Version 5.3

  • v5.3 Build 24 – TBD
    • When creating an HTML Report and Map generation was not selected, your browser would throw an unseen error. It caused no visible issues. This has been corrected. 
  • v5.3 Build 23 – 27-Jun-2022
    • User-defined Fields (UDFs), sometimes referred to as User-defined Data, of type List have been previously shown in dropdowns where the list values are sorted alphabetically. They are now sorted in the order in which they were added. This gives the user control over the order of the list on the Sightings Entry and Edit windows.
    • Fixed bug in accessing the Sightings View & Edit window from the Quick Search popup grid. This bug was introduced in Build 22. It resulted in miscellaneous errors and eventually shut down the program.
    • If you used the Quick Search in the toolbar of the main window and were asked to select from ambiguous names, chose the one you wanted and then asked to see the full list in View Sightings, you would be asked again to select from ambiguous names. This has been corrected. You will no longer be asked twice.
    • Improved performance of some SmartSearch fields under most circumstances.
  • v5.3 Build 22
    • Only prompt to import Track files if importing from Birder’s Diary Mobile option is selected.
    • On the Import/Export window – Sightings Tab, remember the setting for Convert Comments to Plain Text from previous setting.
  • v5.3 Build 21
    • Changed all items in Birder’s Diary Desktop that were pointing to older User Guide documentation to point to new documentation. Most of these were under the Help menu dropdown.
    • Disable accessing Window-specific help on any window by pressing F1 while in a window. This is older technology and a model not often followed anymore. 
    • Rebuilt the older User Guide, based on old technology that is not functioning nor supported any more, and placed it here on this site. Read about the new paradigm here.
    • Added Help button to Licensing window for quickly accessing instructions on how to activate licenses.
    • Updated the installation script to make unique backup file names of your database when installing an update. Previously, whenever the user did an update by downloading and running the installer, the installer only did a copy of the current \data\database.mdb to \data\database-preinstall.mdb. This resulted in overwriting previous backups without any knowledge of which database version it was overwriting. It now makes a backup with the following name format: \data\database-before-{version currently being installed}.mdb. E.g. \data\database-before-5.3.0.21.mdb. Now when you view these files in the \data directory, you know what upgrade created it.
      This may eventually create many backups, but this does allow for extra safety if something goes wrong during an upgrade or if the user needs to restore to a previous version at some point.
      The backup will not occur if 
      • the size of your database is greater than 500MB, or
      • the amount of free space on your disk drive is less than 4GB, or
      • a backup file via the same name already exists; because you are running the same installer more than once.
  • v5.3 Build 20
    • Fixed bug created in previous release wherein clicking on photos in the Sightings Attachment window no longer selected that photo. You could still select photos using your keyboard arrow keys. 5.3.20
    • Added new feature to Sightings Attachment window to display select EXIF photo data if it exists in a new status bar at the bottom of the main photo. 5.3.20
      image
      • Holding your mouse over any data in that status bar will display a brief description of that data, e.g. ‘Shutter Speed’.
      • If you added a photo to this window using Window’s Copy/Paste, the EXIF data is not preserved. If this data is important to you, then use 1 of 3 other methods for importing photos into this window.
        • Use the ‘+’ (ADD) button in this window’s toolbar.
        • Drag and drop a photo from File Explorer or your favorite photo editing software that supports drag-n-drop.
        • Use the new Ctrl+N feature described next.
    • A new Add File convenience feature has been added to the Sightings Attachment window. This new feature is available via Ctrl+N when this window has focus. It works the same as the ‘+’ button in the toolbar, however in this case you will be prompted for a partial filename (e.g. substring) of the complete filename. For example, you might enter ‘5204’ in order to load the file ‘DSC_5204.jpg’.
      When you enter a partial filename in this way, the directory last used by the ‘+’ (ADD) button in the tollbar will be searched for a filename with that string in it. If it finds a match, that file will be added. It will only search for the first filename containing that string. If multiple files match, it will return only the first file that matches. If that is not the file you want, then provide a more unique substring.
      This is a convenience for users that add many photos per session and want to improve the speed with which to do this.
      NOTE: this method preserves the EXIF data of your photos. 5.3.20
    • Cropping photos in the Sightings Attachment window has been improved. 5.3.20
      • The cross-hairs that always showed when your mouse was over the photo were annoying. Those cross-hairs now disappear after no movement for 1 second, and reappear if you start to move the mouse again.
      • The drag icon after you have selected an area to crop has changed to the standard hand icon.
    • Added new option to the main menu under the Window menu item. This is more support of two previous items added. The item is Show All Tips for Current Window. The idea is to allow users to go ahead and dismiss the Tooltips that keep popping up when a window shows (even though now a simple Ctrl+T will quickly dismiss all tooltip windows currently displayed). And the user can go ahead and set the Do Not Show Again option on each tooltip.
      image

