Using BrickStore

The first time you start the program, it will bitch that the database files are missing and you probably need a database update.
No problem: select Extras-> Update Database... and a dialog will appear informing you about the current database download progress. As soon as the update procedure is finished, BrickStore has all the data it needs to display the complete BrickLink catalog. You can repeat this update as often as you like to always have an up-to-date copy of the BrickLink database (please note, that updating the database closes all document windows).

Every item view has a Filter field at the top: you can use this field to filter the list of items. If you are e.g. interested in all modified bricks, then just type Brick, Mod* (if you also press Return, your filter string will be saved in the drop-down box). The X icon on the left is just a shortcut to clear an active filter expression.
(The expression is case-insensitive, and you can use the wildcards ? for any single character and * for zero or more characters)

As soon as you select an item, the info bar will show you a picture and a price guide for this item (both don't make sense for multiple selected items).

Currently there is no manual (besides this page) or online help, but most controls in the GUI have tooltips, which pop up when you hover the mouse over the control for a second.


About the Cache

BrickStore caches all downloaded data (databases, pictures, price guides and inventories) in a directory called brickstore-cache in your home directory (%HOME%, normally c:\documents and settings\<username>).

It is currently not possible to change the location of the cache directory via the settings dialog. If you really want (or need) to move the cache elsewhere, then close BrickStore, start up regedit and change the registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\softforge\BrickStore\BrickLink\DataDir.

Since the price guide is changing fast, whereas the inventories and pictures are changing pretty slowly, you can set a timeout value for each type in the Configuration dialog: e.g. if you set the timeout for price guides to 14 days, then all price guide data will be cached for at least 14 days. After that it will only be re-downloaded, if you access the guide.
Of course you can manually update the price guide, picture or inventory before the timeout occurs (right-click on a picture or price guide / select Download even if cached in the import inventory dialog).

Common Tasks

Part out a set

  1. Click File-> Import-> BrickLink Inventory...
  2. Find the desired set (or part or minifig) and set the quantity
    (Import from Peeron is currently an evil hack, that may or may not work, but sometimes it's better than nothing.)
  3. You will notice that all pictures are downloaded in the background - this doesn't block the program at all and you can just continue to work (the current download progress is displayed in lower right corner of the status bar).
  4. Select all items: Edit-> Select All
  5. Set the prices to price guide values: Edit-> Set Prices to Price Guide... and choose the type you want to use.
    All price guide data is also downloaded asynchronous in the background - you will get a notification when everything is downloaded.
  6. You probably want to adjust the prices: Edit-> Inc- or Decrease Prices...
  7. You can of course edit each item separately: just double-click the value you want to change and confirm your change with Return.
  8. If you want to keep some items completely for yourself, you can just double-click the Status column to change the check mark to an X (all items with a X status will automatically be excluded in the next step).
  9. Now it's time to export: File-> Export-> BrickLink XML to Clipboard
  10. If you have select Automatically open Web Browser when exporting to Clipboard in the settings dialog, then your favorite Web Browser will open showing the BrickLink Mass Upload page.
    Just paste (Ctrl+V, or right-click and Paste) the generated XML into the input field.

Add individual parts

  1. Open a new document: File-> New
  2. Add items to the list: Edit-> Add items...
  3. The Add items dialog is completely asynchronous, so you can still edit items in the main grid without closing the dialog (this is especially useful, if you added a part with e.g. the wrong color: just fix it in the main view, without closing and re-opening of the dialog)
  4. Selecting an item is straight forward: select the item type, the category (or All Items), the item itself and, if applicable, a color.
  5. The filter field at the top of the item list works the same way as the filter in the main view.
  6. The drop-down menu at the top right of the item list lets you choose between the three display styles: List, List with Images and Thumbnails. These styles are pretty much the same as the BrickLink catalog display styles (and please note that, viewing All Items with images can take a very long time and it will download a lot of stuff from BrickLink.
  7. Set the condition, quantity and price (can be zero) and click Add
  8. If you select Consolidate with list, BrickStore will try to merge the new item with an existing one in the main view (e.g. if you already have 3 yellow bricks 2 x 4 and add another 5 you will end up with 8 bricks if consolidate is checked - otherwise you will get two lots with 3 and 5 bricks respectively.
  9. The picture and price guide boxes work the same way as in the main view.