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Linked Fields Display

Several methods are available for displaying Linked Fields. The display of a linked field depends on the type of the linked field and on whether it allows just one value or several values to be entered. In general, fields linked to the other table are provided with a user input aid to the right of the field box allowing the user to select a valid value from the source table's field.

Single Value Fields

For fields that can only hold a single value from the source table, you can choose between the display of a drop-down list of values - " Value List", a field input box with a pop-up search window - "Box with pop-up", or a regular input box - "Box only". For an example of these input aids, see Link to Single Field.

When a linked field has been filled with a value, it is displayed as a link when viewing or editing the record. Clicking on the link opens a view of the linked record.

There are two exceptions to this rule when editing a record. If you choose to display the field as a drop-down list or as a simple text box without any input aid, then the field will not display as a link during record edits. First, this is because HTML drop-down lists cannot act as hyperlinks. The reason that "simple text box" inputs do not display as links is this: if the text were displayed as a link without an input aid, there would be no way for the user to change it. Of course, in View mode, the linked fields are always displayed as links.

Plain text View Only Fields

Additionally, linked fields can display as plain text or a text box with lookup.

The plain text only option allows long text strings from linked fields to be displayed without the underlying link to the source record. This also allows linked fields containing URLs to redirect clicks to the URL and not to the linked record.

The plain text with lookup is a good option for fields where a default value is supplied but may need to be changed, as in the case where a power user creates a record on behalf of an end user. This box allows you to begin typing over the current value to input a search, instead of clicking search and inputting search terms on a separate screen.

Multiple Value Fields

If the linked field can hold more than one value from the source table, the field is displayed as an embedded table within the current record. For example, a Related Records tab may include an embedded table of contracts within a company record:

In another case, you might have a table with all software programs owned by your company and import the names of all software you have loaded on a given computer from that table. This could be implemented using a series of checkboxes, or displaying the records that you imported from the source table. When displaying records, click the Magnifying Glass to produce the Search window, which allows you to add a link to the selected records. You can also select records and click Unlink to remove the link to the selected records from the source table.

Displaying Embedded Tables

When records are displayed as an embedded table, you can choose the table view and customize the action bar from the Display tab of the Linked Fields wizard. You'll typically want to use an action bar that's different than the main action bar on the source table. You might also exclude print, email, or other actions that won't be useful on the embedded table. When using the search function from the action bar, the searchable fields are the fields you selected on the Fields tab when defining the linked set.

Depending on the fields in your linked set, you may also want to create a special view for the embedded table that includes those fields. You can also allow the user to select a view from the action bar or remove that option and force the table to be displayed with whatever view you choose.