New/Edit Key Properties Dialog

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This dialog allows you to define a key for the currently selected file. See Also: How to Create a Key

The Dictionary Editor allows you to add keys and their components one after another, quickly. Each time you complete and close the Properties dialogs for one key, another blank dialog appears, ready for the next. Press Cancel when a blank dialog appears after completing the last key, to return to the Column/Key Definition dialog.


Key Name

To specify a Clarion label for the key, type a valid Clarion label in this field.

Remember that you cannot give a key the same name as one of the fields within the RECORD. One common convention is to use the field name plus the word "key," as in LastNameKey.


To place a text description for the key in the Data Dictionary, type it in this field. The description appears in dialogs such as the File Definition dialog. If you anticipate using many keys for your application, we recommend filling in this field.

Clarion's Wizards use this description when creating Browses, Forms, and Reports.


To specify a record key, static index file, dynamic index file or Order, choose an option button in the Type group. The Static Index and Dynamic Index options are disabled when the Require Unique Value box on the Attributes tab is checked, because indexes allow duplicates. Order adds a sort order definition to a template symbol (%ORDER) in a similar manner as a KEY without affecting the file declaration.

Note: Orders specified in a dictionary are not yet supported in the included templates. Some third party templates may use this option.


External Name

To specify a DOS filename for an external key, type a valid DOS filename in this field.

Require Unique Value

To disallow multiple records with duplicate values in their keys, check this box. This option is valid only for keys, and is disabled for indexes.

Primary Key

To establish the current key as the Primary key, mark this checkbox. The Application Generator adds the PRIMARY attribute. This may be required for certain file drivers.

The primary key must be unique and exclude nulls.

Auto Number

To specify the Application Generator should create code to manage record sequence numbers, check this box.

Case Sensitive

To sort according to case, check this box. When creating or updating the key, all capital letters will precede the lower case letters, as per their positions in the ASCII table.

Exclude Empty Keys

To exclude records with a null or zero value from the key, check this box.



Specify the components of keys (the field or fields)-using the Fields tab. You may specify more than one field for a key. Each field is appended to the Keys list in the Field/Keys Definition dialog.

The Fields tab features a list displaying the components.

Sort Order

Choose either the Ascending or Descending radio buttons to specify the order for the highlighted component.

Note: Not all file drivers support mixing ascending and descending components in the same key.


Calls the Insert Key Component dialog listing the available fields. DOUBLE-CLICK on the name of a field in the list, to place it in the key.


Removes the highlighted component from the key.

Move up/Move Down buttons

Moves the highlighted component up or down in the list.



Allows you to enter a text description describing the key. The description is solely for your convenience, and has no effect on the application. It is useful for situations in which other programmers may pick up your code later, or for when you expect to return to the project after a long period of time since you last looked at it.

This tab also contains read-only information about the selected dictionary element. It includes the date that it was created and last modified, version number, and user rights to the target element.



Do Not Auto-Populate This Key

Directs the wizards to skip this Key when creating primary Browse procedures or Report procedures.

Population Order

Specifies the order in which the wizards populate keys. Choose Normal, First, or Last from the drop down list. Wizards populate in this order: all Keys specified as First, then all Keys specified as Normal, and finally all Keys specified as Last.

User Options

The IDE supports 3rd party pre-defined DCT options. These options are stored in .dctopt files.

The dctopt file is an XML file with a schema of dctopt.xsd.

Any dctopt file in <clarion>/data/DictionaryOptions or <userdata>\SoftVelocity\Clarion\7.0\DictionaryOptions directories will be read by the IDE.

The IDE will also automatically detect changes in these files and update the list of available options

The default for SoftVelocity is <Clarion Root>\data\DictionaryOptions\SoftVelocity.dctopt.


To add a new entry, press the Insert button in the Options toolbar. In the subsequent dialog, you have four choices: Bool, String, Integer or Predefined. Bool is for Boolean type expressions, such as On or Off, True or False, etc.

If you choose String, the value has an ellipsis button to open a text window. This allows you to enter a string value. The maximum length for any option is 4096 characters.

If you select Integer, the user-defined option will be a numeric value.

Choose Predefined to get a property that is already defined in the designated XML file, located in the \BIN folder. This is used to set pre-defined properties for use later in the associated application. A drop list is provided to allow you to choose from the list. Selecting a property from this list not only adds the property but also activates it for use.

For add-on predefined properties, follow the instructions provided with your add-on template set.

See Also:

Using Wizard Options

How to Create a Key