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OpenOffice Writer User Guide
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Form controls reference

Form Control toolbar


Select

Select a form control to perform some other action on it.

Design mode on/off

Toggle between design mode on (to edit forms) and design mode off (to use forms).

Control

Launch form control properties dialog box. This dialog box can be kept open as different controls are selected.

Form

Launch form properties dialog box, controlling properties for the form as a whole, such as which data source it connects to.

Check Box

A box that can be selected or deselected on the form. You can label the box.

Text Box

Control to create a box into which the form user can type any text.

Formatted Field

Control allowing numeric formatting options. For example, you can set maximum and minimum values for the number entered, or the number type (decimal places, scientific, currency).

Push Button

Creates a button that can be linked to a macro. The label is the name that appears on the button.

Option Button

Creates an option or radio button. When multiple buttons are grouped together, only one can be selected at a time. The easiest way to group multiple buttons is to use the Group Box button on the More Controls toolbar, with wizards enabled.

List Box

Creates a list of options, as a pull-down menu, that the user can choose from. If wizards are on, creating a list box launches the List Box Wizard. This wizard is only useful if your form is linked to a data source.

If not linked to a data source, turn wizards off and create an empty list box. Then click the Control button and, in the List Entries option on the General tab, enter the options you want to appear on the list.

Combo Box

As with a List Box, you set up a list of choices. In addition a panel at the top either displays the choice made or allows the form user to type in something else. Otherwise this works the same as the List Box.

Label Field

A text label. The difference between this and just typing on the page is that, as a control, you can link a label field to macros so, for example, something happens when the mouse passes over it or clicks on it.

More Controls

Launch the More Controls toolbar.

Form Design

Launch the Form Design toolbar (which can also be opened with View > Toolbars > Form Design).

Wizards On/Off

Some form controls (List Box and Combo Box) have optional wizards. If you do not want the wizard to launch when you create one of these controls, use the Wizards On/Off button to switch wizards off.

More Controls toolbar


Spin Button

A spin button allows form users to choose a number by cycling through the numbers. Specify maximum, minimum, default and the step between numbers.

This control is not commonly used in Writer, as the number is not displayed. In Calc, however, a Data tab appears on the Control Properties dialog box, allowing you to link the spin button to a cell.

Scrollbar

Creates a scrollbar, with a number of options to define the exact appearance.

This control is not commonly used in Writer. In Calc, a Data tab appears on the Control Properties dialog box, allowing you to link the scroll bar to a cell.

Image Button

Behaves exactly like a push button, but displays as an image. Choose the image in the Graphics option on the General tab in the Control Properties dialog box.

Image Control

Only useful when the form is connected to a data source and a field in the data source exists that can hold images. You can add new images to the database or retrieve and display images from it.

Date Field

Holds a date. Configure the earliest and latest dates the field will accept, the default date and the date format. You can add a spinner.

Time Field

Works like a date field, specifying a time.

File Selection

Allows a user to select a file, either by typing the path and name directly or by clicking on a Browse button and choosing the file from a dialog box.

Numeric Field

Displays a number. Specify formatting, maximum, minimum and default values. You can add a spinner.

Currency Field

Works like a numeric field; additionally you can add a currency symbol.

Pattern Field

Pattern fields are useful when the form links into a data source. Specify an Edit Mask to restrict what a user can enter into the field. Specify a Literal Mask to restrict which data is displayed from the data source.

Group Box

The group box control has two different uses depending on whether wizards are on or off.

If wizards are on, creating a group box launches the Group Element wizard. This creates a group of option buttons (in which only one may be selected at a time). In most cases, using a group box is the best way to create a set of option buttons.

If wizards are off, a group box is simply a visual box to group together different controls. It has no effect on the way the controls operate.

Table Control

Table Control is only useful with a data source. If no data source is specified, you will be prompted to choose one in the Table Element Wizard.

You then pick the fields to display and, when design mode is off, the data appears in the table. The table also includes controls to step through the records.

Records can be added, deleted and modified in the table.

Navigation Bar

A navigation bar is the same as the Form Navigation toolbar (View > Toolbars > Form Navigation), but can be placed anywhere in the document and be resized.

Form Design toolbar


Select

Select a form control to perform an action on it.

Design mode on/off

Toggle between design mode on (to edit forms) and design mode off (to use forms).

Control

Launch form control properties dialog box. This dialog box can be kept open as different controls are selected.

Form

Launch form properties dialog box, controlling properties for the form as a whole, such as which data source it connects to.

Form Navigator

The Form Navigator is a nice utility, displaying all the forms and controls in the current document, allowing you to edit and delete them easily.

If you use the Form Navigator, it's a good idea to give your controls names (in the properties dialog box). The name appears in the navigator so, for example, if you have ten text boxes, you can tell which is which.

Add Field

Add Field is only useful if you have specified a data source for the form. If no data source is specified, an empty box opens.

If you have specified a data source, Add Field opens a list of all the fields in the specified table, which you can then drag and drop onto the page. The fields are placed on the page with the name of the field before them.

This is a quick and easy way to create a form from a data source.

Activation Order

Allows you to specify the order in which focus shifts between controls. You can test the order by leaving design mode and using Tab to switch between the controls.

Open in Design Mode

Open the current form in design mode (to edit the form rather than entering data into it).

Automatic Control Focus

If activated, focus is set to the first form control.

Position and Size

Launches the Position and Size dialog box, allowing you to specify both by typing in precise values, rather than dragging the control. You can also lock the size or position, so they do not get changed accidentally. For some controls, you can rotate and set the slant and corner radius.

Change Anchor

Just as with a frame, any form control can be anchored to page, paragraph or character and also anchored as a character (meaning that it behaves like any other character on the page).

Alignment

The Alignment button is disabled unless the control is anchored as a character. You can align a control in different ways, for example so the top of the control lines up with the top of the text or the bottom lines up with the bottom of the text.

Display Grid

Display a grid of dots on the page, to help you line up controls.

Snap to Grid

When a control is brought close to a grid point or line, it will snap to the grid. This makes it easier to line up controls.

Guides when Moving

When a control is being moved, lines extend from the control horizontally and vertically to help you position it accurately.

OpenOffice Writer User Guide
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  Published under the terms of the Open Publication License Design by Interspire