After LifeLines opens an existing database, or creates a new one, it presents you with the main menu:

Please choose an operation:
   b Browse the persons in the database
   s Search database
   a Add information to the database
   d Delete information from the database
   p Pick a report from list and run
   r Generate reports from the database
   t Modify character translation tables
   u Miscellaneous utilities
   x Handle source, event and other records
   q Quit and return to UNIX

Select an operation by striking the proper selection letter.

The browse operation lets you browse the database and perform many operations on the data. The search operation provides some simple wildcard search capabilities, which lead into browsing particular records. The add operation lets you add new information, and the delete operation removes information. The report operations read report programs and generates output reports. The modify character translation tables operation changes the translation tables. The miscellaneous utilities operation provides such things as backup and restore. The handle source, event and other records operation gives you access to these three record types. The quit operation closes the database and returns to UNIX.

The browse operation deserves special mention, because it provides a rich environment for searching, viewing, adding, modifying, merging and deleting information in the database. You will find that you operate from the browsing modes most of the time. The operations are all described in later sections.