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Managing Column Layout in Forms -
I have found that I spend considerably more time laying out columns than any other of my processes

The layout of fields in a logical order from a data input perspective and getting the columns sequence 1 and 2 correct is most important from a user friendly perspective. It does prove time consuming.

By changing the existing layout design process, to a drag and drop type concept, where you can move the fields around into column and sequence position on the form, while in a form layout design mode, would radically enhance the speed of application development.


Anthony Carter
Date Created
6/15/2007 5:35:47 PM
Date Updated
1/30/2018 3:16:08 PM
Promoted By
Adrian ThompsonTony Thorstadmartin oliver
Ton JenseNicklas Helgessongerardo garcia
Gii SystemsbeoLiquid Rapid
Rick CogleyAnatoliy ZachynskiyGraham White
walhhornPhilipp Matuschka (MMB)Dal Ben, David
Frédérik_DussaultBrian Petersbasenine
Michael RennertKevin SmithMatthew Porter
John ElcikPhilippe FaureKevin Cook
Damar ChristopherScott MillerAnthony Carter
basenine 5/19/2009 12:03:49 AM
Just like moving a calendar event in Google Calendar or iGoogle (the personalised Google page), it should be a simple drop and drag set up for forms view.
Philipp Matuschka (MMB) 6/24/2010 4:09:18 PM
And add to that the possibility of maybe additional columns.
Rick Cogley 7/6/2010 1:37:49 AM
Coming from the Dabble world, they have drag-and-drop reordering in table views, and in forms which has proven quite good and useful. However, it has also occasionally been buggy, in that all of a sudden, the form will "forget" where things are and reset them. I do not know the mechanics of this to say if it is hard or easy to implement, but when it works, it really works.
Kirill Bondar  Staff  10/26/2010 10:25:29 AM
You can enable it in Setup > Tools > Labs
Graham White 10/26/2010 7:23:14 PM
It's a definite improvement. Would also be useful if fields could be deleted in this view, e.g. by dragging off the form. Adding fields by dragging onto the form would be even better!
basenine 10/26/2010 7:44:23 PM
Yep - That's spot on... Graham - I think the third column is the add/remove column

Well done Kirill and staff
basenine 10/26/2010 7:48:06 PM
Hey you know what would make this even better... 4 Checkboxes (in line with the column name) that relate to Required - View - Edit - Read Only.

That would speed things up too
Gii Systems 10/29/2010 1:43:47 AM
This feature is great! Thanks Development team!
basenine 11/16/2010 11:57:46 PM
This would also work better if you could add a blank line in either column 1 or 2...
Slava Shinderov  Staff  11/17/2010 4:55:30 AM
@Brett you can use "dummy" section placeholder from the top right corner of layout screen if you need to create blank spaces in columns.
basenine 11/17/2010 4:44:46 PM
Thanks Slava,

I had tried that but it only drags a blank column to either the top or bottom of a section... It would be good to be able to split the section where ever the user wants.

basenine 11/17/2010 7:43:33 PM
This idea would also be good for shifting/reordering columns in the setup screen.

The easy click and drag to a location is much better than going through the add Select and click up or down....
Liquid Rapid 11/17/2010 8:01:26 PM
I agree with Brett. This sort of click-and-drag interface would be useful everywhere that items can be reordered. Especially in table columns, and also in: reordering tables in an application and reordering columns on views. I have large numbers of items in all three of those places, and reordering is always time-consuming.
basenine 11/23/2010 4:47:47 PM
Hi there Slava,

I worked out how to split the section - it must have been late at night when I couldn't get it to work!!

