Please Note - Phone support and
sales of Portfolio Reporter have been discontinued.
The purpose of this page is to
provide a series of step by step "How To" guides specifically for
the users of Portfolio Reporter. It is assumed that all users have
upgraded to Version 1-7, as that version enables full Year 2000
compliance. If you don't wish to follow the instructions below yourself,
the following will enable whoever you call on to assist you to carry out
the processes described.
From my experience Portfolio Reporter (a DOS
based program) will work successfully on Windows 7 (32 bit) but not the 64
bit version. You will probably not get it to run full screen. If you have
or must upgrade to Windows 8 -
good luck. I do have Portfolio Reporter running successfully in a Virtual
(XP) Machine in Windows 8 and have successfully printed from that VM to a
network printer using Dos Print. See DOSPRN below. Getting this going is
not for the faint hearted and you will probably need to have this set up
for you by a PC support person who understands virtual machines - not me!
Take heart as it can be done.
Working with Windows
If you are not sure how to copy files to or
from floppy disk seek the help of someone who does, or follow the
instructions contained in the Windows Help file - click on the
"Start" button then "Help".
Spend a little time in the Windows Help area - particularly the
"Exploring your Computer\Files and Folders\Managing Files" area
to learn\understand how to copy and paste (and otherwise manage) files and
Reporter Help line (02-9415-1095)
no longer exists.
Before attempting any of the file management tasks described
below, please make the configuration adjustments to Windows Explorer
described here Amongst other things these
changes enable you to see the full file names and file types when using Windows
Explorer in "View\Details" mode.
In addition, because the Windows default file associations indicates that
any file with the suffix ".cnf" is a "Speed Dial" file
(and that is not correct), you may remove that "association" as follows:-
1. In Windows Explorer go to the menu item "View" and click on
the last item - "Folder Options" - in the case of Windows 95
the item is simply called "Options", in Windows XP it is called
2. Go to the "File Types" tab where the "Registered File
types" are listed.
3. Scroll down to the item "SpeedDial" and click on the
The Portfolio Reporter configuration file "folio.cnf" will no longer be
mis-described as a "Speed Dial" file without any file extension
visible. It can be now seen as folio.cnf
Portfolio Reporter - Basic structure.
Portfolio Reporter is a DOS
based program which runs perfectly well under Windows. It may be loaded
through DOS or through Windows, and when loaded though Windows will create
an appropriate menu item so that it may be run from a
"shortcut". Loading through Windows is achieved by running
the winsetup.exe file from the A:\ drive.
Where an existing Portfolio Reporter installation is being updated the
update program is run from the wupdate.exe file (Windows) or the
update.exe file (DOS). Full instructions are included with the Version 1-7
The Version 1-7 disk includes both the update program and the full
When Portfolio Reporter is
installed to its default directory, or folder, it loads to a first line
folder called "Folio", directly below the root C:\ drive . All the necessary
"engine room" files are contained in this directory.
As Portfolio Reporter is used and configured several of those files
(folio.pth, folio.cnf and folio.cpi) will change to reflect user personal
settings. Creating a new portfolio will result in a new sub folder being
created below the "Folio" folder. That new folder will have the unique name
given to it by the user during the creation process. These sub folders
contain the users investment data in database (.dbf) files. A series of indexing (.ntx) files facilitate access to data. If the
database files are deleted the portfolio information is lost. If the
indexing files are deleted they will be re-created the next time that
portfolio is opened by Portfolio Reporter. When a portfolio is deleted by
the routine inside Portfolio Reporter it becomes invisible to the program,
but its sub folder and the files in that sub folder remain on the Hard
Drive. A further conscious act is necessary, outside the Portfolio
Reporter program - using Windows Explorer, to delete an unwanted portfolio
from the Hard Disk Drive.
The Portfolio Reporter backup process saves both the *.dbf files and the
folio.* configuration files (described above) to the backup floppy disk.
These files are stored on the backup floppy in a sub folder, below an
empty "Folio" folder. The sub folder will have the same name as
the original unique sub folder on the C:\ Drive.
Multiple portfolio backups can be made to the same floppy as each is saved
to its unique subfolder i.e. to the location
Restoring a portfolio
from a backup floppy disk.
The aim in restoring a portfolio is to copy the database files
from their backup location on the floppy disk to their original location
in their (unique - specially named) sub folder, below the "Folio"
folder, on the Hard Disk Drive (C:\). Under Windows 95 or Windows 98 this
is most easily achieved by using Windows Explorer.
