. Or, a server reboot will also clear them.

Email POs directly?

Sorry, not in the current program version. Print the PO to a PDF file, and attach that to your email. Selected text serves as email address for the program-wide Send E-Mail command on the popup menu.

Expand Assy Tree view: Is there some way to expand all of the sub assemblies at one time on the Assy Tree?

Right click on the top row of the Assy Tree. From the popup menu, choose Show All Levels.

Export error exporting to Excel.
380 - Invalid property value, or-2147417851 - Automation error.
Likely due to having more than 255 characters in one of your memo type fields (Reference Designators, Notes, etc.)
Export to a CSV file instead, and Excel will open that.

Extended ASCII characters

Yes, Parts&Vendors responds variously to the extended ASCII characters, based on its VB6 underpinnings as well as some of its third-party purchased components (the grid, the tree).

We, too, wish that we could enter the Ω symbol and others. But, we've found it entirely possible to do one's work without the them, as nice as they may be. Values for resistors, for example, 1.2, 1.2k, 1.2m are not ambiguous or uncertain. Similarly, as nice as it would be to have ±5%, simply 5% suffices (just like you say it when you're stating tolerance). 

File Manager

You can link any number of external files to each P/N in Parts&Vendors. 

When viewing any P/N on the Item Master, go to the List Pane (right side of program) and click on the Files/URLs tab. There, add, edit or remove any number of entries that link to your files. From the popup menu, you can Open a file (Windows uses the associated program, based on the file name extension.) You can also View a file, specifying any number of potential external programs, such as small, quick-loading cad or picture viewer programs that you have pre-specified in P&V.

An even better tool to work with your linked files is the File Manager, which is opened from the popup menu ANYPLACE IN THE PROGRAM that has a P/N reference. That means line items on POs, Parts Lists, ECOs, Purchase Lists, Kit Lists, etc., or simply from the ShowAll or Inventory grids. This way, you can access those external files without having to go back to the Item Master.

The File Manager window can also be opened by right clicking in any field on the Item Master pane.

File name extensions don’t show on my computer.

One of the problems of Microsoft's "dumbing down" the operating systems, is that Windows Explorer (the file manager) is often set, by default, to NOT show the file extension.

In older versions of Windows, to fix this, go to the menu and choose Tools | Folder Options. On that dialog click on the View tab. In the list, make sure that "Hide Extensions for Known File Types" is UNCHECKED. I've attached a jpg of that box. Other versions of Windows might need a slight translation.

Now, you'll be able to see that your database is Parts_List.mdb (the normal JET database engine and Access file extension-- probably stands for 'Microsoft Data Base').

The lock file is Parts_List.ldb (the L probably stands for Lock-- as evidenced by the lock icon that goes with this file type). JET creates and deletes this as needed. You need not do anything with it, or back it up.

Files/URLs can’t be linked or unlinked from Released items.

Use the File Manager window (opens from the popup menu from anywhere in the program) instead of the Files/URLs grid. Same data, more available throughout the program, and does not have those limitations.

Files/URLs import

The Files/URLs links for items cannot be imported in the current version of Parts&Vendors.

Find dialog – how to print

You don't print from the Find dialog. Instead, you create and apply a Filter to the Item Master | ShowAll grid, and you print the result of that. 

Check out the online Video tour chapter titled: Filters. That shows how to use that tool.

Find dialog error:

FillGridWithData - 3265 - Item cannot be found in the collection corresponding to the requested name or ordinal.

Delete all the *.SGL files in the \PV6 program installation folder. Get the latest free program update (6.0.140), which permanently fixes this problem.

Fonts – screen font settings.

For the Control Pane, right click in any field and choose Fonts from the popup menu. The default font is MS Sans Serif, 8pt, Normal.

For the List Pane, open the List Settings menu (that's the small, gridded button just above the list area), and choose Fonts. Again, the default is MS Sans Serif, 8pt, Normal.

Full version number of the program I have?

From the menu choose Help | About Parts&Vendors, or look in the lower right corner of the main program window, just to the left of the date.

Grid cells blank out on Sources grid and Items Supplied grid when manipulating the dropdowns on those grids, or after saving an entry there.
Some systems exhibit this undesirable grid behavior. The correct action to take is to immediately refresh the display (Ctrl+R or the snowflake button). The data is still there-- it's only a display anomaly.
From the Grid Settings menu (small gridded button above list) choose Use Alternate Dropdowns.

Group License – why you should get it.

Whether or not you anticipate having more simultaneous users in the future, do get the Group license type. The cost is the same and it has a couple of advantages:

1) Only one license number to administrate (don't have to "assign" licenses to specific computers).

2) Can be used in up to 50% more installations than the user count of the license (round up to next whole number). This allows your "part time" users to "time share" the available seats, spread across more computers.

Help file won’t open on my newer computer

Even on newer versions of Windows (Vista, 7 and 8) you can go to Microsoft's site and download and install the older Help engine. 

On my several Win8 installations, the message that told me that it could not open the older Help file also gave me a link to Microsoft's download. I'm sure you can go directly to their site and search for that same item.

That said, the latest version of the User Manual is available on our website at From the site menu, choose Support | User Area. In the right column of that page, look for the link to either open or download the PDF version of the book.

Even better, we have an online Video Tour which shows onscreen demonstrations of all the features in the program. Written for PV6, it also covers operation of your PV4 program. On that same User Area page, there's a big link to the Video Tour right at the top of the page.

HPREF- can’t find table – TDDLookup error.

This error is caused by your server disconnecting the Parts&Vendors program from its data file. This is completely uncalled for, and is stepping on your toes.