Philipp Matuschka (MMB) 1/10/2012 11:21:28 AM
I guess this case has been largely superseded by the new screen layout, which I think is a great improvement. However there is one thing I would like to see changed. At the moment I can only determine whether a particular filed apperas in the same row. I actually would like to be "absolute" about this. IE have the ability to see that this field will always appear in the third column of form. This is particularly applicable where I am showing a series of values and at the bottom the addition or other result of those values. At some later stage I remove a field from a table, which in return removes it from the form which in turn makes the above skew. It would also be useful to be able to allign numeric fields by virtue of the decimal point.
Damon Savage 3/7/2012 12:50:08 PM
Additionally, what would really help would be the ability to create custom buttons that interact with the form and are imbedded inside an actual form during "edit" mode.
Jennifer Shore 12/11/2013 3:31:24 PM
I have the lab enabled but don't see a layout button. Should I call my optometrist?
Kirill Bondar  Staff  3/24/2014 7:11:30 AM
Implemented for "Grid Form Layout" as well.

Please make sure both "Grid Form Layout" and "Form Layout with Drag & Drop" are turned on in Setup | Database | Tools | Labs;

Once turned on:

1. Setup | table | Forms | Customize form layout will introduce new "Edit Layout" button to navigate to drag-and-drop layout editor.
2. Clicking Setup button on view/edit form will navigate directly to a new layout editor.
3. The editor effectively replaces New Section, New Text, Edit Columns, Edit Sections and Reorder pages.

* You can drag near the right edge of the section or element to change its size.
* Start dragging anywhere else to change element's position.
* Clicking gear icon or double clicking on element will invoke element's property editor. There is also "Remove" button to remove element from the form.
* The bar on top of the editor contains draggable list of columns and placeholders for new section and new text block.

Tony Thorstad 3/24/2014 8:30:28 AM
Thanks for this improvement. I really like it. Would be great if this function worked for views & filters. Just a thought. Thanks for all you do.
Jennifer Shore 3/24/2014 8:34:42 AM
For those of us who are "self taught," this was an unexpected surprise this morning. My folks are going nuts with "what happened to the database?" Thankfully, it's not hard to learn how to do so I haven't had to spend days re-working everything.

Next time something changes our database this much, can I get a heads up? Thanks!
Philipp Matuschka (MMB) 3/24/2014 2:07:10 PM
Hey guys, I am seriously upset. We got no warning of this and all of our screens are affected, some unuseable. We have no development resource scheduled to deal with this. What do I do now.
Kirill Bondar  Staff  3/24/2014 2:30:05 PM
@Phillipp, could you please send us some screenshots along with os/browser at support desk?
basenine 3/24/2014 5:27:35 PM
Nice work.

I had a customer complaint this morning that falls in line with Phillipp's experience. You obviously reverted something back though so my client is happy again.
Kirill Bondar  Staff  3/24/2014 6:01:18 PM
@Philipp, @basenine - before drag-and-drop editing we were calculating section's width based on a widths' of columns and text blocks within the section. With drag-and-drop you are able to specify section width explicitly. The issue Philipp reported was caused by a small bug in handling transition from automatic width calculation to explicit width - fixed.
basenine 3/24/2014 6:07:39 PM
After rereading my comment, I realised that the 'nice work' May have been interpreted as sarcastic...oops! I genuinely meant 'nice work - looks good and works well'... 😃

Then I followed on with the customer experience/report.

Another fine example of the written word vs the spoken word😉
Nielsen Norman Group 7/10/2014 3:35:50 PM
this drag and drop is a really nice feature. It seems to have a bug when adding "text" elements. whenever I add a new one, it seems to randomly shuffle a lot of the adjacent fields around into different sections.
Philipp Matuschka (MMB) 9/10/2014 10:34:11 AM
I have experienced the same problem. While I like the drag and drop concept, I think the implementation is still a little rough around the edges and definitely slower than the old method
Adrian Thompson 5/12/2017 9:51:52 AM
When fully functioning this will be much better than the old method. I've had to switch back to old method though because it's very unstable at "dropping" just where you want it without other fields shuffling incorrectly.

I'm using Chrome on Mac which maybe the cause at my end of the problems.
Scott Miller 5/12/2017 9:54:44 AM
I concur with comments above. Quite often I will save a new layout and the column layout that I am presented with does not represent that which was saved.
Bernhard Schulz 5/13/2017 1:46:21 PM
Same here
Dean Guidry 1/30/2018 3:16:08 PM
The data appears in a foreign language.
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