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Calculated Value - Formatting Options


Hey All! First, I hope I put this in the correct place and my apologies in advance if I didn't quite reach the correct "Place"!

I would like to know if there is a way to format the Calculated Value controls output. I'm absolutely excited that it can recognize which checkboxes are checked and output that into a different field but I need something a bit more readable. Here are the rules I must abide by and hope that it'll paint a picture of the challenge that I accepted:

-Only use out-of-box Nintex tools/controls, no customizations, no scripts, no java.

-Simple backgrounds that clearly state what the form is.

-Make it work the way it did in InfoPath.

-Design it differently then what it was before in InfoPath

-Add role based permissions (25 roles in all) unless it makes it too big and hard to navigate.

-Make it smaller than what it was in InfoPath so it can be managed easier in the future.

I've been able to do some amazing things that I didn't think were possible but this Calculated Value thing that I found has stumped me on how to make it output checkboxes into another field in a pretty way. I've attempted different available non-custom CSS options but they only seem to add borders and such, no blank space breaks, no wrap arounds.

Please see screenshots to get a visual and please let me know if you have any questions that would help define more about what I'm trying to achieve given the resrictions. This one below is the start and will only be transferring over my name and the Permissions checkboxes:.SubmitPage.PNG

This one is what it outputs. The rationale behind this is to support a workflow that divides tasks to 5 different people at the same time and links to where they need to go in order to approve as well as provide the requested access. As you can see my software string does work but can be hard to read (and not just because of the censorship!):

ChecklistPage.PNG

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Nintex Newbie

Re: Calculated Value - Formatting Options

Jeremy,

Thanks for the level of detail in your initial question.

In looking at your output, I would say, try asking the question or building the solution in a different manner.  Basically what I mean is, you want your output to read in a legible manner. 

Option 1: You could have choice field from SharePoint that you display as check boxes.  This should render with commas between each choice. as you do now, but they run together.

Option 2: You should be able to reformat the output of a string to remove the underlines and add spaces. At that point you could introduce HTML and output that to a separate Rich Text field for better viewing.

Option 3: Create a repeating section for Software on the form and have a drop down choice field that they can select the software they want.  This will output xml that you can then style into a table in the email to whomever needs it.

Hope one of those options works for you.

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Nintex Newbie

Re: Calculated Value - Formatting Options

Are you using SharePoint? If so, create a lookup list that has a readable description field for your 'Selected Software' values that would be displayed instead of those ones you have now. That way you wouldn't need the underscores. No HTML or anything involved there.

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Re: Calculated Value - Formatting Options

Eric Harris, burkslm thank you both for the input and helping my mind switch gears on methods. I'll be sure to post results as I test the various options. This is very new to me so I'm still in "play" mode and will basically try anything since I've been afforded the opportunity to do so.

It may be a little bit before I can come back and post because of a mishap. I'm not sure what happened but for some reason some of the controls I made by going into List Settings -> Create Column do not show up as a field that can be used either as a Calculated Value or as a Lookup.  I was working on option 2 and it worked great but I got greedy and went to make another adjustment when my list blew up. Yay for backups!

I'll be sure to post results of the different options as I iron out the cause as to why not all items are selectable. Of course I'm open to any different methods on how to create columns.

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For those interested in what I'm working on from the little mishap, please see below for screenshots of what I'm seeing on my recovered form. Please let me know if it would be best to move this portion to a different post! I plan to work through it as I have a few ideas as to possible cause but if it would help the community out more I can make a new post and link the two.

Where I add my columns/controls:

FormList.PNG

My options for calculated value (looking for SubmitSoftware, which had to be rebuilt from the backup)

CalculatedForm.PNG

My options for Lookup

LookUPList.PNG

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Nintex Newbie

Re: Calculated Value - Formatting Options

Jeremy,

You do not need a lookup column for this from what I am reading.  This should just be a choice column on the form directly, unless I am missing something.    Also don't try to calculate the column, just render the choices as text.

