Editing Specification Form Fields

This help file applies to an out-of-date version of MainBoss.
The most recent version of MainBoss is MainBoss 4.2.4.
For the latest version of this help file can be found here.

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You create or modify the fields in a specification form using the specification field editor. The usual way to open the editor is to click New Specification Form Field or Edit in the Fields section of a specification form record. (See Editing Specification Forms.)

If a specification form is being used by a unit record, MainBoss will not let you change the fields in the form.

The specification field editor window contains the following:

Specification Form: A read-only field specifying the form that contains this specification field.

Field Name: A unique name identifying this field. In custom layouts, you can use this field name in a construct that represents the value of the field. For example, if the name of the field is MyField, then <MyField/> represents the value of the field in a custom layout.

Field names are case-sensitive; for example, NAME, name and Name are all different names (although using such names could lead to confusion). Field names must start with an alphabetic character and can only contain letters and digits.

Edit Label: The label that should appear when people are actually filling out the specification form. It's often useful (and less confusing) if "Field Name" and "Edit Label" are the same. However, see below for exceptions.

Field Size: The maximum number of characters that can be used in the value of the field.

Field Order: A number that is used when determining the order in which fields are displayed. Typically, set "Field Order" to 1 for the field you want to appear first on the form; set "Field Order" to 2 for the field you want to appear second; and so on. (In general, fields are arranged by "Field Order" from lowest value to highest.)

Save: Saves the current record. The editor window stays open in case you want to make more changes to the same record.

Save & New: Saves the current record and sets up the window for you to enter a new record. Fields in the new record will be blank or set to default values.

Save & Close: Saves the current record and closes the editor window.

Cancel: Closes the window without saving any changes you've made to the record since the last time you saved. When you Save the record, the Cancel button changes to Close, indicating that you can safely close the window without losing any changes.

Close: Closes the window. This button only appears after you've saved changes with Save or before you've entered any data at all. Otherwise, the button is labeled Cancel.

Field Names and Labels: Field names must be unique; labels do not. As an example, consider a heat pump that can be used as either a heater or an air/conditioner. You might want a specification that looks like this:

    Power consumption: ____
    Volts: ____
    BTU: ____
    Power consumption: ____
    Volts: ____
    BTU: ____

Notice that several fields have the same labels: two fields labeled Power consumption, two labeled Volts and two labeled BTU. However, every field must have a unique field name. You might use field names like

Heating Power
Heating Volts
Heating BTU
Cooling Power
Cooling Volts
Cooling BTU

For more on setting up specification forms, see Specification Forms. For more on using specification forms, see Specifications.

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