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How to Set Up and Use Transparencies

Transparencies are used to block off certain times or days on the calendar to prevent an appointment from being scheduled or to inform the staff of important information. You may also use transparencies to color code the schedule for certain appointment types. If you prefer a video format, please refer to Schedule - Transparencies.
Note: We've revamped how Transparencies work in later builds of Gen 10. For information on how this works, please refer to this link here for a quick overview on all the changes to Transparencies.

Transparencies in Build 7.3 and earlier
The following information relates to MacPractice Builds 7.3 and earlier and how Transparencies functioned in these builds. If you are on Gen 11 or later builds of Gen 10, please refer to the "Transparencies in Build 10.8 and above" section.

Create a Transparency Type
The first thing to do when setting up Transparencies is to set up a Transparency Type. You'll first go to the Schedule ability, select the Transparencies node, and click the green plus sign above the sidebar.

A New record item will appear under the Transparency node, and the drawer will open to one side of the MacPractice window. Enter the transparency type's name and select a Color. If the drawer doesn't appear, resize your window and try toggling the drawer button.
Generally, the transparency name will correspond to its purpose, such as "Vacation", "Meeting", "New Patients Only", "Urgent Care", or similar. After choosing the options, be sure to save the changes by selecting the Edit menu > Save Record, or by using the Command-S keyboard shortcut.
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Creating a Block
To create a block, select a transparency name in the sidebar and click and drag on the schedule, just like creating an appointment.
 
As shown above, by default, the new block's name will be the transparency name followed by a number. The name can be changed in the drawer and additional notes can be entered at the bottom in the Notes field. Save the changes by going to the Edit menu and selecting Save Record, or use the Command-S keyboard shortcut.
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Set Up Block Options and Rules
Block Options
The Block tab in the drawer applies just to the single block. After renaming the block for the specific event or occurrence, use the All Resources checkbox to apply this to the whole office. Use All Day to extend the full day, regardless of how long the transparency initially was.
 
If this block will happen again, use the Repeat option to set up the recurrences. If it's a single repeat or this block will not repeat on a standard schedule, you may also right click on the transparency block to Copy and Paste.
 
Transparency Rules
The Rules tab in the drawer applies to every block for this transparency. These can be set to not accept appointments, to require a confirmation, or to only allow certain procedures.
 
For example, with a Vacation transparency, Setting a rule to "Do Not Schedule" would prevent any appointments during the blocks for Dr. Heusinger's vacation in April, and it would also prevent appointments during Dr. Perdue's vacation in November.
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Managing Transparencies
Many offices choose to clean up their transparencies annually or every few years. There are three options for managing transparencies; turn them off, end repeats, and delete them. This also applies to MacPractice default transparencies for MacPractice and US Federal Holidays.
 
Deleting Blocks
If a block was entered in error, or is no longer needed, it can be deleted by simply right clicking on the block itself.  The All Blocks tab displays every instance of the transparency. It allows you to delete single or repeat transparency blocks. You may also simply delete the transparency type in the sidebar. See the FAQ article for instructions on disabling and deleting transparencies.
 
Viewing and Locking Transparency Records
You may set all of your other office computers to display the same transparencies using the Set Selection In Other Terminals option; this is found by right clicking Transparencies in the sidebar.
 

Once all of your transparencies are correct, lock the records so no one accidentally changes these settings. Certain users can be given privileges to edit transparency record. Set this up in the User Group Privileges Reference.

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Transparencies in Build 10.8 and above
When we sought to re-design the Transparencies function, we wanted to adjust the workflow and re-organize the information presented in order to be able to use it in a much more intuitive fashion.
Prior to MacPractice 10.8, Transparency Types were located under the blanket "Transparency" node in the Schedule. Editing a single Transparency Block would be done with the drawer. We had several reports from Support calls indicating this workflow was confusing, rightly assuming that the Transparency node would allow a user to edit individual blocks.
Let's get into the details.


Transparency Types in Gen 10
In order to remedy the confusion described above, we've added a new Reference node in the Schedule Ability. This new node, "Transparency Types", will effectively function as the old "Transparencies" node. The only real difference is the name change, and the icon in the sidebar reflects a green "R" folder. This is shown in the below screenshot:

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The functionality in the Transparency Types node is similar to what you would be able to configure in the drawer in prior builds of MacPractice.
Types are used to create broad categories of Transparency Blocks as an organizational tool. We already have a "Holidays" Type pre-defined, but you could presumably set up Types for many organizational purposes for your practice.
To add a Type, simply select the Transparency Type node, then click the Green Plus in the sidebar. You can set up as many Transparency Types as you wish.
To edit a Type, click the Type you wish to edit underneath the Transparency Type node, then adjust the details you want to change.
If you want to see all blocks of the selected Type, click on the "All Blocks" tab.
The History Tab will track when changes are made to this particular Transparency, and which user initiated the change.

 

Transparency Blocks in Gen 10
With your Transparency Types set, we can now block out areas on the schedule by creating Transparency Blocks. In order to do this, first scroll up and expand the Transparency Blocks node. This will bring up the Schedule view for the currently selected day. From here, you can simply schedule a block by clicking and dragging the mouse to create a block on a given Resource, much like when scheduling an appointment.
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This window will populate when creating a Transparency Block. You can name this specific block, set the Type and Resource, and adjust the scheduled time.
You'll also note that from this window, you can configure a Repeating block by clicking on the Repeats pop up button. You can set the Frequency to repeat Every Day, Every Week, Every Month, or Every Year. You can also choose Custom, which will allow you to set up Transparencies in more irregular patterns such as every two or three weeks, etc.
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Clicking Save will confirm the Transparency block and place it on the Schedule.
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