      This feature will display all current and past tooltips, regardless of the Do Not Show Again status, for this window since v4.x in a stacked fashion. It will preserve the Do Not Show Again status of each when they are dismissed.

      image

      5.3.20

  • v5.3 Build 19
    • Fixed bug created in a recent release wherein if you tried to open the Import/Export form and no Trips were defined in your database, you would get RTE 440. 5.3.19
    • Added a new feature to HTML Reports wherein it would produce an annual abundance graph for the location specified in the report for species seen per week. A nice addition to the report data. 5.3.19
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    • Updated Locations Import/Export so that importing locations from another source would update existing location data (e.g. lat/lng, etc) if the location already existed. In the past, if the location already existed the current record was skipped and nothing was updated. 5.3.19
    • Updated the View/Edit Sightings window. If you sort by common name by clicking on the header for this column, then you can quickly jump to names starting-with any character by pressing Shift+letter. For example, if you sort by common name and then press Shift+S the list will be positioned at the first name starting with an “S”. 5.3.19
    • Corrected a long standing issue with some tooltip popups. For example, if you held your mouse over the location field on most forms (e.g. View & Edit Sightings) after 0.5s you would get a tooltip popup showing the hierarchy/ancestry of that location. But, doing so would steal focus and the tooltip would stay on the screen until you moved the mouse off the column which triggered the popup. Now, the tooltip popup no longer steals focus from the main window and it auto-hides after 2s.  5.3.19
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    • New Features for all future releases have been moved online into a new Forum – this forum. The reason for this is twofold: 5.3.19
      • A better audit trail of when new features were made and released.
      • The ability for customers to raise questions or address issues with new features as a reply to the Topic that announces them.
  • v5.3 Build 16
    • Updated Birder’s Diary to allow for import of the BD Mobile App track data from the File | Import/Export window. Track data is attached to a Trip already defined in your database. This data can then be used with the HTML Report (on the View/Edit Sightings window) to actually display your track/path as recording when using the BD Mobile App for Android on your outing. Any sightings attached to a Trip that are included the HTML Report will have those Trip’s track data plotted on the Google Map. You have to configure the BD Mobile App to export a Track file and best to auto-create a new Trip for your outings within the App. v5.3.16

      Then when you generate an HTML Report from the View/Edit Sightings window where the sightings are attached to a Trip and the Trip has imported Track data, you will get your track plotted on the Google Map.
      Before example without Track data and After example with Track data. Green and Red markers show your start and stop locations and times.

      In addition, timestamps are included every 15 minutes along the Track/path once you are zoomed in at level 17 or greater. This shows you where you were at what time along each stretch of your outing.
    • Fixed bug where the “For Which Location” settings was not saved in Checklist Reports. v5.3.16
    • On rare occasions, adding a new document/photo to a Sighting might generate an error that closes BD. Upon restarting BD, the photo would be there and added. Enhance this with an error trap that catches the unknown errors and reports them. v5.3.16
    • If the user adds one or more Things to a taxonomic list and sets the Not Countable feature, adding a sighting for this Thing would ignore that and it would be counted on your life list and you would receive Lifer notifications during entry. Fixed. v5.3.16
  • Fixed day-one bug in Backup/Restore window, wherein the code never checked to see if the file being specified to be restored actually existed. If it doesn’t BD would remove your current database (after making a copy named database.mdb_save) and you couldn’t restart BD properly. v5.3.15
  • Fixed bug in progress bar count when importing Sightings from any source (e.g. eBird, BD Mobile, etc). v5.3.15
  • Added Total Individuals (Sum of MaxCnt) to the HTML Report. v5.3.14
  • Added functionality so that the View Sightings Window now calculates total individuals (SUM[MaxCnt]) of all sightings in the grid. v5.3.14
  • Properly disable the Recent Outings and Recent Sightings grids on the left/right of the main BD window, and the main window popup menu, when the license expires. Not doing this results in non-intuitive functionality issues. v5.3.14
  • Updated ‘Export to eBird’ functionality to notify the user on the proper eBird import process. v5.3.14
  • Fixed issue that occurs rarely on multi-processor computers when the user is importing multiple eBird import files. A race condition between processors occurs and it doesn’t recognize the newly available file in time. In this case, the code now pauses for 1 second and retries up to 3 times before producing an error (RTE 3051). v5.3.13
  • Fixed issues where multiple nested displays of the Progress Bar (importing records, refreshing names, updating database, etc.) reports incorrect numbers. v5.3.13
  • Fixed issues with restoring Grid position on the View & Edit Sightings window after Clone Sightings and various other operations on this window. v5.3.12
  • On the Lifer Alert window introduced in previous versions, it would always come up in the same place, grab focus and force you to dismiss before you could continue on with Sightings Entry. This has all be correct. Now you can a) position this Alert window where you want it and it will always display there from now on, b) keep the alert window from grabbing focus and forcing you to dismiss before continuing. Even in this mode, it will continue to pop to the front of other windows so it is visible. Also, in this mode, multiple observers will be reported in the same Alert window. v5.3.12
  • On the Checklist Entry window, the Mute Alerts button was not functioning. Fixed. v5.3.12.
  • Added new option on Checklist Entry to disable the previous sightings popup grid when pausing the mouse over a common name. This setting will be remember from session to session. v5.3.12

