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Tips for Newbies (like me) - Form Panels

Workflow Hero
3 8 3,922

I jumped right in to building a form... I got this!

 

I plugged away adding items as fast as I could and before I knew it I had a decent size form put together.

 

Time to run it! Well. yeah my layout in the forms designer looked a whole lot better than in runtime.

Controls were overlapping, pushed to the left, pushed to the right........ When applying rules especially hiding and showing items would totally shift items at will.

 

I got some great support from Nintex after many hours of struggling to get the form to behave the way I wanted it to.

Bottom line: Panels

 

Avoid just dropping items on a form. Use panels to group your form elements into logical sections.

Here's an example of how Panels helped solve a problem:

 

I applied a rule that would hide the text seen below after a date was entered into the form. Just laying the controls on the form, when the rule executed, the remaining controls would shift and end up on top of each other. 

By adding a Panel to my form and I placed all of the controls inside the panel, the rule executed and the layout behaved as expected.

 

If you find yourself having issues with your layout shifting at runtime or after applying a rule, consider Panels.

8 Comments
Workflow Hero

Great post!

Panels are also helpful because if you need to move around your grouped data, it all is held by that bucket.


THREE CHEERS FOR PANELS!

Workflow Hero

Thanks for the tip. I think it's very usefull to write about these topics as many of us appeared to have the same issues.

The Form design becomes even more challenging when you decide to use hide rules. In this case you need to take into account that when panels in between become hidden, they will not automatically clear the space in between. In that case you need to horizontal organize the fields. I will try to share a couple of examples, challenging myself at the moment.

Workflow Hero

I'm new to this and struggling, but I've been able to figure out how to hide the panels and have them show with a choice control.  However, I have not been able to figure out how to fix the overlap.  Everything I've come across says make sure that panels don't overlap in the form.  They don't overlap.  Says also that it should automatically pull to the top of the screen automatically depending on the choices selected.  I have 2 problems:

1.  They overlap even though in the form they don't.  And it is from 2 different forms/panels that overlap.  Anyone know how I can fix this? 

Overlap in preview

panel overlap in preview

Don't overlap in forms view

form shows no overlap

2.  I want the comments to appear in-between my submitter information and the card that is selected, so that they make the selections Green, Yellow, Red, N/A first then add comments after.  How can I fix the blank space in-between and have it move with the form panels?

lots of white space on form 

Workflow Hero

hi all,

 

is there a way to put a panel over controls ? 

 

Or do I always have to put the panel down first and then put the controls inside the panel?

 

I've just been building a form and realised it will be easier to use a panel for some of the functionality but was hoping to avoid having to put each of the controls and labels into the panel one by one.

 

thanks

 

john

Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

@johnfriday13 my advice here would be to expand your form if possible, add your panel and then use the mouse to grab all the controls you want in the panel. Drag them into the panel.

 

Another option would be to add the panel, right click and send to back. Then highlight with ctrl > select each control and bring to front, then drag them slightly. You should see the panel change colors meaning the controls are showing within the panel.

 

Tinker with it and see which one is easier. 

Eric

Workflow Hero

thanks @eharris04 that's a good solution

Community Manager Community Manager
Community Manager

@johnfriday13 please mark the response that best suits a correct answer for others.  Cheers!

Workflow Hero

hi Eric,

 

I guess only the person who loaded the question can mark a correct answer, but I clicked on kudos because that was all that was available.

 

let me know if I can do anything else?

 

best regards

 

john