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Creating a Cascading Dropdown in a Custom Form

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Level 4

Hi,

I've received a request to add cascading dropdowns in a custom form. In the past, I was able to use a matrix from which the dropdowns can narrow down values. I know I can use display logic to hide and show dropdowns; however, this becomes messy as we hundreds of rows with multiple combinations.

Has anyone encountered this issue and how were you able to address the ask?

Thanks,

LB

7 Replies

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Level 10

Hi Leif - yeah, unfortunately, to my knowledge, there is no way to accomplish this. We had to go the route where there were different drop downs (hence different field) and used display logic.

One thing that helped, we added a Calculated field on the custom form called "Subcategory" that looked at all the different drop downs and displayed the name of the one that had a value. So for groupings you just had the two fields to worry about instead of 9 different subcategory fields.

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Level 2

We use multiple drop downs and display logic as well. I am definitely going to copy the subcategory idea, though!

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Level 2

Hi Anthony,

Could you share an example of how you implemented this? it'd be really useful to see for the client i'm currently working with

thanks

Jonathan

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Level 10

I do have an example to show 🙂 So first the user picks a region and then based on that select, one of three boxes will appear via display logic. After they select their country, I have a calculated field that pops in the value so that when I'm reporting, I can use that field and get all countries in the same grouping/chart.

NOTE: You can see that the label is the same for all three fields but the name is different. That is important. 🙂

0694X00000J31XCQAZ.png

And for the calculation, I just did something like

IF(TEST REGION="North America",TEST North America Countries,IF(TEST REGION="Europe",TEST Europe Countries,TEST Asia Countries))

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Level 10

Same here. As mentioned by others, we have created "- Composite" fields using CONCAT to create a final value for reporting.

One caveat! If the user goes down a set of branches and changes their mind and backs-up, the original selected values get mangled-up with the new selections. This is because the display logic hack doesn't erase values if you-select farther up the hierarchy.

Maybe someone else can articulate this better than I can/ I just know if makes a mess of reports and the work-around (delete the custom form, re-add, and start over) is painful. Of course, so is manually reconciling it offline.

Does make me wish there was a "reset form" option.

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Level 10

Good point! I guess I have been lucky and haven't run into the issue (Although, now I feel like I need to do an audit to be sure. LOL!)

If you don't have too many options in the first drop down, maybe you could do an IF statement for the "subcategory" field so that you wouldn't have to worry if there is an old value in place.

If my audit goes poorly, I'll be redoing mine and will share. LOL!

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Level 10

LOL. Despite having only a three level hierarchy, there are 10 items at level one and 10 more each at level 2, so the multiplication gets out of hand fast (and the values change every so often). So IF statements as a psuedo-hash/error-correction isn't practical.

This mostly feeds two offline systems (one for asset management and one for financial reconciliation) so it's easier for it to be corrected in those systems. We've also taught our PMs how to delete the custom form and start over when this happens (really bugs me to teach PMs these sorts of kludges, but...).