Display Features

… more attractive presentations

We plan a major overhaul of form editing and display in a future release. In ChemFinder 5, we have added a few small but handy features.

Numeric Formatting

ChemFinder 5 makes it possible to specify how numeric data should appear when presented in form, table, ascii output file, or hard copy. You can choose between normal or scientific notation or currency format, and specify the position of the decimal point and other details.

To specify numeric formatting:

  1. Open a form with a field of numeric data, preferably floating point (for example, MolWeight).
  2. Right-click on the numeric data box and choose Properties to bring up the Box Properties dialog. Note the new appearance of this dialog:

  4. Click Format to bring up the new Numeric Format dialog (see diagram below).
  5. Choose the format you prefer:

  1. Click OK to apply the formatting to the current form box.

When numeric formatting is applied to a form box, it also applies to the same data in table view, and to that data when exported via File Export Delimited Text.

Testing Suggestions

Box Hiding

Notice the new radio buttons on the Box Properties dialog, in the frame labelled Is Visible In. These buttons allow you to automatically show or hide form boxes when switching between query and browse modes.

This feature is useful if you are developing forms for end users. In a complicated form, it may not be obvious which fields are useful for searching. Some, such as picture fields, may not be searchable at all. To avoid user confusion, you may choose to have non-searchable boxes disappear from the screen during query entry. You may also choose to have other boxes appear, such as boxes giving instructions.

To show or hide boxes upon entering query mode:

  1. Select a box. Right-click on it to bring up the Box Properties dialog.
  2. In the Is Visible In frame, choose a radio button:
  1. Click OK to apply the property to the box.
  2. Take down the form layout tools in order to see the selected action. All boxes are always visible when you are in form layout mode.

Testing Suggestions

Scrollbars on Data Boxes

Also new on the Box Properties dialog is the ability to add vertical scrollbars to any data box. This is useful for boxes containg extensive or multi-line data. Previously in order to scroll data within a box it was necessary to move the cursor within the text.

To apply scrollbars to a data box:

  1. Select a box. Right-click on it to bring up the Box Properties dialog.
  2. Check With Scrollbars to attach a scrollbar to the selected box. Uncheck to remove the scrollbar.
  3. Click OK to apply the property to the box. If you chose to apply a scrollbar, it appears at the right of the box. The scrollbar is dimmed if all text fits within the window.

Testing Suggestions

Form Background Color

In ChemFinder 5, you can choose a color for the background of your forms. There is a default color for new forms, or you can choose a different color for each one. You can also choose a different color to be displayed when the form goes into query mode.

To set the background colors for a form:

  1. Right-click an empty space on the form and choose Properties to bring up the Form Properties dialog.
  2. Choose the Form tab.
  3. To set the form background color, press Form Background Color. Choose a color from the color dialog.
  4. To set the query mode background color, press Query Mode Background and choose a color.

To set the default background colors:

  1. Choose File Preferences to bring up the Preferences dialog.
  2. Choose the Color tab.
  3. Select the form and query background colors as above.

Testing Suggestions

Add Mode Enhancements

In ChemFinder 5, we have eliminated a problematic earlier feature in which attempting to access an empty list or database automatically switched the form into Add mode. Instead, you can now enter data into a form, then commit it. If the database is empty, the program will automatically switch into Add mode upon commit.

We have made related improvements in assigning molecule ID's automatically upon adding new records.

Testing Suggestions