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Re: Calculated Value - Formatting Options

Hey Eric,

Are you saying that I should be able to make a copy of the choice column in the Submit "view" that will reflect the same input  but present that choice column in different ways in the Checklist and User Packet views?

If that's the case, is there any specific technique? I tried this first by placing the choice column in the Submit view panel, then making a copy and placing it in the Checklist View panel then making sure it was connected to the Submit view choice column. I'll give this another shot as I may have approached it the wrong way.

Is there a way to mirror then change presentation from one point to the next without using a calculated value to RichText/HTML?

To clarify, the purpose of this form is to provide one panel for input, one panel for admins to read, retrieve approval, grant access, then sign off on. When all receive a sign off, the final panel manipulates information from the first two panels which is then presented as one document to the new hire and one document to the supervisor.

Hope this helps and thanks again for your thoughts and recommendations!

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Nintex Newbie

Re: Calculated Value - Formatting Options

I like making lists instead of choice columns. That way you can just add to the list and nothing is hard-coded. It is more flexible that way.

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Nintex Newbie

Re: Calculated Value - Formatting Options

Lisa, I agree that list are great, but sometimes it actually complicates the build/design process for users.  But you are correct that it does allow for easier updating, if built correctly.

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Nintex Newbie

Re: Calculated Value - Formatting Options

Jeremy,

So lets start off from scratch if possible. 

You should have one form with 3 panels if I am understanding you.  To achieve this I would recommend creating panels for each group mentioned (1. input, 2. admin read, and 3. sign off).

Your panels would then work based on rules such as if the "status = new/draft", then show input or that could be your default panel.  If the "status = submitted" then show read.  If the "status = ready for signoff" then show sign off.

As for your content within each, the different should be more of the content changing and not necessarily your manipulation.  You may have the same fields reflected in each panel, but the field should be good there.  If you have the Checklist showing as an input field, unless I'm mistaken, it should reflect the checked items when displayed elsewhere.  You could disable it from editing, but make it visible so that the admin can see what items where checked. 

The key I think you should use is the state of the column.  In one state (panel 1) you want them to input information.  This should be correct as you have it.  In panels 2 and 3 you should then have the appropriate columns available for editing, but have the read only columns set to read only by looking at "appearance" and disable them but have them visible.

Hope that helps.

Eric

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Re: Calculated Value - Formatting Options

Eric, unfortunately that is not working out. I can confirm that the field in one panel is connected to the other but whether I use a text field or choice field, the information does not copy over:

CheckListConnect.PNGCheckListName.PNG

I then thought that maybe it was something in my rules so I just got rid of any type of rule/hardcode. Created a fresh form with 3 named panels. From there I took a text field and a choice field to put on Panel 1. Then opened up my "Controls In Use" view to drag and drop the same controls on Panel 2 and Panel 3.

I gave them names and verified they were connected to the primary controls. I tried both "Use connected field's defualt valude" and Specify Value with the value to equal the connected to's value. In addition of running a preview, published and ran in real time. I input data on the first panel, scrolled down to the 2nd and 3rd panels to see that they were not copying input.

I also tried creating all sorts of other options such as multi-line text box, repeating section and so on but none were able to replicate what the parent control had. Then adding rules back to hide and show based on submission status but all the results were the same.

I'm thinking my issue is actually a version issue where we haven't updated to fix some controls bugs. To confirm, we are using Nintex 2010 for SharePoint 2010. Perhaps this is also why there are so many restrictions on what I'm not allowed to use because the package just isn't updated.

On the bright side, I've been able to work with the text in the choice menu so that it's more legible and received a response from one of the admin leads that it will suffice. Unfortunately this is information that needs to be hardcoded in as we want to reduce the time it takes someone to fill out the form.

Thank you both again for your time to analyze the situtation but I think it's apparent that I'm working with dated resrouces. Not sure how to mark this one as resolved. I do know that the client is happy with what has been worked with so far which is always a plus.

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