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DForm Editor v1.0 Documentation


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This Document Copyright© 2003 WideW Software. All rights Reserved.

Contents

Overview

Dynamic Forms Databases

Creating a new Dynamic Forms Database

Editing an Existing Dynamic Forms Database

Deleting a Dynamic Forms Database

Editing Dynamic Forms

Creating a New Dynamic Form

Deleting an Existing Dynamic Form

Editing a Dynamic Form

Dynamic Form Properties

Creating Controls

Deleting Controls

Control Properties

Labels
Fields
Pushbuttons
Checkboxes
Date/Time Selectors
Popups

Moving Controls

Resizing Controls

Colors

Dynamic Form Preview

Color Themes

Preferences

 


Overview

DForm Editor is the application with which you can edit Dynamic Forms Databases. Dynamic Forms is a technology that allows PalmOS applications to have personalized user interfaces. The user can customize the interface to exactly fit his/her needs.


Dynamic Forms Databases

Dynamic Forms are saved in a Palm Database, which Dynamic Forms-enabled applications read to display the Forms that the user will see. This Dynamic Forms database is associated with the Dynamic Forms-enabled application, not with DForm Editor. This means that if you delete DForm Editor, Dynamic Forms databases will not be deleted. If you delete the application that is associated to the Database, the Dynamic Forms database will also be deleted.


Creating a New Dynamic Forms Database

Generally you will never need to create a new Dynamic Forms Database. Applications that use Dynamic Forms technology usually provide you with a Dynamic Forms database that you only need to install in your Handheld. You can of course modify the Dynamic Forms provided in those databases with DForm Editor, or create your own new forms in this Database.

If for any reason you wish to create a new Dynamic Forms database, you can do so in the first screen of DForm Editor, by selecting the option "Database / New" from the menu.

You will need to input the Creator ID of the application that will use the Dynamic Forms database. A Creator ID is 4 character long string that uniquely identifies applications installed in a Palm handheld. You should ask the Application provider for the Creator ID of their application, or you can use a third-party application to find out an application's Creator ID.

You will also need to input a name for the Database. This can be any string you wish, up to 31 characters.


Editing an Existing Dynamic Forms Database

When you run DForm Editor, you will see the above screen. This screen shows all Dynamic Forms Databases that are available in your Handheld. The name that appears in the list is the name of the application that uses the Database, if it is installed in the Handheld. If the application that uses the Database is not installed in the handheld, the name shown is the Database's name.

This list also shows how many forms each Database has.


Deleting a Dynamic Forms Database

To Delete a Dynamic Forms Database, you need to select it in the Database list Form. Then you should select the menu option "Database / Delete". You will be asked for confirmation to delete the database.


Editing Dynamic Forms

To edit the Dynamic Forms included in a Database, simply select the Database in the list and tap the "Edit" button. You will then see a screen that displays the Dynamic Forms that are available in the Database:

Forms List

From this screen you will be able to


Creating a New Dynamic Form

Create Form

To create a new Dynamic Form, select the "Form / New" menu option, or tap the "New" button. You will be prompted for the new Form's name. The name you input must be unique. There must not exist any other Dynamic Form in the same Database with the same name.


Deleting an Existing Dynamic Form

To delete a Dynamic Form, select it in the Forms List and select the menu option "Form / Delete" or tap the "Delete" button. You will be prompted for confirmation. Please be aware that any record that uses this form in the Dynamic Forms-enabled application that uses this database will most probably not be able to display.


Editing a Dynamic Form

Selected Credit Card

To edit a Dynamic Form select it in the Forms List and select the menu option "Form / Edit" or tap the "Edit" button. A screen that displays the Dynamic Form will be shown, as the one above. When you tap on any control in the form it becomes selected. In the above picture you can see that the second Field in the Form is selected. You can tap any control and drag to move the control in the screen.

If you tap the "Done" button, any changes you made to the Dynamic Form are saved and you will return to the Forms List view.

If your tap the "Properties" button and no control is selected, a dialog with the current Dynamic Form's Properties will appear. If a control is selected, a dialog with the control's properties will appear.

If you tap the "Control" popup at the bottom right of the screen you will be able to create new controls.


Dynamic Form Properties

Form Properties

To display the Properties of the Dynamic Form you are currently editing, select the menu option "Form / Properties" or tap the "Properties" button with no controls selected in the screen. The dialog shown above will appear. Here you will be able to change the Form name, as well as other properties. The form name must be unique. There must not exist any other Dynamic Form in the same Database with the same name.


Creating Controls

To create a new control, tap the "Control" popup at the bottom right of the editing form. You will be able to create:

Labeled Credit Card


Deleting Controls

To delete a control, simply select it and then select the menu option "Control / Delete".


