Automatic Movement to Next Field on Form

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Automatic Movement to Next Field on Form

Postby lakey » Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:05 pm

Hi,

I have not been able to find any reference to this in the forum, so am posting this question/scenario. I have a form with 17 input fields each with pop-ups (very simple just 1 -9 for each field). It is used by evaluators to record a score for traits. For efficient (fast) data entry it would be desirable to move the focus to the next field automatically when the current field is filled. Can HanDBase do this in forms. This feature will be used on iPad and Android tablets.

Thanks,

Larry
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Re: Automatic Movement to Next Field on Form

Postby VelvetLounger » Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:36 pm

Larry, There is no way that I know to do this type of action. There is an action to Set Focus to Control, but that only sets focus to the control already selected. Not even sure why this exits.
Using HanDBase since I had my Palm 3.
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Re: Automatic Movement to Next Field on Form

Postby mjhanna » Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:09 pm

Oh, but I think you can do this, Larry, just not the way you might think of it. It will take a bit of work to set up, but with your simple 1 to 9 pop-up values you can use the feature of dual "Actions" for a set of buttons.

This is how I might accomplish what you ask:

For your 17 fields create 18 or 19 separate Forms (don't panic, 17 are basically copies of the same Form). For example:

Form one (which would be the default for adding a new record) would have a Form title of "Enter field one" and maybe some Label text about field one.
At the bottom of the Form would be nine buttons, with Captions 1-thru-9, like a keypad.
Each button would be associated with Field one, and have two Actions:
Action one: Set Value to Caption
Action two: Jump to Form, which will be Form two

For example, when the user touches the '3' button, Field one will be set to '3' and Form two will now immediately display.

Form two would have a Form title of "Enter field two" and maybe some Label text about field two. It would also show the (non-editable) value of field one at the top (which was set on the previous Form).

At the bottom of Form two would be the identical set of nine buttons, but this time they would be associated with Field two. Their two Actions would be similar:
Action one: Set Value to Caption
Action two: Jump to Form, which will be Form three.

[I would also suggest on Forms two thru seventeen an added button with Caption of "Back" and Action "Return to Form", which will return to the previous Form in case the wrong button was pressed.]

Each successive Form displays all the previous values, and the buttons enter this field's value. By the time you get to Form seventeen the sixteen previous values will be displayed, and the keypad will enter the last value. These buttons will then jump to Form eighteen.

Form eighteen will simply display the eighteen values, and have two buttons: one labeled "Back" like before, and the other labeled "Save" with the Action "Save and Close".

Data entry now only requires one button press per Form to enter the value, and the program automatically moves to entering the next value. All the Forms "look" like the same Form and keypad, but just magically successively add the entered values.

In practice I would create Form seventeen first with all the buttons and sixteen values displayed. Then copy that Form, delete the last value displayed and change the focus of the buttons. Now copy that Form for the next earlier Form, etc. For Form eighteen, copy seventeen, add displaying the value of field seventeen, delete the keypad buttons, and add the Save button.

Alternatively, if you wanted to show all seventeen traits and values on every Form, just highlight the text of the trait being entered on this Form, e.g bold and/or a color. All previous traits will display their values and upcoming traits will have no values. Use whichever approach makes a better user interface for your purposes. Either way this set of Forms makes the program "look" like it is jumping from field to field.

You could create a separate nineteenth Form with pop-ups as the default Form for Edit, or not have an edit Form and use the standard edit screen with pop-ups for editing an existing record.

Hope this gives you ideas,
Michael
(Only a user and not affiliated with DDH Software, but working with computer databases for over fifty years.)
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Re: Automatic Movement to Next Field on Form

Postby lakey » Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:09 pm

Hi Michael,

Thanks for your suggestion. I have created a prototype and I think this method will work! (I just have to create the 17 forms - even with copying the form, it still requires customization on 27 controls on each form).
I really appreciate your response.

Larry
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