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Time format display and input issues

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Guest

02-04-2009

Hi Folks



I'm a spanking new newbie to Livecycle having only wet my feet three

days ago with the programme so you will forgive my very inane

question 🙂



I need to create an online form for lecturers to fill in a time for

evaluation sessions they wish to apply for. My problem is that I have

no idea how to get the user to input the required format...I don't

need to have the data validated as it wont be used in a spread sheet

but it will be useful to know how this is done.I will have the suer

submit the form to designated email addresses and henec the recipient

will obtain the pdf form as an atatchmnet to a mail.



I understand there are four different criteria for the object field

i.e Display, Edit , Validation and data criteria.

Which one should I be using ...?I need the user to see how the time

should be formatted...should I just have amessage pop up when the

user inputs data (by the way my sample field doesn't allow me to input

an example of how I wish the time to be displayed...thisis what its

there for right???)or should I just an instructional comment next to

teh question i.e eg of time 15h00



The date feature is pretty nifty as I see it automatically uploads a

calendar for users to choose an appropriate date but the time feature

has me stumped. Is there no way i could have a mini clock or drop down

list with appropriate times for the user to choose from....:-).?

BTW am not a programmer so don't know much about scripting

languages ...hoping there is asolution which obviates the need to do

any scripting;-)



Would appreciate any advice on this matter/resources/websites etc. the help files on Livecycle come with no visual examples so am struggling a bit to conceptualise the solution.

Regards

Fatima

Replies

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Niall_O_Donovan

02-04-2009

Hi,



Firstly, it is a good idea to give the user an indication as to how the data is to be inputted.



One way is to use the Tooltip in the accessibility panel. Here you can input an explanation of the field and how to input the data. Secondly you can place static text (in a smaller font) beneath the field, which would look like "e.g. 15h00".



The time patterns are available for:

"Display" = setting how the time will look after the user tabs out of the field;



"Edit" = setting how the data will look when the user is editing it;



"Validation" = setting rules to check the time as inputted to see if it conforms to the pattern. If it does the user can tab out of the field, if it dosen't then an error message will come up.



"Data" = setting if you are merging / importing data into your form.



In you case, the minimum requirement would be to set the display pattern to time{H'h'MM}. This means that if the user inputs 1500 or 15:00, it will appear as 15h00 when the user tabs out of the field.



You could also set the edit pattern to time{H'h'MM}, which would mean that when the user goes back into the field it would stay at 15h00. If you do not set the edit pattern when the user goes into the field the time would revert to 15:00 during editing and then back to 15h00 when they exit the field.



Lastly you could set the validation pattern to time{H'h'MM}, which will only accept time inputted as 15h00.



I don't think you need the data pattern, as you propably will not be importing/merging data.



Another solution which might work better if you are assigning fixed periods of time (say 1/2 hour slots during the day), would be to replace the time field with a dropdown list.



In the Object/Field panel you can assign values to the dropdown list, for example:

14h00 to 14h30

14h30 to 15h00

15h00 to 15h30



Then when the user is filling in the form, they have (what looks like) a dropdown for the calander and a dropdown for the time period.



For reference, the help file within LC Designer is good, also there are reference documents on the Adobe website for Javascript and Formcalc.



I would recommend JP Terry's book on LiveCycle. It deals with scripting, but also the principles of good form design.



Hope that helps,



Niall
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Guest

02-04-2009

Hi Niall

Tried your solution but again when I test the document and input text in the time field -it does not change the text to the required format and also does not pop up with the tool tip message which I inscribed with the instructional text in the accesibilty palette( I assume this will pop up when the user clicks on teh field to input data...?)

I purposely inputted teh wrong format and all it does is come up with the fllg message i.e "Time1 validate failed"where Time1 refers to the field.I had set the validation pattern to time{H'h'MM} as you suggested [and chose to do this because ultimately need to know how to capture data ( as I am sure I'll be getting a request like this shortly:-)]as well as setting the edit pattern to the same , understanding that any inputted data by the user would automatically be changed to teh required format but no luck....Do you think my programme is buggy????
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Niall_O_Donovan

02-04-2009

Hi Fatima,



It may be that you have not saved the file in the correct format.



Using LiveCycle Designer you can generate static forms and dynamic forms. You want a dynamic form!



To achieve this follow these steps:

1) go to the Files/Form Properties menu. On the Defaults tab set the PDF Render Format to "Dynamic XML Form".



2) then on the Preview tab, set the Preview Type to "Interactive Form" and the Preview Adobe XML Form As "Dynamic XML Form".



3) when you save the form, make sure that the Save As Type is set to "Adobe Dynamic XML Form (*.PDF)".



When you do this the tooltip should be visible when the user hovers over the field.



In relation to the Time1 validation error, make sure that there isn't a pattern in the validation tab or that validation is ticked in the Object/Value tab.



We have just trialled this and if the user inputs 1530 it will change it to 15h30. Likewise with an input of 15:30.



Try saving as dynamic PDF and making sure there is no validation pattern first.



Niall