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Old May 3, 2019, 02:39 PM   #1
Aguila Blanca
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Inventory

The recent discussion about firearms insurance ( https://thefiringline.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=601965 ) started me thinking. I have insurance, but it doesn't require a report of serial numbers or individual values. The discussion makes me realize that, even though it's not required, it's probably a good idea to have such an inventory.

I have Microsoft Office Professional, so I have both Access and Excel. Does anyone have a good template, or a link to a good template, for a home inventory database that would be suitable for firearms? I would prefer a way to include photos, and even though I use Excel and don't use Access, I think something like this would be better in Access. I'll happily look at both.

Or ... has anyone used any of the inexpensive, dedicated programs out there such as MySoftware's My Home Inventory or something similar?
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Old May 3, 2019, 03:11 PM   #2
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See if this fits ???

Aguila,
See if this fits your needs. The one I developed is similar with good data fields. I got mine years ago from the BlueBook. There are many of these available and the only thing varies, is the amount of detail. ….

http://av.pasenategop.com/brochures/...-inventory.pdf

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Old May 3, 2019, 05:38 PM   #3
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That's the right idea, but I'm confused. Is that a series of screen shots of a database, or is that a paper ("dead trees") book that someone is/was selling?
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Old May 3, 2019, 06:35 PM   #4
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Keep looking to serve your needs.

Well, I suppose you can find some of both but this one is suppose to be a PDF file. What I sent you, is just one example. You can copy and edit your own. Then save it as a personal PDF file. Now then, I said that there is a number of these available, on the internet. I turned mine into a WORD document. Now, if you want to create an Excel file and do some math, you just fill out the cells.

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Old May 3, 2019, 06:44 PM   #5
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I already have an Excel file. (But it doesn't include photos.) What I would really like is a simple database that will allow up to two photos (one of each side) of each firearm. I think I can slog my way through creating the database, but I'm up the creek without a paddle when it comes to adding in the photos.
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Old May 3, 2019, 07:04 PM   #6
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Can't help !!!

Guess I can't help you and wish you well ….

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Old May 3, 2019, 07:26 PM   #7
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I found a freeware home inventory program that looked VERY promising. Simple, clean interface, didn't ask for a lot of extraneous information. I downloaded it, installed it, entered the information for one firearm and went to save ... and it crashed.

So much for that. Back to the drawing board.
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Old May 3, 2019, 08:01 PM   #8
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AB: create a page for each firearm and enter the information that you want.

Then select the "insert" tab on the tool bar and select "picture".

If the photo is too large, then click on the picture and select "picture tools".

On the right side of the tool bar, there will be two boxes showing the height and width of the photo.

In either one, type in the size that you want (I usually make mine 2" by X"). the tools will keep the aspect ratio the same no matter what you enter in one of the boxes.

After you type your desired size in one box, hit the "enter" key and your picture will resize.

I almost always use a digital camera and shoot at the highest resolution of the camera and they are WAY to large (like 20-25 megabits), so I usually size them before hand to about 11x13. Then when I insert them I resize again.
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Old May 3, 2019, 08:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dufus
AB: create a page for each firearm and enter the information that you want.

Then select the "insert" tab on the tool bar and select "picture".
A page in what program? I'm not trying to do this in Word. If I do it myself, I want to use Access.
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Old May 3, 2019, 08:06 PM   #10
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Microsoft Excel.
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Old May 3, 2019, 08:07 PM   #11
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After you get all your excel spreadsheets created, you can use Access to build the databse
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Old May 3, 2019, 08:08 PM   #12
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Excel Spreadsheets and Access work hand in hand.
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Old May 3, 2019, 08:12 PM   #13
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"All your Excel spreadsheets"? "Pages"?

You lost me when you mentioned creating a page for each firearm. Are you talking about inserting a page break to create multiple pages within a worksheet, or are you talking about a separate worksheet for each firearm? And how do you get from either of those to multiple spreadsheets?

I'm afraid I'm not following you. This sounds like a very cumbersome way to accomplish something that would be very easy in Access if I knew how to insert photos in a record.
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Old May 4, 2019, 02:16 AM   #14
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Create a worksheet for each firearm. Label the headers on each column.

Enter all information under each header on each worksheet.

Insert pictures. Yes, you can insert pictures in Excel.

Doing this, you really don't need an Access database, unless that is the way you want to do it.

If you have created databases previously you shouldn't have a problem using the data in Excel.

Or, you could go right into a database and do all of it, but I always found that using Excel helped me gather the information and to create fields in Access.
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Old May 4, 2019, 06:56 AM   #15
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I don't use word processing enough to pay for a program. Open Office is available free online and works well enough for me. I have basic information on all of my guns stored in a file there. As well as hard copies that I printed off.

http://downloadape.org/openoffice/wi...ccd7fe8&token=
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Old May 4, 2019, 08:29 AM   #16
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I think you are making it more difficult than needed. I use the KISS method. I just use a page in Word identified as GUN ID. I list the gun, serial number, date I bought it, place I bought it and the price I paid. What more do I need other than photos I have in my photos? It looks like (my last 5 only and I am a cheapskate):

Hi-Point 995TS carbine F152111 March 26, 2018 $269.99 from Rural King

Taurus 605 357 magnum stainless hammerless snub nose revolver VE11659, 2002 model, October 3, 2018 from Broad Street Pawn $300.00

GSG 1911-22 A795145 12/17/18 from Buds Gun Shop $237.00

Rossi RG22 7-CA073376L 1/28/19 $119.99 from Rural King

Charter Arms Pathfinder 4.2”barrel 18-70187 4/16/19 $365 from Buds Gun Shop
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Old May 4, 2019, 09:17 AM   #17
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Try this:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...armenator.free

That's the free version you can try before you buy. It does more than I need but it has proven useful.