Doubly frustrating, since the program goes back to read from the data file at 15 second intervals for license and housekeeping purposes, so the program is not even "idle."

Only the first error message is meaningful. The others are just a result of what caused the first one.

While I've heard of this a handful of times over the years, we've never been involved in resolving this on anyone's server. I can't imagine that it has anything to do with the name of the folder, or the fact of an ampersand in the path name. Let me know if you find out different.

Import stock values - What columns do I need?

The only columns you need in your CSV file are the in-house P/N and the stock value. This can be an add, deduct or set value.

Invalid Control Array Index - 341

cbxSSDBCombo_KeyDown error

That message reveals that the column setups for the main dropdown lists are broken.  To reinstate the file that holds them, you'll need to reinstall the program.  You can do this on top of what you have (no uninstall required).  This means a full install, not just the update.

Invalid License message - upon attempting to enter license number into Help | About box.

PV6 licenses begin TDSN6. PV5 licenses begin TDSN5. Maybe you’re trying to enter your old license number into your new program (or vice versa).

Older releases (before 6.0.136) require license entry exactly as provided, uppercase prefix, spaces or not, but not with your added punctuation. Newer releases are more forgiving and will accept any case text and any punctuation that you add (but why would you?).

Also, if you’ve added seats to your Group license, or upgraded the license Edition (SE to EX to ECO), then the old license is invalidated and that information is saved on that computer. Subsequent attempt (such as in a reinstall) to enter old license may trigger ‘invalid license’ message. Be sure you’re using the latest license issued to you.

Inventory Maintenance:

I’m dealing with inventory adjustments in P&V ECO 6.0, and I’m looking for some help with it. I’m using the Adjust Inventory features under the Build tab to add and remove kits from inventory, which creates entries in the History Tab that allow me to track parts in and out and know what job they went to.

However, for engineering parts that don’t exist on assemblies, I’m using the Edit… Adjust Stock command to move parts, which does not create an entry in the Build history.

How can I get those parts to show up in the history with date/job traceability?

Parts&Vendors is explicitly not "inventory software." And, it does not allocate stock to a job. So, you are pressing it into territory that it was not designed to be a solution for. The Build page's History listing is to help avoid duplicate adjustments to stock when more than one person is involved in the Kitting activity.

Parts&Vendors is a set of tools for engineers and product designers to define, document and cost their new products. It also provides simple purchasing tools, originally intended for where those designers had to order their own prototype parts.

While we certainly do have customer companies that press the software into a role beyond what was originally intended, you'll be faced with working around its limitations when used that way.

Labels – blank every 2nd label.

Printing every other label (leaving the ones in between blank) is always due to the label textboxes or label width being wider than the allowable print width for the printer. Sounds like you created a custom label definition. Go tweak the dimensions on that.

Labels, duplicate, adjacent

On the Labels dialog, on the right side, just under the buttons, is a box captioned: # of Labels. Enter a number here, and P&V will print duplicate labels adjacent to each other.

License entry refused – Program will not accept license entry.

License entry allows four attempts in any one day. Then, it will cease to acknowledge further attempts until the next day.

To reset that counter, double click on the Help | About graphic five (5) times. You’ll get a message when you accumulate five double clicks. Then, enter your license number.

Local Database missing (recurring)

This is the program's configuration file, not your database.

Some other program has unregistered the JET database engine component that's needed for compacting. In the program's install folder (..\PV6, locate the file pvpr60.sav or pvpr60.wkg, and rename it to pvpr60.tdb. If the file is not there in any form, then reinstall the program to reinstate a fresh copy of it.

Then, in Windows' Start | Run box, type:  regsvr32.exe "C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\System\ado\msjro.dll" and click OK.

OR--  In older versions of Windows, type:  regsvr32.exe "C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\ado\msjro.dll" and click OK.

You should get a message that the operation was successful. Now, when you run Parts&Vendors you should not get that 'Open Local Database' error message that says it can't find the necessary file.

LOCAL SETTINGS - sharing with other program copies.


The file C:\Program Files\PV6\pvpr60.tdb saves many settings and copying this file to another user's \PV6 program folder is a way of sharing those settings.

BUT-- There is a downside, and that is because the file contains settings that you might not want to share. Here's a list of things the file saves. You can decide if sharing it makes sense.

1) Grid and Tree view column settings: columns on any listing, plus column order and widths.
2) User-Saved Filters
3) User-Saved Views
4) Label layouts (what field on what label line for each listing)
5)* Report layout editor file menu: Most recently used files, plus pointer to current active report layout file for any listing). Actual layout file (.RPX) may not reside on other users' computers.
6) Saved default file paths for opening main databases, opening merge destination databases, opening import files, saving export files.
7) Substitute paths and/or drive letters when pointing to document files in Files/URLs listing (redirects command line to mapped drive where documents actually reside, compared to entry in database).
8) Label definitions (if you've created a new label size, it's definition in this file).
9) Purchase List and Kit List workspaces
10) Buy and Build page option settings
11) Barcode settings (preamble and termination characters)
12) Copy P/N settings in Edit | Settings | Copy P/N
13) Cost Each format
14) Date format
15) Saved Export options
16) Size and position of all repositionable forms (windows) and dialog boxes. If dialog is positioned way to right on hi-res screen, copying this file to another user with low-res screen will put dialog off screen.
17) Grid options (grid settings menu- small gridded button just above list area)
18) File | MRU list
19) PO Options
20) Suggest Next (P/N - PO#, RFQ#, JOB#) settings
21) Report options: fonts, saved report titles, printer choice
22) Shipping address prompts

*To disable undesired active custom report layout, must open report in Layout Editor, close editor, responding 'No' to prompt to make this the active report layout.
To USE active custom report layout, must transfer the .RPX layout file to the same folder on the destination computer, using Windows Explorer (file manager).

