List Format Manager Configuration

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The List Format Manager is designed to give you the ultimate control of your Browse Box formatting (display options) to your users at runtime. You are essentially creating a table (file) that stores an unlimited amount of list box formatting strings, which are read and applied to your target browse box at runtime. Other stored formats are available via a popup menu, as well as a Format Editor to define new ones. These options are set on the procedure level, and can be accessed here.


When using the Listbox Format Manager during development, removal of a column from the list box may result in errors if the removed column is still referenced in a previous saved list box format. To avoid this, modify the saved listbox format prior to removing any referenced columns from the listbox.

The list format file can be stored in the active data dictionary, or defined within the specific application.

The following prompts are provided:

UserID Field

Enter a number to assign to all list formats used by this application. You can assign a different number to another application, which will only access special formats for that application.

Press the E button to call the Expression Editor. This dialog is used to help you construct syntactically correct expressions to use in the appropriate prompt.

Table Origin

Your table that stores the list format information can be created by your Application, or can be a table that is defined in your Dictionary.

We recommend that you allow the Format Manager to create a file for you (Application), and later import it into an existing dictionary. This will allow you to share formats between different applications that use the same data dictionary.

Table Configuration

If your runtime format file is to be defined in the application (instead of dictionary storage), press this button to access the Table Configuration dialog.

Dictionary Table

If you have selected Dictionary as the Table Origin choice, press the ellipsis to select the appropriate table name from your active dictionary.


The default file format is a TOPSPEED file, and is shown as follows:



key_Main  KEY(+CFG:ProcId,+CFG:UserId,+CFG:CtrlId,+CFG:FormatId),OPT,NOCASE

Record    RECORD,PRE()

AppName    STRING(30)                       ! Name of Application

ProcId     STRING(30)                       ! Procedure identifier

UserId     SHORT                            ! User identifier

CtrlId     SHORT                            ! Control identifier

FormatId   SHORT                            ! Format identifier

FormatName STRING(30)                       ! Format name

Flag       BYTE                             ! Default/current flag

Format     STRING(5120)                     ! Format buffer

VarLine    STRING(2048)                     ! Variable buffer




The file driver that you use from the dictionary may be modified, provided that the field and key labels are not modified.

Some elements of the format file can be modified as shown in the Table Information dialog.


SortOrder’s menu text

Enter alternate text (or a variable name using !variable format) that the List Format Manager will use to store the menu text used in generated "Sort Order" popup item. This allows for translation to alternate languages (e.g., Spanish) if needed.