Med2Go Documentation, page 1
A Medline File Conversion Utility
Copyright 1990 Louis M. Miranda
6033 East Northwest Highway, #1106
Dallas, TX 75231-7463
Med2Go is a trademark of Louis M. Miranda
Med2Go may be used for free, and may be distributed for
free, as long as all of the associated files are distributed
along with it. Med2Go is not public domain software; it is
copyrighted but currently offered for free.
What Is Med2Go?
Med2Go is a file translation utility. It is useful for
clinicians and biomedical researchers who routinely use reference
citations in any of the following formats:
MedLine (including PaperChase, Current Contents On Diskette
MedLine/NLM [CCOD], and Grateful Med)
Most reasonable bibliographic database programs include the
ability to read and write MedLine-type files. However, there is a
plethora of output types that look a lot like MedLine, but are
quite distinct; these include BRS/Colleague, PsycLit, and ERIC
formats. In addition, generic database programs, such as dBase
III, Excel, and Paradox, can import comma-delimited (also called
Because most bibliographic database management programs can
import MedLine, but not necessarily the other types, I created
Med2Go as a free utility. Med2Go will convert any of these
datafiles into a MedLine or comma-delimited file automatically.
The resultant output file can then be imported to most programs,
page 2, Med2Go Documentation
including JEPRS(TM), the Journal & Editorial Personal Reference
System, an inexpensive shareware program.
>>>>> How Much Does Med2Go Cost? <<<<<
I am making Med2Go available free of charge, as long as all
associated files are distributed along with it. Please note that
even though it is free, it is nonetheless copyrighted by me, and
so cannot be legally distributed unless you follow the
requirements in this paragraph. I make no guarantee as to the
functionality of Med2Go. That is, if you find it useful, go ahead
and use it. If you don't find it useful, drop me line by US Mail
or CompuServe and tell me why-I'll see if I can implement your
Why am I distributing Med2Go for free? For 2 reasons. The
first is that I find it ridiculous that programs with similar
functions cost large amounts of money when purchased with
commercial bibliographic database systems. This is an inexpensive
(actually, free!) alternative to commercial and shareware
The second reason for distributing Med2Go at no charge is
somewhat selfish: I want you to try JEPRSTM, the Journal &
Editorial Personal Reference System. JEPRS (pronounced
``Jeepers!'') is a shareware program that you can use to keep
track of a bibliographic database library. Chances are, if you
like Med2Go, you'll like JEPRS, too. That's because JEPRS shares
the same user-interface as Med2Go, including: Pull-down menus,
pop-up dialog boxes, mouse capability, on-line help, and pre-
defined defaults. (And both JEPRS and Med2Go will run in a DOS
window in Microsoft Windows 3.0 without using a special *.Pif
file, but they do not require Windows to run.) Currently, JEPRS
is only $39.95 to register, which includes the latest version of
the software, 6 months of customer support, and a laser-printed,
``So, what exactly is shareware?'', you ask. Shareware is
not any particular type of program; it is simply a method of
distributing software. It allows you to try the software before
you buy it. ``But isn't shareware buggy and virus-ridden?'' No!
Unfortunately, people sometimes come across a bad shareware
program or two, and generalize their experiences to all shareware
programs. But the truth of the matter is, shareware can be as
high (or higher) quality as commercially available software.
Shareware wins awards in the personal computer magazines. For
some examples of outstanding shareware programs, see the October
1990 issues of PC/Computing Magazine and PC World Magazine.
``So how can I tell a good shareware program from a bad
one?'' Good question! One very easy way to tell is to look for
Med2Go Documentation, page 3
the ASP logo. ASP stands for the Association of Shareware
Professionals, a group of shareware authors who have banded
together to promote the shareware concept. In order to be a
member of ASP, an author has to live up to professional standards
in the workings and customer support of his or her program.
JEPRS' author is proud to be a member of the ASP. For more
information on the ASP, and shareware in general, enter "GO
SHAREWARE" at any CompuServe ! prompt.
``OK, so now I'm excited about shareware in general, and
JEPRS in particular-so where can I get a copy of JEPRS to
evaluate?'' You can download JEPRS from CompuServe's IBMApp
forum (library 7) by searching for the file names by:
"Browse/key=JEPRS" or "Browse/key=Jeepers". (JEPRS is currently
in 3 files; however, newer versions will have different file
names, so it's safer to look for the files by Browsing.) If you
don't have access to CompuServe, you can get JEPRS from any
Vendor Member of the ASP, including:
Public Software Library
P.O. Box 35705
Houston, TX 77235-5705
Request Disk #1782: JEPRS
Price is $5 ($6 for 3.5" disk) + $4 postage
Public Brand Software
P.O. Box 51315
Indianapolis, IN 46251
Request Disk #CR5.0: MedLine/BRS Systems
Price is $5 + $5 postage
How to Start Med2Go
You `install' Med2Go simply by copying the Med2Go.Exe and
Med2Go.Hlp files to a single floppy disk or subdirectory on your
hard disk. In order for Med2Go to find the help file, it must be
in the current drive and directory when you enter Med2Go at the
DOS command line.