FOR ECO ENABLED DATABASES:  After copying the file into the ..\PV6 program folder, do this:

From P&V’s menu, choose File | File Utilities | Maintenance | Set ECO Signoff Department Columns for this File.

Local Settings - preserve in new installation

To preserve many local settings (grid columns, saved filters, saved views, etc.) you can transfer your local configuration file from your old computer too your new one. The file pvpr60.tdb, in your old \PV6 program folder can be copied into the new installation folder.

Lock an entire database?

There's not a "blanket" way to do this, but this is accommodated by installing Security and User Permissions into your file (requires EX or ECO Edition). Then, create a "read only" permission group to put all those users into. Locking the entire database by setting the file to ‘Read-Only’ is NOT a way to accomplish this.

Mac version?

Sorry, no, we don't offer a Mac version of Parts&Vendors. Some users, years ago, told us that they successfully run P&V on a Mac with Windows-emulation software. We think this is from the same publisher that has Windows emulation software for UNIX computers. We don't have any details, though.

MadeFrom breakdowns not automatically made in Kit List

The Kitting adjustment to stock does not handle MadeFrom items. Those need to be handled manually, and the program would expect that to be handled before the kitting is done, so it can draw from stock of ready-to-go MadeFrom items.

MadeFrom cost calculations

The cost for a MadeFrom item is compiled when it's included in any purchase list. There's not a way to do it directly. So, create a temporary PL, add the MadeFrom item, and run a purchase list for it on the Buy page, with all the Qty Options unchecked. Use a "real world" entry for 'Number of Units' to get a good baseline cost for the item.

Remember, MadeFrom's can be multi-level. If you want the top and intermediate levels to show on your Purchase List, check the option box on Edit | Settings | Purch/Kit Lists. Otherwise, just the raw material (lowest level) will be on that listing.

Mfr has multiple entries

To clean up your database that might have the same manufacturer entered in different ways--- Bring up the (wrong) manufacturer on the Manufacturer page. View the Items Sourced grid. Select all of the line items. Go to the menu and choose List | Switch Mfr Name for Selected Items. Once you move the items to the proper Mfr name, you can delete the "wrong" mfr from the database. A similar feature is available for the Vendor | Items Supplied listing.

Microsoft Access

Your opportunity to do more extensive operations on your data is the fact that Parts&Vendors' "back end" and "file format" is based on Microsoft's JET4 database engine. This is the same as MS Access, so if you have a retail version of that program, you can do more things.

Don't use Access to modify your P&V data file, though (the default format is Access 2000). Start a new, empty database and link to the tables in your P&V file. (File | Get External Data | Link Tables.) Then, you can use those tables as though they are local to your file, where you can create queries, filters and all kinds of things (forms, reports, code, etc.)


Minimum Order

If the minimum order of a part is 25, you might consider making a MultiplesOf entry on its Source (the cell is at the right-hand end of the line item). While it's not really a "minimum" entry, it might serve you as such for your small-quantity situations.

So, even if your Purchase List only calls for less than 25, the quantity of this item will be adjusted upward to make the minimum. However, if you run a Purchase List that calls for 26, this item's order quantity will be adjusted to 50. You'll need to keep a note on this one, to re-set its quantity back on the Purchase List (which you can edit after-the-fact, and before you use the listing to generate POs).

Minimum Stock Qty - Can I set for many parts at the same time?

For child (Detail) items that are under a Parent P/N, you can set the Min Stock Qty all at once. (This feature is not available for other part contexts.)

Bring up the Parent P/N. Open the Stock tab on the Item Master pane. Fill in the Min Stock value. Then, check the box to Copy to all Details.

NOTE that this feature CANNOT be extended to other P/Ns by “temporarily” making them child (Detail) items under the Parent P/N. This is because the Title of the Parent P/N is copied to all child items.

Instead, edit multiple items on the ShowAll grid. Here’s how.

Mouse scroll wheel

The mouse scroll wheel is supported by Parts&Vendors 5.0 and 6.0. It was not available in earlier versions of the program.

Move Ref(t) to Ref(m)


(NOTE: We always recommend backing up your database before performing commands that will operate on multiple records.)

Here are two SQL commands that will accomplish moving your reference designators from the small text field, Ref(t) to the large memo type field, Ref(m). 


Copy the first command to Windows clipboard.

From Parts&Vendors' menu, choose File | File Utilities | Maintenance | Run an Action SQL on Main Database.

Paste in the command and click OK.

Copy the second command to the clipboard.

From Parts&Vendors' menu, choose File | File Utilities | Maintenance | Run an Action SQL on Main Database.

Paste in this command and click OK.

Do the above steps only ONCE. Done more than once will erase all your reference data, so just don't do that.

Moving database between computers

Since you will be copying your database back and forth between computers (actually working the db on a thumb drive is probably not workable, as it's probably too slow), we recommend keeping a *physical* flag (perhaps a Post-It note) stuck to your computer to keep track of which computer has the *active* data file.

DO NOT make the mistake of entering new data into the *wrong* copy of your database. There's not a file-sync utility to dig you out of making that mistake. And, as the file date changes each time you open the it, that's not a reliable indicator of which database you have.

Network Version

There is no "network version" of the program. P&V uses "simple file sharing" to open its data file, and each copy of the program opens the whole file (not just a subset as a true client/server configuration would). Because of this, the retrieved data is large, and it's not practical to access your database across the internet. It's designed to work on your LAN.

New Company – how to begin?

