Adding Fields to a Layout

In Layout Mode you can insert fields by selecting Insert > Field... or Insert > Merge Field... from the Insert menu.

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Fields are contained in rectangular boxes, their size and position is generally independent of other objects. Merge fields are best described as inline text, they can be inserted within any text box containing other Merge Fields and static text. Like this:

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In the Specify Field dialog you can select the table from which you can select the field you want to add. Tables store information much like a spreadsheet. Briefcase uses a relational database which means table have relationships to one another. For example Estimates are related to Jobs, they share the same Job ID and in this case it's on this field that the relationship is formed.

We can reference the Job table with the relationship 'Estimates to Jobs'. By selecting this relationship from the pull down menu we can access all of the data in the Jobs table.

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There are literally hundreds of relationships in Briefcase, some with complex definitions, the best way to find the correct field is to locate the logical relationships based on the table names and do a bit of trial and error when placing fields on your layout.

You can place a field anywhere on any layout, as many times as you want. You get different results by placing the same field in different locations on the layout.

For example:

  • Add the same summary field to a subsummary part to calculate totals for each group of sorted records, and to a grand summary part to get totals for all the records in the database.
  • Add a field to the header part or footer part to repeat data from the first record or the last record on the page as a header or footer. (For example, add a Last Name field to the header in a directory.)
  • Add the same related field directly on a layout to see the field's value in the first related record, or inside a portal to see values from more than one related record.
  • If you are working with a relational database, you can display fields from related tables on a layout. You can place related fields directly on a layout or in a portal. For information on whether you should place related fields directly on a layout or in a portal, see Deciding where to place related fields.
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