Typically forms in the system are used for data entry, and each form is very similar to the Customers form below.
Forms in General
All of the forms have similar characteristics and navigational techniques. Some are different and are explained on each help page for that specific form.
A form displays data from a table and is named to indicate the data in the table. Customers form manages customer data, suppliers form manages suppliers, etc. Fields on the forms will differ by the data to be entered.
Generally, a form has 2 tabs. The first tab is used to navigate records in the table. The second tab is used to enter data into the selected record.
If one is available for a specific table, the navigational tab will appear first by default when the form is opened. Thereafter you can click the tab heading to move to a specific tab.
There are 3 ways to navigate to the Details or data entry tab on any given form allowing you to review or edit data for that record:
- Double click anywhere on the line for that record
- Click one time on the record and then click the Details tab
- Click the Add button and the Details tab will open to a blank record
In most cases a record navigation tab will be presented to you when you open a specific form.
The default tab has a grid on it that is used to:
- Review data at a high level
- Navigate to a specific record
- Select a specific record to be edited.
Use the scroll command on the right side of the form to move through the records quickly. Double click or press the Enter key on a record when you want to open the details tab for editing specific data. Some forms do not have a details tab, such as the budget form or the supplier form. On these forms you will do your data entry directly into the grid on the default tab or into the fields to the right of the navigation grid.
Look for field and Sorting records
A typical form has column headings that will be in normal typeface or bold typeface. The headings in bold indicate that column can be sorted either small to large or large to small . Only columns with a bold typeface can be sorted. Only 1 column at a time can be sorted.
The Look for field is used to search the table based on the column that is sorted. To use the Look For field:
1. Click the column heading to sort the field you want to search
2. Enter a value to look for in the Look for field.
The form will search the sorted column of data for a value that matches the Look For value and displays the first record that matches. The search is left to right through the field. As a result, if you want to find the word “stairs” and enter the word “air” it won’t be found. To find “Stairs” search for “Stairs”. The CSI Categories form has an additional search technique that enhances this.
The search is not case sensitive.
Double Clicked Columns
If a column heading has an * included in the heading this column can be double clicked to change the data in the column.
In some case when you add a record to the table these columns may be double clicked for you automatically because that is where you will want to go next. A good example of this is the Budget form. Click the Add Budget Item command button and you are immediately taken to the Pick List form for selecting a Supplier. After the supplier is selected, you are immediately taken to the CSI Categories pick list form.
These columns can also be double clicked independently to change the existing data in the currently selected row.
In the case of Pick Lists, you can quickly select a value to bring back to a parent table by double clicking on the row. See Pick Lists for more information
Note: The double click could be considered a triple click if the field you want to double click is not already selected. For example. Suppose you want to double click the CSI Category field on the budget form to change the CSI category. If the CSI category is the currently selected field, then click two times to open the picklist. If however, the Supplier field is currently selected, then to double click the CSI Category field, you have to click one time to select the CSI Category field, then click two more times to execute the Double Click functionality on that field.
Detail (Data Entry) Tab
The Details tab will allow you to enter data regarding the specific record in the table. For the most part, the specific information collected is labeled next to each field. If you have questions about the specific content of a field hover over the field with your mouse pointer and a ‘tool tip’ will appear to guide you. On some forms the Details tab has another name. For example the Projects detail tab is labeled ‘Site Details’ to better define what data should be put in that record.
In some cases there may be a date field on the details tab. The date filed with have a calendar icon next to it that you can use to browse for and select the correct date. If you hover the mouse pointer over the field, a list of shortcut options will be displayed. My favorite is the ‘t’ shortcut which puts the current date into the field. To use the shortcut, while the date field is currently selected, press the ‘t’ button. Today’s date is automatically entered into the field.
If the record has a unique identifying number (Primary Key), that field will not be enabled for editing and is used for reference only.
Some fields on the details tab will have a turquoise background indicating that the field must populated before the record can be saved.
If you decide you don’t have the required information to input you can press the ESC key to cancel the entry process.
The Tab key is the preferred way of navigation from field to field although you can use the left mouse button for this as well. However, you will find that the mouse button may be inaccurate in selecting the entire field on a single click.
Command buttons are used to execute sub-functions on the form.
Selecting a command button
There are 2 ways to select and execute a command button:
- Click on it with the left mouse button
- Select it by pressing the Alt + Underlined letter on the button. For example, the Print command button can be ‘clicked’ by pressing Alt + I
Typical Command buttons and their purpose
The Print button will print the default report for that specific table. All records will be included in the report. As an example, the Print command button on the Customers form will print a report of customers from the customers the table.
Delete is used to delete a record in the table. In most cases, if the record is referenced by another table, the record cannot be deleted. For example, a customer record cannot be deleted if there are project records associated to it.
OK will close the form when you are editing an existing record.
Add is used to add a blank record to the table and will automatically open the Details tab. This will enable the Save and the Cancel buttons.
The Save Button will save the contents of the newly added record and any edited data in the form.
The Cancel Button will discard the contents of the newly added record or edited data. On the Budget form, you will not be prompted to save the changes first. The OK and Cancel buttons work alike on the Budget form.
If you are adding or editing a record and try to close the form with the red X close form option, you will be asked if you want to save the record. You have three options:
- Yes – save the new record (even though it may be blank)
- No – Discard the new record and any changes
- Cancel – Abandon the close form process and return to the form.
Closing a form
In general the easy way to close any form is the ESC key. This will allow you to quickly back out of a series of forms when they are open. However, a form can be closed in several ways:
1. Press the ESC key – this will close the form and cancel any edits that are in play. See Cancel above
2. Press the form’s Close button (Red ‘X’ in the upper right corner of the form).
3. Press the OK button.
Selected and Unselected records
Unselected lines will have a white background and black text
The Currently selected record is highlighted with a blue background and white text
The Budget form has additional color coding schemes.