When a text field is dragged and dropped into the form builder workspace or an existing text field is selected, the text properties appear in the toolbox as shown below. Text fields are designed to store single or multiple lines of alphanumeric text (unless a Field Mask is defined as discussed below).
The following sections describe the various properties available for Text fields.
Field Name – The field name allows the form designer to define the field name stored in the database. Field names can be defined by the user or the default field name can be used; however, it is recommended that field names be defined by the user because they are utilized when creating conditional actions and identify the field in other areas of the system. Therefore, for ease of use and to easily locate and identify fields it is also recommended some sort of standardized naming convention be adopted and used that will be easy to understand when the study data is being viewed in reports or in an exported format. For example, a subject registration date field might be named SUBJREG_DATE. The first part of the field name is the form name (Subject Registration – abbreviated as “SUBJREG.” The second part of the name indicates the actual field (DATE). Field names can be edited as long as the form in which the field exists is not part of a published version. All field names are capitalized by default. Therefore, if a field name is typed in lower case after the cursor is moved from the field, the text will automatically convert to uppercase text. Field names have a maximum length of 30 characters AND cannot begin with a number.
To define a field name:
- Click on the text box next to a field name or highlight the text with your mouse
- Type in the new name of the field
- Press the tab or enter key
Suggested Rules for Field Names:
- Field names should reflect the label text of the field. For example, if the label for the field is today’s date, the field name could be, “TODAYS_DATE” or “TODAYSDATE”.
- Field names cannot begin with a number. For example 1_TODAYS_DATE or 1TODAYS_DATE. The text, TODAYS_DATE1 or TODAYS_DATE_1 can be used.
- For long Field Names only use the _ underscore to separate words.
- Symbols should not be used in field names.
Reporting Label – The reporting label allows the form designer to define a more user-friendly name for a field for export and reporting purposes. For example, if a field name is INC3 for Inclusion #3, the reporting label can be set as "Inclusion 3" so users who aren't familiar with a certain naming format or study design don't see "INC3" throughout the system.
If a reporting label is not set, the system will always default to using the field name.
Note: Text labels themselves can be related to the field they are associated with, via the 'Field' property. This simply causes the text label to follow the behavior of the related field in the event of hide logic being used on the field. The 'Field' property of text labels does not impact field naming in any way.
Type – Fields that are similar in design can be changed to other field types. Using the Type dropdown a “Text” field can be changed to a “Memo” field type using the Type dropdown as shown in the figure below.
Text – selecting “Text” allows any combination of text, numeral and symbols to be entered into the field;
Memo – selecting “Memo” allows for the entry of large amounts of alphanumeric information into the field and allows for scrolling (for specific information about creating a Memo Form Field, see the Memo Properties section below).
The Maximum Length field allows the Form Designer to set the maximum number of characters allowed in the field. If the Maximum length is not defined, the default length is 10 characters. To designate a Maximum Length for the field, simply enter the desired number of characters for the field to accept as shown in the figure below.
The Field Mask allows the Form Designer to set a pattern of how the text should appear in the field when the data needs to be entered in a certain way.
For example, to create a text field to capture a telephone number, set the Maximum Length to 14. Then, set the mask so that the code appears as a telephone number (###-###-####). When a telephone number is entered in the form, only the numbers and not the dashes will need to be entered.
The characters on this page define what the user will be allowed to enter. Any other character used will be counted as a "literal" meaning it will be displayed as is.
Note, If the intention is simply to populate a text field fully, when the user does not need to enter any text of their own, field masking should not be used. The suggested method in that case is to use a text label and set the label to be included in the data exports.
The ToolTip field is an optional property that can be used at the field level to provide a “Tip” or “Help Message” explaining how to complete the field or provide a reason or explanation for the field. The user will see the tip message when they hover over the field on a desktop browser.
Show in Log
The Show in Log checkbox should be selected if the form being created is part of a Log Form. Selecting this property for a Subject type form will show this particular field in the Log forms section displayed on the Subject Visits and Events Manager page accessed by selecting a Subject ID from the Subject Manager page (accessed from the Subject menu). Selecting this property for a Study type form will show this particular field in the Log Form displayed on the Study Forms page accessed from the Subject menu using the Access Study Related Forms… link. The Log Forms feature is only available for use on Subject and Study type forms created in the Study Form Builder.
Special Type – The Special Type dropdown control allows users to designate the field for a special purpose including:
Medical Coding attribute
Barcode scanning (mobile compatible).
Validations allow the Form Designer to define conditions that a field(s) value must meet (or not meet). The most common method is via conditional actions.
Required – Selecting the “Required” checkbox indicates the field must be completed. If the field is not completed, when the form is saved an error message will be displayed indicating, “This field is required”.
The exception to this rule will be when the field is being conditionally hidden.
The Layout Properties enable the Form Designer to designate the exact location on the Form Builder body/grid where the Text Field will be placed. The Layout properties allow the Form Designer to align various fields in a form so they are uniform and the appropriate size when the form is rendered.
Left (pixels) – This field allows the Form Designer to designate where the left edge of the Text Field will be located.
Top (pixels) – This field allows the Form Designer to designate where the top edge of the Text Field will be located.
Width – This field allows the Form Designer to designate the width of the Text Field. The width of the field can be expressed in pixels or a percentage using the dropdown control.
Pixels – This dropdown choice allows the Form Designer to designate the width of the Text Field by the number of pixels.
Percent – This dropdown choice allows the Form Designer to designate the width of the Text Field as a percentage of the total Form width. For example: If the width of the form is designated in the form properties is 800 pixels and a Text Field Width of 50 percent is selected, the Text Field Width will be 400 pixels wide (half the width of the Form).