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Movement editor

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Tomas Brenning
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I have given up on the idea of having an integrated movement editor in Magic Contest. No matter how much time I will spend on it I will never live up to the standards of such a beautiful tool as Microsoft Excel.

Most people are fluent in Excel so why not make use of it. In Excel you can play around with the movement until you are satisfied.

The future may include importing text files originally created in Excel into Magic. This would remove the need for Microsoft Access to transfer the data into a suitable format for Magic Contest to import. So far nobody has asked for it.

That future is actually here.
Read more

Individual event

The Microsoft Access movement editor only works for pair events and team events. You need to use the built-in movement editor individual events.

Install the movement editor

Follow the instructions to your right for downloading and installing the movement editor.

Use the movement editor

Follow these simple steps:

  • Go to the Movement folder
  • Double-click _bwsEditor.mdb
  • Microsoft Access is opened and you are asked for a movement database
  • Go to the Forms section
  • Double-click 01 - Simple movement to open the movement editor

The format of the database is very intuitive. As long as you're convenient with using Access you can add and delete lines to your satisfaction. You may not leave any fields empty since this will lead to errors in Magic Contest.

When you want to use the movement, start a contest in Magic Contest just like you usually do. However, instead of using the normal Close preparations you should select Contest menu-Bridgemate-Close preparations.

Create a new movement

Along with the movement editor in the downloaded file you can find an empty Bridgemate database called _empty.bws. This can be used as a template for new movements.

You can make a copy of this for your new movement. There are no features inside the movement editor for this. Instead, use Windows Explorer to make a simple file copy of the file. Once the copy is in place you can open the movement editor and select the database.

Only one section

When creating a movement you can only create it for one section.

If you run an event with several sections you need to have separate movement databases (one for each section) unless of course the movement is the same in all sections.


If you want create a special movement for a multi-session event you can place all sessions inside the same movement file. To enter the movement you should use 02 - Multi-session movement. This opens up an extra column where the session number can be entered.

Just as in the case of several sections you can of course use separate movement files for each session.

Copy data from Excel

Even if Microsoft Access is convenient for handling data you probably prefer entering the data in Excel. Do like this to transfer the data from Excel to Access.

  • Create the movement in Excel. It is essential that the columns are identical to the ones in the movement editor and in the same order.
  • Select all movement data in Excel. Make sure not to select any headers.
  • Press Ctrl-C to copy the data
  • Go to the movement editor and make sure the movement is empty
  • Click the black arrow to the left of the empty line (the entire line will turn black)
  • Press Ctrl-V to paste the movement
It is possible to paste additional data into an existing movement. Make sure to go to the first empty line and select that before pasting data.

Assign phantom pairs

The phantom pair is a pair just like any other pair with a pair number. Do not do anything special in the movement editor to deal with phantoms. Instead, just import the movement and later select the phantom pair in Enter names inside Magic Contest.

Team event

When it comes to team events two different forms are used:

11 - Team event (1 session per round)
12 - Team event (2 sessions per round)

For all other parts the movement editor works the same as for pair events described above. If you have downloaded a previous version of the movement editor you must download the newest version to get access to the team event forms.

Table of contents

NB 1! Microsoft Access is required to use the movement editor. In later versions of Microsoft Access it has been decided that the computer must be protected at all costs. Since the movement editor contains program code and macros it may be deemed insecure. Usually you get at message when you open the file that will allow you to open the database in spite of the insecure code. Do this.

NB 2! You may be asked to convert the database into a newer version of Microsoft Access. Answer Yes to this question.

NB 3! You use the movement editor as is and on your own risk. Magic Contest has very little error handling, so there is a high risk of crashing the program in case the created movement has flaws of different kinds.

Download movement editor

Click Download and unzip the files into the Movement folder in Magic Contest Documents. Depending on when you installed Magic Contest this folder can be found in C:\Program Files\Magic Contest or in My Documents.

The name of the movement editor is _bwsEditor.mdb. There are two reasons to the cryptic name:

  • It is an editor of .bws files (Bridgemate files)
  • The starting underscore ensures that the editor ends up at the top of normal file listings

In the downloaded file there are two Bridgemate databases - _empty.bws and _sample.bws. The former can be used as a template for future movements while the latter contains a simple Mitchell-13 movement so that you can get a hang of how the movement file is built.