How to add a field to a form


#1

Obviously you have put a lot of work into tutorials and videos. But I see no way to search for what I need. I have added a new field to my data sheet but I am unable to add the field to a form. Please tell me how to add a new field to a form. I tried with Text Editor and Text Display Objects. There was no way to connect the field to the form. Or where am I missing it?


#2

Place your Text Editor or Display object on the form in Graphic mode, show the Properties pane for that object, and the little magic wand tab will allow you to link the object to the field.

Check the videos in the Help menu for Form Design, and I think it will walk you through this.


#3

Aha, so that is a magic wand. Thank you very much. I see now. Could this app not be made more intuitive and user friendly? Apparently the target users are mainly a few high level programmers. If so, it will have a limited user base, no matter how wonderful it is. Finding and inserting fields into a form should be intuitive and easy. I should be able to search for answers in Help. Databases are difficult enough without hiding features. I will watch videos again.


#4

You need to change your thinking a bit Janet. Forms don’t have fields, only data sheets do. Forms contain Objects which can be linked to fields. So, you can display a field value in a form only if the field already exists in the data sheet.


#5

Panorama, like all database applications, is a programming application. It is actually a lot more friendly than most other databases, but in order to make it useable, you either need to program it yourself, or use a package programmed by someone else. While you can enter data into it very basically using the Data Sheet, and manipulate the data somewhat using the menu commands, that is quite limited.

Panorama also has an interface builder using Forms and Graphic Mode, as well as more sophisticated methods of customizing an interface such as Custom Menus. It also has robust automation tools through Procedures and graphic object scripts. The graphic objects have a lot of capabilities, include what you asked for.

But the thing is, you need to tell all of these things what it is that you want to do. That takes some planning, a lot of understanding exactly what things can do, and even some experimentation. That is programming. There is no getting around it.

Panorama sits close to the most user-friendly packages of its type out there. FileMaker used to be a little easier, at the cost of having less flexibility than Panorama, both in its interfaces and its programmability. I am not certain how much that is the case these days. Most other packages require a lot more work to make interfaces, and the programming is much more difficult.

There are ready-made solutions for many database applications out there. I myself use CheckBook Pro to keep track of my bank accounts, because I snagged if for free when it was offered for free, and it is difficult to write a Panorama database that can do what it does. But when I need to manipulate the data in it in ways that it cannot do, I use Panorama to do that for me. There are other people on this board who know other things about Panorama, and often they can help me. But no matter what, it is work to tell Panorama what it is you want it to do for you, and how you should do it.

There is a little rhyme that I always remember when things get tough:

I really hate this darn machine
I really ought to sell it.
It doesn’t do what I want to,
But only what I tell it!


#6

If you type text editor into the search box in the Panorama X help, only one topic comes up, this one. This is a fairly long help page, but the very first thing it tells you is how to link a field to a text editor object, complete with a little video showing how it is done.

Probably an even better introduction is on this tutorial page, which starts out with a step by step movie showing how to add a Text Editor object to a page, and then click the magic wand and link it to a field. Later on the page it shows how to use a Text Display object to display a field on a form.

You could find this tutorial page by working your way thru the entire tutorial, which I highly recommend or by enabling the Full text option in the Panorama Help and searching for text editor – this is the first match if you do that.

I’d also highly recommend this 14 minute video that demonstrates all of the basics of editing and displaying text in a form.

If you look at this tutorial page, you’ll learn a very easy way to basic forms that basically just involves choosing the fields you want to include. Then Panorama constructs the entire form automatically for you, with all of the fields nicely laid out. With this option you can take your data sheet and make a data entry form full of fields for it in less than 30 seconds.

I’m going to gently disagree with Bruce on this. You can go a long way in Panorama X without doing any programming. The answer to Janet’s question doesn’t involve any programming.

