Dialog Elements List

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A list of Dialog Elements appears on the Edit Dialog Definition dialog.  Dialog Elements are actually records linked to the Dialog Definition, so this list shows those linked records.  As with most places where record lists are manipulated, the typical functions are available to Add, Insert, Edit, Copy, Delete, and Move items in the list.  In addition, there are a few special functions as described below.


The list contains several fields of the elements, but depending on the element type there's no guarantee that each of these fields will be applicable.  So using good Notes for the elements can help later.


Note that some columns (e.g. any expressions) may be truncated (with "..." at the end).  This is done automatically to limit the column widths and keep long text from making the other columns hard to find.  (Even if the columns or the whole dialog is enlarged, it won't show these fields any longer here.)



Dialog Element Order (& Tab Order)


When a Dialog Definition is invoked, the items are processed one after another in the order they appear in this list.  While this in itself doesn't always make a difference, e.g. for "modification" or "action" element types, the order of New Controls in the list determines the order the controls are added to the dialog.  This in turn affects the "Tab order", i.e. the order in which the fields are selected in the dialog (get input focus) when the Tab key is pressed.  In other words, for text input fields the order determines the sequence that the cursor moves from one input field to the next.


In addition, the order of controls on the dialog is important for hot-key use.  For instance if you define a label for a text field as "&Name", so that the "N" is an underlined hot key, then the text input control for that field must be the very next element in the list so that the cursor goes to that field when Alt-N is pressed.


Finally, the order is important for Radio type controls since it affects their grouping.  This is covered in more detail later, under Editing Dialog Elements.



Quick-Add Fields


This is a special function used to easily add the necessary Dialog Elements for entering (or modifying) database fields.  You will be able to select multiple fields, and it will automatically add the elements (with appropriate labels for input fields) positioned in a neat column on the dialog.


First you will need to specify several parameters for positioning the entry fields.  The defaults will be set for typical positioning, starting in the upper left of the dialog.  You can leave these defaults alone and Continue, at least for the first batch, if it's a new dialog. However if it's an Add-on, or if you've already added some elements, then you'll probably need to adjust the starting left and top position.  You can also adjust the vertical spacing (to put multiple fields closer together or farther apart), as well as the left position and maximum width of the entry fields.


Next, a list will be shown with fields for the appropriate table(s) for the type of dialog you're adding to, or for the Base Table of a new dialog.  Select as many fields as you want to add in one column of input fields.  If you need to add multiple columns, e.g. if they won't all fit in one column, then you need to do it in separate sessions of Quick-Add Fields since this function won't automatically wrap to another column -- it will continue adding elements even if they go past the bottom of the dialog.


While it will do some auto-adjustment (restriction) of the positioning specified based on the dialog size, you may still end up with fields that go off the end of the dialog.  You might also end up with overlapping controls, since no overlap-checking is done.  These can be modified individually, or you can delete all of the new elements and try again.  



Import and Export Elements


These functions will import or export any selected elements to a CSV (text) file.  The main purpose of this is to copy the elements to a different Dialog Definition.  You can also export commonly used sets of elements for importing to Dialog Definitions you create later.  Basically it's like doing a copy/paste of elements, but going through a file instead of just the clipboard.  Note that it's not the same as the import/export function for a complete Dialog Definition -- it's strictly for copying or moving selected elements within a Dialog definition.


When exporting, only the elements selected are exported (they don't need to be sequential, e.g. you can use Ctrl-click to select each element to export).  When importing, all imported elements are added to the end of the definition.




Additional Topics:


Dialogs Overview

Dialogs Setup

Editing Dialogs

Editing Dialog Elements


Dialog Control ID Reference




Advanced Customizations Overview & other topics




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