The files, containing portfolio data, which will need to be restored, are :-
assetrn.dbf (this is the asset transaction file)
asstdt15.dbf (the asset data file)
certif.dbf (the certificate file) and
inctrn.dbf (the income transaction file)
these files in the A:\Folio\(unique) sub folder and copy them back to
the C:\Folio\(unique) sub folder on your Hard Disk Drive. Run the
"Tidy up files" routine from the "Utilities" area
within Portfolio Reporter to ensure the internal indexing is accurate. That's it!
Tidy Up Files
The "Tidy Up Files" routine in the "Utilities" area,
within Portfolio Reporter, has been created to ensure that the data base
indexing files (the *.ntx files) maintain proper "arithmetic"
relationship between the data base files (the *.dbf files). When "Tidy
Up Files" is run you are prompted to save the existing folio to a
floppy disk before any changes are effected. This is a form of "belt
and braces" protection in the rare event that something goes amiss
during the process. The Tidy Up process may also be effected by simply
deleting the *.ntx files from the particular portfolio sub folder. This
process may be done by closing Portfolio Reporter and using Windows
Explorer. Do NOT undertake the Tidy Up routine in this manner if you are
not completely comfortable about using Windows Explorer for file
management. NOTE - If any of the *.dbf files (the data
base files) are deleted you will lose portfolio information and we cannot
help you further. When Portfolio Reporter is next started, and that
portfolio is accessed, the missing *.ntx files will automatically be
re-created and re-indexing will also automatically take place.
Restoring from a
full system loss.
With a hard drive crash, recovery supposes two things. You have been making
regular backups on floppies, using the routine built into Portfolio
Reporter, and you still have the version 1-7 update system floppy disk
(which also has a full install routine on the same disk). you have
been making backups haven't you? - if not, sorry...!
1. Re-install the full Portfolio Reporter system by running
"winsetup.exe" from the Version 1-7 Install disk. Follow the
prompts until installation is complete and you are prompted to create your
first portfolio. Exit the setup program without doing this. Using Windows
Explorer examine the folders on your hard drive. You will have a folder -
"C:\Folio" and there will be no sub folders below that folder.
2. Insert the Portfolio Reporter backup floppy in the A:\ drive and, using
Windows Explorer, locate the (one or more) unique subfolder(s) below the
"Folio" folder on the floppy. Each sub folder contains a
3. From "A:\Folio" copy the subfolder(s) you want to restore,
and paste it (them) directly under the "C:\Folio" on your hard
drive. This copy\paste routine will copy not only the unique folders but
also all files contained within those unique folders.
4. At this stage you have a "C:\Folio" folder with restored sub
folder(s) representing the original portfolios - all that remains is to
restore the original personal settings (see the discussion under
"Portfolio Reporter - Basic structure" - above). Copy the
personal settings files
folio.cnf and folio.cpi) contained
in any of the restored sub folders and paste them into the C:\Folio
folder, overwriting the files of the same name already to be found in that
5. Start Portfolio Reporter by double clicking on the
"folio.exe" file to be found in the C:\Folio folder. Everything
in the original Portfolio Reporter installation should now be available in
the restored version. The program may also be opened by using the shortcut
created by the fresh installation. Further shortcuts to enable Portfolio
Reporter to be opened from a location of your choice may be created using
Windows routines - check the Windows Explorer Help files for instructions.
Hard Drives can crash or become corrupted. So can floppy disk drives.
Don't rely on the same floppy disk for backup after backup, year after
year. Don't rely on having only one backup. Buy fresh floppy disks from
time to time. Have more than one backup disk. With Portfolio Reporter you
can put backups of more than one portfolio on the same floppy disk. Keep
archive disks, made to "freeze" backup information at a specific
point in time - like the end of the financial year. Occasionally use
Windows Explorer to copy a full backup of the C:\Folio folder, and all its sub folders,
onto a fresh floppy disk. It is always better to have more backups than
none. If you don't have backups of your portfolios we can do nothing to
help you in the case of a system crash.
Reporter from one PC to another PC
Use Windows Explorer, or if the old PC was running DOS and Win 3/x, use
File Manager in Windows. Moving Portfolio Reporter from one PC to another
is as basic as using one or more floppy disks to make a direct copy of the
"Folio" directory, along with all its sub directories, and
replicating that structure on the new PC. Assuming the new PC is running
Windows 95 or later quick access to start Portfolio Reporter is
achieved by creating shortcuts to the "C:\Folio\folio.exe" file on your
desktop, the Start Menu, or whatever location is most convenient.
Instructions for creating shortcuts to applications may be found in the
Windows Explorer help area.
