Ideas Genie on the Web
Product support for Ideas Genie, Ideas Genie Pro and Bonsai Genie
Website last updated on 12th September 2016
This site is dedicated entirely to users of Garden Software developed by

Back to Home page

Introducing Ideas Genie Pro 5
Released November 2007

Unless specifically stated,this information also
 applies to Ideas Genie 5 and Bonsai Genie 5

Read IdeasGenie5 as:-  Ideas Genie 5 , Ideas Genie Pro 5 or Bonsai Genie 5


Computer technology never stands still, and those of you who keep in close contact will know that I work at my software continuously to make improvements.

This document is to announce the upgrades made to Ideas Genie, Ideas Genie Pro and Bonsai Genie
The Version numbers relate to the progression in the Ideas Genie database structure

Version 1 - Ideas Genie first released in 2001
Version 2 - Ideas Genie (Version 2) released 3rd quarter 2003
Version 3 - Ideas Genie Pro - released May 06 - Read more
Version 4 - Ideas Genie Pro - released Jan 07 - Read more
Version 5 - Ideas Genie Pro 5 - released November 07 - Notes follow below
Version 5 - Ideas Genie 5 - released Jan 08

Works with Vista
Version 5 was an enforced upgrade, due to the introduction of Window Vista by Microsoft, installed by default on most new computers in 2007. Previous versions would work fine with Vista, but data files were virtualised. I considered this to be unsatisfactory and decided to make the software fully compliant with this new operating system.

I arrived at a very neat solution, and managed to design the system to be universal - the same CD will work for all versions of Windows.

The biggest hurdle (entailing major re-development) was the Vista requirement that data files and programs could not reside in the same folder structure.
Data files must be located under the “User” folder umbrella.

Like many developers, Ive always located data fIles and programs in one central location. It made distribution of a) program updates, and b) data file changes (to Help, Tutorials, Captions, Language Translations etc) very simple.

Where are my programs located? - where’s my data located?
I was concerned that IdeasGenie5 users would be unable to locate their own data files (essential when planning backups) in this new installation.
The solution - I added more Information Items to the About Ideas Genie - GA200 program, giving what I hope you will agree is “total visibility”. The program indicates where your program and data files are located.
Enhancements to the SWITCH data source feature
Version 4 (IG Pro, Bonsai Genie) users will have noticed a new program Switch Databases - GA026.
This program allows the user to work on multiple databases. 

This feature is extremely useful in my other software, particularly Bank Genie. The user can backup their database onto a Flash disc, and use it directly with any computer with Bank Genie.
Having developed and refined that useful functionality for Bank Genie, Ive applied it to Flower Genie, and now to IdeasGenie5.

Summary of new Features in Ideas Genie Pro 5 (The nitty gritty!)

  • Windows Vista Compliant
  • IdeasGenie5 programs continue to be installed by default in Program files folder structure. (i.e. was already Vista compliant)
  • IdeasGenie5 data files relocated under the User folder structure ( a requirement by Windows Vista, but our IdeasGenie5 solution works for all Windows versions)
  • Other Windows Vista requirements satisfied
  • The SWITCH database feature refined.
  • Additional Help topics added. Help Topics -GA002

    NEW Programs
  • GA048  Labels Program - Ideas Genie Pro only
    Print labels on a variety of standard label pages (e.g. 7x2, 7x3, 5x2 - US page sizes, European page sizes etc)
    On your label, print Text on one side, both sides, text on one side, photo on another - any combination you can think of!
    Print a whole page of labels for the same plant, OR one of this, two of that - completely flexible
    Edit text for your labels (with prompts from text already in your system) .
    Select Photos (optional).
  • GA049 - Print Photos - Ideas Genie Pro only
    Choose One photo per page, two per page, three per page etc.
    You can write text to be printed with the photo. A very flexible program.  You can also use it for non-garden photos - family pics etc.
  • GA047 - Tasks program (Replaces GA012 - Tasks program in Ideas Genie)
    Due to the database structure changes, GA012 was replaced by GA047 in IG Pro and Bonsai Genie.
    Now that Ideas Genie has been upgraded to Version 5, GA047 is also used in that system, and GA012 becomes redundant.

    Major updates
  • GA032 - Reviews program - Ideas Genie Pro only
    Now has a Web Page Generator (WPG) extension.  You can now use the standard software to create web pages, and go on-line with your garden! See for yourself: Have a look at these examples
    You dont need to know ANYTHING about HTML, the language used to build web pages. Its all done for you by IG Pro. If you can drag files from one folder to another, then that’s as difficult as it gets when publishing your web site. Its a bit of work to get to that stage, but its simply a matter of using the software you are used to.
    And guess what? You get free web space, provided by, to host your projects.
    For gardening images only, of course!!
  • GA034 - My Plants report. A barrage of new options added, to allow you to pick and choose what you want to print and what you want to omit.

