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Field - Data Entry Problems


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I recently discovered a problem in one of our files where users are able to enter any data they choose in a field that is defined as value list.


In detail, this field is actually a Global field which displays a value list of manager names.


However, if you double click in the field, the field suddenly becomes "editable", thus allowing a user to input any data, instead of choosing from the value list.


Is there a quick fix for this? My client is currently using FM 4.1.



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What you are describing is not a bug as such. All forms of list fields (including pop-ups) can be clicked into and manually edited by users who have the inclination.


If you want to stop users from entering data which is not on the value list, perhaps the easiest solution would be to apply field validation to the field.


With a global field such as the one you are dealing with, it is not obvious how to access the validation options, however there is a trick:


1. First change the field type to text.

2. Then you will be able to set appropriate validations (eg by value list).

3. Once the validations have been accepted, you can then change the field type back to global.


The validation specifications entered while the field was defined as a text field will be retained after it is changed back to a global field. The only shortcoming is that if/when a user enters an invalid value, the resulting dialog will not include the option to revert to the previous value.


If that is a concern, then I suggest that you consider setting up scripted buttons to set the values, rather than letting users access the field directly. For this, you would require a script for each value, along the lines of:


If ["PatternCount(YourGlobalField, "YourValue")"]

Set Field ["YourGlobalField", "LeftWords(Substitute("¶" & YourGlobalField & "¶", "¶YourValue¶", "¶")"]


Set Field ["YourGlobalField", " YourGlobalField & "¶YourValue" "]



...which will act as a toggle to include or remove the ascribed value, whenever users click on the associated button.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Room on the layout is one issue, but not necessarily the main one.


Radio buttons appear at first glance to only allow selection of one listing, and no manual entry into the field, as do drop-down menus - but it is not so in either case.


If a radio button field is selected (eg if you tab to it), the contents of the clipboard can be pasted into the field, but won't show up among the buttons unless they exactly correspond to one of the values on the value list.


If Drag'n drop is enabled, any text that is dragged and dropped (intentionally or otherwise...) onto the radio button field will be placed there, but again, may not be 'visible' to the user.


If shift key is depressed (intentionally or otherwise) while clicking on a value list, multiple values can indeed be selected.


Thus in some situations (and with some forms of erratic user behaviour) radio buttons provide no greater surety of data integrity than other list options. Hence the suggestions about validation and/or use of scripted buttons.

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Sure with validations will be better.

But to change field with assigned menu user have to have desire to do that change and do the paste or other stuff.

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