  • Fixed bug when importing new taxonomic lists. V5.3 Build 11 fixes a bug when importing a new taxonomic list. This bug was introduced in a Build after 28-Nov-2021. If you imported a taxonomic list after this date, you will have this problem.
    To confirm this, a) open the Taxonomy Viewer [F8], b) load the suspected taxonomic list, c) does the first of two numbers in the bottom right of this window equal zero?
    If so, then 1) upgrade to Build 11, 2) remove the older taxonomic list(s) using the Taxonomy Viewer, 3) Download and Import the taxonomic list(s) again from the Taxonomy Downloads page.
    If you have not imported a taxonomic list since 28-Nov, then there is no urgent need to upgrade to Build 11, but it is always a good idea to stay current. v5.3.11
  • Fixed Bug in eBird Export window wherein a “State” is not specified in the Export Settings. v5.3.11
  • Added red cross-hairs to the Sighting Attachments window when you move your mouse over a photo. This helps you to more accurately select the area that you might want to Crop. v5.3.10
  • In the View & Edit Sightings window you can now add an image from your Windows Paste buffer to the current sighting in the grid/table. The current sighting is the one row with the rubber-band dashed-line around it, as shown below. This is different from selected rows, shown in a dark blue background color. This saves the step of opening the Sightings Attachments window pasting the image there and closing that window to return to the Sightings View window. This new feature is available from the popup menu as well as Ctrl+V. v5.3.5
  • Added feature to remove ALL Alias Names from the database or just one specific taxonomy. In the history of Birder’s Diary, alias names were seen as a useful tool. However, now, there may be too many that cause frustration over having to select from Ambiguous Names too often. This is accessed from the View | Options, More TAB window. v5.3.2

  • Improved the performance of Taxonomy Import by 2-fold. v5.3.2
  • Added feature to manual Checklist Import TAB for the Import/Export Data window (File | Import/Export…). Use this when manually importing Checklist Data from a Birder’s Diary checklist import file and you want to remove all previous erroneous checklist data. This will purge all data for everything Thing in the specified taxonomic list before importing the checklist file. This ensures that you have no carry-over checklist data. Current checklist data will be saved in import format, in case you need to recover some pre-existing data and re-import it. v5.3.2
  • On HTML Report Generation from the View & Edit Sightings window, the two prior options for Report generate have been replaced with two new options. The older options are no longer relevant with the new report format. The new format will auto group sightings from the same species together in an expandable row (see below). And you can get Taxonomy Headers when the Taxonomy changes in a report, for example from Birds to Butterflies.  v5.3.2


