DriveWorks Solo 15: Form Design [send feedback...]

Introduction

The form designer is where you will administer the controls you want displayed on each of your forms. It provides you with a great deal of flexibility in the way that controls are displayed due to its support for X/Y positioning for all form controls, and control over fonts, colors, and more.

Form
Designer

The main areas of the form designer are:

  • The alignment command group on the command bar
  • The toolbox command group on the command bar
  • The form design area
  • The forms list
  • The property grid

Understanding the Property Grid

If you click on a control, the property grid changes to show all of the properties of that control, and their current values, the image below shows an example of the property grid for a text box:

Property
Grid Example

The property grid is made up of the following areas:

  • Two buttons which toggle between categorized and alphabetical views
  • Two columns, property names on the left, and property values on the right.
  • A description of the currently selected property.

To the right of each property name is either a gray or a green circle.

A gray circle indicates that a value is a fixed or static value, meaning you can control it in the property grid, but you can't control it with a rule.

A green circle indicates that the value is dependent on a rule which you can build using the rules builder. If you select a property which has a green circle in the name, a button appears to the right of the property value which launches the rules builder.

User Form Properties

Properties for each User Form can be set by clicking on the form in Form Design mode.

These include:

  • Background Color - Sets the background color of the user form
  • Show Task List - Determines if the Task List will be displayed for this form.
  • (Tag) - Allows an alternative name or description for the user form to be entered.

Creating a Form Control

To create a new form control:

  • Make sure that a form is selected in the forms list
  • Click the toolbox entry for the type of control you want to create.
  • Give the control a name.
  • Click "OK"

The form controls that DriveWorks Solo supports are:

TypeDescription
Check BoxA control which allows a user to toggle between TRUE/FALSE.
Picture BoxA control which can display a picture whose path can either be a fixed value, or the result of a rule.
List BoxA list of options from which the user can select a single item.
Numeric Text BoxA text box which only supports numeric input within a fixed or dynamic range of values.
Combo BoxA list of options, in the form of a drop down list, from which the user can select a single item.
Option GroupA list of options, in the form of radio buttons, from which the user can select a single item.
LabelProvides a way of displaying fixed or dynamic text on a form.
Spin ButtonA control which supports numeric input within a fixed or dynamic range of values, and with buttons that increment or decrement the value of the control by a certain amount.
Text BoxA control which supports textual input.
HyperlinkA control that displays a label where a hyperlink can be set that opens a new window to a specified URL.
SliderA control that displays a slide bar which represents a numeric value.

Form Controls can be grouped so they move as one when repositioning is required.

To Group Controls

Controls can be grouped by:

  1. Select 2 or more controls from the same user form.
  2. Right click on one of the selected controls.
  3. Select Group Controls from the menu.

To Ungroup Controls

Controls can be ungrouped by:

  1. Select a group of controls from the user form.
  2. Right click on the group.
  3. Select Ungroup Controls from the menu.

Aligning Form Controls

To align two or more form controls, either box select (by click-dragging the form design surface), or control-select each control you wish to align, and then press the relevant alignment button.

The following alignment tools are available:

  • Align Left
  • Align Vertical Centers
  • Align Right
  • Align Horizontal Centers
  • Align Middle
  • Align Bottom
  • Space Evenly Vertically
  • Space Evenly Horizontally

Control guides allow quick and accurate alignment of controls when designing user forms.

Control guides appear when controls are moved on the user form.

Control Guides align to other controls in 2 ways:

  • Margin Guides - Snap a set distance away from another control.
  • Alignment Guides - Snap to the edges of another control.

Accurate Positioning of Form Controls Using Keyboard Arrows.

For fine tuning of control positions the keyboard arrow keys can be used move the selected control 1 pixel at a time.

  1. Select a single control or multiple controls to be moved.
  2. Press and hold the Alt key on the keyboard and the arrow key that corresponds to the direction the control is to be moved.
    • Alt + - Move the control(s) 1 pixel up.
    • Alt + - Move the control(s) 1 pixel left.
    • Alt + - Move the control(s) 1 pixel down.
    • Alt + - Move the control(s) 1 pixel right.

Testing a Form

You can use the "Test" button on the command bar to try out your form, and to set default values for controls.

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