Need Help Getting Started with Panorama X

I just bought a new Mac and am in the process of upgrading to Panorama X from Panorama 6. I’m not many days into the transition but am feeling that the process is quite overwhelming, especially considering I’ve used the program from pretty well the beginning (since 1991 at least) and have become very entrenched in the old ways. I registered for the discussion forum this morning but haven’t even been able to figure out how to start a new thread.

Since retiring 10+ years ago I only use the program for hobby interests but some of my databases have couple of million cells of information that are linked to up to another 10 databases. Many of the formulas that worked almost forever are now obsolete but I can’t even figure out how to rewrite them using a hot key to insert a field name that was so easy to do. I can’t find a formula builder like there was in the old program. Is my search futile as these functions no longer exist or am I just missing something? I also used to have a ‘select dialog’ so that hitting a button would bring up the selection menu prompting a request for info. It almost feels like there’s a bug somewhere that is preventing me from finding things that were so easy before, or unfortunately for me, things have changed to the point that these simple functions no longer exist. I do have some programming skills although I’m not sure I could look back and remember much of Fortran from the 1970’s so I’m not a complete idiot but my 7 day trial couldn’t possibly be enough time to even get one of my databases transitioned, working, and fun again … HELP … Jim or somebody please? Where do I start looking within the plethora of tutorials, video training or manuals that used to be available?

Thanks in advance for the help anyone can offer.


This forum limits what you can do when you first join. After you have spent some time reading other posts, your trust level increases, and the restrictions are removed. That happened about 3 minutes after you submitted this post, so you should be able to start a new topic now.

Right-click or control-click in the procedure to get a menu.

The Help file contains the documentation for much of Panorama. It can be found on the Help menu.

It contains a rather extensive article on the Help file itself.

This seems unlikely. Formulas pretty much work the same as they always have.

However, if you want assistance, instead of saying “many of the formulas”, please supply specific individual formulas that you are actually having a problem with. Then you can get specific help.

There was a “Formula Workshop” in Panorama 6, and the same exists in Panorama X.

That sounds like the Find/Select dialog, which works exactly the same in Panorama X as it did in Panorama 6. Just press Command-F.

There is a help page called “Importing a Panorama 6 Database”, which is usually the best place to start in this conversion process. You can view this from the Help menu within Panorama X, and also view this page on the web at this address.

We’ve also prepared over an hour of video to help with the transition. You can find these in the Help menu, on the web page, or using these links:

Converting from Panorama 6 - Converting from Panorama 6 on Vimeo
Panorama 6 to X: Basics - Panorama 6 to X Basics on Vimeo
Panorama 6 to X: Form Design - Panorama 6 to X Form Design on Vimeo
Panorama 6 to X: Programming - Panorama 6 to X Programming on Vimeo

Watching these videos will go a long way toward making a smooth transition from Panorama 6 to X. There is also several hours of videos covering basic topics. I would also recommend that you spend the time to go thru the Panorama Tutorial. You may think “I’m a Panorama expert I don’t need the tutorial” but so much has changed that this would probably be helpful for you. I think most if not all of the questions you’ve posed above would be answered by the tutorial.

To prevent spam, the forum software won’t allow someone to create a new account and immediately start a new thread. The forum software (Discourse) does this automatically, and I think everyone here appreciates that there is almost zero spam on this forum. But it can unfortunately be inconvenient for a new member. You shouldn’t have any further problems because you now have been promoted to a Basic member of the forum, which allows creating new threads.

Thank you for the quick reply and suggestions. I’ve sent some info back in an e-mail but can now include it here:

Jim (I’m hoping!),

Thank you for the detailed reply and I’m very happy to know the support is available for what has become somewhat of a lifelong endeavour, Panorama for running most important things in my life! It started with my business then worked its way into my personal life and hobbies as I got a bit older. I’ll go through the suggestions you made but will submit a couple of things that are puzzling so I can learn a bit as I go:

  1. I used to use the … Select dialog … command to bring up this window and pause the procedure for an easy way to select certain data I’d identified:

Screen Shot 2024-03-13 at 9.22.57 PM

… and then after entering whatever data was necessary the procedure just continued to run.

