Literal Fields display plain text and can span a whole row of a Template, this is ideal when giving clear on-screen instructions to users of how to complete the Record or to explain the data entry process. The text intended to be displayed to the user will need to be entered in the 'Default Value' box under 'Expressions'.
Tip: You can also use blank Literal Fields as Template fillers if you wish for a Field to appear in a certain place once in workspace.
Configuring a new Literal Field
To create a new Literal Field, you must first be in the 'Fields' section of AppStudio, here you will be able to click the 'Add Field' button in at least one of the highlighted locations below.
This will open the following page where you can scroll down and select the Literal Field tile or search for it in the top right bar:
Once selected you will be presented with the configuration options below:
- Label: Visible in the App above the entry box it makes clear to the user what data is being displayed in the Field.
- Identifier: This should reflect the label. The identifier is a system ID for referencing a Field. This ID must be unique per Field and must contain only letters and numbers starting with a letter. It must also be a minimum of three characters.
- Type: The sort of Field that is being configured - With some types this can be edited in the future providing the data type is cross-compatible.
- Read Only: Makes the data in the Field non-editable (Read Only) - This shouldn't be used for Fields that require manual data entry as this makes such impossible!
- Expressions: This is what you'll need to expand in order to type your text into the 'Default Value' box. However it is important to point out that the desired text the user wants to add, must NOT be typed into the large expression box. As an expression, is a logic statement to determine the value for a Field and in order to create an expression it will require the correct syntax. Therefore it will not catch the text typed as it will not be displayed in the same syntax and furthermore the objective for the literal field text is NOT to determine a value for a field, it is just to have a written phrase/paragraph not subject to changes.
This is what you will need to enter your text into that you want to be displayed in the workspace otherwise it will shows as blank. This can use HTML for cosmetic changes to the text.
If there is not HTML added, the displayed text will show as usual. Like in the first image below. However if the user wants to have cosmetic changes and implement HTML, the default value should look like in the second image below. Giving the following result as shown in the third image below.
Furthermore, the text in the literal field can be formatted to show as desired by the user. This is due to the ability of using Styles. The styles area available at the App studio home page sees the start of the introduction of the ability to style some elements of the platform differently from the default styles applied.
Firstly we need to create a Style that we would like to implement to our field. Use the following link to access the Styles article, where it shows how to design a Style and the options it has. Styles – Softools .
Using a personal Style will give the user the chance to configure a text which might be visually more eye catching or corresponding to the site or the purpose for which the user has the literal field text.
E.g. If the text in the literal field is to make sure that the person in the record understands something or gives an instruction, then thanks to styles it can be presented in a flashy colour and of bigger text shape. Or for instance it is rather useful if the user wants to add text the same colour to the site's main colouring.
The first two images below are an example of what styles looks like and how it would visually look after implemented, the above images can be compared to see the difference. However as mentioned above, use the link attached if more information on Styles is needed.
The first step to add styles to our literal field (after the creation of styles on the main homepage) is to head to the field we would like styles to be implemented on. Once selected, head all the way down to the bottom of the page, where the user will see an expandable section called 'Named Styles', after this is expanded via de arrow, the user would then have to select the option 'Add Named Style' and a new little tab will appear where the user will have the options of choosing the Named Style that was created previously and the element desired. More information about elements on the Styles article linked above, but note that for a literal field the desired element would be 'Component' . After those options are selected, press Ok and save buttons.
See the image below for a visual look of what should appear in your screen.
Here is a list with some of the commands that user would have to add in order to experience a different cosmetic changes to the text written. By accessing the link here, user will be allowed to find more commands which are not shown directly below.
- <b>- For bold text.
- <i> - For italic text.
- <em> - For empathised text.
- <strong> - For strong text.
- <mark> - For marked text.
- <small> - For smaller text.
- Include in Free Text Quick Filter: Makes the Field searchable from within a Report in order to filter down Records. It will return all records that contain the Search Text in Fields that have this property checked.
- Exclude This Field From Templated Record Copies?: If toggled, the data in this Field will be excluded from future copies of Records, whenever 'Template Copy' is selected for the copy.
Make sure to click the 'Save' button when making any changes in order for them to be added to the next app version. Once you have made all the changes you need to an application you are then ready to publish it to workspace.