    Redesign of programs where your work with folders and data files.
    Easy to write! A LOT of development!
  • Switch databases -GA026
  • System Backup Folders - GA197
  • Backup Files -GA201
  • PACK files - GA202
  • Restore files -GA203
  • Additional Information items added to the About Ideas Genie Pro - GA200 program
  • Print buttons in Help screens and in About Ideas Genie - GA200

    Other changes made to the system
    (by no means ALL the changes - Ive listed the ones that took up quite a lot of my time - all very much worthwhile to make the software more practical, and hopefully faster and easier to use)
  • Active hyperlinks in all edit windows. Click a link to visit your favourite web pages.
  • Predictive text interface for Locate a Genus, or Species, or Cultivar on most Action programs
    e.g. a list appears when you type 2 characters in the Cultivar field. The list gets smaller as you type more characters. Its usually possible to locate your plant after typing 3 characters - in a database of 9200 plants!
  • Locating plants with Trade Names - in most action programs
    Example: Acer Pacific Sunset (='Warrenred')
    Pacific Sunset is the trade name, Warrenred is the Cultivar name
    The plant is sold as Acer Pacific Sunset (note NO single quotation marks)
    However, the predictive text works for both elements of the plant name.
    i.e. key in Pac in Cultivar finder field, and predictive text finds Pacific Sunset in Acer
    OR - key in War in Cultivar finder field,and predictive text finds ‘Warrenred’ in Acer
    Try it using GA004 and your copy of the Master Database (supplied free with your upgrade)
  • GA037 - Database Explorer revised extensively. This is a VERY powerful program.
    Including: Copy a plant from Master Database, Options to show/hide details when plants are listed (e.g. Type, Colour, Divisions, plants which have photos, plants which have web links etc)), easier to
  • Revisions to GA100S36 - the Plant Profile screen (probably the most important screen in IG)
    (As you know, this common screen is used in most programs)
    RHS button added - Search into the RHS Plant Finder website.
    My prime reason for this was to validate Plant Names used in the Master Database. If the search finds your plant name, its good. The web iste is THE authority on plant names!
    If not, you can amend your search and try again. With a bit of trial and error, you will quickly find the correct botanical name for your plant.
    BBC button added - Search into the BBC Gardening web site. Find information about your plant, from a delightfully absorbing site for keen gardeners. The BBC plant list is massive - much MUCH more complete that I imagined, and the information there is a real treasure.
    + buttons placed beside Colour and Leaf Color fields. There is no limit to amount of text you can use to describe colour. The + buttons open a large edit window.
    Reviews button :- Reviews made easier to add and edit.
    Cult/Properties button: Properties of similar classifications are summarised in one line
  • SurfBord: Print button added
  • Revisions to the Global editing screenset - GA100S30
    Filter the list:
    The Master Database has 100’s of plants in some genera. You can now filter the list by a) species, by b) division/classification, and apply plant properties, Culture, Sizes to the specific list of plants.
    A Hide/Show feature added, to allow you to work with only a selected few of your categories.
    e.g. You can show Sunlight Requirements, Soil Conditions, Hardiness and HIDE others. Makes global editing even quicker!
  • The Full Screen Edit screen GA100S09. Have you ever tried to edit a document with hyperlinks (e.g. WORD) and accidentally clicked into a link, and off you go to the website?
    I got fed up with that, and added a new checkbox to GA100S09.
    You can now toggle between Links enabled, and links disabled. When disabled, links are plain text (as it used to be before Version 4!!) and you can edit anything you please without flyin’ off to a website.
  • GA030 - Quick Link Photos - revised extensively - Read more
  • GA004 and GA005 revised to the same standards as described for GA030
  • Google button can be configured to your own region/country
    Previously set to search using You can now choose from a pop-up and select,,,, etc etc.

    And finally -  an easier upgrade procedure
  • Install from CD, using same CD as a new customer.
  • Installs as a unique software item, it its own folders.
  • The older version is unaffected
  • One simple program required to import and upgrade the data from the older version.
    This program is located under the System tab on the Menu
    The program is coded to know where your older data is located, so all you need to do is click a GO button.



ideasforgardens Home PageUser Gardens using the Web Page GeneratorSoftware Product Range
Garden PaintingsCultivarsPlant Societies   -  
Garden Photos