Like any program that has a document file, just go to the menu and choose File | New. Put your company's name in the file name, and save it in an appropriate folder. That might be on your own computer (My Documents), or in a shared folder on your LAN, perhaps on a server, where it might be accessed by other users, if you add more seats to your license.

That will be a new, empty database. Go to Edit | Settings and click on the Organization tab to enter your company's name, address, phone, etc.

To avoid error messages due to no records, just start by adding at least one P/N (Item Master pane) and one Vendor (Vendor pane). Then, be sure to look at the relevant chapters of our online Video Tour. This can be accessed right from P&V's own menu. Choose Support | HowTo: Video Tour.

That said, this is a program for engineers and designers to define, document and cost their new products during development, and after. It does not "lead you" through any sequence of events, and presumes that you know what you need to do next. In that regard, it is "random access," and is a set of tools to do various things.

OrCAD Import

Parts&Vendors' Import utility was originally designed to bring in bom data from schematic capture and pcb layout programs. It still serves that function.

There is not a "live" link available to the OrCAD program suite. BUT, some of OrCAD's products do have an ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) link that it can use to access data from unspecified sources, including P&V's .mdb data files. For information on that, consult your OrCAD documentation or support. 

Part Spec - How to Lock?

You can "lock" a part to prevent inadvertent editing by setting its Status to "R" (released). The use of this depends on the program Edition that you have.

SE - anyone can set it to R or set it back to U.

EX - If permissions are implemented, only a user with permission to do so can change Status.

ECO - If ECO features are implemented in your database, then a user with ECOAdmin privileges can set Status. Once set to R, then changes to the item's spec must be made via an ECO.

Parts List notes – turn off on printout.

No built-in option to not print the notes.

1) You might try a custom report layout for that listing. In that layout,
make the Properties for the Notes textbox Visible=False, CanGrow=False. Don't remove the textbox or you'll disable the report.

2) If you have that many notes for an assembly, I would also consider
making that text an external file that's linked to that P/N. Certainly, if
the contents of your Notes are assembly instructions, then they should be in their own document, anyway.

Parts Lists - Append one to another.

Go to PL 1 and select all the line items, on the Parts List tab view. From the menu choose List | Copy Selected to Another List. Have the destination P/N in the clipboard, so you can just paste it in.

Password retrieval (PVAdmin user login)

In the older version of Parts&Vendors we need to get your data file to retrieve your PVAdmin (database owner) name and password. If you will please zip your data file and send it to, we can do that for you.

If you are using the latest releases of the program (6.0.140 or later), contact us to learn how to retrieve that information.

Path change for Files/URLs listing of external documents


(When making mass changes we always recommend backing up your database first, in case you get unexpected results.)

Then, go to the menu and choose File | File Utilities | Maintenance | Change Path in File Listing. The program will give you a chance to confirm your change or cancel it, showing how many entries will be edited.

PO Line Item Description cell has things I don’t want.

Click in the Description cell of a PO line item. Notice that a button appears in the cell. When you click that, a dialog box opens that lets you specify what data appears in that cell. The settings take effect the next time you add an item to a PO.

PO Numbering out of previous sequence

Parts&Vendors' Suggest Next feature acts on the option setting plus your existing data. Since someone has entered an out-of-sequence PO number, the program will use that for its seed for the next number.

There's no workaround to bypass that. You'll need to remove or change that PO number to revert your auto-numbering to the previous range of numbers.

Previous version setup files – where to get them?

These are on each version’s Update page. Scroll further down the page to find the link.

Price breaks – Import?

While the Parts&Vendors program saves price breaks with its Sources, those price breaks cannot be imported. They will need to be entered via the program's onscreen interface.

Price breaks for licenses

Our price break works just like everyone else's. That is, it's an incentive to stretch and buy what you anticipate needing, to get the discount. The price breaks apply to the seats all purchased at the same time. It's not a reward for past purchases.

Printing blank pages
From Windows Start button, click Settings | Printers and Faxes. Select your printer, open Printing Preferences (from the popup menu or from the File menu).
Where you would make your paper size selection, look for what seems to be duplicate entries: Letter and Letter 8.5x11. Chose the other setting, different from the one currently selected.

Program window “Smashed Up”

From a user:

It was another program called "Team Viewer" - it adds a button to the title bar called "QuickConnect." P&V for whatever reason reacted badly to having stuff added to the title bar. But disabling the button for P&V seemed to fix it.

Purchase List - My quantities don’t seem to be right.

It can be a complex task to compile the quantities needed. That’s why the Purchase List is such a powerful feature. We’ve tested it (for years) with a wide range of data, and are confident that it produces the correct results.

The most common issue is when the ‘Calculate for Shortages’ checkbox is checked, and there is existing stock of subassemblies. That will reduce the quantity required for all the items contained within that assembly.

Also, when a subassembly is applied with Qty>1, that increases the quantities used there, and may not be obvious at first look. Examine your Assy Tree view, looking for unintentional quantity entries.

Also, the Qty field on parts list is text, to allow for entries like AR (as reqd). But, if your Qty entry has non-numeric characters (such as a unit of measure), it will be regarded as zero.

To examine the costs contributed from each subassembly branch of your product, the Buy page's Cost Summary Tree gives you that view. If your data is not right, causing the totals to be high, then you should be able to spot the discrepancy on that listing. Of course, it does require one's familiarity with the product and at least a *ballpark* knowledge of what the costs *should* be.

PVAdmin login name and password are unknown. That employee has left the company.

Contact tech support to learn the hidden “back door” to log into your database with PVAdmin (database owner) privileges.

Reinstallation – what to do after

If your database is ECO-enabled, then do this:

From the menu choose File | File Utilities | Maintenance | Set ECO Signoff Dept Columns for This File.