However, even if don’t do any programming, certainly Panorama is a deep program, with a lot of options to learn. I think that is what Bruce meant. You’ll get a huge payoff by taking some time to systematically go thru the tutorials and the videos. We worked really hard to make Panorama X as intuitive and easy as possible, but there is no question, it is a complex program that takes some effort to master, and the more effort you put into it, the more reward you’ll get out of it.

The way Panorama uses inspector panels to set attributes (sometimes called “properties”) of various items (fields, graphic objects, etc.) is identical to many popular programs, including Apple’s Keynote and Pages. I don’t think you would say that those are programs that are only for high level programmers. However, I would agree with you that this system is a bit daunting until you learn what options are in what panel, no less daunting in Keynote than Panorama. But I have yet to see a system that provides a more intuitive approach for allowing the user to configure dozens of options (Text Editor objects have 53 possible option attributes), and since this approach is used in several popular Apple programs as well as many other popular programs from other companies, we thought it best to use the exact same approach as these other popular programs. If you’ve used one of these other programs this system will be instantly familiar, though you’ll still have to take the time to learn what options are in what panel, as you would for any new program. If you’ve never used a program with property inspector panels before then you’ll have a bit more of a learning curve, but hopefully you’ll eventually appreciate that options are set up in a consistent way across different parts of the program.


#7

Ha ha. Love your little poem. I know technology is very literal.

I have great respect for people who can do complicated programming. But I don’t need all that and my brain isn’t wired for it. Apparently Panorama was easier in the early days. All I wanted was about 5 small text fields plus a long one with paragraphs. I was able to set that up myself and used it for maybe 10-20? years. I should be able to continue that in PanX. I would love an easier database like Bento, that FileMaker/Apple killed. (Any suggestions?) I do use Tap Forms for some things. What DB app exists on the Mac for low level users like me? And how can I export my paragraph field to another database? No one has answered that question. I am trapped in an app that is over my head. I think I can manage in PanX now for my simple form. But it is overkill and if it proves unfeasible, I want to know how to get out. Is that too much to ask?


#8

In PanX Help I didn’t know that I should search for Text Editor when I was looking for forms and fields. The search box didn’t even allow me to search for “fields” except fields for the data sheet, not how to connect them to forms. Maybe this is intuitive for young people and programmers but I’m not in those categories. Text Editor is not a search I would think of. Panorama must have been a lot easier in the beginning when I started.

It would be nice if you at least had email tech help so that I could get pointed in the right direction without making a federal case here.

And I ask my first question again - how can I export a paragraph field from Panorama to another app, perhaps a database? Over a year ago you assured me that the feature had been added to PanX. When I export with CSV it does not retain paragraphs. Please tell me how to do it.


#9

Provue is a small company. This forum and community is the personalized help, and it works pretty well most of the time. Probably as well as help from larger companies.

Your problem with exporting fields is an example of a problem that may not be answered by larger companies, because there are, in fact, two problems: exporting from Panorama, and importing into the other application. Help is offered only for one application, because it is not the responsibility of one company to know about every other application out there that someone may want to interact with.

That said, it is true that Panorama is not something that you can just launch and do things with without knowing something about it. Have you read the entire Tutorial in the Help menu? Have you watched the videos? (I have to admit that I have not, myself, but I have some experience from using Panorama from version 2.1. I suspect that is the case with a lot of people who are on this forum. I have a reasonably good understanding of where to look, and that is important.)


#10

Thank you for taking the time to reply, Bruce.

About exporting from databases, I think some standards exist that make it easier, but maybe not common. Apparently Filemaker and Access can export to other apps.

What about someone telling me what character is used for carriage returns so that I could possibly search and replace to retain them? Jim mentioned a “vertical tab character.” What is that and how do I type one?

It’s true that I would prefer to try an app and figure it out as I go without reading a manual first. But I have indeed gone thru quite a bit of the tutorials and videos and will pursue it again. Since my ability and needs are so basic, I wouldn’t have the patience to go thru everything. And I don’t think I should have to.