Successful printing from Portfolio Reporter requires that your printer has
the capability of printing from DOS (or DOS running under Windows). While Portfolio Reporter is a DOS based
program it runs quite successfully under all the current varieties of
Windows. Unfortunately, these days it is not true that all printers can successfully print from DOS
based software (even though they successfully print from Windows
applications). While some (including Microsoft) may say that you
cannot print from a DOS based program to a USB connected printer this is
not necessarily true. I have successfully printed from Portfolio Reporter
to a USB connected HP LaserJet 1200 running under Windows XP Pro. This
printer does not have a parallel port connection. For more information on
this subject see the heading below - "Printing from Portfolio Reporter to
a USB printer"
As printers have become more and more of a commodity (virtually given away so the manufacturer can sell more printer cartridges)
some manufacturers, in some models, have dropped the ability for their
printers to print from DOS based software. One assumes this functionality
has been removed as a cost cutting exercise, as it appears more likely to
have occurred with the lower priced printers. Where this has happened all
ability to print from DOS based programs has been affected, not just the
ability to print from Portfolio Reporter.
The Portfolio Reporter program
does not know the identity of the printer connected to your PC. The
program uses the Code Page set up information to send specific printer
commands to the printer. Those commands include such basic instructions as
"Print normal type", "Print condensed type", "Start
a new page", "Finish the current page", and so on. The choice
of appropriate commands is small as most printers emulate the Printer
Control Languages established as virtual industry standards by Epson (mainly
for dot matrix printers) and Hewlett Packard (mainly for laser printers). If
the basic Epson commands don't work the Hewlett Packard commands usually
A simple test of the ability to print from DOS is to open a DOS Prompt and
either send a known text file to the printer with the command "copy
filename.txt lpt1" or "dir > lpt1". Completion of this
test may require a form feed at the printer if the file sent is less than a
page in length. Naturally an appropriate ascii text file such as
"filename.txt" must exist at the path location from which the
command is sent. If you do not understand the process mentioned in this
paragraph you may need to seek the assistance of someone (with computer
understanding) who does. If the printer will not print from DOS, Portfolio Reporter
doesn't stand a chance.
If in doubt call your printer support line and ask
"Can I print to this printer from a DOS program running under Windows? Will the printer recognise DOS
printing commands instructing it to change to both regular and condensed type
If you can
print from DOS you may also need to ensure that the printer configuration has been
set to "Capture" the printer port, as most printers need to know
they are printing to LPT1, the default printer port. The ability to print
from DOS makes it highly likely that you will successfully print from
Portfolio Reporter. More detail on this subject,
along with a number of alternate printer configuration settings, is
contained in the "Addendum to the Manual" sent to all users with
Version 1-7, and the Version 1-7 upgrade. Please read and follow that
information before calling for support.
If you are buying a new printer insist on the Vendor giving you an assurance
that it will print from a DOS based program running under Windows, and if it
cannot, that the
printer can be returned. We are aware of difficulties with lower end Epson
ink jet printers, a number of Hewlett Packard printers and some others but
we are simply not able to maintain a definitive list of printers which will
(or will not) create problems.
We have found some specific difficulties with the "all in one"
printers which function as a printer, copier, scanner and fax machine. To
function as a fax these printers take control of the printing function at
the time the PC is started and they will not relinquish control of the
printer so that a DOS printing routine may proceed. If you can completely
unload the fax and other drivers at the time you want to print from
Portfolio Reporter, you may be successful. Ask the Vendor or printer
manufacturer about this, and how to do it.
Most printing problems arise with inkjet printers. We have found little
difficulty with laser printers, but the exception to the rule can always
arise. Be safe and ask.
Portfolio Reporter to a USB Printer
While it is possible to print from Portfolio Reporter to a USB printer I
cannot say that this will be true of all USB printers, as the printer will
still need to be able to respond to the printer control language (PCL)
codes sent to the printer in the stream of data. As many printers,
particularly the low end or cheaper ink jet printers, are made down to a
price they simply do not have the capability to respond to codes which
direct the printer to switch between (for example) printing in a normal
font and printing in a condensed font, as required by many of the numerical
tables in Portfolio Reporter reports. In my experience most laser printers
do respond to PCL codes.
In my research to get a solution to the USB printer problem I found a
number of web pages with a similar solution to the following:
Substitute the application name Portfolio Reporter for the name DataFlex
on that page and the explanation reads well. The solution is given for
Windows 2000 and appears equally applicable to Windows XP.
