Friday, January 18, 2008

UI redesign: getting rid of the outlines

In my last post I outlined a problem I had when trying to replace an outline with a combination of caption tables, tabbed tables and embedded views. Even using one of the hacks I came up with I still had one problem: tables cannot be made to fit to the screen height, and embedded views in tables do not implement the size to window properties correctly. I found a solution, thanks to SnTT, Don McNally and Slawek Rogulski. (Follow the link to Don's blog for a more complete write-up of what I'm about to discuss.)

The implementation is pretty trivial. A form can have a header. You put your navigation bits in the header of the form. The remainder of the form contains a computed embedded view. When configured in this way embedded views do implement the size to window properties correctly. If you set the left margin of the embedded view to 0.75" it lines up with the left margin pretty well. Here is what I have come up with so far.

Everything in the top blue section is in the form header. The rest of the form is taken up by the embedded view. The button panel in the top left is for one-click access to creating new records. I'll probably replace that with something like Create new [-----] [GO] and let them select from a list and click the GO button and just leave it at that.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the plug! Glad it worked for you. I know I was really happy to learn that from Slawek.