Remote operation of P&V

Parts&Vendors is designed to work on your LAN. The only way we know of to accommodate remote users is by use of a remote desktop program, such as Citrix's "Go To My PC."  That will require a computer in your home office dedicated to that purpose, and it will support only one user at a time.

Remove items from database


(mistaken import of a large number of parts)


(NOTE: We always recommend backing up your database before performing commands that will operate on multiple records.)

First, before making mass changes to your data, such as large imports or running a SQL command, we always recommend making a backup copy of your database. Then, you can start over, in case you get unexpected results or discover it was ill-advised.

Now that you've done it, here's how to delete your unwanted P/Ns.

1) If your database is secured (users log in), be logged in as a user with PVAdmin (database owner) privileges.

2) Go to the Item Master | ShowAll listing.

3) Sort the listing by whatever might group the unwanted items together. This might be by P/N or maybe by Date.

4) From the menu, choose View | Allow Editing on ShowAll Grid. The text color will change to indicate its mode.

5) Select the range of P/Ns to delete. Standard Windows selection techniques apply.

6) Press the Delete key on your keyboard.

7) Be sure to compact your database (this is important). 

Report Layout doesn’t fit in main database

Parts&Vendors uses a Memo data-type field in your main database to save the report layout (it's about 60k). It's not a separate file. Each saved layout has its own field space, so the accumulation of several layouts is not a limiting factor.

Even if your logo image is small, it might cause the resulting layout file to be larger than will fit. The only workarounds would be to reduce the (byte) size of the image and other report additions, or just to save it to the external rpx file. 

While you can view the rpx file's size in Windows Explorer (the file manager), it might not look like it exceeds the 60K limit. Doesn't matter. If the program says it won't fit, it won't fit. 

Placing the layout file in a shared folder (alongside your database, perhaps) on your LAN is a reasonable solution to having it available for other users. You must open it and activate it from *each* of those program installations, however. (Activating means answering 'yes' to the prompt to make it active, when you close the Report Layout Editor window).

Report Title Prompts – restore

From the View menu in Parts&Vendors, choose "Restore Prompt for Report Titles."

Revision - ECO does not transition from numeric to alpha Rev entry.

Parts&Vendors will advance a letter rev or a numeric rev or a simple combination rev (letters and numbers). But, it will not transition from a number to letter rev. When you have a transition, such as numeric for pre-production to letter for production, you must "prime the pump" by making that change. This is done on the "Edit Item" window.

Similarly, if your item has an alpha Rev, and you want to have it be numeric, you must edit the item on the Edit Item window, irrespective of what you might also set on the ECO Line Items grid.

The Edit Item window is opened by clicking on the leftmost ECO line item button. This must be done after the ECO is Issued, but before it's released.

After either of the above scenarios, the item's Revision will then be automatically advanced. It's only the transition that requires your attention.

Revision sequence - letters and numbers

 Engineers sometimes use numbered revisions for pre-production items and alpha (letters) for production items. If you release those items and make a transition of Revision entries, the program won't know how to proceed. 

So, when you put one of those items on an ECO, you will need to edit the Rev> (To Rev) entry to be what you need it to be, and in TWO places. One place is on the ECO line item, where the grid displays both >Rev (From Rev) and Rev> (To Rev). 

The other, and *most important* place is on the Edit Item window. This is accessed after the ECO is Issued, and is the left-most button on the line item. The record in this window is the pending spec that gets edited, and it is this record that will replace the old rev in the Item Master when the ECO is Released.

Revisit ECO: I have a situation that I need to send an ECO back to the submitter/originator while it is still going thru its release status. Currently this ECO has been approved and it is sitting in Drafting bin but I need to send it back to square 1 to start it over. How do I send back an ECO?

You ask the submitting person, via email or in person to revisit the ECO.
Before the ECO is Released, it can still be edited.


Run-time error 384 – “A form can’t be moved or sized while minimized or maximized”

Caused by launching P&V with a shortcut that has had its window mode property set to ‘maximized’ or ‘minimized.’

Searching – Better ways to open Find dialog.


This is the same as choosing the Binocular button (search entire database), but better. My example here will be on the Item Master pane (left side of program). Right click in any field. From the popup menu, choose Find. The dialog will open already in the right context (entire database), the chosen field (the one you clicked in), and a comparison operator of 'Contains.' The focus is already on the search text box, so simply type your text and press <enter> as the 'default' button is 'Search.'


For this example I'll refer to the Item Master | ShowAll grid. Click in any column (any row). Either press Ctrl+F or open the popup menu and choose Find. Like above, the dialog will open in the right context (current listing), the Field based on the column you clicked in, and with a comparison operator of 'Contains.' Type your search text and press <enter> for your search results.

[Even better tools for simple part locator]

Above the columns of the main P/N dropdown is a strip of textboxes. At the right end is a toggle button Search/Filter. Use the Filter choice, and any text you type in to the Title and/or Detail boxes will filter the listing. A similar feature is on the top of the 'Add Item' dialog, allowing you to quickly find items that you're adding to parts lists, POs, etc.


Sorry, no, Parts&Vendors does not have serialization capabilities. Our suggestion would be -- do that within Excel (actually, I'd use a simple text file for that purpose - Notepad) or some other program, and link its file to the P/N in Parts&Vendors.


Remember, Parts&Vendors is never "run from" a server. It is installed
separately on all the workstations that it will be used from. Your shared
data file will reside in a folder on your server. From each copy of P&V, go
to the menu and choose File | Open and browse for the data file.

Set Stock to zero for all items


(NOTE: We always recommend backing up your database before performing commands that will operate on multiple records.)