Med2Go is started at the DOS command line by simply entering
Med2Go at the DOS prompt. Med2Go automatically defaults to
``color'' mode. If you have a monochrome adaptor or are using a
laptop computer, you can start Med2Go in ``black and white'' mode
by using the `/a' command switch. That is, start the program by
entering Med2Go /a at the DOS command line.
page 4, Med2Go Documentation
You will first see Med2Go's opening screen, which contains
copyright and distribution information for the program. Press any
key (or the left mouse button) to go to the >Main Menu<.
If you have a Microsoft-compatible mouse and a mouse driver
(Mouse.Com) installed, you can use a mouse with Med2Go. Move the
mouse pointer to the menu item to select, and then use the
buttons as follows:
LEFT mouse button = [Enter]
RIGHT mouse button = [Esc]
BOTH mouse buttons = [Help]
While you are at the >Main Menu<, or in one of the pull-down
menus, you can press [F1] to get context-sensitive help.
>>>>> Specifying Input and Output File Types <<<<<
To select the file type that you wish to convert, press
[C]onversion type at the >Main Menu<. For the conversion, you
will have an input (source) file that you want to convert, and an
output (destination) file that will contain the converted
Now select [I]nput to tell Med2Go that you want to specify
the Input file type. A pop-up menu appears; just press the
boldfaced letter for the input file type you want to convert. For
example, if you want to convert a BRS/Colleague input file to a
MedLine output file, press `[B]' for BRS/Colleague. If you
specify Comma-delimited as input, Med2Go asks you 2 more
questions: What characters will separate the authors and what
characters will separate the keywords. For example, a comma-
delimited record may look like this:
"Miranda LM; Wright WE","Myogenesis and you","J Irrep
Res","1991","1","23","456-78","","","DNA; Myogenesis, vertebrate;
protein; myogenin; myo d; herculin"
You'll notice that in the authors field, the authors are
separated by `; ' (a semi-colon and a space); likewise the
keywords are separated by `; '. If the authors looked like this:
"Miranda LM//Wright WE"
then you would enter `//' as the characters separating the
Now press [O]utput to tell Med2Go that you want to specify
the Output file type. You can choose either [M]edLine or [C]omma-
delimited output. Just like Input (above), if you choose [C]omma-
delimited, you'll have to enter the 2 characters you want to
separate the authors and the keywords.
Now press [Esc] to return to the >Main Menu<.
Med2Go Documentation, page 5
>>>>> Specifying Input and Output File Names <<<<<
While at the Main Menu, press [F]iles to select the Input
and Output file names. Then press [I]nput to select the Input
filename, and enter any valid DOS filename (including a path
(drive & directory) if necessary). You can use the left & right
arrow keys to move around the filename that you entered; you can
also use [Ctrl-RightArrow] and [Ctrl-LeftArrow] to move a word at
a time; pressing [Home] will put you at the beginning of the
line; pressing [End] will put you at the end of the line; and
pressing [Ctrl-End] will delete from the cursor position to the
right. You can also use the [Insert], [Delete], and [BackSpace]
keys as you can in any word processor. Press [Enter] when
finished entering the Input filename.
Now press [O]utput to specify the Output filename, including
a path if necessary, and press [Enter] when finished.
Press [Esc] to return to the >Main Menu<.
>>>>> Defaults <<<<<
Press [D]efaults while at the >Main Menu< to go to the
>Defaults Menu<. You will see a pop-up menu of 3 choices: [B]eep
on/off; [C]olor mode; and [G]oToDOS.
Beep on/off: Choose this option if you want to turn off the
beeping that Med2Go does if it encounters any errors.
Color mode: Choose this option if you want to change between
[C]olor and [B]lack-and-White mode while within Med2Go (you can
also use a command line option; see How to Start Med2Go, above).
Go To DOS: Choose this option to temporarily return to DOS
(to check on a filename, for example). You must remember to enter
``EXIT'' and press [Enter] when you are through, to return to
Press [Esc] to return to the >Main Menu<.
Starting the Conversion
Once you have specified the Input file type, the Output file
type, the Input filename, and the Output filename, just press
[G]o at the >Main Menu< to start the conversion process.
If Med2Go encounters errors opening the files you have
page 6, Med2Go Documentation
specified, it will present you with a pop-up menu from which you
can choose what to do.
If you specified Comma-delimited as Input (under Conversion
type, above), then Med2Go will ask ``Are the references separated
by one or more blank lines?'' If the references are each on one
line, and the next references are on the immediately adjacent
lines, then answer `[N]' (the default). If reference are
separated from each other by a completely blank line, then answer
When Med2Go finishes converting your file, it displays a
message in the lower left corner of the screen, telling you how
many references (records) have been converted.
Press any key to return to the >Main Menu<.
To exit Med2Go, return to the >Main Menu<, and then press
[E]xit or press the [Esc] key. A pop-up dialog box asks you if
you want to exit. Press `[Y]' (or point the mouse cursor to the
`y' and press the left mouse button) to exit, or any other key
(or the right mouse button) to return to the >Main Menu<. Your
screen colors will be returned to the same colors they were when
you started Med2Go.