Control Properties

Each type of control has different properties that can be changed to further personalize the look of your Dynamic Form. You can change the properties of the following controls:


Labels

Label Properties

A label is a static text that can be used to describe the meaning of another control. The properties you can change for a label are:


Fields

Field Properties

A Field is an area where you can input text. The properties you can change for a field are:


Pushbuttons

Push Button Properties

A Pushbutton is a button that is able to save an On/Off state. You can use it to indicate a Yes/No value. The properties you can change in a Pushbutton are:


Checkboxes

Checkbox Properties

A Checkbox is a control that is able to save an On/Off state. You can use it to indicate a Yes/No value. The properties you can change in a Checkbox are:


Date/Time Selectors

Selector Properties

A Date/Time selector is a control that shows a Date or Time value in a Format you choose. When you tap on a Date/Time selector, a dialog where you can change the Date/Time value appears. The properties you can change in a Date/Time Selector are:


Popups

Popup Properties

A Popup is a control that displays a String Value. If you tap on a Popup, a list will appear where you will be able to select another String value to display. The properties you can change in a Popup are:


Moving Controls

To move a control in the Edition Form, you simply have to tap the control and drag with your stylus to place it anywhere you want it on the Screen. There are cases, however, when using only the stylus is not a very precise operation. In these cases you can use the stylus to move the control to roughly the position where you will want the control to be, and then use your Palm's hard keys to move the control exactly where you want it to be. The page up / page down keys will move the selected control one pixel at a time in the up and down directions, respectively, while the Address and To do buttons will move the selected control one pixel at a time to the left and right, respectively.

If your PalmOS device has a 5-way navigator, you will be able to use it to move the selected control also. In addition, if you press the 5-way navigator you will open the properties dialog of the selected control.

If your PalmOs device has a Jog Dial navigator, if you move it up or down you will select the next and previous controls, respectively. If you press the Jog Dial, you will open the properties dialog of the selected control.


Resizing Controls

Not all controls in a Dynamic Form can be resized. The controls that allow resizing are:

You can resize them by selecting them and opening and modifying their properties, or you can resize them dynamically in the following ways:

Through the Menu

If you have selected a control that allows resizing, you can select the menu option "Control / Change Size". Then you will be able to use your stylus to tap in the control and drag. As you drag, the control will be resized. After you select the menu option you can also use your PalmOS device's hard keys or 5-way navigator to resize the control in a more precise way.

Automatically

By default, the behavior for resizing is as mentioned above. However, you can change DForm Editor's preferences to resize controls whenever you tap on them and drag, instead of having to select a menu option. Please refer the the Preferences section of this document to know how this setting works.


Colors

You can assign a different set of colors to each Dynamic Form in a given Database. This feature allows you to give a really personalized appearance to the Dynamic Forms you change or design from scratch. To change the colors of the Dynamic Form you are editing, select the menu option "Form / Colors".

Form Colors BW Form Colors

As you can see, it doesn't matter if your PalmOS handheld doesn't support color. You can also configure shades of gray, which can also give a new look to old forms.

The colors you are able to change in the above dialog are the following:

The difference between a Form, a Dialog and an Alert is as follows:

As you can see, you can completely change the look of your Dynamic Forms when you configure their colors. Here you can see an example of the same Dynamic Form with three different Color Schemes:

Green Email Form Gray Email Form Blue Email Form

We realize it can be a rather big task to configure all the colors mentioned above for each different type of Dynamic Form you wish to personalize. That is why DForm Editor includes a Color Themes facility, which greatly simplifies the task of assigning colors to forms.

If you have made a color configuration that you would like to apply to other forms, click the "Save" button in the Form Colors form. You will be prompted for a name, and your color configuration will be saved as a new Color Theme. Then you will be able to easily apply your color configuration to all the Dynamic Forms you want.

To apply a Color Theme to a Dynamic Form, simply select the Color Theme you want from the Popup at the top of the Form Colors form.


Dynamic Form Preview

When editing a Dynamic Form, you will probably want to have an easy and quick way to test how would it work in the real world. That is why DForm Editor offers you the Dynamic Form Preview facility.

When you want to see how the Dynamic Form you are editing will look in the application that uses the Dynamic Forms database, simply select the menu option "Form / Preview". If you have modified your form you will be prompted to save it. You will need to save your Dynamic Form in order to proceed with the preview.

While you are in the Dynamic Form Preview, you will be able to test how the fields behave when entering text, or how a Popup's list looks, for example. You will also be able to look how the color configuration for the Form looks, because the edition form only displays black and white controls. You need to Preview your form if you want to see the color changes you have made.

Please be aware that if the Dynamic Form you are editing doesn't have a "Done" button, you will not be able to leave the Preview. The only way to leave will be to quit the application and start it again.


Color Themes

In order to facilitate Color configuration of Dynamic Forms, DForm Editor provides you with the Color Themes facility. Color Themes are sets of colors that have a name assigned to them. DForm Editor includes by default several different Color Themes that you can use to apply to your Dynamic Forms or as a base for making new Color Themes.

Color Themes

In order to manage your Color Themes, select the menu option "Options / Color Themes". The above dialog will appear. In this dialog you will be able to change the name of a Color Theme or delete it. As mentioned in the Colors section of this manual, you create a new Color Theme by tapping the "Save" button in the Form Colors form.

In this dialog you are also able to change the position of Color Themes in the list, using the arrow up/arrow down buttons. In this way you can make more accessible the Color Themes that you use most.


Preferences

Preferences

To change DForm Editor's preferences, select the menu option "Options / Preferences". The preferences you can change are the following:


Copyright© 2003 WideW Software. All rights reserved.
Palm Computing, Graffiti, HotSync are registered trademarks of Palm, Inc. and subsidiary companies of Palm in the United States and other countries.
PalmOS is a registered trademark of  Palm, Inc.
CLIÉ, Memory Stick and Jog Dial are registered trademarks of Sony Corporation.
All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.