Here's a SQL command to clear all Stock to zero. 


1) Copy this command to Windows' clipboard.

2) In Parts&Vendors, go to the menu and choose File | File Utilities | Maintenance | Run an Action SQL on Main Database...

3) Paste in the command and click OK.

4) Stock for all P/Ns will be set to zero.

Setup – extra steps in newer Windows. Our administrators object.

You might have to explain to your admins that Parts&Vendors was written for older versions of Windows (98SE, 2k, XP), and its ability to work on the newer operating systems (Vista, 7 and 8/8.1) requires additional steps.


Microsoft changed their game along the way, and what was previously standard (all permissions for program installation folders) is now not. Thanks, Microsoft.

Setup hangs when installing fonts (older version).

It can hang up on installing the fonts, notably Arial Black. To bypass this, include the /NOFONTS parameter on the command line. Instead of double clicking on the Pvsetup.exe file, browse for it in Windows' Start | Run box. Then add the parameter.

Your command line will look something like this:

"C:\My Downloads\Pv5setup.exe" /NOFONTS

Note that the NOFONTS must be in uppercase, as shown.

Setup Not Finished message upon closing program.
Make sure that your Windows user profile (login name in Windows) extends you full Read / Write / and DELETE permissions in the program folder and subfolders. That is: C:\Program Files\PV6. You will have to log in as Administrator to extend this permission to your "operating" Windows user profile.



Setup program hangs up when attempting to install fonts.

(older setup files)

From Windows Start button, click Run...
Browse for the setup program.
Before clicking OK, add the command line parameter /NOFONTS (in uppercase).
Your command line will look similar to this:
"C:\My Downloads\Pv5setup.exe" /NOFONTS

Ship Method list – add/remove items

To add items to the Ship Method list, place your cursor in the box and type the new entry. When you tab out or save, you'll be prompted to add the new entry to the list. Answering 'No' will use that entry only for the order shown, but not add it to the list.

To remove items from the Ship Method list, highlight the text and press the Delete key on your keyboard. Answering 'No' will remove that ship method from the order, but not remove it from the list.

Shipping Cost - How to include on a PO?

When you open the 'Add Item' box to put items onto your PO, notice that there's a button on that box marked: "Other." This puts a non-database line item onto your order that you can then edit to be anything you want.
Examples of its use are: expected shipping cost, tooling charges, non-recurring engineering, etc.

Slow performance

a) Do you ever compact your database? File | File Utilities | Compact.
This will help reduce its size.

b) What is the compacted file size of your database? If >20 megs, then it
might need (1), above, or perhaps the file is bloated with lots of old POs.
Product data tends to level out in time, due to a large overlap of
components used across many products. But, production data such as RFQs and POs continues to grow. It could be that your data in these areas has
accumulated to cause your data file to be large.

While it's nice to have a purchase history and cost history for items, that
data can get stale and less useful. We recommend that it be purged at
intervals to maintain database performance. Here's what to do:

1) Make a backup copy of your database for lookup purposes. Be sure to put the date into the file name.
2) Be logged in as a user with PVAdmin (database owner) privileges.
3) Go to the PO page, ShowAll listing.
4) Sort the listing by one of the Date columns (I'd use Date Issued).
5) Decide the range of orders to delete.
6) Put the grid into its editable state. From the menu, choose View |
Allow Editing on ShowAll Grid. The text color will change, indicating its
7) Select the range of orders to delete. Standard Windows selection
techniques apply.
8) Press the Delete key on the keyboard.
9) Do the same thing for the RFQ | ShowAll grid.
10) Compact your database after the deletions (this is important).
11) See what reduction in file size you accomplished.
12) Run the program to see if you made any performance improvement.

c) Does your P&V performance get slow only when more than one user has the database open? We see that slowdown with some servers, sharing a database for PV5 and PV6. We think it's some kind of looping, perhaps with firewalls involved, that causes the slow performance. We know that older systems (Win98, Win2k) did not have that slowness, but do not know of a stock remedy for newer servers.

Source not showing on Parts List or Assy Tree view.

My P/N has a linked Source, but the vendor/mfr data does not show in those columns on my parts list or on my Assy Tree view.

Those listings show Primary sources. Be sure to check the Primary box on the desired Source record on the Sources grid.

Source, new from Mfr instead of Vendor

Instead of creating the source by Vendor, do so for Mfr. When you open the 'Add Item' dialog (in this case sources, not parts), you'll notice that the listing opens showing all vendors. Just below the listing is a "Toggle Button." It just looks like a rectangle, but it's actually a button. It will toggle between showing Vendor and Mfr. Toggle it to Mfr. All Mfrs are shown, without regard for Line Card. The Source will be created with that Mfr.

NOW, the Vendor dropdown opens with the same (opposite) behavior as described before. That is, only the vendors that are already Line Card linked to that Mfr will show in the Vendors dropdown list.

So, this is how to create a Source, choosing from all Mfrs, irrespective of Line Card.

Sources - alternates, show

Several printed reports from Parts&Vendors can include all the alternate Sources for each P/N:

1) Item Master | Assy Tree 2) Item Master | ShowAll 3) Buy page’s Purchase List

For any of these listings, open File | Page Setup. The checkbox option to turn on this subreport is at the bottom of that dialog.

An Export from the Assy Tree (File | Export) also has the option to Include All Sources.

Also, for your entire library of parts, the special version of the Item Master | ShowAll grid lists items with all their Sources (P/Ns repeated for as many Sources as they have). From the List Settings menu (the small gridded button just above the list area), choose All Items With All Sources. The list tab caption will change to ShowAll + Sources to show this mode.


Sources: How to include all Sources in a listing of items.

