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Working with Bento Forms

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In this chapter you'll see how to display Bento data in forms as well as how to work with form tools and to customize forms with themes and fields.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Working with Forms

In Chapter 2, "Using the Bento Window," you saw how to use the Libraries & Fields pane to add fields. This chapter continues the discussion of fields and moves on to forms, which display the fields in a library.

  • icon.jpg Forms can show fields from related libraries as you will see in Chapter 7, "Expanding the Inventory Library with Related Data Fields and Collections," p. 107.

Every Bento library can be shown in a table view, which Bento generates automatically.

In Bento 3, a grid view is also generated automatically for each library. As you saw in the previous chapter, you can modify the settings for the thumbnails shown in the view.

In addition to the table and grid view, you can create and modify any number of form views. Every library must have at least one form view. In most of the templates, it is called Form, but you can change the name.

This chapter begins by exploring the Classes library template; its table view is shown in Figure 3.1. It contains a single record that is part of the template. In this chapter, you see how you can customize a copy of that form so that you have both the original and your modified form.

Figure 3.1

Figure 3.1 Display the Classes template in table view.

You select the fields to be shown in a table view by using the checkbox to the left of the field name in the Fields pane, which is at the bottom of the Libraries & Fields pane at the left of the Bento window. Because there is only one table view in a library, whether a field is displayed in that table view is an attribute of the field, and it can be set in the Fields pane.

In the navigation bar at the top of the Bento window, you can switch to the grid view as shown in Figure 3.2.

Figure 3.2

Figure 3.2 Use the Bento grid view.

The thumbnail in the grid view has been enlarged using the zoom control in the upper right area of the grid view. As you saw in the previous chapter, it can display a reduced-size image of a form or one or more of the images in a library.

In the navigation bar, the table and grid icons are always at the left. Moving to the right, you find a vertical dividing line and then one or more forms. In the Classes template, if you click the Form view you will see the form shown in Figure 3.3. This is a form view, and the default view is called Form in this and many templates. To be very precise, this is the Form form, but you do not have to worry about that technicality if it gives you a headache.

Figure 3.3

Figure 3.3 Use a form view.

The Fields pane makes a distinction between fields in the current library and those in related data. You can see this clearly in the Assignments & Projects Due Dates field, a field that shows related records from iCal. It shows up below the Fields section in a Related Data section, as you see in Figure 3.3.

In form view, you are able to rename a form, create new forms, and delete a form. (Except for the last one—there must always be at least one form in the library.) The form in the Classes template is called Form. For this chapter, you are modifying that form. The safest way to do that is to rename it "Original Form" and then to duplicate it and work on the duplicate.

try-it.jpg LET ME TRY IT: Duplicate and Rename a Form

Duplicating and renaming a form is a good way to safeguard your existing form before making changes.

  1. Change the existing form's name so that you can revert to it if necessary. To change a form's name, double-click its name in the navigation bar to open the dialog shown in Figure 3.4. Note that as you change the Form name, these changes are immediately reflected on the navigation bar.
    Figure 3.4

    Figure 3.4 Rename a form.

  2. You can also use Forms > Rename Form when you are viewing the form you want to rename.
  3. Type in the new name: Original Form, in this case.
  4. Create the duplicate by choosing Forms > Duplicate Form. Bento duplicates the form, with its default name "Copy" at the end.
  5. Rename the duplicate form from "Original Form Copy" to "My Form" in the same way you renamed Form to Original Form. Now you are ready to go.

Using Form Tools

You can customize a form in three ways. Direct manipulation lets you resize and move fields by showing their handles and then dragging the handles or the field to its new size and location. A selected form or fields within it can also be customized using menu commands. A button in the lower right corner of the Bento window lets you show the Form tools, as you can see in Figure 3.5. You have already seen how to use the Form tool at the left: It opens the dialog shown previously in Figure 3.4 to rename the current form. You see how to use the other tools throughout this book. Most of them provide alternate access to menu commands (for which you frequently have other access through keyboard shortcuts). Instead of the button, you can use View > Show Form Tools to show the Form tools.

Figure 3.5

Figure 3.5 Show the Form tools.

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