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Finding Base forms horribly frustrating

asked 2016-12-24 02:50:26 +0200

paul1149 gravatar image

Is it really this difficult to make a form and align elements? Because I'm having a terrible time of it. I watched several installments of a tutorial on youtube, and he had it down very well. But I'm getting elements that don't move, don't align, overwrite each other, etc, and I can't seem to get one form of maybe ten fields done successfully.

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answered 2016-12-24 04:50:56 +0200

Ratslinger gravatar image

It's not too difficult when you understand some of the available settings. You can set up dozens of items in a short time with a little patience and practice and tools.

  • Objects which don't move - probably the Anchor setting. Right click the object (or it's the anchor tool on the Forms control toolbar), select Anchor, change to Page and you should be able to move it anywhere on the form. You should also accustom yourself to the other anchors.

  • Objects don't align - Here you want to use the Align tool, again on the same toolbar or right click. Accessible when multiple objects have been selected (hold down Shift key while selecting with each item with left mouse click). Once multiple items have been selected, use the Align tool to line up on left edge, right edge, top, bottom center horizontal or center vertical. A little practice here. Line up perhaps vertical first then horizontal.

  • Overwriting - Two ways I see this is a label field is longer than it needs to be. Just shorten it in the properties dialog. Another is copy and paste. Copy a control then paste and it will overlay the original. Just use the arrow keys or mouse to move it.

Best advice, just take a blank form, throw a bunch of controls on it and move them around, line them up, copy them etc. You'll get used to it in no time. Also be aware of grouping items. The Wizard does this where the label is grouped (connected) to the control and they move together. Again, right click for Group command to tie together or untie. Great use for Radio Buttons.

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Additionally, you can move items around by first selecting with mouse & then use arrow up/down left/right. You can also obtain a finer movement by holding down the Alt key & using the arrow keys or hold down the Shift key for larger movement.

Ratslinger gravatar imageRatslinger ( 2016-12-24 04:59:35 +0200 )edit

Thank you, Ratslinger. I did discover the Alt modifier for more precise positioning. That and the "Enter Group" command helped. I think all the elements are at the default Paragraph anchor, but some must be tied to the Page, as they do not move with the rest.

I have made some progress since my original post. Actually the page is well along. Now I have to figure out how to get a letterhead inserted near the top.

Thanks again.

paul1149 gravatar imagepaul1149 ( 2016-12-24 17:50:53 +0200 )edit

I've actually got the form pretty close to what I want now. Two more things remain. Is there a way to have the field boxes print as a simple underline rather than a four-sided box? This will be a form that gets filled out on paper by hand. Secondly, when I enter text in the text boxes and then save, it is lost. Some boxes I need to have persistent text. Thanks.

paul1149 gravatar imagepaul1149 ( 2016-12-27 18:41:27 +0200 )edit
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Borders only have Flat, 3D, or Without Frame. To do what you want, select Without Frame and then use the "Line" tool from the "Drawing" toolbar to place a line under the control. This should give you the effect wanted. For persistent text, set this in the controls' properties under "Default text".

Ratslinger gravatar imageRatslinger ( 2016-12-27 18:57:41 +0200 )edit

Thank you, Ratslinger. After I experiment I will answer on the new thread, here. I started a new thread because Comments on this platform do not promote a thread to the top of the list.

paul1149 gravatar imagepaul1149 ( 2016-12-27 23:09:42 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2016-12-24 02:50:26 +0200

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Last updated: Dec 24 '16