  1. One of the things I did figure out was for field names within procedures that include numbers, for example 18Month, I needed to change the field name in the procedure to «18Month» to eliminate the missing right parenthesis error. As many of my procedures refer to alphanumeric field names, is it possible that all of the errors are related to the same issue in Panorama X that weren’t present in previous versions? If I use the formula builder and insert the field name 18month to just fill the related field with that number I get a syntax error. Does switching the field name to Month18 eliminate the errors?

  2. How do you save multiple databases as a set like we used to in previous versions?

Now I’m going to head for the suggestions you made below including the tutorials as I will try to figure out how to bring up the old formula builder to calculate fields from data present in other fields. I will also review the suggestions I received on a couple other e-mails before reaching out again. I’ve never had a problem in the past so this all came as a bit of a surprise and I was definitely overwhelmed.

Thanks again for the help on this and hopefully I can sort much of this out in within the next 5 days, before expiration of the trial.


I am imagining that you are refering to the dialogs for creating code or automating the creation for the Lookup function.

Regarding the Find/Select diaog: It is all there in Panorama X. You may want to read the documentation in the Helpmenu:
Find/Select Dialog, as linked in Jim Rea’s answer.

Opening of multiple databases:

Via the General tab of the Database Options Dialog from the File menu you can also set up the initial windows to open when you open your database.

Thanks everyone for your input. I really appreciate the interest, the links to expedite the learning curve, and will put some time and effort into working out the bugs. I’ve helped people out in another area of life on boards such as these for 20+ years and it really feels great to receive some help when I need it.

Enjoy the week!


Wow - I just double checked and Panorama 6 does allow a field name that begins with a numeric digit to be used “bare” in a formula, i.e. without surrounding « and » characters. Apparently you are the only person to ever do this, as this has not come up in the 9 years that Panorama X has become available. So you will either have to change the field names, or add « and » whenever these field names are used in a formula.

You could do that. However, Panorama does have some special handling for field names that end with numeric digits, so you need to make sure you don’t run into problems because of that.

Perhaps a better solution would be to add a prefix to the field name, for example F18Month. Also, remember that in Panorama X you can specify a field title that is different from the field name - so the data sheet could still show the title as 18Month even if the field name used in formulas is F18Month.

Interestingly, in Panorama 6 if you use the “formula builder” it does insert the chevrons, even though they weren’t actually required. Also, in Panorama 6 if you use the New Database wizard to create a database with a field name that starts with a numeric digit, it warns you that this may require special handling in formulas.

I have just modified the code in Panorama X so that in the future, the chevrons will automatically be added when you insert a field name that begins with a numeric digit.

Interestingly, in Panorama 6 if you use the “formula builder” it does insert the chevrons, even though they weren’t actually required. Also, in Panorama 6 if you use the New Database wizard to create a database with a field name that starts with a numeric digit, it warns you that this may require special handling in formulas.

I guess I learned enough over the years to just write the formulae as I needed them, bypassing both of the checks mentioned above. The ease of use of your program was amazing and I think a MacWorld article in the late 80’s drew me to Panorama. I really have no idea when I first bought and used it but my first Mac was the Plus so it could have been in the late 80’s. I lived in a small town of 5,000 people and was amazed that two others I knew also used Panorama. As early adopters of the Macintosh platform we were given a tool with Panorama that greatly increased productivity and accuracy. I was able to offer services with Panorama that could have never offered without a significant increase in both time and staff that separated my operation from many similar with our industry.

Thanks for your creation.