#11

This is a lot more difficult than it first seems.

On a Mac, the key-stroke which separates multiple lines in a cell is control-option-enter and you can’t include this in an Excel replacement string. As I see it, the only solution is to use a Visual Basic macro in the Excel file. I’m working on doing this in the most user-friendly way possible, despite VBA being arguably the least user-friendly programming language known.

Does anybody see a better way to achieve Janet’s desired result?


#12

I am not that familiar with Excel, but I would try entering data into an Excel cell formatted as I would like it, and then exporting it and seeing what characters are used for new paragraphs. Alternatively, I might import into Numbers and save as Excel.

Like I said, this seems to be an Excel problem, more than a Panorama problem.


#13

It’s not really Excel, it’s the CSV export that Pan makes to a generic spreadsheet format.

However, I just discovered something very interesting! I copied the CSV data from that sheet and pasted into a MS Word page. Voilal! It’s in a perfect format, paragraphs and all. Maybe that is importable into another database? Possibilities exist.


#14

Maybe with some apps but certainly not with Excel which changes the CRs to spaces.


#15

Try exporting as a tab-delimited file - that will certainly be easily imported into Excel - as long as you select the tab-delimited option in the Excel dialog box.


#16

I’ve written a Panorama X procedure which exports all of its host file’s contents as a tab-delimited text file. It can easily be modified to export only selected records or fields.

I have written a Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macro which imports a text file with the path (name and location) specified by the Panorama X procedure and retains all of the original carriage returns within cells. All you have to do is open its host Excel file and key in cmd-opt-x.

Is that what you want?


#17

Panorama exports CSV text based on the IETF RFC4180 standard in this document.

https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc4180

This standard specifies how line breaks in a cell should be handled, and that’s what Panorama does. However, guess what – the document above states that Excel doesn’t follow the standard (at least as of 2005)! Please take this up with Microsoft.

Panorama X already includes this, which you can access via the File>Export>Text (CSV) and File>Export>Text (Tab Delimited) commands.

If you want to export in a program, you can do these exports using the databaseexportcsv and databaseexporttsv statements.

Since these are implemented as custom statements, you can use Open View to examine the source, and see that they are implemented using arrayselectedbuild and the exportcells( function. Here is the critical line in the source of of the databaseexportcsv statement.

arrayselectedbuild exportText,crlf(),"",csvexportlinevisiblecells()

The rfc4180 specification is implemented in the csvexportlinevisiblecells( statement (in Objective-C).

I’m only mentioning all of this since I don’t want you (Michael) to re-invent the wheel on this. Hopefully Panorama’s standard export will work with your VBA macro to get data into Excel.


#18

I looked at those and I didn’t see that they satisfied Janet’s needs. What I’ve written is a procedure that, in any database, in all text fields, changes all CR to “#$#$” and exports the records as a text file with a predetermined name (which the Excel macro will look for). If Janet wants, she can nominate (in a form) which fields are to be exported. And she won’t have to fiddle about writing code like this:

which she’s not comfortable with. And it offers the opportunity to provide other options if needed.


#19

I don’t know if this is pertinent any longer or if this will be helpful, but I found that using control-return creates a chr(8232) character known as U+2028 LINE SEPARATOR (HTML &# 8232 ; · LSEP). This looks just like a carriage return in the text so I don’t know if Excel would treat it differently or not (I don’t use or have Excel so I can’t test this). To replace all the carriage returns you would use this formula either in the Morph dialog or with a formulafill in a procedure:

replace(«»,cr(),chr(8232))

If the text actually contains line feeds instead of carriage returns you would use:

replace(«»,lf(),chr(8232))

And if they are carriage return and a line feed as generated on a PC use:

replace(«»,cr()+lf(),chr(8232))


#20

Aha, you just said “tab delimited”, so I didn’t understand what you had actually done.