To implement this solution you may have a need to call on the assistance
of someone with a reasonable ability to follow the instructions on that
web page. In a nutshell you need to work with a USB printer which is
working correctly before you start, and can print a test page using its
USB connection. The solution requires the printer to be "shared" as if it
were a network printer. A batch file is then created to notionally direct
the network share to the LPT1 port (the command I used was "net use lpt1
\\tascott\HP1200 /persistent:yes" excluding the quotes) where "tascott" is
the name of my computer and HP1200 the name of the "share". I found that
the solution works. Portfolio Reporter help line support is not available on this subject as
the potential variables are too great - just tell your own expert it has
been proven to work. It's not clear whether you must have a network card
installed for the PC to accept the configuration required. I tested it on as
PC with a network card but no network. In my testing I ignored step 4 and
the report pages printed without a problem.
To delete the LPT1 redirection use the following command from a Command
prompt - net use LPT1 /Delete
A further solution involves printer "pooling" - I tested this and it
works. In Windows XP go to the Ports tab under Printer Properties and tick
"Enable Printer Pooling" then select the LPT1 port in addition to the Dot4
USB port (which may already be shown as selected). Click Apply.
Another web page I found addresses the problem of a long "timeout" when
printing from DOS based programs. Heed the usual warnings that Registry
editing should not be undertaken unless you are comfortable with what you
are doing. See:
My research also turned up a shareware program called DOSPRN which claims
to solve many of the problems associated with printing from DOS based
programs to many of today's printers. The program can be downloaded and
tested prior to purchase. See:
I tested this and found it capable of printing, to my USB printer, a file
previously saved by using the "Print to file" routine which is a choice
under the Portfolio Reporter Printing setup options. The pages were printed in
landscape mode, but not as successfully as that achieved in the first
solution mentioned above.
My research also found some other possible solutions which I have not
tested, but I put forward as possibly worth investigating (the following
are not the same program):
DOS Printer -
A Google search on words like "how to print from DOS to USB"
will reveal many further areas of investigation.
which have arisen from time to time
Portfolio Reporter is not a capital gains tax calculator. The CPI indexation
feature was included as a guide only to give a "wet finger in the
air" indication to relative cost movements over time. It is not\has not
been re-written to attempt to keep up with the various legislative changes
relating to the treatment of capital gains tax (or GST).
Version 1-7 is the most recent version of Portfolio Reporter.
While Portfolio Reporter is a DOS based program and it runs successfully
under Windows, it is not "mouse aware". You cannot move around
inside the program clicking with the mouse cursor. The program does
respond to the indicated "hot keys" i.e., those characters (letters)
preceding each menu command. The "Escape" [Esc] key is like
reverse, enabling you to move back a step from any action taken.
when installing Portfolio Reporter, the message "folio.exe can't be
found", try re-installing the program after removing write protection
from the floppy. The write protect window on the floppy must be closed for a
Where Portfolio Reporter opens and immediately shuts down with an error message
too quick to read, check that Portfolio Reporter is not already open and
simply minimised to the task bar. An attempt to open it a second time will
result in the behaviour mentioned.
The key strokes "Alt-Enter" (together) will toggle Portfolio
Reporter between running full screen and running "in a window".
In the latter state it can be minimised to the taskbar without being
closed while another application is accessed. When running "in a
window" the size of that window can be altered to make the most of
the screen "real estate" available. Check the Widows Help files
on how to do this.
* If, while running in a Window, or full screen,
the text appears to be shortened to only half the screen, try updating the
Graphics card drivers for your PC. I have heard of the problem, and
believe it is a graphics driver problem as on other systems running
Windows XP the program behaves as it always has.
If Portfolio Reporter can successfully open one, but not another,
portfolio the fact that even one portfolio works correctly proves that the
program "engine room" is working correctly. When one or more portfolios are working correctly and another will not
open it is likely to be due to a file corruption in one or more files in
the sub folder containing the problem portfolio. If the problem cannot be fixed by running the Windows "scandisk" and\or
"defrag" routines the portfolio will probably have to be
restored from a backup floppy disk. See the comments above on
"Restoring a portfolio from a backup floppy disk" and
"Backup precautions". NEVER be compromised by having only one
potential backup source. It is just too embarrassing to find that your one
disk is also corrupted.
If you have a need to check the information on a backup or archived floppy
disk, avoid the need to overwrite an existing portfolio by creating a
special "Review" portfolio. Add a portfolio called
"Review" in a directory or sub folder called "Review".
Don't use this location to input any data, simply use it as a viewer.
Follow the instruction above "Restoring a portfolio from a backup
floppy disk" to restore the data you wish to view to the special
"Review" sub folder, instead of the folder from which it was
originally backed up.
23 May 2014
on the above may be sent to Peter McDonell by email
and may or may not be answered. Please recognize that the official help line has
long been discontinued (click on the
link below to initiate a message)