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Good afternoon,

I’ve got a few of my smaller databases running pretty well but am having trouble (spinning beach balls on a early 2015 Macbook Pro) on the larger ones. One of my main DB’s consists of about 8500 records and 200 fields. With only that one open, the program seems to be doing a lot of thinking, even during a simple procedure, like selecting 150 of the 8500 records… I thought it could be related to some of the forms that haven’t been updated so I moved to the Datasheet but it makes no difference. Because the program consistently does live updates (read or saw that somewhere) and all of the related DBs are not open, could this be causing the issues? I tried to search the help but couldn’t find any info on live updates or possibly turning the feature off to work on debugging. I could work on it on the my new M3 machine to expedite the process but figure it should work at least ok on the older machine as I still need my data. Any ideas?



ps … now my memory is coming back. This is an edition of Panorama I downloaded a few years ago and started running into some issues. Pano 6 was working great at the time so I just shelved the idea of upgrading. It still works amazingly well but I would like to upgrade if possible just so I can continue to work on one machine!

There is no live update aspect of the program.

Can you have just the datasheet open and while that is the only item open, do you have any exclamation points existing in the View menu? If so, work to resolve those issues. Also disable any .Initialize procedure while you are updating the db to Pano X.

From the File menu choose Find & Open… and then highlight the file you want to open. Right click on the file and choose Open Data Sheet Only from the popup menu. This will open the file to only the data sheet without running the .Initialze procedure (should you have one) or opening any form windows.

If you’re saying that you’re still running that years-ago download, that could certainly be problematic. There have been a lot of updates. You should definitely download the latest version and run with that.

I switched back to my 2015 Intel Macbook Pro so I was working on only one machine. I’m running the last version supported by this machine as the update link says this is the most current. Regardless, even when I was working through some of my very detailed procedures on my new M3, it seemed sluggish by comparison to Pano 6. I figured it had to do with issues with the procedures but now that I am seeing such dramatic performance issues on the old computer am not so sure. I’ll go back to the M3 to see what happens. The issues didn’t begin until I started working with the largest file with over 8000 records and 200 fields. Pano 6 is snappy on the 2015 Mac but seems to be constantly searching for something in Pano X.

Thanks for the input and I appreciate all of the support I’m getting out here.



Yes there are some exclamation points, I’ve reverted to just the datatsheet, and my next idea is to eliminate all of the data except for one record, and make any .initialize procedures are disabled, to work on debugging. I tried eliminating 90% of the records and it helped a bit but was still sluggish by comparison to Pano 6.

Screen Shot 2024-03-16 at 6.55.25 AM

Your version is quite old - Version 10.1.2 (released November 15th, 2018). Here is the latest version:

You can download the current version from the ProVUE web site.

One major difference between Panorama 6 and Panorama X is that Panorama 6 only used MacRoman characters while Panorama X is all UTF-8 characters. UTF-8 characters require much more heavy lifting when dealing with text processing (searching, sorting, etc.) and therefore take more time to process. Most of this can be minimized by the increased speed of more modern current computers.

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Version 10.2 is still considered a beta. Version 10.1.2 is the latest full release. I have them both installed on my late 2015 iMac with OS 10.13.6, but 10.2 is the only one I ever use. If I launch 10.1.2 and check for updates, I get this.

If I launch 10.2, and check for updates, I get this.

The current version is Version 10.2.0.b37 (4442) — released January 11th, 2024. It will run on any macOS system back to Sierra 10.2. It will definitely run on your Intel Mac, as well as your M3 computer.

You should definitely throw away any copy of 10.1 you may have and switch to the new version!! About 18 months ago we did a major update to the server infrastructure, and unfortunately we made a goof and 10.1 no longer can communicate with the server. So you won’t be able to log on, log off, purchase the software, or do anything that involves the server. At the time we sent multiple notices to all registered Panorama owners that this update was required, but I can’t remember if we sent a notice to people using the trial version.

Since the version you have can’t communicate with the server, it cannot update thru the app. So what you should do is throw the old app in the trash, and load the most recent version from the web site. You should do this right away. The version you have is over 5 years old and literally hundreds of bugs have been fixed since then, and a lot of performance improvements have been made also.

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