  • Updated the Sightings View Setup window. Dropped the Checkbox for Taxonomic sort added in Build 0 and added the flexibility of choosing a 3rd sort option of any kind; taxonomic or otherwise. In addition, added two more sort options for Date Only and Time Only. Also added a red “X” button to clear all wort options. This provides more functionality that just simply given a Checkbox for Taxonomic Sort. v5.3.2
  • Updated Sightings Export to export the sighting Location’s Country name. This was not included previously. v5.3.0
  • Updated the Sightings View Setup window to add another Sort Option. Many users asked for the ability to specify Taxonomic Order as the first option and then specify two additional options sometimes. This new checkbox will force initial Sorting on Taxonomic sort order and then any additional options specified below that. If this option is left unchecked, then sorting will only use the specified options in the two dropdown boxes below. Your setting is remembered. v5.3.0
  • Updated the HTML Report section at the top that shows the counts. Added a few new counts and changed the format and order as shown below. v5.3.0
  • Fixed a bug in the Sightings Attachments window. When editing a photo, such as rotating the image, an error could occur if the photo has no EXIF image properties. v5.3.0
  • Added two new items to the Window menu. Use these to quickly dismiss all sub-windows (Ctrl+W) except main, or all TIP windows (Ctrl+T) as shown below. v5.3.0
  • Update the HTML Report Generator to allow the user to control the Order and Visibility of the report sections (Map, Sightings, Photos, Trips) on the report. It remembers your last used settings. v5.3.0
  • Updated the Sightings Export feature to include filtering on Name. v5.3.0
  • Updated the License Activation process. You used to have to choose among 3 choices that was confusing to users. Now, if you are not running as administrator (auto-detected) when activating your license you will be prompted to exit and restart in a manner that is more direct and clear. v5.3.0
  • The Users Guide has been greatly edited and updated for this release. With time many features and functionality have changed and many topics needed updated. Particularly, v5.3.0
    • Quick Start Guide – all topics
    • Features and How-To Sections.
    • Some Windows.
    • Other Misc topics.
  • A long overdue update to the Select Thing From Ambiguous Name window. The old one was non-intuitive as to what was going on. The new window is intended to be more intuitive to understand just what your choices are and what you are choosing from. v5.3.0
  • Added new feature in Sightings View & Edit window when setting the column widths for UDD fields. It allows you to select from preset options. Prior to this it used to just preset to hard-coded values. v5.3.0

  • Fixed bug in Photo Viewer when the photo had unexpected or invalid EXIF Orientation settings. v5.3.0
  • Fixed random bug only seen by a few users in the eBird Worldwide Search window. v5.3.0
  • Fixed bug introduced with newly added “Remove Unused Taxonomic Lists” feature, wherein the on Things for the Taxonomy were not also removed. This caused a lot of blank rows in the old “Select Ambiguous Name…” window. v5.3.0
  • Fixed errant message on SmartSearch fields upon first display some forms. v5.3.0
  • On the Reconcile Sightings for ‘…’ window during the Reconcile Process, there is a new popup menu on the Sightings Grid. v5.3.0
  • When upgrading to a new taxonomic list there are often many splits/lumps/etc. to deal with. During the Reconcile Process, it is possible that you have dozens or hundreds of sightings for a split species. Selecting only those sightings in North America, or Europe, for example on some recent splits can take a long time when you have dozens or hundreds of sightings. There is now a new feature that allows you to select all sightings by Containing Location. For example, to select all sightings in the grid from EUROPE to reassign to a new species that has been split, you would use this feature to quickly reassign many such sightings. Selecting the containing location and clicking the button to the right will automatically select all sightings within that location so that you can assign them to one of the possible choices below. v5.3.0
  • Updated the HTML Report, created from the View & Edit Sightings window. Added two new options per common customer request.
    1) Only output Rows of Same Thing Once. E.g. if you have multiple sightings of a Blue Jay selected, only the first selected sighting will be output to the report.
    2) Only output Common Name, Sci Name, Comments, Photos and Lifer columns regardless of visibility of any columns. These are common columns to include in most reports and the user doesn’t have to hide/show columns normally used in View/Edit just to create the report.
    v5.3.0

  • Updated the HTML Report, created from the View & Edit Sightings window. Clicking on the common name with a Map icon next to it (indicating Lat/Lng present for this sighting), will zoom in on that sighting and scroll the interactive Map into view. v5.3.0
  • Updated the HTML Report, created from the View & Edit Sightings window. If the Photos column is visible in the View & Edit Sightings window, and a sighting has one or more photos attached to it, clicking on that columns for that sighting will scroll the first photo for that Sighting into view. v5.3.0

  • Updated the HTML Report, created from the View & Edit Sightings window. Photos attached to lifer sightings will now have a golden background to make lifers stand out. v5.3.0