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Old May 4, 2019, 10:50 AM   #18
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Wag -

Looks interesting, but it's for Android devices. I use a Windows 7 desktop computer.


jmr40 -

Thank you, as well. I have a copy of Libre Office (derived from the same open source base as Apache Open Office). I'm not interested in using a word processor to accomplish a database task. I've been doing it with a spreadsheet, but that's still far from ideal. I've decided it's time to learn how to do it right. I took a look at the Libre Office database module and, unfortunately, I found a couple of issues that disqualify it from consideration.
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Old May 5, 2019, 08:40 AM   #19
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Gotcha. I'm betting you'll be very happy with Libre Office, though. Let us know what you come up with.

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Old May 5, 2019, 09:12 AM   #20
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Curious, Aguila, why does your firearms list need to be more complicated than an Excel spreadsheet?
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Old May 5, 2019, 11:10 AM   #21
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Curious, Aguila, why does your firearms list need to be more complicated than an Excel spreadsheet?
I guess my mind works differently from yours. I currently keep a log -- of sorts -- on an Excel spreadsheet. But it's basically just a list. If one gun were stolen, for example, I can look up that one gun and find the serial number, when I bought it, and what I paid for it. To send that to the insurance company I would manually copy down the information. And I can certainly maintain a bunch of photos in a photo directory.

But ... I would like it to be better organized. I could do as Dufus suggests and create a separate worksheet within a large workbook so there's one page per gun, but that to me is a very laborious and convoluted way of accomplishing a task that is exactly what database programs were intended to accomplish. I know how to do it that way. It means that each time you want to create a new record, you have to manually copy the template worksheet to a new page, then manually rename it for the firearm.

In fact, I've already imported my Excel spreadsheet into Access and created a data entry form that works quite nicely. That, alone, is an improvement. And from there I can go on to create various reports to cover any aspect of the data I choose to summarize on a page. What's missing is the ability to include photos with the record of each gun. I started out thinking two photos of each firearm -- left side and right side. Then I realized that the serial number isn't always on the side, so I'll make it three photos: left side, right side, and a closeup of the serial number. Then set up a report that will print out the key information for any particular firearm. If a gun is subsequently lost, stolen or strayed, I'll be able to just push a button and print out a one-page (or maybe two page) report with all the information pertaining to that gun ... and nothing else.

So I don't regard what I'm after as being more "complicated," I regard it as being more complete and more convenient. And far less complicated than Dufus' way of using Excel, because with the database you don't have to manually create a new page for each firearm. That's already done.
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Old May 5, 2019, 12:43 PM   #22
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Quote:
And far less complicated than Dufus' way of using Excel, because with the database you don't have to manually create a new page for each firearm. That's already done.
AB: you are confusing the heck out of anyone that is wanting to do record keeping in Excel spreadsheets.

Creating an Access database from scratch is not an easy task for someone that doesn't use it regularly.

You keep stating that a spreadsheet is WAY over complicated.

I strongly disagree with that.

Wait until you start adding pictures to an Access database and then talk about WAY more complicated. There are many more steps with Access than with Excel to include pictures.

I think you are just trying to justify your means by denigrating one process over another.

I am by no means saying what you want to do is not feasible.....it just isn't so much better that another, unless you have more than 50 records that you want to record and by that I mean more than 50 firearms.

Of course, I commend your efforts to do this and I truly hope that it gives you what you want.

There are 1000s of tutorials on line that can guide you in the task of adding photos, but like everything in Access, they are links.
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Old May 5, 2019, 05:55 PM   #23
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AB, as you know I'm something of a Luddite.

So I kept things simple. I did my firearms inventory as a simple document (I'm on a Mac so I used Pages, which I then save as a pdf).

I just have a narrative for each gun, including serial number, any modifications or customizations (including who did them and when), and any dedicated optics. The narrative is essentially in outlive form, and I've settled on what is for me a rational and consistent format. Since my insurer does require a schedule, I also list a value, which has been negotiated with, and agreed to by, the insurer.
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Old May 5, 2019, 07:56 PM   #24
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you can add pictures to excel spreadsheets. You can minimize the pics to fit a cell and grab an edge to drag it to make it bigger. If you right click on properties, you can lock the picture to the cell in size and location so it easily moves with the cell.
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Old May 6, 2019, 09:17 PM   #25
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Quote:
went to save ... and it crashed.
Yeah, that was my experience with any number of Iphone apps; I try them, enter a bunch of stuff, and then the developer stops supporting them and they crash. So I've learned to back up the apps to something exportable (.csv, .txt, etc) so that I can go back to my old standard.

Which, like you Aquila, is Excel. Excel never goes away or messes up and I use it for many things. My firearms inventory is all in excel...which is nice because I can make a column for whatever data I want and, for instance, add the costs for each on a separate spreadsheet to keep track of totals.

For the pictures, click on the cell you want a picture, right click, and then choose "hyperlink" to link to the picture you want. As long as your inventory spreadsheet stays in the same relation to any subfolders, you can link to pictures in the subfolders and then just click on that link. For instance, say my inventory excel spreadsheet is in a "main" folder that has two subfolders "pistol pictures" and "longgun pictures". I can hyperlink to a picture in \longgun pictures and as long as the main folder and subfolder stay in that relationship with each other, it will always open the correct picture.

Hope that makes sense. All my firearms are in one spreadsheet and each has a hyperlink to a "left" and "right" view on the same line as the firearm information.
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