You can include all sources for the items on a parts list when you print or export the list from the Assy Tree view. Look at File | Page Setup and see that there is a checkbox to turn on the optional subreport with that information. That subreport is also available when printing the Buy page's Purchase List, and from the Item Master | ShowAll listing.

When exporting from the Assy Tree, notice that the File | Export menu has a checked menu item for: Include All Sources.

Multiple manufacturers are "carried" by multiple source records, even if the vendor is the same.

Also, the Item Master | ShowAll listing has a special case: ShowAll+Sources. Each item is repeated for as many sources as it has.

To turn this on, go to the ‘List Settings’ menu (the small, gridded button just above the list area) and ‘check’ the menu item: ‘All Items with All Sources.” The tab’s caption will change, and the listing will stay this way until you ‘uncheck’ that menu item.

Status - Can I change a whole group of items to R (Released) at once?


Also, see next item in this list.

Sorry, no. We feel that each P/N deserves its own (if brief) consideration as to whether the specification is firm and warrants a Released (locked) Status. Maybe make that determination when the P/N is newly created (for a simple part).

If you must edit masses of items, then it’s suggested that you edit the Status on the Item Master | ShowAll grid. Here’s how.

Status - set for all items on a parts list at once.


(NOTE: We always recommend backing up your database before performing commands that will operate on multiple records.)

Here's a SQL command that will do what you want to do.

WHERE (((PN.PNPartNumber)="XYZ"));

Copy it to Windows' clipboard, then paste that into the Notes field of a P/N in P&V (temporarily). Use that place to remove any line breaks that this page might have introduced, as well as before the WHERE clause. Edit it so that the P/N for your assembly replaces the XYZ. Notice that the command ends with a semicolon. Copy again to clipboard.

In Parts&Vendors, go to the menu and choose File | File Utilities | Maintenance | Run an Action SQL on Main Database. Paste in this command.

Status has many invalid entries


Program’s UI already disallows invalid entries, and Importing should also disallow them.


(NOTE: We always recommend backing up your database before performing commands that will operate on multiple records.)

Here's a SQL command to fill in your many invalid and blank Status fields with a U.

WHERE (((PN.PNStatus)<>"U" And (PN.PNStatus)<>"R" And (PN.PNStatus)<>"O")) OR (((PN.PNStatus) Is Null));

1) Copy this command to Windows' Clipboard.

2) Since the command must be all on one line, paste it into a Notes field in P&V as a place to edit out any line breaks. You could also use Windows Notepad to do this.

3) Recopy the command to the clipboard.

4) From P&V's menu, choose File | File Utilities | Maintenance | Run an Action SQL on Main Database.

5) Click OK.

Status: change all to U – Unreleased


(NOTE: We always recommend backing up your database before performing commands that will operate on multiple records.)

Copy this command to Windows’ clipboard.


1) Copy the command to Windows clipboard.

2) In P&V, go to the menu and choose File | File Utilities | Maintenance | Run an Action SQL on Main Database.

3) Paste in the command and click OK.

Status=R doesn’t lock Sources

Correct. Changes to Source data (vendor, mfr, costs, units of measure, MultiplesOf, etc.) are not controlled by an item's Status. Only the core item master spec is 'locked down' and subject to ECO modification after Status has been set to R.

Subassembly not expanding in Assy Tree.

All assemblies in Parts&Vendors (items whose Type = CAT or PL) can be set to expand, or not, when in the context of a subassembly (such as on the Assy Tree view or when making a Purchase List. They all default to Expand" when first created, so at some point you must have changed that setting.

If you buy the assembly as a finished item, then it might have its own Source (perhaps an outside contract assembler?), and be set to *not* expand.

Bring up the P/N on the Item Master. Click on the Stock tab in the middle of the Item Master pane. Notice the checkbox: "Expand Assy in Tree + Purch/Kit Lists."

Subassembly not Expanding in Tree

Each parts list in the database can be set to expand, or not, when in the context of a subassembly. It defaults to "Expand" so you might have unchecked the option box at some point. 

On the Item Master pane, under the Stock tab, look for the checkbox to: Expand Assy in Tree + Purch/Kit Lists (when viewing the relevant P/N, of course).

You can see what CATs or PLs are set this way when you look at subassemblies on the Assy Tree view (the + icon and contained parts do not show).

If that Expand option does not work, bring up that PL on the Parts List tab. Maybe you have an empty parts list.

Suggest Next for POs.

The 'Suggest Next' feature is set separately for each installation of Parts&Vendors. So, if you have a new copy of the program, try an alternate choice of the 'Suggest Next' setting on the 'New PO' dialog box. The same thing applies to other uses of that box (e.g. New Item, New RFQ, New Job, etc. - the settings are all saved separately).

For straight numeric POs, the last option button (After non-numeric prefix, if any) is the correct one.

The other reason for failure of 'Suggest Next' is that someone has entered a PO# that is out of sequence (a different numbering scheme). Since this feature acts on the option setting PLUS the existing data, you'll need to identify that errant PO# and change it to be in compliance. – not us

Is not us. We are

Title and Detail captions replaced by Description?

No, you can't change the caption for Title and Detail to Description. Title is the top level description, and is what would be shown in the Title block of a drawing. Detail is the next level description, and the term was derived from historical drafting terminology used when we used to "tabulate" several items in a family on those drawings, by displaying them in a table. We chose the terms when we created P&V, but we didn't make them up.

As you know, we use the term Description for POs, and the items that comprise that text can be set by clicking on the button that appears in that grid cell when you click in it.

Title is too long to fit on one label line.

Make sure you don’t have the ‘Caption’ box checked on the Print Labels dialog. (Title should be self-evident, not needing a caption.)

