It is important to understand that RatShopper does NOT do a HotSync. Do not use RatShopper unless you clearly understand this fact. None of the desktop 3rd party programs for Handy Shopper does a Hot Sync.

A Palm sync will make a copy of the HandyShopper file on your computer. RatShopper uses the utility program HS2CONVERT that comes with HandyShopper to copy this specially formatted file into its own internal format. When you export this file, RatShopper will again use HS2CONVERT to create a Handy Shopper file ready for the Palm. This will not overwrite the file that came from the Palm in the first place - it is stored in a different place. You must then use the button to cause the Palm Pilot Install tool to add this file to the Sync list, so that the next time you sync, the revised file gets copied back to the Palm. See How it Works for more info.


A number of changes were made to Handy Shopper regarding Icons. Rat Shopper 2.11 works with icons using HandyShopper 2.6. Rat Shopper 2.12 uses the same Icon handling, and will work if you use the standard set if 40 Icons. It has not been tested using alternate Icon sets.

If you are having a problem entering Icon numbers, then you may not have installed correctly.  Check to see if there is a sub-directory Icons, if not, you probably did not install version 2.10 of Ratshopper.


Rat Shopper allows you to use any number of categories for convenience. However Handy Shopper only allows 16 categories [including Unfiled]. Exporting a file from RatShopper that contains more than 16 categories will cause HS2CONVERT to fail. Version 2.12 of RatShopper will warn you if you exceed 15 categories [this is an error and should be 16] but let you try to export anyway. However, if you are exporting only a subset of your total file, and this subset does not have more than 16 categories, then the export will be ok.

Product Expiry

If you should get a product expiry message, then choose Help -> Enable Me, follow the instructions and this message will go away.

Importing Text

Text files can be created in a number of ways, for example, Word, Excel, etc. For details, please see your software documentation. The format of the files should be CSV which have the elements separated by commas, and the items enclosed in double quotes if they contain commas or special characters. The file contains rows of information contained in columns.

For example, “Carrots, large”, 27 would be a line with two items, the first has to be enclosed with commas, since it contains a comma. A file would normally contain  Description, Category and price, Only Description is required. The program allows the description to be in two parts, which will be joined to make the description.

A  standard import, either has description in column one, or Description and category in column one and two


When importing, if a category is not in the list, you will be prompted to see if you want to add it. If you check off Always Add Categories then no prompt will appear.

If you choose not to add it, then the category to use if missing will be used for the category, Press Set Unfiled if you want Unfiled as the default.

Custom Import

If custom import is selected, then more options are available. Caution - if you enter the options and fail to select custom - you will not be warned, and a normal import will happen.

A custom import allows the following to be imported, Description, Category, Price, Store, Quantity. Specify the column in the CSV file that that data occurs in. Note there is no error checking, for duplicate columns, and they program may fail, if specifications are incorrect.

A special feature allows two separate columns to be merged to form the description. Use Description and Description2, and they will be put together with the single character in Sep Character   between them.

When data is being added from the CSV file, normally each line will create a new shopping list item. If Import Merge is checked, then the Description [but not Description2] will be compared to see if an item with that description already exists, if so, it will be updated, possibly changing the Category, price  and quantity. If more than one item exists with the same description, then it is undefined as to which is updated. Stores will always be added, not  replaced.

The price is the single price for the item, prices per stores is not currently supported.


Engles,Red Paint,4589,Paint,8.88,1
Engles,Green Paint,4590,Paint,9.51,1

    Col Description    2
    Col Description 2  3
    Col Category         4
    Col Price                5
    Col Store              1
    Col Quantity           6

    Import Merge - No

    Sep Character /

Results in the following






Red Paint/4589





Green Paint/4590