There are various ways of setting up a field, but not all are created equal. So how do we decide which field control style to use? Which one is the best?
Too easy, friends. The answer is…
Did you know I was going to say that? I know that I saw it coming a mile off.
So what are the control styles anyhow? You can format a field to use one of the following data entry methods:
- Edit box
- Drop-down list
- Pop-up menu
- Checkbox set
- Radio button set
- Drop-down calendar
Let’s go into Layout Mode and have a look. Check out the Data tab of the Inspector:
The Edit box is just a plain old field that you type in, and what’s wrong with that?
Well sometimes, nothing. If your field doesn’t have regular values that are entered record after record, then typing is probably the best option.
However, if there are regular values that are entered repeatedly in that field, then you really need to look at the other options. For example, if you have a field that always has either a Yes or No value entered, and you leave it as an edit box, then you are relying on your users to always type Yes or No without making any typing errors.
If you do a search for all records with a “Yes” in that field, then you won’t be able to find the ones that someone typed “Yees” in. That could be a problem.
So you need to start using value lists for some of these fields. Which of the field control styles should you use? Say it with me, y’all:
In the next post in this series, we will look at the uses and problems with Option Number 2: The Drop-down list.