Make a custom label layout. See video on how to use Report Layout Editor.

Then, set next label line as blank (unused) and set Properties for Title line: CanGrow=True, Multiline=True, Wrap Text=True. At the top of the editor, check the box: ‘Do not move controls when printing.’


Sorry, no, our low cost software does not come with training. But, we have something almost as good-- our online Video Tour, which has 40+ short chapters that show how to use all the features in the Parts&Vendors program. This can be accessed directly from the program's own menu: Choose Support | HowTo: Video Tour. Or at the website at, go to the Support menu and choose User Area.

Transfer data from another system into P&V

There are several approaches, but I think that it could be handled in one or two passes.

1) Export the individual part data, with sources, to a CSV file. The data must include a column for your in-house part number, as this is a key field.

2) Export the line items from each bom to either separate or a combined CSV file. That is, one CSV file per bom, or all the boms in a single CSV file. Again, the listing must include a column for your in-house part number. This listing would also have columns for Item (line) number, Quantity and Reference Designators.

If (2) is to have all the boms in one file, then it must also have a column for each bom's identifying part number. This column will repeat that P/N for each line item that is part of that bom.

Our online Video Tour has several chapters that show how to use the import utility. There's a general chapter: "Importing: Basics" plus a chapter that discusses how to import multiple assemblies (boms) in one session: "Importing: Multiple Assemblies."

Transfer data to another system

Here are some tools that will help. Requires a retail installation of Microsoft Access.

Transfer database to new P&V version (from older version of P&V)

Simply open your previous version data file with the new PV6 program (File | Open). The program will make a copy of your existing file, and convert it to the current format. It will leave your old data file undisturbed.

Unit of Measure on Item Master

The Item Master Unit of Measure only sets the default unit for newly linked Sources. It is the Source record's Unit of Measure that counts.

Units of Measure – creating new ones

When entering a new Unit of Measure, set the text of both sides so it describes what I have. For example, Bag100, Box50, 500'roll, 1000ft, Reel5k, etc.

It might be advisable to eliminate spaces in these entries to avoid line breaks in tight columns and consequent apparent truncation of the term, you can do as you wish. Maybe use the _ underscore instead of spaces.

UpdateLocalFromMain error when opening a new database.
Profile of current Windows user does not have full read/write permissions to \Program Files\PV6 folder in which program resides. (Newer Windows install folder is C:\Program Files(x86)\PV6.
Log into Windows as Administrator and edit other user profile to have full permissions (Read/Write/Delete) for that folder and its subfolders.

User Fields: How to Edit Captions?

From the menu, choose Edit | Settings | User Fields.

UserControlInitialize error 383 Text property is read only; Tab captions show numbers instead of text.
Resource file has been removed by reinstalling or uninstalling P&V 5.0.
Run most recent P&V 6.0 update to restore.

What about Jobs and “workflow?”

Parts&Vendors does not define any work flow. It is completely random-access. It depends on you knowing what you want to do next. So, you bring the "flow" to any activities.

But, naturally, you need to define the parts lists first, then buy the parts, then receive the parts, then kit the parts, the build the product, then stock the finished product. Whether or not you create a Job before or after any of the above is up to you.

The Jobs section just makes an easy place for you to list P/N's from the database of things that you will sell. Then, you can print a variety of reports from that listing. The job number that you create can be the same one that you place on every PO line item, so you can track what was spent on the project. (You can populate the Job cell on all line items of a PO at once. It's on the List menu.)

How to "close out" a Job? Look at the Jobs page (left side). Notice the set of Date boxes. "Completed" is one.

What users are logged in to my P&V database? Is there a way to tell?

There is, unfortunately, not a way to tell which user has Parts&Vendors still open. BUT, there is a feature in the program that will eject inactive users from the program, allowing you to do your compacting or file backups.

This is in PV6 only. From the menu, choose File | File Utilities | Eject other users from database.

Some users examine the .ldb file (a companion to the .mdb file), but we have no information on that. You might visit Microsoft's site to learn more about it.

Orphaned connections (where the program was terminated and did not close normally) that exist on the server will also prevent compacting or backing up, as the system thinks the file is "in use." Server tools exist for closing those connections, but we do not have vendor-specific information on that. A server reboot will definitely clear them.

Windows’ Registry - program settings

Type "regedit" in Windows' Start | Run box, and click OK. On the Registry Editor window, expand the branches HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Trilogy Design/PartsNVendors/Settings. 

Zebra label printer support

P&V directly supports the Seiko Smart Label, Dymo Labelwriter 400 Turbo and the Brother 500 single label printers.

Here's how to make it print to another brand of printer (Zebra, for example).

1) You must 'fool' the P&V program into thinking it is printing to one of the supported devices (Dymo, Seiko or Brother label printers). This entails renaming your Zebra printer (in Windows) to include the word Dymo in the printer name. Yours will look something like: "Zebra Z4000 - (Dymo)"

2) In the P&V program, on the Print Labels dialog, when you choose that printer, the word Dymo in the device name will tell the program to bring up the Dymo list of label styles (there are none for Zebra).

3) Choose one of the Dymo styles closest to your Zebra label and use that as the "starting point" for your own label definition. Click the Add/Edit button and make a note of all the dimensions.

4) Create a new style on that Add/Edit dialog (have both Zebra and Dymo in the Style / Description field). When you return to the main Label dialog, be sure to choose the newly created style.

5) In the Zebra printer driver in Windows, be sure to choose the paper size that your new label uses.

This should enable printing to your Zebra printer.

**Be sure that you can successfully scan your printed labels into P&V before printing a huge number of them.**


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