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Display Formatting

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Specify allows an administrator user to format certain fields. These are fields associated with a subform, so in general you can only edit the format of fields that have an ellipsis button (...) next to the text in the data form. You can edit these fields to show the data in the format you desire. For this example I am using a fish database and I am going to change the format of the determiner ID in the collection objects form. Currently, the format of the field shows the determiner's last name followed by a comma and then the determiner's last name. I would like to change the format of this field to:
(Title) (First Name) (Middle Initial) (Last Name)
I would also like to include spaces between each element.

The form before we change the formatting of the determiner field. (Current format is: "Last Name" + ", " + "First Name").

First start by opening the form customizer.

Open the form you wish to customize, in this case the collection objects form.

Click on the subform that contains the field you wish to edit, and choose edit/subform from the top menu bar. You may need to change the field type of the subform in order to edit the individual fields, which may not show on the main forms.

View of the form before we edit it. The determiner field of the collection objects subform has been selected.

Next select the field that you would like to format, and select "Field Properties" from the edit menu.

Click the format button.

The current format is displayed in the upper-right box. This box displays each field included in the format and expressions that separate the fields. For example, the box above has two fields, last and first name; the fields are separated by a comma (",").

Now to our new format.
Click the Clear button at the bottom of the upper-right box.
Next select "Title" from the left box. This places "Agent3.Title" in the upper-right box.
We want to add a space between the person's title and their name, so click the "add expr" button at the bottom of the upper-right box.

A box pops up and prompts you for the text to separate the elements of the formatted field. For this example just place a space in the text box. You can select to omit this expression if the next item is blank; this can avoid repetitious symbols (In this case multiple spaces).

Resulting frame
Now select "First Name" from the box on the left, and then add another space expression.
Repeat with "Initial" and "Last Name".
At the end it should look as the frame below.

Click "OK"

Make sure you save your new form.

When you enter the data form tab, it will show your newly formatted field,
Determiner in the example below.

Note: Changing the display format of a field does not change the way you enter data. When we changed the format of an agent field, we still need to enter data using the last name to find existing records.

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Created by cj
Last modified 2006-05-10 12:29 PM

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