TCM Formula Finder comes with 240 formulas in alphabetical order and there are two main ways to search them for keywords.
Search Any Field
2. Search Tips
A field is one of the rectangular spaces that holds information. For example, the field "Formula Name" contains name of the formula you're currently viewing, and "Actions" contains the TCM actions of that particular formula.
By clicking the "Search Any Field" button, you will be able to search all 240 formulas for specific information. Just type the keyword(s) you'd like to search for into whatever field they belong in and hit the "return" or "enter" key.
To get results, make sure you enter keywords in the corresponding fields. For example, you won't find any results if you type "Liver Qi Stagnation" in the Indications field because Liver Qi stagnation is a syndrome and should be entered in the Syndrome field.
The number of formulas found with your keyword(s) will be displayed in the results box at the top left. If six formulas were found, the results box will say "1 of 6" and you will be able to browse them by clicking the red navigation buttons.
More than one field can be searched at a time. For example, you can enter "liver blood" in the syndrome field and "insomnia" in the indication field, which will search for formulas that treat insomnia due to a Liver Blood imbalance.
This search method is powerful because it will search the Indications, Notes, and Modifications fields at the same time for the keyword(s) you're looking for. It's also nice because the found keyword(s) will be highlighted in red.
When clicking the Search Indications button, a screen will appear asking for up to three key indications, not actions or syndromes, you'd like to search for. Enter your keyword(s) like "insomnia" and click the red search button. The number of formulas found with your keyword(s) will be displayed in the results box at the top left. If six formulas were found, the results box will say "1 of 6" and you will be able to browse them by clicking the red navigation buttons. The keyword(s) you searched will be highlighted in red.
Doing searches with vague keywords such as "pain" will find many formulas and may be hard to navigate through. Try using more specific keywords together like "pain", "low back", and "cold".
On the other hand, searching for keywords that are too specific may not get any results.
When using the Search Any Field function, more than one field can be searched at a time. For example, you can enter "liver blood" in the syndrome field and "insomnia" in the indication field, which will search for formulas that treat insomnia due to a Liver Blood imbalance.
3. Adding or Deleting Formulas
To help manage the amount of formulas in the program, records can be added or deleted.
To add a formula click the Add/Delete Formula button and select "Add" from the dialogue box. A new blank formula record will be added at the end for you to enter in any information.
4. Entering Information
To delete a formula, navigate to the formula you would like to remove, click the Add/Delete Formula button, and select "Delete" from the dialogue box. A warning will pop up to verify that you want to permanently remove this formula. Click "Delete". Remember, once a formula has been deleted it cannot be recovered without reverting to a backed up copy of TCM Formula Finder. For information on restoring to a backup copy, click the General Help button to the left.
Entering information into any of the text fields is generally very easy. Click in the text field and make any changes you'd like. Due to technical limitations, some fields will display an error that says, "This field is not modifiable". If you get this message simply click the Enter Information button and make your changes.
5. Showing All Formulas
After performing a search, only a selected number formulas will be displayed (1 of 6, 12 of 45, etc.) and the red navigation buttons will allow you to
only browse the selected records. To view all of the program's records click the "Show All Formulas" button and you'll be able to browse all the formulas.
6. Changing Wording or Dosage Type
To help customize TCM Formula Finder it is possible to change the wording or dosage type to what you're most comfortable with.
1. In TCM Formula Finder go to the "Customize" pull down menu and select "Change Wording".
2. A window will appear asking for the two words. The first will be the word you want to replace, the second will be the word you want to replace the first with.
3. Click "OK" and anywhere the first word appears will be replaced by the second.
NOTE: With frequent conversion between qian and grams, TCM Formula Finder will produce increased amounts of decimals. It is recommended that you choose one value for viewing dosages and continue with that.
1. In TCM Formula Finder go to the "Customize" pull down menu and select "Dosage Conversion".
2. The utility will determine if you are currently viewing the dosages as qian, grams, or 5:1 concentrates (granules, extracts, powders) and give you choices on converting to the others. Make your choices and click "OK".